Garmin: fenix 5 Updates & Downloads

The tests are with GLONAS off as I’ve consistently found in prior testing that GLONAS reduces accuracy. I also use smart recording rather than 1-second as this only changes recording frequency, not the frequency of GPS polling. Below is a comparison of 1-second and smart recording to demonstrate this.

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Since I’ve had the fenix 5 I’ve been testing it against my Wahoo ELMNT Bolt as a benchmark, and it hasn’t missed a beat, matching the Bolt when it came to speed and distance throughout rides. I immediately turned the notifications off though, as there are few things that grind my gears more than my watch and phone buzzing at the same time. The band itself is made from softer rubber than the fenix 3’s, but I did notice a small split developing in my preferred notch.

User Interface

A useful parameter to know – especially when you are up high in mountains or the like. I had rather limited hope that the Fenix 5X would be of any use overnight, but it actually did surprisingly well. I suspect that the darkness and the lack of movement made things a little easier for it. It’s also possible that a much lower heart rate is easier to lock on.

  • Below are two of my favorite watch faces, “ActiFace” and “GearMin” along with two of my favorite data fields “Single Field” and “Flexirunner”.
  • The addition of the Garmin Music and the map functions in the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus uses a lot of power.
  • With GLONASS enabled, the Fenix 5X demonstrates even worse performance than its peers.
  • I’d strongly recommend getting a Stryd Footpod to go with your Fenix 5X.

Additionally, the Fenix 5 can be purchased with the same features, but varying battery life, in both a smaller and larger version than what we tested. We tested the unqualified Fenix 5, while the Fenix 5S is smaller and the Fenix 5X is larger. They all have the same features and vary only in battery life and some navigation attributes.

Garmin fenix 5 GPS Watch review

I’ve found the Connect IQ apps to be really valuable, and we’re starting to see the number of apps explode, and the quality of the best apps has become remarkable. Many of the third-party apps are better than the Garmin developed apps, and significantly better than the built-in functionality. Below are two of my favorite watch faces, “ActiFace” and “GearMin” along with two of my favorite data fields “Single Field” and “Flexirunner”. I am a big fan of Garmin’s UltraTrac mode, which has also been updated for the fenix 5. For a fully featured, reasonably sized GPS watch, the Fenix 5’s battery endurance is remarkably good.

The Fenix 5X gives several types of training advice, and I’m rather skeptical as to their value. The Fenix 5X is a big watch, and it’s larger than I’m comfortable with as a 24 hour/day activity tracker. The watch straps rotate where they connect to the watch body, unlike the Polar V800 where they extend from the watch body and therefore don’t conform as well. The materials are excellent quality, and while it doesn’t have the simplistic elegance of the Suunto Spartan Ultra it’s still very nice. The exposed bolt heads make the Fenix 5 look rugged and sporty, though it’s a bit fussy visually.

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As you can see, the Fenix 5X optical HRM is a fairly close for a good portion of the time, but overall there are a lot of bad readings. The Fenix 5X claims 20 hours of battery life, and I tested it under optimal conditions and managed to get 23 hours. That’s tough to achieve in the real world, as you have to avoid using the map display, backlight, or changing the display too often. With the map display in constant use, I was still able to achieve the rated 20 hours, which is pretty good. This makes the Fenix 5X a great candidate for shorter races (50 miles/100k).

Apart from the Forerunner 935 (which was identical to the Fenix 5 in this category), the closest comparison on the market is the Suunto Ambit3 Peak. A big difference, as deduced from extensive experience with all Garmin and Suunto products, is in their respective ease of use. Some primary, yet relatively minor, differences distinguish them from one another. Many consumers, and you may be one of them, are already using Garmin’s data management software. The addition of the Garmin Music and the map functions in the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus uses a lot of power. This means that the Garmin Fenix 5 and the Garmin Fenix 5S have a markedly longer battery life than their “big brothers” Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and Garmin Fenix 5S Plus.

Remove the screen

In our survey of the market for a GPS training watch, this compatibility was a significant advantage. The Ambit Peak models are about equal to the Fenix in terms of interface. Specifically, the Suunto picks up GPS signal a little faster at the beginning of your training, and the Suunto online interface uses Google maps for route planning.

garmin Fenix 5

The non-branded maps used by Garmin Connect are slightly less detailed. Unlike earlier Garmin watches, you can turn on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) recording using a menu action, though the menu is a little buried. There’s no HRV recorded when using the Optical Heart Rate Monitor (ORHM), only an external sensor, which makes sense given the issues with OHRM. The Fenix 5X will also show data from the Garmin Running Dynamics heart rate monitor strap, including the Version 2 metrics such as left-right balance. In line with what I’ve found elsewhere, the optical HR sensor wasn’t as accurate as a chest strap, but it’s good enough to recognise trends.

Better battery life

It’s the first Garmin range to support Bluetooth sensors in addition to Ant+ sensors, which opens up some new devices. The Connect IQ also makes the Fenix 5X extensible, allowing companies to add support for their devices themselves, rather than having to negotiate with the Garmin. We’ve seen this with both Moxy and Stryd, proving the real-world value of this approach.

garmin Fenix 5

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