Best Garmin Fenix 5S Review

The golf GPS watch has become a very useful and popular tool among golfing enthusiasts. In many ways, a Garmin Fenix 5S review shows it epitomizes all that a great golf GPS watch can do while doubling as a great-looking fitness watch.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review

The best models deliver accurate golf course range information and provide wearers with a variety of truly helpful technology. The ability to wear cool GPS golf tech that helps you to lower your scores on your favorite regulation golf courses makes the golf GPS watch especially attractive for many golfers.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review: General Design and Setup of the Garmin 5S

The Garmin 5S package is very self-contained. You get a traditionally sized digital LCD watch with a comfortable and adjustable rubber watchband to hold it in place. It weighs about 1.5 ounces, so you do not notice it if you already are used to wearing a watch.

The round watch face is 1.7 inches in diameter, is about a half-inch thick and contains a round LCD screen measuring 1.2 inches in diameter. The Garmin 5S is set in a stainless steel case that does not rust and delivers exceptional strength and protection. That helps to add to the build quality, especially when most competitors use a plastic case and bezel for their golf GPS watch variants.


  • Accurate to within about a yard.
  • Provides detailed topographical maps.
  • Streams music and provides fitness data.
  • Tournament-legal.
  • Looks really cool.


  • Uses buttons instead of a touchscreen.
  • Price will discourage some buyers.
  • Relatively fast battery drain.

The Garmin 5S has a pair of buttons on the right side of the watch face that let you scroll forward and backward through the watch’s menu. Three buttons on the left let you scroll up or down through menu options while the third activates an internal light for better viewing.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review: Topographical Golf Course Maps

The Garmin Fenix 5S review of golfing features shows it provides a topographical map of more than 40,000 regulation golf courses located around the globe. The unit is legal for R&A and USGA tournaments and likely most locally organized tournaments on included golf courses.

You get the usual assortment of front, back and middle distances to the green that help you to choose the right club and make the best approach shot. As you move through each hole, the GPS unit updates your position and delivers the adjusted and accurate ranges.

The topographical map feature tells you the high and low spots that could affect your shot and show where the hazards are located and their general configuration. A “trendline” feature shows the route golfers most often use to navigate each hole. That can help you to choose the best route and avoid hazards when hitting the ball consistently.

The topographical map can be especially useful when viewing the green. It shows you the layup and carry locations that could cause your ball fall well short of the target or roll beyond it. The topographical features also help you to better understand how the terrain will affect your putt despite a new cup location on each hole every day. The terrain stays the same, and the green view adjusts based on your approach angle so that you can get the correct view of what lay ahead.

While you are on the golf course, the Garmin 5S keeps you connected to cloud-based communications via the included Bluetooth connectivity. You can receive text messages, emails and various alerts on your Smartwatch. That helps to ensure you do not miss anything important while taking care of business on the golf course or while engaged in other activities.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review: Multisport Capability

The Garmin 5S does a lot that makes it even more than a golf GPS watch. An optical heart rate monitor lets you see how your heart is doing while you are engaged in strenuous activity. The faster the heart rate goes from strenuous to relaxed, the better your conditioning for sports and other physical activities.

You can use the Garmin 5S for running, swimming, hiking or hunting in the great outdoors. A special triangulation feature makes it possible to record your starting GPS location and get back to it if you get lost by using a “TracBack” feature.

One of the two buttons on the right side of the watch takes care of getting you back to where you came from so that you never get lost. That could help you to find your SUV or campsite while in the deep woods or your car in a packed parking lot.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review: It Even Streams Your Favorite Music

Who does not love to listen to music while on the golf course – as long as it is your music and not bothering anyone. The Garmin Fenix 5S review of functions shows it stores and streams up to 500 songs. A lightweight set of Bluetooth earplugs can tune in and deliver your favorite tunes without bothering your golfing partners.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review: Rechargeable Battery Supports a Full Round

The Garmin 5S has an internal lithium battery that is good for up to a week when worn as a Smartwatch and 4 hours when using the GPS golf mode and streaming music. If the play pace is slow, you likely will need to skip the music stream. That should be fine for most people who are not used to range-finding devices that also stream music, which is almost everyone. USB charging capability lets you top off the battery with any convenient charging port or AC adapter.

Garmin Fenix 5S Review: Why Should I Buy a Garmin 5S?

If all that you want from a GPS golf watch is fast and accurate range information to the green, then the Garmin 5S likely is not for you. But if you like really cool and stylish wearable technology that you can use every day in many ways, then the Garmin Fenix 5S review demonstrates the many ways in which it is a perfect GPS golf and fitness watch.

You get the many great features of Garmin GPS golf watches that really makes it possible to shoot better scores and improve your game through better practice at the driving range. The ability to virtually travel the world and have nearly any regulation golf course already loaded and ready to go when you arrive at the first tee makes the Garmin 5S a truly invaluable tool.

When you are away from the golf course, the Smartwatch functionality takes over and enables you to do just about anything better that involves fitness. Whether you seek to improve your level of fitness or maintain an already suitable level, the Garmin 5S is a terrific tool to get the job done well.

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