Garmin Fenix 5/5S/5X Plus - Analysis, details and opinion


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A few months ago, Garmin presented us with a new evolution of what has recently become its most iconic model, and in this way the Garmin Fenix 5 made way for new models. The Fenix 5 Plus, 5S Plus and 5X Plus represent today the top of the range of the American firm.

As its name indicates, it is an evolution from the original model. The base is maintained as well as the master lines of aesthetics, but there are new features in terms of software and of course in terms of hardware. This last detail is not exclusively to add memory for maps or music reproduction, it is also done to correct a connectivity problem with external sensors that some users have had with the original Fenix 5.

I've spent a few weeks with the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus to be able to know in detail all these novelties and to evaluate which are the differences with respect to the original model.

You know that it is usually the manufacturer that provides a "press" unit for poder to test. On this occasion it has been a mixture, since first I had to buy a unit myself as there were no units available. In the end I had to go to the market and "loosen my wallet" to buy it directly. An expensive hobby... so remember this when buying your device (or anything else), because running this site has its costs.

Luckily a few weeks later the test unit (a 5S Plus) arrived, and I only have to wait for the 5X Plus to be able to do the complete test of all models.

If you want to collaborate you can do it by buying on Amazon through the easy links, that way I will receive a small commission which is precisely what supports not only the page, but also this kind of extraordinary expenses. I am not a journalist with a salary, in fact this is not my main job.

Without further ado, here we go with absolutely every detail of the new Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, or its 5S Plus and 5X Plus versions, with all the information, like no one else has ever told you.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus


Overall - 9
Training possibilities - 9
Platform and applications - 9
Battery life - 8.5
Finish and comfort - 8.5
Price/performance ratio - 7



The Garmin has gone a step further with its Plus equipment. The Fenix 5 was already a very complete model and the inclusion of the maps, music playback and wireless payments is already the icing on the cake. But all this is in exchange for a rather large price tag. Is it worth it? Decide for yourself after knowing all the details of the test.

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User Rating: 3.51 ( 6 votes)

The good

  • Maps in all models
  • Fenix 5S Plus screen with the same resolution as its brothers
  • Synchronisation with Spotify
  • It has everything, everything, everything that Garmin has to offer
The bad
  • The price is "wild".
  • Did I mention that it's very expensive?

What's New in the Garmin Fenix 5/5S/5X Plus

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus

As I was saying, the 5 Plus is an evolution of the Fenix 5, although there are many new features under the hood. And in fact in my opinion the model name has not been changed to a higher digit because the watch maintains the aesthetics practically identical.

So, what's new? I'll leave the list with you so you can check it out quickly.


  • Color maps on all models. Previously available exclusively on the 5X
  • Altimeter calibration with accurate data possible thanks to integrated maps and GPS coordinates
  • Adds the ClimbPro function, separating the different climbs of a route into independent parts
  • Trendline function for route calculation directly on the clock (as with Garmin Edge)
  • Support for Galileo satellites (although the Fenix 5 also received an update and are supported)
  • Music playback via Bluetooth, both transferred to the watch and streaming platforms by downloading the music wirelessly
  • 16GB capacity to store both maps and music
  • Wireless payments with Garmin Pay (first seen on the Vivoactive 3 but progressively incorporating it into the rest of the range)
  • User interface with new graphics and improved transitions
  • Privacy mode for notifications (only displayed if you press the button or turn your wrist)
  • Better antenna design for external sensors, increasing the distance the watch will receive data from
  • In the Fenix 5X Plus (exclusively) a pulse oximetry sensor is added to measure blood oxygen level

Indeed, many new features have been added, some small, some much more important, but if there's one thing you should keep in mind, it's this: maps, music playback and PulseOx sensor on the 5X Plus.

Do you have any doubts about any of the added features? Well, don't worry because that's what this analysis is for, where I'll try to answer all the questions you might have regarding the new Garmin model.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, 5S Plus and 5X Plus Basics

I want to keep this part short and concise, and this time for real, for two reasons: in the end it's tired of always talking about the same thing, and there's already a test of the Fenix 5 where I cover all these aspects with maximum detail, regardless of whether or not you know the previous model, take a look at the analysis of the Garmin Fenix 5 because it's tremendously extensive.

However, I would like to make a brief review of aspects that I think may generate doubts, to begin with, I would like to clarify the differences between models:

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus

The 5S Plus is the smallest model, with a diameter of 42mm. The functions are the same as in the larger model, except that due to the smaller size the autonomy is lessWith the use of GPS the duration is 11 hours (4.5 hours if you are playing music). In this model it stands out that, unlike the original Fenix 5S, the screen is the same as in the Fenix 5 Plus. Therefore in the 240×240 pixels the maps will be seen with the same quality as in the bigger model.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

With 47mm diameter it is the most classic version, and the only difference from the Fenix 5S Plus is the larger battery. autonomy 18 hours with use of GPS (8 if with music), and the straps are 22mm wide instead of the 20mm of the small model (in both cases the QuickFit system is used to replace them quickly).

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

It's the biggest model, 51mm in diameter. It's also the most expensive (from £849, compared to £699 for the other two models depending on their finish). That £150 difference gives you the pulse sensor with pulse oximetry (it has a red LED), which allows you to measure the level of oxygen in your blood. I'll talk about the function in more detail later. Its range is also longer: up to 32 hours with GPS 1s recording and 13 if you combine it with music.

As for the development of its menus and the different options it presents, it's very similar to any other model in the Forerunner or Fenix range. If you've used one recently, there aren't many new features at this point. It's true that you can see changes in the interface, such as the transition between the different widgets that makes the notifications that first show the application that sends the notification to show it later (or even show it only when we interact if we activate the privacy mode).

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Privacy Mode

But apart from these small differences, everything looks like the classic Garmin interface. And just to remind you briefly, you can browse through the different widgets on the clock where you'll find lots of information about both your daily activity and your workouts. And if those aren't enough, you can download many more through Connect IQ.

There are also different options for customising the clock face and, as with the widgets, there is also the option of adding other Connect IQ variants.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Screen Sphere

As far as daily activity is concerned, absolutely all the variables are followed: steps, distance travelled, heart rate during 24 hours including the minimum at rest, quality of sleep, level of stress... Practically your whole life is totally accounted for.

And what about sports? Well, the same as before. We have a lot of sports to choose from including multisport activities that you can make up in the way you choose. The way to do this is by joining individual activities that you have previously created, so those settings that you have already applied will be maintained.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Triathlon mode

When it comes to setting up screens, you can do it in a thousand different ways. You can add thousands of them. Well, I don't know about thousands, but more than I've ever tried to add. These screens can have from 1 to 4 data per screen, and if you want to have some more (compared to Suunto, it's a bit short at the factory), we can go back to the Connect IQ options. Of course, to the screens you set up you can add those for maps, music control, elevation, etc.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Additional Data Screens

All your training will be reflected in the advanced performance metricsAgain, I recommend you click on the link and access the Fenix 5 test where you can answer all the questions you might have about recovery, training load, VO2Max or training status.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Training Status

So much for that quick review. I think I've done it pretty well this time, and I've outlined it quite a bit. If you want to go into more detail, you know where to go, but once we've clarified the basics, we can move on to the main new features and innovations in the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Fenix 5S Plus and Fenix 5X Plus.

