▷ Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – Is it worth it ? Detailed Fenix 5S Plus Review Link

My somewhat biblical in scope Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Review is now live and you will have already noticed that the Fenix 5 Plus series has hit the shelves. Like me, you are probably WOWED by the marketing and WOWED by the new features. But, like me, you are probably also WOWED by the price tag underneath the watch on that imaginary, internet-based shop shelf.

$1150…really?…is the the Fenix 5X plus worth that much? Let’s see.

In Brief
  • Build Quality - 85%
  • Price - 70%
  • Features - 98%

High-End Multisport & Outdoors GPS Watch

The Garmin 5 Plus has just about every feature. The reality in 2019 is that all features work as they should. There are so many positives, that I’m just going to say that this is one of the very best/well featured sports watches ever – and I really HAVE tested ALL the others myself.

I’m going to list the negatives because there aren’t many: price; screen resolution; is your bank supported?; is your music streaming service supported; oHR might not be great for you; GPS is good but not great; Garmin Connect is feature-full but sometimes hard to navigate through.

Almost all of you will not regret buying one…if you can afford it.


Or skip to the section that most interests you in this shorter post (it’s still fairly long)

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – Pricing

Jabra Elite Active 65t Review Garmin 5S Plus

My Fenix 5S Plus with Jabra Elite Active 65t

We will come back to pricing details later.

For now, here is a simplified overview of the pricing. Dollars and Euro prices are ‘about the same‘ and I’ve rounded up the 599.99s to 600 for the sake of readability.

There is a premium for sapphire glass and a premium for titanium construction. These both come as standard on the 5X Plus.

US$ Base (Eu) US$ Sapphire/titanium £ Base £ Sapphire/titanium
Fenix 5S plus 700 800 600 700
Fenix 5 plus 700 800-850 600 700-750
Fenix 5X plus 1150 750
Garmin Fenix 5 plus

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Review – What’s the difference

I don’t want to dwell too much on the exact details in this article. Here is a link if you want to read about the details.

Garmin Fenix 5 PLUS Series Specifications – Comparison – 5S, 5X

Apart from the Fenix 5X Plus Pulse Oximetry sensor, the Fenix 5 Plus models are all equally featured. The differences come in the watches’ sizes and materials. The 5X Plus is bigger than the 5 Plus which is bigger than the 5S Plus. You already knew that. The bigger it is, the heavier it is and the wider the QuickFit bands. You pay more for the more durable sapphire glass and you pay more for the lighter and stronger titanium.

There are NO LONGER any confusions around differently sized screens. The 5S non-plus WAS smaller in pixels than the 5 non-plus. The new Fenix 5 Plus and the new Fenix 5S Plus have the same size screen with the same resolution.

There are no longer any confusions about a sporty Forerunner 935 that was also the same…but subtly different. There is not (yet) a replacement Forerunner 945 aka Forerunner 935 Plus. That will possibly come as soon as September with some special goodies like CdA support.

Take Out: In terms of software features: the Fenix 5 Plus series are pretty much all the same when comapred to each other

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series – Battery Life

You might expect that the 5 Plus series has ‘better’ battery life than before. Generally, it does NOT have better battery life than the Fenix 5, although the Fenix 5X Plus is the exception with highly credible battery stats, as shown below.

Smartwatch Mode GPS Mode GPS+Music UltraTrac
Fenix 5S 9 days 14 hours 35 hours
Fenix 5 2 Weeks 24 hours 60 hours
Fenix 5X 12 days 20 hours 35 hours
Fenix 5S Plus 7 days 11  hours 4.5 hours 25 hours
Fenix 5 Plus 12 days 18 hours 8 hours 42 hours
Fenix 5X Plus 20 days 32 hours 13 hours 70 hours

I guess we don’t need to know why battery life is slightly worse but it will be linked to factors like: new battery; new processor; better power management components. The 4.5 hours with the 5S Plus for GPS+music is maybe a tad too low for comfort from experience with similar devices. But the 32 hours of Best GPS mode in the 5X Plus is market-leading for UltraRunners. Even looking at the 18 hours of GPS use with the Fenix 5 Plus then that’s probably enough for many people in an Ironman (18 hours will be less in reality once sensors are paired and features enabled)

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus –  Features

It’s got a boat-load of features. Actually, I tell a lie. It’s got a CRUISE SHIP full of features. A veritable OIL TANKER of sporty goodness.

