Garmin's Fenix 5 smartwatch aims at athletes, not Apple Watch fans

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 21
Garmin's Fenix 5 is an impressive smartwatch for people serious about fitness or the outdoors, but probably both too much and too little for people expecting something like the Apple Watch.




Like its predecessor, the Fenix 3 HR, the Fenix 5 doesn't mess around. While the 5 does have a faster processor and a (slightly) sharper display than the 3 HR, any apps it supports -- first- or third-party, the latter from the Connect IQ store -- are still almost exclusively fitness- or navigation-oriented. Garmin sells it as a "multisports GPS watch," and suitably, people who want to play games or control their smarthome accessories should probably look elsewhere -- even its weather, music, and notification widgets feel like luxuries.




Our review unit was an upgraded version of the standard Fenix 5, with a sapphire screen and hence Wi-Fi as well -- non-sapphire models are limited to Bluetooth. Two other models are available: the 5S, which is smaller and sacrifices battery life, and the 5X, which is bigger, sapphire-only, and includes extensive mapping functions, seemingly aimed at people who spend most of their lives outdoors.

The regular Fenix 5 at least feels extremely rugged. It uses screwed-down stainless steel for the bezels and undercarriage, and should be waterproof to a depth of 100 meters. We had no problems with sweat or wearing it in the shower. The sapphire option mostly makes the screen more scratch-resistant -- something worth considering, though, for buyers who like to play rough. New quick-release bands are not only durable, but easy to swap out.

Battery life is likewise pretty tough. In theory the watch can last up to 2 weeks in normal use, or 24 hours in GPS mode -- stats which simply annihilate most competing products, especially the Apple Watch. They seem to bear out in practice too, since after a week and three extended workouts, we were only down to 69 percent charge. Realistically the Fenix 5 should be taken off long before the two-week mark for cleaning and comfort's sake.

An alternate version of GPS mode, called UltraTrac, reduces sample rate but improves battery life to 60 hours. New to the Fenix 5 in this area is the use of an internal gyroscope to smooth over position data.

In fact the device is chock full of sensors, including a three-axis compass, an altimeter, and even GLONASS as an alternative to GPS. An upgraded heart rate sensor takes readings every second of every day -- while this doesn't flood Garmin Connect or Apple's Health app with a non-stop stream of data, it should in theory improve the accuracy of the data that does sync.




Our own testing surprised us with substantially lower heart rate numbers than some of the other fitness trackers we've reviewed, mainly in exercise. Based on various factors we suspect that the other devices were overestimating, and that Garmin's data is more accurate. True or not, we still encountered some occasional lag during workouts.

Garmin's interface design will likely remain a problem for some people, since there's no touchscreen and it can take time to memorize the button layout. To the company's credit though a faster processor does make the watch feel snappier than the 3 HR, and menus have been reorganized, making them less convoluted. It took us less time to configure the Fenix 5, including setting up a watchface with colors and complications we liked.

Inexplicably Garmin still makes users turn on gesture-triggered backlighting, something we find essential with its products. The Fenix 5's screen is always on, but like the 3 HR, it can be hard to read without direct sunlight and the backlight otherwise activates only when you hit a button.

The Fenix 5 display without backlighting, in direct sunlight and cloudy skies.
The Fenix 5 display without backlighting, in direct sunlight and cloudy skies.


For people obsessed with performance, the watch features an overwhelming number of tracking options. In addition to calorie burn, heart rate, steps, and distance, it can estimate stats like VO2 max or lactate threshold, and even gauge whether someone is improving in their training regimen over time. It also supports first- and third-party sensors like chest straps, enabling maximum accuracy in heart and running data.

It moreover offers an absurd number of pre-defined (and sometimes auto-detected) activities, including not just standard options like running and swimming but rarities like skiing and golfing. One complaint is that as usual, Garmin seems biased towards cardio workouts -- while there is a Strength activity for instance, it offers barebones data and isn't even included in the default selections.




Arguably weightlifters can get the same or better by pairing a cheaper tracker with a chest strap. That being said, those who mix serious cardio into their regimens will probably enjoy the flexibility.

Conclusions

The Fenix 5 is a natural option for hikers, triatheletes, or just athletes in general. It's indestructible, and bound to last as long as they could possibly demand.

Even some fitness fanatics may have to wonder if they need something so extreme, however. Garmin itself sells devices which do many of the same things for less, not to mention alternatives from other "serious" fitness device makers like Polar. As we suggested, it may not make sense to get a Fenix unless cardio is a high priority.

