Valentina Palladino

It might not appear to be it on the floor, however Garmin’s new Fenix 5 Plus health watches are fairly totally different from final yr’s fashions. Sure, they nonetheless have a design that tries to mesh sport and elegance as seamlessly as attainable, however contained in the 5S, 5, and 5X Plus fashions have much-needed new options.

Garmin Pay and music storage are actually commonplace on the high-end smartwatches, making them higher outside companions each while you’re out for a run and while you run out for espresso and overlook your pockets. All three even have onboard mapping that allows you to uncover new coaching routes whereas additionally serving to you navigate unfamiliar areas with out your smartphone. The highest-tier Fenix 5X Plus even comprises a pulse oximeter that can assist you keep away from harmful conditions throughout high-altitude coaching.

All of this comes at a excessive worth—the Fenix 5 Plus collection begins at $699. However should you’re a sports activities fanatic, triathlete, or a Garmin fan, you in all probability might have guessed that. Whereas ridiculously costly for many, Fenix smartwatches have a fame for providing precisely what some sporting folks want to observe their progress and push their coaching to the subsequent stage. The Fenix 5 Plus line is not any exception.


These conversant in Garmin’s Fenix line know the drill by now: we’ve got three main fashions which have totally different case sizes and battery lives and slight variations in function units. I examined out the $699 Fenix 5S Plus as a result of it is the mannequin that match my wrist finest. With a 42mm case, the Fenix 5S Plus would be the most snug of the three for these with small wrists, and whereas it is larger than Garmin’s different high-end watches, it did not crush my wrist as a lot as I anticipated it to. The Fenix 5 Plus and the Fenix 5S Plus have 47mm and 51mm instances, respectively.

The look and structure of the brand new Fenix units do not differ with fashions: all of them have 5 bodily buttons that entry the Exercise menu, activate the display screen’s backlight, and navigate up, down, and again on the display screen. You may discover no touchscreens on these watches, and that is a signature of Garmin’s extra superior wearables. Touchscreens can get wonky in dangerous climate or while you’re notably sweaty, making bodily buttons the popular enter technique for a lot of athletes. Surrounding my mannequin’s 1.2-inch, 240×240-resolution Chroma show is a stainless-steel bezel, and the case itself is made from a fiber-reinforced polymer with a steel rear cowl. Garmin makes sapphire editions of every Fenix 5 Plus mannequin, so you may get your system with both a sapphire crystal or a glass lens.

Admittedly, the brand new Fenix units do not look that a lot totally different from the outdated ones. Nevertheless, I am constantly impressed with Garmin’s skill to streamline the designs of its high-end units, notably these just like the Fenix units which have a plethora of included sensors. All of those new Fenix 5 Plus fashions even have new music space for storing, NFC tech for Garmin Pay, and onboard mapping, so this tiny wrist laptop manages much more knowledge than the earlier Fenix units. Even so, the Fenix 5S Plus I examined felt lighter on my wrist than the previous mannequin and blended in a bit higher with each common and exercise garments.

Different shared options amongst all the Fenix 5 Plus fashions embrace water-resistance as much as 10ATM, 16GB of reminiscence, interchangeable 20mm bands, embedded GPS/GLONASS/Galileo sensors, an optical coronary heart fee monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, and thermometer. The Fenix 5X Plus additionally features a Pulse Ox sensor, and we’ll focus on that expertise briefly within the coming sections.

The Fenix household is understood for having a few of the most superior options in Garmin’s wearable lineup, and these watches additionally last more on a single cost than most trendy smartwatches. The Fenix 5S can final seven days or 4 hours in GPS/music mode; the Fenix 5 Plus lasts 10 days or eight hours in GPS/music mode; and the Fenix 5X Plus lasts as much as 20 days or 13 hours in GPS/music mode. Wearable battery lives have gotten higher over the previous few years, however rivals just like the Apple Watch Collection three and most WearOS units nonetheless cannot match the Fenix 5S Plus. Extra acceptable comparisons come from different fitness-focused units like Fitbit’s Ionic and Garmin’s personal Vivoactive three Music.