The Fenix 5 Plus Series have all the sporty stuff you need to display on-screen for almost any sport and for most outdoors activities. It can connect to pretty much any sport sensor to create a data-rich sporting experience for you. You can share that experience live with friends via your mobile phone or share your detailed stats via the excellent Garmin Connect data platform. You can plan routes and navigate with onboard maps and use your watch to pay for coffees en-route. You can listen to your favourite music tracks as you navigate with accurate GALILEO satellite positioning.

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus SERIES are even pro triathlon watches. Each one in the series does everything properly, from correctly handling the rest between your swim sets to correctly taking you through Otillo or the duration of a looooong Ironman.

There are only a tiny number of things that I can struggle to think of that the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series can’t do. Here they are: Garmin Fenix 6 for 2019.


What something is ‘worth’ is a relative term. Is it relative to the competition? to the cost of production? or relative to something else? Let’s see…

The Market Landscape

The market for sports watches IS changing. Probably right now the market is turning against Garmin, to an extent. I cover that here: PEAKTASTIC YEAR FOR GARMIN – 2018. However, the movement against Garmin’s dominance of the market is happening AT THE LOWER END. Other than in niche use-cases, no-one is challenging Garmin in the premium space where the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus range sits.

In reality the biggest competitors to the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus are: The original Fenix 5 and apathy.

Thus Garmin has a free competitive rein to charge what they like. And by that I mean they probably don’t care a jot about the pricing of almost any other product – as far as the Fenix 5 Plus goes. What they will care about is getting the right price that can be WILLINGLY AFFORDED by a sufficiently large number of people.

This is going to be a really simple supply vs. demand issue. And that’s where it gets interesting FOR YOU.

You see, what’s happening is that Garmin has been ramping up production for a while. That’s why the stock is hitting the shelves NOW so that demand can be satisfied NOW. That didn’t happen in the same way with the Fenix 5.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewQuite a number of resellers/shops have the chance to buy reasonable amounts of stock. With the original Fenix 5 this wasn’t the case. A shop made a large order and, maybe, didn’t quite get the full order in one go. But whatever you got. you sold. And you sold it at the RRP.

This was a KERCHING moment for many resellers who only wished they had ordered and received more. With the Fenix 5, as word spread, other retailers gradually started to order more. Economics 101 hit once there was sufficient unsold stock and then some discounting started where Garmin was unable to control the discounters.

This time around that period of KERCHINGYNESS will be shorter. There is much more stock. Probably, also, the higher prices will mean there is less demand and there may simply be less demand anyway as some Fenix 5 owners will not want to upgrade. An English Phrase is appropriate for the retailers: “Make hay while the sun shines“.

Garmin has already realised that this will happen. So you will see controlled distribution (restricted supply) to help maintain prices, where that is allowed and practical. For example, in the UK, we have seen that once again COTSWOLD have one of the ‘exclusives’ on the Fenix 5X Plus. Although Amazon.co.uk already have an ASIN/SKU number at the ready to list on their site. Watch out Cotswold!


Garmin Fenix 5 plus

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Review – Is it worth it?

Once again the ‘Is it worth it?‘ question will be answered, in part, by the ‘Can you afford it?‘ retort. There will be degrees of affordability in between ‘not being able to afford it’ and ‘REALLY MUST having it’.

As me, the athlete, I can afford it but I don’t really see that much more on offer to me to justify the hassle of selling my 935 and then paying a few hundred pounds/dollar premium to get the Fenix 5S Plus. However, as me, the5krunner, then buying one is a business necessity.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

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Reasons to upgrade

If you are moving up from any pre-Fenix 5 device then a fair amount is now there to tempt you. If, for example, you have a Fenix 3HR then you might now be finally tempted to make the move.

