Garmin announces Fenix 5 and new apps from Trek, Gu and more

Three new watches and plenty of additions to the Connect IQ store

Garmin has just dropped the first details of its newest multisport watches: the Garmin Fenix 5, Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X. For those keeping score at home, there never was a Fenix 4, it seems the GPS giant has gone straight from three to five.

All three of the new Fenix 5 models come with Garmin’s Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology, a host of multisport activity modes, daily activity tracking and new Quick Fit bands that can be swapped tool free. Currently on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the new watches will go on sale mid-2017.

Garmin Fenix 5 and 5 Sapphire

Garmin has just announced the Fenix 5
Garmin has just announced the Fenix 5

Slightly smaller than the Fenix 3 models the new Fenix 5 measures 47mm across, but like its predecessors the new watches get a three-axis compass, gyroscope, barometric altimeter as well as the ability to access both GPS and GLONASS satellite networks.

The base model Fenix 5 can get up to two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 24 hours in GPS mode

The new Fenix 5s are also Bluetooth enabled and compatible with Connect IQ, so users can customise their watch with apps, widgets, data fields and watch faces. Additionally, the new watches are compatible with the Face It app, so users can set their favourite photo as a watch face and when paired with a smartphone will also display call, text and email notifications.

The Fenix 5 and 5S are available with mineral glass or sapphire screens, with only the latter being WiFi enabled so users can utilise their home network for automatic sync to Garmin Connect.

Built tough, each model has a stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case, and is waterproof rated down to 100 meters.

The new unit will also last a bit longer than the Fenix 3 HR and Garmin says the base model Fenix 5 can get up to two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 24 hours in GPS mode. It's not cheap however with the mineral glass version set to retail for $599.99 and the Sapphire version at $699.99. UK and Australian pricing were not available at the time of writing.

Garmin Fenix 5S and 5S Sapphire

The Fenix 5S is designed to better accommodate petite wrists
The Fenix 5S is designed to better accommodate petite wrists

Designed with ladies in mind, the Fenix 5S is slightly smaller again, measuring 42mm across in an effort to better suit smaller wrists. But even in this smaller form it doesn't sacrifice any functionality.

The watch is available in silver with a white, turquoise or black silicone band and a mineral glass lens or in black with a black band, champagne with a water resistant grey suede or metal band and with the sapphire lens. The Fenix 5S Sapphire units also come with an extra silicone QuickFit band.

Battery life for the Fenix 5S is claimed at up to eight days in smartwatch mode and up to 13 hours in GPS mode. Garmin hasn’t announced a claimed battery life for the power saving UltraTrac mode yet. The Fenix 5S will retail for $599.99 and if you’re after the Sapphire screen it will cost $699.99. Again, international pricing was not available at the time of writing.

Garmin Fenix 5X

The Fenix 5X comes with preloaded topographic maps and navigation functions too
The Fenix 5X comes with preloaded topographic maps and navigation functions too

The Fenix 5X sits at the top of the range of the new GPS multisport watches and comes preloaded with TOPO US mapping, routable cycling maps and other navigation features like Round Trip Run and Round Trip Ride.

With these features you can enter how far you'd like to run or ride and the watch will suggest appropriate courses for you to choose from. Users can also get at-a-glance guidance from their Fenix 5X and during an activity guidance cues for upcoming turns are displayed as banners on the watch so you won't miss a turn.

Additionally, the Fenix 5X has an Around Me map mode which displays points of interest, waypoints and other map objects within their range so you don't miss that epic lookout. Users can configure their Fenix 5X to see data overlays on mapping screens and highlight key information without having to switch screens during an activity.

With the same form factor as the Fenix 3, the 5X measures 51mm across and comes only with a sapphire screen. Battery life for the new watch is claimed at 12 days in smartwatch mode and 20 hours in GPS mode — UltraTrac figures are to be announced.

The Fenix 5X will retail for $699.99 and UK and Australian pricing have not yet been announced.

Garmin Connect IQ

There are new additions to the Connect IQ store from Trek/Bontrager, Gu, Nuun and even Uber
There are new additions to the Connect IQ store from Trek/Bontrager, Gu, Nuun and even Uber

On the back of the announcement of the Fenix 5, there are quite a few notable additions to the Connect IQ store too.

For Connect IQ enabled headunits, like the Edge 520, and 820, Trek has announced a downloadable data field that will allow for quick and easy access and control of Bontrager head and tail lights directly on their computer. Riders will be able to see battery levels for connected lights as well as brightness and flash settings.

For riders who forget to eat, Gu Energy Labs has released an app that will remind you when to take on calories during training and racing, as well as keep track of how many gels should have been consumed for optimal performance. Nuun has also released a watch face that keeps track of steps too.

Join is a new iOS app designed to help riders find group rides anywhere and at anytime, and they now have a widget in the Connect IQ store — though details on its functionality aren't available just yet.

Xert Advance Power Analytics has also added a plethora of new data fields including maximal power, time to exhaustion/recovery, fat/carb utilisation, strain score and more.  

There is also a new Strava Live suffer score data field available in the Connect IQ store, and a AccuWeather Edge Minute Cast so you don’t get stuck in the rain.

It’s not bike related, but there’s an Uber ETA app too!

All of these apps are free and all that’s needed to access them is a smartphone with the Connect IQ app.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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