Fenix 5 – Confirmed **Antennae Modification** by Garmin. Is this the 5+? (A: no!)

Garmin Fenix 5X 5 5S Forerunner 935 ReviewGarmin 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.


Fenix 5 & 5s RECALL ? – Would you do that if you were Garmin right now?


Reader-Powered Content

This content is not sponsored. It’s mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site and I appreciate everyone who follows, subscribes or Buys Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners. Thank you! FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: Links pay commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

25 thoughts on “Fenix 5 – Confirmed **Antennae Modification** by Garmin. Is this the 5+? (A: no!)

  1. Couldn’t this technically be applied to current F5’s with the permissive change via a firmware update? The F5 Plus is likely to just be music + garmin pay.

  2. What we need now is the new mpn’s. If this new version gets added to Stryd’s compatibilty list I’m all in

  3. Thank you for the infornatuin. Will this affect the 935?
    Will you recommend buying a 935 or to wait for a posible 935 plus?
    As far as I can recall the complaints were focused on the fenix 5 but the Forerunner 935 was ok.
    I look forward to your comments

    1. They aren’t remaking the 935 as it is mostly effective (I get a dropout every so often with my HRM-Tri or Stryd via ANT+); but that would happen with my old Fenix 3HR and that watch was solid when it came to connections.

      I’d say wait until the people work with it for awhile. The only thing you are getting with these Fenix 5 Plus (so far) is just a new antenna and a minimum of $100 more for the watch (mineral glass and no wifi, where the 935 had the wifi built in). If you must have a hardier watch, then yea the Fenix is your best bet, but I found the 935 to be just fine.

    2. In my use case: No dropouts with F3, no dropouts with F3HR, no dropouts with E1K, minor dropouts with FR935. If you turn off (or ignore) the bogus metrics, the FR935 is a solid, leightweight and good looking „multi sport watch“. oHR (wrist) is a bit tricky with it – can work quite well, but can also suck like hell.

      1. Thank you for the comments. I had and returned three Fenix 5. I use it mainly for open water swimming. In one occasion the Fenix 5 reported 600 meters less than what it was supposed. I am familiar with the problems of GPS in OWS (hand into the water, hand out of the water, GPS inactive, GPS active). What it was interesting is that in this particular case, Strava acknowledged the 600 missing meters and Garmin IQ did not!!!
        I currently own a Fenix 3 and I will buy a Forerunner 935 (495 €). It seems that it is more stable than the Fenix 5 and that GPS is not wonderful but better than that of the Fenix 5.
        Boris what do you mean with “bogus metrics”?
        When doing OWS you get SPL, time per distance and total number of strokes and distance (all affected by GPS that is the most critical aspect for this sport).
        I have tried other watches i.e. SUUNTO and there may be more accurate on land but not in the sea plus their tactile screen do not work well with water.
        Thank you and I will see how the 935 works on OWS and on the pool.

      2. By “bogus metrics” I mean the Training Load thing, the Recovery Adviser, the Training Effect thing, the Performance Condition, the Activity Tracker, the Sleep Recognition and so on. It’s in the “same same but different” (?) ballpark like calories by HR only.

        FR935 is a solid watch for recording multi sport activities and connects quite well to a bunch of sensors. But it also has many annoying bugs (which Grrmin is aware of since month/years, but does not fix).

      3. Could anyone name the 935 bugs?
        I am sure that is not perfect but after a thorough searching in different webs I could come with very few reports.
        This minor rate of negative reports and complaints concerning the 935 was more striking when compared with the high number of problems reported for the Fenix 5s/5/5X line.
        In fact there is a thread in the Garmin forum explaining why users have switched from the Fenix 5 to the Forerunner 935.
        I would like to know because I am buying a 935.
        Thank you in advance.

      4. It would take many hours to describe all the small annoyances I have to live with; I don’t have the time/mood for that, so just 2-3 examples…

        – I have connectivity issues with my phone (with iphone it works much better than with my android); can’t let my phone for too long too far away from my FR935, when bluetooth is activated. It then will only reconnect after some on/off game on watch and phone (my android needed to be rebooted 2-3 times a day, to get a reconnect).

        – My alarms, set on the watch, are overwritten by Garmin Connect sync; alarms have to be set up via GC app, but have no option for light. So you have to set up first the alarm within the app, then sync, then adjust the light option on the watch.

        – 4 of 7 days WiFi does not want to sync all data; I then have to connect via BLE and then it syncs all data. Sometimes it syncs vis WiFi, the data is on GC web, but on not GC mobile; after a forced sync via BLE it’s then there too.

        – Sometimes, when activating an activity, but without having started the recording, the watch tells me that it found new sensors (from people around me). This message stays on the top of the top; I then sometimes accidentally press the button too often and start/stop the recording I didn’t want to.

        – With software v4-v5 the oHR did work pretty well, but not so in the last few month. If remember correctly, since v6, it’s when they introduced all day stress measurement.

        + About the Thread: Yes, the FR935 is the better F5

  4. Upon further reflection, this does NOT confirm Fenix 5 Plus (although it’s still likely) as this updating the current F5 product process. That means, going forward, the new “regular” F5’s will have a slightly different antenna design and theoretically you could have your old F5 replaced for a new F5.

  5. just had a chat session with Garmin
    the chap I spoke to was aware of there being a revision in the pipeline but not what the process was going to be for getting watches swapped out
    he’s expecting to know more in the next few days
    I’ll follow it up next week and see if there is any change to this
    so, looks like things are moving in the right direction (although I wont believe it until I’m sat on my bike with a stable connection!)

  6. Interesting find! Would be also interesting to know what are their plans regarding F5X…

    Just a note regarding “turned down the volume for WiFi” and the respective highlight in the quote – it’s a bit misleading.

    The WiFi connectivity depends on EIRP (which remains constant), not the power delivered to antenna. According to the quoted text they do “turn down the volume”, but then turn it up again by a better antenna. Might lead to a bit longer battery life, but shouldn’t affect WiFi connection quality for all we know. Maybe it’s better to highlight “WiFi EIRP remains the same”?

  7. I delight in, result in I found just what I used to be having a look for.

    You have ended my four day long hunt! God
    Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  8. Hello, I would like to subscribe for this weblog to obtain newest updates, so where can i do it please assist.

Comments are closed.