Replace: Since this assessment was revealed Garmin has launched a new range of watches referred to as the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Fenix 5S Plus and, the follow-up to this watch, the Fenix 5X Plus.

Garmin has been working for a very long time to good the GPS sports activities watch and within the Fenix vary it took an enormous step in direction of doing precisely that.

Now the Fenix 5X is right here to carry that vary to its pinnacle with onboard mapping, multi-sport monitoring, smartphone notifications and way more. Has Garmin created that good watch it’s been working in direction of all these years?

Garmin has separated the Fenix 5 vary into the Fenix 5S ($599 / £499 / AU$799) because the lighter and smaller mannequin, the Fenix 5 as the center floor ($599 / £499 / AU$799) and the Fenix 5X because the top-end mannequin. 

For people who need to use the watch as a day by day wearer with exercise monitoring, the 5S is for them.

For people who need somewhat longer battery life, the Fenix 5 works. Then for the adventurer that desires to be ready for something there may be the map-toting 5X.

Right here we assessment the Fenix 5X, however keep in mind if you happen to see us moaning about its measurement or value (which is excessive at $699.99 / £629.99 / AU$949) these different two and choices are there to unravel the problem – simply at the price of sacrificing maps.


  • Fashionable however chunky
  • Steel strap could be a problem to suit

The Garmin Fenix 5X is a really engaging wrist adornment, that’s for positive. The uncovered face screws, metallic bezel and strong metallic buttons look beautiful. The watch additionally feels premium-level weighty on the wrist – particularly if you happen to go for the pricier metallic strap.

That 51mm metallic strap is a matter although because it requires you to personal the appropriate instrument or to go to a watch store to have it adjusted to fit your needs. A problem however one thing you solely want do as soon as (until the watch is just too profitable in serving to you drop some pounds). 

In any other case simply go for the silicone strap, as that permits for measurement variance simply and might at all times be swapped with a fast launch mechanism.

Whichever mannequin you go for, the Fenix 5X comes with a slate gray end and a sapphire display screen, the latter of which ought to imply a well-protected watch that gained’t get simply scratched or broken.

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Specs, efficiency and monitoring

  • A great deal of sensors and monitoring instruments
  • Performs effectively, however heavy when operating

Garmin is at all times updating its software program and because of its personal app retailer there are fixed new software program choices out there to make the watch do extra. Onboard sensors embrace – deep breath – GPS, GLONASS, optical coronary heart charge (HR), barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer and thermometer. All that provides as much as numerous knowledge to energy all types of apps.

You get your fundamentals like operating, biking and swim monitoring, but additionally , get up paddle boarding, yoga and extra. In actual world use we discovered the get up paddle boarding correct for distance however stroke depend was method off, jut to focus on a slight flaw within the combine.

It is a symptom that impacts many Garmin watches within the pool as effectively, with stroke counts and lengths usually not precisely recorded, though general exercises are fairly effectively measured.

The place the Garmin Fenix 5X carried out effectively  was for out of doors adventuring, like climbing and hill climbing.

Right here the full-color maps, auto climb knowledge, storm alerts and factors of curiosity, plus again to begin navigation all labored effectively, though it wasn’t as nice for operating.

This watch is like carrying a weight in your arm when out on a run, particularly if you happen to go for the 196g metal strap model – if you happen to’re gentle we’d virtually think about you would find yourself operating in circles from the burden on one arm.

Okay, realistically we’re being dramatic, however this weight does make the watch much less ready as a operating gadget – however then you definitely’re in all probability shopping for it for out of doors adventures anyway. 

In equity it’s a succesful run tracker, with particulars like vertical oscillation, floor contact time, cadence and even lactate threshold all measured out.

Each day step monitoring is correct, and it additionally takes a stab at your energy, however the watch itself can get annoying at occasions in case you have sleeves and need to tuck it away. 

This predominant method to consider the Fenix 5X is: that is positively designed as a vogue assertion the place being huge is vital, so if you happen to like that then you definitely’ll love this gadget.

Compatibility, app and battery life

  • Helpful however cluttered app
  • Very long-lasting battery

The Garmin Join app enables you to try all of your train knowledge instantly on a related cellphone or in additional element on a pc. 

The app, which is on the market on each Android and iOS, is simple to make use of and navigate and provides in-depth charts you possibly can edit to see what you want, like coronary heart charge overlaid on hill top for instance.

However because the Garmin Join app is constructed to cowl all the corporate’s numerous wearables, you would possibly discover it somewhat cluttered. It’s doable to personalize the structure but it surely takes effort and time.

If that each one proves an excessive amount of for you then you possibly can at all times export the GPX file to be used in different platforms like MapMyRun or MyFitnessPal, if you happen to’re already dedicated to utilizing these.

For cyclists, Strava compatibility is inbuilt with options like beacon and dwell segments proper there on the watch as you practice. You’ll be able to then simply have these uploaded, because the watch auto uploads knowledge over Wi-Fi whenever you get in.

However taking a look at your wrist whereas on a journey is awkward, regardless of the massive, clear display screen. We discovered strapping the watch to the body labored, however could require padding to remain dealing with you in case your bar tape is skinny, and also you additionally lose coronary heart charge if you happen to don’t have a HR strap.

Battery life on the Fenix 5X is without doubt one of the better of any wearable on the market, particularly one with this a lot knowledge being collected. The official numbers say you rise up to 20 hours of use in full GPS mode and as much as 35 in UltraTrac mode, which pings the GPS much less usually.

This appeared correct in our expertise – in reality we could have even received longer out of it than listed, suggesting Garmin is being frugal with its estimates.

As for common day by day use, Garmin says the Fenix 5X will go for 12 days. Utilizing the smartphone connection for notifications, monitoring day by day exercise and coaching a number of occasions every week for not less than an hour we discovered the watch didn’t want a cost for almost two weeks, making this 12 days declare fairly correct.


This is without doubt one of the finest GPS sports activities watches out there proper now. It’s rugged, effectively related, covers plenty of sports activities, contains shade maps and has sensible battery life.

Plus you should use this as a day by day exercise tracker with out fear of injury due to that sapphire display screen and water resistance ranking to 100 meters. You’ll look good too due to that chunky metallic construct.

Who’s this for?

In the event you’re a fan of the outside then that is the map, tracker, storm alerter and notification giver for you. If the scale and value don’t scare you off then this can be a tremendous succesful operating, biking and swimming tracker too – plus every other sport you need it for.

The one actual draw back, as you could have seen us point out, is measurement. It’s too huge for some – however then there may be at all times the choice to go for the Fenix 5 or Fenix 5S if you happen to can dwell with out the maps.

Must you purchase it?

If in case you have that a lot money spare and need a GPS and exercise tracker that does all of it, that is definitely worth the cash. Because it has so many sensors and fixed software program replace assist you’ll have the ability to fortunately dwell with this for a few years to come back.

In the event you don’t want these maps although you would possibly need to take into account a Garmin Forerunner 935, which is way smaller, extra reasonably priced and tracks tons and many sports activities capably.

First reviewed: October 2017

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