Garmin is a notable manufacturer, producing sports and fitness equipment, marine and aviation gadgets, cameras and so forth. However, this article cares only about the Garmin Fenix 5, one of the Garmin’s best-made watches. The article will explain, in detail, the Garmin Fenix 5 inner and outer specifications, from software to design, trying to portray the watch in the most objective way possible.

You will understand the Garmin Fenix 5 functionality, technical and technological capabilities, and whether or not this watch will suit your needs and requirements. Hopefully, this article will give you a better idea of what the Fenix 5 watch really is.

On Design

When it comes to Garmin’s Fenix 5, you have to understand that we are talking about series of watches, not one particular watch: you have the Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5x, etc. This article will only talk about the Fenix 5.

Garmin Fenix 5 ReviewFenix 5 mixes classical wrist watch looks with modern design, offering the consumers customizable QuickFit watch bands. These bands come in various colors and are made of different material. You can choose between leather, silicone, and metal.

Naturally, these customizable QuickFit bands bring a dose of functionality with it. You might find your favorite material for running is leather, but you may swim smoothly with silicone bands. In any case, it is nice to have these options.

The watch is reasonably lightweight. The lens is made of chemically enhanced glass, and case fiber strengthened polymer, stainless steel protecting the rear side of the watch. It weighs roughly 85 grams (3 oz). The display is 1.2 inches in diameter, utilizing memory-in-pixel technology (MIP), allowing you to see even under bright light, but still not draining the battery. Garmin Chroma Display helps with this too, but more on that in the functionality section.

Fenix 5 is the middle ground, a regular size watch, the Fenix 5s being smaller and lighter, and Fenix 5x being a bit larger and heavier. Note that the watch was designed for sports and other outdoor purposes; almost every part is strengthened or enhanced in one way or the other, making Fenix 5 highly durable.

GPS And Other Sensors

Fenix 5 locating, calculating and measuring sensors are efficient, precise and reliable. The GPS works good, featuring breadcrumb tracking, allowing you to trace your steps back to the start. This is good news for explorers and adventurers, for you will never get lost with this watch.

GPS is paired with Garmin’s GLONASS locating technology. GLONASS helps you know your position in places outside of GPS reach. Note that both these feature will burden the battery, but not by much. Still, it is something you should keep in mind.

Apart from satellite locating, the watch also features wrist HR (heart rate) sensors. The sensor will accurately calculate your heart rate and showcase it on display. Watch also features barometer, compass, and other measurements tools.

Some of these sensors work in and of themselves, others when paired with other functions. For instance, the role of the compass is self-explanatory; it will tell you the sides of the world. One the other hand accelerometer sensors will measure your acceleration in water, on the bike, on foot, etc. The good news is that Fenix 5 has a lot of reliable and precise sensors, thus allowing you to utilize them with multiple features and applications.

It is also worth mentioning that watch will calculate burned calories, stress levels (the intensity level of your exercises and other activities) and other factors that affect your performance.

Monitoring Capabilities

Both professional and amateur athletes will enjoy numerous monitoring capabilities this watch has to offer, from performance to technique.

Garvin uses its Training status tool to analyze both daily and long-term training data and progress. The watch will advise you on anything from duration to intensity of your training, which is convenient and helpful. By taking numerous parameters (such as V02 max oscillations, exercise duration, speed, intensity, etc.), the watch will provide you objective feedback.

Watch also features anaerobic exercise parameters, stores them, analyzes and provides you with feedback. The watch will advise you to rest, relax, push farther of stronger, depending on your results and goals.

Apart from objective parameters, Fenix 5 also measures and analyzes your technique. It will measure these six parameters:

  • Cadence: In essence, cadence refers to the number of steps per minute, taking both feet into account. Rhythm can tell you a lot about your form if you read it correctly, especially when paired with other metrics dynamics.
  • Stride Length: stride length will calculate the distance each leg covers. Depending on morphology, muscle density, and other physiological factors, one leg may cover more range than the other. Athletes will often try and strengthen the weaker leg to balance things out.
  • Vertical Oscillation: it measures distance, but “bounce” distance, the jump levels. For instance, lower vertical oscillation is commonly favorable in long-distance races because your body conserves energy that way. However, this is all very specific, and you are advised to utilize this feature and align it with your capabilities and physical attributes.
  • Vertical Ratio: vertical ratio is a more the number of bounces in your stride with the stride length. In essence, the vertical rate will tell you how efficiently you push yourself forward with each pace.
  • Ground Contact: ground contact measures the amount of time each of your legs spends on the ground, usually measured in milliseconds. Spending less time on the ground and avoiding overstriding can boost your performance.
  • Ground Contact Time Balance: this feature will help you find the perfect balance between your left and right feet, and the amount of time they spend on the ground. You can also share your data with other members of Garmin community via Garmin Connect. That way you can find imbalances and work to improve them.

