Garmin Forerunner 935 vs Fenix 5 Comparison

The Garmin company is known for creating superior products for outdoors, sports, and many other areas since 1989.

Their foundation is built on honesty, integrity, and respect.

With these factors, Garmin is able to engineer products for their customers' lives. They proved that with their line of GPS watches. 

Their line of Garmin GPS watches consist of 8 types of models, which all have their primary features and own separate unique factors.

Two if their popular GPS watches are the Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5.

- Spoiler Alert: Fenix 5 is better. Scroll down and I detail why.  

Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Rating
-
Reviews
-
986 Reviews
Heart Rate Monitor
Battery Life
2 Weeks
1 Week
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, Distance traveled & Floors climbed
Step counter, Develops auto goals, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, & Floors climbed
Interval Training Setting
Ability to analyze technique
Cadence (real-time number of steps per minute)
Preloaded run profiles
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Race Predictor
Receives Phone Notifications
GPS Locking
Wifi connectivity is more efficient than Bluetooth
Outdoor sensors are built in, as well as GPS and GLONASS satellites.
Display Size
1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter
1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Smartphone Compatable
Price
$272.99
$349.99
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Rating
-
Reviews
-
Heart Rate Monitor
Battery Life
2 Weeks
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, Distance traveled & Floors climbed
Interval Training Setting
Ability to analyze technique
Cadence (real-time number of steps per minute)
Preloaded run profiles
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Race Predictor
Receives Phone Notifications
GPS Locking
Wifi connectivity is more efficient than Bluetooth
Display Size
1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter
Smartphone Compatable
Price
$272.99
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Rating
Reviews
986 Reviews
Heart Rate Monitor
Battery Life
1 Week
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter, Develops auto goals, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, & Floors climbed
Interval Training Setting
Ability to analyze technique
Cadence (real-time number of steps per minute)
Preloaded run profiles
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Race Predictor
Receives Phone Notifications
GPS Locking
Outdoor sensors are built in, as well as GPS and GLONASS satellites.
Display Size
1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Smartphone Compatable
Price
$349.99

These two watches have similar features, yet their differences are what sets them apart. Though, which is better among the two? 

It depends on the individual and their needs.

This articles gives information on the two watches, pros/cons, and compare and contrast between the two - Garmin Forerunner 935 vs Fenix 5

Why is Garmin Fenix 5 better than Garmin Forerunner 935?

  • Fenix 5 has a temperature sensor?
  • Deeper Waterproof Rating: 50m higher waterproof depth rating - 
    100m vs 50m
  • From my testing it connects to the GPS faster
  • The exercise tagging option is a great feature
  • The weight tracking is also a great feature
  • Built in achievements - I liked the motivation! 
  • LONGER BATTER LIFE! 15h longer battery life in power save mode - 
    75h vs 60h
  • Provides Weather updates - Informs about the chance of thunderstorms

Garmin Forerunner 935 Overview:

Garmin Forerunner 935

Athletes can monitor progress, training, and recovery time with the Forerunner 935.

Having the ability to monitor these three things helps gauge the effectiveness of a training plan.

The new training status helps individuals know if they are training productively, peaking, or overreaching, and this training tool does that by evaluating stored training history.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)

Athletes preparing for a race are able to analyze technique with this running GPS watch.

It gives biomechanical measurements, such as cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation, vertical ratio, and ground contact.

Garmin Forerunner 935 face

Knowing biomechanical measurements during a training session helps improve form.

The Forerunner 935 does not only track progress while running. It can also track biking, swimming, triathlon, cross-country skiing, strength training, and much more.

An individual can switch sports easily during a training session with one press in the multisport feature.

This feature is also compatible with advanced training sessions for running, cycling, and swimming.

The Strava Live Segments feature makes every day a competitive adventure.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black) (Certified Refurbished)

With the Strava Premium membership, you can sync your running or cycling segments to your GPS watch for live feedback.

In addition, you can compare your current times with your PR.

PROS

  • Battery Life up to 2 weeks on watch mode
  • Weight - 49g
  • GPS locks on fast    
  • HR monitor is very accurate.
  • Backlight feature seems brighter than Fenix 5
  • Notifications from phone to watch  
  • Option to customize data.
  • The band does not irritate skin
  • Wifi connectivity is more efficient than Bluetooth

CONS

  • Not suitable for small wrists
  • Mapping is void of terrain details
  • No option to reply back to notifications.
  • Customizations to data can only be made on watch, not an app.
  • Heart rate monitor does not work for swimming
Sale
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
  • Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist based heart rate; Strap material: Silicone; Smartphone compatibility: iPhone, Android, Windows
  • Offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring Features
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more. Bezel Material: Fiber reinforced polymer

Garmin Fenix 5 Overview:

Garmin Fenix 5

One of the features that make the Fenix 5 stand out is the striking design, yet strong performance.

