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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Garmin Fenix 5s | Review

A lightweight smart watch from Garmin with a commendable battery life

Garmin announced the fēnix 5 series at the start of 2017. The idea behind the range being three core watches, the 5/5S/5X, that offer everything you could want or need from a multi-sports watch – and in that mission, the American company have absolutely succeeded.

The fēnix 5S is the smaller-sized of the three watch models, making it particularly popular for those who prefer a smaller clock-face and more comfortable feel. It’s considerably (up to 20g) lighter than the rest of the line too, making it ideal for the outdoors.

The 5S is a purpose-built multi-sport watch. Features include an impressive wrist-based heart rate monitor, a vast selection of activity profiles and performance metrics, and navigational GPS features which will keep you on the right path even off the beaten track.

“You can literally go weeks before having to recharge it if using your GPS settings correctly”

Thankfully despite the density of options on offer inside the smartwatch, you won’t need much in the way of navigational help to find your way around it either. It’s an incredibly accessible piece of tech.

You can’t view pictures from texts on the smartwatch like you can on the iWatch, but with the kind of battery power that particular function normally zaps from a smartwatch anyway, you should really be avoiding doing so if you’re planning on using the watch outdoors.

The 5S is a watch purpose-built for the job – and the battery will far outlast that of an iWatch. You can literally go weeks before having to recharge it if using your GPS settings correctly. The gadget lasts for nine days in smartwatch mode, up to 14 hours in GPS mode or up to 35 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode. It is worth noting that only the slightly pricier Sapphire edition of the 5S has Wi-Fi though (that Wi-Fi being put towards quicker uploading times and data syncing).

Features include an impressive wrist-based heart rate monitor, a vast selection of activity profiles and performance metrics, and navigational GPS features which will keep you on the right path. Photo: Chris Johnson.
You can go weeks before having to recharge it if using your GPS settings correctly. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The gadget lasts for nine days in smartwatch mode, up to 14 hours in GPS mode or up to 35 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode. Photo: Chris Johnson.

The choice of QuickFit bands that come with the watch mean you can easily swap out the band on the 5S so you look the part on the mountain or in the city centre, as well.

All round, the fēnix 5 series may not offer any dramatically different features to previous smartwatches offered by Garmin, but in tidying up and polishing every feature on the watch, it’s safe to say Garmin have produced a smartwatch better than any they’ve released before. And we particularly loved the less-is-more feel of the 5S on our wrists.

Garmin Fēnix 5s Watch

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