Garmin fenix 5S
GPS multisport training smartwatch with built-in HR monitor (Silver with black band)
Our take on the Garmin fenix 5S by Crutchfield's Ken Nail
Small size, big performance
Some of the most dynamic endurance athletes I know are women. That's why it's cool to see Garmin make a watch that matches both their performance and their size. Garmin's fenix 5S multisport training watch has all the performance of its bigger brother, the fenix 5, but in a size better suited to smaller wrists. Regardless of size, this is a multisport training watch that's designed for the outdoors, and is versatile enough to track all your activities, no matter the sport or the season.
The watch for your lifestyle
The fenix 5S is primed to tackle all your outdoor adventures: running trails, racking up vertical on your skis or snowboard, bombing a descent on your mountain bike, grabbing your pack for a multi-day expedition, or even hitting the links. And it's ready for the water too, with functions for lap swimming or open water training and racing.
Smart and connected
Garmin's smart notifications work with your smartphone to let you receive texts, emails, and alerts on fenix 5S's screen. And this watch automatically uploads your workout to Garmin Connect, where you can share it with your friends through social media or many popular fitness-tracking apps.
Plus, you customize the display with Garmin's Face-it™ app, changing the background to any picture stored in your smartphone. And if you like capturing the action, it even works as a remote control for Garmin's VIRB™ and VIRB Elite action cameras.
fenix 5S uses wrist-based heart-rate monitoring technology (Carrara white pictured)
Heart rate monitoring for the training edge
If you really want to improve your performance, the evidence is clear that heart rate monitoring is an essential tool. Since fenix 5 employs wrist-based heart rate monitoring, you're always able to tap into this vital metric. Here's the skinny — your body responds to exercise intensities differently, so you need a blend of workouts to balance your training, and heart rate monitoring is one of the best ways to keep track. And using the data it records with its heartrate monitor, fenix 5S will estimate and track your VO2 max, predicting your performance and suggesting training paces.
When you're on the trail, fenix 5S drips virtual breadcrumbs along the way, creating a tracklog you can retrace if necessary. You can take advantage of waypoints you've recorded on previous trips, so you'll be sure to find that special campsite the next time around. The watch's memory can store up to 1000 waypoints, so you can record trail junctions, water sources, scenic vistas, camp sites — any location you want.
Altimeter, barometer, and compass
fenix 5S also comes equipped with an altimeter, barometer, and compass, giving you valuable information you may need in the backcountry. You can add the optional tempe™ external temperature sensor for accurate real-time temperature data. It's a cool way to keep track of the temperature outside your tent at night.
Your cycling buddy
This Garmin is well-suited for taking along on a ride, whether your choice of venue is single-track or smooth asphalt. fenix 5S will accurately measure your speed, distance, and pace, and it's fully compatible with Garmin's Vector™ pedals or ANT+ power meters, so you can track and record your power output throughout your ride. For extra safety, this watch is also compatible with Garmin's Varia™ lights and rear-view radar systems.
Swim, ski, golf
You'll find special features for use with swim training, skiing, and golfing too. When you're in the pool, this watch tracks your distance, pace, stroke count and more. And when you clip into your skis or snowboard, special modes track your speed, distance, vertical drop and your total runs — even pausing automatically when you're in the lift line.
Hitting the links?
fenix 5S taps into an extensive database of golf courses to let you know accurate distances to the green, doglegs, or layup points.
- GPS/GLONASS multisport training watch with illuminated display
- silicone wrist band; interchangeable watchbands available
- 1.1" (218 x 218 pixels) color LCD screen
- customizable display fields, compatible with connect iQ app for custom watch faces, widgets, and data fields
- built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass
- memory for up to 1000 customizable waypoints and 30 routes, with 200 hour track log
- time, date, alarm, timer, chronograph, pace alerts, chimes, and vibration watch functions
- AutoLap, AutoPause, interval trainer, heart rate, calorie counter, and lap fitness functions
- built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery allows up to 75 hours (UltraTrac mode); 24 hours (GPS training mode); 2 weeks (smartwatch mode)
- compatible with Garmin Connect
- works with optional tempe temperature sensor, bike speed/cadence sensor
- ANT+ and Bluetooth capable with compatible devices
- water rated to 100 meters
- VO2 max estimator
- recovery advisor
- race predictor
- running dynamics measurements
- records personal records
- compatible with Garmin Vector pedals and other ANT+ -enabled power meters
- compatible with Garmin Varia lights and accessories
- saves multiple bike profiles
- swimming metrics and stroke recognition
- lap counter
- open water swim distance
Activity Tracking Features:
- step counter with auto goal setter
- move bar
- sleep monitoring
- 1.7"W x 1.7"H x .6"D
- weight: 2.4 oz
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- GPS multi-sport watch (Silver with black band)
- 21" USB data/charging cable (Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on other end)
- Quick Start Manual
- Important Safety and Product Information booklet
Overview: The Garmin fēnix 5S is an advanced training watch with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver which accurately pinpoints and tracks your location while you're skiing, hiking, running, biking, swimming, or golfing. You can create routes to follow, or track where you've been. In addition, the fēnix 5S tracks your distance and pace as you work out. With the built-in Elevate wrist heart rate technology, your heart rate can be measured at the wrist instead of requiring you to wear a separate chest strap. The results of your activities can be easily uploaded to the Garmin Connect online community for sharing.