Garmin offers different models for the Fenix 5 because the company knows athletes and adventures are not one size fits all.

Garmin Fenix 5 front

The models also come in different sizes to help accommodate their customers' needs.

All models have a stainless steel finish and QuickFit watch band features to cater to both athletic and aesthetic needs.

Another feature the Forerunner 935 does not have, but the Fenix 5 has is dual satellites. The two satellites are the advanced GPS and GLONASS.

The GLONASS satellite tracks more details about the course, such as the environment and terrain.

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band

The battery life still holds up with these two navigation programs.

Plus, these navigation systems can also track in water 100 meters deep.

The Fenix 5 has a bright, high-resolution display that makes night workouts possible.

Also, the screen can be read under direct sunlight due to the transflective technology that reflects light off the screen.

Garmin Fenix 5 back

Scratch resistant screens come with the Sapphire editions only, which are wifi enabled. 

PROS

  • The battery can last up to a week.
  •  Seamless sync to Connect App
  • Altimeter, barometer, and compass are spot on
  • Comes with changeable straps
  • Heart rate monitor is better than expected
  • The segment feature allows for racing strangers and friends
  • Comes with Elevate Heart Rate technology

CONS

  • Software sometimes freezes, which deletes data from the last 4 hours
  •  Color choices are a bit bland
  • Weighs 85g
  • Wifi connectivity is only available for Sapphire versions
  • Error in software sync sometimes
  • Dim backlight
Sale
Garmin fēnix 5, Premium and Rugged Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Slate Gray/Black Band, 47 MM
8,062 Reviews
Garmin fēnix 5, Premium and Rugged Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Slate Gray/Black Band, 47 MM
  • Premium Multisport GPS watch with Elevate wrist heart rate technology. Physical size 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.6 inches. Cockpit watch band compatible included (22 mm)
  • Fit for adventure with a rugged design that features stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case. Display type: sunlight visible, transflective memory in pixel (MIP)
  • Put key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget that shows the effects and progress of your workouts. Case material : Fiber reinforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover
  • Connected features include smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community and personalization through free watch faces and apps from our Connect IQ store. Display size: 1.2 inches (240 x 240)
  • Outdoor sensors, including GPS and GLONASS satellite reception and 3 axis compass with gyroscope and barometric altimeter. Battery life- Smartwatch mode-Up to 2 weeks. GPS/HR mode-Up to 24 hours. UltraTrac mode-Up to 60 hours without wrist heart rate

Garmin Forerunner 935 vs Fenix 5 Compare & Contrast:

So, which is better?

To answer this question, it depends on the individual/athlete, and what he or she needs.

There's information in the overview that states who the product is not intended for; for example, the Forerunner 935 is not suitable for people with small wrists because of the bulky nature of the design.

The information in the pros/cons section of each product is from customer comments taken from Amazon.com.

If one were to use analytics as part of their purchasing decision, more people commented on the Fenix 5 Sapphire version.  

To view the similarities and differences between the two GPS watches, here is a compare and contrast chart:

Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Rating
-
Reviews
-
986 Reviews
Heart Rate Monitor
Battery Life
2 Weeks
1 Week
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, Distance traveled & Floors climbed
Step counter, Develops auto goals, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, & Floors climbed
Interval Training Setting
Ability to analyze technique
Cadence (real-time number of steps per minute)
Preloaded run profiles
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Race Predictor
Receives Phone Notifications
GPS Locking
Wifi connectivity is more efficient than Bluetooth
Outdoor sensors are built in, as well as GPS and GLONASS satellites.
Display Size
1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter
1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Smartphone Compatable
Price
$272.99
$349.99
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
Rating
-
Reviews
-
Heart Rate Monitor
Battery Life
2 Weeks
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, Distance traveled & Floors climbed
Interval Training Setting
Ability to analyze technique
Cadence (real-time number of steps per minute)
Preloaded run profiles
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Race Predictor
Receives Phone Notifications
GPS Locking
Wifi connectivity is more efficient than Bluetooth
Display Size
1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter
Smartphone Compatable
Price
$272.99
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - Black with Black Band
Rating
Reviews
986 Reviews
Heart Rate Monitor
Battery Life
1 Week
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter, Develops auto goals, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, & Floors climbed
Interval Training Setting
Ability to analyze technique
Cadence (real-time number of steps per minute)
Preloaded run profiles
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
Race Predictor
Receives Phone Notifications
GPS Locking
Outdoor sensors are built in, as well as GPS and GLONASS satellites.
Display Size
1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Smartphone Compatable
Price
$349.99

Conclusion

The best advice is to figure out what you need from a GPS sports watch and what would make training more convenient for you.

Both watches have their advantages and disadvantages.


Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.

Last update on 2022-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API