Shopping for your Garmin Fenix 3 or Garmin Fenix 5 can sometimes be a difficult task. Some persons end up spending more on products with lesser quality if the right research is not carried out. To help avert this, we conducted our own research and decided to compare Garmin Fenix 3 vs Garmin Fenix 5 in a way that highlights the important features of both watches.
Each of the models has certain features that make it tick in its own way. You may not find everything in one particular watch but a careful study of this review will put at your reach the necessary information you need to enable you to make the right decision when shopping for the ideal Garmin Fenix watch.
For instance, one watch may have all the fancy features and solid functionality, yet lack in battery life. In that case, you need to decide what takes precedence, whether the great features or the durable battery life. By the time you put some of the functions side by side, you will be able to decide what to go for that gives you satisfaction and a peace of mind.
Apart from showing you the similarities, this post also shows you the core differences between both products. To start with, we will pick a few items under the Garmin Fenix 3 and also pick some from the Garmin Fenix 5.
- Garmin Fenix 3 Vs Fenix 5 | Best Comparison
- Garmin Fenix 3 Vs Garmin Fenix 5 | The Watches
- Garmin Fenix 3 vs Garmin Fenix 5 | Functionality
- Fenix 3 vs Fenix 5: Design
- Fenix 3 Vs Fenix 5: Battery Life
- Fenix 3 Vs Fenix 5: Garmin Connect
- Garmin Fenix 3 HR vs Garmin Fenix 5
- Garmin Fenix 3 HR vs Garmin Fenix 5 Design
- Fenix 3 HR vs Fenix 5 | Display
- Here’s a video comparison of Garmin Fenix 5 vs. Fenix 3 HR:
Garmin Fenix 3 Vs Fenix 5 | Best Comparison
|Name of Watch||Battery Life||Preloaded Topographic & Cycling Maps||Wrist-based heart rate||Scratch resistant lens||Editor's Rating||Buy Now|
|Garmin Fenix 3, Gray bundle with Heart Rate Monitor||Up to 3 months||No||No||Yes||4.0 out of 5|
|Garmin Fenix 5 – Slate Gray with Black Band||2 weeks||No||Yes||No||4.2 out of 5|
|Garmin Fenix 3 HR||2 weeks||No||Yes||Yes||4.4 out of 5|
|Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire – Slate||23 days||Yes||Yes||Yes||4.2 out of 5|
Garmin Fenix 3 Vs Garmin Fenix 5 | The Watches
The Garmin Fenix 3 consists of two main models: Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Fitness Watch, and Garmin Fenix 3 HR. On the other hand, the Garmin 5 has three distinct models which include the Garmin Fenix 5, Garmin Fenix 5S and the Garmin Fenix 5X. In this post, however, we shall pay more attention to Fenix 3 and Fenix 3HR as well as Fenix 5 and Fenix 5X.
1. Garmin fenix 3, Gray bundle with Heart Rate Monitor
2. Garmin Fenix 5 – Slate Gray with Black Band
Garmin Fenix 3 vs Garmin Fenix 5 | Functionality
As a multisport watch, the Fenix 3 and Fenix 5 is suitable for any outdoor activity as both come with ABS (Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass) and GPS functions to guide you on navigational activity. This enables the user to access updated information on weather and elevation. The inbuilt GPS sensor allows you to create and recognize start or finish lines, campsite, course checkpoint and parking space. The timepiece is equipped with latest gadgets to aid your training and adventure by offering real-time navigational assistance.
It is worth mentioning that these watches come with ANT+ and Bluetooth sharing capabilities that allows you share locations, geocaches, and routes. Added to this is the ability to plan a trip, camp or training session with friends and family using the built-in Basecamp app. Still, on the inbuilt ABC sensors, the altimeter monitors changes in elevation to provide information on ascent and descent. The compass lets you know the bearing you’re on and informs whether the course you take is right or not. As part of the ABC sensors, the barometer allows the user to have a glimpse into the weather by monitoring changes in air pressure.
The featured sensors are calibrated using GPS receivers that enable the time of the watch to be set based on the location of the user.
