Fenix 5x - let's get topographical

Posted by Brian Eller on
Before we go any further, can I get a little shoutout for the Olivia Newton-John reference in the title? No? Anyone? Alright, let’s move on.

By now, you’ve probably seen the major difference between the Garmin fenix 5 and 5x is the addition of topographical maps. If you’ve ever been on the trail or out for a run, the assistance of having a fully detailed map on your wrist is quite the luxury. But is it worth the increase in price from the fenix 5? In short answer: absolutely.

Most GPS watches that boast navigational tracking are bare boned, meaning they only come with a series of GPS points along a given course. And should you find yourself wondering off track, you can only be given vague directional information on how to get back to your destination.

But with the fenix 5x, the topo maps provide turn-by-turn instructions based on actual roads and trails. Ever visit Google Maps and spend time zooming in and out to see just how precise and detailed everything is? That’s what you’re getting with the 5x.

Just like a number of navigation units in cars today, the fenix 5x provides a full-color map of your location and let’s you see every step of the way. It offers easy-to-read guidance cues which produce banners on the display to let you know of upcoming turns and the Around Me map displays points of interest nearby that help you if you need assistance or simply provides a touch of comfort and familiarity if you’re tackling an unfamiliar environment.

One of the nicest features is the fact that the map highlights key information which overlays on the device if you’re in the middle of something else, so there’s no need to switch screens while in an activity. You can check your running stats while using the navigation and not worry about having to monitor your maps at the same time.

Can’t decide where to go? With Round-trip Run and Round-trip Ride, all you need to do is enter a distance you want to travel and the fenix 5x will suggest appropriate courses. Pretty cool.

In short, having the topo maps on your wrist provides the same GPS experience as being in a car or simply using Google Maps. You’ll get unparalleled realistic tracking images and be able to increase your confidence when engaging in outdoor activities.

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