Watch woes...what would you do?

My trusty Garmin Fenix5 is breaking down, battery-wise, after about 37 months of daily wear (Nov 2018). If it’s below 60% it’ll just randomly drop to 5% warning and/or die, above that it seems to mostly be OK for now. I contacted Garmin and they’ll replace the battery with a 6 month warranty for ~€165…for me that’s borderline to just ‘get a new watch’ territory. I could also get an aftermarket battery of unknown quality for around €25 and try replacing it myself (I’m not great with that stuff) and risk compromising the waterproof; not high on this alternative.

I run every day for a minimum of 45 mins and the watch is crucial to that, of course. Not eager to go back to phone tracking even on a short-term basis (obviously I will if necessary). I’m not sure what’s the least bad option…what would you do? :confounded: If I did get a new watch, I’d consider going to a forerunner model because I wouldn’t mind if the watch wasn’t as big.

I think 3 years is probably close to expected life. In your position, I would go with a new one.

Forerunner is an excellent choice, in my opinion. I have pretty dainty wrists for a guy, and I find my 645 to be large, but not egregious. I recommend taking a look at DC Rainmaker’s Product Comparison Calculator for feature comparisons.

Also, Best Buy is currently having a huge sale on Garmins.


Don’t miss Best GPS Watch for CS?
…especially Best GPS Watch for CS? - #14 by Scott_McClure


I did some research with the DC Rainmaker site and went with the fenix 6 pro solar…figured something so crucial to my running and CityStriding was worth the investment, and it was about $150 off on Amazon. Could have gotten the non-solar for $75 less but since one of my most important criteria is battery life I’m eager to see how the PVs extend that. I looked at the forerunner line but the battery just didn’t compare even without considering solar, so that’s what I’m getting with the bigger watch - plus I’m already familiar with the fenix and used to it.

Thanks Tim & James for the feedback! Was going to wait and consider my options longer, but with the delays on shipping and the holidays I just went for it. Merry Christmas to me…Hope my current fenix can hold up meanwhile :sweat_smile:


@kevincharlespels So how is the solar aspect working out?

Solar aspect of Fenix 6 Pro Solar works fine, the battery life on the watch is good & improved. I run 8-12 hours a week and with that usage I only have to charge about 5-6 times a month, a little over once a week depending on more specific usage. I have a hard time guessing the direct contributions of the solar charging but the ‘solar intensity’ measurements definitely correlate well with my outdoor time.

But since we’re here…I would not recommend this watch. Everything @Scott_McClure said about the GPS antenna was true - in fact, the watch I started using in January randomly would lose GPS connectivity and not even just when running in tunnels or under overpasses. It was super frustrating how terrible the GPS connectivity was, to say nothing of the fidelity of the tracking to my routes. I contacted Garmin and they did replace the entire watch no questions asked, and the new one I have been using since June 4 is working much better (so far). Finally, to say something nice about the watch/Garmin, I did finally learn how to use Courses and I’m very happy with the maps and navigation features of this watch, albeit I have no comparator.

If I had a do-over, for the same $ I spent I’d go with a Coros, probably the Pace line…Overall I’m sure other watches will add PVs in the future and it’s not really a killer feature worth going for. Just focus on battery life and good GPS reliability, to me the 2 most important features!

Must say I’m very impressed by the Multiband GPS on Fenix 7 SS. The track is amazingly correct. See my example where I ran one sidewalk, the a local parking street, then the other sidewalk