My Verdict – 4.5/5

In my eyes, the Fenix 5 ticks all the boxes. It has the best tracking metrics to date and looks great on my wrist. The price may take you back a little bit, but for what you get and how long it will last, it’s worth the hit.

Garmin Fenix 5 Review
Click The Image To Purchase The Watch From Amazon.

Pros
  • A slim and attractive design
  • Tracks a variety of sports
  • Water resistant down to 100m

Cons
  • Expensive
  • Can be difficult to track HR
  • Functionality very similar to Fenix 3


The design

Let’s talk a little about some of the design aspects of Garmin Fenix 5. I’d like to start by saying how much I like the design of this watch. The base template for all watches in the Fenix collection is more or less the same. But you can see the slicker, more elegant feel that has been introduced with the Fenix 5.

The Garmin Fenix 5 review I’m doing is the non-sapphire version of this watch. While I do agree that the sapphire version is very nice and provides you with a sapphire lens (that is scratch-proof), I did not personally see any real need to choose it over the standard version for this review as I feel it’s only really useful if you think you might damage the screen.

So, I’ll start with one of the nicest things about the design of the Fenix 5. The ability to alternate the watch in relation to the type of wristband you want to use. When the watch was first released, the cost of these bands was pretty hefty and it didn’t, in my opinion, seem justifiable to bother buying one. Now though, you can pick these up for under £10/$15. Which is great and allows you to add your own style to the watch. Amazon had a wide range of these wristbands and you can check them out by clicking here – Garmin Fenix 5 Wristbands/Straps.

Another design feature that I’ve mentioned a couple of times above is how the watch is water resistant down to 100m (328ft). To put that into perspective, that’s around the length of a football pitch. So it’s a pretty long way down and perfect for any deep sea divers out there.


Get the Garmin Fenix 5 at it’s lowest price! Take a look at the current Garmin Fenix 5 price below:

With Outdoor Navigation and Wrist-Based Heart Rate

(US) Garmin Fenix 5 – http://amzn.to/2F1h5TB

(UK) Garmin Fenix 5 – http://amzn.to/2mVyC8P

Bookmark this page to always get the lowest price!


Features

Of course with the Garmin Fenix 5, you can expect to see the use of ANT+ wireless connection. Rather than me going into detail on that feature again, I will just point you in the direction of my Garmin Fenix 3 review. In that review, I talk about it and give a full explanation of what ANT+ actually is (for those of you who aren’t too sure) – Garmin Fenix 3 review.

But there is, unfortunately, one thing I should address with the ANT+ connectivity. It has been noted that the connection can drop out occasionally, which in turn can mean that your data is not being passed. It’s not a massive concern and for the most part, the connection is usually good, but it is worth noting. This has been a bit of a long-standing issue so here’s hoping it’s addressed soon.

Another feature previous Fenix users will be familiar with is the Garmin Connect app. The Garmin connect app, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is basically the hub of all the data that gets tracked from the Fenix GPS watch. So, because of this, it’s a crucial partner to the watch and won’t cost you any extra to have downloaded. I’d recommend getting your watch synced to the app as soon as you get it so you don’t miss out on anything.

Anything that the watch allows you to track will be sent back to the app (once synced) and will then be available for you to analyze. This way you can always be identifying where you can improve and looking to better yourself in your chosen sport/s or activities.

Below are some screenshots I took from the app that show some of the features available. In the middle, you can see the option to add ‘Challenges’ and ‘Connections’. Challenges are an awesome way to keep testing and pushing yourself to see what you can achieve. It gives you a target to aim for and a great sense of pride when your able to meet those targets. The connections part is where you can add people to challenge i.e. a friend who also has the Garmin connect app.

Garmin Connect Features

Let’s get into the sports you’ll be able to use the Fenix 5 for. As with all Garmin Fenix watches, you can expect there to be functionality for sports such as cycling, swimming, running, and golf. Well, these are the most common sports you would expect to see at least.

I’ll detail below the tracking metrics that will be available to you with the Fenix 5. But just before we get into that, it’s worth having a little rundown of the built-in Heart Rate Monitor.

A heart rate monitor is another thing you will expect to have on a GPS watch and it can be a very useful tracking metric in just about any sport you are using the watch for. Although, it can be quite displeasing. When using it to track heart rate on various sports, you can often find it doesn’t do a very good job and often can’t pick anything up (for a bit of time at least). So, you may want to look at other more reliable means of tracking your heart rate such as a chest strap. Also, when swimming, the heart rate monitor will be automatically turned off so it won’t be much use there. Although, it does do a pretty good of tracking your resting heart rate.

Swimming: Stroke count, Stroke Rate, Lengths (Laps), Distance, Pace (Speed), Timing

Also, with Swimming, the watch will be able to identify what type of stroke you are using, which is great for those who want to know their performance for certain stroke types.

There is also the option for ‘Open Water Swimming‘ which has virtually all the same features as above.

Running: Pace (Speed), Cadence (Steps per minute), Timing, Distance, Stride Length, Heart Rate Monitor

Other running options include Indoor Running and Trail Running.

Cycling: Pace (Speed), Distance, Time, Cadence Support, Cycling Courses

Other cycling options include Indoor and Moutain.

