Garmin Fenix 5 | Full range analysis

Review and opinion of Garmin's new mountain heart rate monitor, the Fenix 5


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The Garmin Fenix 5 is the American manufacturer's new flagship for at least the next two years, making it the premier reference for what Garmin can do with a product, both in terms of software performance and product quality.

But this time there is something different, this time it has not arrived alone. In the new iteration of the model there are more models to complete a range that, from being a marginal niche, has become the most successful of Garmin. The Fenix 5S offers practically the same features as the Fenix 5 but in a more substantial sizeWhile the Fenix 5X chooses to keep the size of the Fenix 3 but offer real maps for navigation.

As always, I want to clarify the origin of the devices that you always see in the tests as I like to be totally transparent. This Garmin Fenix 5 has been bought by me at Amazon as soon as it went on sale, with the intention of being able to offer you the complete test as soon as possible. In the meantime, I am waiting for Garmin to provide a press unit for the Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X that, once properly tested and analyzed, will be returned to their corresponding department. When? Well, I don't know, but things are going slowly at the palace.

There is no compensation of any kind, which means that I have no pressure regarding opinions about the products I test, and obviously I do not admit advertising for the brands I test on this site either.

The way this website is maintained is thanks to your support, so if you like the work I do you can show your gratitude by buying the Garmin Fenix 5 (or any other product) via Amazon.

I have been testing the Garmin Fenix 5 for over a month now in a multitude of situations in my training on asphalt, trail, cycling, swimming pool, open water or any other situation imaginable, so I have clear references of what the watch offers and I can tell you the good, the improvable and the bad of this mountain clock.

You ready? Let's get to it.


Simply by looking at the progression in the product boxes you can see how a range is maturing. And not just the range, but also the manufacturer's performance and how it takes its image seriously. The packaging of the Fenix 5 is a clear example. Gone are the big boxes in which you can see the watch itself.

The Garmin Fenix 5 is a good quality cardboard cube, and with UV printing to highlight the clock on all sides where it appears. It gives the impression of being a premium product from the moment you have the box in hand

Fenix 5 Unboxing


The back is a good example of how complicated Garmin has made understanding their Fenix 5 range, something I will try to explain later (I don't guarantee it). Now you can see details such as the size or colour of the watch, or the type of strap, on the case itself, but it is more of a guide for the seller, not useful information for the buyer.


If you open the box, you'll find the watch waiting for you. Again, you can see the ingenious details in the design of the box, but they're already mine... my hobbies.


There are very few things inside, at least if it is not a pack version that includes the pulse sensor HRM-TriA small instruction manual shared between the 5 and 5S (the one for the 5X is different... although it provides the same scarce information), and the new synchronization and charging cable.

As you can see, aesthetically the Garmin Fenix 5 is a worthy successor to the Fenix 3.


There are quite a few differences from the back. Starting with the optical pulse sensor, which is now flush with the rest of the lid. There's no longer the bulge that used to stick out from the back. That hump started out as quite a big hump on the bracelet Garmin Vivosmart HR (first device with the Garmin Elevate sensor), was reduced in the 735XT and now it disappears almost completely in the new models.


Meet the brand's new timing and charging connector. The Garmin Fenix 5 the first to be released, but promises to become the standard connection for all manufacturer's watches from now on.

Fenix 5 charging cable

It's a smart connector, so you can connect it in any direction.

If I can put a glue on it, it's that it doesn't allow you to wear the watch while it's charging. At least not while it's on your wrist.

Loading method

If you have noticed the images, the straps also have some new features. They now have clips that allow them to be quickly replaced, which Garmin calls QuickFitAnd by quick, I mean being able to do it in about 10 seconds, as long as when you do it you're taking a bite out of a banana to get your workout back. Otherwise, a lot less.

Quick Fit Straps

The Garmin Fenix 5 has a 22mm strap, the Fenix 5X has a 26mm strap and the Fenix 5S has a 20mm strap. And in case you are wondering, your Fenix 3 can also use this type of strap. You will need the Fenix 5X, which is the model that shares size with the Fenix 3.

How big is it? Well, smaller than the Phoenix 3. And not much bigger than the Forerunner family.

Size comparison

Now let's try to clear it up with the models...

Fenix 5, differences between models

I think I've written this part and erased it about 3 or 4 times, trying to find a way to explain the whole range to you. Don't think it's easy, in fact even Garmin has a hard time, just look at how they have it set up on the web.

Garmin website

First, you must decide if you want to have maps on your device. If yes, Fenix 5X (and you can skip to the last box). If no, choose size.

  • Garmin Fenix 5SDial: 42mm Although Garmin mainly targets women, it is perfect for those who do not have a very large wrist or prefer a slightly smaller and lighter watch.
  • Garmin Fenix 5: Esfera de 47mm. Algo más pequeño que el Fenix 3, podemos considerarlo ahora el «tamaño estándar».
  • Garmin Fenix 5XSphere: 51mm sphere. It is the one with maps. The most complete of all and with a size identical to the Fenix 3. Despite being bigger, the screen is the same size of the Fenix 5.

So far it's been easy, let's make it a little more complicated...

The next thing you have to decide is whether you want sapphire glassOr if you want WiFiBecause both options are associated, so you can't choose one or the other, only both. It only applies to the Fenix 5S or Fenix 5, because the Fenix 5X is only available with sapphire crystal (and therefore, with WiFi).

Are you still with me? Well, let's stick to the options, although this is where my eyesight gets blurred and I start to see everything.

The next thing to be decided is the combination of coloursBecause it's not only about choosing the color of the strap, but depending on the model chosen the finish of the dial will be different, as well as the color of the case (the one of the watch, not the one of the package). Always keeping in mind that the options are not duplicated, but that there are colors that can only be had if we choose sapphire crystal or vice versa. Come on, try to stay with me, I see that you're starting to get lost, so let's go model by model.

Garmin Fenix 5S 

  • Polished steel finish, grey case and turquoise strap. With mineral glass.
  • Polished steel finish, white case and white strap. With mineral glass.
  • Polished steel finish, black case and black strap. With mineral glass.
  • Black finish, black case and black strap. Includes extra silicone strap in yellow. With sapphire crystal and WiFi.
  • Gold finish, white case and grey leather strap. Includes extra white silicone strap. With sapphire crystal and WiFi.
  • Gold finish, black case and metal strap. Includes extra black silicone strap. With sapphire crystal and WiFi.

Garmin Fenix 5

  • Grey finish, black case and black strap. With mineral glass.
  • Grey finish, grey case and yellow strap. With mineral glass.
  • Polished steel finish, grey case and blue strap. With mineral glass.
  • Black finish, black case and black strap. Includes extra silicone strap in yellow. With sapphire crystal and WiFi.
  • Grey finish, black case and metal strap. Includes extra black silicone strap. With sapphire glass and WiFi.

Garmin Fenix 5X

  • Grey finish, black case and black strap, with sapphire glass and WiFi.
  • Grey finish, black case and metal strap. Includes extra black silicone strap. With sapphire glass and WiFi.

Complicated, right? Well, we haven't gotten to the part where we can buy it with a pulse sensor HRM-Tri... But in this case the choice is simplified because you can only combine it with the normal Garmin Fenix 5 or sapphire.

Shall we talk about prices? Then wait until I give you the painful...

  • Garmin Fenix 5 or 5S - 599
  • Garmin Fenix 5 or 5S sapphire - 699
  • Garmin Fenix 5 or 5S sapphire with metal strap - 849
  • Garmin Fenix 5X sapphire - 749
  • Garmin Fenix 5X sapphire with metal strap - 899

Those are at least the official prices. On Amazon you will surely find them cheaper.

I hope I don't have to do it again without the chop in front of me, because I guarantee I'm gonna miss.

What? You want to know what all the differences are between them, too? This is just for show...

Garmin Fenix 5S

42mm in diameter and 14.5mm thick. 67 grams in weight, regardless of whether it has mineral or sapphire glass. If you choose the metal strapThe screen is 1.1″ in diameter, with a resolution of 218×218 pixels. autonomy is a maximum of 14 hours with 1-second GPS and optical pulse sensor, or up to 35 hours in UltraTrac mode

Garmin Fenix 5

47mm in diameter and 15.5mm thick. 85 grams in weight, regardless of whether it has a mineral or sapphire crystal. With a metal strap it goes up to 156 grams. 1.2″ diameter screen, with a resolution from 240×240 pixelsThe 5S is the largest. autonomy go up to 24 hours with 1-second GPS and wrist heart rate monitor, or up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode.

Garmin Fenix 5X

51mm in diameter and 17.5mm thick. 98 grams in weight with the silicone strap, or 196 grams with the metal strapDespite its larger size, the screen is identical to the Fenix 5: 1,2″ in diameter, with 240×240 pixel resolution. Compared to the Fenix 5, its autonomy is also lower (due to the higher consumption of its processor to manage the maps), leaving a maximum of 20 hours with 1-second GPS and optical pulse sensor, or 35 hours in UltraTrac mode. 16GB is available for map storage.

It has always been said that having a multitude of options to choose from is good, right? Well, the Fenix 5 (and 5S/5X) is the clear example. Now you can't say that you can't find a combination that satisfies you.


As I said at the beginning, the Garmin Fenix 5 is not a revolution, you should not expect very different things if you compare it with the model it replaces, the Phoenix 3But it doesn't mean that they've just bothered to add a couple of little things and launch a new model, there are a lot of little things that change.

Instead of analyzing each of the parts that make up the clock, I want to focus the test mainly on telling you what these new features are and what they represent, firstly because of what has already been said about it being an evolution, and secondly because I intend to finish the test in a reasonable time frame and if I were to go through each of the details I would need several months to tell you everything (and half an internet for me alone).

We can start with the new quick access menu to functions. In other models, if you held down the upper left button (the illumination button) you could turn off the clock or lock the screen. This has been replaced by a more complete control menu with various options and allowing customization, showing or hiding some options.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Quick Access Menu

This shortcut menu is linked to the shortcut keys, which is something already seen in the Fenix 3; in the new model there are more options since we can use more keys, pressing two simultaneously to perform an action.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Quick Access Menu

Without going into the sports possibilities yet, the Garmin Fenix 5 also shows changes in the clock display. In addition to having new faces (and still being compatible with other spheres of Connect IQ or Garmin's Face It application), it also allows you to modify the aesthetics of the same.

Puedes elegir las agujas, el color del segundero, y el fondo de la esfera. Pero lo que más destaca es que podemos alterar las «complicaciones», como se denomina en Android Wear OS. Hay cuatro espacios de datos que podemos usar para mostrar diferente información en la pantalla principal del reloj, como los pasos dados, minutos de actividad, pisos subidos, etc.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Complications




There are new developments in the sensor section. Garmin has begun to support sensors Bluetooth in addition to the classics ANT+ he's been using so far. Plus the wrist pulsometer is also renewed. But since there's a specific section on sensors, it's something I'll talk to you about later. Also the wrist pulsometer in its specific section.

The same goes for the new function of training load and stress, training effectThese new metrics are the most notable novelty of this model, so, logically, I also have a section reserved exclusively for you.

Before going into the most important aspects of the watch, I'm going to give you a brief overview of all the functions, so that those of you who are not familiar with the range can get an idea of what it offers, and for those of you who already know it, it's the perfect opportunity to refresh your memory.

Sports and Activity Measurement on the Garmin Fenix 5

In the aspect of sports profiles and their configuration there are not many new features, everything remains practically intact, so I will try to give a quick review of all the details so that at least the less initiated in Garmin know all the details.

By pressing the upper right button you will find the different profiles that you have configured. This menu is now a little different, mainly because at the bottom of it you can add new profiles (before you had to do it from the configuration menu), and because we found a direct access to navigation or Connect IQ applications.

Advanced menu

By selecting any sport you have chosen, you will go directly to the main screen, starting the search for satellites, pulse and external sensors (if paired).

Satellite search

If you wish to make any changes in the sport mode, such as data screens, alerts or any other configuration, you can do it directly from here. You must leave the menu button pressed (the central one on the left side of the watch) and you will access the configuration of that particular sport profile.

Activity configuration

You can do it from the general settings, but the main advantage it offers is that you can make any kind of change not only before the activity, but while you are doing it. Have you forgotten a specific data field? No problem, you can add it at any time without stopping the activity you are recording and going to the menu.

The configuration of the screens does not save surprises. You can create many screens, with between one and four data per screen. Here are some examples of these screens.

The only new thing is that on the screen with three data, it is now possible to skip the name of the data field and leave only the rhythm, time or whatever. That way the size will be bigger, but it is up to you to remember what you have configured.

Data screen configurationAnd what fields can you configure? Many. Many. Maybe too many. I'd put them all on, but it would be too extensive an exercise, so you'd better find out for yourself. Besides all the screens you can create (which I'm not sure if there's a limit to it, at least I haven't found it), there are other default screens such as race dynamics, virtual partner, compass or music control of the paired phone.

The rest of the possible settings are the same as Garmin usually offers: Alerts for different events, automatic lap and pause, specific behaviour when climbing hills or running on the mountain, etc. All of them were already in the Fenix 3. They also offer different configuration possibilities, such as editing the data that appears when you mark a lap automatically (by distance, not by location), the pace to consider that you have stopped or the vertical speed to change to the climb and descent view mode.

This last option is something that was first introduced in the Fenix 3. It allows you to switch to a screen with specific settings when you are going up or down, for example showing the degree of slope or other data that may be useful when you are on a steep climb or descent. The only objection I make is that the setting for the screen to appear automatically is meters ascended per hour, when it would be more comfortable for the average mortal if it were by percentage of slope.

