5s Fenix Garmin Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review plus Review Tech

The Fenix Bible – Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review the5krunner Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review, Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

On this Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review I might be wanting intimately on the smallest & lightest of the Garmin Fenix 5 PLUS collection of sports activities watches. We could have an in-depth take a look at its package deal of implausible options and delve in a bit of extra element into its suitability as a triathlon watch. In some respects it WILL qualify because the Greatest Triathlon Watch…let’s see how.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review


However wait a minute. The Fenix 5S Plus can also be a extremely competent contender for the Greatest Operating Watch With Music in addition to having; onboard funds, mapping and the huge array of sensible, sporty and outdoor Fenix 5 options from earlier fashions.

I’ll begin with some common feedback to assist in your buying thought course of earlier than returning to undergo a number of the key points of the watch in additional element. The evaluation is lengthy so skip to your favorite part or sit again and benefit from the journey.

The key distinction with the Fenix 5S Plus is that the ‘S’ is for small. In case you choose a smaller watch format then that is the one you’d go for. Nevertheless you may be involved that you’re lacking out on one thing due to the smaller measurement format.

Worry Not: You aren’t lacking out on options !

With the earlier non-PLUS model (ie the Fenix 5S) then the precise show measurement WAS smaller. On the Fenix 5S Plus the show is identical measurement because the Fenix 5 Plus and the identical measurement because the Forerunner 935 triathlon model.

‘All’ that Garmin have successfully executed is to make the bezel/non-show space barely smaller and therefore the general watch barely smaller. The ONLY compromise is that which means there’s then room just for a smaller battery and therefore battery life.

You purchase a Garmin excessive-finish watch primarily as a result of it’s jam-packed filled with SPORTs options, lots of which you gained’t even discover within the menus – not to mention use them. That doesn’t matter that a lot, because the options that you simply DO want will virtually definitely be included. Even when your should-have function is lacking there can be a CIQ app that may be added to the watch without spending a dime.

You need a sensible watch with a sporty pedigree. If you would like an enormous array of non-sport apps or constructed-in telephone connections or another type of fairly show you then would probably be contemplating an Apple Watch, a WearOS watch or perhaps even a Fitbit Versa (evaluate ed right here)

The Garmin Fenix 5S PLUS is a PROPER sports activities watch, it’s even one of many only a few PROPER triathlon watches. In case you are an ‘International’ Age Group triathlete then I might advocate it to you. Should you RUN with MUSIC, I might advocate it to you over the Forerunner 645 MUSIC or VIVOACTIVE three MUSIC. Certainly it’s in all probability even higher than Garmin’s ‘best’ operating watch ie higher than the Forerunner 645 Music.

The fundamental cause is the price. It’s not low cost. You’re looking at a RRP of about £600.US$/Eu700 which is put into perspective within the following desk

US$ Base (Eu) US$ Sapphire/titanium £ Base £ Sapphire/titanium Fenix 5S plus 700 800 600 700 Fenix 5 plus 700 800-850 600 700-750 Fenix 5X plus – 1150 – 750

The different purpose you wouldn’t purchase it’s the aesthetics. Personally I don’t just like the polished metallic bezel of the usual model (however there are different variations and extra might come sooner or later). One other facet of the aesthetics is the shortage of ruggedness – sometimes the Fenix merchandise have been very a lot outdoorsy and rugged watches. The Fenix 5S PLUS is kinda ‘normal’ wanting.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewThe Fenix 5S PLUS will perform PERFECTLY WELL as a 24×7 watch. It’s sensible sufficient to put on to work; but one aesthetic draw back is the display decision. The decision just isn’t nice and the colors are a bit uninteresting. If you’ll be sitting subsequent to individuals sporting Apple Watches and WearOS watches then their screens WILL, for positive, look superior to yours. Your Fenix watch WILL PROBABLY BE MORE COMPETENT beneath the hood…it simply gained’t look so good. So will you actually put on it 24×7 due to that? In case you gained’t and in case you simply need a sports activities watch on your sports activities then you can think about a completely totally different route with a ‘fancy’ watch AND a separate sports activities watch.

If you would like an particularly lengthy battery life, say for an Ironman, then you’ll make one other selection. Placing such a distinct segment want to at least one aspect, your 5S PLUS battery can be SUPERIOR to the WearOS and Apple Watch options. Look right here, the battery life is usually superb, it’s definitely ok for me:

Smartwatch Mode GPS Mode GPS+Music UltraTrac Fenix 5S 9 days 14 hours – 35 hours Fenix 5 2 Weeks 24 hours – 60 hours Fenix 5X 12 days 20 hours – 35 hours Fenix 5S Plus 7 days 11 hours four.5 hours 25 hours Fenix 5 Plus 12 days 18 hours eight hours 42 hours Fenix 5X Plus 20 days 32 hours 13 hours 70 hours

Observe: I obtained 5:30 hrs when navigating with GPS solely, some sensors and per second recording. IE it greater than halves the battery life comapred to GPS solely. That interval had about 30 minutes once I was off-course (which could trigger additional batteyr drain because it re-computes the route)

There’s additionally the thorny difficulty of accuracy. If you need an excellent-correct sports activities system then you definitely may look as an alternative at Polar or Suunto. Even with GPS+GALILEO the Fenix 5S PLUS is NOT extra correct than a few of the competitors. If you wish to see how briskly you’re operating (solely operating, not biking) then you will have a footpod. Equally if you would like correct coronary heart price then, while the Garmin Elevate sensor is among the higher ones available on the market, it’s nonetheless not correct sufficient for me. Then once more there are not any wrist-based mostly optical coronary heart price sensors which might be correct sufficient for me.

For some extra element on the Fenix 5S Plus’s worth-for-cash, do this submit:

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – Is it value it ? Maintain Off? Or Purchase now ?


OK. Let’s crack on with a extra typical and detailed take a look at the Fenix 5S Plus. Let’s begin with the unboxing and a take a look at what it’s supposed to have the ability to do.

You get the watch, a guide and a bespoke USB charger. That’s it.

The bespoke connector is ok and matches both means round. The most important concern I’ve is that when there’s sweat contained in the port (gap) on the watch then the Fenix might regularly join/reconnect when hooked up to a PC. The answer is to blow into the watch port to get the sweat out.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

It’s a regular 5-button sports activities watch, solidly made with no touchscreen. The display is both strengthened glass or non-compulsory, more durable, sapphire crystal. The show is formally classed as “sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)“. The colour screen is somewhat dull, with the colours washed out. It has a fairly good backlight to aid visibility in many light conditions.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Left side – 3 buttons

The glass face is very slightly recessed below the stainless steel bezel. The bezel appears plain except for two decorative grooves at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock. On closer inspection the bezel has faint words denoting the main functions of the 5 buttons.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Right side – 2 buttons

The buttons themselves are on the small side but perfectly fine and they operate with a nice amount of ‘quality spring-back’ when pressed. The fibre-reinforced polymer case includes a raised, protective area around each button

The stainless steel underside of the Fenix 5S PLUS has the port for the USB connector and the latest Garmin ELEVATE optical HR sensor module with 3 green LED lights.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Underside, also showing removable bands

The QuickFit 20mm bands are easily removable in a few seconds without the aid of tools and are interchangeable. The supplied bands are a nice standard of silicone and quite comfy for most of my sporty and non-sporty uses. They are approximately 70mm and 110mm long, excluding the buckle. I have thinner than average wrists and the default, 20mm wide band is almost not long enough for my wrists. That extra 2cm, or so, in length in the 5 Plus model makes a difference.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

5S Plus compared to 935. 935 is same size as the Fenix 5 Plus

Size Comparison

This comparison clearly shows the slight size increases in size from model to model. The Fenix 5 Plus model is comparable in size with the Forerunner 935 yet, as I’ve already pointed out, the 5S Plus is smaller, slightly thicker but with the same and more functionality as the 935.

  • Fenix 5S Plus is 42 x 42 x 15.4 mm with a 240x240px screen and weighing in at 65g. 20mm QuickFit Band
  • Fenix 5 Plus – 47 x 47 x 15.8 mm with a 240x240px screen and 86g. 22mm QuickFit Band
  • Fenix 5X Plus – 51 x 51 x 17.5 mm with a 240x240px screen and 96g. 26mm QuickFit Band
  • Forerunner 935 – 47 x 47 x 13.9 mm with a 240x240px screen and 49g 22mm QuickFit compatible Band

As this picture shows the increased 4mm width to the larger size 5 Plus also comes from an increase in the redundant black area around the screen (see the 935 to the left). Again, the actual display areas of the Fenix 5 Plus/935 are the same.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Forerunner 935 – Fenix 5S Plus – Coros Pace Multisport

Exterior Options


  • Sapphire, scratch-resistant lens (£100/$150 additional price).
  • Silver stainless steel bezel and back
  • Rose gold bezel and white case
  • Black stainless steel bezel and black case

Garmin-branded suede and steel band options are available. Different colour options and band options are offered by default with the Sapphire version. Some colour version are available in the 5 PLUS and others in the 5X PLUS.

Interior Components

These components give the Fenix 5S Plus its base level of ability upon which the software leverages the functionality you see and use. I’ve softened the wording of the techiness to explain what the various bits do in plain English.

  • GNSS capability encompassing GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO satellite constellations. More satellites increases the chance of accuracy being obtained but using more than the one GNSS system will increase battery usage. GPS can be used to determine you 2D position and your elevation with 3D positioning.
  • Garmin Elevate heart rate monitor – we are on about the 3rd iteration of this optical sensor now and it is market-leading but still needs to be further improved
  • Barometric Altimeter – if air pressure falls you are assumed to have gone ‘up’. This could be a flight of stairs or a mountain. Over time there are weather-based changes to air pressure and hence, unless corrected, you can appear to go up or down when, in fact, you are going nowhere. GPS 3D positioning can be used to correct such drift as can you passing through a point on a map with a known elevation.
  • Compass – you know what it does. But the Fenix compass can be nuanced to, for example, show true North and magnetic North.
  • Gyroscope – can be used to measure orientation and angular velocity. A simple turn of your wrist could trigger the backlight to turn on.
  • Accelerometer – can be used to count steps
  • Thermometer – ambient temperature
  • Water Resistant to 10ATM (100m)
  • Battery – up to 11 hours of GPS usage. Music reduces this to 4.5 hours. GPS usage can be paired back in UltraTrac mode to enable 25 hours of sports usage. 7 days as a regular watch.
  • Storage – 16GB for maps and activities, 4GB for music … not as much as it sounds.
  • WiFi, ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity
    • WiFi can be used to upload completed workout files or stream music
    • Bluetooth enables a smart connection to Garmin Connect Mobile on your smartphone and then to upload workout data – but also to receive call and app notifications from the smartphone. Many other smart features exist, such as music control for music on your smartphone and pre-canned answers to SMS messages.
    • Bluetooth sensors can be connected simultaneously with ANT+ sensors
  • NFC – can effectively turn your Fenix 5S Plus watch into a payment card for ‘tap and pay’ functionality in stores with Garmin PAY

Pre-Built Feature Sets

Here Garmin’s software and some 3rd parties’ software leverage the capabilities of the device we have just considered. The Garmin Fenix 5S Plus reviewed here has a LOT of pre-existing features. I’ll list them by ‘type’ and add in some commentary for parts that I think you might find interesting and useful to inform you in your purchase.


