Garmin Fenix 5 vs 5 Plus: Which Garmin Sports Watch Should You Go With?

By | May 3, 2019

Last Updated on

Staying in tune with yourself and your surroundings while exploring nature is critical if you plan to remain safe while exploring and elevate your overall experience. Before the creation of smart devices and wearable technology, outdoor exploration enthusiasts had to rely on arcane tools like compasses in order to keep themselves safe and maintain the right direction while traversing the great outdoors. Thanks to advancement in technology and smart devices like smartwatches and smartphones, outdoor enthusiasts now have the ability to easily manage, track, and plan your outdoor hiking expedition or any other outdoor activity. There are a lot of smart wearable devices on the market however not all of them offer the same feature set and capabilities when compared to others. Depending on your specific interest, there are smartwatches that are designed to help you monitor your bodily vitals, get accurate GPS ordinances, stream music, integrate social media into your active lifestyle, and a lot more.

If you have a specific hobby that you enjoying participating in, you can purchase a smartwatch that will offer the exact benefits you need and want. A high-quality wearable smartwatch can help you achieve maximum performance and maintain pristine health all with the simplicity of touchscreen use and convenience. There are a lot of smartwatch manufacturers that produce wearable wrist technology in various categories and intended use purposes. Most of the wearable smart technology available for purchase using very premium technological components that are professional grade so you can be confident in the information that you’re receiving.

There is no limit to the amount of personalization and functionality that you can achieve with a smart wearable device. If you’ve been frustrated with your current hiking adventures due to a lack of connectivity and safety options, a wearable smartwatch may be the perfect solution for your needs. With a wearable smartwatch, you have the ability to ensure your safety and overall health while out in the wild. Before purchasing a smart wearable watch, you need to make sure that the smart wristwatch you purchase comes with all of the must-have features that you need and want most.
garmin

Some of the key features that you should always look for in a premium warble smart watch consists of things like blood pressure monitoring, heart rate monitor, GPS tracking, and wireless communication capabilities. While many of these features come standard with virtually every wearable smartwatch currently in circulation, not all of them do which is why it’s important to look at the features that come with your desired smartwatch option.

In this guide, we’re going to make the decision on which smartwatch to buy much easier for you by comparing two of the main options available. The Garmin Fenix 5 and Fenix 5 Plus offer immense versatility and connectivity options for those who take outdoor exploration very seriously. Both the Garmin Fenix 5 and the Fenix 5 Plus come with advanced functionality options including GPS satellite capabilities, health monitoring, and wireless communications capabilities.

Although both of these watches are manufactured by the same company, they are designed to offer vastly different experiences to those that wear them. If you’re someone who is more interested in the feature capabilities of a smartwatch without all of the extra bells and whistles, the regular Garmin Fenix 5may be the perfect option for you. if you’re someone that is interested in a smart wearable watch that comes with a full set of connectivity, health, and monitoring features, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus may be the best option for you. Let’s take a quick look at both devices to compare and see what advantages and disadvantages they both offer.

The Main Differences Between Garmin Fenix 5 and Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 

garmin

Garmin Fenix 5

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

  • Wrist-based Heart Rate Monitor
  • Dual GPS System
  • Biomechanical Measurements
  • Sport Activity Profiles
  • Trendline Popularity Routing TOPO
  • Garmin Pay
  • Running Dynamics
  • Music Streaming

Differences Between Garmin Fenix 5 & Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Music Streaming

TheGarmin Fenix 5 lacks the music streaming capabilities that the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus has. The Garmin 5 Plus allows you store music directly on your smartwatch in addition to the ability to play music wirelessly through popular platforms like Spotify.

Metric Tracking

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with more advanced metrics and analytical data when compared to the Garmin Fenix 5. The Garmin Fenix 5 provides basic information such as how long you ran or performed a particular exercise. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with advanced performance monitoring that can-do things like alert you when you’re overtraining or peaking at your maximum performance level.

Payment Options

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with the Garmin Pay app which makes it easy for you to easily send and receive payments from a wide range of vendors. The standard Garmin Fenix 5 does not come with any payment capabilities.

Garmin: About the Company

Garmin products

Garmin was founded in 1989 by expert businessmen and technology experts Min Kao and Gary Burrell. The company was originally named ProNav during its beginning stages and later changed to Garmin which is a hybrid of the owner’s Gary and Min first names. Interestingly enough, in 1991 Garmin acquired its first customer which was the U.S. Army this would prove to be a vital acquisition for the fresh technology company. The U.S. Army had a large interest in the Garmin company primarily related to their first product which was released in 1989 known as ProNav GPS.