All these settings are possible in any sport you have created. It doesn't matter if you are preparing your running or cycling profile. And you can even set up all these data fields in the middle of your activity.

In swimming the variations are the normal ones of the sport. Obviously there is no rhythm per kilometer or speed, nor vertical speed functions... These are things that do not apply. But what I want to refer to is that the way of configuring them and the options that it allows, are exactly the same for running, cycling, walking or strength exercises.

The Garmin Fenix 5 is also compatible with multisport applications. Triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon or simply any activity or training that combines more than one sport. Among the activity profiles you can create new profiles that include more than one sport. Everything can be customized: from including transitions, the order of the sports (even repeating the same sport twice), or the name.


To create these activities you must first have the individual sports well configured, since what you will be doing is joining those sports. That is, you won't have to configure the race profile and then reconfigure that profile within the triathlon, since it will inherit all its settings. Not only data screens, but also (take into account) alerts, automatic lap or automatic pause settings, although in the settings you will be able to deactivate their use.

But what you can't have is an alert in your running training and, using the same profile, a different alert in triathlon. If that's how you want to set it up, I recommend leaving a specific running application ready for competition, so you can use one or the other depending on the situation.

When you have started the multisport activity, if you want to go to the next activity you just have to press the lap button. If you have activated the transitions, you will count the duration of that transition until you leave the pit, pressing the lap button again to go to the next sport.


And to finish with the activities, the Fenix 5 allows you to configure many and very different ones. I am not only talking about running, cycling or swimming, but also about golf, hiking, skiing, paddle surfing, etc. Each of them will have specific modes of use, it is not only a timer and a tracking of pulses and calories consumed. In golf you will be able to download information of the course and see distance to flag, counting the strokes in each hole. In rowing sports you will register paddle rhythms, while in skiing or snowboarding the clock will automatically separate the descent from the climb period, being able to check descent times and speeds. That is to say, those activities imply more than an identical profile with a name change.

Well, after spending a long time configuring the clock to your liking, it's time to start practicing sports (because that's what you want it for, right?). Pressing the main button will access the list of sports you have configured, and you can select one from the list.


Once selected you will see the first data screen you have configured, then the search for satellites and sensors will begin. You will see the satellite signal quality through a circle on the outside of the screen that will be completed as more satellites are getting signal, changing to an orange circle when a minimum of satellites are available to triangulate the location (usually four).

Satellite search

But don't go out running yet, it's better to wait until the circle turns green. Likewise, here you can check how the search for all the sensors you have configured is going.

Search for sensors

You can switch between the different data screens that you have configured by pressing the up and down buttons, and these same buttons perform another function if you hold them down. If you leave the up scroll button pressed you will access the menu, and you can enter the clock or activity profile settings, changing alerts, screens or any other detail, all without having to end the activity.

You can also enter the navigation menu to start the back to home mode, view saved locations or use the navigation functions themselves.

Navigation menu

And if you hold down the bottom scroll button, you'll go to the main clock screen where you can see not only the time, but all the widgets you have configured, and you can go back to the activity (without stopping it) simply by pressing the back button.

And if you hold down the light button, you'll get the shortcut menu I talked about earlier.

Quick access menu

When you have finished the activity you can review all the details of the activity, such as recommended recovery time, review general or lap data, see if you have set any new records, etc. And these details also include graphs of time in zones or altitude variation during training.

Fenix 5 - End of activity

Fenix 5 - End of activity

Fenix 5 - End of activity

You can also see the new training effect (which we will see in more detail a little later).

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

And with everything finished, as soon as your watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth (or, if it has WiFi, as soon as it enters the coverage area) the activity will be synchronised with Garmin Connect and you can access it from the web or through the mobile application. If you want more details about everything you can see in Garmin Connect, you can check it here in an extensive manual I prepared for you on Garmin Connect.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Synchronized Activity

And this is how it looks when you use any Connect IQ application, in this case the StrydAt least until the battery runs out and the signal stops.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Synchronized Activity

Of course, the various models of the Fenix 5 can also benefit from the advanced training you can create from Garmin Connect, which you create through Connect on your computer.

Garmin FR230 FR235 - Advanced Training

And you can download them to your watch, where, before starting the training, you can review all the steps that it is composed of, to know which is the torture that you have to submit to.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training

When training, you have a specific screen where you can control each of the intervals. In the upper part you will have the rhythm (or pulses, depending on what you select as target) correctly graduated, so that when the arrow is placed in the green zone it indicates that you are in the planned target.

The other two pieces of information will give you the keys to the interval, such as the time or distance of that series. And if you have selected interval repeat, you will be able to see how many you have done and how many you have left.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training

On the clock itself you can also set up a training session, but with somewhat simpler objectives than the previous option allows.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Clock Intervals

Finally, remember that the Fenix 5 is compatible with Strava segments. The operation is identical to what we have already seen when Garmin launched this option for the 735XT, so if you want to know more details I invite you to take a look at that article.

And what about activity tracking? It is also present under the same premises as in previous models. The clock counts your daily activity through the steps you take, and you can check on the screen how many you have taken so far. The goal can be editable or dynamic, so that it adjusts every day to try to improve. The widget changes from previous models, as it now shows no approximate distance traveled.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Activity Monitor

However, if you press the main button you can access the weekly graphs, where you can see distance data, although they include what was done in sports (for example, distance traveled by bike).

Garmin Fenix 5 - Activity Monitor

Garmin Fenix 5 - Activity Monitor

It also counts the number of floors that have been climbed, thanks to the barometric altimeter.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Ascended floors

Of course, you also have a weekly chart.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Floor Upgrade

However, you will probably find it easier to consult all these details in the mobile application, as it will synchronise all the activity data throughout the day.

Garmin Fenix 5 - My Day

With respect to the Fenix 3, the first new feature is that there is an automatic activity log. The Fenix 5 is compatible with Move IQ, detecting activities outside of specific workouts. Things like walking, running, swimming or elliptical training that you do for more than 10 minutes. All of this will appear as an event in your daily life, although if you want to have more details about that exercise, the best thing to do is to record it as an activity.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Move IQ

These events are also present in the daily pulse graph, as for example in this image below, where you can see that it has detected several walks during the day.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Move IQ

And as you can see in the picture, constant pulse tracking is another new feature of the new models. Not because it was not present before, but because now the recording is constant. Before, it only took a variable recording depending on the movement. You only have to compare how the heart rate was shown before throughout the day (in this case, the 735XT).

Garmin 735XT FC Graphics

And what is recorded now.

Garmin 935XT FC Graphics

You can see that there are many more points and that there is no interruption in the recording, when before there were many periods without taking data, especially at night. The difference is that the new Garmin Elevate sensor is less demanding on the battery, so it can always be in operation.

On the clock you can also check the heart rate graph, in this case for the last 4 hours.

Garmin Fenix 5 - FC last 4 hours

In this graph, in addition to seeing your pulse at that moment, you can check the maximum and minimum pulses of that period of time, and if you press the main button, the resting pulses of the last week.

Garmin Fenix 5 - FC 7 days

And as we are used to, not only monitoring activity, but also rest, in this case, sleep.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Sleep

Phew... a lot of things, right? I hope this quick feature review has given you a general idea of what the Fenix 5 can do, at least globally. We're going to get into more specific features now, especially the main new ones.

Performance metrics, the main novelty

Without a doubt, the main change in the Garmin Fenix 5 is the new physiological metrics algorithms, which I could even say is its star feature (if we don't take into account the 5X maps). This is the most important new feature of this watch compared to previous models of the brand.

As with many other algorithms that Garmin uses in its devices, is not a development of its ownbut of FirstbeatA Finnish company that has been studying and analysing heart rates for many years, simply by looking at their website you can see the number of proprietary options they include.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Firstbeat

As for the new metrics, everything is controlled by a new widget where you will find all the details.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Status

The entire data revolves around the training status (or Training Status), which will vary and adjust each time you complete a new activity, analyzing your last workout along with past activities to give you an overview of what you're doing.

This status is substantially supported by VO2Max data estimates, something that was already present in many existing Garmin models.

Garmin Fenix 5 - VO2Max

Garmin Fenix 5 - VO2Max

The way to obtain the VO2Max data is the same, simply the watch will calculate it with the data collected from the different trainings you are doing, therefore it is necessary to spend a few weeks training with the watch so that it can analyze what you are capable of, being also important to record trainings at different intensities.

In this case, for example, in other Garmin models my VO2Max is around 56-57. In contrast, in the Fenix 5 at the moment it only goes up to 51, which is normal considering the type of training I have been doing this last month (including discomfort and small injuries). But as I get to know you and you do variable training, you will see that the figure increases until it gets to where it should, little by little. The increase is gradual, but constant.

Garmin Fenix 5 - VO2Max Garmin Fenix 5 - VO2Max

To get your VO2Max on race you don't need anything else than the clock, because it is able to register it with the optical sensor (no chest sensor needed), but if you want to have VO2Max data on cycling it is essential to have a power meter.

If you continue to move through the widget, you will find the recovery status, along with the remaining hours until you are fully recovered from past activities. If you continue to train, you will add hours to the recovery, and on that same widget screen you will see the recommendation regarding the training you should follow.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Recovery Status

Una mejora importante con respecto a lo que mostraba antes, pues realmente no sabías qué hacer en ese periodo de tiempo. ¿Podías entrenar? ¿No? ¿Misma intensidad, o a menor intensidad? Aunque los números sean ligeramente altos, ahora se elimina esa sensación de «miedo» por volver a plantear un entrenamiento en poco tiempo.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Recovery Time

The state of recovery It's not new either, but the advice it offers on how to continue with your training and whether you should think about doing a series today or leave it for tomorrow.

Below is the screen for training loadYou'll see the cumulative load over the last 7 days (the figure is EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), along with a graph indicating whether you're at your optimum, training below your maximum or just scraping by on over-training and need to take a break.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training load

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training load

This data is totally variable, and the determination of whether you are on the right track is individual. For me, a training load of 200 may be optimal, while for someone else that same data may be a lack of training. It depends on your past activities, so your history is taken into account, as well as for the VO2Max estimation. And again, you will need weeks to get a reliable assessment.

Finally, this is where you will find the race time estimate, which as in the past is simply linked to your estimated VO2Max.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Race time estimate

La estimación depende de cómo estés desarrollando tus entrenamientos, y de para qué estás entrenando. Por tanto pueden ser más o menos precisos. Por ejemplo, mi último tiempo en distancia 5km fue de 20:31… en un duatlón. Así que evidentemente puedo mejorar ese tiempo e incluso por debajo de lo que indica el reloj, pero en este momento de la temporada no estoy haciendo «méritos» para que la estimación del VO2Max sea más alta. Para una correcta medida necesitaría más semanas de entrenamientos.

But by the same token, I'm not about to do a marathon in 3:15, or an average in 1:33. These are distances I'm not training, so as much as the Fenix 5 thinks I can do it, I won't volunteer to try it.

As I said at the beginning, all this is part of this new function of the training statusIt is the result of combining all the physiological metrics we have seen before. The algorithm uses all those values and combines them into a single screen for easy understanding. Any changes in your history will be analyzed and processed to change the value displayed.

After the first training sessions you will not have any data yet, but they will appear as the watch gets to know you, and the training status will be updated every time you do a new activity.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Status

In addition to showing your training status, it divides it into two variables: fitness and load. The arrows indicate how the activities you are doing are affecting both your fitness and load.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Status

At the end of each training session (at least for running and cycling) you will see a new screen, the training effect (o Training EffectThis metric now provides more data because previously it only indicated a value from 0 to 5 without providing any further detail. It now separates it into Aerobic and Anaerobic Effect. For example, this gentle roller recovery workout

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

What does each of this data indicate? Well, the way it will affect your fitness, cataloguing it to give you a grade in intensity. As before, you will also have a number from 0 to 5, but by separating it you will be able to know what improvement it can bring you physically. If you access the history you will be able to see a brief explanation (not from the summary after the training).

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

It has perfectly identified the type of training I was doing and my objectives, confirming also that I have behaved well and that what I had marked as recovery, I have done recovering (although there is always some segment of Strava that can force you to leave the recovery aside ...).

In addition to viewing it on the clock, you can review each of your synchronized activities and see the same details.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

If you click on the question mark you will have more details about what each figure means.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

As for the values it gives, in general I think they are quite good. The previous training, for example, was a bike ride where I didn't do intervals, but it was a bit demanding at least in a couple of sections, while the rest was smooth. This results in an anaerobic effect of 1.5. A strictly series training will raise this value quite a bit.

And an aerobic improvement of 2.7 that maintains my physical level, as it hasn't been particularly hard.

A different example.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

That was a very smooth 15-minute run, recovering from tendinitis in one knee, and it marks it perfectly as a recovery without any possibility of anaerobic improvement.

Then a training at the rhythm of the race.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Training Effect

And indeed, I spent all my training in the lactate threshold zone, so it's an improvement in that heart rate range. But even though it's not an easy workout, there's no anaerobic improvement because I didn't do any speed work or push myself above those pulses.

In the end, it's good information that you're providing. The key is to know how to mix your workouts so you don't get stuck doing the same thing all the time. And now it's possible to measure it more accurately than before, when we simply had a training value but didn't specify anything else. We could have the same value for a long run of 3 hours as we did for 30 minutes of series, when obviously these are two workouts that produce very different effects on our bodies.

