Garmin is a brand that’s pretty synonymous with all kinds of GPS and tracking tech, and sometimes, they come out with a few surprises. This sapphire glass smartwatch and tracker is designed and built to offer style and functionality on the move – what’s more, it comes stacked full of all kinds of different preloads, meaning if you are completely new to the world of activity tracking and GPS watches, you can ease yourself in without any trouble.
Of course, having checked out quite a few of Garmin’s various pieces of tech in the past, I did have a vague idea of what I might expect here. That said, I still found the Fenix 5S pretty intriguing.
Is it just a pretty face with a few handy features tucked away underneath? Or, is it really going to change the world of GPS tracking and fitness measurement for the better?
More About The Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire
This is a smaller, slimmer variation on Garmin’s previous smartwatch and exercise tracker tech, which also makes a point to blend in heart rate monitoring. This is a pretty recent development in wearable tech, believe it or not, but it’s a bandwagon worth jumping on.
Gym enthusiasts and runners will likely love the fact that you can keep track of your various activities with preloaded profiles. As you’d expect from Garmin, there’s also tons of delicious data to consume, meaning if you are really into your number crunching and tracking your progress, you are working with the best technology to suit your needs.
However, there’s definitely more to the Fenix 5S than meets the eye, so let’s start by taking a look at the specs, and checking out what it is that’s getting people up and moving.
Specifications and Essential Facts
- Manufacturer: Garmin
- Weight: 4oz
- Dimensions: 1.7 inches x 0.6 inches x 1.7 inches
- Added Features: Full GPS, GLONASS, altimeter, gyroscope and compass, Garmin Connect technology, data capture, up to nine days of battery
What are the Best Features / Main Selling Points of the Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire?
First, the look of the 5S is absolutely stunning. The model I’m reviewing here is specifically the sapphire, though all the watches in the line intrinsically offer the same experience.
What I absolutely love about the design of the 5S is that it seamlessly brings together a classy look with tons of tech – and it really doesn’t look complex at all from the outset. The newer model – the Fenix 6 – might have the edge in this department, but it’s still a really striking timepiece.
The superb battery life available on the Garmin Fenix 5S is absolutely worthy of mention early on. While Apple Watches tap out at around 18 hours of solid use, you can keep the Fenix 5S running for up to nine whole days if you purely use it as a smartwatch.
Even if you are solidly using the GPS, you can still expect it to run for a good 14 hours before it will burn out completely. That’s an amazing selling point.
I love the additional outdoor features in the kit that help to make this watch all the more precise. As you’d expect, the watch boasts a fantastic GPS, one that’s amongst some of the most precise on the market.
You’ll also receive a great GLONASS boost from satellites, and there’s even a gyroscope on board. If you’re trying to get lost, you’re going to have a hard time of it.
The stats measurements and record keeping absolutely make this a must-have GPS watch for the fitness enthusiast. If you love nothing more than measuring progress, then you’re going to want to attach this to your wrist ASAP. It’s fully connectable to GARMIN Connect, too, meaning there’s a whole online community just waiting for you only a few taps away.
What are the Benefits of Using the Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire?
The Garmin Fenix 5S is stylish, sleek, and just looks like a modern GPS smartwatch should. It’s neither too retro nor too futuristic, and for that reason, I think it stands a chance of appealing to a massive market.
The interchangeable bands are a nice touch, too, but it’s not all about looks – the Garmin Fenix 5S has a lot more going for it beneath the surface.
I think the battery life alone is a wonderful selling point. It’s a running joke that Apple users can’t expect to use their devices for much longer than a couple of hours at a time! However, this watch does pretty much put others in the shade. Even with the UltraTrac saver mode, you’re looking at a whopping 40 hours purely in GPS. That’s an amazing amount of tracking time.
The 5S is pretty easy to use on the whole, and while it does have a lot of functions, it probably won’t take many people too long to adjust to. Personally, I really didn’t have a problem with getting used to the presets.
Does the Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire Have Any Drawbacks?
The Garmin Fenix 5S benefits from not really having many detractors. However, the issue of the accuracy in exercise tracking has come up a few times with different buyers. In my experience, the step tracking and activity monitoring has been great – but I’m aware some users have had less than happy experiences getting the watch to track them accurately.
That said, if you do have any problems with Garmin products, the customer care team at Garmin HQ are absolutely fantastic to deal with. I sincerely hope you don’t have any issues with the 5S from the moment you unbox it – but if you do, and you’re within warranty, there are people on hand to help.
Generally, the consensus on the 5S Sapphire is that it looks great – but that there may still be a few points below the surface that enable the Samsung Galaxy and Apple wearable tech to really get ahead. It’s intuitive to a point – but let’s face it, you will likely be buying this GPS watch for the look.
Try buying it for the battery life – honestly – I can’t get over how reliable this GPS tracker is for so long. It’s fairly mystifying in some ways! This watch is likely to roll in at between $400 and $500, so make sure you have the pennies available if you want to take full advantage.
Conclusion – Should I Buy The Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire?
I’d absolutely recommend you buy the Fenix 5S if you’re in the market for a GPS watch or smartwatch that offers a great deal of comfort, doesn’t go overboard on the tech, and which above all really looks fantastic.
It’s a bit of a premium pick, but on the whole, it ticks all the right boxes. I like the fact that it’s easy to load up activity presets, and that you have satellite support as well as full GPS. Did I mention the battery life is amazing? I’m not sure I did – let me go back and check.
If you’re already well into your Garmin tech, then the Fenix 5S is likely to keep you sticking with the brand even longer.