More into the specs, the two watches can be used as a remote terminal to trigger camera via ANT+. Users will find it appealing as it is a perfect match for the VIRB and VIRB Elite action cameras.
Fenix 3 vs Fenix 5: Design
Garmin Fenix 3 | Image source: bikeradar.com
Unlike Garmin Fenix 5, Garmin Fenix 3 comes with a high-resolution Chroma display with LED that lets you access the watch’s data in daylight or darkness. In addition to this, the watch is designed to withstand water immersion to a depth of 100 meters making it ideal for swimming and diving a feature that is absent in the Garmin Fenix 5.
Fenix 3 Vs Fenix 5: Battery Life
Still, on the design, the Garmin Fenix 3 is made so you can enjoy 6 weeks of battery life when operated in the watch mode. More so, the watch is equipped with protective stainless steel bezel that doesn’t just enhance its appearance but houses the body for an added strength and durability.
The Garmin Fenix 5 on the other hand, lasts up to about two weeks after undergoing a full charge. It can serve you up to 20 hours when cycling or running with the full GPS on. However, when you use key features and special techs such as Bluetooth are turned on, the time may reduce.
Fenix 3 Vs Fenix 5: Garmin Connect
Garmin Fenix 5 | Image source: wareable.com
The ability of the Fenix 5 and 3 to connect with Garmin online community makes it exceptional; this allows users to share data and other useful information. In addition to this, the connect IQ platform for specialized software lets you make your watch smarter by personalizing it with apps, data fields, widgets and beautiful watch faces.
It will interest you to know that these timepieces let you receive text, email, and other notifications and keeps you alert to friend’s events and activities. When paired with a compatible Android or iPhone, it displays notifications on the screen for you to see.
Users of the two watches have appreciated the fact that they come with a performance widget that displays the workout progress and allows the user to ascertain his fitness performance. The watches are designed to enable you to track whatever sport comes your way; thus mountain climbers and swimmers will see it as a handy tool to advance their profession.
The Fenix 5 is relatively expensive compared to the Fenix 3 although their specs are similar. Users with low budget can always opt for the Fenix 3 since it offers almost all the features of Fenix 5.
Garmin Fenix 3 HR vs Garmin Fenix 5
3. Garmin Fenix 3 HR, Gray
Garmin Fenix 3 HR vs Garmin Fenix 5 Design
In comparison, the Garmin Fenix 5 has a strong resemblance with the Fenix 3 HR. Fenix 5 comes with series of quick fit bands that can be interchanged to suit the occasion. As a multisport watch, the Fenix 5 comes with quality specs that any user will fancy. Users can choose the premium leather or silicone to match any sporting activity. While the Fenix 3 HR comes with an EXO antenna, Fenix 5 does not; but both are GPS and GLONASS enabled.
The two watches come with a heart rate technology that allows you to track your heart rate data without having to wear a chest strap. In addition to this, both of them have an inbuilt VO2 max estimator that informs you of your fitness level by taking data of your steps per minute, running speed, and heartbeat changes to estimate the amount of oxygen burnt per minute.
Still, on the design specs, these timepieces can serve as the ideal coach for a trainer as it offers fitness metrics such as race predictor, recovery advisor with a timer and check which can be used to determine your finishing line based on the calculated VO2 number.
The Fenix 3HR and Fenix 5 are designed to track your stroke, distance, pace, and count. The only data required for the watches to process this activity is the size of the pool. Look at the ease in beginning your training activity.
It is worth mentioning that these watches come with an altimeter that keeps track of the distance covered in both ascent and descent. Added to this is the inbuilt barometer that monitors changes in air pressure by which users can be informed of the unfavorable weather condition. Also worth mentioning is the compass that works with the GPS to tell if the moves made are off course.
Users will find the inbuilt GPS sensor interesting as it allows you to create and recognize start or finish lines, campsite, course checkpoint and parking space. The timepiece is equipped with latest gadgets to aid your training and adventure by offering real-time navigational assistance when putting in GPS mode.
Fenix 3HR and Fenix 5 are designed to put your health in check as both use your heart rate to display information on calories burned and quantify your fitness performance activity. As a multisport device, these watches can track your ground contact time and balance, vertical oscillation and ratio, number of steps per minute and stress score using the heart rate feature.