The U.S. Army had an interest in the Garmin company because the company was able to demonstrate one of the earliest produced functional GPS systems which would help the U.S. Army conduct their various missions and objectives across a wide variety of terrains and locations. By 1995, Garmin sales numbers reached a whopping $105 million propelling the company into an elite class for GPS manufacturers.

By 2000, Garmin was producing more than 50 different models of GPS equipment and navigation systems making them a pioneer on the market sector. In August of 2000, Garmin held 35 U.S. patents for GPS technology and equipment. Today, Garmin keeps expanding their reach further solidifying them as one of the leading GPS manufacturers on the market.

Garmin is probably one of the most easily recognizable GPS and navigation accessory companies out there. They were one of the original manufacturers to produce commercially available GPS tracking car accessories in the early 2000s when the technology was fairly new. As time has progressed, Garmin has shown no signs of slowing down. Today, Garmin produces a wide array of high-quality accessories for outdoor recreation, hunting, sports, marine, aviation, and more.

Garmin has established a solid reputation for providing quality products that consumers can rely on time and time again. The Garmin Fenix 5 is the latest attempt from the company to establish themselves as a leader in an ever-evolving market. More people than ever now days are starting to take up adventure hiking and trekking as a hobby which calls for more access to reliable accessories that can help experts and beginners alike. The Garmin Fenix 5 does an incredible job at completing both of the previously mentioned tasks and so much more.

Garmin Fenix 5 Review

The Garmin Fenix 5 is a smart GPS watch that gives hikers and other outdoor explorers the ability to maintain steady positioning while also monitoring their health. The Garmin Fenix 5 features dual-GPS capabilities running both a GPS and GLONASS satellite receiver so that you have even more backing when exploring new and unpredictable terrains. The Garmin Fenix 5 features 3 separate modes which directly affect the battery life of the device, the three modes are UltraTrac mode, Smartwatch mode, and GPS/HR mode. UltraTrac mode provides the longest battery life bosting 60 hours of use time at the expense of heart rate monitoring functionality.

GPS/HR mode gives you 24-hour battery life with all of the watch functions enabled, Smartwatch mode gives you up to 2 weeks of battery life. These three modes give the Garmin Fenix 5 flexibility and customization options in terms of power management that you don’t often find with smart devices in general. The Garmin Fenix 5 has three case sizes that you can order which are 42MM, 47MM, and 51MM. These three sizes allow anyone interested in purchasing and using the Garmin Fenix 5 to get the perfect fit regardless of their wrist size and width.

The Garmin Fenix 5 comes in an array of color choices and bundle options which make it easy to get the right set of equipment you need at discounted prices. The Garmin Fenix 5 comes in two distinctive build types, one of the options is a Garmin Fenix 5 made from chemically strengthened glass and the other is a Fenix 5 made using sapphire crystal. Both of these build materials provide a very durable and long-lasting shell to protect the watch from accidental damage.

The bezel on the Garmin Fenix 5 is made using stainless steel which adds another layer of strength and protection while giving the watch a unique and premium look. The Garmin Fenix 5 can be fitted with two types of straps, either silicone or steel depending on how you react to certain materials and your desired level of comfort. The Garmin Fenix 5 comes with a sunlight-visible trans-reflective memory in-pixel display that provides a crystal-clear picture even in direct sunlight.

The following section is going to list what comes inside of the box when you purchase the Garmin Fenix 5.

Inside the Box

  • Standard (Watch Only)- Fenix 5 watch, charging cable, and documentation.
  • Performer Bundle- Fenix 5 watch, HRM-Tri heart rate monitor, documentation, and charging cable.

While the watch itself does not monitor heart rate, if you purchase the performance bundle, you’ll receive an easy-to-wear heart rate monitor band which makes it easy to check on your health levels while exploring.

In-Depth Feature Review

The Garmin 5 Fenix is packed with tons of features and has compatibility with a lot of related Garmin products to further maximize your hiking or outdoor adventure activities.

