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Garmin Fenix 6 Review – Premium MultiSports GPS Watches 

 January 27, 2020

By  Golf Rangers

Updated: 6 Pro & Pro Solar Covered.

Fenix is the Garmin’s most expensive multi-sports smartwatch series.

In August 2019, Garmin released the Fenix 6 series. It is a solid update to its predecessor Fenix 5 Plus. Garmin has significantly improved the battery life and built quality for this series.

All Fenix 6 series editions are tested to U.S military standards for shock, thermal, and water resistance. Also, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar version of this series has added solar panels to give an extra battery life. It’s a clear indication of where Garmin is going.

This GPS tracking watch can be used for other sports and outdoor activities including running, skiing, hiking, sleep tracking, and even more. Also, mapping and navigation features will help you keep on the right track when you are out on an adventure. Its amazing battery life makes it usable without charging for a week or even months.

Garmin Fenix 6 also comes with enhanced estimated heart rate sensors and Pulse oximeter features. It supports advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation at high elevations.

Advanced training features include the new PacePro feature for activity tracking. It also has environmentally adjusted VO2 max and training status estimates.

TOPO mapping is a key feature of the Fenix series. You can navigate your outdoor adventures using topographical maps.

Additionally, preloaded with more than 2,000 worldwide ski resorts maps and over 41,000 golf courses. It supports multiple global navigation satellite systems such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. It has built-in sensors for a 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter.

Overall, Garmin made many changes and added new features in the Fenix 6 series watch. We will discuss this in our in-depth Garmin Fenix 6 review. However, design, features, and battery life could be slightly different based on the versions included in this series.

Garmin Fenix 6 Series GPS Watch

KEY features

4 / 5

Available Models: Basic and Pro

Case size: 42mm, 47mm and 51mm

Dispaly: 1.2 inches (240×240 pixels), 1.3 inch (260×260 pixels), and 1.4 inch (280×280 Pixels)

Display type: Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)

Lens Material: Corning Gorilla Glass 3 or Sapphire Crystal

Case material: Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover.

Strap material: Silicone, leather, titanium or nylon

QuickFit watch band compatible (included 22 mm)

Includes Pulse Ox sensor with Acclimation

Smart notifications.

Connectivity: Bluetooth , ANT+ , Wi-Fi.

Garmin Pay: Contactless payment solution.

Battery life: Up to 60 HRS in GPS mode

Water resistance: Up to 10 ATM

Garmin Pay: Contactless payment solution.

Design, Display, and Interface

Despite the Fenix 6 design upgrade, it doesn’t look enormously different when placed side by side with its previous model Fenix 5 Plus. It seems that Garmin made minor changes in external design for this series, but it has improved in nearly every way.

Whether you buy a regular or pro model of the Fenix series, it’s 7g lighter and 1.1mm smaller than its previous model. But may change a bit based on the versions. Also, the display is slightly bigger to add more space to show more data fields.

Overall, it still looks a bit heavy compared to most other available smartwatches on the market, and even other Garmin series smartwatches like Vivoactive or Forerunner. While there is a specific reason for this extra weight (ruggedness and battery life). It’s still lighter than its predecessor Fenix 5 Plus. However, it doesn’t feel like a monster on your wrist and will be perfect for different shapes and sizes of wrists.

Garmin has changed the display size for some versions of the Fenix 6 series. For instance, Fenix 6/6 Pro/6 Sapphire comes with 18% larger display than its previous model, which can be considered as the most significant design upgrade for Fenix 6. It’s now offering 1.3 inches (260×260 pixels) display instead of 1.2 (240×240 pixels) display.

While this may not sound like much, but it means that the required information will display in a much more intuitive way than the earlier version. Also, it now can show extra data fields (customizable).

The benefit of the larger display is, you can now add eight activity tracking data fields instead of six of your choice around the edges of the circular watch face screen. So, more data is now viewable to you at a glance without scrolling the endless menu. Also, the resolution upgrade means data is just that tad bit sharper, and it helps a lot with this type of display.

However, it has to be informed here that the Fenix 6S/6S pro/6S Sapphire version of this series still comes with 1.2 inches (240×240 pixels) display. Fenix 6X Pro/6X Sapphire/6X Pro Solar version comes with a much bigger display screen, which is 1.4 inches (280×280 Pixels), 36% larger than the earlier Fenix model.

The face of the watch is just as personalized as all the previous Garmin Fenix series. So, you can completely change the face of the watch as well as customize every data displayed on it (or don’t want to show). Also, you can use Garmin’s Connect IQ app to personalize your watch face with a picture of your choice or something else important for you.

If you are familiar with Garmin watches, you might know the firm doesn’t acquire brightness for display through a super powerful backlit AMOLED screen that found on many other smartwatches. Alternatively, it uses the transflective LCD screen, which relies on external lights to illuminate when in well-lit conditions and helps keep battery life to a maximum.

Also, there is an LED backlight to use when you are in the dark. This may not sound ideal, but it does work really well. The display is sunlight readable and illuminates perfectly with all the information such as timings, heart rate, elevation data being shown superbly.

It’s not a touch screen device. Instead, there are five physical buttons to operate the device easily. There is also a screen light toggle button on the top left to use when needed.

