The Garmin Fenix 5X is the pinnacle of outdoor adventure racing watches. The Fenix 5X solidly retains its membership in what we call the BAW (bad-ass watch) club with a size and shape similar to its predecessor, the Fenix 3 HR. It has the same round face and five-button layout (three on the left side, two on the right), a similar stainless steel bezel, and the identical sapphire crystal lens. The case of the 5X, which is water-resistant to 10 ATMS, measures 51 mm in diameter and is 17.5 mm thick, just like the Fenix 3 HR, and includes the same optical heart rate monitor on the back. With the 5X, Garmin has bumped up the resolution of the colour LCD screen from 218 x 218 pixels to 240 x 240 pixels, giving the new watch a noticeable increase in screen detail. The 5X also features Garmin’s new Quickfit watch band system that allows different bands to be swapped out quickly, easily, and without any tools.
Inside, the Garmin Fenix 5X has all the tech. Like the other members of the Fenix 5 family, it includes preconfigured apps for tracking road cycling, mountain biking, walking, hiking, running (outdoors, treadmill, and indoor track), swimming (pool and open water), snowboarding, skiing (cross-country and downhill), stand-up paddling, rowing (outdoor and indoor), and yes, even golf. It also pairs via ANT+ to all manner of sensors including cycling power meters, cadence sensors, running dynamics pods, temperature sensors, and more. When paired with a compatible smartphone, it delivers smart notifications and text messages, as well of the first few lines of emails. And if what’s on the watch isn’t enough, the 5X is compatible with Garmin’s Connect IQ store, which is loaded with downloadable apps that can add even more functions to the watch.
Garmin is constantly upgrading the software on its GPS watches, so there is no reason to worry that the Fenix 5X will be outdated when the company announces its next version of the Fenix. Garmin’s solid history of giving older watches the same software upgrades that the newer watches get means the 5X will most likely remain full-featured for years to come.