The Garmin Fenix 5 has the following built-in sensors and features:

  • Barometric Altimeter
  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • Galileo
  • Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Thermometer
  • GPS Time Sync
  • Alarm Clock
  • Timer
  • Stopwatch
  • Sunrise/sunset Clock
  • Automatic Daylight-Saving Time Adjustment
  • Bluetooth Smart
  • Wi-Fi (sapphire edition only)
  • ANT+
  • Calendar
  • Weather
  • Find My Phone
  • Find My Watch
  • VIRB Camera Remote
  • iPhone & Android Compatibility
  • Garmin Connect Mobile Functionality
  • Smart Notifications
  • LiveTrack (safety and tracking feature)
  • Group LiveTrack (tracking and safety feature)
  • And more

The Garmin Fenix 5 can be adjusted to monitor activity for specific sports and hobbies. For example, when inactivity tracking mode you can monitor the amounts of calories you’ve burned, floors climbed, distance traveled fitness age and more. In Gym mode, the Garmin Fenix 5 can give you details about how many reps you’ve completed and how much strength is being applied while you exercise.

The Garmin 5 Fenix can act as a training companion as well giving you customizable fitness profiles and detailed information about interval training, aerobic exercise, multisport tracking and more. The heart rate monitoring feature that comes with the Garmin Fenix 5 is capable of reading HR calorie levels, giving you alerts when your heart rate is out of whack, and stress tests which will allow you to gauge how much pressure is being applied to your hear during certain activities so you can make adjustments to your training routine If needed. The Garmin Fenix 5 also has a running mode which allows you to track the amount of time you’ve come in contact with the ground, the dynamics being used while you run, GPS-based pace, distance and time tracking in addition to a race predictor.

The Garmin Fenix 5 also has several other activity modes such as golfing, outdoor recreation, swimming, and cycling. All of these modes provide customizes tracking for the specific activity you’re engaged in at the moment to provide an inside look at really detailed analytics. The integrated activity profiles make it easy make it extremely easy for anyone to track any sport they’re involved with, the smart notifications add an active alert system to the watch that is very useful for adventurers or sports enthusiasts who want to stay connected with what’s happening with their body.

Garmin Fenix 5: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built-in Dual GPS systems with a 3-axis compass that uses a gyroscope and barometric altimeter to accurately keep track of your location at all times.
  • Smart notifications and connectivity that automatically uploads information to Garmin Connect so you can easily access your activity stats.
  • Multisport heart rate wrist-based monitoring that provides up-to-date information about vital body components and processes.
  • The long-lasting battery that can be customized to fit individual activity profiles and routines.
  • Progress indicator that lets you see how much you’re either improved or need to work on your fitness routine.
  • Interchangeable wrist-bands make the watch fully customizable and allow you to add your own sense of style to the watch overall.
  • Recovery monitoring which will tell you when your vitals have reached an acceptable level to begin competing in activity again.
  • Analytics tools which let you analyze your fitness data to make adjustments and improvements where needed.
  • Comes with compatibility to a wide range of custom fitness and activity monitoring apps which lets you get different perspectives for a wide range of sports.
  • Comes in several different material options to add a custom level of security for each individual.

Cons

  • Wrist-based heart monitoring device comes separate from the actual Garmin Fenix 5.
  • Limited bundle options force you to buy unnecessary equipment just to get what you need.
  • A small amount of internal memory with no way to expand the initial capacity.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Review

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes in a wide array of color options and functional capabilities. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plusfeatures premium compatibility options including Garmin Pay which allows you to connect a variety of payment options to your smartwatch to buy virtually anything that you need while on the go. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus has an internal battery with a total lifetime of up to 12 days on a single charge which allows you to remain active and mobile for as long as you want without worrying about becoming disconnected. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also has built-in navigation features which use a variety of premium tracking technology including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus even has accurate direction features which allow you to remain on your intended path without getting lost, these features include a gyroscope, barometric altimeter, and a multi-satellite network so you’re always connected.

The Garmin Fenix 5 comes with music streaming capabilities and Spotify integration so you can easily log in to your account and begin enjoying all of your favorite music. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also lets you store up to 1,000 songs on the device itself so you have multiple options for music playback. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus features a very modern design with stainless steel and a diamond-like carbon titanium bezel for a premium feel, look, and protection. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is very innovative in terms of GPS tracking and It’s mapping capabilities. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus uses color TOPO maps to provide a realistic view of your route and surroundings. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also comes with Trendline popularity routing which helps you find the path of least resistance when hiking or partaking in virtually any sports activity.