Firstbeat – Firstbeat physiological algorithms are integrated into the Garmin ecosystem. That means both on the watch and on the Garmin Connect software on your smartphone and on the web.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

  • Firstbeat do very clever things with heart rate data, both ‘simple’ heart beats per minute and the variation between those beats. When coupled with other pieces of your workout data, great insights into your performance can be delivered to estimate, for example, your: VO2max; Lactate Threshold HR (LTHR, AnT); training load; training status; recovery time; readiness to train; performance condition; and MUCH more.
  • This physiological data, in part, can now also be sync’d between your devices using Garmin Physio TrueUp.
  • Many smartwatch buyers initially want 24×7 heart rate (which you have) and VO2max data but very soon the Firstbeat algorithms deliver you VERY MUCH more insight into what is going on in your body from a sporting perspective.
  • There is a much more detailed section further below under ‘Specialist Features’ comprehensively explaining the many Firstbit features.

Activity Tracking

I sense that the market is now moving away from simple activity trackers. Nevertheless, like most other manufacturers, Garmin’s activity tracking capabilities are considerable.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

  • Steps, floors climbed, calories burned, distance travelled
  • Goals – including progress towards auto goals and manually set goals.
  • Fitness age (Connect app) – the one good thing about getting fitter and older is that this will tell you how younger than your real age you really are. Maybe 😉
  • Intensity minutes – some minutes of activity have more benefit than others. Perhaps this is a better way to look at your basic activity tracking than simply ‘steps’
  • Sleep monitoring – You can now get some POSSIBLE insights into your sleep quality and sleep stages. Every athlete knows that it’s when sleeping that their body adapts to the exercise rigours of the day before. The RIGHT kind of sleep is KEY to getting faster. Garmin’s ELEVATE sensor is now able to leverage resting HRV data as well as movements from the accelerometer/gyroscope at night.
  • Move reminders showing inactivity
  • All day stress tracking

Smart Connected Features

From “Where’s my phone” to “control my phone” to “what’s the weather?” you will get some intelligent stuff by linking to your smartphone. A lot of this is identical on competing units from different producers.

  • iOS & Android compatibility
  • Discover my watch or telephone – works both approach !
  • Calendar, climate, sensible notifications
  • Many downloadable watch faces
  • Check response/reject calls (Android)
  • Sensible notifications (apps and SMS)
  • Management smartphone music, management watch music, management a VIRB digital camera distant
  • Contactless cost (Garmin PAY – chosen banks and GEOs)

The major function units within the Fenix 5S Plus cowl operating, biking, swimming, triathlon, golf and common outside/climbing. A few of the particular person options work throughout sports activities.

Sports activities Options Overlaying All Sports activities

Planning & Preparation Options

Garmin has a coaching calendar to schedule exercises and ship them to you to comply with in your Fenix. You should purchase on-line coaching plans to additional automate & simplify this. As of July 2018, Garmin have began to introduce ADAPTIVE coaching plans although Garmin COACH and this can possible enhance in protection and supported potential ranges over time.

Garmin Coach – Any Good ? Free Adaptive 5K Operating Plan

Garmin even have the power to create complicated structured exercises on CONNECT which may then be executed on the watch. Complicated intervals may be constructed and there are numerous add-on features that enhance the exercise expertise similar to alerts and countdown timers. Typically complicated exercise are a bit too, err, complicated and so there’s additionally an on-watch function to create and comply with easy intervals (that’s the function that competing watches have a tendency so as to add to exhibit their help for intervals)

  • Digital companion – the digital companion paces you to a pre-decided (fastened) velocity/tempo
  • Race an exercise – ie a earlier effort by you or a pal. This brings within the information that the earlier effort might have been slower up hills ie a various tempo is adopted.
  • Spherical-journey course creator (operating/biking) – this has some feubles when in use however is right for vacation and exercising or exploring unfamiliar areas.
  • Trendline reputation routing – your routes will comply with these most frequently used in response to Garmin’s database of our actions.
  • Configurable lap alert message – usually I exploit autolaps and need to understand how quick I ran that final km. Lap Time usually suffices till I press a guide lap when the time is usually meaningless…I’ve added Lap Tempo to cowl figuring out how briskly my final guide laps was.
  • Customisable alerts – a big array of alerting choices masking energy, tempo HR, cadence at excessive and low ranges. That is tremendous helpful to assist tempo flat races and to maintain your efforts beneath management in hillier ones. You may simply merely need steerage to remain inside a given coaching zone eg cardio Z2
  • Spoken and customisable audio prompts (by way of bluetooth headphones, the Fenix has no inbuilt speaker)
  • Absolutely customisable (Multi-) Sports activities Profiles – Sure sorts of knowledge are essential to any given sport and to you. Pre-canned profiles do, for instance, embrace SPEED moderately than PACE for a biking profile and may flip off GPS for an indoor profile. REPS is perhaps added for health club exercises. And so the listing goes on to N ranges of element. Even when the pre-canned profile is just not best for you, then you’ll be able to change it. In all probability the one draw back that stands out right here is the restrictions of the display measurement – ie a smaller display limits what might be proven and should you make the info fields too small then many individuals can’t learn it. So Garmin let you’ve 1 to four knowledge fields on one in every of a number of pages per sport profile. It should virtually definitely do what you need it to. If not, third get together apps may also be used to show in-exercise screens and particular knowledge fields. third get together apps may even add greater than four datafields to at least one display.

Coaching Options

GNSS – GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/UltraTrac offer you a reasonably monitor displaying the place you’ve been. Additionally they tells you your velocity/tempo and place on a map. However GNSS/GPS makes use of plenty of battery energy, decreasing battery life, and accuracy varies in accordance with circumstances. UltraTrac exists to increase battery life by periodically enabling monitoring – it’s helpful for lengthy hikes or, maybe, longer triathlons. GALILEO and GLONASS typically enhance place recording in constructed-up areas and underneath tree cowl. Usually I’d say “Just use GPS“.

Your workout data can be recorded every second or ‘smartly’. SMART (default) seems to mean that something is only recorded when some data changes eg speed, cadence, direction. I’d change this to record every second.

  • Strava (live) Segments – check your progress against friends on your favourite segments. Also included is segment information like elevation, a map, and the race time of the segment leader. Same for Garmin Segments. You can race segments live on the road once downloaded to your watch. You’ll need Strava PREMIUM for this.
  • LiveTrack – your family, at home or ‘race-side’, can check your progress that is broadcast via the smartphone you are carrying.
  • Group LiveTrack – If your group enable live track then this will tell everyone where everyone else is; assuming they are all carrying a phone as well.
  • Auto Pause – for those pesky traffic lights
  • Customisable Auto Lap – eg 1km for running and 10km for cycling
  • Auto scroll – consider this if you have more than one page per sport profile. This feature sounds good but I find it annoying in practice.
  • Manual lap – creates a new lap. At the same time ending the last autolap, if there was one.
  • Projected Finish time to your training target

Analysis features

Whilst the post-workout analysis on the watch is somewhat limited, once your data is in Garmin Connect or elsewhere then there are no limits to the analyses you can do. But on the Fenix there are still some pretty good stats showing various sport totals but also, perhaps more usefully, the stats for your workouts which include:

  • Time in zone, training effect, laps, pace, stroke rate, elevation plot give just a flavour. There are many more simple stats to view; and
  • I’ll mention some of the Firstbeat stats again that you can find linked to either your workout history or to your current status. I’ll cover these later as well: Training status; Training load (last 7 days); Training effect (aerobic & anaerobic); and VO2max (cycling/running)

Running Features

If you are buying a top-end watch at this price point then you should probably also buy a HRM-RUN (or HRM-TRI) and a decent footpod (STRYD/RunScribe) to get all the benefits from what the Fenix 5S Plus offers.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Treadmill running and trail running profiles are supported and you can create your own custom running profile too. Whilst the Fenix will produce fairly accurate running cadence from the WRIST (yep), a footpod will be useful to give accurate running pace from its highly accurate stride length info. Advanced running footpods like STRYD and RunScribe will also give you running power, super-advanced running gait metrics and accurate instant running pace – in the case of STRYD that requires no calibration. If STRYD/RunScribe are a gadget-too-far then a HRM-RUN (or HRM-TRI) is a good investment to give you accurate heart rate as your Fenix will give you inaccurate optical HR – despite probably being accurate enough for casual reference to HR. The other benefit of buying a HRM-RUN is that it will give you additional running metrics namely vertical oscillation and ground contact time.

Garmin also include a race predictor. This really tells you what you might be able to achieve if you trained appropriately for the distance in question. A 2:49 marathon would be nice…

Race Predictor Forerunner 645Race Predictor Forerunner 645

Forerunner 645 Music Shown

After 6 or more minutes into your run your Performance Condition is displayed as a ‘pop up’. The higher the value, the more you can ‘go for it’ for the rest of the workout.

If you are racing and training at hard levels then you may want to know your Lactate Threshold HR (LTHR, AnT, LT2). Above this point things progressively go pear-shaped with your performance yet, if you are well-trained, you will be able to operate in this state for over an hour. Garmin/Firstbeat autocaclulate and update this periodically. It’s a very useful pacing tool, although I find it slightly over-estimates my LTHR.

Finally, also a Metronome – Hone your cadence with a beeping metronome. Gets annoying after a while !

Run Metrics

A LOT of metrics are pre-installed on the device and there are additional data fields you can get from Connect IQ.

Here are some of the ones on the device: (Last)Lap Time; Elapsed Time; Avg. Lap Time; (Lap) Distance; Last Lap Distance; (Current) Pace; Average Pace;LapPace; Last LapPace; Speed; Average Speed;(Last) Lap Speed; Maximum Speed; Vertical Speed; Heart Rate; Average HR; HR Zone; Aerobic TTE; Anaerobic TE; HR% Max; %HRR; Avg HR %Max;Average %HRR; Lap HR; Lap %HRR; Lap HR %Max; Tiem in Zone; (Avg.) Vertical Oscillation; (Avg) Vertical Ratio; Avg/Lap GCT; Avg/LAP Gct Balance; (Avg) Stride Length; (Avg/Lap) Cadence; Temperature; Avg Ascent; Avg Descent; Max/Min Ascent/Descent; Elevation; Total/Lap/Last Lap Ascent/Descent; Min/Max Elevation; GPS Elevation; Glide Ratio; Grade; Heading; GPS Heading; Compass Heading; Navigation fields; Muscle Oxygen Fields; Calories; Battery Level; Performance Condition; Laps; Sunrise/sunset; and Time of Day.

