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Garmin Fenix 6 and Fenix 6 Solar Series | Full Review

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Updated September 30, 2020 - Added specific test on the new Fenix 6 Solar

 

The Garmin Fenix 6 (or, rather, the Fenix 6 series) has arrived earlier than expected, at least from the date of presentation I had in mind. Until now the Fenix range had been presented at the CES in Las Vegas, which is held in January every year. But if you want to take advantage of the most important sales campaign of the year (Christmas) this is not the best time.

Garmin decided to bring forward the launch and made it coincide with an also emblematic date, the UTMB or Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. They kill two birds with one stone: they arrive with the new range perfectly distributed on the important dates and "they make noiseThe "Trail" category has always been stronger in a terrain where typically Suunto, its rival in the Trail category, has always been stronger.

The Fenix 6 not only renews the range, but also brings some order to it. The Garmin Fenix 6 comes to replace the Garmin Fenix 5while the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro does the same for the Garmin Fenix 5 PlusIt's not just a range arrangement, there are a few NewsPacePro, battery modes, more autonomy, smaller frame size, user interface changes...

I have been able to test the Fenix 6 for several weeks in different types of training, from trail competitions and mountain training to simple asphalt races or bike rides of more than three hours. The tested unit has been temporarily loaned by Garmin, and will be sent back after the analysis is completed.

I want this to be clear, because all the tests I carry out are done as objectively and impartially as possible. There is no compensation of any kind from the manufacturer, either in cash or in kind.

If you like this analysis and find it useful to decide to buy your next GPS watch, please use the links on this page (well, you can buy that GPS watch you want or anything else, anything goes). You won't pay more than it's worth, but the seller returns a small percentage which is what cost coverage of hosting the site and, obviously, the work I do.

Isn't that an option? You might want to get VIP membership to not only help the site, but to benefit from everything that is included.

I won't keep you any longer, let's go with the complete test of the Fenix 6 and all the specific novelties of the different models of which the range is composed.

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Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6

Overall operation - 8.5
Training possibilities - 10
Platform and applications - 9.5
Battery life - 10
Finishes and comfort - 9
Price/performance ratio - 7

9

TOTAL

While it may seem like a simple range upgrade, the Garmin Fenix 6 series represents a complete hardware upgrade. New GNSS chipset, new optical sensor, smaller screen frames and of course software improvements. But all this comes at a price...

User Rating: Be the first one !


The good

  • Except for making you lunch... he does pretty much everything else, including mountain or triathlon
  • Finally comes the reduction of the frame size, now the screen of Fenix 6 and Fenix 6X are visibly bigger
  • New data screens, now with support for 6 data and even 8 on the 6X
  • Autonomy is reaching unsuspected limits, and frankly, it has reached a point where adding more doesn't make much sense either
  • Solar charging on the Garmin Fenix 6X Solar

The bad

  • New Garmin model, new price increase
  • The normal Fenix 6 does not support music or maps. It is very strange in a watch of this range
  • There is still room for improvement in the GPS and optical pulse sensor records

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Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar

Garmin Fenix 6 range, models

Before we start talking in detail about the Fenix 6 and move on to the analysis, I think it is best to make clear how the whole Fenix 6 range is now structured, because there are changes from the past: the Pro nomenclature has been added. However, we still have three different sizes: 6S, 6 and 6X.

Garmin is trying to bring some order to the Fenix range, which went wild last year when they introduced the Fenix 5 Plus. They did not want to call that model "Fenix 6" but chose to make an intermediate model, and from that dust came this mud ....

So now we not only have the distinction by size, but also by designations with different performance between them. These are the "finishes" available at the moment:

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  • Standard version: There is no type of denomination (i.e. Garmin Fenix 6). It has no maps, music or WiFi. With Garmin Pay. It uses Gorilla Glass 3.
  • Pro version: It's the same as the standard version, but it adds full maps of the continent where you buy it (Europe, America, Asia), 32GB of internal memory, music playback capabilities and WiFi connection.
  • Sapphire version: It has the same features as the Pro version, but it changes the Gorilla Glass protection for a sapphire lens.
  • Solar version: Initially it was only present in the 6X. It is now possible to opt for solar charging throughout the range, regardless of whether the watch is standard or Pro version. It replaces the Gorilla Glass with one called Power Glass that offers solar charge, and sapphire crystal is not an option.

Additionally, depending on the case, you can choose between titanium or other types of belt finishes.

As far as sizes are concerned, as I said before we continued with the three versions, but now there are other differences between them:

  • Garmin Fenix 6S42mm diameter, 20mm wide strap, 1.2″ screen and 240×240 pixels resolution. Up to 25 hours of autonomy with GPS 1 second (I'll talk about battery modes later). Available in normal, Pro, Sapphire and Solar finish.
  • Garmin Fenix 6The Fenix 6S is available in 47mm diameter, 22mm strap, 1.3″ screen and 260×260 resolution. The autonomy increases up to 36 hours and, like the Fenix 6S, it is available in normal, Pro, Sapphire and Solar finishes.
  • Garmin Fenix 6XPro: 51mm diameter and 26mm strap for a 1.4″ screen with 280×280 pixels resolution. 60 hours autonomy and, in this case, there is no normal version. Only Pro, Sapphire and Solar.

So from this point on it's a matter of choosing and combining with the combinations you want. It's like riding a Mr. Potato.

New Garmin Fenix 6

Naturally, a change of model must add a few new features, not just a name. This is not just an update of the software to incorporate the new features of Garmin Forerunner 945These are the new functions:

  • NEW- PacePro, indication of pace taking into account the unevenness of a route and the strategy we want to follow to complete it.
  • NEW- Power Manager, customizable battery modes that can be changed during the activity (by copying to the Suunto function), also indicating how the use of each function affects battery life.
  • NEW- Expedition battery mode with very low power consumption and GPS use, to achieve a range of weeks (20, 28 and 46 days in 6S, 6 and 6X).
  • NEW- Solar charging on the Garmin Fenix 6X Solar (and from 2020 on the rest of the range), up to 6 hours of additional autonomy in GPS mode. 
  • NEW- Data display with up to 6 metrics including color coding, and up to 8 on the Fenix 6X.
  • NEW- Smaller screen frames which leads to a larger screen for Fenix 6 and Fenix 6X.
  • NEW- New visualization possibilities for the maps, creating layers both to show the popular routes (Trendline Popularity) and to see them in high contrast or other display modes.
  • NEW- New display for the widgets, grouping them into a smaller view that can be enlarged in the usual way.
  • NEW- Watch dials with more complications on display.
  • NEW- Maps of ski resorts with slopes and difficulty (green, blue, red, black), but only in the Pro and above. The normal one does not have maps of any kind.
  • NEW- Possibility of using the optical pulse sensor during swimming (although this has been in beta mode on FR945 and FR245).
  • Sony GNSS chipset for longer range, with support for GPS/GLONASS/Galileo (present in Forerunner 945).
  • Advanced training and performance metrics from Firstbeat (present in Forerunner 945).
  • Acclimatization for temperature and altitude (present in Forerunner 945).
  • Incident detection with both manual and automatic warning (present in Forerunner 945).
  • New Garmin Elevate V3 pulse sensor with Pulse Ox for the entire range (found in Forerunner 945).
  • ClimbPro to separate a climb into several segments (present in Fenix 5 Plus), although it now includes color coding according to slope, as in Garmin Edge (not yet released, it will come in a future update).

In this analysis I want to focus mainly on some of these new functions. It is the first time we have seen them in a Garmin watch and it is not so clear what they are or how they work.

That doesn't mean I don't talk to you about the rest, although on more than one occasion I will lead you to the Forerunner 945 testI would like to thank you for not unnecessarily prolonging this analysis to infinity with things that are very recent.

Basic aspects

Aesthetically the Fenix 6 presents few differences It takes a highly trained eye to distinguish the new one from the Fenix 5 or Fenix 5 Plus, but if you look for two or three seconds you'll see how perfectly the screen en bigger than before.

The Forerunner 945 and the Fenix 5 / Fenix 5 Plus share the same 1.2″ screen. Here you can see it compared to the Fenix 6 and its screen with almost 3mm more diameter.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Where Garmin has cut out is in the frame around the screen, which now looks huge on the 945.

The Fenix 6S has a screen the same size as the Forerunner 945, but in only 42mm diameter instead of the 45mm of the 945.

The Fenix 6 also come with specific dials, not only the model itself, but within the same range each finish has its own particular dial. I say this because you may have been looking at images rendered on the Garmin website and want to use that cool dial that comes out in the photo on the website, resulting in it not being available on the watch you just bought.

For example, of all these spheres you see in these images, none is available on the Fenix 6 that I used for the test.

Obviously in the case of the Fenix 6X it is normal that its dial is specific, it is the only one that has solar charging (update 2020: the Solar finish has also reached the rest of the range) and therefore the graphics that appear only apply to that function. But in the rest of the cases the only reason is to reserve the dials more "results"for the more expensive models.

The user interface has also received a major change, it's one of the things I like best about the Fenix 6. Now instead of having an endless list of widgets to pass around screen by screen, Garmin has reduced them in smaller lines but showing all the necessary information.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Widget list

This way of representing the information is much more intelligent, because in a single screen we will have access to many more data than before. If we want to enter any of them to see their detailed information we will be able to see it exactly as before.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Extended Widget

Following the changes in the user interface, along with the increase in screen size has come the possibility of selecting screens with up to 6 data. Well, the increase in size has not been the determining factor, as 6S maintains the screen of 1.2″ and also has screens of 6 data (until now the maximum was 4, except for options available through Connect IQ).

Garmin Fenix 6 - Screen 6 data

That's on the Fenix 6S / Fenix 6 (both normal and Pro), but on the Fenix 6X we have up to 8 data to be able to display simultaneously. 5 or 7 data is of course also a possible selection.

In addition to the increase in the amount of data on the screen, the possibilities offered by the upper and lower data have also been modified, as we can integrate small graphs that also extend the information of our training.

For example, here you can see that I have selected the lower field to display the heart rate through a colour chart, which will vary according to the intensity of the training.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Screen 6 data

As for sports, the Fenix 6 includes the latest in advanced algorithms from Firstbeat: advanced training metrics and heat and altitude acclimatization.

Upon completion of a workout we have more detailed information for Training Effect, differentiating between aerobic and anaerobic load. It also indicates which area has benefited the most from this workout (not to say that it is the only area worked on).

Garmin Fenix 6 - Training Effect

These are the data that are being accumulated in the training load metric, which as I say now differentiates what the load focus is that we are having with our training in the last four weeks.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Training Shit 4 weeks

All of this is used as a basis for building the Training State. We already had that screen in the previous Phoenixes, but now there are another novelty: acclimatization to temperature and altitude.

On that screen, at the bottom, you will see some small icons that will show you if you are in an acclimatization period. It is as if you have unlocked an achievement. In my case I have done it with the heat acclimatization one, being in the south of Spain it is easy to get it in almost any month of the year.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Acclimatization temperature

It is produced for cycling or running training above 22ºC. Garmin assumes that acclimatization occurs with a minimum of 4 days training at that temperature, while we will lose acclimatization if we stop training in high temperatures for 3 or more days.

In order to take this data into account we must have synchronized with the phone in the last 2 hours before starting the training, so that the clock can download the temperature data (not obtained from the internal clock thermometer).

Acclimatization for altitude is somewhat similar, except that this time it will take into account the data recorded by the barometric altimeter. Such acclimatization will occur for training we have done above 850m and up to 4000m. Garmin estimates that acclimatization occurs after 21 days of training in these conditions, and is lost after 21-28 days when we are not at such an altitude.

Therefore, it is not only a question of reaching this altitude in training, but a constant of training under these conditions.

Why is this acclimatization taken into account? It allows us to adjust the VO2Max values considering those ambient values, so all related metrics will be conditioned also to temperature or altitude during our trainings.

In the Garmin Forerunner 945 test I wrote a whole section about this new feature. If you want to have all the details about it I recommend you take a look. In this analysis I prefer to focus on what is specifically new about the Fenix 6.

Main novelties of the Fenix 6

So far we've done a quick review of long established functions or, as in the case of training or acclimatization metrics, which I've detailed more in tests of other models.

In this test I want to focus on those specific new features that have arrived with the Fenix 6 (and that will also arrive to the Forerunner 945, for example): PacePro, solar energy and charging manager. Let's go with the first one.

PacePro


If there's one thing that stands out about the Fenix 6, it's PaceProAt least this is one of the functions that Garmin has highlighted most in the presentation of the new model. It is present in all Fenix 6 models, because although it depends on route navigation (it is an added function), the watch does not need to have maps to make use of it.

The only difference is that in the Fenix 6 Pro you could create a path directly in the clock and then add a PacePro rhythm strategy to it. However it has limitations because you won't be able to adjust the different options you'll see later. So whether you have the Fenix 6 or the Fenix 6 Pro, you'll almost certainly end up creating PacePro strategies directly from the application and not from the clock.

In the presentation of the Fenix 6 Garmin was not very clear how to define or explain PacePro. It simply talks about rhythms adjusted according to the slope ... but nothing more.

However, what PacePro does is help you to make a rhythmic strategy adapted to a distance or route, to fulfill a determined objective based on values such as elevation changes, but mainly because of the choices you have made.

It is not an option designed to be used in your daily training (although it can be used to help us train at a progressive pace), but rather when it comes to competition, especially in medium or long distance races, where it is interesting not to burn your cards at the first change. A 5KM race is different, you go full throttle from the beginning and there is no other rhythmic strategy than trying not to fall off the group. The theory sounds fantastic, later I will show you that it has certain limitations.

As I was saying, PacePro is a race plan that will be associated with a certain distance or navigation route. From there it will ask us to indicate how hard we want to make the slopes and if we want to run in positive, negative or constant pace (for example, dividing a marathon in two halves and making the second one faster would be running in positive).

Based on the data we have defined (and if possible with the route of the test to take into account the differences in levels if any), PacePro creates a race plan and tells us at each lap (for every kilometer, for example) the pace we should take.

We can create the PacePro strategy from the mobile application or from Garmin Connect on the computer.

As you can see, we have two options: to select a route (which you must have created in advance and which you can do from the GPX file provided by the organizer) or with a given race distance.

Of course, if you have the file or the route created the options are extended. But let's make a simple example for a marathon.

I have selected a goal time of 3:30, from which you have set the target pace. You can do it the other way around, setting the average pace that you will follow and that will give you a final time.

After clicking on next you have to select if you want to do it in positive or negative. In my case I have selected to do it slightly in negative, for which it has given me the objective rhythms to fulfill for each kilometer, starting at 5:08 and doing the last kilometer at 4:50. As you can see, the evolution per kilometer follows a tendency to go a little faster each time.

This way of creating the strategy does not take into account anything else. It would be valid to do a totally flat marathon, but it is impossible to find anywhere 42km totally flat, unless you are going to do it in an athletics track.

Let's repeat now the same operation, but now starting from a track. I will use as example the Madrid Marathon, which as you know is anything but flat.

This time we choose the option to select route (or field... bad translation, Garmin... bad translation), and we must select the target time. For comparison and to see the differences, I select again a final time of 3:30.

This is where we see the differences and how our options are widened.

A color-coded map is now displayed, indicating at which points we will run faster or slower. An option has been added, "uphill effort", which allows us to indicate how we want to tackle the climbs and at what intensity we are willing to do them.

Obviously, if you tell him you want to do them slowly you'll have to compensate by being faster on the flat and on the downhills, because the final goal is to finish in 3:30. I've chosen a slightly negative pace strategy again, but remember that it's not about pace but about the effort we're going to put in. We run from less to more.

Compare the result of PacePro for the Madrid Marathon to the one we had previously obtained without including the route with the slopes. The times it gives for each kilometer are totally different and much more variable, because now it is considering not only the rhythm strategy, but also the slopes and the intensity we have set for them.

In the case of creating the strategy from a route we can also select that the intervals are created not only by kilometer, but also by miles or changes in elevation.

In this way we avoid that if in a section of 1km there is a rise of 12%, the objective time that we see for that km is very deviated with respect to the real rhythm that we take until we find that slope.

Once the strategy is synchronized to the clock, you can select it in the sport profile you'll use and see some details, such as lap times, altitude, etc. You can also combine PacePro with the possibility of using the navigation map.

