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Garmin updates Fenix 5 watches, adds satellite communication and apps

Published January 4, 2017
The Fenix 5 shown in use by a mountain biker.

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Garmin announced several new products in features as the Consumer Electronics Show prepared to open here this week.

The company added the Fenix 5, Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X to its Fenix series of smart watches. The Fenix 5S is a smaller-sized watch for females and petite wrists. The Fenix 5X includes preloaded wrist-based mapping. And the Fenix 5 is a compact multipurpose watch. All of the Fenix 5 models are designed to be worn 24/7 with extended battery life, daily activity tracking, wrist-based heart rate and connected features. The watches have new QuickFit bands so users can quickly swap out watch bands without tools. The Fenix 5 and Fenix 5S will have a suggested retail price of $599.99; the Fenix 5 Sapphire, Fenix 5S Sapphire and Fenix 5X will have a suggested retail price of $699.99. 

Following Garmin's purchase of DeLorme last year, the company has added inReach satellite communication to some of its devices, using DeLorme technology. The new inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer hand-held devices have global satellite coverage for two-way messaging anywhere in the world with no cell service required. Both devices are equipped with an interactive SOS, which triggers an emergency response from GEOS, the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center. Both models have a built-in GPS for location tracking and basic navigation, and the Explorer+ adds preloaded maps, compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer. The inReach SE+ will have a suggested retail price of $399.99, and the inReach Explorer+ will have a suggested retail price of $449.99.

Garmin also announced several new apps, data fields and watch faces available for users to download from its Connect IQ Store. New apps are available from companies including Uber, Trek, GU Energy Labs and Nuun Active Hydration. Since its inception two years ago, there have been more than 20 million Connect IQ downloads to the more than 3 million compatible Garmin devices. All Connect IQ downloads are free of charge.

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