Running With Power

The Fenix 5S Plus supports Garmin’s Running Power (GRP) Algorithm provided you also have an HRM-RUN or RD-POD. It’s a freebie; so it’s good to try out if you are intrigued by running with power as proxy measure of effort. Running Power *IS* useful on undulating courses, in my opinion. If you want to use running power more seriously (properly) in your training then you need to quickly decide to go with either RunScribe or STRYD as your history of power workouts from GRP will not match the STRYD/RunScribe data going forwards.

CIQ Running power datafields and apps ARE supplied by STRYD, RunScribe and Garmin’s own Garmin Running Power is also a CIQ app. However RUNNING POWER is NOT yet properly integrated into any Garmin watch. Once this is agreed by the ANT+ organisation then Garmin and other vendors can implement it. What this means for you, for example, is that you do not have the on-watch features with running power that you might be able to with HR. For example, you can create HR alerts but you can’t create RUNNING POWER alerts (actually you can but not in the same way – see CIQ).

Cycling Features

The Garmin Fenix 5S PLUS reviewed here has most of the features found on the top-end Garmin Edge 1030. Yet, there is only so much useful cycling feedback you can get from the Fenix without additional sensors. IE mostly various flavours of time, distance and speed. The addition of other cycling sensors can greatly enhance your cycling experience:

  • Display // Navigation – The screen size on the Fenix is clearly smaller than on many of the best cycling computers. If you take cycling seriously you have a couple of options: buy another computer and leave the Fenix at home; buy a bike computer for display purposes but still use the Fenix as your main workout recording device; buy a specialist dummy bike computer like the Edge 130 – dummy in the sense that data FROM the Fenix can be cast onto the Edge 130’s display. The Fenix is supplied with Garmin’s routable, cycling-specific street map – that’s pretty cool but the screen size will limit its usefulness when cycling at any normal speed on intricate routes, especially on trails where turns are less obvious.
  • Safety / Commuting – Compatible with Varia rear-facing radar and with Varia lights. These accessories are ‘smart’ and have many interesting features. I don’t use them routinely but I would suggest a closer look if you cycle regularly for your commute. eg Proximity alerts and changed flashing light patterns as vehicles approach.
  • Basic Training – will be enhanced by a cadence sensor
  • Advanced training and racing – will be enhanced by a power meter. The best power meter solution for entry-level cyclists with a bit of cash is likely to be Favero ASSIOMA pedals or a Stages Crank. Training & racing with power is a broad subject and can get complicated quite quickly. The Fenix 5S can asses your ‘FTP‘, from which many power insights are derived.
  • A useful cycling feature is where you can race an activity (either yours or someone else’s) and you are informed how far ahead/behind you are. You can take this to super-complex levels by linking to BestBikeSplit and get optimised race plans for the course you are doing that even take into account wind.
  • Time and distance alerts are supported as are more complex alerts. These are activated if, for example, you exceed various cadence or power thresholds.
  • If you are a time-trialist or just like your gadgets then the Fenix 5S Plus is also compatible with Varia Vision – a heads-up display.

Swimming features

Openwater and pool swim profiles are both available with stroke detection. Openwater has GPS enabled and you can set a custom pool length when using a pool. If you use an outdoors pool you use pool mode.

Rather uniquely Garmin now allow you to follow complex structured SWIM workouts. That’s a relatively recent addition – 2016 IIRC.

Old image, same pool.

The swim functionality is pretty awesome and comprehensive enough for me. In my opinion the stroke detection algorithms are now very good and give a high degree of accuracy – but not perfect. The onboard accelerometer detects when you push-off from the end of the pool. If you are lane swimming with other people and you stop or change your stroke then your Fenix won’t be able to ‘see’ that and your results will be impaired.

The swim metrics are good and include distance, pace, stroke count/rate, lengths, calories and SWOLF. These metrics are included on many non-Garmin watches these days but Garmin have additional swim functionality with DRILL LOGGING (you tell the watch you are doing – say 100m of drills that it would not otherwise properly recognise) and there are also extra functionalities built into rest periods between sets where, for example, you can have a countdown timer to the next rep.

Heart rate data when swimming is not enabled on your Fenix’s optical sensor. Presumably because Garmin cannot make it sufficiently accurate (fair enough, it’s hard) – although Suunto and Polar (M600) both support live, optical HR when swimming. If you want HR data whilst swimming then Garmin require you to buy either a Garmin HRM-SWIM or HRM-TRI chest strap – the names kinda give away the intended uses, although it’s perfectly OK to use the HRM-TRI in a pool (I do). The HRM-SWIM adheres better to your body when doing a tumble turn and has better longevity resistance to pool chemicals. However even with these expensive chest straps you still do not get live swim data as you swim, although you can get it in between sets when out of the water. The HR data is downloaded to your watch at the end of the workout and includes a recovery mode for when things go wrong (once a year or so for me).

You can send your swim data to swim.com or other sites for more insights. I use SportsTracks& Golden Cheetah desktop software FWIW, others use TrainingPeaks.

Triathlon Features

Triathlon features encompass those set in the constituent sports profiles. Garmin is uniquely awesome in properly supporting ‘any triathlon’ or, more correctly ‘any multisport event’.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

The Fenix 5S Plus *IS* a proper triathlon watch because it supports all of these:

  • Ability to make a custom multisport profile eg Run-bike-run (duathlon or Swim-run (aquathlon) or Swim-bike (bikeathon) or PoolSwim-Bike-Run (pool-based triathlon) or OWS-MTB-trail run (cross triathlon).
  • Transitions – can be enabled or disabled
  • There is a 5 sport limit. However REPEATS are a recently added function that, for example, allows you to repeat swim+run very many times like in Otillo. You may also perform repeated BRICK profiles in training such as repeats of RUN-BIKE. This is a more than acceptable workaround to the 5 sport limit.
  • If you are going to take triathlon seriously then, if you think about it, you will need most of these features at some point and no other vendor delivers them anywhere near as well as Garmin. If someone tells you otherwise then they are wrong. There are ways around all of the above issues with other vendors’ triathlon watches but it will typically boil down to a ‘faff’ when you least need a ‘faff’

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

If you are ONLY EVER going to do Open Water Swim + Road Bike + Run then you don’t need the special Garmin multisport functionality. But is that really all you are ver going to do? (Hint: it won’t be)

Outdoor & Recreation Features

Outdoor and recreation features are covered in a variety of profiles: Hiking, Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Jumpmaster & Tactical. The profiles have their own nuances, for example skiing will give you specific RUN stats.

The Fenix 5S Plus, indeed all the Fenix 5 Plus series, gives you a free global and routable map, Basically you can follow a route like your car’s satnav and you can get redirected if you go off course. Many other competing products will simply support a pre-defined route that is a series of GPS points (breadcrumb)…if you go off track then the only intelligence to help you renavigate is to either backtrack or follow a compass heading to some point.

Those are still useful features and, of course, are included in the Fenix. Along with others:

  • Point-to-point navigation – does what it says. The Around Me mode enables navigation to nearby, pre-loaded POIs and waypoints. Garmin XERO can use laser sighting to create waypoints as-you-go.
  • Back to start – as the crow flies
  • TracBack – follow the track back from whence you came
  • Round trip – creates a route back to the start for a specified distance.
  • Projected waypoint – create a point to navigate to by creating distance and bearing to that point
  • Sight ‘n’ Go – physically point the top of the watch to an object and press go!
  • Preloaded topographical maps
  • Compass
  • Current GPS co-ordinates
  • Dual Grid – Displays your current location in your configured coordinate grid in addition to latitude/longitude
  • Plan outdoor trips with free Garmin BaseCamp
  • Turn prompts
  • Off-Course prompts
  • Draw map contours, lock on road, auto zoom, map orientation…you get it.

Garmin have spent a lot of time thinking about this AND implementing it.

There are some nice screens and special outdoor features.

  • Elevation profile – It’s simple enough to imagine a plot of your entire workout by altitude – there’s nothing new there. But there is the new ClimbPro functionality which gives you specific information about the current and next planned/navigated climb in your workout.
  • Distance to destination
  • Barometric trend indicator with storm alert – at a defined rate of change in pressure, a storm alert is issued ie does not require smartphone connectivity
  • Vertical speed – this is a vaguely useful measure of, sort-of, effort
  • Total ascent/descent
  • UltraTrac mode (mentioned above) – records stuff less frequently. This is different to SMART recording which records only changed data ie maintaining full data quality (in theory)

Finally there are some specific aspects of outdoors activities that are supported via Garmin’s CIQ apps and these are: Area calculation; hunt/fish calendar; and sun/moon info. CIQ apps will also give you MUCH more than that.

Golfing features

I can hit a golf ball and once managed about 20 over par (18 holes!). My golfing knowledge ends there so I’ll just list the features and not pretend to know what I’m talking about. The features look mostly self-explanatory and you should know that most of the world’s golf courses have been digitized on various golf databases. Garmin clearly has one. I’m assuming that the courses will never tell you the precise pin position on any given day. There are insights into swing metrics (TruSwing accessory) as well as simple stroke counting and your GPS position is used to determine where you are on the hole.

  • Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)
  • Yardage to layups/doglegs
  • Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)
  • Digital scorecard
  • Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)
  • Garmin AutoShot
  • Auto CourseView updates
  • Green View with manual pin position
  • Hazards and course targets
  • TruSwing compatible
  • Round timer/odometer

My understanding is that some electronic golfing devices are against some competition rules. #Check.

The specialist features in the Fenix 5S Plus are what set it apart from the earlier Fenix 5 series


initially only the Fenix PLUS series of watches had the GALILEO GNSS (read ‘GPS’) capability. However within a few weeks Galileo was also rolled out to the earlier Fenix 5 watches and the Forerunner 935. It will not be rolled out to the Fenix 3.

Galileo could bring increased accuracy to positional information. See the chapters later on to see if it makes any difference in reality. (A: Not much and not predictably so)

Garmin Pay turns your watch into a contactless card.

Most reviewers appear not to have used this functionality. It’s not complicated. BUT it does require a supported bank. And that specifically means BANK and not a generic VISA or MASTERCARD. So I have a Starling Bank (UK) Mastercard which I got solely for the purpose of reviews of Garmin and Fitbit products.

Here is a list of supported banks continually updated by Garmin, for your bank to work it absolutely MUST be on this list: link to garmin.com.

I added my Starling card via Garmin Connect mobile. There were a few feubles with that process but it was generally alright.

When I transfer funds by phone from my First Direct account to my Starling account, the money is available to use on the watch within 10 seconds. Other banks may take longer.

When you want to pay it is straightforward to access the wallet from your customisable shortcut keys, as shown here:

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

You enter your passcode:

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

The passcode seems to only be required if you have taken your watch off since you last made a purchase. There may also be a long time limit in there as well.