It is also important to note that all advanced metrics such as Training Effect, VO2Max estimation and lactate threshold take into account your maximum heart rate. This is the only information you have to enter correctly, as the rest of the information the watch is capable of obtaining by itself. By default the watch will show the classic formula of 220 minus your age, but we already know that this is quite far from the reality, so it is advisable to enter the data manually (if you know it).

The maximum heart rate will be automatically adjusted if you exceed the maximum clock setting, but you will have to run at a sufficient intensity to reach it. And note that it can be adjusted upwards, but if your maximum rate is below what you have marked it will not make any adjustment.

Not everyone runs at enough intensity to reach their maximum capacity, so if you know your maximum heart rate data, it is best to enter it manually. You can enter different maximums depending on the sport. And use the average resting frequency to calculate your training zones.

All these measurements can be made directly with the optical pulse sensor, so there is no need for a chest sensor.

Finally, and for lack of a more appropriate section to include it in, remember that the Fenix 5, like other models in the range, is capable of making the lactate threshold calculation. But to do so in this case you do need to wear a sensor on your chest, as the test is based on pulse variability, something that optical sensors are not yet able to record reliably.

There are two ways to get the record: automatically with your activities or by performing the specific test in which the clock will guide you through different phases.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Lactate threshold test

Finally, and speaking of pulse variability, the Fenix 5 allows data to be recorded in FIT files, so that it can be later analyzed in applications that support it.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Pulse Variability Recording

In the end the section has been longer than I thought initially... and I have tried to condense it quite a lot! As for all the information it offers I have frankly liked it quite a lot. Not only does it offer more information than before (training status and load) but the information that was already present now gives more details which clears up all the doubts that may arise such as the training tips in the recovery screen or the division of Training Effect into two.

Increasing the understanding of new metrics is something that Garmin has not always been successful at. For example, with race dynamics, Garmin has always failed to explain in simple terms what each thing is and how to use it to its advantage. It provides a lot of data, but not a guide to how to use it and improve it.

And as far as the metrics themselves are concerned, my opinion is quite positive. Whenever I have completed a workout the Training Effect values have always seemed perfectly correct, just as in the training state I have always found that my feelings are in line with the data Garmin provides. And I remember, all this is something external to Garmin, and from a company that has been studying heart rates for many years now, so they are not numbers or data taken from a hat.

Navigation in the Garmin Fenix 5

When it comes to navigation, we must differentiate between the two options offered by Garmin, firstly the Fenix 5/Fenix 5S which offers the more traditional version of navigation, and later I will add the specific details of the Fenix 5X (when it is available), as there is a substantial difference in offering maps on the device itself, along with greater options when creating routes from the clock.

Because while on the Fenix 5X you can create a route without external help, on the Fenix 5 (and therefore also Fenix 5S) you must create or download it externally in order to follow it on the clock.

The easiest way is through Garmin Connect in the route section, which includes route height data (you'll see why later).

Garmin Connect Path

There are other ways to incorporate routes, such as through BaseCamp, by downloading a route from another service and copying it to the NEWFILES folder in the clock memory. Or, with the new Connect IQ application from WikilocHowever, if you have a subscription to the navigation pack, which does not have a high cost and will be worth it if you are a regular user of the routes, you can download a route that you have searched for on the web and place it in its corresponding folder.

Once you have the route loaded on the watch, you must enter the activity you are going to do (running, cycling, etc.) and you will find the different navigation options it offers.

  • Back to top: To return to the starting point anytime you have missed
  • Routes: Routes you have downloaded
  • Activities: Re-doing a route you have done before
  • Saved Locations: Saved Points of Interest
  • Sight N' Go: Navigation through the compass
  • Coordinates: Navigate to coordinates you enter manually

I mean, the same thing we already found on the Phoenix 3.

But we were sailing, so it's better not to get lost. When you select a route, you can look at the map, do it upside down (from end to beginning) or see the height graph, which will then take more relevance.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Height graph

If you open the map before starting to navigate you can move around the map by zooming in/out and moving left/right. To switch between these options you can press the main button and it will alternate between them, you can make the selection with the scroll keys.

You can also scroll on the map while you are in the middle of navigation, if necessary to make checks on the route. The interaction is quite fast and feels faster than the Fenix 3.

The navigation offered by the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5S is of the breadcrumb type, that is, it simply represents the route you should follow and shows your location in relation to it.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Route Navigation

With no mapping, it can't tell you whether you need to turn onto a road or take the third exit at a roundabout, just like a car navigation system. But if you go off course, it will alert you on screen with vibration and sound alerts.

You can navigate using the compass exclusively, indicating the direction to the end point of the route and the remaining distance.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Compass

And if you have entered a target time for the route, you will see a virtual partner screen indicating whether you are meeting the target and the estimated time until you reach your destination. This same screen appears if you are navigating an activity that has already been completed, but in that case the time you are competing against is the time you have done previously.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Virtual Partner

While you are navigating, you will see a red arrow on all data screens (whether navigation or not) indicating the correct path to follow, thanks to the magnetic compass.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Navigation Arrow

So even if you're on a time and pace screen, you can still have a reference as to what the correct orientation is.

By returning to the altitude profile screen, you can see where you are on the route and how many peaks you have left to overcome.

I call this screen that of suffering, because you can see what you have suffered until you get to where you are (with the number of meters ascended on the upper left), and the positive meters that still remain to be suffered (the data that appears on the upper right).

In addition, the graph shows the maximum and minimum altitude of the route, and below it the remaining distance. This, together with the arrow with the direction of the route, is all I need when I am doing a trail route, where neither time nor rhythm matters to me in the least. This image below is not the best example of suffering, but it serves me to detail where each of the data is.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Altitude Profile

The clock will warn you if you go off the planned route, as well as tell you how many metres you are off the route. But it does not tell you which way to go to get back on the route, so you will have to use the map as a reference to get back on your planned route.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Off-road

All this is with respect to the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5S, since, as I mentioned before, the Fenix 5X offers features that go beyond displaying the route map: turn warnings, possibility to create a route directly on the clock, etc.

But I'll analyze all that when I have the Fenix 5X in hand.


With each new model of watch, it's time to perform new GPS logging tests. You should keep in mind that the results can be variable, since the areas I frequent and their conditions can be very different from the places where you train.

My training locations, by location, are almost always outdoors (little vegetation and trees), skies with hardly any clouds and with very good satellite reception. So if the sites you frequent are very different (lush forests in areas with many clouds, steep canyons or inside the city), the results you get with respect to GPS tracking can be totally opposite to mine.

Lo digo porque si hay algo conflictivo en este tipo de dispositivos es siempre con respecto a la recepción de satélites. No hay más que echar un vistazo a diferentes foros y ver comentarios del tipo «mi amigo tiene un reloj X y me dice que el GPS es muy malo, no lo compréis». Y luego resulta que el amigo entrena exclusivamente en el centro de Londres, con muchos días con de nubes espesas y rodeado de edificios altos.

Y a ese comentario le sucede otro que diga «pues yo lo uso en todos mis entrenamientos y el GPS es siempre muy exacto!». Pero nadie le pregunta dónde entrena, y lo está haciendo en el desierto de Almería con total y absoluta visibilidad del cielo en todo momento, con la nube más cercana a 100km de distancia. Como véis, «todo depende».

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

As for my GPS analysis methodology, I simply use it in my day-to-day training by comparing it with other devices. In other publications, comparisons are made on a predefined route where the same tests are repeated over and over again, but on different days. In my opinion, this is not the most correct way to perform the tests, because even though the route is the same, the specific situation of that particular day is not being taken into account.

A cloudy day affects a lot more than you might think. And if there are trees, do they have the same leaves in spring as in winter? The test has always been performed at the same speed, or has it been faster at times? All variables can affect the different records, making a test at different times lose consistency. And of course, always with data recording per second and activating the use of satellites GLONASS.

- 2018 Update

The Fenix 5 is now also compatible with Galileo satellitesfrom the version of firmware 11.00The watch allows you to choose between GPS + GLONASS or GPS + Galileo

I have tested the Fenix 5 in a variety of conditions and comparing up to 5 different devices. Road, mountain, open sky or with more complicated visibility areas. Everything to try to get a more representative sample. And I have selected some of them where I can show you how the GPS performance of the Fenix 5 is.

Although the Fenix 5 is oriented to a multitude of sports, at least by tradition it is in the mountains where we will see it most often. 30 kilometers of running, carrying the Fenix 5 accompanied by other watches that, in turn, are also oriented to mountain users. Suunto Spartan Ultra, Suunto Ambit3 Vertical and Garmin Fenix 3. And to complete the test, an Ambit3 Sport as the only representative without having the antenna integrated into the bezel, which a priori should offer better results in the location.

As usual, from a distance there are not many differences to appreciate. At first sight everything looks very nice.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

This is actually the case during most of the training, with 10 lines perfectly aligned on the path taken (5 uphill, 5 downhill). You can click on the images to see them in a larger size, although later you can also carry out the analysis yourself.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

It is in the turns where we can find more problems, especially in mountain situations where we are running in areas of trees with greater difficulty of signal reception. You can see that the graph of the Fenix 5 is quite correct, except for some point where it cuts slightly above the trees. These are minimum deviations of one or two meters and at specific times.

However, you can see how Suunto Spartan has a worse time.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

This is the general tone that I have been able to appreciate by reviewing the whole climb and descent. Good overall performance of the 4 watches, with the Spartan being the one furthest away from the real track in the turns and the Fenix 5, without being the best, offering quite reasonable results.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

As a simple curiosity, the final result of meters

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

  • Garmin Fenix 5: 29.212m
  • Suunto Spartan Ultra: 29,060m
  • Garmin Fenix 3: 29,334m
  • Suunto Ambit3 Vertical: 29,417m
  • Suunto Ambit3 Sport: 29,150m

A little more than 1% difference between the most and least measured distance, so all 5 are within the 1-2% of typical error in asphalt, so in mountain situation all pass with a very good note.

We are now going to have an easier training in areas that I have quite a lot of experience with. As I already know them, I know perfectly well which points can be conflicting for the signal reception and where the watches show me their good performance.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

To begin with, running just below a row of trees, in this case it is the Fenix 5 that best records the position, as it is the one that offers the straightest line. Both the Spartan Ultra and especially the Forerunner 230, have some deviation.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

The turn at this point is always a perfect spot to analyze. Under quite leafy trees and with a very sharp curve. Either the clock is alive, or it gets lost very easily. Which is what happened with the FR230 and the Spartan in this case, while the Fenix 5 (the purple line) makes the curves perfectly close at the passing place. Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

Not always the Fenix 5 will have the best result, but the Spartan is the best performer on the next leg.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

Let's go with a bike workout.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

Here there are few obstacles that can be put to any of the devices that I was carrying that day. Reviewing the entire route at no time have I seen any strange situations beyond some punctual moment in which they could have been a meter or two off the real route, but nothing of importance.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

And even though I'm dealing with the logging capability of the GPS, I take advantage of the barometric altimeter graph. No initial calibration, but you can see how all three keep exactly the same record throughout the workout.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

We are going with another bike training, but in this case on a progressive circuit, and it is very useful for me because I can see perfectly the recurrent turning points and compare the tracks perfectly, because I make the turns over and over again on the same point.

In this image you can see how the Edge 520 sticks again and again in the same spot (because of its location, it plays with advantage). The Fenix 5 is quite close, although the exits of the curve delay them a bit more. Meanwhile the Spartan thinks I'm doing motocross instead of series with the goat.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

The situation is repeated at other turning points.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

And speaking of intervals, shall we make some running? Again, it allows us to draw very good conclusions, by making them over and over again on the same point where the traces should coincide.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

Wait, what broad...

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

Very similar results in the different models. The Fenix 5 is displaced a couple of meters from the real location, while the other two go where they should. But I don't worry too much, as it is always consistent, repeating the same path over and over again.

I've also done training in open water. Here the complexity is in the way the clock software processes the positioning data that it manages to obtain more than in the capacity to receive a signal.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Open Water

Every time the hand enters the water the satellite signal is lost and has to be retrieved again when the hand is taken out. Obviously there is a very short time frame for recording the signal, so it is common to face positioning errors.

In this track you can see very interesting things. In the same training I was wearing the Suunto Spartan Ultra in my right hand (the Fenix 5 in the left), while I used the FR230 as a route confirmation wearing it under my swim cap, so the FR230 is always above the water, not losing the satellite signal.

This is what the track looks like from afar.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

If we analyze from a little closer (and with the satellite view) the point where I make the turn we can see how the track recorded by the Fenix 5 is quite similar to the one of the FR230 that, I remember, is out of the water.

Meanwhile, the Spartan Ultra tries to follow the other two, but it looks like a dizzy duck.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

The start and end of the training is very similar; both Garmin models keep a fairly similar record, but the Suunto is once again making a splash.

Garmin Fenix 5 - GPS

If we go to the distance log, the data speaks for itself.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Open Water Distances

Both the Fenix 5 and the FR230 are very close in terms of distance - a pretty impressive result from Garmin's new model. I can't say the same for Suunto...

To sum up, I find quite positive results from the Fenix 5. Considering that it is at the beginning of its commercial life and that the firmware is generally improving over time, I can't say anything negative and it shows a good performance.

Optical heart rate sensor

The new Fenix 5 features a new evolution of the Garmin Elevate sensor, which is now more discreet in size and stands out less from the back of the watch.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

But size isn't the only thing new, the main difference is that now heart rate monitoring is constant throughout the day. That's because the sensor is more energy efficient, so Garmin can allow you to leave it on all the time without fear of draining the battery. That way you can record your pulse every second or two, instead of every few minutes as with previous sensors.

Just to clarify, I'm referring specifically to 24/7 tracking modebecause during the exercise it continues to record every second, exactly as in the past.

As far as the accuracy of the activity monitoring data is concerned, in general I see good results. The pulse remains stable when there is no movement and if there are variations in the pulse ,it is because I am walking or doing some activity. You can check it in this same graph, when there is a rise in the heart rate is when there is movement.

Garmin 935XT FC GraphicsBut before we go into that aspect in depth, I think it's worth clarifying a few points, as I know that the optical sensor is what will end up creating the most debate, even over the GPS records.

The trend in the market is clearly towards incorporating the wrist pulse sensor in all devices, so Garmin has an optical sensor in all its current range. Only Forerunner 230 is the latest model in its range not to incorporate such a sensor, but rest assured that as soon as the replacement for FR230 and FR235 arrives there will only be one replacement, and it will have such a sensor.

The optical sensor is here to stay, so the sooner you take it on the better. That doesn't mean that chest sensors are doomed to disappear, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, brands continue to work and incorporate new features into them (the latest Polar, which has just launched the H10 sensor).

Es habitual leer problemas de usuarios con los sensores ópticos. Si bien es cierto que la tecnología no es capaz de cubrir perfectamente al 100% de los mortales (tonos de piel, tatuajes, vello… todo presenta dificultades), al final lo más importante es llevar el reloj correctamente ajustado en la muñeca. Esto es, dejando aproximadamente el espacio de un dedo entre el reloj y el hueso de la muñeca (para que esté en una zona más «carnosa» del brazo) y sujeto firmemente en el brazo, pero sin estrangular. Al menos así lo llevo yo para entrenar, aunque el resto del día aflojo un punto el apriete de la correa. Pero es importante minimizar los movimientos el reloj mientras estás corriendo o realizando otras actividades.

Another common complaint is that in the winter many people like to wear their watch over their clothes, or mount it on the handlebars of their bikes. Although these are two reasons why you should not use the optical sensor, the only thing I can tell you is that the fact that it is integrated does not mean that you are obliged to use it. In fact, the watch is still compatible with external ANT+ sensors (and now also Bluetooth), for those who still prefer the traditional band. And in fact it is more than recommended depending on which sports.

Garmin Fenix 5 - ANT+

Well, once I have made a few clarifications it is time to see performance in real life. The way to perform the tests is simply to wear the watch during my workouts. And in order to verify that the data obtained is correct (there is no point in seeing a pulse graph if you can't compare it with anything else), I accompany it with more pulse sensors; both optical and pectoral. From 2 more (three together with the Fenix 5) to a total of 4.

This first training is in the mountains. More than 3 and a half hours of running that throw a lot of data. Here you can see the general view.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

Several things. First of all I always rule out the beginnings of all activities. The sensors in the chest don't register well until they are well moistened by sweat, while the optical sensors also need a period of adaptation. Although in the graph above you can see that the only one that has a dubious start is the Fenix 5, while the other sensors fully coincide. The Garmin joins the party at about the 15th minute, starting the coral from that point.

Everything works perfectly until the hour and a quarter, when the Fenix 5 is once again on the loose, but quickly returning to the right path.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

I've extended the zone around the 45th hour of activity, where I stop to do a refreshment. It seems that the Garmin is still in the mood for running and as you can see, it marks around 30 pulses more than the rest of the sensors, although before running again it recovers.


Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

The rest of the training continues in the same way, almost without major objections. When there is not much variation in intensity there are usually no problems of any kind.

Proof of that is this other workout. Constant cruising pace, flat and no change of pace. Result? Not a single snag.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

It's something I've seen repeated in every training session of this kind I've done. Here's another example.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

In general, in most of my trainings these are the results that I have been able to appreciate. Except for small moments the record is always identical to other sensors. At least as long as there are no complications with changes in intensity.

The real Achilles' heel of optical sensors is the change of pace. As an example, this training series on slopes.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

There is not much to say about this. The Garmin was not precise in just one of the intervals. In all of them it arrived late and left late. I attribute this to the weight of the watch, because despite the difficulty it presents, in the end the more than 80 grams are noticeable in the movements. In other lighter watches I have been able to obtain better results, as in the Garmin 735XT or the Vivoactive HRWhatever the case, there is no excuse, the performance in intervals is simply poor.

Let's move on to another type of activity that has always posed another obstacle for Garmin's sensors: the bike. I'll start with this long outing of more than 5 hours. There are many points to choose from, different intensities and in general quite variable pulse.

Here we can see at a glance the complete activity. Forget about the data from the Scosche sensor after three hours. He died (the battery died) and that left that nice death graph.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

We can see that the usual trend of not being too reliable in cycling is still present, but it is true that it has improved. At least it is not like before that putting the first image of the graph was more than enough. Now we can go looking for the fault (which is not difficult to find), but at least there is more precision.

Here you can see an enlargement of the first zone, about the time of training. It coincides with a period of descent where I decrease the power, and with it the heart rate. Although it seems that the Fenix 5 is not mentioned.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

It recovers for quite some time, with about another hour when it fully matches. Until about the third hour there is a disruption, but in this case it is general. None of the three sensors match in the log, especially in the final part of this enlargement. Coincidentally, at that moment I am standing there taking some pictures and sending some messages, so there is not much activity from my side.

I don't know which of the three sensors would make the correct record, but I'd be inclined to think it was the HRM-Run connected to the Edge 520.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

A partir de ahí sólo hay dos gráficas a comparar, pero vemos que los datos son similares a lo visto anteriormente. Más o menos está en el mismo rango, pero aquí el «más o menos» no sirve de mucho. O tienes un buen registro o no lo tienes.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

Here's another bike workout, this time shorter and with a more constant intensity.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Optical Sensor

The result is very similar. There is almost always a match, but it is not perfect. I can still see that the new sensor has slightly improved in its cycling aspect, but for training on two wheels I still prefer to record the heart rate data with a chest sensor.

In short, I think Garmin has taken a step forward with the new sensor, which now uses less energy and not only allows a more constant recording of the heart rate at rest, but also offers a good range despite training by recording the pulse on the wrist.

When riding your bike, its reliability has improved, although it is still far from being totally reliable. The same goes for intervals, when it is always better to have a sensor on your chest. But for training without intensity variation or races? The data from the optical sensor seems perfect to me.

I'm still anxious to see when Garmin will step up and activate the optical sensor for swimming. Suunto has already done so in the Spartan Wrist HR.

File Comparison

The above are just some of the examples I have extracted from the different activities, but if you want to take a look for yourself and analyze the data more thoroughly don't worry, I also allow you to do so. It's perfect for you to review pulse sensor and GPS data.

You can find the links below, and I'll tell you what each of the activities is:

Compatibility with external sensors

Aaaahh, sensors... Because what we can record just with the watch is never enough. Well, here comes another important innovation in the Fenix 5. And that is that after a long time, these new Garmin models are the first to receive compatibility with external Bluetooth sensors.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Suunto Bluetooth sensor

Of course the compatibility with ANT+ sensors continues, that hasn't changed, just now the possibilities are bigger. In the ANT+ sensors section all this is what you can add:

ANT+ sensors

  • External pulse sensor, including advanced metrics (HRM-Run or HRM-Tri) and memory for water activities (HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim)
  • Footpod for running
  • Muscle oxygenation sensors (Moxy or BSX)
  • Speed, cadence or speed/cadence sensor in cycling
  • Power Meter
  • ANT+ Lights
  • Garmin Varia Radar
  • Garmin Varia Vision external display
  • External temperature sensor Tempe
  • Electronic derailleurs (Shimano Di2, SRAM RED eTAP, Campagnolo EPS)
  • VIRB action chamber

And that's just the ANT+ sensors, plus the new possibilities opened up by Bluetooth Smart sensor support.

Bluetooth Smart Sensors

  • External pulse sensor (but not using memory options)
  • Footpod for running
  • Speed, cadence or speed/cadence sensor in cycling
  • Power Meter

Whatever you have around the house, you can pair it with the Garmin Fenix 5.

What you need to keep in mind is that, unlike ANT+, Bluetooth Smart does not allow the sensors to perform more than one connectionIt has a master-slave relationship, so a slave (the sensor) can only connect to one master (the watch). You cannot use a Bluetooth pulse sensor simultaneously with the watch and an external application (such as an app on your mobile phone or computer, like Zwift).

But the watch (the master) can connect to several slaves simultaneously, because each of them occupies a channel, so you can have a pulse sensor and a footpod paired simultaneously, both via Bluetooth, without any problem between them.

On the other hand ANT+ does allow sensors to be connected to a multitude of devicesANT+ creates a communication network, so all devices belonging to that network will be able to read your data. In theory Bluetooth 5 will change this way of operating and will be similar to ANT+, but after many years of promises until I see it I will not believe it.

You don't have to choose between ANT+ or Bluetooth as both connections will be simultaneous, so you can wear a Bluetooth pulse sensor and receive data from an ANT+ potentiometer at the same time, for example.

You'll see that I've made specifications for the memory pulse sensors, because while ANT+ has a standard for accessing data stored in the sensors, there is no such thing as a Bluetooth standard, and each manufacturer does it differently. So even though Suunto Smart Sensor or Polar H10 sensors have memory for recording heart rate data, each manufacturer does it differently (and proprietary) with their devices. So in the case of Garmin, you can't take advantage of these Bluetooth sensor features, and they will only display heart rate data.

Connectivity and WiFi

Garmin Fenix 5

Although I have mentioned it before, only models with sapphire glass have connectivity WiFiSomething that was previously present in all the Fenix 3 models has now been reserved for the top-of-the-range models, as a way of giving those models a certain exclusivity, beyond the glass material.

If your goal is to get a Garmin Fenix 5 or Garmin Fenix 5S with mineral crystal for a price, I don't consider the lack of WiFi to be a determining factor. It doesn't offer any extra limitations, nor does it make synchronisation much faster. It can be relatively more convenient, since after training and returning home as soon as you pick up your phone, you'll see that the activity has already been synchronised.

What you will find in all models is the connectivity Bluetooth SmartWith applications available for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile, Garmin makes sure you have the phone you need to use and update your watch wirelessly - as long as your phone has Bluetooth Smart and is updated to a firmware version that supports it. Which today, unless you have an older phone, is all models.

And another thing that the Bluetooth connection allows us to do is to be able to show notifications from the mobile phone. Calls, text messages, Twitter notifications, Facebook, WhatsApp... whatever. Everything happens through the Garmin Connect application, which you must have installed on the phone (the pairing is done with the Garmin applicationYou can even control the music on your phone (but not play it from the clock, as there is no possibility to do so as the TomTom Runner 3).

These notifications are displayed on screen as soon as they are received, and will be present for a few seconds where you can either mark them as views (removing them from the notifications on your phone) or access the notifications widget and view them all together.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Notifications

What you can't do is interact with them in a more advanced way than you can with an Apple Watch or Android Wear.

Garmin Fenix 5 or Suunto Spartan?

If you are a regular visitor to the site, you will know that I don't usually make this kind of comparison. Giving recommendations of this kind, although many of you ask, is not what I like to do most. Each user has certain requirements, certain uses, predilections and previous experience with one or another platform. Moreover, I try to clarify this in the purchase recommendations.

Telling you that X or Y is better would be lying to you, because two different people don't have the same needs. It's like asking what's better, a villa in the suburbs or an apartment downtown. Well, it depends...

I still want to give you my overview and I take the opportunity to answer this question that I know will be asked in the comments on many occasions. So I work that I save.

Obviously, in terms of quantity and depth of performance, there is no colour. Simply the Garmin Fenix 5 is superiorThere is no room for discussion, if we look at the data sheet and the amount of things that one and the other can do the superiority of Garmin is overwhelming.

Garmin Fenix 5 - Suunto Spartan Ultra

But this is where we come to the important part: what are your requirements? Because what I need may be very different from what you need. And the use I make varies greatly from what any of you do. Do you only run? Are you a triathlete? Is cycling your main sport? What do you give more importance to? Do you already have sensors of a certain type? The final choice may depend on these and many other things. Today hardly any more bad watchesbut there are still bad choices.

In this case I have the comparison very up to date, because I am preparing the tests of both devices practically at the same time. I am training with both watches and I wear both on my wrist when I am not doing it (and now the Spartan Sport Wrist HR).

From Garmin we can undoubtedly highlight the amount of metrics and information No other watch to date has provided the amount of information that the Garmin Fenix 5 does. Still, as a source of data while I'm training I've always preferred to look at the Suunto. The size and visibility of the screen, especially at night, is what has won me over.

The lighting is more powerful, the difference in resolution in favour of the Spartan is noticeable and the five field data page of the Suunto is simply perfect The lap handling it does, separating the automatic laps from the manual ones and being able to have a page that shows the data of the last ones, is brilliant. These are all things that I would like to see in the Garmin, as well as the power or heart rate charts in Suunto activity (which of course, I would also like to see in configured profiles and not only in the predefined ones).

And I should also point out that the Spartan is compatible Stryd sin «artilugios» extras. En Garmin precisamos de aplicación o campo de datos de Connect IQ. Aunque suficiente, no ofrece todas las posibilidades que sería posible ofrecer si se trata como un medidor de potencia (muchísimos más datos entre los que elegir). Aunque el Fenix 5 sí permite usarlo como medidor de potencia y footpod de forma simultánea, algo que Suunto todavía debe resolver.

The Movescount platform is also more enjoyable for me to use. Garmin Connect is very good and complete, but the continuous addition of features makes it need urgent cleaning and give more clarity to all options. It is time to think about a redesign of the website.

Despite this, if I had to choose one as my unique device (I repeat, as far as I'm concernedeach of you will have other needs), no doubt I would choose the Garmin Fenix 5And it has nothing to do with the additional services it offers, which, although welcome, I do not consider to be a determining factor in purchase.

So why would I keep Garmin? Simply because of the ANT+ and the handling of the sensors. I hate that Suunto can only store one sensor of each type (I can't have a power meter and Stryd paired at the same time, so I can't use both in a triathlon. Or that every time I change bikes I have to search for sensors). If Suunto decided to offer ANT+ support again, as Garmin just did with Bluetooth...

As a watch for training on the asphalt or in the mountains, it's the Suunto that I'm most comfortable with. Even though the GPS performance is currently better on Garmin (although this may change in 6 months' time... or not), I'm more comfortable with the way the Spartan displays the data. Does this mean that Suunto is better than Garmin? No, just that TO ME I find it more enjoyable to use, even despite the difference in performance, but in the end I value the whole package.

But when I do other sports everything changes. In open water swimming there is simply no colour, the data provided by the Spartan is practically useless and the management of power meters in cycling is not satisfactory. In swimming the Garmin Fenix 5 I like more how it records data, although the Suunto does not do badly, but the possibility of separating the series manually, or exercises, seems better to me in the Garmin.

Therefore, for my specific use and globally (because I repeat, in the end I value the whole package), clearly the Fenix 5 is better resolved. And for yours? Well, only you can know.

Opinion Garmin Fenix 5

Garmin Fenix 5

If you were expecting revolution You may be disappointed in the Garmin Fenix 5, but it's not a good fit, it's an evolution of what was offered by a Fenix 3 that was already in a very good place. In fact, if the Fenix 5 hadn't been released, the Fenix 3 would still be selling just as well, I have no doubt. But Garmin has chosen to make a splash on the table by improving what was already a good product, creating probably the best product they've ever had, both in terms of performance and build quality.

The last few weeks have seen significant growth in the Connect IQ platform, with new possibilities being added. For example, integration with Training Peaks or Wikiloc. Ahora ya es una plataforma que lejos de ofrecer meros reclamos promocionales, ya tiene aplicaciones interesantes que de verdad amplían las posibilidades de uso de los relojes. Por tanto es otro factor más a tener en cuenta, sobre todo en este mundo en el que estamos rodeados de «apps» por todas partes.

Despite having added more features to the Garmin watch, it has managed to simplify its use, something that is not easy given the long list of features it offers. For example, all the new features it presents with physical performance metrics (which is undoubtedly the main attraction of the Garmin Fenix 5), is almost entirely integrated into one easy-to-use screen.

Maybe you had a Fenix 3 in mind (or own one) and are thinking of making the leap to one of the new Garmin Fenix 5 (5, 5S or 5X). Will you find any big differences? There's nothing that makes a big enough difference to say directly that the change is worthwhile, but there are small changes in so many areas (sensor, size, increased speed, better display, new metrics, new version of Connect IQ...) that make opting directly for the Fenix 5 worthwhile, at least as long as the high price of the watch doesn't pose an insurmountable barrier to entry.

Buy Garmin Fenix 5, Garmin Fenix 5S or Garmin Fenix 5X

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 new device 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.

Help the site

This page, like any other page you see on the Internet, needs to be compensated in order to continue to function. If you make your purchase through the links on the web you'll be helping out the blog a little bit and becoming part of the Running a Marathon family. It's a small family, but it's cool!

This is the only way the blog generates some money (apart from the cents that come from Google advertising), as there is no consideration from the brands. The only income comes from the purchases that you, the users, make through the links provided.

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Thank you for reading, and especially for supporting the page!


Overall - 9
Training possibilities - 9.5
Platform and applications - 9
Autonomy - 9
Finishes and comfort - 9
Price/performance ratio - 8



User Rating: 3.73 ( 18 votes)

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  1. Very good article/analysis, I bought the Spartan ultra and after almost 60 days I returned it from how badly it worked, very disappointing my case, now I'm waiting to see the 935, since I'm hesitating between the 935 or the Phoenix, to see if there is luck and it doesn't take long to get it

    1. The 935 I've already ordered to buy. I'm also expecting a Garmin unit, but like the 5S and 5X... things in the palace are going slowly.

      1. I think the 935-550 and the Phoenix 5 Sapphire-700 (to match the performance, as the normal Phoenix 5 doesn't have wifi), will end up being worth the same.

        I don't know why the Phoenix versions come down much earlier in price and are often on sale, than the specific triathlon watches. I'll go for the 935, which is smaller than the Phoenix 5.

        Thank you very much for the article, excellent.

      2. Hola, buenos días, estoy pensando en comprar uno de estos «Bichos» pero tengo una duda a ver si alguien puede responderme. Tengo la muñeca pequeña (16 cm) y quisiera saber si eso seria un problema a la hora de marcar las pulsaciones. Muchas gracias. refiriendome al modelo de 51mm de diametro. gracias

  2. Impressive, as always.

    Thank you very much for these detailed tests that you leave us! Next week I will buy it, of course through one of your links.

  3. Good article, as always.
    So, the 5s and 5s. Can't you put cartography in them?
    Only to the 5x?

  4. Good afternoon, thank you for your thorough analysis.
    Podrias comentar si Garmin ha solucionado los problemas de medicion de pulso?, mi experiencia de años con el 310 y el 920 son pesimas, supongo que generadas por la banda de pecho, y lo mas grave es que para solucionarlo sacaron una nueva banda, carisima, que tampoco era fiable y ademas te dejaba unas hermosas heridas en el pecho.
    It's hard to understand that lack of professionalism.

    1. Well, there is no problem with the chest pulse sensor... other than the tape degrading over time or the lack of battery in the sensor.

  5. good,
    Great report, congratulations and thanks.
    I keep thinking if the fenix 5 or the fr 935...ufff fen weight is clear, the wifi thing, I don't know if it's worth it . on the other hand for the mountain I don't know which is better in finishes...
    and resistance....
    A salute.

  6. Hello Eduardo, I have read the article carefully, I currently have an active HR and this considering the change to this for the many things that leads and round format.

    De todo lo que expones, no me ha quedado muy claro la siguiente frase «hablando de variabilidad de pulso, el Fenix 5 permite grabar los datos en los archivos FIT, para poder analizarlos posteriormente en aplicaciones que lo soporten.»

    I understand that you are talking about recording the pulse log, but you are referring to a record of all the pulses of the day, or just the HRV stress test, looking at the manual I am not clear either.

    Thank you.

  7. Good, excellent work. It's a great help to me since I'm thinking of buying it.
    Tu artículo me ha hecho reflexionar, este «bicho» hace tantas cosas que puede que me venga grandísimo. Practico varios deportes, bici, natacion, carrera (estos ocasionalmente) y Padel, gimnasio (casi a diario). He estado pensando en comprarme varias pulseras,de actividad, pero el diseño redondo y la disminución de tamaño en el fenix 5, me han llamado mucho la atencion. Claramente y después de tu impresionante artículo, no,utilizaría todo su potencial. En fin veremos que hago finalmente, ya que por contra otros dispositivos como el Apple watch se me antojan cortos de prestaciones (desde el punto de vista deportivo).


  8. Very good analysis,
    I'm thinking of buying the fenix 5x, but I don't know if the screen will be big enough to orient you well with the maps, because it can have very good cartography but the size of the screen is what it is. For me it's very interesting to be able to download the tracks from wikiloc, and then be able to follow them, also to be able to locate you at all times where you are by means of the maps, but I don't know if the clock will be practical for this.

    1. With the new Wikiloc application on Connect iQ you will be able to do this without any problems. As for whether the screen is big enough... you will have to wait for Garmin to provide me with a unit so I can tell you!

  9. Hola Eduardo, te llevó leyendo años y como siempre muy buen artículo. Te quería preguntar una duda sobre el Fénix 3. Llevo meses con el reloj con todo el menú en Inglés. Tiene la versión de firmware 8.2. Me voy a «setting», luego a «system» y por último entró en «language» y me encuentro con que la única opción es inglés. Pero me resulta muy raro porque ya lo había visto absolutamente en español en versiones anteriores de firnmware en el fénix 3. No sé si es que estoy haciendo algo mal, o que efectivamente quitaron el español y solo está en ingles.
    By the way, do you think the new features that depend exclusively on software and not hardware will make it from the Phoenix 5 to the Phoenix 3? As Bluetooth sensor support since the Phoenix 3 also has Bluetooth
    Thank you for these wonderful articles

  10. Hi, thanks for your complete and clear information about this Garmin. For a gift, I have big doubts if it is worth this purchase. The potential gift user basically runs on the field and asphalt, little bike, some swimming, easy walk on the field/mountain and also golf (and maybe skiing again...). Currently she has a Vivoactive without HR, but the new one with HR is very long and does not fit well on her wrist. One option is the 235 (to have the pulse, which I think is necessary for long runs, half and marathon). I have seen the Fenix 5S and it looks fantastic, with many options, although of course, it costs a lot more. The only downside is that it does not have the music as some TomTom, but she is very used to the Garmin app. Thanks for your answer, if possible, as soon as you can. Best regards,

    1. The FR235 will really only serve you for running and cycling, but in all other sports you will have less performance than with the current Vivoactive. 5S can be used quite well.

  11. Hi Eduardo, great article. I want to ask you a question. I usually hike and mountain, very occasionally I run and little more... I am in love with the Fenix 5, especially after your article, but I do not know if it will be to kill flies with guns for my activity. I do not like the Fenix 3 because of its size, as I have a rather small wrist, but the 5 suits me well. I am interested in tracking routes to avoid consulting the handheld GPS. Given your extensive experience with devices of this type, what would you advise me? Thank you very much for your articles, I will take into account the purchase links...

    1. Thank you, for your words and your intention to support the site.

      Certainly with the Fenix 3 you can do the same activities as with the Fenix 5.

      Everything is the same... But on the 5 everything is a little better. Faster, smaller, better screen, with more features... There are no major differences in any aspect, but when you see everything as a whole there are many differences.

      My advice, buy the one that really convinces you for everything (including price), but doesn't make you regret it later and think you haven't made the right decision.

      If the one you like is 5, if in the end you stay at 3 you will always be remembering its size every time you use it.

      1. Thanks Eduardo. Maybe I didn't explain myself well. I meant, since you know the whole range of devices and with my usual activity, if there was one from another brand that would cover my needs since Phoenix can be too powerful (although I love the 5). Thanks again.

        1. Para ese tipo de uso, al final estás centrándote en la gama alta (navegación, altímetro, buena autonomía, etc.), por lo que aunque te vayas a otros modelos todos serán «top».

          Another more economical option is the Ambit3 Peak.
          Although if it's the Phoenix you like, that's hard to fight.

          1. With the GPS on your wrist and without extreme use, is there such a difference in battery life and screen definition/size between 5S and normal?

          2. The definition is the same, it has less resolution but for a smaller screen. As for the autonomy, it is logically smaller, so the battery is smaller while the power consumption is the same.

          3. Hi Eduardo, first of all congratulations on this great article. I just wanted to ask if for hiking, mountain, and sometimes some mountain race is not better than the suunto spartan ultra fenix 5. I understand that all are great watches for all types of sports, but reading in forums I see that suunto is a level above in the mountains, although currently with the premature departure of the spartan maybe it is a little green at the level of software, but it seems that they are getting the batteries.
            In short, I just wanted to know your opinion about the most suitable or optimal watch for use in the mountains and if there is any possibility (I don't know) of being able to load maps on the Spartan unlike the Phoenix 5x that does.

            Thank you very much!

          4. Today, for navigation, the Fenix 5 is a better choice than the Spartan.
            Anyway, for use in the mountains I'm keeping the Garmin.

            It can't display maps, so the only one is the Fenix 5X.

  12. Eduardo
    I live in Argentina and I'm traveling to the USA. I run mountain marathons. The main difference between the 5 and 5X are the pre-installed maps. In my case, since I live in Argentina, it's better to buy the 5 than the 5X because the battery lasts longer and I won't be able to use the maps.
    thank you very much for your contribution
    Hugs, Santiago

    1. In principle, it includes a world map, however, it also allows you to install OSM maps, so you will have no problem with the 5X

  13. Hi Eduardo, thanks for your excellent articles, I practice road and mountain biking, I walk, I hike, I rarely go out for a run and I swim a little, but I am a lover of sports. I am thinking of buying the fenix 5 although I think that if I buy the 935 forerunner I can save some money, because the difference in the components does not seem to me sufficient to pay the price of the fenix 5 and as I have a very small wrist the fenix 3 is big and heavy for me. my first option was to buy the garmin edge 520 but I do not want to rule out practicing the other sports and also I would like it to have maps, but the other option would be edge 820 but its touch screen does not convince me. please help me to make the right decision, it is my first article of this type, besides it means a great expense of money for me. Thanks again and continue with this valuable activity.

    1. I'm in a similar situation to you where I practice several sports, the 935 is 550 euros and has normal glass and wifi, the Phoenix 5 is 600 euros without wifi and 700 euros with sapphire glass and wifi.

      Now they have a high price for being novelty and will come down over time.
      El problema que le veo es que me sobra con el 935 (ya que son las mismas prestaciones y me da igual que sea más «plasticoso»), y no sé el motivo, pero las versiones Fénix bajan mucho más de precio. Entiendo que por su mayor demanda y producción. El 935 es como más exclusivo, más dedicado a los triatletas.

      Something similar is currently happening with the 735 XT (450 euros) and the Fénix 3 HR (600 euros), which in practice, can be found on offer for almost the same price, the Fénix 3 HR being far superior in performance.

      1. About the sapphire crystal, personally I would not consider it as a determining factor in the purchase. In all these years using many watches in very different occasions (and altogether many times) I have only scratched a screen. And it was when I left a backpack on some rocks having the watch hanging from it. The rest of mineral crystals of all the watches I have (and believe me, there are many...) are totally immaculate.

    2. The truth is that you have an important cocoa... The first thing you have to assess is whether you want a very good device on the bike, or if you are willing to sacrifice visibility or comfort on the bike in exchange for being able to use it in more sports.

      As for the maps, same situation. The only one that can use maps in clock format is the Fenix 5X. Between the 520 and 820 will depend on whether you care about changing base map if you change area, or if you want route navigation or turn indication without warming up too much...

      In the end, these are questions that only you can answer, but the first thing you have to do is clarify what kind of device you want and how you are going to use it.

  14. Good to see if anyone can help me. I have the garmin fenix 5 sapphire, on the screen status workout puts me out of status and Fitness comes out two dots and loads an arrow up. Pressing the enter key tells me in English to put the band and go running, pressing again leaves the screen vo2max and in Spanish puts runs 10 min outside to get your Vo2 max and pressing again gives me the load last 7 days of 775. With the application Garmin connect the same tells me out of status and Vo2 Max puts me 47 updated in 2015. I do not understand pq I do not get the Vo2 max if I already have an ultra with him and a few shorter races. I always turn on the Trail Running mode. Do I have to turn it on in race mode? Or has nothing to do. Thanks and greetings

    1. In my tests the mode I have used is the race mode, right now I can't confirm if in the trail mode it also records the data for the function, but keep in mind that it needs at least a week of activity.

      1. Thanks Eduardo I will release it on April 29th in the ultra of the Muntanyes Costa Daurada. So activity has had enough hehe, I will not try today in race mode, but it's weird. Maybe I have something off or it just doesn't work right. Great post

  15. Hi Eduardo, I've read all the work you've done with the Fenix 5, and the truth is that it's great, thank you for that job you don't save many people. I wanted to comment a couple of doubts to see if you can help me.
    First of all, I'm having some trouble sending tracks to the device. From the wililoc application in the mobile, I've already had two different failures. the first one I sent a track and it didn't appear in paths, it only indicated a line of points (where it should have indicated the name of the path), of course it didn't work and besides that prevented me from sending track in any other way, in the end I had to reset the device, because there was no way to delete the corrupted track. the second time I sent a track that in the application was 2 hours and 3 minutes long, and when I passed it to the clock it indicated another time (more than an hour difference), when you tried to open the map, of course it didn't work. solution delete it again.
    Yesterday I went out to the mountain to walk, and I put the activity mode to navigate with a track (mine) that I had done in that route, what happened to me yesterday is that the zoon was always at 300 meters and I did not know how to get it closer in the navigation screen, then I read that by default if you have activated the automatic configuration mode, the clock puts the zoon in the mode that he thinks is optimal for that map. this is so? Today I found out that by pressing the menu button on the navigation screen if I can modify the zoon, you confirm me if it is correct?
    Well, I don't want to make you dizzy or bother you anymore, thanks again for your work and if you can answer me.
    Thank you

    1. About wikiloc I can't tell you anything about it. As for the zoom, you should be able to zoom in or out, as well as scroll. The main button changes the action and the ones on the left adjust it.

  16. Hi, first of all congratulations for the piece of review, very detailed and in no web I have found so many details.

    On the other hand, I'm thinking about buying the 5S, since I have a specific GPS for the bike... I would only get on the 5X if I could connect a Bluetooth headset and, since it has internal memory, I could play music. Do you think it's crazy that this option could exist, even if it's in the future with a firmware update?

    Thank you!

    1. I doubt that Garmin will get into those stories exclusively with the 5X, mainly because the memory is reserved for maps. The day that Garmin incorporates music playback in some watch will be in some more basic model and oriented to other types of use, for example to replace the Vivoactive HR. But not in an exclusive model within a range, as is the Fenix 5.

  17. Hola Eduardo. He leido el analisis, y es muy completo. Me ha servido y me he decantado por el Fenix 5 edicion Saphiro.
    I wanted to ask you this question.
    What activity can I use the clock to play paddle on indoor courts?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Well, you're going to have it pretty tough... Indoor racing, but with the paddle moves, the distances will be anything but precise

      1. Hola Eduardo. Te hago un par de consultas. Mi fénix 5, cada vez que inicio un entrenamiento me solicita que inicie el temporizador. No entiendo cómo hacerlo correctamente. El procedimiento que hago es: Selecciono carrera, una vez que tengo el GPS en verde, con el botón de up/menú marengo pulsado hasta que me aparece mis sesiones de entrenamiento. Selecciono el entrenamiento entre los que tengo que quiero hacer, una vez seleccionado me solicita que inicie el temporizador. No entiendo por qué me dice eso. Que estoy haciendo mal? O está algo mal configurado ?

        Y la otra pregunta que quiero hacerte, he comprado con otros colegas corredores, que tienen otros relojes, y me dá mal las distancias, o son precisas. Paso a explicar: Hemos marcado ciertas distancias en el suelo (ejemplo 300 metros) para hacer series, y el reloj no coincide con las distancias marcadas en el suelo. El margen de error es apreciable. (5 o más metros)

        Que me sugieres ? Muchas gracias. Saludos.

        1. It's simply asking you to press the start button when you're ready. As far as measurement differences go, it's normal, keep in mind that it's not accurate and you can't trust a GPS to go to the millimeter.

  18. Tengo un pequeño problema, mi fenix 5S «me roba» un largo de pileta todas las veces. Siempre es entre el 3 y 4 largo…

  19. Muy buenas y muchas gracias por este pedazo de analisis. La verdad es que cuando mas leo menos claro lo tengo jajaja Lo que busco principalmente es un reloj para el monte (montañismo, escalada, trekking) y soy un poco un obseso de la bateria, 10h de GPS a 1s se me queda muy muy corto por ejemplo. En mi principio mi eleccion principal seria el Suunto Ambit 3 Peak que creo que es el mas robusto y esta muy bien de precio pero no se si la opcion del 5X con la cartografia puede ser un plus aunque cueste el triple… Lo que mas primo en un reloj es bateria, fiabilidad y robustez y lo que menos creo que son los colorines, la parte smartwatch y por ahora (seguramente cambie) no vigilo mucho mis entrenamientos pero quizas cambie. Como dije anteriormente cuanto mas leo menos claro lo tengo y ahora dudo principalmente entre Ambit 3 Peak (creo que es el que mas bateria tiene del mercado y es muy fiable aunque la interfaz va siendo un poco anticuada), Fenix 3 (bien de precio desde que salio el 5 pero suele tener fallos de GPS e inestabilidad por lo que leo y la bateria dura menos en modo GPS 1s) y Fenix 5 o 5X (sobre todo por el tema de los mapas y la sincronizacion con wikiloc aunque cuesta 2 o 3 veces mas que los anteriores). Se que no es una pregunta facil pero a ver si me aportas algo de luz 🙂 Muchas gracias y enhorabuena de nuevo por eso analisis que te curras, asi da gusto! Y perdon por el ladrillo! Saludos

    1. Well, from what you say you give more value, I think that the most indicated is indeed the Ambit3 Peak (which by the way is cheaper than ever).

      If you don't value the colors, the training possibilities or the smart part... you're practically ruling out the Garmin. The maps can certainly be useful in a particular case, but I don't think it's worth the difference if all you want to focus on is the battery and the overall quality of the device.

      1. Thank you very much Eduardo for the answer! I'll think about it until next month and I'll go for it!

  20. Hi, Eduardo,

    You have a long way to go for the 5X? I'm waiting for your analysis to go for a 5 or a 5X.

    Thanks, great blog.

    1. I'm in the middle of testing the M430 now. When it's complete I'll contact Garmin again, see how they're doing on supplying a unit.

      1. Hello!
        I'm about to share, I'm going to use your links because I think you do a great job.
        The problem is that I doubt between 5 and 5x, could someone help me? Thank you.

        1. Let's see, I think the issue is pretty clear, if you're going to use the maps regularly, buy the Fénix 5X, if you're looking for something lighter and a little cheaper, Fénix 5.

          And I'll add two more options, which I hope you won't mess around with, Phoenix 5s if you want something even smaller and if you settle for less "premium" materials, Forerunner 935.

          Sent from my Windows 10 phone

        2. Janus, first of all thank you for the support. It's really appreciated!

          José has summed it up quite well... If you are really going to make use of map navigation I would opt for the 5X. If you are going to do some route from time to time and you don't mind not having cartography, Fenix 5 for size, price and range. To go for the 5X you have to make real use of the maps on the clock.

          1. Hi Eduardo, I already asked in the analysis of the Vivoactive HR about the text size in the menus, etc. I have tired eyes and I sold it pq did not get to see certain things clearly, some menus options and notifications. That said, in the 5S and 5 there are different text sizes ... Enough to alleviate my problem ... I understand that it is much larger your screen than the Vivoactive HR.
            And, finally, between the 5S and the 5 screen would there be a lot of difference in this aspect?
            Thank you. Great job.

  21. Hi Eduardo, I already asked in the analysis of the Vivoactive HR about the text size in the menus, etc. I have tired eyes and I sold it pq did not get to see certain things clearly, some menus options and notifications. That said, in the 5S and 5 there are different text sizes ... Enough to alleviate my problem ... I understand that it is much larger your screen than the Vivoactive HR.
    And, finally, between the 5S and the 5 screen would there be a lot of difference in this aspect?
    Thank you. Great job.

  22. Thank you very much for your analysis, it's a great help. Do you know if they'll launch an edge with performance metrics like the Phoenix 5 soon?

  23. Eduardo, as these, excellent review, I have two questions left to ask:
    1- Can someone from your (or my) cell phone track my route in real time?
    2- The difference with the X is only maps and battery?

    Thank you very much.

    1. You have to have your mobile phone connected to the clock while you are doing the activity with Garmin Connect. There is an option called Live Track and when you start an activity it emails the link to follow you live.

      Logically you have to have mobile coverage to be followed, if you go through mountain areas without mobile coverage, it will not work.

  24. Hola Eduardo. He leído tu artículo al completo y es muy bueno. La semana pasada estrené mi Fenix 5S, venía de la visvosmart hr+ y por cuestión de duración de bateria me decidí por el Fénix 5S. Con la pulsera no tenía problemas con la medición del pulso en muñeca, pero con Fénix sí tengo. Camino mucho, y durante los primeros minutos funciona bastante bien, pero después se queda clavado y no subo de 60-70 pulsaciones, cuando camino a un ritmo rápido (unos 9-10 minutos el km). Me lo he puesto más arriba, más abajo en la muñeca, me lo he apretado, limpiado por el sudor (que estos días hace mucha calor), y nada. Una vez acabo mi salida, vuelve todo a la normalidad y la medición es correcta, entre 80-90 pulsaciones mientras estoy trabajando y moviéndome un poco. No entiendo qué hago mal, si tengo que limpiarlo y cómo, o si no me lo conecto bien (que creo que sí), o si es defectuoso. Ayer lo probé haciendo elíptica y hubo algún pequeño lapsus en la frecuencia, pero poca cosa.
    Greetings and thanks for all the information you provide.

  25. Is it possible to download the maps and set routes from the phone and then transfer them to the Phoenix 5/5s without the need for a computer?

  26. Hello! Congratulations on the review, simply spectacular.
    A question that is almost an anecdote talking about what we talked about ... In the notifications of WhatsApp are the emoticons displayed? In the Forerunner they are not seen correctly and the operation is regular. I think that, in that, Suunto is quite ahead.
    Thank you.

  27. Hi Eduardo, first of all congratulations for the great job you are doing sharing your impressions with everyone. I just got the Fenix 5x as a gift and everything is perfect except synchronizing it with the mobile, I put it in bluetooh mode, I downloaded garmin connect on the mobile and when I select the option to link it it is not able to do it. I only managed to do it once after updating the software, but now that it has been updated again I have problems again and it is impossible for me to link them. Could you help me? Thanks.

  28. Unfortunately the Phoenix range has disappointed me because of the number of faults it has, to name a few, altimeter, pulsation, pitch measurement, stairs. I think it has a lot to improve the same features and innovate when its quality improves.

  29. Very good analysis. I only have one question: with the navigator following a route, how many hours does the battery last?
    Thank you very much.

  30. Morning,

    What is the difference in the bevels between 'black finish' and 'polished grey steel'? Is it like the Fenix 3 that the grey is painted on steel and is scratched by looking at it? Or is it really polished grey steel? Thank you

  31. I have a normal Fenix 3 but lately I've noticed that the steps don't count as well (even compared to a vivaactive hr that I also have)

    Is it a clock problem or should I retire him? (I have 2 years with him)

  32. Hello everyone, I'm hesitating between the 5x and the 5 phoenix. For my usual activities the 5 is more than enough but I'm sure I'll appreciate the maps of the 5x in my occasional mountain activities. Besides this, the subject of the battery is also important and that's why I'd like to know the real battery life of the 5 and the 5x. Can someone who has been using them for a while help me to know this data? Thank you very much everyone!

  33. Hello, Eduardo.
    First of all, I congratulate you on the work you do and on the detailed analysis of the articles. I have read a few of them.

    And secondly I would like to tell you if something similar to what happened with my garmin Fenix 5 has happened to you; I've been only two practices and what happens is that when I finish the session the language of the clock changes to English, it gives the quaduality that it has been just after each start to run.

