The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series was just released this year and it is the best fitness watch Garmin has ever made. With things like built-in mapping, great battery life, great GPS accuracy, tough build quality and more, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series is the high-end Garmin fitness watch.
I have owned and used both the smaller Garmin Fenix 5s Plus watch and the middle-sized Garmin Fenix 5 Plus watches. Check out the notes below each model for my thoughts.
Great Deal! Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series with Big Discounts
However, the big negative about them when they came out was that the prices were high. For the Sapphire models, you would need to pay $799 – $849 – for a watch. But, Garmin has discounted them now and put them in range with the original Fenix 5 watch prices when they were the late models.
- Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Sapphire – $649 regularly $799
- This is great for people with smaller wrists but the battery life takes a hit versus the larger ones. The display size has increased on this version over the previous one so it could be the perfect one for people with smaller wrists. I tried it but the band was just small enough that I had it on the second hole and didn’t feel secure about it. Finally, the Fenix 5S bands only have one loop to hold the excess instead of the two on the other versions.
- Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Sapphire – $649 regularly $799
- This is, for me, the perfect version of the Fenix 5 Plus series. The battery life was awesome and the size was definitely manageable. The weight was just a bit much for me so I switched to the Apple Watch and Garmin Forerunner 645
- Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire – $649 regularly $849
- This one is the largest and heaviest but it adds PulseOx sensors and capabilities to it, great for hikers, climbers, and others that want to track this.
If you don’t want to spend that much, you could go for the non-Sapphire models. But, with that kind of money, I think I would prefer the better scratch resistance of the sapphire glass. Unfortunately, this year’s model does not come with 2 bands in the Sapphire models.
The non-Sapphire models are:
Here is what is different in the Fenix 5 Plus series from the original Fenix 5.
Garmin added their Garmin Pay (which still has some holes in it with supporting issuers) and Music as well as better battery life, a new GPS addition (Galileo), better battery life and built-in maps! Before, this was a feature only available on the Garmin Fenix 5X but it is now on the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus, the Fenix 5 Plus, and the Fenix 5X Plus! I really cannot wait to give that a try! I had wanted to try it before but the Fenix 5X’s size of 51mm was a bit too big for my liking.
To give something extra to the folks who do like the 5X’s size and to make use of it, they did add PulseOx. This measures the pulse oxygen saturation which can be quite valuable for the wearers that do climbing. This could also be a nice step for Garmin in the area of medical certification. The only other fitness consumer item I was aware of that had done something similar was a Kickstarter earbud I backed a number of years ago (yet they really don’t count because it has been like 4 years and nothing at all from them yet!).