I’ve been using the Garmin Fenix 5X since August 2017 thanks to Garmin Malaysia!
I’ve had enough time to play around with it and here’s my review!
As with the review I did for my panda (FR 235), this will be from my perspective of what I’ve found useful and interesting (the highlights). For a more IN DEPTH review with comparisons between models, check out the famous DC RAINMAKER.
Why did I choose the Fenix 5X?
-I do more than just run (since my plantar injury)
-I love big watches
-I wanted to try the 5S in WHITE for aesthetic reasons (as always!) but it wasn’t available
-More importantly (I saved the best for last), THE BIGGEST REASON would be the beautiful topo MAPS that is unique to the Fenix 5X!
SO PRETTY *wipes tears*
Features that are ONLY found in the Fenix 5X:
Point of Interest: You can find cities, FOOD and DRINK, fuel services, lodging, attractions, entertainment, recreation, SHOPPING, transportation, hospitals etc. Oh yes, you can also find COFFEE!
The downside is that it takes quite a while to load. BE PATIENT!
Looking for cities!
Around Me: It maps your current position and helps you find things that are around you.
You can move the little pizza slice to narrow the search to that area. SO COOL! *I was indoors and I didn’t wait for the map to load before taking this picture. A full map (like the one above) will appear.*
Back to Start: You can use this to get back to where you started if you ever get lost.
It will tell you how far off you currently are, ETA, directions, compass and a map.
Courses: You can preload routes from your phone/computer and let your watch do the navigating!
Round-Trip Courses: I absolutely LOVE this function! You can choose to run or bike, the distance and the direction (any direction, North, South, East and West)! Once you’ve done that, it will map out a route for you. This is GREAT especially when you’re exploring a new place/city! It will tell you where to go, turn and if you’re heading in the WRONG direction!
Watch faces: You’d probably know by now that I go NUTS over watch faces.
Simple or complicated? YOU decide.
Battery: 20 hours for the Fenix 5X to support all your crazy endeavours (in GPS mode)!
Weight: 98g (Fenix 3HR – 86g; FR 235 – 42g) It is a lot heavier than the other models.
Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart sensor for all your external devices (HR monitor, Footpod etc) and WiFi (for Sapphire units) for easy and quick uploads straight to Garmin Connect! REALLY, and I mean REALLY quick.
HR Sensor: Improved optical sensor that takes readings more frequently – more accurate!
Data fields and screens: HIGHLY customizable! But I like to keep it simple to just 5 data screens with 3 data fields where appropriate.
I’ve included a map!
Smart notifications: When Bluetooth or WiFi is turned on, you can receive texts/tweets etc on your watch WITH Emoticons!
Control “room”: Quick access to certain widgets and functions when you hold the LIGHT button.
Widgets: Like other models, you can add all sorts of widgets from heart rate, performance, steps, calendar, notifications, weather, “My Day”, calories, temperature, stress, altitude etc
Quick glimpse of your activities throughout the week.
New activities and apps: Navigate app, Track Me app, seperate Indoor Track and Treadmill, Mountain Biking, separate Snowboard and Ski
You can basically turn on Track Me and go! And it will do just that… TRACK YOU!
Breakdown of all the activities/sports mode:
Run: Run, Treadmill, Indoor Track, Trail Run
Other cardio: Hike, Walk, Climb
Bike: Bike, MTB, Bike Indoor
Swim: Pool Swim, Open Water Swim
Multisport: Multisport, Triathlon, Swim Run
Snow: XC Ski, Snowboard, Ski
Watersports: SUP, Boat, Row Indoor, Row
Gym: Strength, Fitness Timer
Other: Tactical, Golf, Tru Swing, Cardio, Jumpmaster, Project Wpt, Other
The Fitness Timer
I have been using this function for my HIIT workouts!
Try this quick Full Body 12 min workout. For one circuit, set your timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds GO TIME and 10 seconds REST. Repeat this process for circuits 2 and 3.
Step ups (on bench)
Rest for 1 min
Lay down push ups
Rest for 1 min
Quick example: When it beeps… it is GO TIME! Want more workout videos? Check out my Instagram.
One thing I love about Garmin watches is that it is not just a watch with a bunch of apps throwing all sorts of data at you but that these data are PERSONAL to you. It GROWS with you. For example, data from a VO2 Max workout allows the watch to determine your fitness level and provide suggestions for training/recovery etc accordingly.
Below are 2 new features with the Fenix 5 series:
Training Status Screen: It describes how your current training is affecting your performance and overall fitness. You can either be peaking, productive, maintaining, recovery, unproductive, detraining or overreaching.
As you can see, I am “maintaining”.
Training load shows you your current effort. It pulls data from the last 7 days of training (both duration and intensity). It will then let you know if it was low, optimal or high, comparing to what you’ve done previously.
Aerobic and Anaerobic Training Effect: After every workout, it gives you a split of your training effect.
Killing two birds with one stone!
I still consider myself fairly new to this whole techy GPS watch thing and have only tested a few Garmin models. But of all that I HAVE tried, this is by far THE BEST! I am REALLY happy with all the additional data and unique features especially THE MAPS!
It is pretty pricey. If you’re unsure about whether or not to get one, let me help you decide!
Is THE FENIX 5X for you?
YES if you:
-Are into multisport
-Data nutterhead (like me)
–LOVE maps (also like me)
-Want to train effectively, efficiently and specifically
-Rough (I wore the Fenix 3HR (similar design, material and outlook) to Tough Mudder and it survived every bit of the MUDDY MADNESS!)
-Itching to spend your money somewhere
NO if you:
-Don’t care about data and maps (Pfffftttt!)
-Want to keep things simple
-Not a techy/data person and would easily be confused with data (OVERLOADDDDD!)
-Only do one type of sport (ain’t nobody got time for extra stuff) (Check out Garmin Forerunner series)
-Just wanting to keep fit
-Just wanting to track simple data like steps, calories etc (Check out Garmin Vivo series)
Please let me know if you have any specific questions about the watch or if you are thinking of getting one! 😉
If you are in Malaysia, these are the relevant websites: