Garmin Fenix 5s vs. Garmin Instinct

Fenix 5s
 GarminFenix 5sBuy NowGarminInstinctBuy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$599.99$300

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


DurationUp to 9 days14 days


Windows Phone




Resolution218x 218128 x 128
Size1.1 inches0.9 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance10ATM10 ATM




Operating System

Comparing Instinct and Fenix 5s

When it comes to choosing a smartwatch, the Garmin Fenix 5s and Garmin Instinct are two noteworthy options. These products offer a wide range of features to suit any user’s needs, from fitnesstracking to smartphone compatibility. In this article, we will provide a detailed comparison of these two devices to help users decide which one is right for them.

Choosing the right smartwatch is crucial for getting the most out of your investment. Not only do you want a device that meets your fitness goals and lifestyle, but you also want a watch that isbuilt to last and reliable. Garmin has earned a solid reputation in the wearables industry for delivering high-quality products.

With its inception in 1989, Garmin has become a leader in GPS technology and wearables. They are known for creating devices that cater to various needs, from sports enthusiasts to adventureseekers. In the following sections, we will delve into the design, features, user experience, price, and other aspects of the Fenix 5s and Instinct that will aid you in your decision-makingprocess.

Design and Build

Fenix 5s

Featuring a sturdy design and build, the Garmin Fenix 5s comes with durable materials including the stainless steel bezel, a fiber-reinforced polymer casing, and a chemically strengthened glassfor preventing scratches on the screen. The 1.1-inch color display offers a resolution of 218 x 218 pixels and weighs 67 grams.


On the other hand, Garmin’s Instinct smartwatch utilizes a rugged design consisting of a fiber-reinforced polymer casing, a chemically reinforced glass, and a silicone strap for comfort. With its0.9-inch monochrome display, the Instinct offers a screen resolution of 128 x 128 pixels and weighs 52 grams.

Comparison of design and build quality

While both smartwatches are crafted with durability in mind, you’ll find some notable differences in display size and build materials. The Fenix 5s offers a higher resolution and larger screensize, while the Instinct is lighter and sports a monochrome display. The choice between them will depend on your preference of style and functionality, as both products provide robust build qualityand resistance to harsh environments.

Features and Functionality

Fenix 5s

The Fenix 5s offers a variety of features, including an array of fitness tracking options such as heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, steps counting, and more. The device runs on a proprietaryOS that is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows phones. With a long-lasting battery life of up to 9 days, users can have peace of mind knowing that they don’t have to recharge it frequently.Additionally, the Fenix 5s is equipped with Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and supports music playback.


Similarly, the Garmin Instinct boasts multiple fitness tracking features covering steps, sleep, heart rate, and more. With a proprietary OS, it is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. TheInstinct’s battery life can last up to 14 days, which is slightly longer than the Fenix 5s. This smartwatch includes Bluetooth and GPS capabilities but lacks Wi-Fi support and music playbackfunctionality.

Comparison of features and performance

The Fenix 5s and Instinct offer many similarities in terms of their fitness tracking features. However, the Fenix 5s has a slight edge due to its additional capabilities such as music playback,Wi-Fi support as well as compatibility with Windows phones. Users who require these additional features will find the Fenix 5s a more suitable option, while those who don’t may lean towards theInstinct for its longer battery life.

User Interface and User Experience

Fenix 5s

The Fenix 5s provides a user-friendly interface that includes customizable data fields and the ability to download and use apps from Garmin’s Connect IQ store. The touch-screen color displayallows smooth navigation, and users can expect seamless synchronization with Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones.


In comparison, the Instinct smartwatch boasts a straightforward interface without support for third-party apps. The monochrome screen with button-based navigation ensures that users can use itwith ease, even in challenging environments. It is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, ensuring a smooth user experience.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Although both smartwatches offer compatibility with smartphones and have user-friendly interfaces, the Fenix 5s stands out with its touch-screen display and Connect IQ store access, providing amore comprehensive user experience. However, the Instinct’s monochrome display and button navigation is suitable for users who prefer simplicity and a no-frills experience.

Price and Value

Fenix 5s

With a price tag of $599.99, the Fenix 5s may be considered a premium smartwatch option for users. The features and build quality, along with its compatibility with various smartphone types,justify this price, offering good value for the money.


On the other hand, the Garmin Instinct is available for $300, providing users with an affordable option that covers essential fitness tracking features and offers a durable design. If additionalfeatures such as music playback and Wi-Fi capabilities are not crucial factors, the Instinct may offer better value for the money.

Comparison of price and value

The choice between the Fenix 5s and Instinct comes down to individual preferences and budget. The Fenix 5s caters to users who desire a more feature-packed experience and can afford a higher pricetag. The Instinct provides essential features at a more budget-friendly price and proves better value for those who require a simpler device.


In conclusion, the Garmin Fenix 5s and Instinct offer unique features and benefits to cater to a wide range of users. Those who prefer a premium experience with a robust set of features should optfor the Fenix 5s, while those who favor a more budget-friendly and simplified experience can lean towards the Instinct. Ultimately, the decision comes down to an individual’s needs, preferences, andbudget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which smartwatch has better battery life, the Fenix 5s or Instinct?

The Instinct has a longer battery life of 14 days compared to the Fenix 5s, which lasts up to 9 days.

Can both smartwatches be used for swimming?

Yes, both the Fenix 5s and Instinct offer swim tracking features and have a water resistance rating of 10 ATM.

Does either the Fenix 5s or Instinct offer the ability to play music?

Only the Fenix 5s supports music playback functionality.

Are both smartwatches compatible with Android and iOS devices?

Yes, both the Fenix 5s and Instinct are compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. However, the Fenix 5s also offers compatibility with Windows phones.

Which smartwatch is more affordable between the Fenix 5s and Instinct?

The Garmin Instinct comes with a more budget-friendly price of $300, while the Fenix 5s is available for $599.99.

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