new Garmin Elevate Gen 5

Fenix 7 *PRO* With Elevate Gen 5

new Garmin Elevate 5 optical HRM Sensor

Garmin’s ELEVATE-branded optical heart rate monitor has gradually improved its capabilities through various iterations in recent years.

We have witnessed the support for optical HR (oHR) during swimming, the inclusion of resting HRV calculations, the implementation of 24×7 per-second recording, and the addition of blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring.

At first glance, one might assume that the technology has reached its limits. It could certainly become slightly more accurate or save a bit more energy, and perhaps one day we could even obtain HRV data during exercise. But is that all there is to it?

Well, no. These wrist-based optical sensors are set to enhance their capabilities in the years to come. While Garmin may never be at the forefront of the latest groundbreaking advancements in wrist sensor technology, it will remain competitive.

In fact, we are on the brink of witnessing a wide array of new metrics being measured from the wrist and incorporated into a single LED (or laser) sensing unit, such as lactate, blood pressure, electrolytes, creatinine, hydration, blood glucose, and more. However, we are tantalizingly close to this point, but the market has not quite caught up, and Garmin certainly hasn’t either. In fact, Garmin is still to some extent playing catch-up, and that is precisely what ELEVATE GEN 5 embodies, which is scheduled for release within a month… a catch-up effort. Let’s go though what we know

image via @winfuture



Next Gen Sports Sensors for 2023 and beyond – Lactate, blood pressure, hydration, creatinine


New Hardware – new Elevate



The new ELEVATE Gen 5 model sits wider on your skin than before.

Image via Reddit: u/ComplexUnit6798

Most strikingly however it has 6x green LEDs, 4 receptors, 2 orange LEDs, and an electrical isolation ring around it. But look closer and you will also see four silver areas next to each of the 4 sides of the square of the main LED module. We’ll come back to all these bits shortly.

Note also that the Start/Stop button looks the same as the previous version. However, if you look at competitors smartwatches you will find that this kind of button construction supports ECG/EKG.


Elevate 5.0 has Skin Temperature Measurement

Skin temperature is a health and sleep metric, and can for example aid the detection of sleep stages, ovulation cycles and illness. So don’t expect to be wowed by knowing your skin temperature but DO expect to see improvements to the accuracy of Garmin health and wellness insights.


Garmin Wrist Temperature – Coming This Month

Skin temperature serves different purposes than core temperature, with the latter being more relevant to athletes during a performance. Athletes seek assistance in acclimating to higher-temperature environments and may desire insights into core temperature to prevent overheating, dehydration, and suboptimal performance. However, I am sceptical that such insights will be available from the beginning with Elevate 5.

Skin temperature sensors can be employed alongside clever algorithms to determine core body temperatures. These algorithms can improve their accuracy by incorporating HR data from a chest strap. In fact, they can be scientifically validated to measure core body temperature with a precision of within 0.1/0.2 Celsius, like GreenTEG Core.

It’s worth noting that the silver area, which is mentioned earlier, does not necessarily need to be made of metal in order to possess temperature measurement capabilities.


Will Elevate 5 deliver More Accuracy?

A: Yes, probably

Well, the truth will be in the testing and I suspect Garmin will claim it’s more accurate.

Previously, hairy skin, darker skin and motion artefacts have caused Garmin sensors accuracy issues, although they are sometimes hard to pin down as they are specific to you and how you exercise.

More LEDs should be able to create more data points which can then be cross-validated to eliminate the bad ones and improve accuracy. At least that’s the theory, the reality will come down to how well Garmin implements its algorithms and it’s not always had the best record in that department.

One interesting and very plausible from the suggestions below is that Garmin will fire up 2 or 4 of the 6 green LEDs during workouts for maximum accuracy but only rely on 2 LEDs for the 24×7 HR monitoring. I like that idea but has Garmin already considered it?

Will Elevate 5 need more power?

a: No, probably not.

Despite more LEDs implying a great power consumption, there will be efficiencies elsewhere that will almost certainly reduce the overall energy requirements. For example, some components within the watch can be merged into one and energy savings are achieved that way.

Will Elevate 5 be an ECG?

A: Yes, it’s been confirmed (via @J)

Garmin has already released an ECG on a Venu 2 Plus earlier this year, following years of research and approval/patent processes. The new Elevate sensor will support ECG, although not at launch and pending FDA clearance.