So what you would normally do is get the passcode entered while you are queuing and then get the following ‘ready to pay’ screen. You have about 60 seconds to use it and that’s normally enough. Plenty of time with Pret a Manger’s speedy service (no I don’t get a free sandwich for mentioning them 😉 )

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

So; Garmin PAY is a neat solution and I’ve generally become more amenable to it the more I’ve used it. It is convenient for small purchases. The downsides are the need to sometimes enter a passcode whilst queuing and the mechanics of twisting your wrist and presenting the watch to the terminal. From the other side of the till, the shop assisstant is not always ready for you to pay by ‘contactless’ as, for now, they normally expect to see a contactless payer physically holding their debit/credit card. ie the watch is not so obvious.

Of course the biggest downside is that your bank probably isn’t supported yet…

If music be the food of running, play on, Give me excess of it; that suffering, The pace may slacken, and so die.

Source: W. Shakespeare (modified)

I wouldn’t go as far as dying Will, but lots of people do like to run with music and, by extension, podcasts. After all, an MP3 is an MP3 is an MP3.

Jabra Elite Active 65t Review Garmin 5S Plus

Jabra Elite Active 65t Review Garmin 5S Plus

First up: there’s no speaker. Quite a few running watches do have inbuilt speakers. So you are dependent on your bluetooth headphones/speakers having a decent battery charge with the Fenix 5S Plus.

If you want to live-stream music over the internet then you will need to “dream on”, somewhat than Shakespeare’s “play on”. No Garmin has acquired any sort of inbuilt mobile connectivity. You’d solely technically be capable of stay streamt by way of a smartphone when operating…yet one more factor so that you can carry and cost. And that’s fairly pointless as we already know that MANY watches can act as a distant management for the music performed by way of your telephone. So you’d be higher of utilizing your smartphone if you wish to reside-stream music as you run.

What Garmin current of their music providing is flawed. However the identical is true of almost all the different aggressive Operating-With-Music choices. There’s a Looong method to go earlier than the right operating+music system exists, a lot of the delays might be brought on by music licensing restrictions.

What Music Will go on My Garmin Fenix 5S Plus?

Garmin declare 500 songs might be saved and the full area on the Fenix 5S Plus is 4Gb (three.6Gb is obtainable). The particular MTP reference to the brand new charging cable copies them to the Fenix comparatively shortly.

The Fenix helps Deezer (‘soon’ at these places) and iHeartRadio (USA, CA, NZ, AU) in ‘link and sync’ mode. Ie when you might have connectivity to these providers by way of your smartphone/wifi then you possibly can copy tracks to your watch to playback later. When launched, Deezer ought to hyperlink and sync over WiFi and I might hope it additionally helps dynamic playlists.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

iHeartRadio CIQ app on Garmin Join ouch (Score: 2.5/5, Developer states 500mb restrict in July 2018 – #OhDear).

Two music apps have been lately added from KKBOX and AWA (as of 20Jul 2018 no Deezer). I couldn’t get both of these apps to work. #OhDear

Clicks to newest apps on CIQ retailer

iHeartRadio app CAN be downloaded in any nation. It should solely work within the right areas. ie not for me, I attempted. For these of you within the USA, you retailer your logon credentials by way of the app on GARMIN EXPRESS.

So, let’s face it meaning the overwhelming majority of these of you who’re studying this should manually/selectively copy information to the Fenix 5S Plus utilizing Garmin Categorical. #OhDear

And people music information MUST be in your pc. Not a community, not a reminiscence stick, not a mapped community drive. Consider me I attempted. #OhDear

Do you’ve got losslessly compressed, excessive-definition audio information within the comparatively widespread .FLAC format? Properly, you’ll be able to’t use these both. #OhDear. However you should use all of those; mp3, m4a, aac, adts, wav, m3u, m3u8, wpl, zpl and pls. That’s not too dangerous I suppose. You possibly can play a pre-loaded playlist however you’ll be able to’t create one on the watch or in Garmin Categorical.

Pairing headphones was straightforward and most headphones paired first or second time as soon as the headphones have been put in pairing mode. #Yay

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

It’s additionally value noting that many customers have discovered that sporting your Fenix 5S Plus on the identical aspect because the controls out of your headphone reduces dropouts – when operating. Usually your proper wrist. If you end up not operating playback could be OK out of your left wrist.

As talked about earlier than the controls are a bit of cumbersome … however work.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

A part of the lyrics are “everything seems to be up in the air at this point” (or comparable)

Lastly you get to run with the album artwork probably proven in all it’s low-res glory. The sound high quality is fairly good if in case you have good earbuds just like the Jabra (Jabra Elite Lively 65t Review ed right here in numerous gory element). Sound high quality is decided by lots of elements.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review


Music Codec Help

In comparisons that I’ve made towards different units my working assumption is that Garmin at present solely help the usual SBC audio codec. A half-respectable smartphone will moreover help the AAC codec.

In case your headphones help the AAC codec then you definitely WILL NOTICE a big distinction in high quality from yoru smartphone over that from the Garmin. AAC is a lot better and the Garmin won’t ever sound as nice. Nevertheless it’s alright.

Observe: In case you assume this lack of AAC CODEC information is improper please let me know under.

Extra Music Commentary

We’ve simply seen that the standing of supported on-line/streaming providers from Garmin is considerably ‘up in the air right now’. By 2020 it ought to be extra apparent the place Garmin’s help for music is heading.

Different considerations may be raised concerning the offline, storage-based mostly providing from Garmin. Is there sufficient area? Is offline storage the best way to go long run?

We’ve already seen that Garmin’s display is just not excessive-decision. Because of this there are not any fairly album cowl graphics on the display if you end up enjoying music. That’s a downer, for starters. You CAN get a low-res picture to show in some circumstances, as proven earlier – the album artwork picture appears to be encoded into some mp3 information (?) fairly than within the folder as a separate album artwork file (?)

Nevertheless the legacy mode of copying information to your watch works properly sufficient. BUT BUT probably the most sensible factor of all is that Garmin’s button-based mostly interface for controlling music is BY FAR THE BEST of any of the operating watches that management music. Attempt skipping a monitor on Google Play Music in your LG Watch once you’re scorching and sweaty and it’s raining. Garmin’s button are, properly, buttontastic. As a result of they work for sport…on a regular basis…each time.

One remaining cheery musical notice: iHeartRadio information for Chapter 11 chapter safety (Mar2018)

Extra operating watches that help music and extra operating-particular earbuds are on this SUPER lengthy submit about the most effective operating watch with music:

Greatest Operating Watch with Music 2018 | Prime 10 Information | Review

All the Fenix 5 PLUS fashions now have inbuilt international full color TopoActive maps. The unique Fenix 5 collection solely had maps on the highest-finish 5X mannequin. I appear to have free maps for all of the areas, this won’t be the case when you purchase the 5S Plus elsewhere…examine.

It’s principally the addition of those routable maps that distinguish the modifications to outside/navigation performance over the earlier Fenix 5 mannequin. All of the earlier outdoorsy features have carried forwards to the 5S Plus (eg compass)

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewGarmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Level to the place you need to go and be directed. (previous perform)

The addition of maps is shifting the Fenix forwards in broadly 2 methods: a extra full routing expertise; and openness to smarter, location-based mostly CIQ apps.

A Extra Full Routing Expertise

The ‘more complete routing experience’ is a kinda apparent assertion. Beforehand there have been NON-clever breadcrumb trails and now there’s all of the intelligence of a automotive’s satnav to re-route you over correct roads & trails if you make a incorrect turning. Overlay on prime of that each one of Garmin’s pre-present performance round compasses, spherical journey routing, barometric+GPS altimeters and also you quickly begin to have a reasonably cool outdoor software.

Successfully POIs of many sorts are overlain onto the map. So you are able to do very a lot the identical kind of factor on the 5S Plus as you’ll be able to in your Satnav eg you possibly can navigate to the closest Financial institution do you have to so want. I might say that the POI-based mostly navigation works properly and one of many first belongings you may do is add a customized POI as your ‘home’ or your lodge in a brand new metropolis.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

I’ve adopted strolling directions in an city space and the expertise was ‘functional’ ie it labored. Nevertheless there have been some delays and maybe too typically repeated directions on when to show. These directions took over your complete display and so obscured the map. So couple the truth that you’ll be able to’t see the map with a notable diploma of positional inaccuracy in a constructed-up space and you actually might get misplaced shortly. Nevertheless, as I used to be strolling, there was loads of time to plan forward by wanting on the map when it was seen. The Fenix 5S Plus was additionally pretty good at orienting itself the right approach regardless of itself pointing the mistaken approach when when on my wrist (give it some thought) ie it knew my course of journey and oriented itself correctly. There was additionally a fairly good diploma of autozoom which appeared to be based mostly on my velocity and proximity to the subsequent level of path-change.

I additionally adopted a route while operating a close-by path. I attempted the very same route with the unique Fenix 5X when it first got here out. The unique Fenix 5X simply didn’t work; nevertheless the 5S Plus was fairly good. I used to be additionally intentionally listening to music on the similar time. With the distration of music the buzzing naivgational alerts, buzzing efficiency situation alerts and buzzing autolap alerts are prehaps an excessive amount of and I missed my turns a number of occasions. The show was readable even by way of sun shades.

Take this type of navigation as much as a motorcycle shifting at larger speeds then there are additional points. First up the display is small. If it’s in your wrist it’s harmful to experience one handed and take a look at it and it’s mounted on the handlebars then it’s a truthful distance away out of your eyes. A bigger-screened bike pc would undoubtedly be higher. Nevertheless the Fenix 5S Plus WAS satisfactory as a BikeNav. When biking on roads, even regardless of slight lags, I had enough audible and visible warning to know once I subsequent wanted to show. Biking on unfamiliar trails was a unique matter totally as it is rather straightforward to zoom previous an element-hidden flip off.

I additionally tried a 10 mile spherical journey route. After ready a minute I gave up. It’s too sluggish Garmin.

However within the absence of a motorcycle pc and within the absence of ‘nothing’ the Fenix 5S Plus is definitely a transfer in the best path. Would i ever use it as a Bikenav? Yep, perhaps. Though I do have higher BikeNavs.

I’m solely making these destructive factors so you possibly can respect the restrictions you may encounter. Sometimes these limitations can be a minor inconvenience however for those who have been driving on new trails every single day the the 5S Plus can be the mistaken gadget for you.

Extra Clever Mapping and CIQ

Garmin’s inbuilt mapping performance can present you the POIs round you. There are definate limitations imposed through the use of the 5-button interface to navigate to them. A contact display that helps pinch and zoom would DEFINATELY be higher (offering it labored). Nevertheless for infrequent and extra leisure-sort navigation then 5 buttons are good sufficient.

Within the picture proven under, the lively phase of the watch face might be modified after which chosen to deliver up an inventory of POIs ordered by the closest first.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

It’s a bit of cumbersome. Nevertheless it works. Though having stated that a number of the mapping features are typically somewhat too sluggish for my liking.