Then of course there's the issue of life beyond gyms and trails. The watch is certainly useful for the things every smartwatch does, with the rarer bonus of that always-on display -- it's nice being able to check calories or notifications in an instant. But there are no email or password apps, no wireless payment systems like Apple Pay.

iPhone owners who need those sorts of creature comforts should probably stick with an Apple Watch Series 2. It's almost an unfair comparison though -- the Fexix 5 knows exactly where its audience lies, and for that group, there aren't many alternatives of the same caliber.

Score: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

Garmin sells the standard Fenix 5 for $599.99 and up, with sapphire editions costing an extra $100. Similar prices are available from third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    It looks huge on the wrist... 47mm is almost 2" diameter (and the 5X is 51mm). Wrist attachments that size are going to get scratched and, worse, snagged a lot in the great outdoors!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    BluntBlunt Posts: 35member
    The typograhy looks really bad on the watch. Makes it look cheap.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans whether they are amateur or pro.  Frankly, most of the really serious athletes / runners I know automatically look to Garmin and not much else.

    One of its inherent advantages to the athlete is the Garmin's always-on screen which (combined with its easy to read typefaces) make it quicker and easier to read at a quick glance while running than that of the Apple Watch -- which not only burns battery life but has to come on and then refresh but yet remains harder to see in bright sun.   That's not to trash the Apple Watch screen -- it's OLED screen has other advantages for other applications that the Garmin not only fails at but doesn't even try.

    On functionality, I think Apple let themselves fall into a trap where the Apple Watch is typically compared to other watches like the Garmin as a standalone watch without its accompanying phone.  The IPhone adds sensors and functional enhancements such as:  additional sensors, LTE, larger memory for music, etc., a camera and so on....   Yet, it is pretty much always assumed by reviewers that a runner always leaves his phone at home while running and that the original and Series One Apple Watches are worthless for athletes and runners.  But, in my experience very few runners do that -- they want the security of having that phone with them.   So, for a real comparison, we should be comparing the Apple Watch with its Iphone to the standalone Garmin watch.   Then we would get, in many ways, a very different story.

    But, Apple has room to improve the Apple Watch -- even with its phone.   It's third party fitness app vendors have yet to take full advantage of Watch OS3.  Apple should support and encourage them.   Also, Apple could improve its own exercise app by adding additional features such as post-run heart rate and pace graphs as well as improving display flexibility because currently it displays 5 metrics in a tiny little, hard to see font that works well while you're sitting at a desk but not while you're running.  And, the only flexibility is to eliminate some of those metrics -- but it continues to use the same tiny, hard to see font.

    I think Apple should bring in some serious amateur athletes and have them make recommendations on how the Apple Watch could best meet their needs - rather than rely on media reviews, desk-bound geeks, medical personnel, very casual exercisers, and Nike as the only input.



    LeBart1968
  • Reply 4 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,920member
    It looks huge on the wrist... 47mm is almost 2" diameter (and the 5X is 51mm). Wrist attachments that size are going to get scratched and, worse, snagged a lot in the great outdoors!
    There's a smaller version of it as well. 
    Fenix 5S: 42mm wide, for smaller wrists – available in regular glass and Sapphire glass
    Fenix 5: 47mm wide, standard base model – regular glass and Sapphire glass
    Fenix 5X: 51mm wide, includes mapping – only in Sapphire glass
    edited April 16
  • Reply 5 of 30
    No one will be calling that Fenix 5 a toy like they do with AppleWatches. The Fenix brand looks like it means business and that's exactly what athletes need. If I ever intended to get a high-end smartwatch, that Fenix is the one I'd choose. I like how rugged it is even if it looks big and bulky. A tank isn't pretty, but is built to last under the most adverse conditions. I hope Garmin continues to produce fitness watches like these for those who do require tough wearables. One of the best features of having this watch is that you don't need a smartphone with you. No point in carrying extra stuff around if it's not needed.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    larryalarrya Posts: 397member
    I would like to see Garmin incorporate music playback. Then, I could truly run with only the watch. This is what's pushing me toward the AW2; but then, I hesitate there because reviews seem to indicate compromised GPS to stretch battery life, and using the Apple health app to integrate calorie consumption and exercise data is not appealing - it seems very clunky to me when I try to use it with other devices. 
    LeBart1968
  • Reply 7 of 30
    There is no room for bulky watches in the fitness market - it's ignorant to how people conduct fitness activities. During running a bulky watch is utter f-kery, especially for runners with smaller frames (which is optimal for running). On the opposing side of use such as weight training they get in the way of cables, numerous machines and prevent the use of wrist straps. To date Garmin's best fitness products are small and light, but even those have problems with HR measurement. (I've owned a fair few of them.)

