Garmin Fenix 5 first impressions – Better than the Apple Watch?

I’d been debating whether or not to ditch the Apple Watch for a long time and to be honest, going to Snowdon was what made me do it.

From previous experience, I knew that the battery on the Apple Watch wouldn’t get me to the summit and back down. I love getting stats when I do stuff so not taking a watch wasn’t really an option. I did consider buying a cheaper 2nd hand Garmin but when I tried to think of things I’d miss about the Apple Watch, I couldn’t think of anything. That’s when I went onto Wiggle and saw the Fenix 5 on sale, including the HRM Tri which I’ll do another post about.

First Impressions

Having to go onto a PC to update the Fenix 5 was a bit annoying but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal. Once it was on my wrist I preferred how it looks more like an actual watch than the AW did and it feels a bit more robust. It did take me a while to figure out that the screen reacts to natural sunlight so is a bit dark inside. I probably wasted a lot of battery leaving the light on for that first few hours. I can’t fault the comfort of it either. It doesn’t feel too big for my wrist (which is pretty skinny) and it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it at times.

Favourite features so far

By far my favourite thing about the Fenix 5 and one of the main reasons I bought it, is the battery life. I last charged it 8 days ago and it’s currently on 46% battery. After having the AW series 3, this is a big deal for me. I used to have to switch on aeroplane mode just to stop the battery going in a day. Now I can leave everything on, do multiple workouts a day and only have to charge it once a week at most (being below 40% irritates me).

Another thing I like about the Fenix 5 is the amount of features and sports that it has. I probably won’t ever do a sport that’s not on this watch and having so many on here makes me want to try new things. You’d think that by having so many different sports on there that the data would be sacrificed, but it’s not. It tells me everything I’ll ever need to know about my running stats, especially when I’m using the HRM Tri.

There are loads of little things I like about the watch so here are a few of them:

– Huge amount of watch faces available

– Ability to save your location for future reference

– Music controls (I hate double tapping my AirPods)

– You can disable notifications before/after certain times, so it doesn’t wake you up

Things I don’t like about the watch

There isn’t much I don’t like about the Fenix 5 but one thing I have noticed is that the buttons are a bit fiddly. I can’t think of another word to describe it but sometimes I can’t just tap them, I have to do it a few times.

Another small thing I’ve noticed is that you can only change certain things with the watch faces. For example, there are some where you can change the data fields but then others where you can only change the colours. Also, some you can change on the watch and some you can change on the app, strange.

Final Verdict (for now)

If you have the money and need a new watch, I’d definitely recommend the Fenix 5. I’m so glad I made the switch from the Apple Watch and can genuinely say that I don’t miss anything about it.

Let me know what you all think about the Apple Watch and Fenix 5, especially if you have had both of them. I’ll be doing a longer term review in more detail at some point.

Thanks for reading, peace.

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