Smart Features And Sports Profiles

Fenix 5 is Garmin’s multisport watch, meaning it can monitor specific features of particular sports. For example, while swimming, the watch will track and calculate the number of strokes, acceleration, speed, etc. Be aware that you have particular app for each sport and sport’s activity (swimming, running, golfing, snowboarding) and that the app will measure sport-related results.

You can download these profiles and others using Garmin Connect feature. Also, Fenix 5 is smart. It allows you to connect it to a compatible device, thus granting you the ability to receive alerts and messages on your watch.

By using the Garmin Connect Mobile platform, you will be able to download apps, as well as share your data and stats with other members of the Garmin community. Furthermore, you can use the LiveTrack feature to let your friends and family follow your progress in real-time.

Not all the downloadable apps are sports related. For instance, you can use it with Uber, Accuweather or other utility applications.

Customizability And Battery Strenght

Watch is customizable in two ways, physical and digital. For starters, you can change the watch bands, their colors, and material. Also, you can connect via Connect IQ Store.

Connect IQ Store contains a large collection of skins, applications, widgets and so forth, allowing you to customize your watch according to your needs and preferences. When deciding on this things, just think about your lifestyle and incorporate it into your watch. Do you use Uber? Well, then connect it with Uber app and notifications about your Uber ride will arrive on your watch.

Connect IQ Store also provides you with a large selection of skins and themes, each uniquely designed. Moreover, you can use the Garmin Face It application to transfer your personal photos and portray on your Fenix 5 watch.

When it comes to battery duration, it is hard to give an exact number. Usually, the battery can last up to two weeks, but only if the GPS mode is turned off. With GPS mode, the battery will last up to 24 hours, which is more than enough to finish even the most prolonged races (like Ironman).

Note that you can use the Garmin’s UltraTrac mode to prolong the battery duration up to 60 hours. Much like your smartphone, this smartwatch spends battery on computing powers, running apps, and functions, as well as on brightness. Keep those things in mind if you want to prolong battery life. Though, two weeks is a lot, as well as 24 hours with GPS on.

Pros And Cons

Despite Garmin’s best efforts to make the perfect product, perfection is impossible, especially in the world of smartwatches. Before you make your decision, try to think of simple pros and cons terms. To make things more straightforward and easy to understand, here is the list of the Fenix 5 pros and cons:


  • beautifully designed, lightweight
  • durable, stainless steel and reinforced glass screen
  • precise Elevate HR monitor (wrist sensors)
  • excellent measurement parameters
  • 100 m water resistant
  • long lasting battery
  • highly customizable (QuickFit bands and custom applications available at Connect IQ Store


  • software might stutter if overloaded with applications
  • not the biggest screen resolution
  • fairly expensive

Secondary Information And Conclusion

Though the article touched the most important features of the watch, there is still a lot of small details to be said regarding the watch. Furthermore, you didn’t receive a general overview of the watch.

Firstly, know that you there are other Garmin devices, gadgets and pieces of equipment you can pair with the Fenix 5. For instance, you can additionally reinforce the display with a screen protector, or with HRM-Tri heart rate monitor (designed specifically for triathletes).

Secondly, though this is a smartwatch, it is still a watch, beautifully designed and highly customizable. Take full advantage of all functions and features that come with this watch (Connect IQ, Garmin Connect, QuickFit bands, etc.) Garmin went remarkably far with the “wear your personality on your wrist” philosophy, ensuring that you can customize the watch inside out.

Fenix 5 is unique watch for two reasons. Firstly, it is a perfect mixture of quality hardware and software, granting your both stability and technological efficiency. It is reliable, durable and highly functional. Secondly, it suits everyone’s needs because everyone can personalize the watch, choose watch bands, skins, applications, sports profiles, and even merge the watch with a compatible smartphone to transfer photos and use them as watch’s theme.

Before you make your decision, make sure you understand Fenix 5 capabilities and limitations: we hope this article helped you with that.