Differences between Garmin Fenix ​​5S, 5 and 5X. Which model to choose?

A benchmark on the sports watch market, the Fenix ​​range from Garmin continues to surprise us with ever more complete models to satisfy both the demanding sportsman and the amateur looking for a reliable watch, comfortable to wear and easy to use .Garmin Fenix ​​5S vs Fenix 5X vs Fenix 5 what’s the differences?

Garmin plays in innovation with its brand new Garmin Fenix ​​5, a multisport GPS watch that still surprises us. It is not so much in the addition of functionalities that Garmin stands out here but for having declined its new jewel in a single range but 3 sizes of case (and not of bracelet only) to adapt to all wrists. We thus find a compact and light model for fine wrists (Fenix ​​5S), an intermediate model with a great autonomy (Fenix ​​5) and a larger model (size similar to Fenix ​​3 HR) embedding the cartography (topographic maps in color ) and the cycle paths of Europe (depending on the country of purchase), points of interest (hotels, restaurant, pharmacies, etc.) and more than 40,000 golf courses (Fenix ​​5X). Something to delight the most demanding! The new Fenix ​​5 also offers a quickly interchangeable strap (QuickFit quick hitch systemTM, tool-free, and several other improvements in the functions and calculations available.

For more information on the Garmin Fenix ​​5 and its features, see our description and opinion on the Garmin Fenix ​​5. See also our comparison Fenix ​​5 vs Fenix ​​3 HR: which one to choose?

New : also discover the brand new Fenix ​​5 Plus, a major evolution of Fenix ​​5. It integrates color mapping of Europe (topographic maps, city maps, cycle paths), an mp3 music player, contactless payment and new route analysis functions ( altimetric profile), a generator of popular routes and more …


Differences between Garmin Fenix ​​5S, 5 and 5X. Which model to choose?
The Fenix ​​5 adapts to all wrist sizes and its straps are interchangeable without tools: silicone strap for sports, leather or metallic for the city

Garmin Fenix ​​5S vs Fenix 5X vs Fenix 5 

With the Fenix ​​5, Garmin wants to satisfy the greatest number of people, from the amateur to the professional via the occasional sportsman who is looking for, in addition to a GPS watch, an activity tracker for daily monitoring and a source motivation to play sports or move. Garmin goes even further by offering 3 sizes of cases to allow people with fine wrists to finally enjoy an outdoor watch adapted to their morphology and which they can also wear everyday without complex …

Fenix ​​bracelet and watch

The Fenix ​​5 could not be more complete: robust, reliable, intuitive, it is a true multisport watch (perfect for triathlon and other linked activities) which offers many navigation tools and very advanced functions and measures to monitoring and training. It is both easy to use for the amateur sportsman and ultra-complete for the demanding sportsman. It is also robust and reliable. The icing on the cake, Garmin offers a watch with a neat and elegant design and interchangeable straps without tools for everyday use in city watches.

Here are the main differences between the different 5S, 5 and 5X models and a summary table below.

3 watch sizes to fit all wrists

The Fenix ​​5 is available in 3 models and additional options.

Garmin Fenix ​​5S watch with extendable strap
    • The Fenix ​​5S: smaller, thinner and lighter that the Fenix ​​3 HR
      This compact model (14.5 mm thick, 42 ​​mm in diameter and a weight of 67 (single glass) to 69 g (scratch-resistant sapphire crystal) with the silicone strap) was designed for people with a wrist purpose, especially women, while keeping the same functionality as the other models. The bracelet is also suitable (20 mm versus 22 and 26 mm for the 5 and 5X models). Garmin has even planned for this model, in order to perfect the elegance, a leather strap in addition to silicone bracelets for sport and metallic for the city. The counterpart of the Fenix ​​5S is a lower autonomy than the other models.
    • Fenix ​​5: for a great autonomy.
      Intermediate model, less compact than the Fenix ​​5S (15.5 mm thick, 47 mm in diameter and a weight of 85 to 87 g), nevertheless still smaller than the Fenix ​​3 HR, the Fenix ​​5 has a screen a little bigger with a better resolution, therefore more comfortable (30.5 mm and 240 x 240 pixels against 28 mm and 218 x 218 pixels for the 5S or Fenix ​​3 model). Its autonomy is also significantly greater than the 5S version, almost double!
GPS watch with color topographic map
Garmin offers topographic maps and preloaded cycle paths on its Fenix ​​5X
  • The Fenix ​​5X: with integrated mapping !
    This model comes with a 12 GB memory (64 MB for other models) embedding a map (roads, bike paths and centers of interest) of the countries where the watch was purchased (Europe, United States, etc.) , hence its more imposing dimensions and a relatively high weight for a watch (case 17.5 mm thick, 51 mm in diameter and a weight of 98 g with the silicone strap).