Maps and navigation

The maps The Garmin Epix already incorporated them (although the clock presented another multitude of problems that soon made it fall into oblivion). And why not say it, even in the Fenix 2 they could be added in parallel. And of course the Fenix 5X, but its size meant a toll that many did not want to pay.

But even though they are not new, this does not mean that they are the same as before, not at all. To begin with and compared to the Epix there is a notable difference in data processing capacity, which makes this function something that can really be used. And unlike the previous Fenix 5X, there are now more possibilities incorporated such as the Trendline function for route calculation or the possibility of calibrating the altimeter to a known height from the mapping data. But let's take it one step at a time.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Navigation Map

I'll start with the possibilities of the maps. It offers exactly the same as Edge units and more. You can follow routes created on the computer or make them directly on the clock by indicating a point on the map or an exact address. Load a route that is sent to you or design a return route by marking a distance to go, etc. Of course typical options such as Sight 'n Go are still present.

All these route options make it not only a clock for your mountain escapes, but can be a fantastic tool for travelers.

The maps are with Digital Elevation ModelThis means that in addition to looking like a traditional map it also contains topographic information, so there is complete altitude data for any point on it. This allows us to be able to calibrate the altimeter at any time at a known altitude.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Calibrate Altitude DEM

And in addition to the topographic information they also offer the Trendline function, which are the popular routes used by other users to get to the same direction. So when calculating a mountain route instead of randomly plotting it on a road that may or may not exist, or plotting it on the first road that appears; Garmin will use the data of all those who have passed through there before so it knows what the most appropriate route is. Or so the theory goes.

Of course, the watch comes exclusively with the maps of the market where it was sold, so if you buy it in Europe you will have the maps of the continent, but not of America or Asia. And vice versa, so be very careful where you buy the watch and why you let yourself be seduced, because if the watch comes from Asia it will come without maps of Europe and you will have to buy them separately. You can always install OpenStreetMaps (OSM) maps for free, but you will lose the Trendline route function to begin with.

Speaking of creating routes, depending on the options you choose in each sport profile will use some parameters or others. By default each activity is already predefined in the type of route that will prepare, but this can also be changed. These are the different options that allows when it comes to guide you on a path:

Direct routes



Bicycle road

Bicycle paths

Gravel bike

MTB Bike

Running and Walking



All terrain / off road

Each of these will allow the watch to choose a type or another path to guide you, so if you are in the cycling profile you will be able to prepare a route as such, and if you are going to do a trail ride the paths you look for will be totally different.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Route Type Selection

There are many ways to prepare routes, both on the clock itself and when loading a route externally. The latter is quite basic and if you are interested in the Fenix 5 Plus it is precisely because of the possibility of making routes directly on the clock itself, something that is perfectly possible thanks to the maps.

Of course, the clock doesn't allow you to create a route like you would with a Garmin Edge where you enter an exact address (25 X Street), mostly because a small screen and five buttons isn't the most practical way to do it.

But there are ways adapted to its small format. You can create a route by indicating a point on the map and the clock will create the route to that point from where you are or from another point that you have marked (and remember, the path chosen will depend on the configuration of the type of route chosen).

Or you can make a return route simply by selecting a distance and direction to do so.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Round trip

The watch will calculate three routes with the data you enter and present them to you on the screen. You will have a full map, turn directions and an altitude profile to decide if this is the route you want to take.

But there are more interesting possibilities such as the "Around Me" function. With this function the map will be loaded and allows you to explore nearby points of interest in the direction you mark.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Around Me

There are times when it doesn't make much sense to use this feature, like inside a city. It will bring up a list of points of interest that won't be much use to you when you're training (restaurants, parking lots, etc.).

Do it at the door of your rental cabin in the middle of the mountain, and what do you get? A list of real points of interest for what you're going to use: peaks or interesting areas to explore. Select any of them and the clock will trace the path you must follow to reach it. Are you there? Then repeat it and look for your next point. And when you're tired, use the back to start function and retrace your steps along the same path that will mark you as a route (not with an arrow).

Clearly the experience is not like using your Android or iPhone smartphone top of the range in terms of speed and immediacy of response. Don't expect to scroll on the map as if you were doing it in the Google Maps application on the phone. But the navigation and route possibilities are virtually limitless, far beyond what any other clock can do.

The navigation is the same as before, as the route is drawn on the screen, but it is done on a map, so choosing the right route is much easier, especially where there is a junction with several detours.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Navigation

You can view the map at any time, whether you're on a route or just running (as long as you activate the map screen, of course). You can scroll up and down, left-right and change the zoom scale.

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Map Controls

Finally, the new ClimPro feature is a more advanced version of the elevation profile page that was previously available, but Garmin takes it one step further.

Previously the elevation profile page showed the complete profile of the route with distances remaining, positive meters to be climbed and our location with respect to that route. But of course, if the route is long the level of detail available is not very high. This is how it looked on the Fenix 5.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Height graph

That screen is still available in the new Plus, although there are slight changes. Now, in addition to indicating the total number of positive meters to be climbed, it also shows the meters we have already climbed.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - ClimbPro

But this is not ClimbPro. ClimbPro separates the route into small individual fragments, each of which is one of those climbs. That way you will have data for each of those climbs: Elevation, distance, average grade or vertical speed, time you have been making the climb and whether it is the 5th climb of 36.

All this data will be specific to the climb you are doing at that precise moment. Of course you can still access the global information, but the possibility of seeing the specific information for each of the climbs in a graph is very valuable information.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - ClimbPro

This is the screen you will see. At the top with a black background we see the total activity time (17:27), and immediately below it the indication that it is climb 1 of a total of 2. It also indicates the remaining distance to be covered (15.4km) and how many positive meters there are left to climb (429m).

The graph also has a lot of detail, since we can see perfectly the small undulations of the terrain next to the average slope for the entire ascent, which in this case would be an affordable 3%. This information always appears in the same way, but the lower field can be modified.

By default it's the vertical speed that is shown (50m per hour after not having walked much), but you can choose any other data if you find it more practical. And by the way, there is no zoom. This is where you can put some glitches, since there is no control over how the graph is generated or from what slope we want it to appear.

In this case that first 15km portion has been chosen by the watch, it is not possible to indicate that we want smaller pieces or that it only shows us from a certain slope. The elevation data will come through the route utility if you create the route through Garmin Connect, or through the watch's own mapping if you create the route directly on the watch.

Add also that ClimbPro not only shows the information when going up a slope, it will also do it when we start the descent and will allow us to see the same information as when going up, but "down". So we are completely depending on external information, which means that maybe 1TP10We will see strange behaviors on occasion.

For example, if ClimbPro says that you have finished climbing but you still have a few more meters to go, the important thing is that the possibilities offered by the altitude profile graph now increase even more, especially for longer routes and distance.

I've always said that it's a feature that I loved when Suunto first introduced it in Ambit3 Vertical, and when Garmin copied it for their Fenix 3. Whenever I go on a trip to the mountain, it's the only screen I pay attention to because it has all the information I need. And now that it shows the fragmented information for more detail, it's much better.

Music playback

The ability to music playback is becoming one of those functions to which I now devote a section to explain its behaviour, but which will end up becoming a basic feature of any clock and become part of a simple enumeration of characteristics. And it's something that will happen sooner rather than later.