If you like the latest, greatest stuff then, let’s face it, you’ve already placed your order and you are just reading this either for a bit of light entertainment OR to find some way of justifying your purchase to your ‘other half’ ;-). I know you too well.!!!

I am more looking here at should the Fenix 5 owner upgrade to the Fenix 5 Plus. Some of these factors, but not all, may be the ones that tempt you.

  • For those of you looking at data accuracy then it seems that Galileo has improved GNSS (positioning) performance over GPS or GPS+GLONASS. I’m not yet fully decided on how material that improvement really is and if it matches the Suunto Spartan Sport or Polar V800. Verdict: The jury is out but it looks like they will find in favour of the Fenix 5 Plus with GALILEO. EDIT: as of 22 Jun the Fenix 5 (original) now has GALILEO in beta. That is one reason LESS to upgrade.
  • Contactless Payments – The jury is out here too. Although to be fair they’ve just been told to go back and come up with a majority verdict as they couldn’t quite ALL agree. Many people will be looking to see if their bank is supported by the Garmin payment system. If it is, then you are good to go. Here are the supported banks – link to: garmin.com. FWIW I opened a UK Starling bank account (easy) just for the purpose of Fitbit/Garmin payments.
  • The true navigators amongst you will have the Fenix 5X or Fenix 5X plus or an accurate non-Garmin equivalent. Navigation appears superficially interesting to many other people but not enough to warrant buying a device just because of it. Now that mapping is on all the Fenix 5 Plus devices it very much becomes a ‘nice to have’.
  • HOWEVER, what you may not have quite realised yet is that the map-stuff is going to get real interesting, real soon. By that, I mean that Garmin’s apps are being allowed to access maps more and this will mean that there will be very many more location-based services. So your watch will guide you towards that ‘must-have’ Starbucks Latte. Oh !!! and of course you can pay for it with the Fenix without having to go via the ATM.
  • Spotify !!! – For the music lovers amongst you then you will probably be tied to your smartphone for your music-fix whilst running or whilst on your way to work. I looked in-depth at the best running watch with music and the Fenix 5 Plus WILL make its way in there when I get around to adding it.T here are pros and cons here for you music lovers and they are mostly practical. YOUR preferred music service MAY not be supported but now that support for SPOTIFY IS INCLUDED many more of you will be happy. Others amongst you will simply not want to run with a smartphone and prefer a wire free and simple, battery-charging, 2-device solution of a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus with, for example, some true wireless earbuds (eg Jabra Elite Sport).
  • For those of you with an original Fenix 5/5S, that did not properly connect to some of your external ANT+ sensors, then I would remind you that you have a contract with the retailer from which you bought it and, warranty conditions aside, the product needs to be fit for the purpose that it was sold for. Personally, in my humble UK-only opinion, you should get a refund and then be able to put that towards a Fenix 5 Plus. The reality of achieving that will be more complex. Good luck. If you bought via one of my Amazon links (thank you…and sorry at the same time) but at least Amazon are pretty good about these things. Anyway, those connectivity issues should be a thing of the past with the Fenix 5 Plus all is good with connectivity FINALLY.
  • As part of the increased connectivity performance ,Wi-Fi sync is now on all models and this should be supported when used to stream music at home.
  • For those of you with a Fenix 5X who could not get the greatest of optical HR readings then I am unsure of the extent to which the still-heavy Fenix 5X Plus will improve matters (I’d say it will be the same). If you are unsure then, again, Amazon is a good place to try these things out (or use a chest strap or optical armband).
  • It looks like there is a new processor. This means that the interface is quicker and smoother and that the Plus series will be more likely to cope with the rigours of CIQ3 apps, maps and other demands.
  • There are a few niche, new features linked to climb stats and oxygen levels at altitude but that’s just Garmin attacking one of Suunto’s markets with the Fenix 5X Plus, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much if you don’t quite know what I’m talking about.
  • 10% discount/store credit below (USA) if you want to gor for the 5 Plus
Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

935 – 5S Plus – COROS Pace


Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Summary

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

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There are sufficient new features to justify the price hike to the Fenix 5 Plus from the Fenix 5.

But it’s expensive.

