Update 15th April 2017: You can read the full review of the Garmin Fenix 5 here.
Never thought the day would come when I’d say this but tiny Singapore is getting some serious love from Garmin. On Friday, the company launched the new Fenix 5 line at a local restaurant, showcasing the svelte Fenix 5S, the adventurous Fenix 5 and the top of the line Fenix 5 X.
I managed to get some hands on with the new devices which pretty much left me with an elevated HR, pun intended. Having used both the Fenix 3 HR and the Chronos, the Fenix 5 series is lighter in weight and sleeker in design while still retaining the trademark navigation and multi-sport features. The always on sunlight visible display appears gorgeous under bright sunlight and is something unlikely to be trumped by smart watches at present. I also noticed that the optical HR sensor hardware is completely new and unseen previously. I’ve listed Fenix Chronos and Fenix 5 optical HR sensors side by side for comparison. The new design also features a near-flushed optical heart rate sensor protrusion compared to its predecessor, the Fenix 3 HR. In terms of hardware, all 3 variations of the Fenix 5 series will feature multi-sport modes and numerous sports profiles, GPS & GLONASS plus navigation capabilities, all day activity tracking , Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate technology, and a host of connected features. (Smart notifications and Garmin Connect IQ apps). Only the Sapphire versions will have Wi-Fi.
Besides ANT+, the new Fexix 5 series will feature BLE (Blue Tooth Low Energy) which allows the user to connect to 3rd party Bluetooth Smart devices such as the Polar H7 chest worn HR monitor. The entire Fenix 5 series is also water resistant to 100m.The Fenix 5 X is the only version that is capable displaying full colour maps with the in built 12GB of storage. According to Garmin Singapore, the local version of the Fenix 5 X will come pre-loaded with street, cycling and topographic maps of South-east Asia countries as well as over 40,000 golf courses around the world.
In terms of battery life span, here’s the quick breakdown:
- fēnix 5S (Smart watch/ GPS/ UltraTac): 9 days/ 14 hrs/ 40 hrs
- fēnix 5 (Smart watch/ GPS/ UltraTac): 14 days/ 24 hrs/ 75 hrs
- fēnix 5 X (Smart watch/ GPS/ UltraTac): 12 days/ 20 hrs/ 50 hrs
You’ll have to take into consideration screen brightness levels, smart notifications and also wrist heart rate monitoring. The listed battery life vary differently depending on usage.I also got to try the new Quick-Fit changeable watch straps which were a joy to put on and remove. I applaud Garmin for taking into account consumers’ desire to accessorise on the fly. As to how fast it took me to remove and put on an entire set of straps? 20 seconds max.I’ve never seen a need to purchase additional straps since its too much hassle but the new line of accessories with Quick Fit attachments made the idea conveniently plausible.
The straps will be sold for $109 per pair in Singapore. Now despite the hefty USD to SGD exchange rate, I can get 3 straps from US with free shipping compared to just 2 in Singapore. Just thought I should mention this. The leather and metal QuickFit bands are also available for orders at SGD 169 and SGD 309 respectively.
With regard to the pricing of the Fenix 5 watches, it’s comparable to the US RRP but purchasing it locally ensures you’re backed by local warranty.
- fēnix 5S (non-Sapphire Edition)/ (Sapphire): $899/ $999
- fēnix 5 (non-Sapphire Edition)/ (Sapphire): $899/ $999
- fēnix 5 X (Sapphire): $1099
All listed prices are in Singapore dollars. The entire fēnix 5 series will be available in Singapore come end March 2017.
You can view the units yourself come IT Show 2017 from 16th to 19th March 2017 at Garmin’s booth. The first 50 pre-orders for the fēnix 5S and fēnix 5 at the IT Show will get a free QuickFit silicone band worth SGD 109.
For Garmin fans, I also got word from the Garmin representative that our workouts on Garmin Connect will soon be listed correctly as Singapore instead of placing us in Johor Bahru, Nusajaya or Pasir Gudang. *Clap clap clap*
Check out the full review of the Garmin Fenix 5 here.