Deciding on G5

Today I had the warning to replace the transmitter on my dexcom G4. ( I also use the Animas Ping which will be taken off the market. At this point I don’t know what I will be replacing it with as my choice is limited here in Canada.)

Do most people use their I phone for the G5 receiver or do they buy the G5 receiver or use both? What effect does this have on the battery on your phone if you leave it on 24/7? I understand this runs on bluetooth . So does that mean I must be in a WIFI zone at least every 3 days to see the data on my phone? We travel to our “camp in the bush” and I want to be safe.

Hi @Canada150. For the G5 system Dexcom requires you to “purchase” a receiver, even if you are just using it with the smartphone app.

Using an Iphone or any Android supported device is the same as carrying around the receiver. It uses Bluetooth, not wifi so as long as you can charge it, you will be good. The receiver has a battery life (for me anyway) of 4-5 days so keep that in mind when deciding to use a phone or the Dexcom Receiver for data.

I am on Android, and the drain is absolutely minimal, as well to my Android Wear watch. Not sure on the IPhone platform, so I will defer to those using it.

If people are using I-Phones, every generation (almost) are covered in the app. For those on Android, only a select few handsets work on the official app unless you use the hacked German one.

You do not need to be on WiFi in order to be able to use bluetooth. I use my Dex on Bluetooth while in airplane mode on airplanes. No need for internet!

I don’t think my Dex drains my iPhone too much. If it’s alarming often, then that’s going to cause a drain of course. That’s likely an uncommon occurrence though. I honestly didn’t even notice a difference in the battery when I started using a Dexcom cgm.

You will still need to buy a receiver unless your pump can connect directly to a Dex. I forget which pump has this capability, but one of them does. My sister wasn’t required to purchase a receiver because she had that pump.

Not in Canada, here you can buy just the transmitter without the receiver.

AS far as which pumps are integrated, I am pretty sure it is just the Tandem t:slim X2. I am on the fence how I feel about the integration though. The signal drops on the pump pretty easy, but it is nice having it on the pump so you only have one device for both. The signal on the G5 is weaker than the G4 in general though, since it is Bluetooth. One other thing I don’t like is that unlike the G5 receiver which you could silence just by hitting the center button, the pump integration makes you have to pull the pump out and unlock the screen and click to acknowledge it. That can be frustrating when you can’t get to the pump easily (like while driving).

That said, the integration is the only way to get the benefits of some of the future planned features like auto low suspend, or closed loop when they get it. Honestly I think that insulin is too slow for most of the closed loop stuff to really work well, so I am not that concerned.

Now I know the G6 is supposed to be coming out this year some time, so I would get too invested in the G5.

G5 & iPhone user here. I use both the receiver and the app. Bluetooth dropouts are seemingly an inevitable problem with CGMs (including MedT)–why my Bt headphones never do it but my life-critical CGM does is a question I’ve asked Dexcom about several times and never gotten a satisfying answer. But I almost never get dropouts on the app and the receiver simultaneously, so that’s a major reason I use them in tandem (lower-case “t”).

One thing about the receiver: I happened to get my original-style one replaced just before the release of the touchscreen version, so it’s less than a year old, and I plan to hold onto it like grim death until I hear better things about the new ones. Touchscreen–big whoop. I’d vastly prefer they put their development efforts into making the Bt connectivity bulletproof than fiddling with the UI. But that’s just me.

I guess I am very fortunate. I rarely if ever have a BT dropout on my Tandem. I get many dropouts on my phone. Regarding alarms, on the Tandem X2 pump there are 2 places to set the CGM alarms. One is on the CGM screens, where I have them on either vibrate or low depending on my situation. On the pump side, i have silenced the alarms so I only get 1 notification instead of 2 for every high & low. On my phone, the alarms are enough to wake the dead when I am not in a meeting. Seriously…they can be heard several hundred feet away on my phone.

Do you use a phone and the tandem at the same time?

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I do.

Thanks for the info @Scott_Eric! knowledge is power, yes?

I thought it wasn’t possible to use both at the same time. Did you have to do anything special?
I have trouble hearing and waking up from the alarm on the CGM/pump at night and if I could use a louder alarm on my phone that would be great.

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For non-Medicare coverage, I would assume most people who have it integrated with the pump also have the G5 going to their Smartphone.

There are two categories of “things” that the G5 will connect to:

  1. Receiver type of devices. This includes the Dexcom receiver and integrated pumps.
  2. Smart type of devices. Phones, tablets, etc…

The G5 is allowed to connect to ONE receiver type of device while also being allowed to connect to ONE smart type of device.

It does not allow you to connect to two from the same category.

So, connecting to the pump and the smartphone is (IMHO) typical, allowed and fully supported.

EDIT: Also note that if the G5 connects to the smartphone then you can get another device such as a tablet via the share/follow. The tablet of course is not directly connected to the G5 and as such does not count as one of the allowed devices. And a typical delay of the cgm data on the tablet display of maybe a couple minutes.


Wow OK, thanks for that info! I had no idea there was a difference between the two, I thought it was just only one device period.

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@Tim35 thanks for that very informative and concise response. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to convey that. :blush: