Former GPS technology pioneer turned multisport smartwatch specialist Garmin had a pretty good year, despite a massive overall 2016 decline in global wearable device popularity, managing to carve out a lucrative niche it appears to be copiously dominating.
But in order to stay on top of the outdoor-friendly GPS watch market, a quick response to Casio’s second-gen Android Wear announcement was needed. Well, how about three of them? Meet the Fenix 5, 5S and 5X, designed with adventurers of “all sizes in mind”, ranging from 42 to 51mm in case diameter.
While number-skipping in their branding, the Fenix 3 follow-ups don’t radically change much under the hood, still relying heavily on 24/7 heart rate monitoring and activity tracking capabilities as key selling points, with specific focus on your runs, hikes, swims and biking sessions.
What’s different is the robust new GPS-including wearables now have an eye for fashion, and what’s remarkable is they target those with petite wrists (women, for instance), or just fans of slightly more compact builds, sans cutting endurance corners or revising their charming rugged personality.
As always however, continuous and accurate activity monitoring, “extended” battery life (up to two weeks in watch mode and 24 hours with the GPS turned on), as well as industrial designs, don’t come cheap. Namely, $600 for the smaller Garmin Fenix 5 and 5S, and $700 as far as the larger 5X is concerned, plus the 5 and 5S Sapphire Editions. Sales kick off sometime this quarter.