Will Elevate 5 support Afib?

a: Yes, Garmin’s ECG app supports the detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib) or normal sinus rhythm

Will Elevate 5 support SpO2

A: Yes, v4 already does.


Garmin ECG now Live – Possibly Garmin’s most boring-ever January product announcement


Is Elevate 5 also a GSR?

A: Probably not. But this would be the most interesting addition to a Garmin watch.

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensors, also known as Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensors, made their debut in Consumer Wearables in 2014. They are devices used to measure the electrical conductivity of the skin. GSR sensors are commonly utilized in fields like psychology and neuroscience to evaluate an individual’s physiological response to various stimuli. They operate based on the principle that the skin’s electrical conductivity alters when a person experiences emotional or physiological changes. These changes primarily stem from the activity of sweat glands, which are regulated by the autonomic nervous system. While GSR sensors do not directly measure HRV/ANS changes, such data could serve as input for recovery/readiness algorithms, enhancing their accuracy.

Will Garmin try a new sensor technology (GSR) on a new sensor package on its most important watches? A: Garmin is quite a conservative company, so probably not.

Take Out


Garmin’s latest ELEVATE Gen 5 optical heart rate monitor (oHRM) sensor represents another step for the company’s wrist sensor technology. With improvements such as ECG & skin temperature measurement, the Gen 5 sensor should offer enhanced accuracy and valuable insights for users. Supported by clever algorithms and potential integration with HR data from a chest strap, this oHRM sensor demonstrates Garmin’s commitment to staying competitive and delivering comprehensive health information. While supporting features like ECG, the Gen 5 sensor may not include Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) capabilities. Nonetheless, it sets the stage for future advancements in wrist-based metrics and solidifies Garmin’s position as a sports and wellness leader.

Expect to see it within a month on the Epix 2 Pro and Fenix 7 Pro series.

all the details – new Garmin Fenix ​​7 Pro, new Elevate, new features, new Epix Pro


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13 thoughts on “new Garmin Elevate Gen 5

  1. This new sensor looks like the old one, with 4 new LEDs added. I think all 6 LEDs only work during activity to improve accuracy. And only two “old” LEDs will work to measure the pulse 24/7.
    Also, I think the new silver areas are designed to measure sweat, because probably we don’t need such a large area to measure temperature.

    1. I’ll bet my trousers, that it’s ECG contact pad. But it seems that they are four separate pads, so maybe it could measure more things like you wrote. We will know more soon.

  2. I don’t understand who is making product decisions in Garmin. First they release FR955, then 9 months later they release its successor 965 (while 955 has still a lot of unresolved issues/bugs). And then in another 3 or so months they release Epix2 Pro models with *NEW* optical HR sensor. If they were little bit more organised, they should have waited for few more months with 965 release and give it the new OHR sensor. Also this could make the release of 965 less painful for lot of 955 users, since it would be delayed few months (at least 12 months after 955). And yes, unfortunately I have bought 955 when it launched.

    1. I agree – I think they should announce new watches together, now some people (my self included) rush out and buy the 965 and expect that it will be the latest Garmin for a while, and then they release a new pro version .

  3. I was tempted to get the 965 but noticed that none of the latest hardware features were included… it’s really odd for a version bump.

    It will be interesting to see if the F7 pro will include some or all of those new features. Will it impact the 965 price since it would look like a previous generation watch.

    1. i was going to say ‘typo’but it’s on their source info.
      i though epix was solar-free. i could be wrong.

      yes, the 4 areas could be multi-purpose including for QI

  4. Hi, how do you finding this article after Fenix 7 pro was released? Do you still believe that there is ECG / skin temperature sensor included in V5?

  5. Great article. How can I determine which heart rate monitor hardware is used in a given watch? Every time I click on a specification for a watch model they only list the wrist heart rate monitor hardware as being “Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor.” They don’t specify the version of Elevate. I called the Garmin customer support and they told me that the information I was requesting was not available to the public.

    1. hey Nat
      there will be a document somewhere that someone has compiled but I don’t have it.
      Gen 5 is only on watches made from this year from Epix Pro and F7 Pro onwards (there probably will be the odd exception to new watches in 2023/24)
      Gen 4 was from 2021 when it first started on venu 2 and 945LTE
      you can tell by looking at the pictures of the rear as the sensors are visually different

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