Comparing the fenix 5 vs. fenix 3 - How are they different?

Posted by Team PlayBetter on

A lot of articles about the Garmin fenix line are geared toward people who are in the market for a top-of-the-line fitness GPS watch. 

But what if you already have one?

For Garmin lovers, the upcoming release of the fenix 5 has people excited, and for good reason. But while some who snag the fenix 5 will be purchasing their first GPS watch, there are plenty of people who already own the fenix 3 and/or fenix 3 HR models, both outstanding fitness trackers in their own right.

So, it’s a good idea to spell out the differences between the already popular fenix 3/fenix 3 HR models and the upcoming fenix 5. In truth, the two watches are about 90 percent identical, but there are a few new features set to debut in the fenix 5 that might just be worth upgrading to the new model.

  • Quick Fit Bands – The Garmin fenix 5 will feature what they call “Quick Fit” bands. Essentially, replacing and swapping out different bands on the fenix 5 is a snap – literally. Compare that to the fenix 3/fenix 3 HR bands which required the use of a screwdriver to adjust the bands. For some, this may not be a huge difference, but for those who like to rock a variety of styles and colors with their bands, this feature will definitely come in handy.
  • Gyroscope – We’ll talk more about battery life in a minute, but all fenix watches come with an impressive life span when it comes to the usage. But with the fenix 5, you’ll get what’s called the Gyroscope. If you’re ever using the device in UltraTrac mode or “power save” mode, Gyroscope will take the GPS data and ensure that nothing gets lost in your tracking. For example, if an athlete training for a triathlon were to use this watch, he/she is probably training several hours a day. That could mean having to charge the fenix 5 pretty regularly and using it in UtraTrac mode quite often. With some watches, power save mode meant the watch didn’t work to its fullest capabilities and data collection could get missed. But with Gyroscope, you’re in good hands if you ever need to send the fenix 5 into UltraTrac mode for a time.
  • Battery life – With the new fenix model comes an increase in battery life. Now, right off the bat, it’s important (and hopefully obvious to most) that the exact battery life is going to depend a lot on the individual, but with the fenix 5, you’ll get up to 75 hours of usage in UltraTrac mode or 24 hours in GPS mode. Compare that to the fenix 3/fenix 3 HR which averaged 40 hours in UltraTrac mode and 16 hours in GPS mode. Hey, everybody loves a bigger battery, right?
  • Higher resolution – There’s not much of a difference here, but there is a slight improvement in terms of the screen display. With the fenix 3/fenix 3 HR, you’re sporting a 218x218 pixel screen resolution, while the fenix 5 boasts a 240x240 pixel screen resolution.

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