Physical Attributes: The fēnix 5S, smaller than the fēnix 5, features a rugged 42mm diameter, stainless steel bezel and rear panel, a fiber-reinforced outer case, and a glass lens. The QuickFit 20 silicone watch band can be replaced with an optional silicone band, available in 5 colors, a brown leather band, or a stainless steel band (all available from Garmin).
- Watch: Width 1.787", Height 2.146", Depth 0.604"
- Band: Width 0.78" (20mm), Length 9.375"
- Weight: 2.3 ounces
Activities: From the watch menu, you can select from the following activities: Trail Run, Run, Treadmill, Indoor track, Hike, Climb, Bike, Bike Indoor, MTB, Pool Swim, Open Water, Triathlon, Ski, Snowboard, XC Ski, SUP, Row, Row Indoor, and Golf.
Step Counter: The fēnix 5S's activity tracking feature records your daily step count, distance traveled, intensity minutes, floors climbed, calories burned, and sleep statistics for each recorded day. You can create daily goals, which are updated automatically based on your previous activity levels. Move alerts, which appear after a period of inactivity, remind you to keep moving.
Running Dynamics: When paired with the optional HRM-Run or HRM-Tri accessory, the device can analyze your running form. The accelerometer in the accessory heart rate monitor can measure torso movement and calculate the following running metrics: Cadence (number of steps per minute), Vertical Oscillation (your bounce when running), Ground Contact Time (amount of time you spend on the ground while running), Ground Contact Time Balance (left-right balance of your ground contact time), and Stride Length (measured from one footfall to the next). You can view your running metrics as a color gauge on the display, showing you how your running data compares to those of other runners.
LCD: The fēnix 5S features a 1.1" diameter, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) color display with a resolution of 218 x 218 pixels. It has a backlight comes on automatically when you press any button, and can be set to time out in 4 sec, 8 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 minute, or stay on. When the Gesture feature is turned on, the backlight comes on when you raise or turn your arm to look at your wrist.
Water Resistant: The fēnix 5S has a 10 ATM water rating, which means it can withstand pressures equivalent to a depth of 100 meters (328 feet). Not only can you wear the device in the rain and wet weather, you can even swim with it. It is not recommended for scuba diving. The device also has a wide operating temperature range of -4° to 122°F.
High-Sensitivity GPS Receiver: The unit features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver. With both GPS and GLONASS support, the device stays locked onto satellites, even near tall buildings or under tree cover. If you're in a wide open area, you can turn off the GLONASS option to save battery life. The GPS receiver lets you navigate and track your activities, create a "bread crumb" trail of where you've been, and mark locations (start/finish line, course checkpoint, your vehicle, or other points of interest). The fēnix 5S is also equipped with altimeter (for elevation data), barometer (showing short-term air pressure trends), and compass sensors (to keep your bearings).
Accelerometer: The built-in accelerometer can accurately calculate your speed and distance when running indoors or on a treadmill, when the GPS can't be used. The accelerometer is self-calibrating, and the speed and distance accuracy improves after a few outdoors runs using GPS. In many cases, a separate foot pod is not needed.
Rechargeable Battery: The fēnix 5S has a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, which will give you up to 14 hours battery life in normal GPS mode with wrist heart rate, or up to 35 hours in the UltraTrac GPS mode with a one-minute polling interval (w/o HR). When not training, you can use the device as a digital watch for up to 9 days on a single charge (Smart Mode). A 21" data cable/charging cradle is provided for charging the battery and uploading your training data.
Elevate Technology: The fēnix 5S is equipped with Elevate wrist heart rate technology, which monitors your heart rate without having to wear a chest strap. Whenever you wear the fēnix 5S, your heart rate is being monitored, even while you sleep. The heart rate data helps to provide an accurate reading of calories burned, and to measure the intensity of your workout.
Note: Wrist heart-rate monitoring is not possible while swimming. You must use the optional HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim heart rate monitor.
Physiological Measurements: The fēnix 5S's Elevate wrist heart rate monitor can take physiological measurements to help you analyze your training activities and race performances. The more you use the fēnix 5S, the more accurate the estimates become, as the device learns about your activities and performances. Physiological measurement estimates include:
- VO2 Max: VO2 Max is your body's maximum oxygen consumption, to help you track your fitness and performance levels.
- Predicted Race Times: The VO2 Max estimate and published data sources are used to provide a target race time, based on your current state of fitness.
- Recovery Advisor: Recover Advisor estimates how much time it will take to fully recover from a workout.
