Garmin’s new Fenix 5 watches will track all day, whatever your wrist size

Smart multi-sport tracking, big and small

*Additional text by Nicholas Yong

What happened to the Fenix 4?

A valid question, given how much we liked the Fenix 3 - and one for which we don’t have the answer. Still, at least there are three Fenix 5 watches to ogle as you ponder the question. 

Ah, so it’s a triplet of tracking tech.

Gosh, someone’s been at the alliterative dictionary again. But, yes, you’re right: each of the new Fenix watches is well-equipped for all-day tracking, with each offering a heart rate monitor and on-board GPS - not to mention smartphone support, for notifications and the like.

How can I spot the difference?

It might seem strange for such feature-packed tickers, but the biggest tell between the three is their size. Designed with smaller wrists in mind, the 5S is 42mm across - significantly dinkier than the 47mm Fenix 5 and the 51mm Fenix 5X. This should be welcome news for those of smaller build, given the somewhat mammoth size of previous Garmin multi-sport machines.

The Fenix 5 and 5S comes in either Glass or scratch resistant Sapphire lens, while the 5X only comes in Sapphire. 

So they’re just three sizes of the same watch? This smells like marketing trickery…

Hold your accusatory horses for just one second. Whilst each wrist-wrapper does offer similar features, there are some substantive differences, too. Battery life varies across the devices, with the Fenix 5 offering 14 days in smartwatch mode - versus 12 days on the 5X and eight on the 5S. in GPS mode, the Fenix 5 hits 24 hours, with 20 hours on the 5X and 14 hours on the 5S.

The 5X also offers pre-loaded mapping of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei too (you'll have to pay for additional maps).

If I manage to choose which one I want, can I switch up my style?

Well, you should probably pick the one that fits. Once you have, you can choose between any of the QuickFit watch band combinations in leather, silicone or metal. The bands are easily interchangeable - just  a slight click and to switch between them.

But is it really the smartwatch I need?

Here's our hands-on review of the Fenix 5 to help you make that call. 

Now in Malaysia

The regular glass Fenix 5 and 5S will set you back RM2899, and the Sapphire versions for RM3149. Those with bigger wrists will have to wait 'till April for the Fenix 5X, set to hit stores at RM3399. If you can't wait, you can preorder the Fenix 5X or buy the Fenix 5 and 5S at all Garmin stores in Malaysia.