Dexcom G4 vs G5

My (rebuilt) G4 transmitter is only 6 months in use but it is time to start considering a back-up although I suspect another 3 to 12 months use from this one. I have 2 good functioning G4 receivers (1 with share & 1 much older). Is there any real advantage transitioning to G5?
I understand the BlueTooth options and the shorter battery life. Dexcom does sell 2 G5 transmitters for about same as for 1 G4. Would I also NEED to purchase a G5 Receiver?
I typically get at least 1 year of battery life with G4 transmitters. What kind of battery life are you seeing with the G5 transmitter?

The G5 transmitters work only with G5 receivers or the phone app. If you have the app, you do not need a receiver, but you cannot use a G4 receiver.

There’s a hard stop to the transmitters. It’s about 3 months. I think there’s a range of something up to 105 days or the like. We’ve been through several and found this to hold true.

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I find the Dexcom App running on the Smart Device is better (as opposed to Dexcom G5 receiver or G4) due to the 3 hr backfill capability. I really like this feature.

So G5 - backfill and Bluetooth. Other than that - same sensor.

The receiver between G4 and G5 are not compatible but you could use a Smart Device.

Some of the other people have information on alternative app on Smart Device called xdrip but I don’t use so can’t discuss. Except to say that xdrip ignores the G5 transmitter 3 month (and 3 week) lifespan.

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Some info I’ve found might be wrong, but:
Since asking, the only benefit I can find is the BlueTooth transmission. I do not actively SHARE data so no advantages that I find with accuracy, usability or clinical info.
Supposedly Dexcom can help me get G4 Share to work but not the older G4. The ONLY advantage I see is that I would not need to carry both Receiver and IPhone
What I hear is that G5 life is based on a software/firmware TIMER and not on the real battery status!!! Compared to my average G4 life of 12 months. Supposedly, even with XDrip the G5 is dead shortly after 4 months.?? From what I understand, XDrip will not work with IPhone.

@DrBB has found that xdrip does work on iphone.

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Doesn’t XDrip require a separate device - a BRIDGE? If so then I would still require 2 devices.

No, that is incorrect. It goes from transmitter directly to the phone.

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Not sure what you mean. It’s connecting directly from the transmitter to the app on my iPhone via Bluetooth. No other device needed. In fact it’s not compatible with having the Dexcom receiver running simultaneously–you have to shut down same to run XDrip. The one problem I see is that a G4, unless it’s a later one with the firmware upgrade, isn’t Bluetooth compatible, so that won’t work. But a G5 transmitter will. And the nice thing, the reason I’m using XDrip in the first place, is that it’s not subject to the hard shutdown at 3 months. I’m a couple of weeks past the shutdown and still running strong.

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Thanks for the clarification from a user.
When searching for “XDrip on IPhone” results indicated ANDROID but no confirmation for Apple. In same searches kept seeing results ‘How to build XDrip Bridge’. Apparently came across with wrong ASSUMptions.

Without any real Medical advantage, as a cash customer, getting 10 to 18 months from G4 transmitter is more logical than 8 to 10? months from a pair of G5s.

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Yes, that may well be true. The developer, Johan, told me he has gotten as much as 6 months out of a G5 using xdrip, but it’s not a sure thing. In any case, if you follow the link to the other thread, I’ve posted some more information about it there. And here’s a direct link to the GitHub download, which also has instructions on installing it.

Like any open-source software there’s a bit of geekiness to getting it going but it’s pretty minimal. I’m happy to answer any questions if you decide to give it a try.


G5 really stop at 3 months. It’s a huge pain and a stress to order the next one. There is no difference in accuracy for me. Still just as off frequently. Like today I woke up Dex said 108 but Bg was really 156. I thought I would use it with the Apple Watch but I need a new phone because the app won’t work on mine and it wasn’t designed for the iPad. Imo there is 0 advantage to G5.