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus uses the data stored in the Garmin Connect database which is constantly updated with new trails and other routing information to help runners, bikers, and a slew of other active sports enthusiasts. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus provides an in-depth look at all of your vital metrics and health information correlating to a particular activity or sport that you’re engaged in or you can set the watch to track general overall information about your performance. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus gives you training stats that are automatically calculated when the watch detects activity. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus can measure your exercise volume over a week’s time in order to give you a detailed breakdown of your training load to improve your performance and training techniques. The Garmin Fenix 5 Pluscomes with a barometer, compass, and altimeter to help you stay up to date about all of the current variables affecting your performance. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus has a wrist-based heart rate monitor known as Elevate which allows you to get an accurate reading of your heart rate variability and it will alert you when your heart rate begins to reach dangerous levels.

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also comes with smart notifications which allow you to receive text, emails, and other alerts right on your wrist. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is also compatible with virtually every Garmin app available including Garmin Connect Mobile, GroupTrack, live tracking, and more. The Garmin 5 Fenix Plus is the ultimate activewear smartwatch designed to help people that are outdoor enthusiasts reach their maximum potential.

Inside the Box

  • Fenix 5 Plus (Non-Sapphire Models)- Fenix 5 Plus watch, instruction manual, warranty card, and USB charging cable.
  • Fenix 5 Plus (Sapphire Carbon Gray DLC Titanium Band & Black w/ Black Leather Band Versions)- Fenix 5 Plus smartwatch, USB charging/data cable, warranty card, user manual, and Quickfit 22 black silicone band
  • Fenix 5 Plus (Sapphire Versions)- Fenix 5 Plus smartwatch, warranty card, instruction manual, charging cable.

Depending on the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus version that you decide to buy, they all come with different in-the-box accessories and documentation. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes in an array of style so make sure you choose the right one before making a final purchase decision.

In-Depth Feature Review

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is loaded with tons of connectivity, location, health, entertainment, and communication features. All of these features are designed to aid you on your journey while exploring the great outdoors or any other active sporting activity.

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with the following features:

  • GLONASS
  • GPS
  • Galileo
  • Compass
  • Gyroscope
  • Accelerometer
  • Thermometer
  • Barometric Altimeter
  • Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor
  • Stopwatch
  • GPS Time Sync
  • Sunrise/sunset times
  • Timer
  • Alarm Clock
  • Automatic daylight-saving time
  • Bluetooth
  • ANT+
  • Wi-Fi
  • Connect IQ
  • Smart Notifications
  • iPhone & Android Compatibility
  • VIRB Camera Remote
  • Music Storage
  • Garmin Pay
  • LiveTrack
  • Group LiveTrack
  • Step Counter
  • Floors Climbed
  • TrueUp
  • Move IQ
  • Fitness Age
  • All Day Stress Tracking
  • V02 Max
  • Training Effects
  • Course Guidance
  • HR Alerts
  • And more!

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus gives you the ability to track your workouts in real-time so that you can make necessary adjustments to your training regimen as needed. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also comes with activity blood oxygen level monitoring to let you know when you need to replenish. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also comes with automatic rep counting which makes it easy for you to keep track of the intervals that you perform during any given exercise. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus even gives you the ability to download custom training plans that are designed using the training data collected by your device. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus also comes with customizable activity profiles that allow you to get specific training data based on a particular sport or activity that you’re involved in.

The Garmin Fenix 5 also comes with a virtual partner which can assist and motivate you through the various activities that you’re involved in. The Garmin Fenix 5 also comes with activity history on the watch which allows you to review previous training sessions so that you can adapt and expand on your current training regimen. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is packed with tons of useful features that any dedicated outdoor or hiking enthusiasts will love.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Integrated activity tracking so that you can always stay up to date on your performance and training efficiency.
  • Spotify music integration which makes it easy for you to listen to your favorite songs, you can also store music directly on the watch.
  • Advanced GPS and GLONASS location functionality which allows you to always remain on course.
  • TOPO color maps that provide a realistic experience for those who want to explore new trails or terrains.
  • Fitness Age calculator that will tell you your perceived fitness age according to your workout performance and overall activity levels.
  • Calories tracker which will alert you of how many calories you’ve burned during a given workout or exercise.
  • Step counter which makes it easy to manage the amount of walking activity that you’ve engaged in for a specific period of time.
  • Auto goal manager which allows you to set daily goals and get personalized assistance to help you reach them.
  • LiveTrack automatically tracks your entire route and can alert emergency services if you encounter any problems while out exploring.
  • Garmin Pay lets you connect a variety of payment methods seamlessly with your watch so that you can easily make and manage payments on the go.
  • Find My Watch/Find My Phone capabilities which let you easily track your smartphone or watch if you happen to displace either of them.
  • Smart notifications so that you can stay up to date on all of the latest news and information related to your life.
  • Weather functionality which allows you to easily stay informed about potentially dangerous weather conditions so that you can plan your route accordingly.

