Garmin Fenix 5 – quick commentary and specification highlights

Garmin Fenix 5x

Bad news for non-Garmin companies. The Fenix 5 has lots and lots and lots of stuff; lots of versions available cMarch 2017 upwards of US$600 – maxing out at US$850.

Pre-order HERE at our preferred partner Power Meter City.

  • It never used to have maps – it does now. A proper one!! At least at the top end of the F5 range, that is. It will work like your SATNAV and you can add your own maps to it.
  • It didn’t used to have many meaningful variants – it does now (check the exact features for the model you are interested in)
  • The F3 screen wasn’t quite hi-res enough – it still isn’t BUT it has improved further over the Chronos/F3 (now 240×240 compared to 218×218; and the SPARTAN has 320×300). Although note that the smaller 5s is still 218×218 [Source: Garmin.com] – that is disappointing if correct.
  • Battery life was always pretty good – now it’s better. Although the precise battery power over and above the 300mAh of the F3 is not stated. ULTRATRAC is officially cited as up to 100 hours otherwise you may well get the official 20 hours of GPS battery life…not bad at all!
  • It used to have 16 colours – now it has 64.
  • F5 comes in slightly smaller than the F3 (three) sapphire: 47x47x15.5mm compared to 51.5×51.5×16.0mm
    • There are 3 case variants: 42mm, 47mm, 51mm (maps) – for small, medium and large wrists ! But the form factor does affect the hardware spec inside.
    • F5s comes is NOTABLY SMALLER at 42.0×42.0x14.5 mm. This might appeal to smaller-wristed people.
  • F5 comes in with a slightly larger display than the F3 sapphire: F5-30.5mm vs F3-30.4mm (27.94mm on the F5s)
  • F5 Sapphire with silicon band is 87g whereas F3 Sapphire/titanium with silicon band was 78.2g. The F5s with silicon band is 67g
  • It used to have just enough memory – now, overall, it’s doubled (although no doubt to cope with greater demands)
  • wifi wasn’t on the chronos…now it’s back (Sapphire)
  • It has training effect 2.0 features (some of which look interesting), comes with a HRM-TRI (in the appropriate version) and all that that entails with regards to multi-sports and caching.
  • It supports footpods
  • It does SUP and other new profiles
  • It has music control (NOT on-board music)
  • It supports TEMPE
  • oHR – naturellement (option)
  • CIQ 2 – mais oui.
  • ANT+ – doh. But reports of Bluetooth sensor support are coming in (yes SERIOUSLY)
  • Higher prices than the F3 but nothing any more, or less, eye-watering for those who can afford the price tag.
  • Trackback, ultratrac, glonass, EXO, power…yes, yes, yessity, yes, yes.

Missing: With native support of some Bluetooth sensors and native support of BSX/Moxy’s muscle oxygen data it seems strange that RUNNING POWER is not there. More intriguing than strange.