How about knowing when to take a break? The heart rate sensor alerts you when your stress level becomes abnormal thus creating the awareness to take a break and continue at a scheduled time.
Garmin Fenix 3 HR | Image source: wareable.com
Fenix 3 HR vs Fenix 5 | Display
The display of the Fenix 3HR and Fenix 5 is designed with Trans-reflective MIP color sapphire lens that enables the display to be read in sunlight or darkness.
Those with interest in paddling sports or golf will find this timepiece to be a worthy companion as it can accurately measure stroke count, rate, and distance per stroke. It will interest you to know that the Fenix 3HR and Fenix 5 are designed to monitor your sleep rate in addition to keeping track of your heart condition and fitness progress.
Further, with a water-resistant of 100m; the Fenix 3HR and Fenix 5 are designed to withstand rain splashes, moisture, and swimming activities.
The watches are designed to enable you to track whatever sport comes your way; thus, mountain climbers and swimmers will see it as a handy tool to advance their profession.
The Fenix 5 is relatively expensive compared to the Fenix 3 HR although their specs are similar. Users with low budget can always opt for the Fenix 3 HR since it offers almost all the features of Fenix 5.
The Fenix 3HR and Fenix 5 feature outstanding specs that will provide the user with style, personality, reliability, and class. The stainless-steel bezel and a rugged design make the watch to withstand shock and minor falls. With a GPS and GLONASS enabled watch you do not need to worry about your current location or the time as it easily defines your spot and set the time based on your location.
Using either of the two watches in ski board mode give you an elated experience as the timepiece puts speed, vertical drop, distance, and auto pause for the lift line at your fingertips.
If you are a lover of adventure and want an adventuring watch, you can take advantage of the Garmin Fenix 5 series. Though the watch comes in three series (Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, and Fenix 5X), all have their uniqueness and today we will review the Fenix 5 and 5X.
While the Fenix 5 is regarded as the king of the multi-sport smartwatches; however, the Fenix 5X adds something extraordinary that adventurers love to have in a watch. The mapping feature is one distinguishing feature of the Fenix 5 and 5X. However, other features seem to be similar in both watches.
Here’s a video comparison of Garmin Fenix 5 vs. Fenix 3 HR:
Garmin Fenix 5 vs. Garmin Fenix 5X
4. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire – Slate Gray with Black Band
If you have used any of Garmin watches, you do agree that it is nothing short of high-class quality. The Garmin Fenix 5 with its various iterations are perfectly suited for people that spend a lot of time in the wood, trail or anywhere you could think about. If you take the Garmin Fenix 5 for both skiing and running activity, you will be impressed with its performance. The Fenix 5 watch is your one-stop all-purpose GPS watch.
The Fenix 5 watch is a premium multisport GPS watch with Elevate wrist heart rate technology. It has a physical size of about 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.6 inches with a QuickFit watch band compatible included in it. Besides this, the watch is perfect for any adventure you decide because of its rugged design, which features buttons, stainless steel bezel,and rear case.
On the other hand, the Garmin Fenix 5X is the largest and most expensive among the three Fenix 5 series smartwatches. The watch is packed not only in terms of its battery life but also in its tracking features. You will appreciate the watch when you consider the myriad sensors and software smarts for tracking virtually every sport. The Fenix 5X is flexible and rugged enough to support different sports such as swimming, cycling and running. Additionally, you can use it for other outdoor activities such as paddle boarding and hiking. It offers activity tracking, smartphone notifications, inbuilt heart rate monitoring, and sleep tracking.
Garmin Fenix 5 vs Fenix 5x | Size and Material
The Fenix 5 has a size of 47.0 x 47.0 x 15.5 mm. On the other hand, Fenix 5X has a larger size of about 51.0 x 51.0 x 17.5 mm. Another important difference is the material from which the watch is manufactured. While the Fenix 5 comes in a Plastic with silicon band, Fenix 5X has Sapphire with silicone band. However, the Fenix 5 can also come in a Sapphire version but incur additional cost.