Placing all that to at least one aspect, what we’re going to see shifting forwards is Garmin’s mapping performance being opened as much as app builders. For instance on Garmin’s Edge units we now have already seen the Yelp app (hyperlink to: garmin.com) which may add extra context to a easy POI akin to together with a store’s opening occasions or evaluations. So the mapping might be going to be improved to help your NON-sporting actions as apps develop over time.

That is the one factor you’ll miss out on by shopping for the 5 Plus or 5S Plus. It’s a extremely specialist blood oxygen sensor (SpO2) for intermittent use when acclimatising throughout climbing. There are additionally potential medical makes use of.

Should you don’t know precisely what it’s already then it virtually definitely shall be of no use to you in any respect.

PulseOx/SpO2 is completely totally different to Moxy/Humon Hex.

You possibly can pair sensors which might be both Bluetooth SMART (BLE) or ANT+. YES!! This IS right.

You possibly can hook up with the Garmin Join app on both iOS or Android or to a pc by way of Garmin Categorical and the charging cable. After you have paired to the app you may also routinely pair to WiFi networks that your smartphone is already paired to.

A lot of the opposite curiosity on this part comes with what different sensors might be paired TO the Fenix 5S Plus. However the primary factor to notice is that the sooner non-Plus model of the Fenix 5 had CONNECTIVITY PROBLEMS. These at the moment are resolved (AFAIK) with the Plus collection. ie don’t assume that you’ll get a number of much less options by going for the non-Plus model…that’s true however additionally, you will get stuff that doesn’t work. GET THE PLUS NOT THE NON-PLUS


Clearly you’ll be able to pair headphones (or Bluetooth audio system) to take heed to music. I’ve tried a number of pairs of Jabra headphones and three lesser recognized manufacturers they usually all, superficially at, least paired. I have no idea of any complete listing of headphones that work however do this for starters for the Forerunner 645 (Hyperlink to: garmin.com). Observe additionally that some headphone controls won’t work when linked to the Fenix 5S Plus. Some (most?) headphones and earbuds seem to work greatest if you put on the watch in your proper wrist, it’s because the correct aspect is usually when the primary controlling headphone/earbud is situated and so alerts would not have to cross by way of your physique.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Velocity &/or Cadence (Bike)

Garmin Speed, Cadence and GSC-10 Combined SensorGarmin Speed, Cadence and GSC-10 Combined Sensor

Garmin Velocity, Cadence and GSC-10 Mixed Sensor

The basic Garmin GSC-10 combo sensors was the one to make use of a number of years again. That’s nonetheless positive however it’s a BIG ache to modify between bikes so the brand new, costlier and separate Garmin velocity and cadence sensors are an incredible selection. Cheaper non-Garmin options exist eg Wahoo.

Aside from for indoor utilization virtually everybody will solely want a cadence sensor. Getting your velocity & distance from GPS might be principally effective.

Exterior Coronary heart Price

This could possibly be a chest strap or an arm band. I really like the HRM-TRI because it gives further options to the Fenix 5S Plus/935. The HRM-TRI can be a terrific choice for you however there are numerous coronary heart fee screens at half of these costs that also give a wonderfully good and correct HR studying eg Wahoo, Polar, 4iiii, Scosche, Runar.

Polar H10 H7 suunto smart belt movesense garmin hrm-tri hrm-swimPolar H10 H7 suunto smart belt movesense garmin hrm-tri hrm-swim

Decide a strap…any strap

Most exterior chest straps present HRV knowledge. That is wanted for Firstbeat LACTATE measurement and different intelligent stuff. You possibly can even retailer HRV knowledge within the FIT file after which do some very, very intelligent & complicated issues afterwards. Not lots of it would be best to…

Optical armbands such because the Scosche Rhythm, Polar OH1 and Wahoo Tickt Match ARE surprisingly correct however any optical HR on the wrist WILL have issues throughout sport.

The Fenix 5S Plus can broadcast the heartrate it senses from the optical sensor to different gear eg to some health club gear or to your bike pc. ie it may well act like a standalone optical coronary heart fee monitor.


Milestone pod reviewMilestone pod reviewA correctly calibrated footpod offers you correct tempo. Many will solely be correct over sure tempo ranges eg Garmin. The Milestone pod is reasonable and cheerful and STRYD’s pod is dear however correct, additionally supplying you with operating energy. The cheaper STRYD Stay omits the POWER metric.

As soon as paired you may think about configuring the footpod on the 5S Plus to be the supply of PACE and DISTANCE (I do!)

I observed no knowledge dropouts with STRYD and RunScribe – there ARE dropouts within the non-Plus model.


RD-POD (Operating Dynamics)

This can be a clip-on pod that provides operating dynamics knowledge just like the (Efficient) Floor Contact Time and Vertical Oscillation. You’ll get the identical from a HRM-RUN chest strap. These sensors together with GPS will feed into Garmin’s free Operating Energy CIQ app which we’ll talk about later on this Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review.

I’m not satisfied that these sensors (and GPS) present sufficiently correct inputs to offer significant leads to Garmin’s Operating Energy (GRP) app. However GRP is free, so give it a go.

Actually I wouldn’t hassle shopping for one in every of these. The metrics usually are not actually actionable. You WILL get cadence from contained in the watch and that IS correct sufficient to be actionable AND cadence is the quickest win that most individuals could make to enhance their method. Principally…make cadence progressively larger over time; and wonderful issues fall into place, naturally.

Virb, Tempe, Lights, Radar, H.U.D. and Muscle O2

Garmin Varia RTL 500

Garmin Varia RTL 500…these are all extra unique sensors you may need to hook up with your Fenix 5S Plus.


Garmin’s app is likely one of the higher sport and exercise apps. I like Fitbit’s and Polar’s too.

The Garmin app is absolutely complete: sleep, steps, sports activities, day views, tendencies, physiological stuff. It’s all there and extra in addition to. There’s SO MUCH knowledge within the app that typically it’s not all the time so intuitive to know the place to look to seek out the knowledge you want. However it’s there. Someplace.

All of your knowledge is sync’d to Garmin Join on-line and the identical type of factor is on the market on that platform. And it’s all free.

Listed here are a number of screenshots of the app from a couple of months again, together with one in every of my GPS accuracy check route. Extra on that later.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


These of you who’ve multiple Garmin system will discover that your PRs/PBs and another physiological recordings are beginning to be synchronised throughout the Garmin ecosystem utilizing Physio TrueUp on supported units – of which the 5S Plus is one.

There are lots of features of the Fenix 5S Plus that will probably be correct to various levels. I assume that steps and stairs climbed can be correct sufficient for the needs that the info is put in the direction of.

Garmin’s sleep analyses are properly-intentioned however I’m close to positve, from different analysis, that they won’t precisely symbolize true sleep levels. However I’ve no approach to again up my assertion (and neither would Garmin).

In order that leaves us wanting on the accuracy of Elevation, GNSS/GPS and coronary heart price. Individuals are likely to ‘Poo Poo’ the accuracy that different individuals search from units when that facet of accuracy is just not essential to them. For instance the small minority of cyclists who use energy meters (of which I’m one) may need a vocal sub-minority that are likely to look down on these in search of GPS accuracy or HR accuracy. Runners, in response, may cite the just about sure incontrovertible fact that there are a VASTLY larger variety of individuals on the lookout for GNSS/GPS accuracy that there are cyclists wanting on the variations of between 98-99% accuracy in energy meters. Equally, for all its flaws, coronary heart-fee based mostly coaching is utilized by a VERY LARGE variety of individuals throughout many sports activities.

I exploit coronary heart price so much and I’m principally conscious of all its accuracies. Nevertheless one factor I’m mildly involved about is that many individuals are in all probability utilizing optical coronary heart price and blindly assuming that it’s all the time right. It isn’t.

So with all that in thoughts. Let’s look a bit extra on the accuracy of GNSS/GPS/GALILEO, coronary heart price and elevation/altitude.

As of 24 July 2018 my suggestion for you is to only use GPS. Flip off GLONASS and switch off GALILEO – for now. That may avoid wasting battery.

GPS+GLONASS does SOMETIMES make reception higher in constructed up areas and underneath timber nevertheless it typically makes reception worse. GPS+GALILEO appears to make no distinction or some slight, constructive distinction – however then typically it’s 50m off. Different studies recommend occasional city enhancements.

Finish Aim: It’s UNLIKELY that GNSS know-how will ship accuracy & precision in bigger cities from a satellite tv for pc sign alone. Purchase a footpod.


It appears that evidently the Fenix 5/5S/5X Plus have a single frequency GNSS chip utilizing the E1 frequency (Galileo) and the L1 frequency (GPS). My understanding is that the accuracy of Galileo with single frequency is just like the accuracy of GPS with single frequency. The large enchancment in GNSS accuracy is most certainly to return from twin frequency Galileo (frequency E1 and frequency E5a).


Let’s begin off with a GPS-solely biking monitor from a Garmin Forerunner 645 some time again (645+GPS: bear with me!).

garmin 645 amazfit stratos wahoo elemntgarmin 645 amazfit stratos wahoo elemntRight here is identical roundabout extra lately with the 935 and Fenix 5S Plus each utilizing GPS+GALILEO. As soon as once more the Wahoo (GPS) is there too and is nearly as good because the Fenix.

Is the 5S any higher at that roundabout than the 645 from a number of months in the past? In all probability. Barely.

Was it nearly as good because the Amazfit Stratos or Wahoo? Perhaps not.

The most blatant level is that Galileo, in its present incarnation on Garmin, just isn’t a thoughts-blowing step change for improved accuracy in open circumstances. Let’s take a look at some extra examples.

When biking, the extent of accuracy proven above is OK for me. However I’d as nicely flip GALILEO off as I can get an identical high quality degree simply with GPS.

Initially I had some promising GALILEO outcomes however the nearer I seemed the extra I discovered little issues. They culminated with this operating ‘race’ in straightforward and open GNSS circumstances. Because it was a race I solely wore one system, so I’ve drawn the right route in white. Clearly, on this one case, GPS+GALILEO was garbage. I’m simply not going to waste my time with it for now. Long run there’s the potential of tremendous-accuracy however, being truthful to Garmin, the GALILEO constellation of satellites isn’t but absolutely prepared.

The white line was the precise route which cunningly prevented getting into a Nationwide Belief property (Ham Home) that might have required me to pay to enter and the blue line additionally exhibits me operating by way of 3m excessive, THICK brick partitions…hey I’m robust however….not that robust.

However simply in case you need to ignore my suggestion and play with the Galileo in your new toy…I imply ‘sports tool’… then I might present you different elements of tracks like this the place the 5S Plus may be fairly good

5S Plus Blue w/Galileo – 935 Pink w/Galileo

And from a special run the place the 5S once more appears to outperform the 935, each with Galileo enabled (colors reversed).

5S Plus Pink w/Galileo – 935 Blue w/Galileo

Additional on in that very same run, nevertheless, the 935 virtually nails a really troublesome part and the 5S struggles considerably to even discover the proper aspect of the street over the bridge…and meaning it was mistaken by greater than 5m.

