How to improve battery life on the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

How to fix poor battery life on the Garmin fitness watches

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus has been out now for about 3 months and many users have reported poor battery life on the Fenix 5 Plus and this has been well documented on the Garmin forums with over a 412 comments about the battery life.

Whilst the poor battery life performance on the Fenix 5 Plus maybe down to software bugs and issues that will be causing the battery to drain post activity, you can still make some changes or adapt how you use the device to help with the battery life.

Before I get into the tips to improve the battery life on the Fenix 5 Plus, I just want to point out that the more you use it for activities either using the GPS or optical HR, the smartwatch battery life will not stretch to the advertised times.

For instance, some weeks I am more active than others due to my work schedule and I find the battery does last longer than other times from a recharge, so just bear that in mind when you are looking at the overall battery performance on the Fenix 5 Plus.

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus battery life improvement tips

Whilst this guide is written for the Fenix 5 Plus, it should also be good for the following devices to help improve battery life on Garmin devices

  • Fenix 5s Plus
  • Fenix 5x Plus
  • Fenix 5 series
  • Forerunner series

Backlight settingsGarmin Fenix 5 Plus backlight settings

Backlight settings are important as the backlight and the screen is one of the biggest battery drains on the Fenix 5 Plus. To access go to Settings, System, Backlight

  • During Activity
    • Keys “on”
    • Alerts “on”
    • Gestures “on”
    • Timeout “15 secs”
    • Brightness “20%”
  • Watch mode
    • Keys “on”
    • Alerts “on”
    • Gestures “on”
    • Timeout “30 secs”
    • Brightness “40%”

Turn off mobile notificationsTurn off notifications Fenix 5 Plus

I turn off all mobile notifications on my Fenix 5 Plus and this is for 2 reasons, first I don’t actually like them and 2nd the constant Bluetooth ping between the smartphone and the Fenix 5 Plus will drain the battery. To turn them off simply go to Settings, phone, smart notifications, turn to status off.

Turn off Wifi syncingGarmin Fenix 5 Plus wifi settings

Turning off wifi syncing on the Fenix 5 Plus will be another battery life saver. The watch will be pinging your wifi network and if you have a connection to your smartphone then you have no real need to also sync via wifi. To turn off wifi syncing simply go to Settings, Wifi, auto upload, turn to status off.

Use UltraTrac mode for longer outdoor activities

If you are using your Garmin watch for long distance activities and want to extend the battery life, then a top tip is to use “UltraTrac” mode for a given activity. In order to do this, you need to go to Activity, options, hike activity, GPS, select UltraTrac.

Please note that you will need to setup UltraTrac for each activity as settings are individual for each sports profile on the device.

Choose a watch face with little animationFenix 5 Plus watch face

My top tip to save battery is to use a watch face that does not have much animation. So try and choose a watch face that does not have things like a seconds hand going around or constantly moving graphics. These types of animations decrease the battery life and having a watch face that is static will help with battery performance.

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So thats it guys, thats my top tips for help improve battery life on the Fenix 5 Plus and other Garmin fitness devices. If you have your own suggestions or any questions then leave them below in the comments sections below.

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  1. Alright JR. I’ve messaged you before with regards Ti model. Just wanted know if you have found in the music controls be it Spotify, onboard storage or phone control that you only get 4 controls on control wheel as opposed to the 8 you see in the adverts?
    Thanks for input if you have time.

  2. wow this article was extremely unuseful, as it should not be necessary to do all these steps for a watch that costs a fortune. Ridiculous that Garmin can’t fix the problem or even addresses it when people complain. Very poor customer care from Garmin.

  3. Did you find that any of these settings were changed since Garmin’s cybersecurity incident? I’ve had my Fenix 5s for almost 2 years, and just in the last week or so, it’s been draining daily. I hadn’t made any changes. I did change the WiFi settings and the Mobile Notifications as you suggest above – I wonder if they got changed somehow? Or if something else got changed?

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Jon Ratcliffe
I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles. I cover Wearables, tech and smart home. My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.

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