We’re going to take a look at Garmin’s newest, most feature packed smart watch to date, the Phoenix 5x plus. I personally have been looking for a new watch to invest in so I was excited to get my hands on this and try it out for a few days. And in this article, I’ll tell you all about what I liked and what I didn’t like and hopefully help you make a decision, too. Now, normally, I’m not a big watch guy. I love watches but I generally prefer them around 42 millimeters since I was blessed with these tiny wrists that look like they’d break if I clap too loudly at my daughter’s ballet recital.
However, after wearing this for a little bit, I decided I didn’t mind the 51 millimeter size. And although it’s not the lightest watch, I didn’t find it overly heavy. The buttons had a nice feel to them, too. Not too hard to push but they also didn’t feel flimsy either. And the band this one came with was really comfortable. So for a big watch, I think the people who choose to use this as an everyday timepiece will be surprisingly satisfied with the overall feel.
Now, that being said, if you definitely aren’t into large watches, you may want to check out some of the other Phoenix 5 models that Garmin offers as they come in 47 and 42 millimeter versions. If you like the idea of being able to store music to take with you on an activity, have a thermometer and a pulse ox sensor, and pay with your watch, you’ll want to check out the 5x plus. It’s also got a ton of other activity tracking features, like the standards, you get your step counter, floors climbed, distance traveled, and sleep monitoring. But it also has maps for 41,000 golf courses from around the world as well as features for anybody who spends any time outdoors.
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There’s point-to-point navigation, breadcrumb trail in real time so you don’t get lost on a hike, storm alerts, and it’ll tell you what’s around you using GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. So if you travel a lot, you can wear this and your maps show up right on your wrist as well as points of interest, which are especially helpful if you’re in an area you’ve never been before and you want to stop somewhere for some food, or a drink, or sometimes more importantly for some ibuprofen because maybe you had too good of a time at a spot you found the night before.
The display is decent, but honestly, I was expecting a little more from a higher-end watch like this. The resolution’s 240 by 240 so that’s not bad but the colors weren’t as vibrant as I thought they’d be. Details were good, though. Looking at the maps, it was easy to see what was going on and the different points of interest that were out there. I also thought battery life was really good for a watch that does so much. With moderate use, I easily got a couple of days, and with heavy use and music playing, you don’t get nearly the same amount of time. It’s more like 12 to 15 hours. But in the end, it’s still a smaller battery trying to power the whole operation. So it’s not disappointing if your expectations are realistic.
Now, there’s so much more to this watch than we can actually go over in a short article like this, but I wanted to give you some of the highlights. In the end, I personally didn’t wind up purchasing this one because there was just too much I wouldn’t have taken advantage of. I don’t need a pulse ox sensor and I generally don’t listen to music when I run.
But if you’re a multi-sport athlete or an avid outdoorsman or you’re just someone who loves having every bit of data that you’re tracking available right on your wrist, I would definitely consider checking out the Phoenix 5x plus. It’s rugged. It covers a ton of different activities. It’s got better than average battery life. And for a big watch, it’s really comfortable.