Garmin Fenix 5 vs Fenix 5x Rugged Design
One criteria people check before buying a fitness watch is its ruggedness. In this aspect, the Garmin Fenix 5 doesn’t disappoint because it is meant for your outdoor activities. The watch has a feature that shows that it can absorb every abuse outdoor. It comes with five screws that hold the bevelled and black bezel in perfect position to keep the 1.2-inch display screen in shape.
There is an additional button added to the phone to enable you to use it when you put on gloves or have a sweaty hand. This makes it easier to navigate using the button. Furthermore, the Fenix 5 is water resistant up to 100 meters. Its ruggedness cannot be compared to anything because you can track your distance even if you jump from an aeroplane.
Garmin Fenix 5X | Image source: trustedreviews.com
Nevertheless, the Fenix 5X is bigger when compared with the Fenix 5. The 5X weighs about 98 grams whereas that of the Fenix 5 weighs 85 grams. Furthermore, the 5X uses a 51mm case with the Fenix 5 having 47mm case. The Fenix 5 and 5X both use the Garmin’s QuickFit 2 watch band. In terms of ruggedness, Fenix 5X is the perfect option to choose. If you are among those that prefer something more wrist-friendly, you may consider sticking with the Fenix 5. Otherwise, both watches are beautifully similar.
Fenix 5 vs Fenix 5X | Display & Features
The Garmin Fenix 5 comes with an additional on-color display. It has a transflective surface that utilizes the sunlight to produce the brightness of the screen. You will never have a problem when you decide to read the display, even if you try it in direct sunlight. Both watches have a display resolution of 240×240 and are both water resistant to 100m. The manufacturer has consistently given off by hitting a high-end display for concerns by providing the optimal visibility always.
Nevertheless, the Fenix 5 offers the tougher sapphire display as a premium option, which will cost more. On the other hand, the Fenix 5X comes with the sapphire display as the primary option. This gives the Fenix 5X the toughest screen display you want in a fitness watch. The sapphire screen also makes the Fenix 5X resistant to scratch, thereby giving you the opportunity to enjoy your watch for a longer duration.
Now, talking about the features, finding a multi-sport watch with loaded features than the Garmin flagship watch (Fenix 5) is possible with the Garmin Fenix 5X. All the same, the Fenix 5X is loaded with all the multi-sport features you desire in a watch. Both devices offer you the opportunity of setting your favourites through a personalized menu, making it easier for you to dive into the sports, giving you the choice to track on a regular basis.
Far from this, both watches track your activity and heart rate. The statistics gathered from these activities are funnelled into the Garmin Connect. The Garmin Connect gives you an in-depth access to every metrics. You have the VO2 Max, resting heart rate, Training Load, Step tracking, automatic sleep tracking, training effect, and training status. The watch has loaded features that you cannot fully know what to do with them all.
The difference between the Features of the Fenix 5 and that of Fenix 5X is in the mapping. Unlike the Fenix 5, the Fenix 5X comes loaded with full-color topographic maps. Additionally, you have golf and cycling maps with 16GB storage capacity to load up the information you want.
While the Fenix 5 offers GPS routes through the Garmin Basecamp, the Fenix 5X utilizes its mapping power by providing a turn-by-turn navigation on more visually lush maps on the watch. The flagship provides lags in this area. Furthermore, you can use the Fenix 5X mapping feature to set courses, this could be by auto-built or manually from your location. This is not only intuitive but also simple.
Finally, the 5X’s mapping ability allows the watch to give you points of interests. The 5X will use your GPS location to scan the area, and then deliver a list of interesting places nearby. These can include shopping, lodging, food, drink, and gas. You just have to select a place, click go, and you’re off via turn-by-turn navigation.
Though both watches share almost the same features, the difference is in the mapping. Thinking of a good rich virtual map, one to set your own course, and a good turn-by-turn navigation, you can find that in the Fenix 5X. If you don’t want these features, then it is better to turn to the Fenix 5.
Garmin Fenix 5 vs Fenix 5x | Running & Battery Life
In as much as you can use the Garmin 5 series to track a different kind of sports, it is perfectly suited for running activities. Actually, you get the same standard information on both watches. You get distance, splits, pace, heart rate and much more. Besides this, both the Fenix 5 and 5X have the capability of informing you the time required to recover after every training sessions.
