Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire Fully Reviewed

User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire Fully Reviewed Review Facts

We know you love keeping healthy, who doesn’t? When hunting for the right fitness tracker sports watch, you are likely to get overwhelmed by just how many options there are out there today. That is why we not only create the lists of top ten quality products but give you a more in-depth look at the ones we feel stand out and require a bit of digging. We want you to know we are looking out for you and want you to be satisfied with anything we suggest. So today we are diving into Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire for all its in and outs. This one has a tone of features and any fitness guru will tell you that Garmin has one heck of a good track record for its products. While most of them are on the pricier end of things, they are worth it in quality of material and in what they can do. This one is a ‘save up till you hit the goal’ range as well, but if you are needing something for swimming and that has higher durability than most, you may want to go for it. The quality has not diminished in Garmin’s Fenix line at all, but like many, we want to balance checks and balances, so we want to make sure from the start that you know that this watch has good and bad like any other out there- it is up to you if this is the perfect fit for your use.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • A lot of activity trackers
  • 100 meter waterproofing
  • Stainless steel body
  • More memory
  • Quickfit band change
  • Sapphire screen
  • Route tracking
  • Reliable brand
  • Expensive
  • Heavy and larger
  • Not good in extreme cold weather


This watch offers much the same as Garmin's other fitness trackers with a few additional things. It can track running, swimming, and your daily activities. Because of this, it is intended to be worn all day for any activity. Unfortunately, it is a little heavier, and many have found that if you are intending to head into much colder climates, you may want to go with a different version of this watch. The reasons for the advice are because the metal loses heat more quickly and can cause discomfort, and the watch itself may not function in the cold as it was intended and may lose track of information if it gets too cold. This is to be expected because of its metallic body, but it should be kept in mind. It still runs perfectly as long as you are using it where and as intended. It isn’t that this is a bad tracker, but the design did not keep in mind the possibility of extreme cold.

Basic Features

The basic features line up with the earlier designs of this particular line of Fitness tracker watches, with one notable change: it is made of stainless steel. Beyond this and the fact that the extra memory seems to have added size and weight, the rest of the features are basically the same. It has the interchangeable bands and a sapphire face which give it the name it has. Of course, when you have everything done right, it is difficult to upgrade and change features without the tracker gaining new bugs or flaws that it didn’t have before. The added features are more aesthetic than anything, so if you want something flashier, this will definitely draw eyes. The best thing though comes later on in its design and will be covered under durability in our article.

Advanced Features

As with the basic features, there are not a whole lot of changes to this newest rendition of the Fenix, and it goes to say if it isn’t broke- don’t fix it. This watch has the same features we have come to love about Garmin. There is a heart monitor, a multi-sport tracker which covers biking, skiing, treadmill, hiking and climbing, and finally running/jogging. It has a specific area for tracking swimming and this model can actually take an extra 10meters of depth, topping out at 100 meters for water resistance/proofing. It also has the ability to control the tracks playing through your phone, a built-in GPS and a route tracker. Of course, many find Garmin's best feature to be the activity tracker. This allows it to give you a daily readout of your activity level so you can see how you are comparing to what you want to do or need to do to get healthy. Beyond these normal features though, it doesn’t offer anything new to brag about, which is a little disappointing.


As usual, Garmin doesn’t let us down when it comes to ease of connecting with its app via your phone and it’s GPS is just as quick and easy to get going. The good news is that the connectivity with your phone so you can listen to tunes seems greatly improved. It doesn’t lose connection nearly as often as the older versions did. Holding a connection is a big plus for ant smartwatch or fitness tracker, so this one gets our props for working on improving that aspect. Many of the fitness trackers e have seen do tend to have a decent but not really perfect connection. Any company that takes note of connectivity and moves to correct it needs to be given high regards- even if the result isn’t perfect either, the fact is, there is an improvement.


The biggest improvement in the apps is the additional memory which improved the graphics so that the maps and other features are actually easier to read and see in color graphics. This isn’t a surprise to us, given how quickly graphics are becoming important, plus when you are needing to read a map, it is easier to see and visualize in color than without. Map routing is also easier to use, and GPS tracking takes a fraction of the time to pinpoint. The unfortunate thing is that this watch does tend to turn off at lower temps. The metal build simply can’t take the colder temps, so that is something to keep in mind if you are hoping to keep track of your location based solely on the watch.


This is where this watch seems to have lost quite a few people on the market. Between the extra memory space, which makes it larger, and the metal exterior, which makes it a bit heavier, many have decided on other Garmin products. It also doesn’t help that metal does get colder faster, and it doesn’t tend to let the skin breath as easily. If you have metal allergies, this too can make you avoid this watch/tracker entirely. Despite its beautiful appearance and the extra water resistance offered by this design, there is a downfall to the comfort zone that makes one question the change.


This is the Sapphire’s main drawing power. If you can handle metal and extra weight, to say the least, the style is gorgeous. The sapphire face is just beautiful to look at and the metal materials have a gorgeous finish as well. With the ability to change the band to whatever exterior appearance you desire, this watch does look great. Its face can take more as well without scratching, which only means it will continue to be a great looking watch/tracker for a long time if cared for properly. For those who must simply look as classy as possible, you will definitely find it with this particular take on the Garmin Fenix.


Again, there are some qualities that make this one stands out in its particular product line, the durability of this one is a trait that gives it a boost. Everyone knows that metal can stand more of a beating than plastic any day of the week. Though, more importantly, it seems the glass face of this watch is a lot more scratch resistant as well. The fact is that comparatively this product lasts longer than the others it was compared to in keeping its appearance and readability. The metal casing also gives it a deeper depth of water resistance/proofing as well. The only questionable side is the fact that it can’t handle cold well. While it may not break per se, it will shut off, thus killing any of the tracking information, GPS, music controls and even the time. That can be and truthfully is a major flaw where this tracker is concerned.


Named for this aspect of its build, the Sapphire has a beautiful face from start to end. It doesn’t scratch as easily, and it seems to have an improved touch sense. The added memory means you have better readability as well, and rather than only using a small section of the face to give you a view of the app, it takes up the entire thing. It even seems to have a much clearer appearance from the start. This is worth noting because several trackers we have looked at seem to have difficult readability. Regardless, this watch does have a plus/minus to one part of the face, its size. While this does mean it is easier to read, it means the watch is also heavier, which can take away from comfort in the long run.


As with most of their products, this tracker has the ability to switch out between the different looks and styles of bands. This means you can purchase multiple bands to suit your mood and style of the day. This adds to the stylishness of the product, and if you decide on durability as your mainstay, you can pick a band that will hold up better to your activity, and if it ever needs to be replaced, you won’t have to replace the entire watch. That is great news for those who have countless watches lying around whose only fault is a broken band, but otherwise, work fine. You never have to worry that you won’t be able to wear this one.

Ease of Use

The apps are actually made simpler to navigate on this design. The time it takes to load is even faster, which makes it so much easier to use. Those who have tested this product, or use it regularly say that it took no time at all to figure out where the particular apps they wanted were and how to use them. The fact that this watch is so much easier to navigate than its competitors draws the eyes, and many feel this has always been the case with Garmin trackers. Whether or not the fact this one is so easy to use is new, it does require noting on its behalf.


This is neither impressive nor really is it lacking when comparing to others. This version cuts it at about even for Garmin brand products. It lasts about 14 hours if being constantly used for tracking purposes, which is a decent amount of time, but nothing super amazing. To recharge it comes with a USB charger in the box that you can plug in, but it does tend to take a while to get up to full. This is not surprising when you consider how much power this battery has to hold to run everything. There is an upside for those who aren’t everyday sports users though if on watch mode or on standby, the battery does last a lot longer (like days instead of hours).


This is most assuredly the biggest gripe when it comes to this particular Fenix line watch/tracker. Despite how little difference and how few upgrades this version is, it is between $100 and $150 more expensive than the other versions that were released at the same time. The actual price sits between $500 and $550 in most places where it can be purchased. This even has us taking a step back and wondering if it is worth the extra money. While it is technically more durable, and as usual, they are using quality materials, we feel this may a bit of a stretch on the wallet. The only things it can offer is extra water resistance and durability. The other versions look just as good and even have more variety in their appearances. So, if having that extra shiny bit and 10 meters extra depth is what you desperately need, then it probably is worth it. (Or, if like some of us out there, you have bad luck with accidents!)


The accessories for Garmin brand products don’t tend to be many in number, but right off the bat, there are the different bands to choose from for style lovers. If you like to change your watch band like you might change your shoes, this can be a big bonus we suppose. The stranger feature, at least in our books, is that it does offer changes for your watch face as well, so if you need it to go with your band, that is a possibility as well.

Key Features

-Interchangeable faces and bands
-Extra water depth resistance (100 meters total)
-Sapphire watch face
-More memory (better color graphics)
-Garmin brand

Bottom Line

While we are with most on this, that there isn’t much new, and therefore have a hard time saying this watch is really worth the extra savings. However, we do still say it is a great quality watch. If style is your mainstay, then this is worth looking into, or if you need something quite durable and can wear metal. This watch is indeed beautiful, but in the end, it is a quality watch that is equaled by others in its line.