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New Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, 5S Plus and 5X Plus, now official


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The full review of the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus has been published. This article is only from the presentation of the model.

Click here to see all the details and opinion of Garmin's GPS watch.


Today Garmin makes official their new Fenix 5 Plus, Fenix 5S Plus and Fenix 5X Plus. Official today, although all the details had been leaked before I only had to know the official details to confirm that everything we had seen was true, and to know more exactly what the new features of the 5X Plus were.

Garmin has been releasing quite a few "Plus" versions lately, a nomenclature that started with the Edge 520 Plus and that I'm sure it's not going to end in the case of the Fenix 5 Plus (in fact, I'm expecting an Edge 820 Plus in not too long). It's still a new version, but without completely replacing the previous model and allowing the two to coexist in the range.

In a way, it's about revitalizing a product that has worked (and continues to work) very well commercially. You don't develop a completely new product but you update it to stand up to the innovations of other manufacturers - the Suunto 9 presented a few days ago and the replacement of the Polar V800 that should arrive this year-. But in this case it goes beyond simply adding software functions or correct the connectivity problem that some users have had with the original version.

Let's see all the news which, this time, are already confirmed.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and Garmin Fenix 5S Plus, new

Garmin continues with the proposal of two different sizes with the same specifications except for the battery capacity which, as is evident, the smaller the watch the smaller the battery has to be. The aesthetic changes are very slight, where all the new features are inside the watch. As you may know, the difference between both is the size of the watch. The Fenix 5S Plus is 42mm in circumference, while the Fenix 5 Plus is 47mm. This does not change from previous models, but there are important changes both inside the watch and in the software possibilities that these changes allow. This is the complete list:

  • The most significant change and one that will draw the attention of all of you is that now the topographic maps are present in the whole range, not only in the 5X. The included maps will be for the whole Europe, having the 16GB clock for them.
  • Route navigation with full turn indication (turn-by-turn) and adding the Trendline function for creating routes through popular areas (released on the Edge 1030).
  • Playing music directly from the clock via Bluetooth headset. 4GB of music storage is available and, as with the Vivoactive 3 Music and Forerunner 645 Music, can be synchronized from online platforms (currently iHeartRadio and Deezer).
  • Compatibility with Galileo satellites, in addition to the GPS and GLONASS satellites of previous versions
  • Support for wireless payments with Garmin Pay (for banks that support the feature)
  • WiFi in all versions, previously only present in the sapphire glass models.
  • The Fenix 5S Plus enhances the display, increasing the resolution to 240×240 pixels and 1.2" in diameter. Now all three models share the same screen.
  • Response to notifications with predefined messages.

All other basic features remain unchanged:

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Specifications

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  • Diameter: 47mm
  • Weight: 87 grams in the normal version, 76 grams in the titanium version
  • 1.2" screen with 240×240 pixel resolution
  • Sapphire glass in some versions
  • 22mm strap with "QuickFit" quick-change facility
  • Immersion resistance up to 100m
  • Integrated sensors: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, three-axis compass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Compatible with ANT+ and WiFi sensors
  • Full FirstBeat functions
  • Autonomy: up to 12 days in clock mode, up to 18 hours with GPS use and up to 8 hours training with GPS and music playback.

And the Fenix 5S Plus

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Specifications

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Weight: 69 grams
  • 1.2" screen with 240×240 pixel resolution
  • Sapphire glass in some versions
  • 20mm strap with "QuickFit" quick-change facility
  • Immersion resistance up to 100m
  • Integrated sensors: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, three-axis compass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Compatible with ANT+ and WiFi sensors
  • Full FirstBeat functions
  • Autonomy: up to 7 days in clock mode and up to 5 hours training with GPS and music playbackWithout music the autonomy is much greater.

The performance in terms of training possibilities does not change much. The experience of use will be basically the same. But adding the topographic maps (previously only available on the 5X) is a major change, especially for those who navigate routes frequently.

In addition, the Trendline popular route calculation function allows you to explore new routes, but to do so through areas that are more common to other sportspeople, so you can be sure that you are not going to design a route with steps through areas that on a map seem accessible, but are not really possible (rivers, bridges that should be there but are not, etc.).

Here the screen change of the Fenix 5S Plus is important. The difference in size is not very big, but it is in resolution. It would be complicated to show the map details on the screen of the Fenix 5S, so Garmin has had to integrate the screen of the larger clocks, thus reducing the visible clock frame. But both Fenix 5 Plus and Fenix 5X Plus keep the same frame size.

Then there are the smart clock features that were obviously coming too. Garmin Pay is going to be integrated into the entire range, so it will be added to all the models that Garmin launches or renews. The first thing is to implement the hardware, and once it is available, hopefully the banks will find it more interesting as the device base will be larger.

