Garmin Fenix 5 Collection For Q1 2017?

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Expect an announcement for the Garmin Fenix 5 in early January 2016, perhaps coinciding with the CES trade show. Perhaps a day or two before to steal some of the thunder.

You’ve probably seen the chatter on Garmin’s own forums and elsewhere (sources below). It’s still not entirely clear if the leaked images were real as they appear to only come from one source – not me I hasten to add. Although with Garmin asking me and others to remove the images it seems a fair bet that they are real.

The same images were then left on Garmin’s forums for over a month. Sigh. And until recently were even on Ray’s site (posted by a commenter) and had been for a couple of weeks. He is, no doubt, getting a good ‘hand’s on’ right now ahead of the release.

<EDIT: screenshot removed>

The images also show a new clasp. Whilst that is NOT particularly interesting in itself, the QUICKFIT clasp IS the subject of a 2016 Garmin trademark. A real QUICKFIT clasp suggests a real Fenix 5.

Indeed there has been talk of a new Fenix for many months and it’s obvious that Garmin are going to release a Fenix 3 successor sooner or later.



However, there does not seem to be a single Fenix 5. It seems that what we will see will not be a single model but rather the Fenix 5 COLLECTION.

I would imagine Garmin have thought that they don’t dominate this part of the market enough and have gone all-out to dominate every conceivable facet worth dominating.

Good for them.

So we are going to see product forms aimed at certain markets and specific product features targeted fairly precisely towards many kind of usage. Hike, run, tri, SUP. Improved antennae, improved ELEVATE oHR, new barometric altimeter. Work use, swim use, dive use, classic time piece. Apps & comms.. All of what Garmin did before with the Fenix 3, and then the same again, but just a little better.

To be clear: The Fenix CHRONOS is not a Fenix 3. It’s specification is notably different. It either HAS the innards of the Fenix 5 … or something close to them.

Here is some speculation and some key features of the CHRONOS which I think are likely to be in the Fenix 5 – or whatever the Fenix 3 replacement is called.

  • Optical HR Sensor changes
    • Component thickness reduced
    • Same ELEVATE sensor as used on the 735XT
    • Different sensor orientation compared to Fenix3 and 735XT
  • Reduced battery
    • Smaller size
    • Lower life at 180mAh (as CHRONOS) compared to previously at 290/300mAh. This unit taken from the Garmin 630 and so COULD deliver 13-16 hours of in-exercise use. This may only be in one specific F5 model.
    • Possibility of wireless charging on some models (I doubt this, personally)
  • Casing
    • Maintenance access via screws on the rear (diving?), not front (like CHRONOS)
    • Waterproof to 100m on some models (ie a diving watch)
    • Thickness of some forms reduced due to smaller oHR and battery
  • New Barometric altimeter module
  • New 64 colour display (RGB22) which was previously 16 colours. Presumably increased resolution, although the CHRONOS is only 218x218px like the F3. More colours sounds great but IMO EVEN better resolution is still required to make it look like a ‘watch with proper hands’…yes, even more than on the SPARTAN (320x300px)
  • Touchscreen is a possibility on some models but all models appear to have a full 5-button enabled interface.
  • Improved user interface/menus to work better on a round screen as well as specific new screen that are designed for round faces rather than cropped onto one.
  • Faster and more capable processor to support CIQ2.1 apps.
  • New Comms antennae for Bluetooth LE and ANT+. Unsure if this contains wifi capabilities for the F5.

BATTERY: Please do not get carried away with the thought that a Fenix 5 will have a greatly reduced battery life. One F5 might. But don’t forget that Suunto, a much lower-resourced company, has still managed to release two versions of the SPARTAN (with 2 more due) where the main physical difference is the battery size and battery life – of course Garmin are EASILY QUITE ABLE to do something similar with far greater resources. ie different batteries on different models.

Here are some existing CHRONOS Features:

GPS, GLONASS, ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass), smart notifications, music control, vibration alert, VIRB, find-my-phone, watch, 10ATM water depth, negative mode screen display, 25 hour ULTRATRAC battery otherwise 13 hours with GPS and 1 week as a ‘watch’, custom POI, 1000 waypoints, 30 routes, accelerometer – no need for a footpod, multisport, all tri features, all golf features, activity tracker, ski features, TRACBACK, SUP,



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45 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix 5 Collection For Q1 2017?

      1. So Garmin might actually release this before Christmas!?

        Did you see they released TrueUp which combines all activity from multiple trackers?

  1. On fcc webpage there is no release information about a new wearable device at the moment. The serial number 123456789 seems to be a number of a pre serial test device, if this information is true. Why Fenix 5? Maybe the chronos is a Fenix 4?

    1. ty for the fcc lookup, saved me a few mins (got to get some real work done). maybe true re f4. appelmoessite speculates it’s tetraphobia. if you look at the name/url of the images, one of them even references something like 5s-6x.jpg. I guess you can read a lot into little things!! Fenix 6…lol

      1. No Fenix6, the name of the file just lists 6 times the Fenix 5, no more no less.
        Seems your readers are enjoying it.
        And it got even better, on my way home the family of the Fenix 5 has grown.
        The Fenix 5x appeared, with another 2 watches.

  2. Fenix 5X: (only) wireless charging? If yes: we aren`t be able to charge and use the unit at the same time during a trip outdoors?