Garmin has used scratch-resistant glass materials to protect its display that includes Corning® Gorilla® Glass, Power Glass™, and sapphire crystal lens. It varies according to the versions of the Fenix 6 series. For instance, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 has used in Fenix 6X Pro and the sapphire crystal lens used in Fenix 6X Sapphire. It’s to inform you that the Sapphire crystal lens is more durable than Corning® Gorilla® Glass and Power Glass™.

Apart from the hardware, Garmin has improved the operating system front, which will change the way you interact with Fenix 6. In a good way, the menus have been given a lick of paint to making them more useful than before.

All though, Garmin built the Fenix series keeping adventure in mind. It was designed to be robust and resist the harsh elements of the great outdoors. So, it’s meant to get muddy, bashed around, plunged underwater, and survived extreme temperatures. The latest Fenix 6 series is no exception and still can be the best of its kind yet.

It’s in no way sleek or pretty, and it likely looks a bit monstrous for those with thin wrists. But still, if you use this watch as the way it’s intended, you will love it because of this very reason.

What’s new in Fenix 6 & 6 Pro Series

It’s natural, you might expect changes and new features of a product that releases its sixth edition. Usually, a new edition of any products comes with several changes and additional features that were not present in their earlier versions. Fenix 6 series is not an exception here and offers lots more extra features compared to its predecessor. Let’s check what the new features/changes are made in the Fenix 6 series.

  • The product line split into two sections: Basic and Pro. Pro version comes with Maps, Music, WiFi, Golf Maps.
  • This series watch models available in 3 different sizes: 42mm (Fenix 6S/6S Pro/6S Sapphire), 47mm (Fenix 6/6 Pro/6 Sapphire), and 51mm (Fenix 6X Pro/6X Sapphire/6X Pro Solar).
  • Soler charging option is added in the version Fenix 6X Pro Solar to increase the battery life on sunny days.
  • Trendline™ Popularity Routing Visibility (Pro) added to this device. This feature will allow you to view the heatmaps that include popular routes near your location.
  • Map display themes added: this feature includes popularity, high contrast, dark, marine, and outdoor.
  • New widget glances concept has been added, it mainly reduces widgets to 1/3rd the screen size. This feature lets you view up to three widgets at a time.
  • New PacePro™ feature, visual pacing guidance to keep you on track. It replaces the old school paper race pace bands and creates pace targets for races based on grade/reverse split/etc.
  • The new power Manager feature will give you detailed information regarding the impacts/tradeoffs of features on battery life.
  • The new Power Modes feature will allow you to set up custom battery/power modes with time remaining each activity.
  • New MARQ™ Expedition ultra-long mode added for multi-week GPS activity. It mainly turns off all except reduced rate GPS tracking.
  • Over 2000 worldwide ski resort maps added that started on the MARQ series.
  • Over 41,000 worldwide golf course maps preloaded and comes with more detailed golf features.
  • Wrist-based swimmer HR added to track heart rate while underwater. It was teased recently on the FR945 beta update.
  • The new ultra-low battery mode can give up to 80 days of battery life but only for super basic watch functionality.
  • Adds upgraded ClimbPro with a new look and color display graph. It now matches the styling of Edge 530/830.
  • Data fields increased per page. Now can add 8 activity fields on Fenix 6X and up to 6 on Fenix 6/6S that allow viewing more data at a glance.
  • Screen size increased, and bezel reduced but varies by version. It comes with up to 36% bigger screen size.
  • “lug to lug distance” reduced on Fenix 6S. It should help people with smaller wrists.
  • The thickness of all devices reduced. 10% for Fenix 6S, 7% for Fenix 6 and 15% for Fenix 6X.
  • Sony GPS Chipset is used instead of MediaTek GPS chipset like all other new Garmin 2019 devices.
  • Battery life increased significantly. For instance, Fenix 6X can run up to 80 days in battery saver mode and 120hrs in max battery mode.
  • Music storage capacity has extended, and you can now download up to 2,000 songs for offline listening.

Also, there are some features added to the Fenix 6 series that come from MARQ™ and Garmin Forerunner 945 series. Specifically, all new software features of FR945 are present in Fenix 6 series. Here they are,

  • PulseOx (pulse oximeter data) added, and it was formerly only in the Fenix 5X Plus variant of the Fenix lineup.
  • Respiratory rate added (post-operation, also as a data field): only with chest straps.
  • New Garmin ELEVATE optical HR sensor added, it’s the V3 and same as MARQ/FR245/945 sensor.
  • Training load focus stats added to show how workouts benefit a particular target/focus area.
  • Impact of deep training added details/metrics that show more detail about the impact of a workout.
  • Body Battery Functionality Added, which is kind of like Street Fighter body energy levels.
  • Included heat acclimation feature for doing any workout in temperature over 21.6°C/71°F.
  • Altitude acclimation added for spending time or doing workouts above 850m/2,788ft..
  • Incident Detection feature added, it will notify someone if your bike crashes. Recently this feature was also added to Fenix 5 Plus via firmware update.
  • Safety/Tracking Assistance feature added, and it will allow you to send help alert to your friends/family if required. It recently added to Fenix 5 Plus via firmware update.
  • The upgraded race predictor to be a little more rigorous on predictions. Now only a little more than just VO2Max lookup charts.
  • VO2Max and Training Status now compensates for heat, but it wasn’t before.
  • A bunch of user interfaces has been red