But it deserves a special section because it is something relatively new for Garmin. The first model to incorporate it was the Garmin FR645 Musicand months later a version of the Vivoactive 3 which also added this function. Logically, this is something that pod should not be missing in the new model if Garmin wants to position it as an absolute "top".

When loading music into the clock we have two clearly differentiated options. The first is the more classic, simply connecting the clock to the computer and dragging the files to memory or, preferably, synchronizing from our music library (to maintain order in terms of artist, album, songs and cover art). You can do this by using the clock as an external memory or using Garmin Express for synchronization.

Synchronize music to Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

The clock has 16GB of capacity, of which about 14.5GB is available for our use, and this space will also be shared with the maps so depending on which you keep or add, you will have more or less space for your music libraries.

But the truth is that in the middle of 2018 this is not the "most modern" way to consume music. The second option is by automatically syncing playlists from online platforms, to what Spotify was recently addedThis opens the door to an ocean of possibilities, as it is undoubtedly Spotify In this case the synchronization will be by WiFi and you don't need to connect the clock to the computer to update the music frequently. You can see all the specific details of the integration in the introductory article.

Currently, in addition to Spotify, there are two other platforms that offer applications: Deezer and iHeartRadio Garmin performs the integration through Connect IQ applications so the door to other platforms is wide open, it's up to them to cross over. So there's always the possibility of bringing in Apple Music or Google Play Music but it's up to you to implement it, Garmin has already provided the necessary tools.

And finally we must not forget that we can also handle the music we are playing on our mobile phone without any problem, but this was already done by previous models.

To play music, you need to pair the clock with an external playback device. That is, not only wireless headphones, you can also play music by using external speakers. Garmin solves this very well because, as with the sensors, it allows you to have a multitude of devices registered, so if you add a new headphone it will not replace the previous one.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Headset

Among the data screens available in the sport modes you can add a screen to control the music, although without a touch screen the operation is somewhat more laborious.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Music Playback

To do anything, you'll need to press and hold the menu button to enter the music controls and then navigate through the different options to skip songs, change lists or even change libraries or applications. It's certainly not overly comfortable to do while you're running, but the possibility is there. And if your headset has controls, you'll always be able to make use of them.

In terms of overall performance it's satisfactory. There are no music cuts, although it's more related to the headphones and your own internal antenna, so your experience may be different from mine.

In case you do have cuts it is recommended that you wear your watch on your wrist on the same side where the antenna is on the headphones, which is usually where the control buttons are. In the case of wireless headphones there is always a master and a slave, so in case of problems, change the watch to the side.

Wireless Payments with Garmin Pay

Just like music, Garmin Pay is another feature that will have to be talked about less and less in each of the tests since the clear trend is that future models of the brand will include it. As with music playback was the FR645 that introduced this feature, which also came to the Vivoactive 3. Fenix 5 Plus that incorporates it and don't doubt that wireless payments for NFC will continue to make their presence felt in the firm's future models.

The penetration of Garmin Pay is slow but at least we can see movement. At this moment there are three Spanish banks that allow you to add your credit cards to Garmin Pay (CaixaBank, Santander and Openbank), to which is added a fourth option open to any user in exchange for a small monthly fee: boon.

Garmin Pay Boon

This list will grow progressively, I have no doubt, especially since the number of models supporting the function will be increasing. You can check at any time what cards are compatible with Garmin Pay on the manufacturer's site.

In my case none of my usual cards are still supported, but with boon I can make those small payments for only 1.49 euro per month, recharging the account with the necessary amount.

With the wireless payments 1TP10You can pay simply by bringing your watch close to the dataphone. Without carrying your wallet, cell phone or credit card. In the daily use of the watch it may seem a "stupid" function, but it is true that thinking about a bike ride or race can mean that once you have finished your training you can go to your usual establishment to rehydrate. The only thing you will have to do is to confirm in advance that the site supports wireless payments.

To add the card, you must first create a Garmin Pay wallet, where you can add all the supported cards and choose between them when making the payment. You will do this from the Connect application on your mobile phone. You must create a security pin so that, in case you lose your watch, not only will you lose one of your most precious possessions, but your bank account will also be emptied.

Garmin Pay - Create Wallet
You can either enter the card data manually or scan it with the phone's camera.
Garmin Pay - Create Wallet

Once the activation process is complete, you will receive confirmation from both Garmin Pay and your bank within one minute that the card has been activated for use with the watch.

Garmin Pay - Create Wallet

When you need to make a payment you must access the Quick Access Menu of the clock, by holding down the upper left button, and select the Purse option.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Purse

After selecting it, you will be asked to enter the security PIN you used when creating it.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Wireless Payment

It won't ask for your PIN again for the next 24 hours, so if you have to make a payment again, you'll just have to access your wallet again. You mean... what happens if I lose my watch within 24 hours? Don't worry, because as soon as you take your watch off your wrist, that 24-hour period disappears and it will ask for it again. So if you lose your watch, the card will be blocked by the PIN again. And how does the watch know that you've taken it off? Easy, by the optical pulse sensor.

In any case, once you have entered your PIN you can select your card (if you are lucky enough to have several Garmin Pay compatible cards) and you have 60 seconds to bring the clock closer to the payment terminal.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Wireless Payment

That's it! The clock will show confirmation on the screen and the payment will be made (unless you have to enter your card's PIN on the dataphone, which is usual for payments over £20).

It's a convenient technology that still has some way to go, firstly in terms of the number of banks that accept adding their cards to Garmin Pay, and also in terms of the availability of NFC payment terminals, although the latter is becoming less of a problem and it's already rare to find an old dataphone that doesn't support NFC payments.

PulseOx on the Fenix 5X Plus

For the time being and until I can receive a unit of the Fenix 5X Plus, I can only give you a rundown on the theory of what it is PulseOx and what new features the 5X Plus has to offer. Practice will follow. But let's get down to the details of this technology.

PulseOx is available exclusively on the Fenix 5X Plus, the rest of the models in the range do not incorporate it. The reason is simply that its optical pulse sensor is different, as the use of red LEDs is required to incorporate this technology.

But... what is it and what is it used for? It is simply the "trade name" that Garmin has given to the estimation of the blood oxygen level rate. It is not a function designed for sports performance, but is dedicated to its use in health and more specifically in the mountains. Knowing the oxygen saturation level allows you to know how your body is acclimatizing as you ascend a mountain.

If you're a mountain climber and a regular high mountain climber you'll know all about your blood oxygen level. If you don't... there's really not much reason why you should choose the Fenix 5X Plus over either of the other two models.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus - PulseOX

There are two ways to get a reading, manually and through the pulse oximetry widget itself (which is similar to the heart rate widget). The measurement takes a few seconds, and it is recommended that you remain still and, if possible, keep your watch at heart level while doing so.

This will be recorded in the widget for later reference and, of course, will also synchronize with Garmin Connect.

You can also activate automatic logging throughout the day, and the watch will log several times every hour when you are not making any movement. This will obviously lead to additional battery consumption.

The main question you may be asking yourself is whether you need this feature. After all, the pulse oximetry is the only difference compared to the other models (well, the additional range of the 5X Plus may also be a factor). Well, it all depends on how you use the watch.