If you can afford it and one of the new features seems at least ‘interesting’; then you know what to do.

If you are not yet a Fenix 5 owner of any kind then this is a great product to jump to. Even if there is a Fenix 6 in 2019 I can’t see it being as big a leap forward as the Fenix 5 Plus is compared to the Fenix 5. It’s EXTREMELY unlikely that you will get notable discounts on any of these products in 2018. Maybe $/Eu/£50 less than the RRP if you are lucky.

10% Discount On Most Power Meters

Click for 5 Plus – Support with 10% STORE CREDIT code: the5krunner10

I appreciate you may shop around for the cheapest deal and not buy from Amazon. If you would like to say thank you for this review then please click on the Amazon link immediately below for your next Amazon purchase of anything else OR, in the USA, the PowerMEterCity link above THAT SHOULD ALSO GIVE YOU A WHOPPING 10% STORE CREDIT. Thank you!

The following Fenix 5 Plus link goes to the lowest price at your local Amazon store and it also SHOULD go through to products sold by Amazon themselves rather than 3rd party resellers. NB You can return those bought directly from Amazon quibble-free within a month, it’s not so esay with Amazon market-place sellers.


Garmin Fenix 5 plus

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices start at Eur700/$700/£600 and might slightly in 2018. Buying from my partners supports this site.

In Brief
  • Build Quality - 85%
  • Price - 70%
  • Features - 98%

High-End Multisport & Outdoors GPS Watch

The Garmin 5 Plus has just about every feature. The reality in 2019 is that all features work as they should. There are so many positives, that I’m just going to say that this is one of the very best/well featured sports watches ever – and I really HAVE tested ALL the others myself.

I’m going to list the negatives because there aren’t many: price; screen resolution; is your bank supported?; is your music streaming service supported; oHR might not be great for you; GPS is good but not great; Garmin Connect is feature-full but sometimes hard to navigate through.

Almost all of you will not regret buying one…if you can afford it.


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43 thoughts on “▷ Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – Is it worth it ? Detailed Fenix 5S Plus Review Link

  1. If you do end up buying one, it would be interesting to read how you train and race with. What data fields you use and what measurable difference it gives you vs. old watches?
    DCR reviews are great, but I don’t think he focuses on the training/racing angles.
    Just a thought…..

  2. It’s June 2018, About a year and change removed from the release of the original Fenix 5 line, roughly 7 months away from CES 2019 and about 10 months away from a new device release window in 2019 (Late Q1, early Q2). If you have the disposable income this doesn’t matter to you.

    For the rest of us, this release smells a lot like an APPLE tactic where you release a new numbered device one year, and then a year later release a “midway” update, usually with the letter “X” smacked behind the number. The average consumer either:

    a)Is buying EVERY year’s update. Great for Apple’s bottom line short term, bad for the consumers short-term and by extension bad for Apple’s bottom line long term.

    b)Chooses which step they are going to settle into (buy the new device every 2 years). It just comes down if that is the base model or the mid-update.

    In the case of (b), if you end up rotating the mid-year refresh, you miss out on the breakthrough things with the new number update. It’s psychological warfare with the install base and this looks a lot like the same tactic.

    If you own the F3HR (2016 release), do you get the 5+ line? Will the 6 line have something more than the 5+? Will it have everything the 5+ line and more? Or will it be a different device altogether and I’ll be missing out on crucial items on the 5+? These same questions are applicable for those with year-long ownership of the base 5line.

    Time will tell if Garmin goes this route, but if they do…and at this price tag; I personally don’t think it is wise. Garmin doesn’t have anywhere near the install base of Apple (or brand recognition) to justify a yearly near $1K watch release in a waning market (Fitness/ Sports Trackers have been on a decline for nearly a year and a half now).

    There’s always going to be the person that wants that information, perhaps you don’t drain them dry that’s all I’m saying.

