Garmin Fenix 5 plus guide tips and tricks
Have you just bought a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, either the 5, 5s or the 5x then this ultimate Fenix 5 Plus guide is for you? In this Fenix 5 Plus guide, you will get to understand how to setup up your watch for better battery life, improved mapping and the best choices for music on your wrist.
This guide is valid for the following Fenix 5 Plus devices
- Fenix 5s Plus guide
- Fenix 5 Plus guide
- Fenix 5x Plus guide
Garmin Fenix 5 plus guide to profile setup
Setting up the profile on the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is very simple and if you already have a Garmin connect profile because you a Garmin fitness product its even easier. But you need to watch out for a few settings to get the best out of the data post workout. Make sure the following is set correctly and regularly updated
Also, remember to check the resting heart rate and check this matches what the resting HR you have recorded. You can do this by going to
- User profile
- Heart rate
Check that you have a resting heart rate in here, use the one it is recorded or if you know what it is yourself enter it now.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Apps and widgets
The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with a load of activity profiles such as running, cycling, swimming and many more. But what a number of people don’t know is that the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with a number of other profiles hidden behind a menu in the Activity profile menu
To access these other fitness profiles all you need to do is scroll all the way to the bottom of the activity menu screen and then click on the + and this will then give you other sports profiles to add.
My other tip is that you reorder the sports profiles in the order of your most used, this way you will be able to get quick access to the most used profiles.
To reorder the activity, simply go to the activity menu and then press the “up/Menu” button, then scroll down to “reorder”
I suggest when it comes to the widgets that you have these set to the ones you use regularly. You can again add and remove these by going to
Setting up data screens on the Fenix 5 Plus
The Garmin Fenix 5x is very detailed when it comes to the data it presents on the screen and you can have unto 4 data points and 7 screens.
My best advice is before you go out for a run, bike ride or whatever activity you do is to set the data screens up and my top tip is to have the information you need at a glance on the first screen. So if you are on the bike or running at a pace you can quickly see the information you need quickly and if you need to look at other data when you are stopped you have the other screens all setup also.
To edit the data screens, goto the activity you want to edit. Then press the “up/Menu” button, then select the data screens menu.
How to improve battery life on the Fenix 5 Plus
The Battery life issues on the Fenix 5 Plus have been well documented on the Garmin Forums and some of it will be down to software issues and bugs, you can look to setup up your device for optimum battery life and these are the settings I use.
Backlight settings are important as the backlight and the screen is one of the biggest battery drain 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 notifications
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.
Turn off Wifi syncing
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.
Garmin fitness watch alternative: Checkout the Amazfit Stratos review
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Sensor setup
The Garmin Fenix 5x has the ability to pair to ANT+ for a variety of sensors along with Bluetooth for chest HR monitors. I have mine attached to a host of different sensors from power-meters, speed and Cadence sensors. I also use mine in the gym with equipment such as wattbikes and collect power, speed and cadence data.
The biggest tip I can give you in this area is to rename the sensor to something that you associate with that gym equipment once you have paired it. The reason being is that ANT+ sensors identify are normally just numbers and renaming it to something that easily identifies the equipment makes like easy when using multiple gym stations.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus bands
Just like the Garmin Fenix 5, the Fenix 5 Plus has the ability to change out the bands to a colour or a material of your choice, but just remember a couple of things before you try and change the style.
The first tip, the Fenix 5 Plus series comes in different sizes, so don’t make the mistake of buying the wrong size band
- Garmin Fenix 5s Plus – 20mm
- Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – 22mm
- Garmin Fenix 5x Plus 26mm
Remembering the right band size for your Fenix 5 Plus watch could save you money and time.
The second tip, have a shop around and check out some of the marketplaces for OEM bands rather than paying the Garmin prices. I have personally bought some nice bands for the fraction of the price.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus music support
One of the headline features of the Fenix 5 Plus is the ability to load music onto your watch and then remove the need to take your smartphone with you when out running or exercising.
In terms of music on your wrist options with your Garmin device, you have the following options
The outright winner for me is Spotify as you can sync playlists and Podcasts, which you don’t get on the other services.
My top tip is to invest in a decent pair of pair Bluetooth earphones. Shop around and buy ones that fit you and work for your given activity.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus GPS, GLONASS and now Galileo support
People have been complaining of the GPS accuracy of the Garmin Fenix 5 series and Garmin has now included Galileo support on the Fenix 5 Plus, but also the Fenix 5 series.
My top tip is to turn on GPS and Galileo together to increase accuracy and this needs to be done for each activity profile that supports GPS tracking. So if you set it for running and you also want it for cycling ect.
- When you are in the activity you want to enable for Galileo
- Long press left menu button
- Bike settings
- Scroll down to GPS
- Enable GPS and Galileo
Improve Garmin Fenix 5 Plus wrist HR accuracy
When it comes to the optical HR sensor on any device it is all down to how you position it and what activities you are going to be using it for. So for instance, if you are cycling or doing activities that involve a lot of wrist action then don’t expect fantastic accuracy.
However, you can help improve the accuracy of the optical HR sensor on the Fenix 5 Plus by tightening the band around your wrist before you start an activity which will reduce the amount of movement of the sensor. Then once you have finished the activity you can loosen it to what you feel is comfortable.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Maps and Navigation
In 2017 when Garmin released the Fenix 5 series, only the Fenix 5x came with mapping, however, fast forward to 2018 and the entire Fenix 5 Plus series comes with navigation and mapping capability.
Last year I complained about the maps on the Fenix 5x due to the lack of Topo contours on the UK and Europe and whilst Garmin has included Active Topo maps this time, frankly, they are not great.
So if you want better maps for a fraction of the cost of what Garmin would charge you, then Follow this link to an article that shows you how to install third-party maps with contours for the fraction of the price that Garmin charge.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Watch faces
The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus allows you to customise the watch faces with either the preloaded watch faces or from the Garmin Connect app store and you can find a good guide on the best Garmin watch faces below
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.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Update
Whilst the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series does have an auto-update function I have found sometimes that it does not always keep things up to date and you have to plug into a computer to get an update.
This is true in regards the map updates and I have found plugging into my computer once a week and connecting to Garmin Express I am getting regular updates and it certainly helps with performance and battery life, in the long run, to keep your Garmin devices updated.