5S Plus Pink w/Galileo – 935 Blue w/Galileo (not too far off good)

My formal check for the Fenix 5S+GPS+GALILEO scored 75% which is ‘acceptably good’ (Full outcomes linked to right here: hyperlink to the5krunner.com). However a premium gadget with the supposedly ‘best’ satellite tv for pc system must be scoring 85% – definitely it SHOULD be over 80% the place it will be within the exalted GPS firm of some Polars and a few Suuntos. Anyway, usually I might say 75% is completely superb for most individuals to make use of however, as above in my race via the brick partitions at Ham Home, you may get opposed outcomes from time-to-time.

Different Galileo notes:

  • The Edge 130 and Fenix 5 Plus vary are single channel GALILEO.
  • GALILEO (or GLONASS) will use extra battery. GLONASS was stated to make use of 20% extra battery.

If I have been so inclined, and identical to another reviewer, I might current you with quite a few SELECTIVE display photographs of the Fenix 5S Plus’s GPS efficiency and both inform the story that it was sensible or completely garbage. It’s neither. General I’d say it was ‘acceptably good’ however that might be wanting on the GPS efficiency alone. Whenever you issue within the worth of the system and the truth that it’s a supposedly prime-finish gadget then, properly, you may need one other opinion. I’m not going to say something. Inform me what YOU assume under.

Let’s begin off with a simple run in open sky and a proper flip operating Westwards beneath some mild tree cowl. All of it seems fairly good right here. The jagged strains of the 2 Garmins are slightly unusual although.

Garmin 935 (Yellow) – Suunto 9 (Blue) – Fenix 5S Plus (Purple)

Certainly that was pretty typical of the entire run, though the Suunto 9 (blue) in all probability was a bit of worse elsewhere. As proven right here

Garmin 935 (Yellow) – Suunto 9 (Blue) – Fenix 5S Plus (Purple)

Usher in a bit extra tree cowl from bigger and barely extra mature timber then the variations (all GPS solely) are extra pronounced. On the highest part of the route under the 5S might be the worst of the three however on the underside part it’s in all probability the most effective. Hey ho!

Garmin 935 (Yellow) – Suunto 9 (Blue) – Fenix 5S Plus (Purple)

This was yet one more day of operating and this time the Fenix 5S Plus impressed me when going beneath a bridge after which operating near some three-storey buildings. The 5S Plus was usually right aside from the place it deviates from the white strains. Notice (backside left hand nook for you locals) that I DID for as soon as handle to run straight previous Sigma Sport with out stopping and staring on the bikes I couldn’t afford ;-)-

coros (Blue) – 935 (Inexperienced) – 5S Plus (Yellow) – Right Route (White)

Speaking of biking.

On a special day when biking, under, the Coros is barely the worst of the three.

Coros (Purple) – Wahoo (Yellow) – Fenix 5S (Inexperienced)

I discover these multi-lap tracks fairly fascinating. The units do often appear to be working inside comparatively tight efficiency boundaries of accuracy. Even with a tighter curve thrown within the Fenix 5S Plus appears to barely edge the profitable efficiency.

Coros (Purple) – Wahoo (Yellow) – Fenix 5S (Inexperienced)

Nevertheless, it’s not all candy-smelling rose at junctions – as the next picture exhibits on a unique day the place the 935 is about proper. And the 5S Plus…isn’t. However the 5S quickly corrects itself.

935 (Blue) – 5S Plus (Purple)

What about swimming I hear you cry?

“Pants”. I shout again. Under.

Ever because the Galileo enablement on the 935, which required simultaneous downgrade of the GPS firmware, there was MUCH poorer efficiency in openwater. The Fenix 5S is utilizing that very same, downgraded GPS firmware. If I could possibly be bothered to spend 30 minutes determining “how” then I might undoubtedly disable Galileo and revert again to the earlier GPS firmware which was fairly good in open water. I’d by no means used the 5S on that firmware model however it couldn’t be a lot worse than this. Perhaps this was one other of these days once I forgot to swim in straight strains? (A: No)

935 (Pink) – 5S Plus (Blue)

As a consequence of that firmware downgrade I’ve not but completed my GPS check route and so don’t have a GPS-solely %age determine for these of you (us) that like that kind of factor. I’m ready to get some pesky races out of the best way and in addition hoping that Garmin tweak the firmware within the meantime. Placing OWS to at least one aspect, the Fenix 5S Plus appears in keeping with the higher, current Garmins when it comes to GPS efficiency. Meaning it’s NOT MARKET-LEADING and must do higher for the worth-level.

To comply with: Formal GPS check end result (August 2018)

That is the part the place I usually inform readers to overlook oHR and purchase a chest strap. Nevertheless I don’t appear to have had as a lot luck as regular at breaking Garmin’s oHR. I feel the optical sensor is identical. Perhaps it’s the recent climate? Perhaps algorithms have been tweaked in locations beforehand untweakable?

Garmin’s ELEVATE sensor *IS* one of many higher ones. Valencell/Suunto and Polar are additionally nearly as good and debatably even barely higher in some circumstances.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Optical HR sensors: SENSE coronary heart fee by means of SUBTLE modifications in mirrored LIGHT from shifting blood underneath your SKIN. Take a look at the phrases in capitals. Individuals’s skins are totally different; the standard of sensors range by producer; the efficiency of various colored lights have an effect on efficiency; and your wrist motion per sport will considerably have an effect on blood flows at your wrist – assume street vibrations when biking and twisted wrists when biking (#BikeFit). Different elements are at play as nicely however hopefully you get the concept optical HR opens up a minefield of issues to go fallacious. It’s a densely packed minefield BTW 🙁

Optical HR outcomes from ‘Steady state’ or ‘endurance’ or ‘aerobic’ operating SHOULD BE GOOD from all producers. When swimming or biking or doing a fitness center class or operating quick intervals YOU MAY be fortunate and the best way YOU do issues and your physiological make up simply MIGHT offer you good outcomes. Or not. In all probability not.

For ME PERSONALLY I discover Garmin’s ELEVATE and Polar’s 6-LED sensors give ME the most effective outcomes on the wrist. However neither are ok for the my exact HR-recording wants; I exploit HR to find out my coaching load. So I all the time both depend on a chest strap (HRM-TRI) or, sometimes, an optical sensor on an armband (Wahoo, Polar, Scosche/Valencell).

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewI absolutely respect that some individuals don’t need to (or can’t) put on a chest strap. In case you are a type of individuals then Garmin/Polar are your greatest hopes of wrist-based mostly optical HR accuracy. Nevertheless it nonetheless may be inaccurate. And once I say inaccurate I imply WRONG and never simply ‘a bit off’. We’ll come on to Firstbeat Physiological algorithms afterward…they’re usually superior/intelligent..BUT they’re principally based mostly on HR. The phrase “Rubbish In…rubbish out” is value remembering (trace: purchase a chest strap to benefit from the Firstbeat awesomeness).

Garmin’s oHR does NOT work when swimming. You’ll need to make use of a HRM-SWIM or HRM-TRI to report HR when swimming with Garmin.

Garmin niftily permit the oHR to broadcast out of your Fenix 5S, successfully turning the Fenix 5S Plus right into a coronary heart fee monitor for different gear resembling if you end up in a health club or driving a motorcycle with a separate bike pc.

There are many different ‘clever’ coronary heart price based mostly settings. For instance you’ll be able to pair a chest strap however for those who overlook to place it on then the Fenix can default to make use of its optical HRM (or not..you select). For those who use a chest strap then you possibly can report HRV values into your FIT information to later analyse.

This part is extra involved with accuracy. I might current a case for the Fenix 5S Plus’s optical HR being RUBBISH or BRILLIANT. I’ve simply stated my piece, so these charts frm the Fenix 5S Plus are offered to be illustrative of what you may anticipate – a number of the worst elements of the performances will simply be replicated FROM ANY OPTICAL HR DEVICE ON THE WRIST.

Run HR Accuracy

Right here we have now a gentle-state run adopted by 10 minutes above threshold after which some 30-60 second quicker efforts with restoration. The Fenix 5S is the worst of the four however solely VERY marginally so. I’d say this was greater than acceptable.The following run wasn’t so good and, surprisingly that was at a decrease tempo. Though I used to be operating for a lot of the time on uneven floor which was in all probability the reason for the 5S letting Garmin down just a little. It’s value allowing for that VIBRATIONS will have an effect on oHR accuracy. I’d say the next efficiency was not fairly correct sufficient (for me) however in all probability OK for most individuals.


This run proven some NVHIIT intervals at 10 minutes. That’s brief for ‘not very high intensity interval training’. I used to be experimenting with very brief restoration and never going as quick as I ought to in between. You realize, “One of those days”. Clearly the 5S Plus was additionally having ‘one of those days’ and appears to be recording another person’s coronary heart fee firstly, as mine wasn’t excessive sufficient for its lofty requirements of sporting excellence. Anyway. We made associates at 6 minutes and after that each one was good.

This can be a for much longer Z1 run. It was scorching and I used to be fatigued. The Fenix 5S carried out almost completely.

Bike HR Accuracy

The following bike experience provides very comparable outcomes. Though a sustained 30 minute effort 2/3rds of the best way by way of exhibits the 5S Plus faltering just a little.

This felt like a more durable effort on the time; however the chart says in any other case. The Fenix 5S Plus is DEFINITELY improper. However I’m unsure how right the HRM-TRI is on the 935 as I didn’t have a third system recording HR. The 935+HRM-TRI might be ‘about right’. This was the cycle return from a lake swim and, apparently, the outwards journey was equally dangerous for the 5S. The street I exploit is sort of bumpy and which will have prompted the optical HR some points.

Right here we go together with a simple hour on the street. Principally Zone 1 with some 30-60 second hill bursts. The Fenix loses it slightly in the direction of the top and, unusually, that’s what I’ve precisely discovered with different current Garmin units utilizing OHR on the street. Placing the top part to at least one aspect, the Fenix 5S carried out very properly on the street.

Optical HR Abstract

With the Fenix 5S Plus I’ve discovered a usually good efficiency. It’s an virtually too good to be true set of performances. So please take me outcomes with a slight pinch of salt. From bitter expertise with earlier oHR units I anticipated the 5S to be notably worse than what it was.

Word: These outcomes are all from a interval of VERY HOT climate within the UK. Maybe such temperatures help bloodflow nearer the pores and skin and supply higher circumstances for oHR??

Garmin’s maps on the Fenix include a Digital Elevation Mannequin (DEM) which primarily assigns elevation values to GNSS location factors (in all probability ‘lat/long ranges’ in actuality). By default the DEM is used constantly in the course of the exercise and can be auto calibrated firstly of the experience

Settings >Sensors>Altimeter>Auto Cal>”Throughout Exercise or At Begin”

My understanding is that Garmin use a mixture of DEM and 3D-GPS to get the ‘general picture’ of the elevation plot however overide that common image with finer particulars from the barometric altimeterr. If you consider it a DEM can’t be correct to the extent of a sq. centimeter, there can be an excessive amount of knowledge in addition to imprecision within the GNSS location. The modifications over, say, a metre will come from the barometer. This can be a bit like Suunto’s FusedAlti…however probably higher due to the map.

