Garmin Fenix 5 vs Fenix 5S vs Fenix 5 Plus: Buyers Guide

The Garmin Fenix range is designed to appeal to enthusiasts who demand both powerful tracking and excellent navigation support. Within the Phoenix line, the Garmin Phoenix 5 is known as the Bellwether, to which all other watches in the line are compared. The Fenix 5 features innovative GPS protocols, increased durability and ease of use.

How do the Fenix 5S and Fenix 5 Plus series models differ from the original?

All Garmin Phoenix 5, Garmin Phoenix 5S and Garmin Fenix 5 Plus models share the same features, but improvements have been made to the Garmin Fenix 5S and Garmin Fenix 5 Plus models. Compared to the Garmin Phoenix 5, the 5S and Phoenix 5 Plus models include updated design elements, GPS updates and performance tracking.

These three innovative smart clocks achieve high marks on all important points for a fitness watch. This article covers everything you need to know about these three products, focusing on what makes one watch different from the other.

Read on to find out more and find out what best suits your needs.

What are the similarities and differences between Garmin Phoenix 5, Phoenix 5S and Phoenix 5 Plus?

Honestly, choosing a variety of possibilities that differentiate these three models is like trying to write a novel that climbs a mountain. In short, there are many differences. It’s easy to say that the Phoenix 5S and Phoenix 5 Plus are just an improvement over the original, but there are a few characteristic advantages that are still present in Garmin Phoenix 5.

Let’s take a look at the most important characteristics of each watch.


Garmin Fenix 5 Rating:

  • A variety of areas and sizes. The best thing about Garmin Phoenix 5 is that you can choose from 3 different sizes from the start, depending on your comfort and wrist size. Fenix 5 is also available in silicone, leather and even metal in a wide range of colours.
  • Specific training measures. I must admit that when I first used the Garmin Phoenix 5, I was surprised at the accuracy of the clock when measuring distances. This model has significantly improved and increased the accuracy of the GPS protocols.
  • Monitoring of aerobic and anaerobic performance. Phoenix 5 has a useful training tracking function that accurately measures aerobic and anaerobic performance during training. It is useful to have a watch that can transmit immediately when you have finished or fallen behind with this type of physical activity.

Garmin Phoenix 5S


Rating of Garmin Fenix 5S:

  • Less and less compact. Like the Garmin Venu Sq, the Fenix 5S is designed as a smaller, stand-alone alternative to the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5 Plus models.
  • Basic performance monitoring. The Fenix 5S opts for a simpler, sometimes better approach. This is especially true in comparison with the more robust Fenix 5 and Fenix 5 Plus models. But the Phoenix 5S wins in this area with a smaller screen. Heart rate and power monitoring is done with large, easy-to-read alerts that require little back and forth movement when selecting the right screen.

Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus


Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus Review:

  • New and improved adaptive curricula. For some of the most popular Garmin watches, customized training plans are available with the help of a Garmin trainer of your choice who will assist you throughout the race. The Phoenix 5 Plus is one of the watches that includes this handy trainer that works well and helps you achieve your goals on days when running or any other form of fitness seems to become a routine.
  • Advanced tactical skills. Another distinctive feature of Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus is the new version of Tactical Performance Tracking. You can now synchronize your watch with enhancements such as night vision that syncs with compatible glasses. The Military Grid Coordinate System (MGRS) is also suitable for advanced longitudinal and latitudinal tracking.
  • Perfect for triathletes. The Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus is designed to meet the needs of users who want to know that their smart watch can support a variety of performance statistics during triathlon. With updated and improved heart rate, ground contact time, stride length and all functions synchronized with accurate heart rate and strength statistics.
  • Supplied with pre-installed activity profiles. The Fenix 5 Plus is designed for a wide range of fitness activities. Innovative and detailed activity profiles for swimming, running, cycling and triathlon are among the profiles you can choose from with this model. This template also contains some recommendations if you want ideas on how to customize your fitness program.

Similarities and differences

The 3 Fenix 5 models are ideal for triathletes and middle level runners, but also for multisport enthusiasts. You can certainly try one of the models if you’re a beginner, but there are some entry-level Garmin clocks that are perfect if you’re a beginner.

The battery works on all 3 models and each model is equipped with a barometric altimeter to record intensive training sessions in the altitude gym.

The differences are noticeable in the first place by comparing the design of the different models. The Garmin Fenix 5S is certainly the smallest of the three models. This will appeal to users who want a smart, compact and functional watch that doesn’t swallow the whole wrist.

The Fenix 5 and Fenix 5 Plus are slightly larger, but each comes with different types of tapes and materials to choose from according to your preferences.

One of the additional advantages of Garmin Phoenix 5 is its wave function. This model allows you to perform some basic wave tracking functions, including measuring the distance to the track and keeping track of your scores.

The Garmin Phoenix 5S and Phoenix 5 Plus watches are all similar, except that the Phoenix 5S has a smaller design. The Fenix 5S also suffers from a much smaller display, which makes viewing the card uncomfortable.

As a result, Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus can be considered a model that has almost all of the features of the Phoenix 5 and Phoenix 5S, but with many additional features. The large format color images added with Fenix 5 Plus are more than enough to put this model at the top.

What should I buy?

As you’ve probably already decided, the Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus is the best choice of the three models in the range. With new additions such as ClimbPro, improved navigation and additional Wi-Fi features not available with Phoenix 5 and Phoenix 5S, Phoenix 5 Plus is the best of the three.

These excellent features are also combined with a huge price; the Fenix 5 Plus is the most expensive of the three models. If you can keep an eye on your spending, you will probably be more satisfied with the model that improves the performance of Phoenix 5 and Phoenix 5S.

Final reflection

Which one of these similar watches is best for you? It depends on the design that suits you best. Each watch is virtually identical, minus a few differences in display and tracking performance. If you’re looking for a smaller watch, take a look at the Garmin Fenix 5S. If you want all available functions, the Phoenix 5 Plus is definitely the model for you.

I recommend Garmin Phoenix 5 Plus. Map navigation and new expansion modules for performance monitoring differ from the two previous models.

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