Cons

  • Lacks compatibility with a range of third-party devices and services so you’ll have to use a lot of Garmin based services.
  • Limited ability to store data locally on the device as opposed to being in the cloud

Garmin Warranty Information

The Garmin Fenix 5 is protected under the standard Garmin warranty which states that the product is covered under warranty for up to exactly one year after the original purchase date. Products can only be claimed under warranty if it can be proven that the product came with manufacturer defects or production flaws that interfere with the successful operation of the device. Items which are deemed to have been damaged due to customer misuse or improper care are not eligible to be repaired or replaced under the Garmin limited warranty protection. Upon acceptance of your item at the repair facility, if it is determined that your product is eligible to be covered under warranty Garmin will make the decision on whether or not the item in question can be repaired or needs to be replaced totally.

Garmin Products Purchase Options

If you’re interested in purchasing the Garmin Fenix 5, you have a lot of options to choose from. Many major tech retailers and sporting goods stores carry the Garmin Fenix 5 which makes it readily available to purchase virtually anywhere. The only downside to purchasing the Garmin Fenix 5 at a physical retail store is that not all of them carry the same stock so you may have to search around until you find a store that carries the exact one you want. Alternatively, you can purchase the Garmin Fenix 5 directly from the Garmin website which will give you access to exclusive information and tips regarding the watch.

By purchasing the Garmin Fenix 5 directly from the Garmin website, you’ll also be able to access exclusive deals and discounts that you won’t find anywhere else. The official Garmin website also has all of the color and bundle options available for purchase making it easier for you to get the exact Garmin Fenix 5 model that you want.

Questions & Answers

Q: What devices are compatible with the Garmin Fenix 5 & Garmin Fenix 5 Plus?

A: The Garmin Fenix 5 & Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is compatible with all of the latest smartphones running either iOS or Android. Similarly, the Garmin Fenix 5 is compatible with all iPhone and Android devices.

Q: What happens if the Garmin Fenix 5 or Garmin Fenix 5 Plus I ordered doesn’t fit my wrist?

A: You have 30 days from the initial date of purchase to return your Garmin Fenix 5 or Garmin Fenix 5 plus in the event that it doesn’t fit or isn’t working properly

Q: What apps are compatible with the Garmin Fenix 5 & Garmin Fenix 5 Plus?

A: The Garmin Fenix 5 & Garmin Fenix 5 plus are compatible with a wide variety of fitness tracking apps including Garmin Connect Mobile and can be used with devices including Android and iPhone.

Q: How do I connect my Garmin Fenix 5 or Garmin Fenix 5 Plus to my phone or other devices?

A: The Garmin Fenix 5 has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities which allow you to easily connect with an array of different devices.

Conclusion

Although both of these watches are manufactured by the same company, the Garmin Fenix 5 & Garmin Fenix 5 Plus are designed to offer vastly different experiences to those that wear them. If you’re someone who is more interested in the feature capabilities of a smartwatch without all of the extra bells and whistles, the regular Garmin Fenix 5 may be the perfect option for you. this is due to the fact that the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with more advanced features including Spotify integration and Smart Notifications. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus was designed with the comprehensive outdoor enthusiasts and fitness expert in mind while the Garmin Fenix 5 was designed for those who want simple activity tracking and health monitoring.  if you’re someone that is interested in a smart wearable watch that comes with a full set of connectivity, health, and monitoring features, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus may be the best option for you.

Let’s take a quick look at both devices to compare and see what advantages and disadvantages they both offer. Regardless of what your intended use is for the Garmin Fenix 5 or Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, both of these devices are premium options for those who want to take their fitness game to the next level. For beginners, the Garmin Fenix 5 provides a much simpler and easier to use interface when compared to the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus however the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus has more advanced fitness tracking capabilities and features so you’ll have access to very insightful information about your body and training plan. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is the winner of this comparison because it more style options that the Garmin Fenix 5 and it also provides more value for the cost. For only a few hundred dollars more, you can experience very deep analytical information about your body and physique overall all via the convenient method of using a wrist-based smartwatch. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is the perfect smartwatch for those outdoor and fitness enthusiasts who want a more advanced take on their traditional journeys and explorations.

Here are some other related articles you may be interested in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *