If you love new technology, work MacBook Pro, and I would like to know the number of steps per day, to see the notification on the screen hours and to be aware of your heart rate during occasional trips to the gym… go to the store for the Apple Watch. But if you have just returned from the tenth year of the alloy on the mountain river and expect in two weeks to conquer a new height, better buy a much more brutal, and just more suitable for active, if not “heavy” lifestyle smart watch — Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. And here’s why:

Smart watch since their appearance is still looking to justify its high cost, any benefit to the consumer. Each manufacturer goes his own way. A watch is simply glamorous wrist electronics that slightly able to count your steps and heart rate, a little bit to help measure your activity on training, to pay in the store, to respond to the notification or change the song without taking your smartphone out of your pocket. But Garmin has found his niche in hours, which are maximally tuned to the needs of travelers (although just “trendy” devices from this company is also available).

Look like?

Some of these harsh hours under harsh needs — Fenix 5 Plus. To begin with appearance — they are huge. But huge in a good way, like some frame SUV (not to be confused with SUV). This does not necessarily mean that they are suitable only to men, but under sleeve women’s jacket may not fit. However, I was comfortable wearing them all three weeks that they were in our test. Although wearing them all around the clock like some small fitness bracelet — it is hardly a good idea with big clock. By the way, this model weighs 86 grams — almost half the average smartphone. But if you don’t tighten the strap tight, with them free to walk all day.

If the watch straps can be what you like, I own 5 Fenix Plus there’s only two versions, which differ in appearance. And the only difference is some have the circumference of the dial is silver, the other black in the tone of the whole.

Display round — square no perversion, only the classics. Screen size — 47 mm. In contrast to the more simple smart watches Garmin, the display in this model has a colour display, but fans of “prestige” devices will still be unhappy, why in a fancy, like, model Fenix 5 Plus displays is only 240×240 pixels and 64 colors.

Sounds not very rich, right? And looks the same. But try to come up with “Phoenix” and with some of the Apple Watch for a week with a backpack on a hike and you’ll understand why the main character review simple screen. Right — to work day after day, day after day without requiring a recharge.

And despite the pale color, there is another plus, in addition to autonomy in conditions when clear blue sky mercilessly shining sun and from the earth its rays are still reflected by the sparkling snow, the numbers and letters on Fenix 5 Plus can be seen even better than in low light conditions, like in the bedroom on a cloudy day. This is because the display is transflective and is able not only to emit light (like a regular LCD displays), but also to reflect it. Therefore, the brighter the light around, the better you can see the image on such screen. In the dark the same Fenix 5 Plus you can use as well as built — in backlight helps.

Another difference from all luhari-hours — no touch. Yeah, the old-fashioned way only using the physical buttons, of which there are five. But again, remember that this is a watch to conquer the Amazon jungle, not in order to brag to the neighbor in the office in a skyscraper that today you have walked 100 steps more than yesterday.

What you can do?

On the back on a small hill is brand heart rate sensor, and a little to the side connector for the charging cable. The modifications 5X Plus here there is a sensor of oxygen levels in the blood, it is useful to know when you climb very high above sea level (or if not very well carry on a flying plane). I liked that the watch is not necessarily directly dig into the hand, to easily determine your heart rate — nobody forbids to slightly relax the strap.

In addition to the heart rate monitor Fenix 5 Plus a scattering of other sensors necessary for the athlete and traveler tools: three-axis digital compass, altimeter, accelerometer, thermometer, and navigation using GPS, GLONASS and Galileo. Finally, with the clock, you can swim freely — they do not pass water at a pressure of 10 atmospheres, but scuba diving to a depth of instruction is not advised.

When I wrote that Fenix 5 Plus not so much for the rare Walker in the fitness center and to crossfitters and, sorry my English backpackers, I didn’t mean that they can’t do something as their “civilian” competitors. For example, with the help of these hours you can also make purchases. You do not even need to have a smartphone. Of course, you still need to Garmin Connect, add information about the cards that you want to pay, but then have enough to have a watch.

So if you went for a run with only one clock (leaving the smartphone at home to work mail and correspondence kindergarten groups your daughter in WhatsApp you are not distracted), you can still log on the way back for a coffee, bottle of water or anything. First, however still need to choose the clock menu item Garmin Pay, and then enter the preset pin code. Watch will not ask you to re-enter during the day provided that you did not take off the watch very comfortable.

In addition, Fenix 5 Plus you can listen to music. And again, it’s not necessary to have on hand a smart phone, because the watch is a 16 GB of internal memory where you can distribute a lot of favorite songs. Simply connect your watch to Bluetooth headphones, and you’re done. And the watch can control the music on your smartphone, if you threw your mobile phone charging somewhere deep into the backpack.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been smart watches, if they did not send you notifications from your smartphone. However, the answer can only be pre-prepared phrases, typing on the move is impossible. And if it were possible, it would be infinitely painful to do it without a touch screen. But at least you’ll know whether to get a smartphone or you have received spam, not worth attention. Very importantly, through the smartphone app, you can configure which apps notifications will arrive on the smartphone.

To talk on this clock is impossible, so if you since the childhood dreamed one day that I can, just like in futuristic movies, speak to a computer in hand, standing in a tight costume of some galaxy, I hasten to disappoint you — no. Using Fenix 5 Plus you can click the answer button, but the conversation will still need to bring the smartphone to your ear.

In General, Fenix 5 Plus can play on the hipster hours just in a shortened format. But on your box, this watch is the real king. They are programmed to measure many types of physical activities.

For example, the same Cycling — not one mode, but three: the bike, a mountain bike and just bike. Same with Cycling movement: in hours there are separate regimes for walking, for running, for Jogging on the treadmill, cross country and separately for campaigns. In addition, there are a lot of things: Golf, skiing, triathlon, snowboarding, climbing, yoga, skydiving and so on. Fenix 5 Plus isn’t afraid to swim, so there are modes to conquest though of the pool, though the big water.

However, there to gauge the pulse of the optical sensor is already powerless. It is a pity that there is no account for something like skateboarding or inline skates, but you can create your own modes by hand and add all the necessary widgets for them. For example, if it’s outdoor activity, then you obviously need map. Yes, it has its own maps (Garmin!), even for Moscow, for example, here are the only large street, but still it will help to Orient.

Not all smart and sporty watch is a possibility in all races and voyages to consider your workouts at the gym. And Fenix 5 Plus can even mark individual approaches, not only manually but also automatically, though the last option is not yet working in beta mode, but looks good.

But the clock will help you not only track your workouts, they are not worse cope with the rest — which in athletes is also on a strict accounting. For example, they will show you a detailed graph of your sleep — which highlights how much and how deeply you slept. And misleading, did your body to recover, given that you entered the previous exercise, or advise to take the extra day of rest.

Dial you can configure as you like. First, the memory clock itself already has a few options, but even more can be found and installed through the smartphone app. And all these dials, you can alter, add, move and delete individual readings on them, change colors. You can choose what information will show on any of the dials, and where.

Get the most opportunities

Despite the fact that a lot of information available from the hours they have, of course, a tricked-out smartphone app — Garmin Connect. If it is not infinite, it is very “deep” — any number of menu, widgets, subparagraphs, schedules and other-wordly. So I will talk about it in General terms.

It is available for Android and iOS, otherwise you’ll have to use the web version. Meets us long screen with statistics on different categories — pulse at the moment and its maximum and minimum value per day, number of steps and how much is left to go, the number of active minutes per week, completed floors per day, calories burned, and graph your sleep quality. Below — is an important brief about yesterday and the average over the past seven days.

Next screen is dedicated to your devices. From here you can flip to Fenix 5 Plus music, customize available payment through card and a quick text responses for notifications and calls. And a lot of other things: find new dials, new widgets, specify which alerts from apps will be coming to watch (not all at once) and so on.

In Garmin Connect, you can view all details about all your workouts that you have recorded using a clock. And set yourself a new goal. And not only themselves: the app allows you to virtually mark any route on the map to any other users to be able to compete with you in speed to overcome it.

Another interesting benefit — the ability to create your inventory in the app. Why do you need to record in your running shoes and bike? In order to know how many miles you traveled with them. Not necessarily for the sake of curiosity, but, for example, in order to carry out the inspection of the bike.

Price very much depends on the configuration. For example, the Fenix 5 Plus at the time of writing, cost 70 000 rubles, with leather — 115 000 rubles, and with Titan — 148 000 rubles. The most inexpensive variant — the version with the usual wrist strap and regular, not sapphire glass, is now worth in the official store 61 500 rubles. On test was a modification with a sapphire crystal and leather strap.


Suunto 9
Also known for their clock for complex conditions the Finnish company Suunto. For the price of almost 50, 000 they offer a hefty watch with a color, but a touch screen with a resolution of 320×300 pixels, and with a very long Autonomous operation is always enabled GPS. But they are not the best sensor heart rate, unlike Fenix 5 Plus, Suunto 9 may not serve you nor a music player nor a wallet for these functions will have to take with you on the run the good old smartphone.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

This model from Samsung is not as brutal as Fenix or Suunto 5 Plus 9, but it has its advantages. For example, it is possible even to answer calls (depending on the version, you may need a connection to the smartphone) and there are these watches pretty damn easy to control thanks to the rotary ring that allows you to scroll through the menus much faster than using the buttons.

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier no built-in compass, but there is an altimeter, a GPS receiver and one of the best displays, which are only in smart watches. They can still swim, however, if Fenix 5 Plus you can take it to a depth of one hundred meters, in the case of Frontier Gear S3 is five feet, and preferably not more than half an hour. The average price of 21,000 rubles.


Smart watches a lot, but everyone is different. Some are simply beautiful, others are trying to replace a smartphone in the max task, others help in specific sports training and the conquest of nature. Actually, no hours, which would fall only into one category, they are all more or less universal, only change the proportions of the functions for sport/leisure/entertainment. Fenix 5 Plus, like many, try to sit in all three chairs, but best of all they do it is the third to be a good tool for sports, Hiking in mountains and forests, triathlon etc.

But Garmin don’t forget about the more mundane functions, such as payment of goods in the store for hours and listening to music directly from them, even if the smartphone at home. Yes, such hours not to talk like spies of popular fantastic films, and the display of luxury does not hurt, but Fenix 5 Plus a day, allow them to swim without fear, to navigate around the map and GPS and much more. While various modifications allow to find the most suitable money option.

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