While the Garmin 5 series can track a lot of different sports well, the thing it is still best at is running. You’ll get all the same standard information on both. Pace splits, distance, heart rate and more are all here. The watches will even tell you how much you need to recover after each of your training sessions.
You get a great running experience when you use the Fenix 5X watch because of its mapping features. You can pull the map and point at any area you want to run. Additionally, you can scan the map and set your own endpoint and start point.
If your aim is just for running, you may consider going for the Fenix 5. The Fenix 5 may be amicable because of its size; however, the 5X is quite heavy when used as a running device. Ensure you put this into consideration when you want to buy the Garmin product. The Garmin Elevate tech works in both watches. The heart rate tech is perfect until you decide to move towards a more high-intensity training, which there may be struggles with the chest strap. Finally, in terms of running, it is all dependent on what you want. If you want extra mapping feature, then go for the Fenix 5X but if you want a little feature watch, the Fenix 5 is great.
Another thing worth comparing is the battery life of both watches. The Garmin Fenix 5 may last about two weeks after undergoing a full charge. You can use it for 20 hours when cycling or running with the full GPS on. Nevertheless, the time may reduce when you use key features and connected techs such as Bluetooth are turned on.
Interestedly, in spite of being larger, the Fenix 5X has inferior battery life when compared to the regular Fenix 5. Though you may still get the 20 hours battery life when your GPS is, the battery lasts only up to 12 days in the Smartwatch mode. In the UltraTrac mode, the battery can last 35 hours. Instead of using a bulky wireless charger like most smartwatches, the Fenix 5 and 5X uses a small USB cable to charge the watch. The USB can be snapped into the port of the watch without stress. Even if you have power supply issues at home, you can charge the watch in your car.
Both watches have the Garmin Connect feature. With it, you can comfortably synchronize your smartphone with the watch to automatically save your information into the Garmin free online community. All that is needed is you download the mobile version of the Garmin Connect to your phone. If this method seems strenuous, you can also login using your laptop. There is no much difference in the area of the Garmin Connect. You still enjoy the benefit that Fenix 5 has in the Fenix 5X.
Furthermore, you can leverage the detailed calorie tracking by setting up your own personalized account, which can be linked to the Garmin Connect account you have. You can as well customize the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5X watches with downloads from the Connect IQ store. Add data fields, change the watch face or get new widgets and apps without stress. The Fenix 5 and 5X watches both share inbuilt navigational sensors, which include GLONASS and GPS capability to track challenging environment.
This gives you a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and gyroscope. With the connected features such as automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community, smart notifications, and personalization through the apps and free watch face from the Connect IQ store, both watches stand face to face.
You can also receive localized weather forecast, notifications such as texts and calls, and a list of calendar appointments. You have the feature of controlling your music playing on both watches using your smartphone. With the recent update on its app, the watch enables you to connect to Samsung’s SmartThings smart home hub, which helps you to switch your lights on and off.
Conclusion about Garmin Fenix 3 vs Fenix 5:
The Fenix 3 requires a chest strap in order to be able to monitor heart rate but the Fenix 5 does not require a chest strap to do that. It is naturally able to do its job unassisted. This is of course, one drawback for the Fenix 3 watch, with Fenix 5 taking a comfortable lead.
The Fenix 5 vs Fenix 5X also shows the Fenix 5X with Preloaded Topographic & Cycling Maps whereas the Fenix 5 doesn’t.
In terms of customer rating, Garmin Fenix 3 HR enjoys 4.4 stars out of 5; Fenix 5 and 5X both have 4.2 stars while Fenix 3 has 4.0 stars. This is an attestation to the fact that customers love all Fenix products, though Fenix 3 enjoys the lowest rating among the products under review.
You can now make your choice based on the information we have provided in this review. You now have the basic information needed to enable you to make an informed buying decision. You know what exactly you are expecting in the Garmin Fenix model you want. You can trust the products we have reviewed and use our links to make your purchase from the Amazon online store.
What we have here are trusted to work well and they all enjoy a minimum of 4.0 star rating from customers. All you need is to just click on the link to the product you want and you will be redirected to the store, without having to start researching the product from scratch.