Under I’ve in contrast an elevation efficiency to a GPS-corrected altimetry profile which you can assume to be right (yellow). I did NOT particularly calibrate the units at first for the present location, this explains the differing begin heights. So we should always get parallel strains…which we virtually do.

The Fenix 5S Plus WAS set to calibrate DURING ACTIVITY, as above, and but is clearly the worst of the four units. The different units are all cheaper than then Fenix. The climate on the day in query was ‘stable’ so I might be stunned that there have been barometric air strain modifications that would account for a 10m fall in elevation over 90 minutes. so there’s one thing else happening that I don’t perceive. This drift is typical of many Garmin units I’ve checked out for elevation plots.

This specific route additionally concerned ‘loops’ so I’m additional stunned that Garmin discovered totally different GPS peak references by way of DEM on every lap. Give it some thought… (edit – see additional under on newer firmware)

Firmware v3.20: Right here is one other journey on later firmware the place the 5S Plus was calibrated to the DEM at the beginning of a 100 mile experience. Hilly for as soon as! With steady recalibration enabled on a day with fairly changeable climate (and therefore strain), the 5S Plus carried out nicely. The Wahoo a lot much less so.


That is one space of operating that developed lots in 2018 and can proceed over the subsequent few years.

Primarily a operating energy meter is a proxy for effort. Theoretically your absolute best effort will come from an evenly paced run with equal efforts uphill and downhill.

It’s cool. I exploit POWER a LOT. It’s not good however has its makes use of and lots of cyclists love operating energy; because the extra techy cyclists have already got a radical understanding of energy from the ‘proper’ energy meters on their bikes – albeit they work in another way.

However you want extra package to reap the benefits of this.

The least expensive means is with a HRM-RUN chest strap that helps Operating Dynamics. The HRM-TRI or RD-POD might be cool as nicely. A correctly calibrated footpod will additional enhance accuracy and therefore usefulness. If you have already got that hardware then go forth and obtain Garmin’s free Operating Energy (GRP) app. Be cautious of the accuracy of the inputs out of your sensors. Garbage In…Garbage…nicely, you recognize the remaining.

Taking it extra significantly you’d go for both RunScribe or STRYD. Extra choices might emerge in 2018/9, certainly I HOPE Garmin do an influence pod of some type. There are LOTS of assets on this website concerning the Operating With Energy units and apps. I’ll hyperlink to some in a minute however this desk is an effective place to start out.


Clickable, V1.09


Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and Runscribe

RunScribe Plus Review – Footpod & Operating Energy Meter

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and STRYD

STRYD REVIEW | Operating Energy Meter, Correct | Footpod |

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus + Garmin Operating Energy

Garmin Operating Energy – Execs & Cons

I encourage you to provide operating with energy a go. Check out the free GRP CIQ app. Get RunScribe in case you are concerned with twin-sided metrics and particular gait metrics. I exploit STRYD each week and contemplate it ‘accurate’.

You get all of this intelligent stuff from Firstbeat thrown in. And it’s intelligent. Be aware that optical HR from the wrist may trigger points with the accuracy of the info that Firstbeat has to cope with. Any knowledge inaccuracies ought to be rectified by a chest strap and most newish chest straps also needs to produce HRV knowledge that a number of the Firstbeat algorithms like/want in any case. FWIW I all the time put on a Garmin HRM-TRI chest strap, the HRM-RUN is completely effective for those who simply run.

I’ll speak a bit extra about a few of these options under and this part of the content material is co-authored by HB at Firstbeat. ie it must be right 😉

Fenix 5 Plus firstbeatFenix 5 Plus firstbeat

5 Plus and 5S Plus have the very same options

VO2max On this Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

A better VO2max makes sport AND THE PHYSICAL RIGOURS OF LIFE simpler. Typically us sporty individuals overlook that.

935, Fenix 5S Plus935, Fenix 5S Plus

I’ve had 65 in a lab a few years in the past and typically Garmins give me as little as 50 – to be truthful usually on a brand new system when, perhaps, the info just isn’t all there. Do I feel it’s actually greater? In fact, everybody does 😉

VO2max is a comparatively definitive metric of health. Enhancing it ought to point out you’re probably quicker however, critically, it doesn’t bear in mind the financial system of your method. So we might each have a RUNNING VO2max of 60 but when your operating gait is extra environment friendly than mine then it’s very possible you’ll beat me in a 5k.

Sustaining your VO2max also can scale back the physiological impression of stress, makes it simpler to get well, and will help stave off the consequences of getting old.

You possibly can’t usually do something with VO2max. It’s a marker of your development or badge of honour, relying on the way you need to see it. While Garmin say the excessive 50s are ‘superior’ actually I might say that elite athletes could have values within the excessive 60s – or larger.

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin Gadget with VO2max detection was the Forerunner 620 (2013)

Fenix 5S Plus and Actual-Time Efficiency Situation

Just like the evaluation behind VO2max, Efficiency Situation (PC) seems to be on the relationship between your operating velocity (or biking energy) and coronary heart fee. You’re typically prompted together with your “PC” about 5 or 6 minutes right into a run however it’s also possible to show it constantly as a knowledge metric and/or analyse it afterwards.

Forerunner 935 Proven

Utilizing your VO2max as a baseline, Efficiency Situation tells you ways your present run is stacking as much as expectations. Early in your run, your Efficiency Situation is more likely to mirror in your degree of restoration or a handful of exterior elements. As your run progresses, decreases in Efficiency Situation will more likely to match up with the onset of fatigue and your physique working more durable to maintain tempo together with your brisker self.

Right here we now have an extended Z2/Z3 hour bike experience (based mostly on energy meter knowledge) following a swim. I’m unsure if that is how a Efficiency Situation chart is supposed to be. four hours appear to mark a turning level in efficiency as fatigue units in. Perhaps there’s an prolonged publish-swim adjustment & ‘warming up period’ ??

Efficiency Situation (blue) – HR (gray/grey) – Garmin Connct


  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin gadget with Efficiency Situation was the Forerunner 630 (2015)
  • You may select to watch PC throughout a run or journey and ‘go for it’ when PC values are constructive. Because the PC figures decline all through a session you then may get to the purpose the place you curtail the onerous stuff.
  • I appear to note a warming up issue the place it takes some time for PC to peak. I’m not so positive it’s meant to try this however, assuming my knowledge is right, then this could possibly be some sort of artefact referring to the effectivity of my warmup. ie you may be capable of use it to evaluate in case you are warmed up.

Fenix 5S Plus and Cardio Coaching Impact

The two Coaching Impact metrics are necessary and, in my expertise, they appear to mirror nicely the session I’ve simply accomplished. The additional away from race day you’re and the longer your race is to be then the extra necessary attaining a excessive AEROBIC coaching impact is. Sometimes you will notice the impact from the entire exercise on the finish of the exercise and the screens proven under may also be saved in your exercise historical past on the watch.

To progress and enhance, you have to problem your self in the fitting means and on the proper degree. Cardio Coaching Impact analyzes your efficiency to disclose the impression of your exercise on the event of your cardio-respiratory system. The fitter and extra lively you’re, the more durable it’s essential to work to enhance. Behind the scenes your watch takes this info under consideration to make sure that the Cardio Coaching Impact suggestions you get all the time displays your personal private state of affairs. Observe: previous to the introduction of Anaerobic Coaching impact in 2017, Cardio Coaching Impact was merely referred to as Coaching Impact.

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin gadget with (Cardio) Coaching Impact was the Forerunner 610 (2011, TE)
  • TE can be proven as an accumulating metric all through your exercise. Different distributors (eg Suunto) have launched adaptive exercises that focus on TE objectives and curtail the exercise upon getting achieved the aim.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fenix 5S Plus and Anaerobic Coaching Impact

A strong metric, this evaluation reveals the influence of your exercise on the event of anaerobic efficiency capability. Plenty of the confusion surrounding Anaerobic Coaching Impact comes from the truth that it doesn’t essentially have a lot to do with how a lot time you spend in what some individuals seek advice from because the anaerobic coronary heart fee zone (>LTHR/AnT/LT2/Z4). As an alternative, Anaerobic Coaching Impact is designed to build up whenever you problem your self with sustained bursts of intense effort interspersed with decrease depth efforts that give your physique an opportunity to get well. HIIT periods are a good way to register a better Anaerobic Coaching Impact rating, particularly when the intervals carried out give attention to efforts in extra of your VO2max.

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin gadget with Anaerobic Coaching Impact was the Fenix 5 (2017)

Fenix 5S Plus and Coaching Load

Should you educated with me then, for positive, I might be taking a look at your Coaching Load (TL). It’s essential. While TL continues to be extra complicated than that introduced by the Firstbeat metric, this can be a great spot to start out.

Lengthy runs, tempo runs, intervals, biking, going to the fitness center? Combine issues up, it doesn’t matter. Firstbeat’s Coaching Load reveals the mixed physiological influence of all of your actions prior to now 7 days.

What are the numbers? Your Coaching Load is ‘simply’ the sum of the EPOC values of your actions. EPOC is used to explain homeostasis disturbance and when positioned into the context of your health degree (VO2max) and exercise historical past additionally supplies the idea in your Coaching Impact. On the earth of elite sport, sports activities scientists are more and more turning to this sort of coaching load knowledge to assist athletes scale back accidents by way of sensible software of load over time.

  • Firstbeat Factette:Coaching load for biking requires an influence meter.
  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin units with Coaching Load have been the Fenix 5 & Forerunner 935 (2017)

Fenix 5S Plus and Coaching Standing

This surprisingly well-liked function combines the insights of Coaching Load and VO2max to disclose the connection between your actions and your private health degree. The suggestions it gives provides you the power to guage the effectiveness of your packages and routines, perceive the place you’re in a coaching cycle, and find out how your physique responds.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

In case you are following a correct coaching plan geared in the direction of a selected race then Coaching Standing could also be a very good examine of how nicely the plan is working for you.

If ‘Peaking’ unexpectedly seems get right down to your native parkrun promptly and run actually quick 😉

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin units with Coaching Standing have been the Fenix 5 & Forerunner 935 (2017)

Fenix 5S Plus and Restoration Time Advisor

One other EPOC-based mostly metric, Restoration Time appears on the diploma of homeostasis disturbance ensuing out of your most up-to-date effort mixed with the period of time remaining in your restoration clock to foretell when your physique could have accomplished the work or restoration and adaptation. One common false impression relating to Restoration Time suggestions is that it ought to hit zero earlier than your subsequent session. What it’s actually telling you is how lengthy will probably be earlier than your physique is able to profit from a harder, health enhancing, exercise. What’s a health enhancing exercise? Primarily we’re speaking about periods with an Cardio Coaching Impact of two.5 and above. Lighter efforts are a great way to advertise restoration, so long as you don’t over do it.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

I don’t deal with this measure because the ‘truth’ however I definitely take it under consideration when coaching steadily. For instance if I do a night exercise and I get a restoration time of 21 hours then I’ll delay any exercise scheduled for the next morning.

