Garmin Fenix 6 – Still Best for Data-Obsessed Athletes

Fenix 6, 3 different styles

Multi-Sport Fitness SmartWatch

What you track, you can manage. The Garmin Fenix 6 does everything you expect a fitness watch to do like measure your heart rate and track your steps but does it better and does even more than your run-of-the-mill fitness smartwatch.

The Fenix 6 can track your performance, help you plan your pace, play music, look at maps, track your location and send it to your emergency contacts in case of an incident, monitor your blood oxygen, and even pay for things.

There are 4 versions of the Fenix 6 to choose from: the Base Model, Pro, Sapphire, and Pro Solar. The Base model is the cheapest and is the only version that doesn't come with wifi, music, and maps. It comes in 42mm (Fenix 6s) and 47mm (Fenix 6) sizes, both retail at $599.

The Pro model starts at $100 more than the Base model for sizes 6s and 6 and $150 more for the 6x size.

Both the Base model and the cheapest Pro model use Gorilla glass. For at least $200 more than the Base model, you get a Pro Fenix 6 with sapphire glass instead. Sapphire glass is almost as hard as diamond and harder to scratch than Gorilla glass.

The most expensive model, the Pro Solar, retails for $999 and $1149 depending on the style. The Pro Solar is the only version of the Fenix 6 that features solar charging that can significantly increase its battery life if it is fully exposed to the sun for at least 3 hours a day. 

Garmin Fenix 6 models and price

Fenix 6 vs Fenix 5

The Fenix 5 is comparable to the base model Fenix 6 in that they don't have wifi, maps, and music. The Fenix 5 Plus is comparable to the Pro version of Fenix 6.

If you're satisfied with the Fenix 5, you probably don't have a reason to upgrade even with the extra features in the Fenix 6.

The Fenix 6 has features like training load balance, power manager, workout labels, heat and altitude acclimatization not available in the Fenix 5. Also, the Pulse Ox blood oxygen sensor, which is only available on the Plus version of the Fenix 5, is now available on all Fenix 6 versions. 

PulseOx measures your blood oxygen saturation level which can be used to detect sleep related issues or issues during a high altitude environment. It could also be useful for people with asthma or other respiratory problems.

If you're a trail runner or hiker, you might find the PacePro feature useful. It helps you plan the ideal pacing strategy based on elevation and personal pacing preferences to maximize your performance. PacePro is available on the Fenix 6 Pro but not on the Fenix 5/5 Plus and Fenix 6 base model.

Whether the extra features in the Fenix 6 are important to you and if you would use them is another matter. For example, the Fenix 6 comes preloaded with 41,000 golf courses and more than 2,000 ski resorts, which is useless for non-golfers and non-skiers.

The Fenix 6 has a ton of features compared to the Fenix 5, which may be a very tempting upgrade for some people even when they don't plan on using any of them.

Pros

  • Tons of features
  • Phenomenal battery life
  • Solar Charging (Solar Pro version only)
  • Multi-sport

Cons

  • Too many features
  • Big and Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Display is more pixelated Apple Watch

Conclusion:

One of the best thing about the Fenix 6 is that it has a ton of features. That may be a good for some people but others may find that it's too many features you don't use.


Nevertheless, the Fenix 6 is one of the best of its kind and is the one to get if you want to track yourself when doing sports. 

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