Garmin launch a new generation of GPS watches: the fēnix 5 Plus series
Today, Garmin announced the fēnix 5 Plus series, its new generation of GPS watches. The 5 Plus improves over the previous 5 series by adding support for Garmin Pay (a contactless payment solution), storage for music playlists, routable topographic maps, and wrist-based Pulse Ox Acclimation for blood-oxygen saturation awareness. There will be three models: the 5 Plus, 5S Plus, and 5X Plus.
These rugged watches range from 42-51mm and feature a bright, sunlight-readable display. The 5S Plus’s display is 1.2 inches diagonally, an increase of almost 20% over the older 5S.
The fēnix 5X Plus is Garmin’s first wearable to offer a wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor for blood oxygen saturation awareness. This can help when acclimatising to higher altitudes. On strenuous climbs, the user can stop and take a reading of their body’s oxygen levels to assess how well they’re adjusting to the thinner air.
The 5S Plus features ClimbPro, a new feature that allows trail runners and cyclists to “gain better awareness of their environment and their performance during climbs”. It achieves this by analysing the elevation profile of a course and detecting the climb sections, then providing information about how far the user is from the next climb and how hard the climb will be.
All three watches include the ability to listen to your favourite playlist without needing your phone, and have storage for up to 500 songs.
Each model features wrist-based heart rate and all of the multisport and smart connectivity features of the previous fēnix 5 models, plus built-in map data “optimised for at-a-glance navigation and location tracking”. These maps can be used with the round-trip course creator that allows runners and cyclists to enter a distance they would like to run or ride, then select a route from a list of appropriate courses to choose from.
All models feature multi-network satellite reception, now including Galileo, to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone. This is particularly helpful when in places without a clear view of the sky like deep canyons or urban environments.
Battery life depends on model. For the 5S Plus it’s up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 4 hours in GPS and Music mode. For the 5 Plus it’s up to 10 days in smartwatch mode and up to 8 hours in GPS and Music mode. The 5X Plus boasts up to 20 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS and Music mode. There’s also a power-saving feature to extend battery life further.
The 5 Plus series will be available in the second quarter of 2018 and will have suggested retail prices ranging from £599.99 to £999.99.