I'm sure I wouldn't need to, as the vast majority of my training is at sea level and if I ever go to the mountains, I rarely go above 1,500m.

On the other hand, there are others that those 1,500m are their "base camp" and from there they go on to make peaks of 3,000 in 3,000.

Is the measurement reliable? Well, it must be, at least as reliable as any of the many devices on sale and that they cost less than £20.

Why is the pulse oximeter only on the Fenix 5X Plus and not on the rest of the range? It could give you a variety of reasons, such as increased battery capacity or a larger size to make room for the sensor. But the main reason is that it is the way Garmin can offer something unique on the 5X Plus that the other models don't have, and thus its justification for charging a little more for it.

Pulse sensor

By now you know everything there is to know about an optical pulse sensor, but I'll give you a quick review. Remember, with Garmin, you can measure 24 hours a day, constantly recording pulses and then see a full graph of your day. All of this data is synchronised with Garmin Connect and you can view all of the data at any time.

Garmin Fenix 5S - FC synchronization

The heart rate widget is also available on the clock, where you can see your instantaneous heart rate with a graph for the last 24 hours, where you can see your maximum and minimum heart rate for that period.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus - Widget FC

And if you enter to see more details you will be able to know your FC in rest of the last week.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus - Widget FC 7 days

As I say this is already commonplace at Garmin and there is nothing new about it, neither is the optical sensor and the sensations I have had are the same as ever.

There is also no change in the case of the Fenix 5X Plus even though the sensor has one more red LED, as this is simply for pulse oximetry measurement and does not affect pulse recording during exercise.

The usual behaviour of the optical pulse sensors is that at a constant running rate the data is reliable at virtually all times, a slight delay in intensity changes and poor performance when doing high-intensity short series. And as always it is not very friendly to cycling. Is this how the Fenix 5S Plus behaves? Well let's see.

These days have been complicated for the heart rate tests. Being in the beginning of preparation for the Malaga marathon I am still recovering from a somewhat strong accident on the bike, so I have been returning gradually to the race training. To finish rounding off, when I have recovered my leg I have been attacked ferociously by a lumbago. I have not had many quality trainings these last weeks, but they have been enough to be able to verify if the previous theory is true or not.

I start with an easy workout, starting very smoothly to see how the damaged sartorius muscle reacts. The Fenix 5 Plus of course making use of the optical sensor, just like the Suunto 9.

The Fenix 5S finds out late that I'm still recovering and thinks we're training at a regular pace. 15 minutes is hard for her to figure out how the story works. Suunto 9 more or less has the concept clear from the start.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

From the middle of the training everything works normally, both with the sensors and with my leg. I don't know what the problem was at that time because it's not usual at all.

Second test in similar conditions and the Fenix 5S has already understood what the story is about. It still has to go very smoothly. It has a small fault at the beginning of the training, but it is quite common at the beginning of the training when the veins are starting to dilate.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

At this beginning it's the Suunto that has some occasional ravings, but it quickly returns to the right path and from the 9th minute everything seems quite reliable in the world of optical sensors.

Another example of a long print run at a constant pace and intensity with the same results, i.e. with no major differences beyond the first few minutes.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

We are going to introduce some change of pace which, as I said at the beginning, is what costs the most in optical sensors, in this case not for making series but for ups and downs.

For this test I am carrying two Fenix 5 Plus, a normal 5 Plus and a 5S Plus. An interesting test to see if the lower weight of the 5S Plus makes the pulse recording more accurate on the lighter model.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

Here's a clear example that the chest sensor is not always the one to look out for. It's also susceptible to failure, especially if it's not wet and the environment is dry. However, optical sensors do a lot better (although the Fenix 5 Plus has a couple of drops).

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

Let's get on with the intensity changes. No objection can be made to either Fenix 5 Plus beyond a small delay in both the rise and fall of the heart rate. They are a few seconds slower than the chest sensor, much more immediate. You can see that it's not a one-off problem with either watch, it's simply how the technology works and how far it goes.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

From there to the end without any other details to be noted, the three sensors are perfectly aligned. Do you want more abrupt changes in intensity? Ask and you will be granted. Garmin Fenix 5S Plus - Interval FC Short intervals of 200m at full power, carrying a chest sensor (the Suunto Smart Sensor connected to Suunto 9) and a pair of optical sensors. The integrated Fenix 5S Plus and Scosche RHYTHM+ on the forearm paired to the FR935. And as always, if you want to do intervals you'd better have a good chest sensor handy, because the optical sensor is going to have a hard time. At least if it's short, intense intervals like these, if you're going to do a series of 2,000 I wouldn't worry too much about it either.

In cycling it's like always, in the end you don't know if when the graphs are right it's because the sensor is reading correctly or by pure chance.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Pulse Sensor

Here it is not as simple as in the race because there are many more vibrations that the watch has to withstand. The watch moves on the wrist much more and more violently than in the race. That is why optical sensors placed higher on the arm always perform better (Polar OH1, Scosche RHYTHM+etc.), are less exposed to such movements and are also lighter.

There are therefore few changes compared to the typical operation of the optical sensors in the Fenix 5 Plus and all the theories indicated at the beginning are confirmed: correct operation at a constant pace, slight delay in pace changes and not very useful for cycling.


Every time I feel that GPS testing is becoming more and more repetitive, except for a huge fiasco or major new developments (like Suunto 9), there is really nothing great to talk about.

All brands have learned their lesson well and the performance of their model's GPS is always quite accurate. This does not mean that it is perfect or that it is not possible to improve it at all; but I do consider it to be a point where there are fewer and fewer faults to be found.

Although there are always details that can be highlighted as the case at hand, and this is none other than compatibility with Galileo satellites.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus - GPS + Galileo

The Fenix 5 Plus were the first Garmin models to announce that they would be compatible with the European satellite system, but they are not the only ones. After that first announcement, Garmin included other previous models and updated them to receive the same update. These are the Fenix 5 range prior to the Plus and the Forerunner 935.

Since the update for FR935 was released I have been using it and I haven't really noticed any big differences, probably also because I haven't found really demanding routes with the satellite signal reception, which is precisely where you can see differences (and where it is advisable to activate it, as was the case with GLONASS).

I have tried to make varied routes with the watches, within the limited I am in terms of "scenarios" and my current training (preparing the Marathon of Malaga). This has included areas of pure asphalt with good satellite reception, areas that I know are complicated, streets with buildings and mountain areas.

But let's go with some of these examples, starting with a route that I let the clock choose for me (first time I explore this route).

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Out of curiosity I left the Fenix 5S Plus with the standard configuration: intelligent GPS data, i.e. it collects GPS data at its leisure every 3-5 seconds in a variable way instead of every second.

This setting no longer makes sense today, as there is no memory limitation (even less so for a clock with 16GB of internal memory) and the impact on autonomy is practically non-existent. Even so, this option is not only still present but is always active by default in the clock settings. Incomprehensible.

Still, it is an interesting exercise to see how the same model performs in both configurations.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Both the Forerunner 935 and the Fenix 5 Plus are pretty much in line with the route followed, and the Fenix 5S Plus feels the same way most of the time. Occasionally there are slight variations of a meter or two in one of the watches, but remember that they are not precision devices.