    The other issue is that wrist-worn heart rate sensors perform poorly for fluctuating heart rates - without coincidence it's these same exercises where it's most useful to know heart rate. It's far less common to require heart rate for stable heart rate exercises, because it's trivial to measure it when it's not changing. (P.S. Garmin's chest straps are outdated garbage with frequent pairing issues.)

    These devices are not even good for those with health issues. Here a rapidly changing heart rate can signal a medical emergency, yet a rapidly changing HR merely confuses these devices, they're truly built for stable heart rates and everything else simply doesn't work.

    As the author notes, for fitness you're best going off with a small light device and a chest strap. My recommendation is the aluminium apple watch and the bluetooth wahoo chest HR monitor, they work flawlessly together. (And the Apple Watch has the most accurate heart rate sensor for the wrist regardless.)
    chiawatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 30
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,356member
    This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans whether they are amateur or pro.  Frankly, most of the really serious athletes / runners I know automatically look to Garmin and not much else. [...]

    I think Apple should bring in some serious amateur athletes and have them make recommendations on how the Apple Watch could best meet their needs - rather than rely on media reviews, desk-bound geeks, medical personnel, very casual exercisers, and Nike as the only input.
    I disagree that this is a serious competitor to the AW. This seems clearly a specialist device, while the AW is a generalist device. By nature then they serve different use cases and perform different jobs to be done. As a non-runner I would get very little value out of a device like this but derive much value from AW.

    Also, to your latter suggestion I'm quite certain Apple already is doing this. They do not rely on web reviews to improve product. 
    watto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,920member
    There is no room for bulky watches in the fitness market - it's ignorant to how people conduct fitness activities. During running a bulky watch is utter f-kery, especially for runners with smaller frames (which is optimal for running). On the opposing side of use such as weight training they get in the way of cables, numerous machines and prevent the use of wrist straps. To date Garmin's best fitness products are small and light, but even those have problems with HR measurement. (I've owned a fair few of them.)

    The other issue is that wrist-worn heart rate sensors perform poorly for fluctuating heart rates - without coincidence it's these same exercises where it's most useful to know heart rate. It's far less common to require heart rate for stable heart rate exercises, because it's trivial to measure it when it's not changing. (P.S. Garmin's chest straps are outdated garbage with frequent pairing issues.)

    These devices are not even good for those with health issues. Here a rapidly changing heart rate can signal a medical emergency, yet a rapidly changing HR merely confuses these devices, they're truly built for stable heart rates and everything else simply doesn't work.

    As the author notes, for fitness you're best going off with a small light device and a chest strap. My recommendation is the aluminium apple watch and the bluetooth wahoo chest HR monitor, they work flawlessly together. (And the Apple Watch has the most accurate heart rate sensor for the wrist regardless.)
    You should peruse reviews at https://www.dcrainmaker.com/
    You won't find more thorough testing, nor better advice for anyone considering a fitness tracker than he offers. 
    GeorgeBMacLeBart1968
  • Reply 10 of 30
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,206member
    No one will be calling that Fenix 5 a toy like they do with AppleWatches. The Fenix brand looks like it means business and that's exactly what athletes need. If I ever intended to get a high-end smartwatch, that Fenix is the one I'd choose. I like how rugged it is even if it looks big and bulky. A tank isn't pretty, but is built to last under the most adverse conditions. I hope Garmin continues to produce fitness watches like these for those who do require tough wearables. One of the best features of having this watch is that you don't need a smartphone with you. No point in carrying extra stuff around if it's not needed.
    Right... Rugged... I bet the top end ceramic watch is much tougher than that one, and even the regular one is pretty close. But hey, whatever delusion hey.

    And nobody calls the Apple Watch a toy except you buddy.