    1. I don’t think it is wireless charging.. just hidden behind the strap. Then it will be on the same side as the charging port on the 3HR

  3. they have a metallic backplate and an oHR? how stupid is that? i do lots of winter sports, image -20 degrees and a metallic backplate… how could they…. 🙁

    1. You are not limited to the wrist hr- it will pair with any chest strap or other ant+ hr. This means that you may use the on-board OHR sensor when its convenient for you to do but there would be situations where a different type of hr sensor is appropriate.

      1. i´m aware of this fact but it´s kind of a design problem. if i take the step to oHR i wanna use it in kinda all situations and weather conditions.

        1. The oHR isn’t nearly as accurate or reliable as the chest strap anyways.
          And at -20 I layer up the clothes.. wouldn’t want any “cracks” like you would need to have the watch against the skin while at the same time being able to see it and operate it.

  4. I’m pretty happy with F3… works good/reliable for me. My wishes for next Fenix are:
    a) a brighter display (white to be white and not only middle-grey),
    b) no GPS spikes (post-run analyzis shows quite often zigzags),
    c) bigger/better or less pwr consumption (less charinging is always – always! 😀 – a good choice) and
    d) ANT-FE support (so I finally could connect my concept machines to my Fenix, instead of using a additional FR610 watch.

  5. I saw the pics before they were deleted, but I didn’t like the design. It’s too similar to F3. Actually I REALLY LOVE that concept design of the new Fenix that was posted some time ago. My dream is to have the functuanality of F3HR in the shell of Suunto Core all black 🙂 I’m wearing a FR235 and will be happy to replace it with a F4.

  6. I saw the pictures before they were removed. Didn’t like the design, it was too similar to F3. The concept design of the new F4 is much better.

      1. tbh leaked things will always be somehow accessible, maybe not for the wide audience but if you know how to do it… (google cache etc)! data once was spread on the internet can´t be removed completely!

        but since this came from garmin middle europe it seems it was no officially released teaser 😉

      2. Has garmin (germany) now given you permission to shareethese informations? Yesterday, the “forced” you to remove these information and today they are back again…???

        1. I voluntarily took the information down at their request. They are either unwilling or unable to remove the original source and other sources of information. They have not communicated with me when I asked for further clarification on why numerous other sources were not taking the same material down. If I am doing anything wrong then I will gladly remove this information. It all seems rather pointless as the original source is cached forever on google AFAIK. Edit: other sources of info have now, in fact, been taken down so I have removed the content (again).


          2. hmmm, interesting. I’ve no idea where s/he got the info from originally (not me for sure!). I think Garmin have given up as I’ve told them that there are still pictures on the own forums.

  7. so thinking outside the box a little…

    the fenix 5 is way too much like the fenix 3 just with a snappier OS like the 735xt which i like but hardly innovative.

    No camera. okay many of you may say i dont want a camera but how great would it be if it were easily integrated with strava or instagram?

    no 3g support. again – yes the battery can be compromised but not all of us carry a mobile phone when we run .

    i like the round OS apps ; makes me think it is touch screen which could be disastrous like the 820 touch screen is ;( i own one and im trying to still live with it.

    1. oh. 5 thumbs down and 2 up. tried to rectify that 🙂 . you need an androidwear watch. if they introduced a camera that would be more stuff to go wrong with which they were not familiar. they’ll struggle with a new touchscreen (see edge 820). I think die-hards, like me, poo poo the camera idea BUT it IS the way to go ultimately as many people want a fully digitally emersive experience …camera on watch and followed by a drone. imagine Kona 2021….1000 drones following their owner-competitor…lol city

      1. Okay maybe asking too much!

        I enjoy the stability and battery life of the fenix 3 and 735xt.

        I just want something more than just watch bands which is so apple like with their plethora of watch bands ie money generator.

        Hmm – perhaps just a stronger OS to start.

        I mean let’s all agree Garmin still has work there.

        What about voice control?! It’s on their VIRB line. Why not bring it to the fenix.

        “Fenix start run”. “Fenix navigate to start”. Fenix take photo ;)”.

  8. It seems that Suunto has just announced a “mega” update for the Spartan Ultra, with “GPS ENHANCEMENTS, IMPROVED HR TRACKING CONSISTENCY, AND ENHANCED SPORTS EXPERIENCE”:

    If it’s the case, IMO it is a strong confirmation that something is moving inside Garmin house and probably Fenix 5 will be very soon available. To avoid losing big share of the high segment of the GPS watch market, Suunto is maybe trying to increase as much as possible the appeal of SSU before new Garmin is available.

    1. ty marco. IMO 95% chance F5 will be announced at CES in Jan 2017. I’ve just been working on a piece on the suunto ‘mega’ update. It’s more of a mega ‘fix’. sorting the HR and GPS for some is important to those people. needs testing tho. I sort of agree with the end of what you say; although I suspect that Suunto are in fire-fighting mode and focussed internally rather than now worrying what Garmin are doing – that is out of their control.

      1. Totally agree with you. I am only a little sorry I could not get it for my next marathon on the end of november! I am 100% on your page when you write that Suunto is on “fire-fighting mode”, this is a perfect and amazing definition of the current marketing situation!

    1. not sure how much power it would supply, it would help to some degree I suppose. eg it could be under your shirt sleeve – no sun. eg you could be indoors – no sun. I have (house) solar panels and they don’t generate energy a LOT of the time. If there is no direct sunlight then there is a massive drop in energy generated.

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