But a general trend in the curves is that the Fenix 5S Plus makes wrong decisions. Why? Because of the already mentioned choice of intelligent GPS data logging.

You can see how in tight corners the Fenix 5S Plus takes longer to take because it has not noticed the change of direction, as it does not take data every second. Meanwhile both the Fenix 5 Plus and the FR935, both with recording per second, do not have those problems.

Let's go to another tricky part of the route, running on a narrow sidewalk next to a building.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Bad performance of both the FR935 and the Fenix 5S Plus, which give quite a lot of yawning when going up the street, turning and continuing the path. Especially remarkable how lost the FR935 is, even having the GPS+Galileo option activated. Meanwhile the Fenix 5 Plus has no problem.

Let's go with another training, this time by zones with good coverage and changing the Fenix 5S Plus for a Suunto 9 that, already in the first far view we see that it has had some incident.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

But before going to that area where clearly the Suunto has been lost we can see this other area where in general, there is a little bit of bad performance by all. Arriving to the area of the roundabout the FR935 arrives quite lost, but nevertheless it is the one that better picks up the descent to the promenade.

And in the same way, both Suunto 9 and Fenix 5 Plus reach the roundabout more or less well, but then cut through the garden area and even the Suunto 9 decides to go down to the beach area.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

And this is what I was saying earlier about Suunto. What happens to it there? I don't really have a clue, but even though it gets there perfectly, it falls over when it crosses the street. FR935 and Fenix 5 Plus behave perfectly.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Returning to a completely clear area, the reception by all three is perfect, with small differences between one and another of a matter of centimeters.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Let's go with another training where there are quite a few turns in an area of urbanizations with some coverage by trees, which makes it difficult to receive the signal. And also, a step under a bridge, perfect to see how they recover the signal after losing it.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

This is the area of the bridge, which is reached by the roundabout above. Both Garmin draw the roundabout perfectly (although slightly shifted inwards), while the Suunto goes a bit long. When it comes to crossing the uncovered area it is the FR935 that wins the battle this time, because both the Fenix 5 Plus and Suunto 9 graphics show that they draw straight lines until they regain the signal.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

In this more complicated area we can see that the Fenix 5 Plus (red line) behaves reasonably well at all times. It makes some cuts in two or three corners but without being noticeable. Both the other Garmin and the Suunto have larger caliber errors. Although only the Suunto 9 embroiders the corner turn at 3rd Street and 6th Street.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

In cycling there is not much to wear, even if you wear your watch on your wrist and it is not facing the sky. Here are five graphs of different Garmin devices.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Since the speed is higher when cycling, the tracks are much more stable and perfectly draw the contour of the road. Just look at these "eses" where adding uphill and downhill there are a total of 10 lines (5 uphill, 5 downhill). Except for the section of the traffic circle where there is separation, there is no difference in all of them.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - GPS

Logically, low speeds are the enemy of any GPS, as this is what can induce errors.

That is in terms of the graphical representation after synchronizing the training, but we must not forget that the GPS has other more important uses. For example, to show the rhythm or speed at which we are moving. Here you can see a comparison with the same five previous devices. The coincidence is absolute.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Speed

And since there is that coincidence it is clear that another of the main function of the GPS, the measurement of distance, is going to be correct. If the speed it records is correct, so is the distance.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Distance

As I say that's the easy test because the speed on the bike makes everything much easier, running there is a little more variation, yet there are no major differences.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Speed

All three models record the changes in rhythm without any problem. The Suunto graph is more filtered by the way it exports the Movescount files, but running the information provided by the three clocks is similar, marking the automatic laps almost at the same time.

And in the case of the race, what about the distance? Is it the same as on the bike? Well, indeed, the final differences they show are negligible.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Speed

30 meters difference between the highest and lowest clock for a 15km run. That's a margin of error of 0.2%. Do you see why I say GPS is no longer something to be taken into account so much these days?

And for lack of another place to put it, let's go with a comparison of the barometric altimeter. Again, I use the graphs from the three Edges and two Garmin watches from before. Of the five, only the Edge Explore does not have a barometric altimeter. The other four I calibrated at the beginning of the training.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Altitude

You can see perfectly how the absence of the barometric altimeter in the case of the Edge Explore makes you miss out on all the ups and downs on any road - something that other devices record perfectly.

The two Edge and the Fenix 5 Plus are in complete agreement at all times. Only the FR935 has a slightly higher drift as I go up the slope. But all in all, perfect performance from the Fenix 5 Plus.

What is the summary? Well, what I have been saying so far, that except for changes in the chipset or notable differences in the antennas, there are not many errors that we will find in the GPS of the current clocks.

Obviously when you watch the synchronized training you will always find small positioning errors, and days when if you have done routes through extremely complicated places (canyons, very high glass buildings, very leafy forests, etc.) the errors will be much greater. But it is the same as with any model on the market, remember that it is not an exact measuring device and that the antenna to receive the signal from a satellite that is almost 20,000 kilometers away fits on your wrist.

Buy Garmin Fenix 5 Plus (5S Plus/5X Plus)

I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is buy your Garmin Fenix 5 Plus through the links I provide below. And if you don't buy it today, remember to stop by when you do!

Through these links not only will you get a very competitive price and the best customer service, but I will also receive a small percentage without costing you any additional outlay, which is what allows me to continue offering you proofs like this on the page.

If you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom, where I will try to answer all your questions.

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Review

With each new version of the Fenix that comes out, Garmin has surpassed itself once again. The Fenix 5 Plus is an incredibly capable watch. The Fenix 5 was already a watch, but the small innovations that the Plus has make it even more interesting.

Now it also offers music playback (including Spotify sync), maps and support for wireless payments, and new mountain features such as ClimbPro and of course pulse oximetry in the Fenix 5X Plus.

Wearing the watch is a real pleasure because it offers hundreds of possibilities both during the day and while training. And it doesn't matter what your sports profile is, because it will do everything you need. Whether you run on the asphalt, in the mountains, are a triathlete or spend a whole weekend away from civilization, the Fenix 5 Plus will offer you everything you need.

The truth is that I can't put any stickers on it because in the time I've been testing the different models of 5 Plus and 5S Plus I haven't had any big problems. Maybe some weird stuff in the software when navigating or searching on the map, or separating uploads in ClimbPro. I haven't even had any connectivity problems with sensors, something that wasn't very well solved in the original Fenix 5 and that Garmin has revised for the new version.

Is it perfect? Well, almost... except for one detail that we can't help but check: its price. Starting at 699 Euros (although I paid a little less for the Fenix 5 Plus in the test), the price is brutal, excessive.

It's 100 euros more than the Suunto 9200 more than the Polar Vantage Vabout 250 more than the standard offers what's around the Phoenix 5 and more than twice what a Vivoactive 3 Music which probably satisfies the vast majority of users and also has wireless payments and music (although not Spotify). But Garmin believes that, being the only watch that offers all the features it does, it is ready to ask for that amount of money.

Would I spend that kind of money on this watch? Well, aside from the fact that I've already bought it (more for testing than for use as a watch), probably not. And not because I find a problem with it, but rather because I won't be able to use many of its features in my day-to-day life. In fact, I'll most likely return to the Forerunner 935 that gives me everything I need and is lighter in weight.

