Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Smart Watch Review: A Premium and Rugged Overall Performer

Garmin just released a new contender into the high-end GPS smart watch market in the form of the new Garmin Fenix 5. The new premium outdoor GPS watch comes in different flavors, namely the Fenix 5, Fenix 5S, and the Fenix 5X. Right off the bat, the new wearable smartwatches look very durable and ready to take abuse. People who like to spend their time doing outdoor activities will likely appreciate the wearable’s rugged design.


The Garmin Fenix 5 comes with an extremely rugged exterior design built with premium materials. This is likely a requirement for the smart watch since it will probably take a lot of abuse during different outdoor activities. Five large screws hold down the beveled black bezel on the device’s 1.2-inch display. Users can also opt to get a sapphire crystal lens instead of the strengthened glass on their device at an added cost. Having a sapphire crystal lens covering the touchscreen does have its benefits. For extreme situations, the tougher material does come in handy. But, the mineral glass on the standard model can still handle a lot of abuse from normal use. The display features a resolution of 218 x 218 pixels, which is a bit lower than its competitors. Yet, the always-on color display with a transflective surface does not disappoint even in direct sunlight. The Garmin Fenix 5 smart watch is water-rated up to 100 meters, meaning that it is suitable for extreme water sports as well. It has to mentioned that like other Garmin smartwatches, the device’s built-in heart rate monitor does not function when it is under water.

Hardware Specs and Features

Being one of the best smartwatches for men and women to date, the Garmin Fenix 5 comes with a myriad of features for outdoor use. One of the highlights of the product is its combination of different tracking technologies. This includes a traditional GPS sensor, a GLONASS satellite receiver, and a 3-axis compass with a gyroscope. All these sensors ensure accurate tracking in challenging environments compared to GPS alone. The device can track its user at different elevations and distances accurately. Aside from its tracking sensors, the Fenix 5 also comes with an arsenal of other outdoor features. This includes a built-in thermometer, accelerometer, a barometric altimeter, and Garmin’s patented Elevate wrist heart rate monitor.

Despite being a rugged sports watch, the Fenix 5 does come with a number of features that make it a functional smart watch. Users can easily swap out the device’s bands. This transforms the watch from a rugged outdoor watch to a sophisticated smart watch in seconds. Garmin’s Connect IQ software also allows users to swap out different watch faces and widgets. The watch can show notifications when paired with a smartphone. The notifications include weather forecasts, social media, calendar appointments, calls, and texts


The Garmin Fenix 5, with its fully-packed features and rugged design, is currently one of the best men’s watches in the market today. Given its long battery life, which can last up to two weeks without GPS, and its customizable interface, the Fenix 5 is a hard product to beat. However, the premium smart watch does come at a premium price. There are cheaper alternatives in the market. For outdoor adventurers and those that need all its useful features, forking out the extra cash for the Fenix 5 may be a worthwhile investment.

Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Smart Watch

Garmin Fenix 5 GPS

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