    Can you tell me why this is happening to me? I don't know if it's some kind of adjustment or the transfer to Strava...

    I hope you can help me. A salute. And once again, thank you for the articles you write.

  34. Hi, Eduardo.

    First of all, I congratulate you on the work you do and on the detailed analysis of the articles. I have read a few of them.

    And secondly I would like to tell you if something similar to what happened with my garmin Fenix 5 has happened to you; I've been only two practices and what happens is that when I finish the session the language of the clock changes to English, it gives the quaduality that it has been just after each start to run.

    Can you tell me why this is happening to me? I don't know if it's some kind of adjustment or the transfer to Strava...

    I hope you can help me. A salute. And once again, thank you for the articles you write.

  35. Very good article, I wanted to ask a question to see if you can answer it, he made me with the 5X.
    Do you know more or less what is the percentage of battery consumption of wearing a wrist pulse meter all day, compared to not wearing one?
    Thank you

  36. Quién me iba a decir a mi que buscando informacion sobre un Quatix 5 me iba a encontrar este super articulo hecho por alguien que conozco en persona!! Pedazo analisis, enhorabuena Eduardo por la pagina! Me alegro mucho de haber dado con él y contigo 🙂

  37. Hello Eduardo and hello everyone. I have a 5x and there is one thing that drives me crazy and as much as I look for it I can't find an answer. When I am in mountain biking activity I see how the data screen changes from black to white without me understanding the reason. Does anyone know why it changes color?
    Thank you very much.

  38. Hello Eduardo good day, I congratulate you for your reports the most complete, I make a consultation I am doing activity to lose weight, swimming, gym, walking and starting with bike that is my ultimate goal as I was a cyclist, which team I advise to bring training and synchronized with a Garmin scale.
    Thank you very much.

    1. For that use and if the later use in cycling is not going to be very demanding (power meters, etc.) the Vivoactive 3 would be the best option.

  39. Hi Eduardo! I just bought a Fenix 5 and I wanted to know if for running ,cycling and military theme topography is the best option or there is some cheaper option in clock format, even without maps.

    1. For running and cycling you have no problem, it works perfectly. Military topography... well, I can't tell you there anymore, because I have no idea of the requirements

  40. Hi Eduardo. I just bought the Fenix 5 on the first day of Amazonas for 350 euros, at a very good price I think. I'm still trying it out. I want it mostly for mountain, mountaineering, and a little bit of mountain biking and swimming in an enclosed pool. I give a lot of importance to the accuracy of the altitude, and I see that this one does some strange things with the altitude, which marks very well a simple suuto core that I also have and compare. I don't know if to put it in barometric altitude or also automatic calibration with gps.

    Por eso tengo dudas si quedarmelo o devolverlo y pillar un spartan ultra o un wrist hr baro. A ver por favor que podrias aconsejarme. Este lo veo quizas demasiado completo, y los otros un poco mas amigables y sencillos.

    Thank you very much.

    1. You should select the automatic calibration with GPS. Note that the altimeter of the watches is based on the air pressure, so if there are changes in pressure the readings will vary.

      However, if you are already used to the Suunto ecosystem and Garmin seems to have too many things you are not going to use perhaps the most appropriate option would be the Suunto Spartan Baro. It's priced right now on Amazon

  41. Hi I have problems with the positive slope of the fenix 5 in trailers, what is the best configuration? I mean the recording, 3d, calibrated, gps type ... thanks

    1. Simply calibrate to a known height at the start of the route. The rest of the options are for pace and distance calculation.

  42. Hi, Eduardo.
    Primero de todo quisiera felicitarte por el contenido de tu blog. Me ha ayudado en mas de una ocasión para conocer las novedades i el uso de estos cacharros com mas precisión. También leyéndote ha hecho que me pillara un poco más al deporte. Pienso que haces un trabajo admirable.
    Thank you very much.
    I would like to ask you about the Fenix 5. I have bought a copy but its autonomy has left much to be desired since it only lasted 3 days. I have changed it for another one but the result has been practically the same, 3.5 days. Both of them only with the use of an intelligent watch. Garmin, in its technical specifications, talks about up to 2 weeks in that use. Could you clarify if the data given by Garmin is real or really only holds 4 days without the use of the GPS?
    Thank you very much.

    1. No, that 4-day range is not normal at all. It has to last you much longer. Going beyond 7 days would not be complicated at all.

  43. Otro con problemas con la batería 🙁 He comprado un Fenix 5 reacondicionado (como nuevo) y he estado probándolo, y la sensación es que la batería dura menos que con mi anterior Vivoactive HR. En una hora gasta ~0.6% de la batería (esto quiere decir que durará una semana si no lo toco para nada), pero por ejemplo las últimas 24h un 61% con solo una actividad de BTT de 2h (GPS+Galileo).
    I have activated the BT connection and the activity monitor, as it comes by default. I have deactivated the seconds display on the clock.
    Is that normal?
    I also bought a new one that I haven't even opened, just in case this refurbishment didn't go well, but I'm afraid the new one will do the same and I'll have to keep both of them at the end.

    1. With everything activated and 2 hours of use with GPS and Galileo (which increases consumption) it doesn't seem far-fetched to me. It's high, but not excessive either.

      The battery problems are not towards having more or less duration, when there are problems it is when it turns off suddenly, it does not reach 0% or it shows strange data when turning off and turning on (go from 5% to 25%, for example).

      1. ¿0.6% la hora (0.7% ahora mismo) sin hacer nada no es descabellado? ¿Debo asumir que sin tocarlo me durará una semana como mucho? Quizá no está hecho para mi pues 🙁 Si es así no sé donde sacan las 2 semanas de uso oficiales.

        1. Because it's UP TO 2 weeks. If you disconnect both Bluetooth and the 24-hour optical pulse sensor, consumption will drop considerably.

          1. I'm sure it will go down, but what's strange is that it ends up lasting less than the Vivoactive HR with the same use. There are a lot of people complaining about the same thing:

            This is in case someone arrives here with the same problem. I have contacted the official support and they have told me to do a hard reset + a discharge and a full charge of the battery. After the hard reset and everything by default is consuming me 0.9% the hour, even worse. I will wait a few more hours, if not to return it.

            What I don't have if it's a problem with the latest version 11 or new devices that have come out with a faulty battery...

  44. Hi, Eduardo,
    See if you can advise me.
    I come from Forerunner 235 and I want another model with an altimeter. I want Garmin because I'm used to it and I really like the way it schedules series and interval training.
    He visto el Fenix 5, pero me resulta muy «tocho».
    Now I hesitate between the Fexis 5s and the Forerunner 935. which is even thinner.
    I'm going to use it just to run on asphalt and ride. And to follow routes.
    What do you think?
    Thank you

    1. Either can work for you, and the software they have is the same. The difference is in the materials of the FR935 that make it lighter (and reduce that big, heavy clock feeling), but also in the screen resolution, which is lower in 5S.

      As for the FR645, it's a bit more limited when you're thinking about the mountains. If it was just asphalt, it would be my choice because it's a small, lightweight watch with good finishes. But it's less capable in terms of navigation. If you don't mind that detail, I'd give it priority.

      1. Thank you for your answer.
        Do you know what the differences are with respect to navigation, from FR645?

        A salute,

        1. There are fewer options in terms of points of interest, automatic upload screens, etc. Navigation is only of a downloaded route.

  45. Hi, Eduardo,

    First of all, congratulations for the excellent analysis you do and the update of offers in the interesting times to buy.

    I usually follow you and that has motivated me to take advantage of black friday to change my very old forerunner 610 for a Fenix 5.

    I'm very happy with it, except for the battery life: I've had it off for 18 hours and the battery has dropped from 87% to 68%. Is this normal? At that rate, in less than 5 days the battery will run out, and that's when it's off. My old fore 610 lasts more than 15 days in clock mode...

    I see that above Dimas and Moses have already spoken about this recently.

    What do you think? I'm thinking of asking for a replacement, but if everyone else has the same problem, I don't know if it's worth it.

    Thank you for your opinion.

    1. No, it's not normal for the clock to consume battery power. I have several Garmin that I only use between different tests and I have them turned off. I don't control how much battery consumption they make (because there will always be something), but I can tell you that many weeks go by between turning them on and off and I don't have any problems.

      1. Thank you for your answer, Eduardo.

        It's a pity, because I was very happy with it, but I'll have to give it back. Today I did the same test and when the battery was off it dropped a 20%...

  46. Tengo una duda, compre el fenix 5 zafiro, en la actividad elíptica, solo aparece FC y el tiempo, hay forma de q te mida o lleve un control de las brazadas o algo? Para obtener algún dato más. Necesito ayuda 🙂

  47. Muy buena review, te felicito por ello. Soy usuario de un Fénix 5 desde hace 3 semanas. Lo uso a diario para entrenamientos de bicicleta sobre rodillo y he notado que el sensor óptico (como bien muestras en las diferentes gráficas) tiene una cierta inexactitud cuando realizo sesiones intensas de series o cambios de ritmo, llegando alguna vez incluso a marcar más de 200 pulsaciones. No dudo en la calidad del reloj y en la plataforma que ofrece la marca para su conectividad y poder analizar todos los datos registrados, sin duda de las mejores que hay en el mercado, pero a su vez es un poco frustrante ver esta «carencia» en cuanto a la medición de pulso a través del sensor óptico. Mi pregunta es, podría existir alguna anomalía o problema del fabricante en el reloj? Ya que incluso he llegado a pensar en devolverlo y ver si ocurre lo mismo con otro dispositivo. Gracias de antemano por considerar mi pregunta y de nuevo agradezco mucho a la gente que realiza artículos tan accesibles e interesantes para compartir con los usuarios.

    1. Thank you.

      There's no problem with your watch, it's just the way optical sensor technology is today and it's exactly the same on all Garmin and non-Garmin models. If you want reliability in interval training and intensity changes, you need a chest strap.

  48. Hello. Thank you for the good and complete information.
    I am just starting out in Triathlon and would like to start acquiring all the measuring equipment necessary to keep track of my training and to be able to visualize my progress, however, I do not have anyone nearby who has been doing this for a long time and can advise me on the purchase of such devices.
    Could you give me some guidance/support/advice on the list of devices I should buy?
    Thank you very much.

  49. Great analysis, very complete and answering all the possible doubts and some other questions that I had not even thought of.
    I was hesitant to get the 5s, but I'm going through your link right now to order it NOW
    Thank you

  50. Hi, Eduardo,
    First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on your review, excellent work!

    I had a couple of questions with my Phoenix 5, see if you could please help me. They're about the training sessions.

    La primera de ellas es que cuando creo las sesiones en la web y sincronizo vía cable… en el reloj en el menú de «Mis sesiones de entrenamiento» no me aparecen, mientras que en el «Calendario de entrenamiento» si y si lo sincronizo via bluetooth si que me salen. Sabes por qué? Algún inconveniente en la sincronización o algo que estoy haciendo mal?

    La otra duda es que cuando intento hacer las actividades que he agregado al calendario, aún completandolas, en el menú de «Calendario de entrenamiento» cuando las reviso al día siguiente me sale como que las he omitido y aparece un signo de admiración en rojo. Lo extraño (o que se ha dado la casualidad) es que en dos entenos que tuve que interrumpir y no acabar, si que me salieron con un tick en verde como si estuvieran realizados.

    At garmin's customer service, they don't know how to refer me to their website and manual, and it doesn't clarify anything there.

    Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    A salute.

    1. Well, honestly, I have no idea. I would try to do a complete reset of the clock because there is certainly something that is not working as it should.

  51. Hello, Eduardo. I've been following you for years in your many reports. All of them spectacular.
    After several years with Suunto watches, I have now decided to switch back (I had a 405 at the time) to garmin and have taken the Fenix 5.
    It would be possible to change the recording mode of the track (1s to another) during an activity? in case when you are in it and you realize that you would not get the battery (for example in an ultra of + 24 hours, which you count to do in 20 and for different reasons you would go to 26 hours)

    Thank you very much for your great contributions.

  52. Hey, Eduardo, first of all, congratulations on the job.
    Mi pareja me regaló el Samsung S3 frontier y me pareció un juguete bonito y caro, pero para deporte «en serio» mal.
    I was looking at the Vivoactive 3 because it more or less covered my needs but I read somewhere that it was quite imprecise on some things. And in between I saw in the ECI an offer of the Fenix 5 (just like that) for 313 euros so I took it.
    Now I think that maybe I've rushed it since it's a watch from more than two years ago and I don't know how time goes by. I'm a little afraid that as soon as the Fenix 6/7 comes out (which will be in the fall) they will stop renewing it and I'll be left with a beautiful (and expensive) paperweight.
    What do you think you've been doing with him for a while?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Obviously, don't expect too many updates. I think it's a mature product, but it's not going to have many new features. Garmin has already launched the Fenix 5 Plus with improvements, and he's the one getting the love of the brand right now.

      If it meets your current needs, I wouldn't give it much thought either.

  53. Hi, Eduardo!
    Between a Garmin Fénix 5 and Suunto 9 Baro which one would you stay with? Currently I practice Trail in marathon and ultra distance, with 4/5 trainings per week and I have a Fénix 3 that the battery is already showing that it doesn't last the same and it is short for these activities.
    Greetings and congratulations on your articles

    1. I like the Suunto better for trail, especially for its screen and its navigation that seems to me more complete than the Fenix 5. But being already on the Garmin platform and having the trainings there I think the logical step would be the Fenix 5.