Watches are generally offered with 2 straps. You can buy bracelets separately. The ultra-light silicone strap is available in various colors and is well suited for sports use. The suede (model 5S) or metallic strap is perfect for use in the city or at work.

Design and comfort: differences between models

In addition to its compact and light appearance, the Fenix ​​5S offers an obviously smaller screen (28 mm against 30.5 mm) and its resolution is slightly lower (218 x 218 px against 240 x 240 px), which really does not pose worry. We find in this model the same functions as the model 5 and its price is identical.

Sapphire crystal (Sapphire model)

Sapphire crystal is one of the most resistant materials in the world. It is the synthetic version of the precious stone, a crystal with high resistance, robust and anti-scratch (it is almost scratch-resistant). It is optional on the 5S and 5 models and basic on the 5X model. We recommend this glass, especially if you use your watch in sports such as climbing, hiking, canyoning, trekking or even for everyday use where it is common to hit your watch against hard or abrasive surfaces (walls, etc.). Note that the sapphire crystal adds € 100 to the price of the watch and 2 grams to its weight. This glass is present on the said models Saphhire

Attention, unlike the other Fenix ​​range, the WiFi connectivity is only available on Sapphire models.


The autonomy of the Fenix ​​5 varies depending on the model. The Fenix ​​5S has a significantly lower autonomy than the other 2 models (14h in GPS mode against 24h and 20h respectively for the 5 and 5X models). This should not, however, bother many athletes. The watch has an energy saving mode anyway, theUltraTrac, which, according to Garmin, offers up to 30 hours of operation (60 hours and 35 hours for the Fenix ​​5 and the Fenix ​​5X respectively).

In energy saving mode, GPS readings are less frequent, therefore the recorded track less precise. But to limit this inconvenience, Garmin added a gyroscope to his watch. This detects changes in direction and thus allows the route to be extrapolated as best as possible (rather than considering a straight line between 2 GPS measurements, the watch considers changes in direction detected by the gyroscope to adjust the distance traveled) .

Topographic maps, cycle paths and points of interest

Unlike the 5S and 5 models, the Garmin Fenix ​​5X is more complete. Its 12 GB memory (the equivalent of almost 3 DVDs or 17 CDs!) Embeds color topographic maps and cycle paths of European countries (or the place of purchase of the watch), as well as more 40,000 golf courses worldwide. If you are looking for a watch displaying maps to know your location, be guided to a route or even find a hotel or restaurant, this is the model to choose!

GPS watch with color topographic maps

When practicing a sport such as cross-country skiing, hiking, trail running or trekking, having a topographic map is essential, especially if you venture into new routes. Failing a conventional GPS, larger, or a paper map, the Fenix ​​5X is really a plus! Just plan your route in advance and load it into the watch. This then guides you by displaying your position on the map, indicating the distance and the difference in altitude remaining to be covered, the estimated journey time and by directing you with arrow signs.

On the Fenix ​​5X, the AroundMe shows you nearby points of interest, such as a restaurant, hotel, etc.

Finally, if you do not know where to go, let the Fenix ​​5X choose for you a route on road or bike path thanks to the round trip generator. By indicating to the watch a maximum distance and a direction, it calculates and proposes a route. No need for a smartphone or a computer, the watch does everything for you wherever you are, like with a car GPS!

Functional differences between Fenix ​​5

The 3 models offer almost the same functionality. Only the Fenix ​​5X, thanks to its 12 GB memory and its on-board data (topographic maps, points of interest, etc.), adds some interesting functions such as the route generator for running and cycling, the AroundMe function for the search for useful addresses and of course navigation on the map.

Triathlon: a special pack with HRM-Tri belt

For triathletes, Garmin has planned the Performer Pack which includes a Fenix ​​5 watch and an HRM-Tri chest belt (Tri as “triathlete”). The HRM-Tri is specially designed for triathletes, especially for measuring heart rate underwater. The Fenix ​​5 is indeed waterproof (10 ATM) but the optical sensor does not work in an aquatic environment.

The belt also performs additional measurements thanks to a dedicated sensor analyzing the stride (Running Dynamics): cadence, stride length, ground contact time and right / left balance, vertical oscillation and vertical ratio.

The pack allows a substantial saving compared to the separate purchase of the watch and the belt . 

Golf: more than 40,000 courses worldwide!

Fenix ​​5X displaying green

Golf fans accustomed to traveling will appreciate the Fenix ​​5X. Certainly the three models (5S, 5 and 5X) have the same features, including the famous function TruSwing, to play golf, detect shots, see the green on your watch, calculate distances, etc., but with the Fenix ​​5X, you no longer need to download your course beforehand. This model already contains in memory more than 40,000 routes worldwide. The Fenix ​​range is interesting for golfers practicing other sports. For people interested only in the practice of golf, it is better to turn to watches dedicated to this sport (Garmin approach range for example. See GPS watches for golf).

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How to choose between the Garmin Fenix ​​5S, 5 and 5X?

Fenix ​​5S, 5 or 5X: which one to choose?

If you hesitate between the Garmin Fenix ​​5S, 5 and 5X, here are some elements to help you in your choice as well as a summary table.

Fenix ​​5 blue watch
The Fenix ​​5S is suitable for small wrists. For navigation with topographic maps, opt for the Fenix ​​5X

If you are looking for a high-end multisport watch without the disadvantages of its size, weight and overly sporty design, and you have thin wrists, choose the Fenix ​​5S. This watch was designed for this. Many women will be interested but also all men with fine wrists. Indeed, multisport GPS watches are generally rather bulky and not always suitable for everyday life for these people. The Fenix ​​5 has also been designed to be worn permanently (city, work) both for use in a classic watch thanks to a customizable display but also for 24-hour activity tracking (tracker). It is therefore better to have an elegant and well-worn model!

If you are looking for a watch displaying topographic maps to navigate like with a hiking GPS (or almost!), Choose the 5X model. This model is not made only for wide wrists! It adapts to all wrists. It will simply be more voluminous and a little more bulky on a small wrist but not more bulky than the previous model (Fenix ​​3). Its disadvantage remains the price, much higher, especially since this model is only offered in Sapphire version.

The Fenix ​​5 will appeal to people with medium to large wrists, carrying the same components and functions as the Fenix ​​5S and offered at the same price. Its advantage is greater autonomy (24 hours in GPS mode and 60 hours in UltraTrac mode) and a more comfortable screen than the 5S model.

Differences between Garmin Fenix ​​5S, 5 and 5X

The table below summarizes the main differences between the Fenix ​​5 models to help you make the right choice. The 3 watches have great similarities. The differences are mainly in terms of case sizes, autonomy, database (topographic maps, cycle tracks, points of interest and golf course) and functionalities using the database (course generator, AroundMe function, etc.). We highlighted the positive (in green) and negative (in red) points.

Characteristics Fenix ​​5S Fenix ​​5 Fenix ​​5X
Weight(1) 67 to 69 g 85 to 87 g 98g
Case diameter 42 mm 47 mm 51 mm
Screen diameter 27.9mm 30.5mm 30.5mm
Thickness 14.5mm 15.5mm 17.5mm
Bracelet 20 mm 22 mm 26 mm
Bracelet material Silicone, suede or steel Silicone or steel Silicone or steel
Touchscreen No No No
Resolution (px) 218 x 218 px 240 x 240 px 240 x 240 px
Number of colors 64 64 64
Sapphire crystal Optional Optional YES
Cartography YES
Memory 64 MB 64 MB 12 GB
Autonomy(2) 9d / 14h / 35h 2 weeks / 24h / 60h 12d / 20h / 35h
Optical HR sensor YES YES YES
Waypoints 1,000 1,000 1,000
Recorded tracks 200 h 200 h 100 tracks or 10,000 points
Golf Course to download Course to download 40,000+ preloaded routes
Live track Yes Yes Yes
Group Track Yes Yes Yes
Comparative table – Garmin Fenix ​​5S, 5 and 5X

1 : Weight with silicone strap. For Fenix ​​5, the sapphire crystal weighs 2g more than ordinary glass
2 : Autonomy in smart health watch / GPS / UltraTrac mode (economy mode)

Criteria to help you choose your Fenix ​​5 watch

Strengths Fenix ​​5S Fenix ​​5 Fenix ​​5X
Main differences Compact, light, fine, suitable for thin wrists. Suede bracelet (in addition to silicone and metallic) Long battery life, more comfortable screen Map, cycle paths, points of interest (restaurant, hotels, etc.), 40,000 golf courses, AroundMe functions and course generator
Thin cuffs
Compact design
Screen comfort

Garmin Fenix ​​5S Price

Garmin Fenix ​​5X Price

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Last update was on: October 21, 2021 9:23 pm

Garmin Fenix ​​5 Price



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