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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All 1
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Introduction

This Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series review aims in providing a comprehensive analysis of all the major features and functionalities.


Garmin introduces three new models in its line up, 5 Plus, 5S Plus, and 5X Plus. All models offer the same features.


The Fenix 5 Plus is Garmin’s elite all-rounder sports watch. Even the most demanding elite athlete must be fully satisfied with this model.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All 2

Features

  • Battery Performance: up to 12 days in 8 hours and style at GPS mode with Built-in navigation sensors include three-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter as well as multi-satellite (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) network capability to monitor in more challenging environments than GPS alone.
  • Garmin Pay™ contactless payment alternative lets you make convenient payments with your watch.
  • Premium multisport GPS smartwatch with wrist heart rate technology and color TOPO maps comprising Trendline™ popularity routing that will assist you to find and stick to the top avenues.
  • Music (depending on preferences). Sync with audio streaming services like Spotify® to easily store and play your favorite songs right from your watch.

For athletes and outdoor adventurers, the Fenix 5 Plus Series watches are the high-performance way to beat yesterday and deliver your music and maps along. These rugged, premium-crafted watches feature routable color mapping, wrist-based heart rate, storage for up to 500 songs and our Garmin Pay contactless payment solution.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All 3

Design

The display is pretty decent, considering the fitness focus of the watch. It has a 240 x 240 resolution that is sharp enough, and colors are fine and max brightness levels are high enough for it to remain legible in sunlight although nowhere near as vibrant as watch screens. In every other aspect, Fenix 5 Plus is superb.


Build quality is excellent, and to date, the system stays even though putting it through some fairly brutal workouts. Under the hood, Garmin has taken advantage of every square millimeter, loading the Fenix 5 Plus of.


Fenix 5 Plus is very durable. However, it’s quite bulky and if fashion is your main concern, this isn't the tracker for you. It comes with a built-in pulse ox acclimation feature. In addition, it has a topographic mapping functionality. Hands down, Fenix 5 Plus is an exceptional tracker.

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Management System

Garmin's management system has been a key factor for most buyers. The main menu is controlled using the buttons, which let you scroll through installed programs and features. Based on the 10-ATM rating it can survive easily every kind of water sports.


The Start menu brings up sport monitoring options. Each side is customizable, so you can set sports and the apps to track. Doing so with only the buttons can be time-consuming, and the setup is basic. This implies serious athletes will have to spend time customizing the UI. Around the sides, you'll find the same button setup. On the left are up and down controls; on the back, start/stop and right buttons.


Overall, the Fenix 5X Plus looks pretty identical to other Forerunner GPS trackers. It has a round watch face, which is coated in and Sapphire glass and comes with a choice of leather, metal and silicon straps and a ceramic-metal bezel. These include thermometer altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and a heart rate monitor.


However, what makes it interesting is the addition of together with the more standard GPS and GLONASS Galileo support. It's just in early access right now, but on paper, it is nippier and more accurate than regular GPS.


For music lovers, the watch has an insane 16GB of internal storage. This lets you manually load the watch with local map files or audio. The ability without having to bring a phone to listen during a workout to music is as amazing as ever.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All 5

Activity features - Tracking capabilities and performance

Fenix 5X Plus includes a range of popular exercises such as running, treadmill, biking, hiking, and much more upon setting up the device. But there is a whole collection of activities to choose from too, with climbing, skiing, trail running, sports like pilates, strength training, and others. As you like you can add as favorite tasks you can choose them from the Task menu.


Having a library of trackable activities is great, but even better are the metrics that the Fenix 5X Plus may monitor. The Fenix line can monitor from the basics like cadence, and distance, calories, speed, to metrics like stride length, vertical oscillation, heart rate zones, recovery period, and much more.


It can connect to anything using ANT + accessories or Bluetooth. Garmin provides a lot of ways to you to customize which data points you can see through a workout.


You can scroll through your displays. This means it can be easy for someone like myself (a person who is busy six from seven weekdays but sticks to basic activities like jogging, cycling, and strength training) to dive deeper into their exercise routine simply due to all the new metrics they can easily track while exercising.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All 6

GPS Accuracy – Navigation

Navigation on the Fenix 5 Plus is significantly better than its rivals due to the pre-loaded color topographic maps, which display a topographic data layer, nearby roads, local trails, and popular points of interests. Still, the Fenix's 1.2-inch screen (240 × 240) is not big enough to substitute a handheld GPS or even your smartphone.


The Fenix 5 Plus can monitor almost anything. Ranging from snow-based and water sports through to golf, hiking, and indoor aerobic sessions. Whether you're into kayaking, swim-run, triathlons or mountain biking, it's got your back. The beauty of the watch is its fully customizable multi-sport capabilities.


For runners, that means run time, distance and pace, but also being able to scroll through a handful of other relevant screens (lap time/pace display, heartbeat screen, map and time). Due to its combination of location tracking services -- GLONASS, GPS, and Galileo - the Fenix 5 Plus is dependable when it comes to outside sessions, either walking or running.


As the watch has the information built-in, you can bring up an onscreen map you want, wherever you are. It could still be useful if you're lost, while the map interface is a bit slow to animate when leaning in/out — ideal for trail runners.

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Heart Rate Accuracy

Heart rate monitor technology in wearables has not significantly improved the last years. It's important to remember that the optical heart rate has its limitations. Although it's great for getting an idea of how hard you worked through low to medium intensity sessions, it is not accurate during high-intensity workouts. The ANT+ chest strap is preferable as it’s more accurate.


The Fenix 5 Plus comes with built-in Elevate heart rate monitoring technology that is also found in most of Garmin’s wearables. Heart rate monitor in Fenix 5 Plus is good enough but not exceptional.

Battery Life

Battery life is stellar, even by fitness tracker criteria. Garmin estimates the Fenix 5 Plus as offering 12 times' battery life for a smartwatch, 18 hours with GPS, eight hours with GPS and music. Generally, for regular use, you can get a full week before a charge. But if you are planning to have this as your trusty hiking companion, be warned that battery performance has been compromised a bit.

Pros

  • Durability
  • GPS accuracy
  • Built in color topographic maps
  • Onboard music
  • Supports a wide range of activities
  • Long battery life for 5X Plus model

Cons

  • Limited Battery Life for 5S Plus model
  • 5X Plus is bulky

Conclusion

  • This watch is hands down one of the best all-rounder currently on the market, packed with all the features any serious athlete could imagine. Tracks almost every sport and activity you could possibly need and does it reliably and consistently.
  • The battery life can last over a week on a single charge.
  • The watch has been upgraded with onboard maps, offering some of the most accurate location and distance tracking services. You can even navigate without your phone.
  • Garmin Pay functionality is built-in, allowing to turn your watch into a contactless card.
  • Onboard music functionality, offers you the option to load your favorite songs.
  • Fenix 5X Plus is crafted with a pulse oximetry sensor that will measure blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels. Hikers and climbers will highly appreciate this functionality.
  • The only downside is the high price.

For serious athletes, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is a must buy!!


Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Review – An Elite Performer to Rule them All 8

This Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series review aims in providing a comprehensive analysis of all the major features and functionalities. Fenix 5 Plus is an all-rounder sports watch.

Editor's Rating:
4.6

2 Comments

  1. Great review for a great watch from an amateur runner. Very detailed and specific, will consider. Thanks

    • Hi Hadjikos and thank you for your comment.
      It is true that this is a serious multi-sport watch, top of its class for fitness tracking and features for serious athletes.

      Regards,
      Alexis

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