- Advanced mapping and navigation features
- Durable, burly, refined design with QuickFit Bands
- Full multisport capabilities, including tracking run, cycling, swim, golf, and more
- Various smart features as well as activity & sleep tracking
- Wrist HRM, GPS & GLONASS, and pairs with ANT+ and BLE external sensors
- Way too expensive
- Heavy, bulky, and very large design
- No music storage
- Maps load slowly
- Few options right now for interchangeable bands
The fenix 5X almost certainly is too big, too capable, and too expensive for 99% of people, however, for those that do end up getting it, we’re thinking you’ll really like it.
The Garmin fenix 5X is a larger, more capable fenix 5 that also unsurprisingly costs $100 more with an MSRP of $700, but has recently been seen at $600 [Check on Amazon]. And for the extra money—for the most part—you get improved navigational features, which show up in four different ways:
- Mapping — The maps you see on the watch (and also those within a sport profile) have more detail and support turn-by-turn navigation.
- Points of Interest — You can search for—and navigate to—various points of interests, including cities, food, gas stations, entertainment, geographical landmarks, etc.
- Round-Trip Routes — For running and cycling the watch can generate three custom routes for you to try out. These are based on the distance that you want to travel and the direction that you want to head. This is great for someone that doesn’t know an area well, but wants to go on a run or bike ride that ultimately ends where they began. Think how useful this would be on vacations!
- Downloadable Maps — In true Garmin fashion, you can download additional maps on Garmin’s website, however, you have to pay for them and some are up to $100. Pre-loaded, however, the watch comes with a worldwide basemap, TOPO US mapping, routable cycling maps, and bird’s eye maps.
Of course, you also have standard outdoor features that are available on other watches such as an altimeter, barometer, and a compass. You have Back-to-Start (often called ‘Breadcrumbing’) where the watch will help you navigate back to the exact path that you just took. You also have the ability to save specific locations and coordinates and navigate to them at a later date. You can upload courses to the watch and follow previously completed courses.
How else is the fenix 5X different?
Truthfully there’s not much else. The casing on the fenix 5X is larger than that of the fenix 5, however the watch overall is roughly the same size as the fenix 3, which is big, but probably not too big for someone with a medium to large size wrist. Also, the watch is heavy…very heavy, but it’s oddly comfortable. It’s as comfortable to wear as many other smaller watches out there. Overall, the build quality of the 5X is impeccable. While I expect very few people to end up with this watch (most because of the price), I do expect that it will universally be admired for it’s design and construction. It’s a heck of a watch—burly and durable, yet tasteful.
Same as the other fenix watches
Everything else on the fenix 5X you can get on the fenix 5. It’s a multisport watch that supports triathlons, running, cycling, swimming, golf, paddle-boarding, skiing, trail running, hiking, climbing, and more. It pairs with Bluetooth LE and ANT+ sensors including power meters and heart rate monitors. It has a built-in wrist heart rate monitor (the same one you’ve seen on other Garmin devices) that’s largely accurate for running, hiking, walking, and light cycling, but that’s prone to errors with activities such as weight training and CrossFit. The 5X also has interchangeable QuickFit bands from Garmin, which is a neat idea so that people can quickly swap out bands. Unfortunately, at the time of this post, there aren’t any worthwhile third-party bands out there and Garmin charges you up the wazoo for its aftermarket bands.
It also has your standard activity and sleep tracking capabilities, including monitoring your 24×7 steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes, sleep, and heart rate. It also relays the incoming notifications from your smartphone (i.e. text messages, calls, Snaps, etc.). And like most Garmin watches, the fenix 5X also can control the music playing on your phone (no storage for music on the watch) as well as control the Garmin VIRB action camera. Plus, you can download custom apps, widgets, watch faces, and data fields off Garmin Connect IQ if you want to customize your fenix 5X even more.
In terms of other specs worth mention, the 5X is water resistant down to 100 meters and has battery life of about seven full days for the average person. Garmin quotes up to 20 hours in GPS mode, but for most people it will be slightly less, however, still really great battery life overall. It also does have 16GB of internal storage for maps.
So what’s the deal with the 5X?
It’s totally overkill for everyone out there. Unless you really want the extra mapping features you may as well go with the fenix 5 or some other cheaper watch. With that said, if you get the fenix 5X you’ll probably really like and you’ll likely agree that it’s a totally BA watch. What about Garmin fenix 5X vs. Apple Watch Series 2? That’s tough because there’s a big price difference. I think the vast majority of people end up with the Apple Watch 2, but anyone doing a lot of outdoor activities may dig the fenix 5X.
In terms of wish list items, I’d love to have native storage for music. I’d love to have Garmin reduce both the size of the watch and load times for all of the maps. Also, let’s do something with that price…crazy. Improvements to heart rate sensor would be much appreciated, but I think the faults of the HRM are more of a limit to the tech rather than being Garmin’s fault.
If you’re interested in picking up the fenix 5X, you can find it at CleverTraining.com where shipping is free and you won’t have to pay sales tax outside of Florida. Here in California, that’s a $50 savings 🙂