And it remains to be seen how the GLONASS satellites work.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus, new

The Fenix 5X Plus receives an evolution of the Garmin Elevate optical pulse sensor. As you can see in this image there is a redesign, and you can see a new red light that is not present in the other models.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus - Optical Pulse Oximetry Sensor

With this sensor, Garmin has added a new function to the Fenix 5X Plus: a pulse oximeter. With this sensor, Garmin wants to measure the oxygen saturation in the blood. This is not a function aimed at sports performance, but at health.

Called PulseOX, it is intended for use in the mountains and can monitor your blood oxygen as you ascend. Keeping your oxygen saturation in a specific range is important when exercising, especially in high altitude areas. On the Fenix 5X Plus display you can see the last 24 hours log, along with the altitude graph.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus - PulseOX

This is the important change that the new Fenix 5X Plus receives because the topographic maps already had them before, but now those maps also have the popular Trendline routes. And of course the other intelligent functions of the other models also come to the Fenix 5X Plus: music playback, Garmin Pay, etc. These are its specifications:

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Specifications

  • Diameter: 51mm
  • Weight: 96 grams
  • Garmin Elevate Sensor with PulseOx
  • 1.2" screen with 240×240 pixel resolution
  • Sapphire glass
  • 26mm strap with "QuickFit" quick-change facility
  • Immersion resistance up to 100m
  • Integrated sensors: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, three-axis compass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Compatible with ANT+ and WiFi sensors
  • Full FirstBeat functions
  • Autonomy: up to 20 days in clock mode and up to 33 hours of GPS trainingWithout music playback, if used, it will logically decrease quite a bit.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and Garmin Fenix 5X Plus : Availability and price

It's time to get to the painful part, the pricing. It is obvious that these new features were not going to come "for free", and the price is increased if we compare it with their counterparts without plus version.

  • Garmin Fenix 5S Plus: The base model will cost £699 (for comparison, the Fenix 5S costs £549). The version with sapphire crystal will cost £799, while there will be a version with a pink gold bezel at £849.
  • Garmin Fenix 5 PlusPrice scheme: The price scheme is similar to the Fenix 5S Plus. 699 for the base model in silver or black, while the version with sapphire glass will be 799. Additionally there will be a version with sapphire glass, titanium bezel and battery cover and orange strap for 849. And if you want a titanium strap, 1099. Again for comparison, the base model of the Fenix 5 costs 549.
  • Garmin Fenix 5X PlusAs with the "non-Plus" models, the 5X Plus is only offered with sapphire crystal and will cost €849, although there are two other versions with different straps at a higher price. Remember that it is the only model of the three to include the calculation of blood oxygenation.

In terms of availability, the Fenix 5 Plus is already available for purchase at Amazon and the Fenix 5S Plus will be available soon.

There is no more news about the Fenix 5X Plus yet, it may take a few more weeks due to the new sensor with S02 reading.

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

Garmin's proposal as a watch for mountain use is now very solid. The inclusion of maps throughout the range is a good move by Garmin to differentiate its mountain watch, both from models in the rest of the range (Forerunner 935), as well as comparing it to what its great rival in the industry (Suunto) offers.

I think this is the most remarkable thing about the announcement, at least what the 100% target user of this model will be interested in knowing. Yes, many will take advantage of the music playback possibilities (and Garmin Pay when it finally expands more in our country), at least as much as, but I don't think this is something that will determine at all for most users. But it is clear that these are two functions that we will be seeing in all Garmin models and that won't bother. The one who is interested will use them, and the one who won't have them there in case one day he decides to do it.

There are two things I am curious to try: pulse oximetry and the Galileo satellites. The first one is more to see how it works, since I have no knowledge or experience in high mountains, but at least I can see how it works with changes in altimetry. As for the Galileo satellites I want to see how it affects rhythms, distances and tracks; and if, as with GLONASS, it will also have a negative impact on the battery. With three options available, it would perhaps be more interesting if instead of always forcing the use of GPS we could choose which satellites to use, although it is something more medium term since the Galileo network is still not excessively reliable (there are still satellites to be deployed).

These are all things I'd like to be able to cover in the full test, which will come later.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

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

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  1. Hello.
    I'm about to buy, finally the FR-935, my doubt is if they are also giving those connectivity problems that you indicate?
    Ahhh thank you very much for all the information you give us.

    1. No, it only happens in the Fenix 5. The FR935 does not have that problem (it has no metal parts like the Fenix 5)

    1. Well, it's late. I keep asking questions and they keep giving me the runaround, in theory it was in the spring. Something must have delayed them and they don't want to make the same mistake they made with the V800. But it should be here in 2018.