    This thing is ugly as sin and not meant for women in general, and men outside the times they're exercising.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Completely different markets it's like comparing apples to oranges...literally. The review was reasonable but doesn't appear to come from a serious athlete. The Fenix range is aimed at those who do multi-sports like triathlons or ultra-running as it can combine and track multiple activities over many hours. Some ultra-events last longer than the Apple watch has battery life so it isn't even in the running as a competitor in this market. My Fenix 5X goes for almost 2 weeks when used as a watch with notifications etc. I can go 50hrs recording a fitness activity including metrics such has Heart Rate, GPS track recording, speed, pace, distance, elevation (including gain/ lost), R-R calculations, anaerobic/ aerobic training effect, VO2MAX, cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation amongst many others. It has on device GPS and extensive maps including Topo - as well as the ability to load third party maps like openmaps etc. Serious athletes don't use the on-device optical HR during an activity, they continue to use bluetooth/ ANT+ chest straps and optical HR is used for continual monitoring of daily HR. It's the best way to get a true reading of energy expenditure. It's in a completely different league as a fitness device.

    http://i65.tinypic.com/2aglxjq.jpg
    edited April 16 gatorguyGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 30
    This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans whether they are amateur or pro.  Frankly, most of the really serious athletes / runners I know automatically look to Garmin and not much else. [...]

    I think Apple should bring in some serious amateur athletes and have them make recommendations on how the Apple Watch could best meet their needs - rather than rely on media reviews, desk-bound geeks, medical personnel, very casual exercisers, and Nike as the only input.
    I disagree that this is a serious competitor to the AW. This seems clearly a specialist device, while the AW is a generalist device. By nature then they serve different use cases and perform different jobs to be done. As a non-runner I would get very little value out of a device like this but derive much value from AW.

    Also, to your latter suggestion I'm quite certain Apple already is doing this. They do not rely on web reviews to improve product. 
    If you are going to disagree with me, I think it best to disagree with what I actually said -- rather than what you want to disagree with:
    I did NOT say:  "this is a serious competitor to the AW"
    I DID say:  "This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans"

    Sorry, but those are two very different statements.

    I agree with you that the Apple Watch is a superior generalized device.  But, in reality, Apple has learned that it will not succeed that way and is strongly pushing it into the exercise/activity tracker market.   Specifically:  originally they marketed as a medic al device.  That didn't work.   Then they tried pushing it as a spiffy tech gadget and fashion trinket.  That didn't work either.   So, with the successors to the original series they have jumped into the middle of the Sports/Exercise monitor market.

    But, as this review points out:  they are not the premier player in the athletics market.
    So, will the Apple Watch continue to be "A jack of all trades, master of none", or will it strive to be the best?
    ... Personally, I am rooting for the latter -- and I think that (with a few limitations like the OLED screen) they can do it.
    LeBart1968
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Completely different markets it's like comparing apples to oranges...literally. The review was reasonable but doesn't appear to come from a serious athlete. The Fenix range is aimed at those who do multi-sports like triathlons or ultra-running as it can combine and track multiple activities over many hours. Some ultra-events last longer than the Apple watch has battery life so it isn't even in the running as a competitor in this market. My Fenix 5X goes for almost 2 weeks when used as a watch with notifications etc. I can go 50hrs recording a fitness activity including metrics such has Heart Rate, GPS track recording, speed, pace, distance, elevation (including gain/ lost), R-R calculations, anaerobic/ aerobic training effect, VO2MAX, cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation amongst many others. It has on device GPS and extensive maps including Topo - as well as the ability to load third party maps like openmaps etc. Serious athletes don't use the on-device optical HR during an activity, they continue to use bluetooth/ ANT+ chest straps and optical HR is used for continual monitoring of daily HR. It's the best way to get a true reading of energy expenditure. It's in a completely different league as a fitness device.

    http://i65.tinypic.com/2aglxjq.jpg
    I agree...  Except for two points:
    1)  The Fenix 5 is not just for triathletes and ultras -- it would work well for most serious runners regardless of distance.
    2)  I know a number of serious runners and very few of them continue to use a chest strap.  They are all migrating to wrist based monitors. 

    As an aside:
    As a curiosity, I compared my Polar H7 chest strap to the HR from my Apple Watch on both of 2 consecutive runs -- and I don't know which to believe:   The heart rate from H7 was considerably higher and it bounced all over the place.   Based on how I felt during the run, the HR from my Apple Watch seemed to be more correct -- and when I stopped one time and took a manual heart rate, it too jived with the watch.   But, as you point out, the chest straps are typically more accurate.
    ...  I just can't figure out how to interpret that or where to go with it....   Very weird.

