Garmin have requested the approval of a change made to at least some of the Fenix 5 range with this request to the FCC for a ‘permissive’ change (Source: https://t.co/XAS419ZPNj via R Black)
A Class II Permissive Change is requested for this product because the 2.4 GHz antenna was redesigned to provide higher EIRP for Bluetooth and ANT+ transmissions. This product also transmits WiFi at 2.4 GHz using the same antenna, and the WiFi power has been reduced so the WiFi EIRP remains the same. The WiFi transmit power is higher than both Bluetooth and ANT+ transmit powers, so maximum EIRP is unchanged.
Basically they’ve turned the volume up for ANT+/BLE sensor connections and turned it down for WiFi (with an improved antennae), leaving the overall level the same. And, presumably, that’s why this kind of modification to the original application can be requested.
As we’ve repeatedly said here: you need to understand what this change means, if anything, to you before buying a Fenix 5 or Fenix 5S. If it’s not important you are good to go with the current model. Alternatively, waiting for a potential 5plus version could be a good move.
Edit: This change could well just affect the hardware in Fenix 5 devices that are produced in the future. It may well NOT be a Fenix 5 plus (see comments below). If the change is totally unimportant and of no significance…then why do it? Clearly the change is being done for a reason by Garmin and clearly that reason is connectivity-related. Anyone who says anything else has their head buried in the sand or wears their Garmin-branded, rose-tinted spectacles a little too often.