- Stress Score: Stress Score measures your heart rate variability while standing still for 3 minutes. The score is expressed on a scale of 1 to 100, with the lower score indicating a lower stress level.
- Performance Condition: Your Performance Condition is a real-time assessment after 6 to 20 minutes of activity.
- Lactate Threshold: Lactate Threshold is the point where your muscles start to rapidly fatigue, based on the amount of lactic acid in your bloodstream.
ANT+ Sensors: The fēnix 5S can be used with wireless 2.4 GHz ANT+ add-on sensors, such as the optional HRM-Swim or HRM-Tri. Either of these two sensors is required to record your heart rate while swimming, or to determine your stress level (Heart Rate Variability). Other optional ANT+ sensors that work with the fēnix 5S include the Bike Speed or Cadence Sensor, Foot Pod, Vector power sensor, and tempe external temperature sensor.
Bluetooth Connected Features: The Garmin fēnix 5S features Bluetooth wireless technology that allows you to pair the device to your smartphone through the Garmin Connect Mobile app (available for Android and iOS devices). When connected via Bluetooth, you can do the following:
- Live Track: Your friends and family can follow your races and training activities in real time on the Garmin Connect tracking page. You can also invite others to follow via email or social media. (You must have your phone paired to the device throughout your run for Live Tracking.)
- Automatic Uploads: When your workout is completed, you can automatically upload the stored data from your activity to Garmin Connect.
- Phone Notifications: When you receive notifications and messages on your phone, they are displayed on the fēnix 5S.
- Connect IQ: Allows you to extend your device features with new watch faces, widgets, apps, and data fields.
- Find My Phone/Find My Watch: When your fēnix 5S and smartphone are paired, you can locate a lost smartphone with the fēnix 5S, or a lost fēnix 5S with your smartphone, as long as you're in range.
Navigation: The fēnix 5S provides advanced navigation and tracking functions, utilizing the built-in GPS and altimeter, barometer, and compass. It can record a track log to show you where you've been. You can mark and save up waypoints, favorites, locations and routes in the built-in memory.
Golf: The fēnix 5S lets you download distance data from the Garmin Golf Course database, and keep your score on the digital scorecard. As you play golf, distance information for each hole (front, middle, and back of green, plus layups and doglegs) are displayed on the fēnix 5S. The course must first be downloaded from the Garmin Connect app, then transferred to the fēnix 5S. The Garmin database has distance information for over 40,000 courses worldwide.
Swimming: You can use the device while surface swimming in a pool or open water. While pool swimming, you can enter the pool size data and keep track of the strokes, and the number of lengths (of the pool) you swam.
Skiing/Snowboarding: In Skiing and Snowboard modes, the fēnix 5S keeps track of your speed, distance, and vertical drop to calculate the number of runs you make. Auto Pause stops the timer while you're on the lift.
Sleep Tracking: The fēnix 5S's Sleep Mode can monitor your rest, and display sleep statistics such as total hours of sleep, periods of movement, and periods of restful sleep. If desired, you can use the Do Not Disturb mode to turn off the backlight and vibration alerts.
User Profile: The Garmin fēnix 5S uses information that you enter about yourself to calculate accurate training data. You can enter the following user profile information: Gender, Birth Year, Height, Weight, heart rate zone, and power zone settings. The device will use this information to calculate accurate training data.
Virtual Partner: The Virtual Partner feature is a training tool designed to help you reach your goals. You can set the Virtual Partner to run at a target pace or speed. As you run, you can "compete" with the Virtual Partner, checking the display to see if you are ahead or behind the target pace or speed. If the pace is too slow or too fast, you can adjust the speed of the Virtual Partner as you run.
Auto Lap: Auto Lap automatically marks a lap at a specific distance. This feature is helpful for comparing your performance over different parts of an activity. Each time you complete a lap, the device will beep or vibrate, and the lap time is displayed.
Auto Pause: You can set the fēnix 5S to pause the timer automatically when you stop moving, or when your pace drops below a specified value. This feature is helpful if you have to stop for traffic or to tie your shoe during your run.
Watch Functions: When you're not working out, the fēnix 5S can be used as a basic watch, displaying the time and date, along with an alarm and stopwatch. You can configure the watch face in a number of ways, including analog/digital, icons, style, and colors. The time is automatically set by the GPS receiver (or manually, if desired), and can be displayed in 12-hour or 24-hour format. The device can also provide local sunrise and sunset times.
Face It: The fēnix 5S is compatible with the Garmin Face It watch face creator application, which is available free via download. Face It allows you to customize the face of your fēnix 5S with an image from your photo library. The app is first downloaded to your smartphone, where the custom watch face is created. The new face is then uploaded to the fēnix 5S from your phone.
VIRB Remote: If you have a Garmin VIRB action camera, the fēnix 5S can be used as a glove-friendly remote control. The camera commands for stopping and starting recordings and taking still photos are sent wirelessly via ANT+.
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