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Fantastic test, as always. Congratulations.
    If you were to get on Black Friday at Phoenix 5, would you buy it? The connection problems you're talking about at Phoenix 5, are they the majority these days? Thank you.

    1. Thank you, David.

      Personally I didn't have any problems with sensor connectivity on the Fenix 5. A pulse sensor is not a problem because it is always very close to the clock, but I also had it paired with a potentiometer on the pedals and I never had any cuts. Or with Stryd, and I never noticed any problems either. It is true that the issue jumped months later and maybe if I had looked more closely I would have found problems.

      It also depends on the sensor in question, because not all of them have the same emission power. For example, the first versions of the Stages connecting rods, with a Fenix 5 is a guaranteed problem...

      In the end, it depends on how you use your watch and the sensors you connect to it. If you don't use sensors far from your wrist, you will never know if it has more or less reception power.

  2. Reading your post, very interesting as always, I read the following:

    "Out of curiosity I left the Fenix 5S Plus with the stock configuration: smart GPS data, meaning it collects GPS data when it feels like it every 3-5 seconds on a variable basis instead of every second.

    This setting today no longer makes sense, as there is no memory limitation (even less so in a watch with 16GB of internal memory) and the impact on autonomy is practically non-existent. Yet this option is not only still present but always active by default in the watch settings. Incomprehensible."

    And the truth is that you are right, they have been with that option for at least 5 years that I remember if not more. AND WHEN I READ YOU, AND IF TODAY THERE IS NO PROBLEM BY MEMORY OR PROCESSORS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT INCREASED THE GPS POSITION READINGS, I DON'T KNOW FOR EXAMPLE 2 times per second. This would make a much more precise trajectory and everything more accurate because at the moment of truth all other data depends on the accuracy. As far as I remember there is no GPS log of any brand (correct me if I am wrong) that records more than one position per second, and as I told you before they have been anchored in that limit for at least 5 years. What is your theory of why they have NOT increased the number of position records per second IN ALL THESE YEARS IF THERE IS NO MOMERY OR PROCESSOR PROBLEM (I guess).

    I think the breakthrough in sports watch precision with all that that implies will come in an increase in the number of position records per second, plus a dual band GPS chip that should come sooner rather than later. A salute and good work as always.

    1. Indeed, the maximum is 1 second in all models. I don't know the exact reason, but it probably has to do with the clock calculation algorithm. Doubling the amount of data would force twice as many processes so perhaps the processor could become a bottleneck (or have to increase the battery consumption). I suppose the brands have already done enough testing and it is something they have shuffled, but they have not noticed a noticeable difference in the data collected.

  3. Very, very, very complete analysis!
    I have had a Garmin 5 Plus since August and have been experiencing some delays in the watch, which are "solved" by synchronizing with the GPS.
    I have the Time set to automatic and it also updates every time I do an activity.
    Are these delays normal? Does using a view of the Connect IQ clock have anything to do with it?
    Continue with those tests are great!
    Thank you and a greeting!

    1. Thank you, Diego.

      I've never had a problem with the time... Anyway, try a normal sphere, to rule out a failure of this one.

  4. Eduardo, you look like a cracker to me, thank you very much for your analysis.
    I'm asking your advice:
    I am a regular runner, of marathon and half-marathon, but recently I tried a mountain race and I loved it and I would like to continue with the mountain. I want to buy a watch now taking advantage of black friday and I was looking between Garmin FR935, Fenix 5 plus or the new Polar Vantage V. For what you have tried for now of the Polar, which do you recommend me among those three?
    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. I forgot, I'm hesitating between those three because I want to start preparing for some triathlon this year...

    2. Since I don't think that neither Fenix 5 Plus nor Vantage V are going to be discounted on Black Friday (this last one at 99%), your best option is going to be the FR935. But with the 935 you won't be wrong, I think it's the best option right now if you're looking for a triathlon watch.

  5. Hi Eduardo, A congratulations and above all a huge thank you x these articles so complete and understandable, both this and the Phoenix 5, excellent!
    I have a doubt, I bought the Phoenix 5 plus and it comes with several maps, but since I bought it x Internet I get some maps that do not serve me, I am in Mexico (Leon, Gto) and brings the cartography of the U.S. and Canada. I am going to buy directly the maps that serve me in the Garmin page, my question is how can I do to uninstall all these maps that I do not use and they occupy space in my internal memory?
    I imagine that directly in the internal folder of the clock files, but I don't know what they are exactly and I don't want to delete other data that I do use.
    Thank you!

    1. Well, I can't tell you exactly because it's not something I've tried, and it's most likely that within the Garmin Express procedure itself, I'm asking you to free up space.

      Anyway, if you want to delete it manually I guess the file names is "gmapsupp.img" or "gmapbmap.img".

  6. Great report, Eduardo: complete and perfectly written. Congratulations.

    Perhaps a bit of a silly question: Is it possible for two users to use the Fénix 5 plus by distinguishing each other's activities and updating them separately in Garmin Conect?

    Thank you in advance.

  7. Hi, Eduardo.
    Congratulations for your reviews. The analysis is very good and complete. I wanted to ask you something. I have a polar V800 that I'm happy with but it's already a bit out of date and the battery is starting to fail, so I want to change the heart rate monitor. I usually do MTB, trail, hiking and indoor cardio (especially spinning). I've always had polar heart rate monitors, but now I'm hesitating between the Vantage V and switching to the Fenix 5 plus. The truth is that the maps don't make any difference to me because when I need them I carry a twonav GPS. What do you say? Is the Vantage as bad as I've read? and the Fenix 5 as good?
    Thank you in advance and a greeting.

    1. Take a look at the shopping guide:

      The Vantage is not a bad watch, it simply can't match the Garmin in performance. But if you're not looking for performance (since you're using another device for navigation), and you're already on the Polar platform, it may be a very good choice for you. Read through the test and see what it has to offer to confirm that it may be a good choice.

  8. Good morning, Eduardo. Congratulations on your articles, a great job!
    I wanted to tell you 2 things about my new fenix 5 plus. Today I started it with a race training doing series of 1000. First of all the HR sensor let me down a bit, since doing the series I was marking 10 to 15 ppm below easily.
    On the other hand, when I got home and synchronized, I saw that I had a positive altitude difference of 850mts, when I don't even think that I reached 100mts, because it was all for the city and the series in a park. What can this be due to? The gps configuration I have is GPS + Galileo and automatic altimeter calibration.
    Thank you very much!

    1. It may be that when you have started the training it had not yet finished getting a GPS signal, and the altimeter setting had not been made. It should not have those variations.

  9. Eduardo a doubt, the mobile notifications that come out on the clock, notifies them even if you're doing some activity or like the polar vantage V when you train does not appear. Thanks

  10. Hello,
    The screen of the Garmin5X Plus (without backlighting) is not a bit dark... I have the feeling that it lacks brightness and I don't know if it's a problem with my unit or something characteristic of this model
    Thank you

    1. This is because it is transflective, it is not an LCD screen (with its consequent battery consumption).

  11. Hi, Eduardo.

    I've been following you for a while now and I can tell you're doing a great job.
    Thanks to your analysis I decided to go for the Fenix 5, I bought a chest band, since I am a data geek, but I lost it in a race and I am lazy to buy another one, because I will probably end up losing it (hehe).
    Now I'm thinking about buying the 5 plus and my question is: Does the 5 plus have the accelerometer built into the watch or will I also need to buy the chest strap to be able to display the race dynamics data?
    And regarding the garmin graphs there is an option where you can change the unit of the X axis that comes out by default the elapsed time and put the kilometers , because when I run I remember more what happened to me in the X kilometer than when I had X time running (I don't know if I have explained myself enough).

    Greetings and thanks for everything

    1. If you want running dynamics data you need the chest pulse sensor or the new RD Pod.

      As for the graphics, if you click on the button to enlarge it (from Garmin Connect web), you can also select distance.

  12. Hi, Eduardo:

    Do you check the ppm on your wrist when you're swimming in the pool?
    Can you use the watch with the Tri band?
    Having focused my sport practice to the mountain and follow all the pulse training, is it better to wear the chest band and be able to wear the watch more loose on the wrist, because many times when gaining height especially by snowy mountains, sometimes the hands swell and you have to loosen the watch or when you have many hours of running the body is no longer as at the beginning and begin to bother many things and you have to go loosening.
    I would use the clock for mountain Ultras, all kinds of trail and mountain routes of several days sleeping in shelters. If I put the clock to charge during the route, it still marks the track and recording the route, even if I have to carry it hooked to the backpack, when I carry the charging cable as it is, right?
    It has possibility that the numbers that appear in the clock when having programmed a training appear bigger, since we are turning age and the view is not the same! and in a training of series that you take programmed sometimes it is necessary to look at the ppm that we take and I do not see them.
    The model I'm looking at is the 5x plus and the one I currently have is the Fenix 3. Which inferior model would meet my needs without going to the 5x plus?
    Thanks for having the blog you have, which helps us so much!

    1. The optical sensor does not work in swimming, if you want to pulse in the pool you need the HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim.

      As for the optical sensor, if the intensity is not variable I have no problem using it. If there is constant variability then I opt for a chest sensor. In your case for that type of activity I think the optical sensor will be a better option especially for comfort.

      If you put screens with less fields they will look bigger. It all depends on the number of data to be included (from 1 to 4).

      The 5X Plus offers a PulseOX sensor, if you don't need it you can opt for the Fenix 5 plus which is the same as everything else, and if you don't need maps (although for those kinds of routes you do I think you'll get a lot out of it) then it could be the Fenix 5.

  13. Hi, Eduardo,
    A great analysis, very thorough. A couple of questions that come to mind.
    I've been running road races for a few years, even marathons, and now I'm more into trail running. I have a forerunner 235 that has served me and serves me for the moment, although the battery is no longer what it was, so I'm in that phase of "change heart rate monitor or wait a bit? My first doubt is whether to switch to the fenix 5 plus as I see it more prepared for the mountain and I think that the utility of maps and altimeter can come in handy, although I do not know to what extent. And a second doubt, the starting price is clear that it was excessive, although now on amazon is below 550 €. Do you think it is a reasonable price, more in line with the quality of the watch or is it still expensive?

    Thank you

    1. Yes, it is a much more reasonable price than the starting price. It is clear that in absolute terms it is still high, but if you compare it with the rest of the competition and what it offers (especially in terms of maps and its possibilities) it is much more consistent.

      You will notice a huge improvement over the FR235 in everything, it's a pretty big jump in everything. The only thing that used to the 235 can become big, so you might also value the Fenix 5S Plus if the battery is enough. And remember to make the purchase through the published links, you will be helping the site!

      1. Thank you Eduardo for your quick answer, you have helped me a lot. I will give it a spin and of course I will buy through your links.


  14. Hi, Eduardo! Thanks for keeping us in the loop on all these gadgets. Excellent reviews. Congratulations.
    One question, if you had to choose between the new 745 and the 5x plus, what would you choose? Thank you

    1. Without a doubt the 945. It has more functions and less weight, which I personally value above the best finishes in the Fenix range.

  15. Hello Eduardo, as always thank you very much for your detailed reviews.
    I just bought the Fenix 5 plus (I've just come from the apple watch) and the truth is (it's a matter of habit) I find the configuration of the Garmin very messy. We know that apple always makes things easy and I don't understand how other brands don't follow this trend. Well, I'm going to.
    I have scheduled a session in Garmin Connect (running series) and when I run it on the clock it comes out as a specific automatic screen where it puts the remaining time of the series, and more data. How do I modify that automatic screen? Instead of Rhythm I get a step rhythm (which I don't know what it is) and it doesn't match my actual rhythm. Thank you very much.

    1. No, that screen can't be set, it's automatic.

      As for the pace, it refers to the average pace of that interval. It is not the instantaneous pace.

  16. Thank you, Eduardo.
    I understand then that the new version of the Fénix 5 X plus has only been on sale for a few months ?

    1. Yes, it is totally recent from the beginning of the year with no short-term change forecast.

  17. Hello again Eduardo, does the 5 plus family carry the Sony GPS chipset? or is it just the new 945 etc? I know these from Sony are good because of the low power consumption, but for the rest is it better, the same or worse? Thank you,

    1. No, the Sony chipset was first introduced with the Garmin Marq and, from this model onwards, in the following ones. The Fenix 5 Plus use the one from Mediatek.

      So far in the tests I've done with the Forerunner 245 I have no problem. You can see the comparison with the 935 in today's Forerunner 245 article.

      1. Thank you very much, I have had the Polar Vantage M (which has the Sony chipset) for a while, now I have the 5 plus and the truth is that when drawing the route on the map the Garmin is much more accurate than the Polar was.
        The other day in the half marathon of formentera the Garmin nailed every km / with the signs of the race. With the polar that did not happen to me.

        Thank you for your quick response!

  18. a query, garmin 5 plus, is synchronized with whatsapp? and you can receive and respond to whatsapp? notifications.
    and the calls are displayed on the clock? and finally the phonebook is synchronized with the mobile phone?
    Thank you very much indeed! Your post was excellent.

    1. Hi Ramiro, I'm answering your questions since I own that watch:
      - is synchronized with all the notifications on your phone. You can't interact with them, just read and delete them.
      - it would not make sense to answer whats, the screen is not tactile and writing from the watch would be a "pain".
      - calls are displayed and you can "pick up" the call from the watch. You must speak from the phone.
      - Yes, the agenda is synchronized you can see your appointments with the Calendar widget.

      I hope I helped you,

  19. Thanks for your help, Eduardo,
    I'm looking at the 3 models of the Fenix 5 plus. Although I run in the mountains I discard the 5x plus because I still don't do those peaks you talk about for oxyosymmetry. From the 5x plus and 5s plus models then what would be your recommendation? I have a small doll and maybe better the 5s plus no?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Carlos, although I'm not Eduardo I can answer you since I had the same question and in the end I chose one of the two. In the end I took the plus without the "S" since between the two it was more important for me to have the maximum possible battery. I tell you now that after a few months maybe I would have thought about it. It is a somewhat heavy watch and sometimes I've noticed it when I sleep "strange thing". In the end the issue of recharging is very subjective. I came from Apple Watch where I had to charge it every night and the truth is that doing 16h running at the moment is not my case. When running you can tell that you wear it and when swimming too but you get used to it. Aesthetically I must say that I like big watches and I don't have a small wrist. In short, if your wrist is small no doubt the "S".

    2. As Spartak has already told you, the only difference you will find is in the autonomy, so it depends on the need you have for that extra battery that the Fenix 5 Plus has.

      You also have another option that I don't know if you've considered: the Garmin Forerunner 945Keep an eye on it because it is superior to the Fenix 5 Plus in terms of performance and, despite being a 47mm diameter watch, it feels like a smaller watch.

  20. Hello,
    I've come here looking for information about a problem with my Garmin Fenix 5.
    First of all, congratulations for the work and the detailed information you give us.
    My problem with the Fenix 5 is this:
    I have it since November 2018 and it's been a couple of weeks since I've been able to visualize the heart rate widget; well, I do visualize the HR but not the average of the last 4 hours or the average of the last 7 days. I have updated the last version.
    I've looked on the web and tried out configurations and I can't figure out the problem.
    Any help?
    Thank you.

    1. Widgets can be managed from the Garmin Connect IQ phone application, or from the clock itself, simply by selecting to hide the widget.

  21. Hello, fantastic work you do. I find it incredible when you wear several devices to compare them and also take another that gives you more reliability, as when you put a watch with GPS in the cap to swim contrstar lps you try, again congratulations on the professionalism and dedication
    I have almost a year ago the fenix 5 and I find it incredible, along with HRM swim, mainly swim and some bike, ppr injury I can not run, and I wanted to comment on something you do not comment on swimming, if you put screens with data from FC, when you stop between sets, blocks, technique, etc. if you have sensor and clock out of water as you indicated you can see the metrics without waiting to download, FC max, FC med, max, Fc current, there are several to choose from, can be used to make series based on the FC or to see how much you recover and get results at the time you see in the clock or in the APP, for example med or max in a series that tells you what zone you are training, the clock t puts it in training effect but without differentiating blocks or series. What I do not know is if the clock software automatically calculates the lowest pulses to be swimming, I hope you did not mind me saying this but I did not see in the sensor tests. And if I lp wanted to ask as o

    1. Thank you, Fer.

      And by the way, you don't need to have a sensor and a watch out of the water. If you put the watch attached to the sensor in the water you can also see all the data ;-).

      I have no idea about cross-country skiing, I've never practiced that sport, and as for the Fenix 6, I'm already full of it, in a few weeks it will be published.

  22. Hi, Eduardo,
    First of all, thank you for your hard-worked analysis, seeing this page it is not worth "wasting" time consulting others, really.
    I'm writing to you because taking advantage of black friday I'm going to buy a watch with the use mainly of running in the mountains. Now I have a Polar M430 and it's short because of the lack of GPS navigation to run in the mountains. As I tell you, that's what I'm looking for most: the possibility to follow an imported route or to navigate on a map.
    Therefore, I hesitate between Garmin Fenix 5s plus, Garmin 5 plus, Garmin 5s, Garmin 5s, Garmin 5 or some Suunto. The fact of "jumping" to the plus range would be only for the possibility of following a map and not just an imported route, not so much for needing to set two points and search for them but for the ease in tracking the route via map. As for autonomy, although it is always welcome, in principle it would be enough with the s and I prefer a watch not so bulky.
    I was thinking of spending around 350 euros but if the fact of having maps is very interesting and taking advantage of the black friday I value up to 460 euros that costs right now the series plus.
    I'm waiting for your help!
    I have read in some of your posts that by selecting an option in amazon there is a possibility to help you economically for the maintenance of the web. How exactly should I do it?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Thank you, Lorenzo.

      If your use is going to be mainly mountain and you do a lot of navigation, don't hesitate: maps yes or yes. It is not so much the fact of being able to do the route on the clock or the tracking, but the amount of possibilities it gives you in the middle of a route: arrive at a detour and know where each road goes, return to the origin by the shortest real road and not by the rest of the route, early turn notice (and not having to wait to get out of the route to receive the notice).

      As for the 5S Plus, if you prefer a smaller watch it is perfectly valid. The only difference with the 5 Plus is the autonomy, because being bigger it has more battery. But the display is the same in both, so there is no improvement in that sense in the bigger model.

      As for supporting the site, just by making the purchase from the links that are published you will be doing it, so thank you!

  23. Hello.
    I have doubts whether Phoenix 5x or 5 plus.
    I'd only use maps, I wouldn't need music or pie.
    They're being offered to me at the same sale price.
    What I do question is the battery life and the protection of the watch itself, I mean glass and bezel.
    What do you advise?
    Thank you very much.

  24. Good night, Eduardo,
    A great job you do with all your analysis.
    A question, I just bought the fenix 5 plus, and the two times I've gone out to run with it, it does not measure the race pace in a continuous way, only the pace per km. I'm going crazy turning the watch over and over and I can't find the solution.
    Do you know why this could happen to me?
    Thank you very much.

      1. Hi, Eduardo,
        I mean the pace of the race, that although I had it activated on the screen, it did not show it to me, that is to say in the mobile application, in Pace(min/km) I only measured the average pace But in the end I discovered it. If you have activated the Velocida 3D it only shows you the average pace, it doesn't measure the pace during the whole training. Do the test.

        Thank you very much.


  25. Hello,

    At the current price of the Fenix 5 plus on Amazon, would you recommend it over the Garmin Fenix 6?
    Thank you

    1. Without any doubt, with the price it has right now and if you don't need the extra features of the Fenix 6 (firmware or autonomy), the Fenix 5 Plus is a great option.

  26. Hi Eduardo, I'm a recent discoverer of your site, and I love it!!! The reviews are very complete, and you cover all the options of the devices!!! Let's see if you can give me a hand with a question that arises seeing the different reviews, I'm hesitating between the FR245 Music and the Fenix 5S plus. For price, and more usual use, I would opt for the 245 Music, but I also like to go hiking from time to time, and the possibility of having the maps and directions of the Fenix 5s plus also attracts me quite a lot. The other options of 5s plus I discard them in advance by size, although they have more autonomy, they seem too big for my taste.
    Which of the 2 mentioned above would you choose today?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Thank you, Andres.

      If you hesitate between the two, you'll probably be more satisfied with the 5S Plus, if only because it's a higher-end, higher-quality watch. Although in the end everything will depend on the use you think you are going to make of navigation. If it's going to be something very sporadic with what the 245 offers is enough. Personally I would only opt for the Fenix 5S Plus if I know I'm going to be in the mountains enough to need the maps and the altimeter.

      1. Hi Eduardo, thanks for your answer!
        Well, the truth is that our hiking trips are usually with the club, so someone always carries the mountain gps with the track that we are going to do. So probably with the 245 would be more than enough. But it is also true that currently the club is paralyzed, and with the prospect of doing routes on our own, if the option of the 5S Plus maps appeals to me. Also in the links you have to buy, it appears on Amazon Germany at 339 €, which seems to me a great price, considering that the 245 Music is for 290/300 €.
        How do they compare in terms of weight and battery?
        And another question I have, I see that for the 245 they are releasing updates, like the athletics track, for the 5 plus they don't release this kind of updates? It is not something that worries me, but it is good to know hehehehe.
        Thanks for all your help, best regards!

        1. The 245 is lighter. It has more autonomy because it uses the new GNSS chipset.

          The 245 is indeed getting updates (although I don't think much else is coming). The Fenix 5S Plus is already at the end of development.

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