Garmin Fenix 5 – Poor Connectivity and GPS Accuracy

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I was looking at the new beta firmware for the Fenix 5 and noticed two very highly viewed threads on the forum.

Clicks to source on

Those are some serious levels of interest: >50,000 views of ANT+ connectivity issues and >107,000 people further interested in GPS accuracy. Edit: Doesn’t quite match the F3HR altimetry (yet)

I would hope that Garmin have realised by now that people are really concerned about the accuracy of key aspects of their devices – heart rate, position, altitude. Clearly the sports we are probably most interested in involve going ‘fast’ to some personal degree. It’s kinda nice for the watch to tell you how fast you are going. Otherwise, what’s the point?

You have to give Garmin credit for discussing these issues publicly to some degree where others do not. Let’s hope that the sheer number of people concerned about this will lead to a positive change in the Fenix SOON.

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

We’ve already seen, below, that Garmin IS making changes to the Antennae to help connectivity. Perhaps the seriousness of the problem will encourage Garmin to bring forward the introduction of better GPS/positional accuracy with Galileo.

Here’s an interesting discussion about what other issues the 935 (aka Fenix 5 in all but name) that we would like improving.

Garmin 935 – Future Changes – 935plus or 945 ?


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20 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix 5 – Poor Connectivity and GPS Accuracy

  1. Just to be through but the Fenix 3HR also had this, not to mention the massive topic on the altimeter. Which, and I don’t care what people tell me, was borked. When your standing in the middle of your living room and the watch is reporting 6000ft….something is wrong.

  2. it´s kind a funny that a company thats main income comes from navigational devices, has bad gps accuracy on their GPS watches… an omen?

    1. ironic.
      Garmin’s GPS is *NOT* bad. It’s just not as good as others and it is the most expensive watch (in general) so yo uwould have thought it should have the best performance.

      1. Also, and I don’t know if Garmin’s reputation/history is the same as here in the states….but Garmin was known for GPS. It WAS their moneymaker as they made GPS units for cars–you’d think they would have this down lock.

        People I know that don’t actually use sportwatches or fitness trackers that ask me about the watch I am wearing (because let’s face it, they are nice looking watches) get confused when I tell them it’s a Garmin. Nearly every time I do, they say the same thing;

        “Garmin? Don’t they make car GPS?”

    2. Hiked in Bryce Cyn & used Fenix 5s and Forerunner 910, my wife a Forerunner 310xt. Also checked map distance Fenix 5s off by 0.6 miles over 5.2 miles. Ditto on another hike in Grand Cyn … Fenix 5S inaccurate for me.

    3. Hiked in Bryce Cyn & used Fenix 5s and Forerunner 910, my wife a Forerunner 310xt. Also checked map distance Fenix 5s off by 0.6 miles over 5.2 miles. Ditto on another hike in Grand Cyn … Fenix 5S inaccurate for me.

  3. I’ve been battling with Garmin for months over the ANT+ issue and finally go them to swap my watch

    now I can’t be sure it’s got the revised antenna design BUT it’s infinitely better

    10 miles run with Stryd and not a single drop out

    10 miles ridden on my Tacx trainer and while not 100% it’s nearly there and needs a bit more testing – certainly a huge improvement

    still too early to be sure it’s ‘fixed’ but looks promising

    for reference the new one has a higher serial number – 5361113xxx

    1. that is EXTREMELY interesting, thank you Ian. Garmin HAVE registered a new antenae on the FCC website. so it looks like, maybe, the fenix 5plus is disguised as the same old fenix 5 (if what you experience turns out to be consistent)

      1. I’ll report back when I’ve got more data

        let’s hope it’s consistent!

      2. just to round this off I’ve now run 48 miles since getting the new watch (including a half marathon) and haven’t had a single drop out

        I’m now convinced this is the revised model

        if anyone else has ANT+ issues I’d suggest getting back in touch with Garmin and get your watch swapped

      3. Hi, I’m having issues with GPS accuracy. My Fenix 5 is consistently 10% out on 10km runs reporting that I have run over 11km. My friends forerunner appears to be much more accurate. Our watches stay in sync for the first few KM and then they drift. Any ideas if swapping the watch will solve this? Thanks in advance.

      4. I just got the 5plus and have significant drifting. I also learned Apple does not recognize the device as USB. So I am not able to delete the three primary folders that can lead to better gps data. ugh:(.

      5. is that just with gps or gps+galileo.
        USB – yes this is a PITA. the 645 was the same. My pc will ony see it, effectively, as an android phone ie not a windows drive letter. HOWEVER Garmin said this should NOT be the case. as i have had it on to different devices then there may be something set wrong on my pc???

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