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two minute review
Until the release of the Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix in early 2022, the Garmin Fenix 6 sat at the top of the sprawling Garmin watch tree and represented the best of everything the company had to offer. .
The Fenix series has it all when it comes to outdoor fitness and adventure tracking. Stepping things up a bit more, Garmin launched the Fenix 6 range in August 2019, giving users a slight design update and some welcome new features over the Fenix 5 Plus.
Case diameter: 42 mm, 47 mm or 51 mm
Weight with strap: from 58g to 93g
Display type: pixel color memory
Sports modes: 31
Operating System: Garmin Watch OS
- Garmin Fenix 6 (black) at Amazon for €380.97 (opens in a new tab)
The Sixth Edition comes in what seems like a million different editions, depending on what you're looking for in a watch. Start with the standard Fenix 6 model, which is the one we're reviewing in this article and which for comparison has a 47mm case.
Below that is the slightly more compact Fenix 6S, which has a 42mm body and therefore slightly less battery life. A Pro version of these models is also available which adds support for music, maps and Wi-Fi connectivity, above that is the more powerful Fenix 6X which has slightly better battery life along with music, Wi-Fi and serial maps.
Finally, there's a super high-end version of the 6X called the Pro Solar and it features a super lightweight titanium body, as well as solar panels around the edge of the watch that provide an extra boost in battery life.
While things haven't changed much since the Fenix 5 Plus that preceded it (expect the same big, bold and, yes, quite chunky design), there's a lot to like about the latest update. al day.
From triathlon tracking to skiing, the Fenix 6's sport-specific intelligence is extensive to say the least, with advanced training features that will suit everyone from hobbyists to athletes.
The Garmin Fenix 6 comes in three sizes, from 42mm to 52mm in diameter (Image credit: TechRadar)
Garmin Fenix 6 price and release date
- Available now in the UK, US and Australia
- From € 529.99 / € 599.99 / AU € 949
- The most expensive costs €999.99 / €1,149.99 / AU€1,549
The Garmin Fenix 6 is available now in the UK, US and Australia, but it's not cheap, with prices ranging from €529.99 / £599.99 / AU$949 up to €999 / €1,149.99 / AU €1,549 depending on what you choose.
It's worth keeping in mind, though, that the lowest-spec model is significantly cheaper ($70 / £200 / AU$200) than the Fenix 5 Plus when it first landed a little over a year before.
Prices vary depending on the model, color, and strap you choose, but generally speaking, the base Fenix 6 is the cheapest, with the 6S and 6X being a step up in price. The most expensive is the Fenix 6X Pro Solar, which offers everything the 6X does plus solar charging and a lighter body.
Price differences vary widely due to the sheer number of extras available, each catering to different types of users.
Design and display
- Slightly larger screen than the Fenix 5 Plus adds space for more data
- 7g lighter and 1,1mm smaller than the previous equivalent model
- Same strong, durable design that will last
Despite its design update, the Fenix 6 doesn't look much different when placed next to its predecessor, the Fenix 5 Plus. This is because the updates are quite minor.
Overall, it still feels pretty chunky compared to most other smartwatches on the market, and even other Garmin lines like the Vivoactive or Forerunner series. While there's a good reason for that extra bulk (sturdiness and battery life), it's still 1,1mm thinner than the Fenix 5 Plus model, coming in at 14,7mm thick compared to 15,8 .XNUMXmm.
The Garmin Fenix 6 is lighter than its predecessor, but still has a robust build (Image credit: TechRadar)
Granted, it's not noticeably thinner on the wrist, but it does feel a bit lighter: it weighs 7g less than the equivalent model above. It's a welcome upgrade for a smartwatch that's known to be quite bulky.
The biggest design upgrade, however, can be seen in the display, which is now 17% larger, going from a 1,2-inch display and 240 x 240 resolution to a larger 1,3-inch offering, 260 x 260. Not that though. While that may not sound like much, it means that fitness information is displayed much more intuitively than before, as you can now display additional (customizable) data fields.
For example, you can now fit eight activity metrics of your choice around the edges of the circular watch face display instead of six, thanks to the slightly larger screen real estate. This allows you to see more of your data at a glance without having to scroll through endless menus. The resolution upgrade also means data is a bit sharper, which helps a lot with this type of display.
If you're familiar with Garmin devices, you'll know that the company falls short of screen brightness with a super-powerful backlit AMOLED display like you see on many other smartwatches. Instead, it uses memory-in-pixel (MIP) transflective technology that relies on external lights to illuminate itself in good lighting conditions.
The pixel memory transflective screen is clearly visible in daylight (Image credit: TechRadar)
Then there's an LED backlight when you're in the dark. It doesn't sound ideal, but it works very well. The Fenix 6's screen simply glows in the sunlight, with all the weather, heart rate and elevation info lighting up gorgeously.
In terms of overall design, the Garmin Fenix 6 is still the watch you only wear for the outdoors, and certainly not something you'd really wear as a lifestyle piece. It's not the most stylish strap on the market (which, for the price, would be nice), but that's not what this series was designed for (check out Garmin's Vivoactive series for that).
Fenix was designed for adventure: your partner in the unknown. Keep track of everything you can throw at it, no matter what ends you throw it at. So it's built with strength in mind, so it can withstand even the harshest elements. The latest model is no exception and has to be the best of its kind to date.
The build quality, for example, is simply excellent and for that reason we can't imagine it ever breaking. We've thrown it in the bottom of a bag, strapped it to our wrist during intense weight training sessions, taken HIIT classes, hiked the Alps, run across town, etc., and still not a scratch in sight.
Performance and tracking
- Widgets make information more intuitive
- Optimized GPS connectivity
- Improved heart rate sensor can now work underwater
The Garmin Fenix 6 doesn't feature any software features that radically set it apart from the previous year's Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, but instead a host of tweaks and tweaks that help make the watch more intuitive than it's been before. '.
An example of this is the introduction of widgets, which group data into more digestible chunks. By simply pressing the top button on the home screen, you can browse a much more condensed list of essential records, such as your last activity, steps, weather, heart rate, notifications, music controls, and calendar, making giving you an overview of vital data at a glance.
It's not a huge change from what we saw in the previous Fenix series, but it does mean you're not overwhelmed with facts and figures and can find things more easily. Other improvements along these lines come in the form of power management and battery transparency so that users can better understand the lifespan of the watch. However, we'll talk more about that in the drums section.
The Fenix 6 has an impressive array of training tracking modes for indoor and outdoor activities (Image credit: TechRadar)
As with almost every other Garmin device we've reviewed, onscreen operations are instantly responsive to button presses.
The buttons are what you'll always use to interact with the Fenix 6, since there's no touchscreen, and rightly so, to ensure that the watch is responsive in a large number of environments, be it underwater, on the snow or anywhere else. A touchscreen just wouldn't suit a watch designed for an adventure like this.
One of the most notable improvements to multisport tracking is its updated heart rate sensor. Previously, you had to buy an additional chest strap to monitor your heart rate while swimming. However, Garmin has managed to modify the sensor so that it can now measure heart rate underwater, eliminating the need for an additional strap.
The Fenix 6 uses the same proprietary charging cable as all other modern Garmin watches (Image credit: TechRadar)
GPS connectivity has also been improved a bit. In our experience, the Fenix 6 found GPS almost instantly after pressing the activity tracking start button, and after a few seconds a "GPS connected" message appeared. Speaking of which, you'll find the same great accuracy we've seen in the previous Fenix range.
We took the Fenix 6 on a hike through the Alps just outside the town of Courmayeur. We follow a 50-minute planned path to a restaurant on top of a huge hill known as Refugio Elena. At the end of the session, the results came in at 44 minutes with a maximum recorded height of 2.063 meters, which was fair enough since the information point of the Refuge indicated that it is located at an altitude of 2.062 meters.
The Fenix 6 contains a barometric altimeter to calculate altitude (Image credit: TechRadar)
During a short run around the city, the Fenix 6 was equally impressive. What we liked here was how easy it was to hit the start button and run, without worrying if you had already found the GPS, or if you were measuring things correctly, because the Garmin Fenix 6 is so reliable.
It's nice to have peace of mind knowing you're doing what you're supposed to, something you rarely get with many other smartwatches.
All the standard running elements are there, like distance, speed and pace,…