    I am speculating that the difference might have come from how the heart rate is processed in the algorithm:  If the sample is taken every second and the actual heart rate is  in the 120-150BPM range, some seconds will get 2 beats and some 3 -- so if it is reported directly, the HR will bounce around.  I am thinking that the Apple Watch may smooth that out in its algorithm before reporting it.  


  • Reply 14 of 30
    LeBart1968LeBart1968 Posts: 11unconfirmed, member
    This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans whether they are amateur or pro.  Frankly, most of the really serious athletes / runners I know automatically look to Garmin and not much else. [...]

    I think Apple should bring in some serious amateur athletes and have them make recommendations on how the Apple Watch could best meet their needs - rather than rely on media reviews, desk-bound geeks, medical personnel, very casual exercisers, and Nike as the only input.
    I disagree that this is a serious competitor to the AW. This seems clearly a specialist device, while the AW is a generalist device. By nature then they serve different use cases and perform different jobs to be done. As a non-runner I would get very little value out of a device like this but derive much value from AW.

    Also, to your latter suggestion I'm quite certain Apple already is doing this. They do not rely on web reviews to improve product. 
    I"m not sure if apple takes people who do some workout and like some data gathering (in my case running & MTB) serious. Their marketing machine works better these days than the products they make. When the first AW came out, I was ready to buy one. Beautiful design, well thought out UI ... But until today, they did not meet my expectations in the sports field ... Flawed HR-monitor and GPS - no good tools to evaluate your workouts ... In the end I was left with the ugly Fenix 5X and ugly UI. But GPS and HR are spot, I've got a lot of tools to evaluate my condition and routing is exceptional. A big bummer is that there is no music-player on board. So still needing my iPhone to carry with me. ;-( I hope in the end Apple comes out with the ultimate Sports Watch and I'll be the first to switch. But it won't be in the next five years I believe. First they have to stop working with Nike (How they fucked up the Nike+ app is beyond disbelieve)
    edited April 17
  • Reply 15 of 30
    LeBart1968LeBart1968 Posts: 11unconfirmed, member
    gatorguy said:
    There is no room for bulky watches in the fitness market - it's ignorant to how people conduct fitness activities. During running a bulky watch is utter f-kery, especially for runners with smaller frames (which is optimal for running). On the opposing side of use such as weight training they get in the way of cables, numerous machines and prevent the use of wrist straps. To date Garmin's best fitness products are small and light, but even those have problems with HR measurement. (I've owned a fair few of them.)

    The other issue is that wrist-worn heart rate sensors perform poorly for fluctuating heart rates - without coincidence it's these same exercises where it's most useful to know heart rate. It's far less common to require heart rate for stable heart rate exercises, because it's trivial to measure it when it's not changing. (P.S. Garmin's chest straps are outdated garbage with frequent pairing issues.)

    These devices are not even good for those with health issues. Here a rapidly changing heart rate can signal a medical emergency, yet a rapidly changing HR merely confuses these devices, they're truly built for stable heart rates and everything else simply doesn't work.

    As the author notes, for fitness you're best going off with a small light device and a chest strap. My recommendation is the aluminium apple watch and the bluetooth wahoo chest HR monitor, they work flawlessly together. (And the Apple Watch has the most accurate heart rate sensor for the wrist regardless.)
    You should peruse reviews at https://www.dcrainmaker.com/
    You won't find more thorough testing, nor better advice for anyone considering a fitness tracker than he offers. 
    I've been using the Garmin Fenix5X for running and Strava on my iPhone 6 plus with a heartstrap (polar H7) HR was spot on. Just 1 beat difference between the two. And GPS a tad better on the Garmin (with Glonass activated). Yes, the Fenix is ugly. But it works.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 30
    LeBart1968LeBart1968 Posts: 11unconfirmed, member
    larrya said:
    I would like to see Garmin incorporate music playback. Then, I could truly run with only the watch. This is what's pushing me toward the AW2; but then, I hesitate there because reviews seem to indicate compromised GPS to stretch battery life, and using the Apple health app to integrate calorie consumption and exercise data is not appealing - it seems very clunky to me when I try to use it with other devices. 
    Had the same problem and in the end went for the Fenix. UI is not Apple neither the looks. But hey it works better than expected and have no regrets.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    larrya said:
    I would like to see Garmin incorporate music playback. Then, I could truly run with only the watch. This is what's pushing me toward the AW2; but then, I hesitate there because reviews seem to indicate compromised GPS to stretch battery life, and using the Apple health app to integrate calorie consumption and exercise data is not appealing - it seems very clunky to me when I try to use it with other devices. 
    Had the same problem and in the end went for the Fenix. UI is not Apple neither the looks. But hey it works better than expected and have no regrets.
    Im confused. You would like to see Garmin incorporate music so that you could leave the phone home, but was beeing pushed towards AW2 so that you could leave the phone home. How does that work for you with the AW2?
  • Reply 18 of 30
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,356member
    This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans whether they are amateur or pro.  Frankly, most of the really serious athletes / runners I know automatically look to Garmin and not much else. [...]