  2. I honestly still do not see a big change from the F3HR, the autonomy is still a detail that as performance increases, decreases the same, perhaps a mode where you can reduce the use of the screen without sacrificing performance on-race would be appreciated, possibly something where the screen turns off the race and only turns on when you turn on the light and if you want to see in the dark you must click twice, I guess it is something simple to do and helps to improve the autonomy, or have the possibility of native screens with more fields, the apps are not so customizable for those who do not know how to program, that if the music is appreciated, it is a good advance, but still missing details that we need and are not so difficult to achieve. The other detail that we have been waiting for a long time is the accuracy of the heart rate monitor on the wrist and the advanced stats offered by the chest band, which obviously does not bring the pulse on the wrist, but that can be working for later versions. Obviously I expected more than the music and the oxygen saturation indicator, I was left with a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

  3. Noya's watch is the replacement for the v800, polar had planned its launch in June and has finally been delayed to September

      1. I go in and make a mistake, but I see a clear screen with three data in the typical Garmin format

  4. Is the pulse measured at the wrist or, with a chest strap? With the faults given by the measurement of the wrist...

    1. As you wish. You have an optical sensor and the possibility of connecting to external ANT+ or Bluetooth sensors.

  5. Will the price of the current Garmin Fénix 5 drop with the release of the new Garmin Fénix 5 Plus?

  6. For gps with a pulse in the wrist, can you disable this option to work with the tape? Thank you

    1. Of course, as soon as you connect an external sensor the wrist sensor is deactivated.

  7. Another question: Have you tried comparing two gps, one with a ribbon and one with a wrist, and see what they mark? I understand that there is quite a difference from one to the other but, in shops it seems as if they want to sell you the bike with the wrist one.

  8. Hello. Well, it must be true, because in the sponsorship section of Polar, Gomez Noya doesn't appear. A pity, now that they were going to take out a more modern watch...

  9. Hi, do you know if they solved the connectivity problem with the Huawei cell phones, I have a p8 and there's no way to sync it with my Phoenix 5

    1. I know that updates have been released and existing issues have been fixed, but I don't know if specifically with the P8 and the Fenix 5 is resolved. Anyway don't forget to remove any battery saving settings that the Garmin Connect application may have.

  10. I wasn't expecting this launch. Does this mean Garmin won't be launching the Fenix 6 in January? You're asking a lot of questions, by the way:

    1.I don't think you mention it, but when will they be on sale in Spain?
    2. The wrist pulse sensor, and only pulse, is still the same as the one used in the fenix 3 or has its accuracy improved?
    3. Do you include the chest strap or do you have to buy it separately?
    I expected that at a price of at least 700 euros and in some models over 1000 euros, include the current top GPS technology, which at this time would be the dual Broadcom chip that has already included the Xiomi mi8, (which by the way the mobile is even much cheaper than these watches), accuracy up to 30 cm this if it would be a great improvement in a sports watch. What will be the first sports watch to incorporate such a chip, is there any rumor about it, maybe the fenix 6 in January?
    5. This is already a question of opinion, or to play to predict the future in the short term (5 years). Do you think that the smart wacht will eat the sports watches, as has happened with cell phones and car gps for example or compact cameras? Because at these prices, when for example an Apple wacht (half price) includes for example a dual gps, increase a little autonomy and create a software to the height eats it with potatoes, and garmin will end up creating only software as an App for Apple watches or android is a very real possibility, do not you think?

    A greeting and as always a 10 for your article

    1. 1- You can now buy at Amazon (reception date Thursday-Friday). I have added the links.
      2- The sensor is different from the Fenix 3, smaller size and lower power consumption. Garmin has also been improving the algorithm, but the changes are not substantial.
      3- It does not include a breast sensor and there are no packs that include it.
      4- The chip is single band. I'm sure they are already testing it in all brands, but if they haven't launched it yet it's because it's not ready to be effective yet (both for location and battery consumption).
      5- Not at all. It's no longer a hardware race, now all manufacturers are becoming software companies. The major manufacturers have many years of experience that newcomers don't have, and it's something you don't get no matter how much money you invest. If Garmin, Suunto, Polar and others play their cards right they will still have products they can sell.

  11. Hello,

    Do you think that the 5s plus could be more precise because it has less weight and moves less? Apart from the battery do you see any reason not to go for the 5s plus instead of the 5? (somewhere I read that the screws of the 5 and 5x make it more resistant than the 5s... :/)

    I guess it wouldn't hurt to wait a few months to see the "run-in" and people's feedback on the different models....

    A salute,

    1. Yes, the lighter the weight the better the accuracy, not that there is a huge difference, but it usually gives better performance.

      I don't think the screws will bring anything but aesthetics.

      As for the doubt, the truth is that if you don't need a longer battery life, now the 5S is more interesting than before. The screen is already the same and the rest of the functions are exactly the same, so the difference between both models is the autonomy and the aesthetics.

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