Garmin announced their latest series of multisport watches this week: the fēnix 5, fēnix 5S, and fēnix 5X. Like the rest of the fēnix line, these are packed with rugged outdoor features in addition to triathlon features and daily activity tracking features. All the models have wrist-based heart rate. The new sleeker cases and interchangeable bands makes them very attractive for everyday wear. We are particularly excited about the fēnix 5S.
This is not the first time Garmin has produced watches in multiple sizes. However, lately their high-end watches were getting so large, we were hearing complaints from even fairly solidly-sized men. The new fēnix 5 has a case size of 47.0 mm in diameter by 15.5 mm thick, which is more compact than the fēnix 3 at 51.0 mm in diameter by 16.0 mm think. We expect our customers will be much happier.
The fēnix 5S has all the same features as the fēnix 5, but is even more compact, measuring only 42.0 mm in diameter by 14.5 mm thick. And it's not limited to dainty colors. There are white and turquoise. There are also black options. Looks like Garmin gets it.
fēnix 5 Features
All the fēnix 5 watches have full feature sets for swimming, biking, and running, and have multisport mode for triathlons. Swimming features include heart rate when paired with a Garmin HRM-Swim or HRM-Tri monitor. For cycling, the watch pairs with ANT+ speed and cadence sensors and power meters. For advanced running dynamics, pair the watch with a Garmin HRM-Run or HRM-Tri monitor.
The fēnix 5 is designed for outdoor activities of all types. Every model has a built-in altimeter, barometer, and 3-axis compass and has waypoints, routes, and a track log. They also have special features for skiing/snowboarding, hunting, and golfing. The fēnix 5X is even preloaded with more than 40,000 golf courses from around the world.
The Sapphire versions have scratch-resistant sapphire lens and can sync data via Wi-Fi.
Check each product listing for a more complete list of features.
The fēnix 5 is available in a variety of colors and finishes with more accessory bands available (sold separately). Mix and match with your choice of leather, metal, or silicone watchbands and switch between them in seconds with no tools needed. Silicone for an extended set in the pool or dressy for the office or an evening out.
The Slate Gray with Black Band watch is available in a bundle with the HRM-Tri monitor.
fēnix 5 Sapphire
The Black with Black Band watch is available in a bundle with the HRM-Tri monitor.
As described in the opening, the fēnix 5S has all the features of the base model. It's simply smaller. It is compatible with QuickFit 20 watch bands so you can go from messy back county hike to the dressiest of occasions.
fēnix 5S Sapphire
fēnix 5X Sapphire
The fēnix 5X Sapphire has extra features the 5 and 5S do not. It is preloaded with TOPO US mapping, routable cycling maps, and other navigation features like Round Trip Run and Round Trip Ride. With these features, you can enter how far you'd like to run or ride, and the watch will suggest appropriate courses to choose from.
During an activity, easy-to-read guidance cues for upcoming turns display as banners on the watch. Additionally, you can use the Around Me map mode to see different points of interest, waypoints, and other map objects within range.
Should I Upgrade?
Well, what are the improvements over the fēnix 3?
The mapping features make the fēnix 5X a compelling upgrade from the fēnix 3.
However, if you have the fēnix 3, should you upgrade to the fēnix 5/5S?
We think the compact size of both the 5 and especially the 5S is "huge," so to speak. If you find yourself taking your fēnix 3 off because it's bugging you, then you are not getting the full advantage of an all-day watch. Upgrade now.
We don't have the watches in hand yet, but according to the materials from Garmin, these are the key improvements in the fēnix 5:
- More compact size
- Support for Varia lights
- Support for Varia Vision
- Compatibility with Bluetooth Smart heart rate straps
- Support for electronic shifting
- Increased battery life
- FTP estimate and guided test
- All models have built-in HR
So there you have it. It's up to you. Right now the fēnix 3 models (fēnix 3, fēnix 3 Sapphire, fēnix 3 HR) are on sale. If you order the fēnix 3 now, you'll have it within our normal shipping times. If you pre-oder one of the fēnix 5 series, Garmin predicts they will ship in March 2017, and you will be one of the first to have it.
Feel free to comment below with any questions and we will do our best to answer.