Fenix 5 Fenix 5s Fenix 3 Sapphire Fenix Chronos
$599.99 USD and Up $599.99 USD and Up $549.99 USD and Up $899.99 USD and Up
Physical & Performance
Physical dimensions 1.9” x 1.9” x 0.6” (47.0 x 47.0 x 15.5 mm) 1.7” x 1.7” x 0.6” (42.0 x 42.0 x 14.5 mm) 2.0” x 2.0” x 0.6” (51.5 x 51.5 x 16.0 mm) 1.9″ x 1.9″ x 0.6″ (49 x 49 x 15 mm)
Display size, WxH 1.2” (30.5 mm) diameter 1.1” (27.94 mm) diameter 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter 1.2” x 1.2″ (30.4 x 30.4 mm)
Display resolution, WxH 240 x 240 pixels; sunlight-visible, always-on, low power, colorful display 218 x 218 pixels; sunlight-visible, always-on, low power, colorful display 218 x 218 pixels; transflective MIP color; sapphire lens 218 x 218 pixels; transflective MIP color; sapphire lens
Color display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Negative mode display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight With silicone band: 3.0 oz (85.0 g); Sapphire version: 3.1 oz (87.0 g) With silicone band: 2.4 oz (67.0 g) Titanium, titanium band: 4.8 oz (134.8 g); Titanium, silicone band: 2.8 oz (78.2 g) Steel with leather band: 3.31 oz (94 g)
Gray, leather strap: 3.0 oz (84.9 g) Steel with steel band: 6.56 oz (186 g)
Black, nylon strap: 2.8 oz (79.6 g) Titanium with titanium hybrid band: 3.95 oz (112 g)
Others: with all links, 6.56 oz (186 g); With rubber bands: 3.0 oz (85 g)
Battery Rechargeable lithium-ion Rechargeable lithium-ion Rechargeable 300mAh lithium-ion Rechargeable 180mAh lithium-ion
Battery life Up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode (depending on settings), up to 24 hours in GPS mode, and up to 100 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode Up to 8 days in smartwatch mode (depending on settings), up to 13 hours in GPS mode, and up to 50 hours in UltraTrac™ battery saver mode Up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 20 hours in GPS training mode; up to 6 weeks in watch mode Up to 25 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 13 hours in GPS training mode; up to 1 week in watch mode
Water Rating 10 ATM 10 ATM 10 ATM 10 ATM
GPS-enabled Yes Yes Yes Yes
GLONASS Yes Yes Yes Yes
High-sensitivity receiver Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric altimeter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electronic compass Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smart notifications Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vibration alert Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music control Yes Yes Yes Yes
Find my phone Yes Yes Yes Yes
VIRB® control Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maps & Memory
Built-in memory 64 MB; available 54 MB 64 MB; available 54 MB 32 MB; available 23 MB 32 MB; available 23 MB
Custom POIs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waypoints/favorites/locations 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Routes 30 30 30 30
Track log 200 hours 200 hours 100 hours of activity data 100 hours of activity data
Running Features
Virtual Pacer™ Yes Yes Yes Yes
V02 max estimate Yes Yes Yes Yes
Recovery advisor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Race predictor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Running dynamics Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Personal records Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cycling Features
Compatible with Vector™ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple bike profiles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bike speed/cadence sensor Yes (optional) Yes (optional) Yes (optional) Yes (optional)
Performance Features
Heart rate monitor Yes (wrist-based) Yes (wrist-based) Yes (Some versions) Yes (wrist-based)
Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Virtual Racer™ (compete against other activities) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Courses (compete against previous activities) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-sport Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto multisport (switch sport modes with 1 button press) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Heart rate-based calorie computation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calculates calories burned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Training Effect Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable screen(s) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power meter compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swimming Features
Pool swim metrics Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stroke type identification Yes Yes Yes Yes
Open water swim metrics Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swim workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Outdoor Features
Hunt/fish calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sun and moon information Yes Yes Yes Yes
Area calculation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto goal Yes Yes Yes Yes
Move bar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sleep monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional
Additional Connect IQ™ app support: Yes (watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps) Connect IQ™ app support: Yes (watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps) Connect IQ™ app support: Yes (watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps) Connect IQ™ app support: Yes (watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
EXO™ antenna (GPS/GLONASS): Yes EXO™ antenna (GPS/GLONASS): Yes EXO™ antenna (GPS/GLONASS): Yes EXO™ antenna (GPS/GLONASS): Yes
Wi-Fi®: Yes (Sapphire versions only) Wi-Fi®: Yes (Sapphire versions only) Wi-Fi®: Yes
ANT+®: Yes (all versions) ANT+®: Yes (all versions) ANT+®: Yes ANT+®: Yes
Bluetooth®: Low Energy (all versions) Bluetooth®: Low Energy (all versions) Bluetooth® 4.0 LE: Yes Bluetooth® 4.0 LE: Yes
Training Effect 2.0 (measures impact of an activity on your aerobic & anaerobic fitness): Yes Training Effect 2.0 (measures impact of an activity on your aerobic & anaerobic fitness): Yes Weather Alerts: Yes Weather Alerts: Yes
Training Load: Yes Training Load: Yes
Training Status: Yes Training Status: Yes
Lactate Threshold: Yes Lactate Threshold: Yes
Weather Alerts: Yes Weather Alerts: Yes
UltraTrac: Yes UltraTrac: Yes UltraTrac: Yes UltraTrac: Yes
tempe™ sensor support: Yes tempe™ sensor support: Yes
TracBack: Yes TracBack: Yes TracBack: Yes TracBack: Yes
Ski features: Yes Ski features: Yes Ski features: Yes Ski features: Yes
Physiological measurements: Yes Physiological measurements: Yes Physiological measurements: Yes Physiological measurements: Yes
SUP/Rowing: Yes SUP/Rowing: Yes SUP/Rowing: Yes SUP/Rowing: Yes
Foot pod: yes (optional) Foot pod: yes (optional) Foot pod: yes (optional) Foot pod: yes (optional)

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0 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix 5 – quick commentary and specification highlights

  1. so basically instead of firmware update to the fenix 3 , they introduced a new watch. and still no galileo support on either. thank god for casio.

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