This can often pop up on the finish of your run. It’ll NOT be saved in your exercise historical past as, for instance, one hour later it’ll have modified. So you possibly can see a number of of the Firstbeat metrics right here Center Left Button>>Press Begin Button on Coaching Standing>>Scroll By means of Choices

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin system with Restoration Time was the Forerunner 620 (2014)

Fenix 5S Plus and Lactate Threshold

That is the one coaching metric onboard the Fenix 5S Plus that completely requires that you’ve your watch paired with a chest-belt. This function makes use of Coronary heart Fee Variability (HRV) knowledge captured throughout a variety of intensities to determine your lactate threshold. Your lactate threshold responds to coaching, which means you’ll be able to enhance it by difficult your self in the correct approach. As soon as your system has detected your lactate threshold, you’ve got an opportunity to make use of this info to personalize your coronary heart price zones based mostly to match your private state of affairs.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

You’ll get a Lactate Threshold coronary heart price AND and Lactate Threshold tempo. In case you are not so match you then may be capable of keep this for about 40 minutes however the fitter you get the longer you’ll be able to keep it for ie WELL over an hour. For me it’s not fairly my half marathon tempo, if I solely run-educated I reckon it will be my HM tempo. Personally I feel the LTHR could also be barely over-estimated by a couple of BPMs.

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin system with Lactate Threshold was the Forerunner 735xt (2016)

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and FTP

Your Practical threshold Energy (FTP) for biking represents the very best, fixed degree of energy which you can produce while not accumulating lactic acid. It’s in all probability NOT 60 minutes for many of us…in all probability much less. Perhaps larger for many who are nicely-educated. No matter that, we are likely to say it’s your “60 minute power” and we derive energy zones and different coaching insights from that. You possibly can estimate your FTP in a shortened check or measure it in a lab check. Firstbeat derive estimates of FTP out of your ‘normal’ efforts, which is probably much less exhausting in your physique than a few of the FTP testing protocols that exist.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and Fast Stress Degree Check

Deliberately clean for now.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and All-day Stress and Restoration

Stress might be one thing of a thriller, nevertheless it doesn’t should be. The Garmin Fenix 5S Plus includes a particular coronary heart price variability-based mostly evaluation able to revealing the presence and depth of the stress you expertise. Checking in with this suggestions will let you pinpoint actions, interactions, and occasions that produce stress in your life.

You can even see when your physique is in a state of relaxation and restoration. This may be notably necessary when taking a look at your in a single day stress knowledge, which can shed some mild into the restorative high quality of your sleep. When analyzing this suggestions, it’s important to know that stress isn’t essentially a nasty factor, and experiencing stress is a vital a part of life. The secret is to make sure that stress is offset with satisfactory restoration, and sustaining this stability between stress and restoration is significant to with the ability to profit from the challenges you expertise in life and thru your actions.

  • Firstbeat Factette: The first Garmin gadget with All-day Stress & Restoration was the Vivosmart three (2016)

Fenix 5S Plus Race Predictor

There are numerous race predictors on-line which may extrapolate your efficiency at one distance to a different. Simply since you received a 5k PB with a lot of anaerobic coaching does NOT imply that it is possible for you to to anyplace close to obtain a race predictor’s time for a marathon. I’m unsure precisely how Garmin’s race predictor works.I’ve been doing longer stuff just lately and was advised this…

Race Predictor Forerunner 645Race Predictor Forerunner 645

Forerunner 645 Proven: If I might do a 2:50 marathon at London I might be ‘quite pleased’.

There actually is not any viable competitors to get anyplace close to the identical kind of degree of sporting fucntionality. Definitely NOT within the smaller format measurement of product. And the brand new Fenix 5 Plus vary is clearly Garmin’s ‘smrtest’ product with the broadest function set…ever.

Perhaps the Apple Watch three is smarter? Perhaps. However it’s not nearly as good at sports activities

Perhaps the Suunto Spartan Coach is a viable smaller format triathlon watch? Perhaps. However it has nowhere close to as many options.

Actually the questions we must be asking are “Is the 5S Plus a better running watch than the Forerunner 645 Music?”. Sure it in all probability is. And “Is the Fenix 5S Plus a better triathlon watch than the Forerunner 935?”…Sure it is perhaps for many individuals.

I’m typically extremely crucial of Garmin for lots of issues. As I’ve completely ZERO relationship with them aside from being a shopper such as you I might be crucial. (Yep no PR samples right here, no PR information right here in any respect, I’m NOT a Garmin Shill). Having stated that you must know that the Fenix vary is Garmin’s diamond in its money-producing, Golden Crown. So if there are bugs Garmin ABSOLUTLEY WILL repair them if it’s potential as a matter of urgency. Garmin have the developer assets to try this.

What we noticed with the earlier non-Plus model was that sensor connectivity points couldn’t be fastened by software program. Perhaps it ought to have been recalled as I stated in Might 2017? That’s partly why the Fenix 5S Plus might properly have been correctly examined by Garmin this time round 😉

Anyway. Listed here are some issuettes and bugs that may hopefully be fastened by the point you learn this. I’ve no particular channels the place I can report them or expedite them at Garmin. As I stated above, I’ve no hyperlinks to Garmin in any respect.

  • OWS GPS – tracks are usually not nice (aka dangerous)
  • Elevation points exist (eg hyperlink to: garmin.com boards)
Garmin Fenix 5 plusGarmin Fenix 5 plus

Greatest Amazon worth is linked to. Costs begin at Eur700/$700/£600 and may fall barely in 2018. Shopping for from Amazon helps this website.

International availability is now usually GOOD. There are some particular distribution restrictions in sure nations the place chosen retailers have unique entry to particular fashions (often the 5X Plus).

Garmin at the moment are successfully promoting the 5 Plus and 5S Plus as the identical product however in several sizes. Thus the Amazon hyperlinks above/under take you thru to the web page the place you’ll be able to select the dimensions you need – 5 Plus or 5S Plus.

US$ Base (Eu) US$ Sapphire/titanium £ Base £ Sapphire/titanium Fenix 5S plus 700 800 600 700 Fenix 5 plus 700 800-850 600 700-750 Fenix 5X plus – 1150 – 750

It’s EXTREMELY unlikely that you’ll get notable reductions on any of those merchandise in 2018. Perhaps $/Eu/£50 lower than the RRP in case you are fortunate.

10% Discount On Most Power Meters10% Discount On Most Power Meters

Click on for five Plus – Help with 10% STORE CREDIT code: the5krunner10

I respect you might store round for the most cost effective deal and never purchase from Amazon. If you need to say thanks for this evaluation then please click on on the Amazon hyperlink instantly under on your subsequent Amazon buy of anything. Thanks!

Garmin Fenix 5 plusGarmin Fenix 5 plus

Greatest Amazon worth is linked to. Costs begin at Eur700/$700/£600 and may fall barely in 2018. Shopping for from Amazon helps this website.

On this Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review we have now discovered, as soon as once more, that Garmin have produced a most amazingly full watch full of each conceivable choice. Much more unimaginable choices than earlier than are included ;-). Discovering these options on the deep and sophisticated menu system is, nevertheless, tough at one of the best of occasions.

As soon as once more the GPS sensor lets the general package deal down barely and will act as considerably of a deterrent to non-informal runners in search of a component of precision of their coaching. For these of you prepared to reinforce the Fenix 5S Plus with a footpod buy then these inbuilt sensor points will go away. That’s what I did.

I’m additionally not too positive concerning the aesthetics. While it have to be sturdy, that metal bezel simply doesn’t sit fairly proper with me (different choices obtainable) and the 240x240px display decision simply makes the 24×7 watch faces look a bit cheesy for a $/Eu700/£600 watch.

Accuracy & aesthetic points apart, I REALLY just like the Fenix 5S Plus. I might even take the uncommon step to advocate it, making an allowance for the earlier three paragraphs

Is it well worth the improve from the Fenix 5S? – I’d say sure. It has a much bigger display than the 5S, extra options and a few hardware faults that stay UNfixed on the Fenix 5S NON-plus mannequin.

Is it value upgrading from a 935 to a Fenix 5S for tri? – Once more I’d, surprisingly, say sure – partially aided by the smaller type issue. Put the battery life to at least one aspect for the minority of you who need to do IM races and the 5S Plus is nice. It has extra tech options than the 935 and is simply a tad heavier and a tad thicker. VERY RARELY for me I entrusted the Fenix 5S Plus to my wrist throughout some PROPER races whereas ‘testing’. Keep in mind although the 5S Plus is simply higher due to the NEW, non-Tri options.

The streaming music stuff continues to be not absolutely there and the addition of Spotify (+Deezer) and different suppliers are wanted to maintain extra of us completely satisfied. Nevertheless Garmin’s music providing is aggressive and can enhance. BUT it’s the button-based mostly dealing with of on-watch music that’s nice throughout sport.

I like the brand new maps performance. It’s nice for informal and leisure navigation. For extra critical navigators and for biking use on trails you then can be higher suggested to get one thing with a much bigger (contact)display. Nevertheless The Fenix 5S Plus simply appears higher powered than my earlier 5X, making the mapping usable however nonetheless on the sluggish aspect when route planning. Working with the map would favour a touchscreen however I’m glad there isn’t any touchscreen to spoil the utilization of the remainder of the watch’s features.

Garmin PAY is sweet for me. i arrange a particular UK Starling checking account as my regular one shouldn’t be supported. Supplier protection wants to extend to cowl YOUR financial institution however perhaps it’s not a nasty concept to have a special financial institution for informal, low worth funds in any case?

The Fenix 5S Plus could be very, very near turning into my go-to sports activities watch. My longer races may simply maintain me on the Forerunner 935. Keep in mind I’ve all of the devices to get across the failings of the Fenix 5S Plus. However I think lots of you gained’t be that bothered about a number of the issues which are necessary to me. During which case, in case you can afford the Fenix 5S Plus, love the wealth of options and need that smaller type issue – then you understand what to do.

The killer line :: if you need a smaller format watch then the Fenix 5S Plus has no competitors. It’s the greatest.


Garmin Fenix 5 plusGarmin Fenix 5 plus

Greatest Amazon worth is linked to. Costs begin at Eur700/$700/£600 and may fall barely in 2018. Shopping for from Amazon helps this website.


the5krunner supporter click here contribute subscribe ad free early accessthe5krunner supporter click here contribute subscribe ad free early access

If this content material helped you and in the event you’d like to assist help this website in return or ask questions, then please think about turning into a supporter. Thanks.

Supporters: I’m not a salaried journalist and depend on help from readers to maintain the free content material coming. If you wish to help the work right here then advert-free subscription begins at 49p (about 65c).

Alternatively shopping for something from my companions, under, additionally helps and may get you a fantastic low cost. Thanks!