Garmin Fenix 5X evaluation | TechRadar

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Replace: Since this evaluation was printed Garmin has launched a brand new vary of watches known as the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Fenix 5S Plus and, the follow-up to this watch, the Fenix 5X Plus.

Garmin has been working for a very long time to excellent the GPS sports activities watch and within the Fenix vary it took a giant step in the direction of doing precisely that.

Now the Fenix 5X is right here to convey that vary to its pinnacle with onboard mapping, multi-sport monitoring, smartphone notifications and rather more. Has Garmin created that excellent watch it’s been working in the direction of all these years?

Garmin has separated the Fenix 5 vary into the Fenix 5S ($599 / £499 / AU$799) because the lighter and smaller mannequin, the Fenix 5 as the center floor ($599 / £499 / AU$799) and the Fenix 5X because the top-end mannequin. 

For people who wish to use the watch as a each day wearer with exercise monitoring, the 5S is for them.

For people who need somewhat longer battery life, the Fenix 5 works. Then for the adventurer that desires to be ready for something there may be the map-toting 5X.

Right here we evaluation the Fenix 5X, however keep in mind if you happen to see us moaning about its dimension or worth (which is excessive at $699.99 / £629.99 / AU$949) these different two and choices are there to unravel the difficulty – simply at the price of sacrificing maps.


  • Trendy however chunky
  • Metallic strap generally is a trouble to suit

The Garmin Fenix 5X is a really engaging wrist adornment, that’s for certain. The uncovered face screws, steel bezel and stable metallic buttons look beautiful. The watch additionally feels premium-level weighty on the wrist – particularly if you happen to go for the pricier steel strap.

That 51mm metallic strap is a matter although because it requires you to personal the correct device or to go to a watch store to have it adjusted to suit you. A trouble however one thing you solely want do as soon as (until the watch is simply too profitable in serving to you shed weight). 

In any other case simply go for the silicone strap, as that enables for dimension variance simply and might all the time be swapped with a fast launch mechanism.

Whichever mannequin you go for, the Fenix 5X comes with a slate gray end and a sapphire display, the latter of which ought to imply a well-protected watch that received’t get simply scratched or broken.

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Specs, efficiency and monitoring

  • A great deal of sensors and monitoring instruments
  • Performs properly, however heavy when working

Garmin is all the time updating its software program and due to its personal app retailer there are fixed new software program choices accessible to make the watch do extra. Onboard sensors embody – deep breath – GPS, GLONASS, optical coronary heart fee (HR), barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer and thermometer. All that provides as much as plenty of information to energy all kinds of apps.

You get your fundamentals like working, biking and swim monitoring, but in addition {golfing}, arise paddle boarding, yoga and extra. In actual world use we discovered the arise paddle boarding correct for distance however stroke depend was manner off, jut to focus on a slight flaw within the combine.

This can be a symptom that impacts many Garmin watches within the pool as properly, with stroke counts and lengths usually not precisely recorded, though general exercises are fairly properly measured.

The place the Garmin Fenix 5X carried out properly  was for out of doors adventuring, like mountain climbing and hill climbing.

Right here the full-color maps, auto climb information, storm alerts and factors of curiosity, plus again to begin navigation all labored properly, though it wasn’t as nice for working.

This watch is like carrying a weight in your arm when out on a run, particularly if you happen to go for the 196g metal strap model – if you happen to’re mild we’d nearly think about you might find yourself working in circles from the burden on one arm.

Okay, realistically we’re being dramatic, however this weight does make the watch much less ready as a working system – however you then’re most likely shopping for it for out of doors adventures anyway. 

In equity it’s a succesful run tracker, with particulars like vertical oscillation, floor contact time, cadence and even lactate threshold all measured out.

Each day step monitoring is correct, and it additionally takes a stab at your energy, however the watch itself can get annoying at occasions if in case you have sleeves and wish to tuck it away. 

This foremost manner to consider the Fenix 5X is: that is undoubtedly designed as a vogue assertion the place being large is vital, so if you happen to like that you then’ll love this system.

Compatibility, app and battery life

  • Helpful however cluttered app
  • Very long-lasting battery

The Garmin Join app allows you to try all of your train information instantly on a related cellphone or in additional element on a pc. 

The app, which is offered on each Android and iOS, is simple to make use of and navigate and provides in-depth charts you possibly can edit to see what you want, like coronary heart fee overlaid on hill peak for instance.

However for the reason that Garmin Join app is constructed to cowl all the corporate’s varied wearables, you would possibly discover it somewhat cluttered. It’s doable to personalize the structure however it takes effort and time.

If that every one proves an excessive amount of for you then you possibly can all the time export the GPX file to be used in different platforms like MapMyRun or MyFitnessPal, if you happen to’re already dedicated to utilizing these.

For cyclists, Strava compatibility is in-built with options like beacon and stay segments proper there on the watch as you practice. You’ll be able to then simply have these uploaded, because the watch auto uploads information over Wi-Fi once you get in.

However taking a look at your wrist whereas on a trip is awkward, regardless of the large, clear display. We discovered strapping the watch to the body labored, however might require padding to remain going through you in case your bar tape is skinny, and also you additionally lose coronary heart fee if you happen to don’t have a HR strap.

Battery life on the Fenix 5X is likely one of the better of any wearable on the market, particularly one with this a lot information being collected. The official numbers say you stand up to 20 hours of use in full GPS mode and as much as 35 in UltraTrac mode, which pings the GPS much less often.

This appeared correct in our expertise – actually we might have even received longer out of it than listed, suggesting Garmin is being frugal with its estimates.

As for basic each day use, Garmin says the Fenix 5X will go for 12 days. Utilizing the smartphone connection for notifications, monitoring each day exercise and coaching a number of occasions per week for a minimum of an hour we discovered the watch didn’t want a cost for practically two weeks, making this 12 days declare fairly correct.


This is likely one of the greatest GPS sports activities watches accessible proper now. It’s rugged, properly related, covers a number of sports activities, contains coloration maps and has good battery life.

Plus you should utilize this as a each day exercise tracker with out fear of injury due to that sapphire display and water resistance score to 100 meters. You’ll look good too due to that chunky metallic construct.

Who’s this for?

When you’re a fan of the outside then that is the map, tracker, storm alerter and notification giver for you. If the dimensions and worth don’t scare you off then it is a tremendous succesful working, biking and swimming tracker too – plus some other sport you need it for.

The one actual draw back, as you’ll have seen us point out, is dimension. It’s too large for some – however then there may be all the time the choice to go for the Fenix 5 or Fenix 5S if you happen to can stay with out the maps.

Must you purchase it?

If in case you have that a lot money spare and need a GPS and exercise tracker that does all of it, that is definitely worth the cash. Because it has so many sensors and fixed software program replace assist you’ll be capable of fortunately stay with this for a few years to come back.

When you don’t want these maps although you would possibly wish to contemplate a Garmin Forerunner 935, which is much smaller, extra reasonably priced and tracks tons and many sports activities capably.

First reviewed: October 2017

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