    • oh dear. i’m starting to not always agree with you.
      will there be a F6 at ces2019. maybe. but it’s looking less likely than it was 2 weeks ago (pre f5+)
      apple’s straetgy works (for them)
      i dont think garmin can be faulted with this f5+ release. it really is a step forwards in terms of real features. it’s an honest update. look at the tomtom runner 2 and the subsequent runner 3 the year after.

      look at smartphones. they are basically all the same now. the new years model is basically the same. watch tech is a little behind but will ultiamtely send up in the same mature phase of r&d-led innovation. we’re not far away from that. as i said in one of my earlier tomes…this year is PEAKTASTIC.

      maybe the makrekt si declining. maybe other figures will still say its growing. i think we’d agree it’s not sky-rockeitng. but it really all depends what is happening in the segments that garmin is targetting. maybe this top end segment is growing…they’re the onyl company in it and they define it…so i guess it must be growing by definition !!

      drain them dry: some people have very deep pockets. let’s say garmin sold a million F5 units. apparently most were F5X. there are more deep pockets in the world than that. year after year…maybe not.

      i’m just annoyed that all my toys are starting to be amde out of exotic materials and not plastic…i can’t afford as many as i’d like. grrrrrrr

      • Doubtless this will sell bucket loads. The Fenix 3 was a HUGE breakthrough for Garmin – both in terms of features, and market penetration. It was like their iPhone 3GS. I wonder how many bought the F3 and then upgraded to the F5, or if the F5 was sold mainly to those who saw the F3 but hadnt bought before the F5 came out? So maybe, just maybe, the main market for the F5+ will be those with the F3 who are now feeling a little left behind and are ready on to jump back into the 2 year upgrade cycle ?
        I went from an F3 to a 935 – mainly due to the weight and bulkyness of the F3 but also for the updated platform. I would LOVE to see the 935+, and would likely upgrade tomorrow if it popped out of Garmin Towers. I suspect we may have to wait until later in the year, but it will come…

        • some good questions there Neal. Not sure I have answers .. only suspicions.

          i think there will be both those groups of people going in notable numbers from the F3 and F5 to the F5+. i just think the price point is going to temper the demand a little. but garmin IS clearly differentiating products with features and price so that’s one less thing for people to complain about 😉

          i’m exactly like you regarding the 935+. I am hoping Garmin have some incremental sports features for us that will mesh more nicely to the 935 than to the f5/f5+ user base. Will a 945 have integrated cda support for example? (alphamantis) will that be in sept (kona, pre-xmas) and will that lead into a f6 in jan2018.
          if if if.

      • It is ok to disagree, I forgive you. But, the while I agree with Neil in terms of the breakthrough of the Fenix 3 is valid…the 3HR was a catch-up device after Garmin put out the Forerunner 235 (1st with elevate). The 5+…is a mea culpa for the problems with the base 5 line AND with a new sensor to play with.

        How is the Fenix 6 going to be worth competing with…well themselves? And again, how can a person that just dropped nearly 1k going to justify spending nearly as much (OR MORE) less than a year later. Not to mention these watches….are more expensive than a smartphone (not Apple, never Apple).

        • Some people with more money than sense (in my opinion) will always want the latest. Reading comments of the ‘review’ on arstechnica, plenty of people making the fair point that this isn’t even entry level pricing for a proper posh watch.
          You also have to consider the resale value of these devices. I always sell to buy – so the delta in value between the old and new is all that really matters. I suspect the F5 may suffer a little here though due to the connectivity issues. However, going from my 935 to any 935+ that gets released may only cost me £100-£150 net. That’s comparable to a good night out, a pair of running shoes or two, or even a week in Lidl vs Tesco! I can live with those sacrifices if I’m getting some decent features in a 935+.
          (agree about the F3HR – that felt like it was supposed to be released with the F3, but they hadn’t quite nailed the HR part so it got delayed a little).

          • yep, i agree neil.

            but it boils down to where We place value in things.

            A prada handbag simlpy is not and cannot be worth thousands of pounds. Obviosuly I’d rather have 2 or 3 Fenix 5X plus watches and then give a couple to friends rather than a prada handbag. to me a prada handbag might be worth up to £100 as a gift for someone else

            thinking from another angle: the marginal cost of production of the next fenix 5plus off the production line must be about £30? £50…something like that.