    I think Apple should bring in some serious amateur athletes and have them make recommendations on how the Apple Watch could best meet their needs - rather than rely on media reviews, desk-bound geeks, medical personnel, very casual exercisers, and Nike as the only input.
    I disagree that this is a serious competitor to the AW. This seems clearly a specialist device, while the AW is a generalist device. By nature then they serve different use cases and perform different jobs to be done. As a non-runner I would get very little value out of a device like this but derive much value from AW.

    Also, to your latter suggestion I'm quite certain Apple already is doing this. They do not rely on web reviews to improve product. 
    But, in reality, Apple has learned that it will not succeed that way and is strongly pushing it into the exercise/activity tracker market.   Specifically:  originally they marketed as a medic al device.  That didn't work.   Then they tried pushing it as a spiffy tech gadget and fashion trinket.  That didn't work either.   
    Care to cite these claims? Where did they originally market it as a medical device, and where did that fail? Same as a "trinket"? I have seen no published releases from Apple declaring what their strategy is, nor have I seen any campaigns marketing it as a medical device first and then trinket. I have only seen several ads showing it doing several things, which seems about right as a generalist device.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,356member

    This is a serious competitor to the Apple Watch for serious athletes / workout fans whether they are amateur or pro.  Frankly, most of the really serious athletes / runners I know automatically look to Garmin and not much else. [...]

    I think Apple should bring in some serious amateur athletes and have them make recommendations on how the Apple Watch could best meet their needs - rather than rely on media reviews, desk-bound geeks, medical personnel, very casual exercisers, and Nike as the only input.
    I disagree that this is a serious competitor to the AW. This seems clearly a specialist device, while the AW is a generalist device. By nature then they serve different use cases and perform different jobs to be done. As a non-runner I would get very little value out of a device like this but derive much value from AW.

    Also, to your latter suggestion I'm quite certain Apple already is doing this. They do not rely on web reviews to improve product. 
    I"m not sure if apple takes people who do some workout and like some data gathering (in my case running & MTB) serious. Their marketing machine works better these days than the products they make. When the first AW came out, I was ready to buy one. Beautiful design, well thought out UI ... But until today, they did not meet my expectations in the sports field ... Flawed HR-monitor and GPS - no good tools to evaluate your workouts ... 
    Sorry but that's nonsense. Apple produces the finest smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, laptop, desktop, and wireless headphones I've every used. All routinely copied by their competitors. I can't imagine using anybody else's. These products have nothing to do w/ marketing and everything to do with excellent build and functionality. And, as they always have since the 1980s, they get better with every iteration. 

    Also, the AW's HR monitoring has been identified as the best in class on multiple occasions. Note that "in class" means for a cheap wrist device -- a chest strap will perform better, which is why the AW can pair to one as well. For a non-professional, recreational athlete, the wrist-worn HR monitoring on the AW is fine. It's not going to hold back your workouts or performance. If you need a strength-training compatible device, or more serious running device, they exist -- as specialist devices. That's a different job-to-be-done than a generalist device like the AW.
    edited April 17 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 30
    iFoobariFoobar Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Size:
    I own the Fenix 5S Sapphire (42mm) and have (very) tiny wrists. It's not bulky at all, no issue to wear it underneath long sleeves.

    Looks:
    It comes with a black strap as well, which you can use when wearing it at the office. The display isn't as bright and high res as e.g. the Apple Watch. But it's the right trade-off between very long battery life (critical for endurance sports) and display quality.

    Rugged:
    Any watch can break/scratch at some point. But it's definitely more rugged that *most* other serious sport/smart watches. And many ppl will buy a new watch in a couple of years anyway, to get the latest features. So for me it's rugged enough, more rugged only means more expensive and heavy.
    edited April 18 GeorgeBMac
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