Exercise options

Selecting which actions so as to add to your favorites on the Fenix 5S Plus’ Exercise web page could also be tough because the watch tracks so many workout routines. Upon first establishing the system, you’ll be able to select from a few of the hottest workout routines like operating, treadmill, biking, mountaineering, and extra. However there’s a complete checklist of extra exercises to select from as effectively, with sports activities like stand-up paddle-boarding, snowboarding, path operating, climbing, pilates, power coaching, and others. You’ll be able to add as many favourite actions to your system as you want; that approach, you’ll be able to simply choose them from the Exercise menu at any time.

Having an enormous library of trackable actions is nice, however even higher are the quite a few metrics that the Fenix 5S Plus can observe. The Fenix line can monitor almost something you’d need—from the fundamentals like energy, distance, tempo, and cadence, to extra superior metrics like coronary heart fee zones, stride size, vertical oscillation, restoration time, and extra. A few of these metrics require extra sensors like foot pods, however no less than the Fenix 5S Plus can connect with just about something. Garmin-made sensors are inspired, however the system is able to connecting to most Bluetooth or ANT+ equipment.

Garmin additionally provides you loads of methods to customise which knowledge factors you’ll be able to see throughout a exercise. You are not restricted to only three or 4 knowledge screens, and you’ll have as much as 4 knowledge factors on every display screen. Utilizing the up and down buttons on the facet of the case, you’ll be able to scroll by way of all your custom-made screens throughout a exercise. I am usually high-quality with simply three or 4 knowledge factors (for instance: present time, distance, tempo, and coronary heart fee for operating), however I loved including extra screens and particulars to every of my favourite actions. It might be simple for somebody like myself (an individual who’s lively six out of seven weekdays however sticks to fundamental actions like operating, biking, and power coaching) to dive deeper into their health routine merely due to all the brand new metrics they’ll simply observe whereas understanding.

Within the health club, the Fenix 5S Plus acts very similar to the Vivoactive three Music—it counts reps and tries to inform which workout routines you are doing with its train recognition function. My expertise with it did not differ a lot from my expertise with the Vivoactive three: rep counting is not at all times correct, however it usually is, and computerized train recognition nonetheless wants work.

As a result of superior nature of the Fenix 5 Plus collection, I would not advocate them to athletes who largely follow the health club or indoor actions. A lot of the options that make Garmin’s expertise with that sort of coaching good will be discovered on extra reasonably priced units, so there is no motive to bask in a Fenix. The road is geared towards triathletes and those that spend quite a lot of time outdoor, and it excels far past the competitors in these areas.

Coronary heart fee monitor and GPS

The Fenix 5S Plus comprises Garmin’s Elevate coronary heart fee monitoring expertise that is additionally present in all the firm’s most up-to-date wearables. In comparison with the Polar H10 chest strap, the Fenix 5S Plus’ monitor took a number of seconds longer to succeed in coronary heart charges with the best BPMs, however it hit these numbers ultimately.

The watch was additionally susceptible to recording falling BPMs sooner than the chest strap—for instance, when transitioning from a interval of high-intensity coaching to a interval of medium-intensity, the watch recorded decrease BPMs extra rapidly than the chest strap. Nevertheless, each units leveled out inside a minute or two, measuring my coronary heart fee on the similar BPMs or inside 5 BPMs of one another. The Fenix watches sport one in every of my favourite Garmin options—the info display screen that shows your coronary heart fee in actual time in large numbers in the midst of the display screen, surrounded by a half-moon coronary heart fee zone indicator that additionally modifications in actual time as BPMs improve and reduce.

The GPS chips within the Fenix 5S Plus had been characteristically correct and fast, besides. You’ll be able to start recording an exercise earlier than the GPS grabs your location, however it takes mere seconds for it to take action. Along with viewing the route map in Garmin Join after syncing, you’ll be able to view it on the watch itself by choosing the recorded exercise and selecting the Map choice from its settings.



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