  54. Hi, Eduardo,
    Great review... Between a Foreruner 245 music and the Fénix 5, which one would you stay with... They are at practically the same price and in one you have the advantages that it is a current model + musician with spotify premium and the other is a more advanced watch but it is already a few years old and therefore very good offers.
    I'm not sure which one to choose, thank you!

    1. It depends. What is your profile of use? The main difference will be that the Fenix 5 has a barometric altimeter and better navigation (therefore more suitable for the mountain), as well as supporting multi-sport activities. The FR245 music is obviously more advanced in everything.

  55. Mainly city running and some sword running in the mountains... Besides swimming in the pool.
    What I find interesting about the 245 is the theme of the music as I go out without a mobile phone, but I can't find any offers and the price is even higher than the Phoenix s5...

    1. For that use the 245 will probably be a better choice because it will cover you more what you are looking for, especially for the music. It is true that you won't have a barometric altimeter, but if the mountain trips are sporadic you won't miss it much either.

      The 245 has just come on the market and Garmin is not allowing discounts, so the price is fixed. In fact it is selling quite well, and there are supply problems.

        1. The cheapest place you have it right now is in RunnerInnRemember that by buying through the links I publish you will be helping the web.

  56. Hi!! very interesting your analysis. I'm currently thinking about buying a watch for my guy, he's a runner and he loves trail and hiking, and I don't know which watch would fit him better if the Garmin Fenix 5 plus or the Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Running. He now wears a TOMTOM and always complains about the lack of GPS on the tours we do.
    Thank you for your time.

  57. Hi, Eduardo!
    I've just had a bad experience with an FR 735, it didn't even last me 6 months, thank goodness I got my money back. Now I was thinking about which one to get, the options I've been thinking about is to try my luck again with the same model, the FR 245 music (because of the music more than anything else) or the Fénix 5. I'll tell you, I use it every day both for running (nothing mountainous at the moment) and swimming, especially in the pool, plus some activity created by me, like functional training. I don't know what to do, how do you see it? Thanks

    1. Well, I think that with that kind of use the 245 is the one that will fit better, with the advantage of music if you are going to use it. Smaller than the 735 but with the same size screen, faster in terms of user interface and with the same features as the Fenix 5 (except altimeter and less complete navigation). And it's also cheaper than the Fenix 5.

  58. hello a great greeting, I comment that I have problems with the reading of rhythms (Pace) in the Garmin Fenix 5x, I do not mark the correct pace, when I'm in training shows me on screen rhythm 4.45 jumps to 6.xx then to 7.xx from there low randomly and does not keep constant pace, taking my mobile next to strava runkeeper app runtastic (adidas runner) coincide among them the pace (pace) but with the Garmin is a pass even more when you activate alert limits of rhythms (you sound or vibrate constantly), which already deactivated ... I have the latest fireware updated on the computer. If someone happened something similar tells me ... As you will see out to run and garmin not show you your real pace is a headache and stress.

    1. Do you wait for a GPS signal before starting your training? If the coverage is good and you start with a minimum quality signal you should not have such big jumps in pace, unless you are running between buildings.

  59. Hello,
    El fénix 5 perfecto, una maravilla comparada con la competencia, tanto en duración de batería, como en funciones y chorradas varias, pero ahora resulta, que el sensor se cuartea, se fisura, y le ha pasado a todo el mundo con el que he hablado (3 personas, mas el mio), entre finales del 1º año y final del segundo . Esto empezó, cuando pensé vender mi fenix 5 para comprar yo ,el 6 básico, el comprador del mio, me dijo que no lo quería con visor fisurado, a lo cual que quede pasmado, ni idea del tema tenia, ni me había fijado. Ya he hablado con 3 personas a las que les he visto el reloj , y alguno ni se había dado cuenta tampoco,, pero allí estaban las grietas. totalmente figurado…, algunos las tienen mas profundas y otros muy suaves, pero si pasan por encima de los sensores, distorsionan la luz que llega al brazo y puede alterar la visión del pulso.
    If you have a phoenix, I advise you to turn it over and take a good look at the brightness, to check if you have cracks in the pulse sensor.... garmin will not publish anything, I suppose, hoping that the guarantees will pass and you will not have to face the massive problem, of global change of the sensor, on the other hand, to which exactly the same thing will happen, the following year, and already without guarantee.

    Yo he abierto caso en Garmin, a ver que me dicen, pero estas paginas, de lo superchulo que son los relojes estos, deberían también estar vivas e ir añadiendo los problemas que tienen estos chismes, con el paso del tiempo. todos funcionan perfectos la primera semana, ahora ya después de 6 meses, la cosa cambia y siempre hay que recordar, que cuestan 500€, no 150€ como los amazfit.

    1. I had the same thing on a 935, claimed after two years, and Garmin has replaced it. I have a paper to write about the procedure and the change, as soon as I get some time to do it.

      El mantener «vivas las páginas» os corresponde a vosotros, los usuarios que convivís 24h con el dispositivo en cuestión. Mi muñeca es limitada (sólo tengo 2) y es imposible que pueda hacer un análisis de un año a cada reloj. Para eso están los comentarios.

  60. Good morning,
    I am thinking of buying the Fenix 5, as it seems to me to be a very complete clock and with the departure of the 6 now good offers can be found.
    One of the functions I am most interested in is navigation, but it is not very clear to me how it works.
    Is it possible to enter tracks, for example in gpx format, and then follow the route with the clock? Do we need a dwmap or wikiloc type application?
    A greeting, and a very good article.

    1. Yes, it is possible to load tracks on GPX from Garmin Connect. No external application is required.

      If you're not in a hurry, the Fenix 5 is one of the best deals on Black Friday.

      1. I caught it at Media Markt last night that was reduced to £349. Do you think it's worth giving it back and waiting for me at Black Friday?

        1. It's a pretty standard price. In fact it's the usual one on Amazon (although there's no stock now). I'd wait for Black Friday which is just around the corner. The last offer was £299, I hope it's the same or slightly better.

          1. I'm also watching the Vivoactive 4, because of the music theme, which the Fénix 5 doesn't have, for music you have to go to the Fénix 5 Plus, and it's worth a lot of money.

            Can you follow routes in the Vivoactive 4, as I told you in the Phoenix 5? I've been looking for info and I haven't found anything.


  61. Right now they're both very similarly priced.
    Considering everything we have discussed, any recommendations?
    A salute.

    1. My recommendation is to wait for Black Friday, there is very little left and I think this year he can play the Fenix 5 Plus in some country.

  62. Hi Eduardo, congratulations on this reviw of the fenix 5, I would like to tell you what you think of the fenix 5 sapphire that is on sale at 399, I should buy it or it will go down more in black friday.

    1. You can be sure that the Fenix 5 is going to be on Black Friday. Whether it's the sapphire version I don't know anymore, anyway I also tell you that in my experience, sapphire crystal doesn't bring that much.

  63. Eduardo, thanks for your reviews, very accurate. One question: is the fenix 5 suitable for mountain biking? or is there a more suitable model?
    Thank you and greetings

    1. If you need route navigation, this is a good option.

      If you don't need it and want something less flashy, the Vivoactive 3 also has a barometric altimeter

  64. Hi Eduardo, thank you very much for your information. I wanted to ask you a question. I had a forerunner 235 and changed it a year ago for a fenix 5s. I have noticed that the accuracy of the GPS in urban environments is worse (it measures more distance in the tests). Can it be?
    If so, what other model do you recommend for this blackfriday? What I do is run, on asphalt and ride.
    Thank you again.

    1. The metal bezel of the Fenix 5S may not be the best choice for signal reception, but it's not a watch that has ever had reception problems. In urban environments GPS accuracy is complicated, not that any other watch would have done better. What you have to analyze, more than the distance (which is normal to do more than the official if the race is well measured) is the quality of the track.

      If there are a lot of changes there might be a problem with the clock, but don't just rely on the final distance because as I say you'll never make the perfect race by doing the corner ropes correctly (because there's no room when you're not running alone).

        1. Checking that it does not have strange oscillations or is constantly jumping from what is the real position.

  65. Hola Eduardo, gracias por tu esfuerzo. Veras tengo actualmente un Suunto spartan sport wrist hr desde hace ya 2 años, tengo ya 47 años y corro 2 veces en semana (asfalto/ trail en montaña, valorando mucho la navegación), nado enaguas abiertas 1 vez por semana y cojo la bici de montaña también, más no puedo la verdad. Me gustaría cambiar el suunto por otro con sensor barométrico para mejorar los entrenos y saber los desniveles reales (el Suunto baro al parecer no va a recibir nuevas actualizaciones) y había pensado en el Fenix 5. Se me va de presupuesto los de gama alta (Sunto 9 baro y Garmin 5 plus y 6). Otro problema añadido es la presvicie, cada vez me cuesta mas poder leer bien los datos con claridad. La pantalla del Suunto me va bien (mejor con fondo claro), en modo reloj con fondo oscuro lo veo un muy poco claro y no hay forma de cambiar a esferas que sean mas claras y no entiendo la verdad por que no sacan mas esferas, es algo que no logro entender de Suunto, pero a nivel de contraste pienso que esta por debajo de Garmin a pesar de la resolución y tamaño de la pantalla, ademas creo que las fuentes y tamaños de los números y letras así el cómo poder configurar los campos.
    En fin la pregunta es si por prestaciones y pantalla, este Garmin 5 se me queda por debajo del Suunto Baro (el antiguo no el 9), o cual de los dos interesa mas, si el Spartan baro que no va a recibir actualizaciones o el Garmin 5, menos tamaño de pantalla, menos resolución pero mejor lectura de datos y mas contarte de colores.
    Another issue is the new watches that are appearing on the market and with good autonomy, although the reliability of data and sensors are still below these models, such as the Amazfit Stratos 3 and Huawey Watch GT2, which have very good screens indeed.

    Anyway, too many questions at the end.
    From my amazement at how you can manage in this dark world of machines and technologies, a warm greeting and congratulations on your work.

    1. The problem with Suunto is not the screen quality, which is very good, but the construction (I mentioned this in the Suunto 5 test). In that sense, Suunto 9 is exactly the same as the Spartan Sport you have now, and it won't actually receive any more updates.

      In Garmin the display is mounted closer to the glass, so the structure of the clock does not create that shadow that obscures the reading in Suunto.

      If you place a lot of importance on navigation, I would recommend that you make the effort to go for the Fenix 5 Plus. When it comes to route planning, having the maps on your watch is a world of its own.

      As for Spartan Baro and Fenix 5, both are very similar in performance (and neither will receive many or any more updates).

      Stratos, Huawei and others are several steps below the other models proposed in terms of usefulness in sport.

  66. Hello again Eduardo you know if the Garmin Fenix 5 can carry the safety alert and tracking function, which in case of a fall warns or sends a message to a link on the phone. Thank you

  67. Hola Eduardo excelente review , el fenix 5 zafiro esta ahor amismo en oferta en 399 € y efeniz 5 normal en 333€ . Con cual te quedarias . Un saludol

    1. Salvo que estés seguro que vas a tener MUCHAS oportunidades de rallar la pantalla, yo optaría por la versión normal. Nunca he tenido problemas con los cristales minerales como para necesitar el zafiro.

  68. Hola Eduardo , gracias por la información tan completa como siempre das en todos tus articulos.
    Quisiera exponerte lo que me ocurre a veces con el Fenix 5 Plus, realizando rutas de montaña gravando el track , de repente a veces me termina de gravar y cierra la actividad, igual pulso algún boton del reloj con un roce o al ajustar la manga del impermeable o cazadora, vuelvo a activar la gravación del track, al llegar a casa con Connect Garmin me salen 2 tracks gravados , mi pregunta es como puedo unirlos con el conect Garmin.
    Otra pregunta ,hay posibilidad de bloquear tipo candado una gravación de track o actividad para evitar modificaciones al pulsar accidentalmente los botones del Fenix 5
    Greetings and thanks in advance

  69. Hola Eduardo. Brutal la comparativa con los gps. Tengo un problema con mi Garmin Fenix 5, y he observado que le pasa a más gente. Cuando estoy parado, por ejemplo en rutas de montaña al pararte al descansar, el reloj sigue trazando segmentos del track sin sentido, con lo que aumenta la distancia final de la ruta estando quieto. Cuando descargas el track aparentemente es correcto, pero es cuando lo amplías sobre el mapa cuando se ve el «destrozo», mayor cuanto más tiempo estás parado. No se si lo habrás observado, y si puede ser algo de configuración. Los del servicio técnico de Garmin me han dicho de resetear y actualizar, pero no sirve esa solución. Gracias de antemano.

    1. Es un comportamiento normal, pasa en todos los dispositivos y no hay ninguna forma de corregirlo. Si vas a estar parado deberías pausar la actividad para evitar eso.

  70. Gracias por tu pronta respuesta Eduardo al final me decidido por el fenix 5x lo encontrado por 449€ y un 20% de bonificacion para comprar , zapatilla , camistas ,etc de runnig , de echo todavia esta la oferta en el corte ingles la bonificacion es de 89,9 € asi que me traje unas salomon de trail running. un saludo

  71. Hola, me gustaría preguntarte si alguna vez has tenido problemas con los pines de carga, me refiero a que se te hayan oxidado o algo por el estilo, si es así ¿Me podrías decir cómo lo has solucionado o que mantenimiento o medidas de prevención tomas?
    Gracias de antemano,
    a greeting.

    1. Nunca he tenido problemas con ningún reloj, pero sí me consta que es un problema que se ha producido en más de una ocasión. Para evitar este problema lo que debes hacer es aclarar el reloj con agua limpia.