Golf: Yardage to Front/Middle/Back of green, Shot Distance, Scorecard, Hazard Detection, In-Depth Tracking Of How You Play (See details here)

Some of the many other sports/activities that can be tracked with this watch are Hiking, Climbing, Skiing/Snowboarding, Strength and Cardio training.

Getting into some of the other features available, there is, of course, the clock. Wouldn’t be much of watch without one. Features of this consist of having the option to set it to either a 12-hour or 24-hour watch dependant on your preference.

You have the ability to set alarms for whatever reason you want to use an alarm for, whether it’s to get you up in the morning or to set a time for when you want to stop/start working out. Although, if you want to use it for the last option, then the Fenix 5’s stopwatch feature could be of more use to you. There is also a calendar that you can access and use to keep on top of your daily routines.

Other notable features would come into the category of ‘Smart Watch’ features. Things such as being able to check the weather, having the ability to receive text messages straight to your watch and check your emails to name a few. I’ll list a few more for you below:

    • Get various notifications
    • Answer calls
    • Listen and select music (when connected via Bluetooth)
    • Find my device

Take a look at the current Garmin Fenix 5 price below:

With Outdoor Navigation and Wrist-Based Heart Rate

(US) Garmin Fenix 5 – http://amzn.to/2F1h5TB

(UK) Garmin Fenix 5 – http://amzn.to/2mVyC8P

Bookmark this page to always get the lowest price!


Garmin Fenix 5 Review
Click The Image To Purchase The Watch From Amazon.

How does it compare to the Garmin Fenix 3?

I’m sure most of you who owned the Garmin Fenix 3 will agree it was a very well designed watch. But, things can always be improved! I’ll go over below some of the changes/improvements that you can look forward to should you decide to buy this watch.

Design: If you have previously owned the Fenix 3 then you will probably notice a slight difference in the Fenix 5 in terms of design. If I’m being honest, there isn’t a massive change in the size or design of the watch, but the slight tweak to the size and weight do create a noticeable difference when on your wrist. The Fenix 3 weighs around 82g and has a chunkier feel. While the Fenix 5 weighs just a little more at 85g, it does provide a slightly slimmer, slicker feel.

Better battery life: With the Fenix 5 you can look forward to getting a little more usage per charge. It’s no drastic difference, but if you’re into hiking and long journeys then that extra bit of life may be the difference. The Fenix 5 will give you up to 2 weeks charge in smartwatch mode, up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode and up to 24 hours in GPS mode. The Fenix 3 will again give you up to 2 weeks charge in smartwatch mode, but will only provide up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode and up to 20 hours in GPS mode.

Interchangeable bands/straps: This is not a new feature for the Fenix 5 and was also available for the Fenix 3, but the ease of changing these has changed. With the Fenix 3, it would take a good few minutes every time you wanted to alternate your strap/band as you were required to use a small screwdriver. Whereas with the Fenix 5, they are effortless to change and will only take a few seconds of your time. Just unclip the old one and clip the new one on. Simple as that.

Features: In terms of actual features, it is hard to pinpoint any massive changes. One noticeable change would be the introduction of the gyroscope to the Fenix 5. The gyroscope basically ensures that no data gets lost when using the watch in UltraTrac mode. So, it’s quite a nice feature for those who are using the watch for long periods of time.

If you would like to check out my review of the Garmin Fenix 3 then you do so by clicking this link – Garmin Fenix 3 Watch Review


Unboxing

I’m not really one for the camera’s so don’t expect to see any video’s from me, but Garmin has actually got some unboxing video’s on their YouTube so I’ll share a link down below. If you want to check out more videos from Garmin then you can visit their official YouTube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/user/garminblog

The Specs

Weight87g
Watch Size/Dimensions47 x 47 x 15.5mm
Water resitantDown to 100 metres
Screen size30.5mm
Battery lifeSee Garmin official site for details

Summary

My overall conclusion to the Fenix 5 would be that it all depends on what you plan on using it for, or what you are looking to gain from it. For some people, the dealbreaker would be that this watch provides a certain tracking metric that no other GPS watch can provide and that, in my opinion, is a perfectly valid reason.

Would I recommend that you buy this watch? I would yes. But only if you can see that you would be getting your money’s worth. If you’re just looking for a good GPS watch that you want to keep handy for a few years, then I’d definitely point you in the direction of the Fenix 5. It’s slick, durable and certainly isn’t going to be miles apart from any other GPS watch that get’s released in the near future.

Now, I’m personally very much into my sports and general fitness. So I’m always fairly active and trying to better myself in those sports. Becuase of that, the Fenix 5 is the ideal candidate for me and would fulfil all my tracking needs.

One thing to consider if you already own the Fenix 3, is that it is quite similar to the Fenix 5 in many aspects and some of you may not see any need to upgrade. If you missed it, I do go over some of the changes between the two watches above so be sure to take a look at that. It’s all about personal opinion at the end of the day and if you don’t feel you want to upgrade and are happy with the Fenix 3 then why change.

Not sure the Garmin Fenix 5 is for you, but are still interested in buying a GPS watch? Then feel free to check out one of my other review of the Apple Watch Series 3 here – Apple Watch Series 3 Review

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