    • the baby one. on the offchance it will replace the 935. with the larger screen that should handle any objection i previosuly had. I ‘m just wondering if i ordered the rose gold one by mistake

      • Interesting you say larger screen on the “baby one”? Assume you are meaning the 5s Plus? Is the screen bigger than the 935 but the total watch isn’t?

        5s plus is 42 x 42 x 15.4 mm and 65g ( so 2g lighter than the 5) from a quick google vs the 935 at 47 x 47 x 13.9 mm and 49g

        Greg – a current 935 owner!

  3. You don’t touch on battery life. There are significant changes.

    On the f5/5s plus models battery life is about 20% less than the equivalent older f5 models.

    The f5x has slightly less battery longevity than the f5 due to processor overhead for the mapping feature relative to the f5. However the 5x plus has 1.65x the runtime life of the 5x recording an activity with 1sec GPS enabled: 33 hours. That’s also 1.375x longer than the battery life offered by the f5. I don’t run events that long, but it would be significant for ultramarathon events in the 100 mile range and mountaineering.

    The PulseOx feature is the headline but the battery life is the non-sexy big real-world difference. The f5x plus runs 2 weeks in watch mode and 13 hours with music playback while recording GPS. It’s the only Garmin that has so much battery capacity that there is no real compromise in useful life for the music playback from earlier generations.

    • he he I was going to say I’d covered the battery here in the discussion of the specs https://the5krunner.com/2018/06/18/garmin-fenix-5-plus-specifications-5s-5x/ . but i haven’t. gulp! i’m pretty sure i had covered it soemwhere but as neitehr of us found it I shall have to re-edit something, somewhere.

      anyway. yes i agree that battery life is important (way more than pulseOX). garmin have nailed it for most people’s sensible needs and wants. I’d imagine that AT LEAST the new gps chip will consume less juice and there probably are other components that help too. complex navigation, especially involving re-routing, can kill a handlebar mounted edge…will have to see how that affects the f5plus. for some select groups of users then battery life is super key. it seems we’ve been through a few years where these people have had wierd and wonderful ways of charging whilst running but now batteries seem to just about to be up to the job. The new Suunto FusedTrack (and low powered Sony GPS) seem to do a great job for longevity.

      can you expand on “overhead for the mapping”. I assume you mean only when in use ? or is that inherent to the processor?

      • The difference in hardware between the f5 and f5x is that the CPU is more power hungry all the time on the f5x in order to be able to support mapping. That means the f5x despite having a larger battery gets marginally worse battery life than the f5, even when maps aren’t running (eg watch mode). My assumption is that the CPU of the f5 is underclocked relative to the f5x which is what allows the f5x to handle the processing overhead of mapping and also there may be more RAM to burn watts on. Whatever the details, the power budget of the f5x is notably higher than the f5.

        Not so with the f5x plus. They have done something to bring the power budget down or cram a lot more milliwatt hours into the same case, or both. It isn’t just the GPS chipset because there is a big stated improvement in battery life in watch mode with GPS off.

        That said, I have very good results with my f5x + stryd. I won’t be upgrading, now, but if I was on the f3 or planning a race longer than 18 hrs, I would seriously consider it.

        • I would like to see Garmin backport the continuous calibration of the barometric altimeter during and activity to the f5x, though. Altimeter drift is possibly the single weakest point of the fēnix 5x.

          • yes i found that as well on the occasions that i looked. POI calibration en route was a partial workaround. i never overly pointed that out as i didnt have enough data points.

            how do you mean ‘continuous calibration’? is that via a 3D GPS fix (which could consume more battery and prob wouldn’t work in ultratrac mode due to time to get the signal)

          • It’s a combination of 3D positioning in map data and barometric altimeter, which is why, on the face of it, it seems like the f5x has the necessary hardware and software features to support the continuous in-activity altimeter calibration.

