Garmin’s updated Fenix 5 is a GPS smartwatch for the outdoor athlete

The next generation of Fenix wearables was unveiled at CES on Wednesday, when Garmin took the wraps off three new versions of the company’s popular line of GPS-enabled watches. The updated Fenix 5 is thinner, lighter, and more versatile than its predecessor, though it offers the same cutting-edge functionality that has made previous versions of watch so popular with outdoor athletes. The latest edition of the Fenix brings a host of new functionality as well, including daily activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and extended battery life to keep up with an active lifestyles.

The standard Fenix 5 received a design overhaul, and now features a thinner, more compact body. The device is a mere 47mm thin, yet offers the same functionality found in previous generations, including the popular Fenix 3HR. And thanks to the new QuickFit bands, users can give the watch an entirely new look in just a matter of seconds. QuickFit bands will be available in leather, metal, and silicone, and can be replaced without the use of tools of any kind.

The new Fenix 5S is another redesign of the classic Fenix watch, but this time it has been built specifically with the ladies in mind. At just 42mm, the 5S  has been made to fit comfortably on more petite wrists without compromising any of the device’s multisport features. The standard model comes in silver with either a white, turquoise, or black silicone band. The 5S Sapphire model includes a scratch-resistant sapphire glass lens, and is available in black with a black band, champagne with a water-resistant gray suede band, or champagne with a metal band. All Sapphire models also come with a sporty, silicone QuickFit band.

The third new addition to the Fenix family is the 5X, which is a bit larger than the standard Fenix 5 at 51 millimeters, but adds some extra functionality to make up for the larger size. The 5X comes preloaded with topographic maps for the United States, and has routable cycling and running maps, too. It even features options for a “Round Trip Run” or “Round Trip Ride,” with the watch suggesting a host of appropriate courses. Once the wearer starts his or her workout, the watch will provide cues for approaching turns, ensuring that athletes always stay on course. The 5X also includes an “Around Me” feature that provides information about points of interest and waypoints that are nearby. A Sapphire version of the 5X is also available with a scratch-resistant lens.

Each of the Fenix 5 models comes equipped with a multisport toolset for running, cycling, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities. They also feature Garmin Elevate, the company’s proprietary heart rate monitoring technology, which works without the need to wear a bulky chest strap. All three versions of the Fenix 5 include daily activity tracking and they offer support for both GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation, too. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also an onboard 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter for even more precise tracking of movement, including vertical gain and loss.

The Fenix 5, 5S, and 5X can serve as a smartwatch, too. When paired with a smartphone, users can receive notifications of text messages, emails, and missed calls right on their wrist, with alerts being displayed on the watch’s screen. These latest editions of the Fenix are also compatible with Garmin’s ConnectIQ, which gives the wearer the ability to customize their watch with apps, widgets, and custom faces as well. All Sapphire models of the Fenix 5 also have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, which allows them to upload workout data to Garmin Connect independent of another device.

As you would expect with an active lifestyle watch, all versions of the Fenix 5 are water resistant down to 100 meters and are built to withstand life in the outdoors. Garmin says that the standard Fenix 5 gets about two weeks worth of battery life when in smartwatch mode, and roughly 24 hours when its GPS tracking features are turned on. For the 5X those numbers drop slightly to 12 days in smartwatch mode and 20 hours of GPS usage, while the smaller 5S can get up to eight days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 13 hours while using the GPS features.

All version of the Fenix 5 will be available in the first quarter of 2017, with the standard model and the 5S both carrying an MSRP of $600. The Fenix 5 Sapphire, 5S Sapphire, and the 5X will be priced at $700. For more information, visit Garmin.com/fenix.

Pre-order at Garmin

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