            Ray Maker quoted Garmin in the comments on DCR:

            We’ve improved the in-activity auto calibration for the altimeter by leveraging the DEM provided in our preloaded cartography data. Our new default is now “Continuous” mode (Settings > Sensors > Altimeter > Auto Cal. > During Activity). This continuous calibration setting enables an algorithm that uses both DEM and GPS elevation as references to offset any altimeter drift due to weather-related pressure changes during an activity. These improvements are provided in a long-term manner without sacrificing the main benefit of a separate altimeter sensor on the device: the ability to accurately track short-term elevation change and provide responsive elevation-related data during an activity (e.g. hill repeat workouts). Note: the At Start calibration also occurs when Continuous is enabled.

            We’ve added an altimeter calibration for watch mode as well (Settings > Sensors > Altimeter > Auto Cal. > Not During Activity). Assuming a user has enabled the use of location data on GCM, we will use the phone position along with the DEM provided in our preloaded cartography data to attempt a calibration each night during a user’s sleep window.

            An additional option was added under manual calibration that allows a user to utilize the unit’s built-in DEM to calibrate the altimeter.

        • hmmm. duly noted and very interesting, thank you Brian.
          my early usage of 5x mapping was disappointing and it looked like the f5x was underpowered.
          so it should be very interesting doing similar navigational things with the f5s plus i have on order – if it’s similar to what you say then will the f5s plus be powerful enough? probably there are many more internal changes too to help performance.
          let’s see.

          • The f5x is definitely uderpowered relative to a contemporary smartphone. It seems to be adequate to the specialized tasks it was designed for but I wouldn’t bother with searching the points of interest unless I was without a phone in a foreign city and really desperate.

            I moved to the f5x from the f5, so I didn’t use it with the early 5x firmware. It’s entirely possible and likely that it got better from the early builds. I’ve also only used the TOPO Southern Africa Light map set, which is lower resolution than what is available for EU and USA and might be easier for the watch to render.

            It really took about a year for the F5 firmware to get fleshed out and debugged. My friends who were still on the F3 series had arguably an objectively “better” training tool in terms of the watch reliably doing what it is supposed to do for that period. I hope that the plus generation is less of a lift for Garmin and they can settle into a quality firmware earlier in its life.

  4. Would be interested to know what you think about the comparison between the Fenix 5x and the Fenix 5 Plus.

    With mapping being added to all the X models, would it not make the new base model the same as the old ‘plus’ model.

  5. I currently and for the last 3 yrs own a polar v800.
    Im happy with it,but getting bored.. Should i go for a 935/fenix 5plus or wait for a v800 successor/945/fenix6?
    I do crossfit for the past 6 years and occasional 10k runs.

  6. So I’ve issues with paring my Jabra Elite 65t Active to my new Fenix 5+, can I ask what firmware version you were using on the watch (and earbuds if you have it) when you were able to connect?

  7. Happy Holidays! So here is my dilemma…. I bought (and love) my 5X on a Black Friday spectacular deal for $499.00!! I was waiting a year for that price point and when it happened, I grabbed it. I’m now running the new firmware (12) and have not had a single hiccup. Since I need to have my phone with me 24/7, I’m trying to justify if the upgrade to the 5X Plus is worth the extra $250.00+ dollars that I would need to layout after I returned my 5X. So, my question: 1) Do I keep the 5X or 2) Splurge and upgrade to the 5X Plus?

    Thanks in advance and again, Happy Holidays everyone!!!

    • I don’t like the non-Plus versions that much. Never really liked the 5X and thought it was underpowered.

      5S Plus has to be one of the best devices ever made. I’ve never spent much time with the 5X plus….i’d imagine it’s a great upgrade. i’d make sure you get the toughest screen IIRC there are 2 options ??
      1)no 2)yes

    • both are good.
      running power is good BUT I’d say to go with STRYD for that (which will work on either of these devices). or try it out on Vantage. but even with a HRM-TRI/hrm-run/rd-pod on Fenix you get running power too.
      vantage v has been on amazon prime sale for GBP200…!!! today/yesterday
      they’ve gone but this one is only a bit more expensive

      so at that sort of bargain price level perhaps the vantage edges it (FWIW i’m using a vantage in my A race this weekend) but the 5s/5 plus is awesome too.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! Yeah that sale price is enticing. I’m very new to all of this (only started running a few months ago) so I appreciate the response.

        Also very fond of this website, the product reviews are second to none.

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