After activating PacePro a new screen will be added, where we have all the relevant data. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - PacePro

That screen needs explanation, because dressed that way you won't be very clear what each thing is. So let's go with the marks I've put on the image:

  1. It's the pace you must try to follow on the lap in order to fulfil your pace strategy.
  2. Current pace of the turn.
  3. Distance remaining to complete the current lap, which you can use to try and adjust your target pace for the remainder of the lap (e.g. because there is a 300m steep drop-off), or simply as generic information.
  4. Real difference in the total of the test with respect to the target time. It will indicate whether we are going faster or slower than what we have initially set and by how much (in this case it tells us that we are going to arrive at "goal" 17 seconds later than initially set).

In addition to this screen, you can also select different PacePro data to add in a normal data screen to view with the rest of the information.

Garmin Fenix 6 - PacePro data field

These are the options available:

  • PacePro indicator
  • Rhythm of return
  • Target return rate
  • Return distance
  • Remaining turn distance
  • Next target lap rate
  • Next return distance
  • Total time (positive/negative)

¿Here's what I think about PaceProI think it's a good tool for the race day, but it has its limitations. For example, what I said earlier about finding a climb to 12%. Even if you've selected to have your laps marked by elevation changes, it may be that that climb doesn't have a constant slope, and of the 700m lap there are zones at 3% and others at 16%. 

The result may be that you're running much faster than PacePro tells you to and you decide to slow down so you don't get burned, to find that you still have to get to that slope you're going to have to walk on.

The clock knew it would arrive in that area, but it hadn't told you. However, you had slowed down because you thought you were going too fast. It's true that if you study the route well, you'll know these details beforehand, but that's one of the drawbacks.

As far as the scope of use is concerned, I find it strange that it has made its debut with the Fenix 6, whose buyer profile is the mountain runner. I did a night trail race with PacePro activated for the route, and the truth is that it didn't help me much more than to estimate the final time at the finish line during the race.

PacePro has route data and knows the elevation profile in advance. That's true, but it's equally true that there are many more variables to consider: is it a wide lane or a path between brambles? Is the descent to 5% fast, or is it muddy and full of rocks? Do you run during the day or at night? And so we can get dozens more cases.

PacePro can only consider the elevation when creating the strategy and adjust the pace with the variable you tell it to. But it can't know if that descent it tells you you can do at 4:30min/km is going to be impossible because you have to duck to avoid a trunk or jump tree branches.

However, in asphalt races the result can be very positive, and here the main limitation to your pace will be the slopes you encounter, except perhaps the first few moments of the race due to the crowds that form.

In short, it is a good tool to use in a race, but as long as you are well aware of the limitations it offers. But if I have to choose, I prefer to be guided by a metric that supports instantaneous changes such as power (even if it is not a "real" data).

Energy Manager


The second feature that debuts with the Garmin Fenix 6 is smart battery profiles. Garmin has called it Energy Manager (o Power Manager).

It's a very interesting performance we first saw in the Suunto 9Garmin has taken the concept and given it a twist, improving on Suunto's approach in some ways (although the Garmin adaptation lacks something like FusedTrack, with fantastic performance).

Power Manager is located in different places, allowing you to save energy from clock mode to sport profiles. It also now talks to us in days or hours of use, instead of percentage of battery. It's not that the percentage has disappeared, in fact it can be activated again.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Battery Percentage

But now, with each change in the energy profile we make, we will know more or less clearly how it will affect autonomy.

All changes can be made from the new Power Manager menu.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Power Manager

We can define options for the power saving mode or for the power modes. The first one is to be applied in the clock mode and allows us to modify the display settings (to use a low consumption dial), the connection with the phone, the activity monitor, the 24 hours heart rate or the backlight; while the second one is what we will use in the sport profiles.

The good thing about Garmin's implementation of the Power Manager is that with every change we make, we'll see the impact it will have on total autonomy. For example, if we want to keep the phone connection on when we activate power-saving mode (which is the default option), we'd lose 26 days of a full charge.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Power Manager

This is for the clock mode, but you can also define new settings for the power modes (or edit the presets).

By default we have the classic UltraTrac mode (with everything off and GPS on UltraTrac for maximum range) and a jacket mode that simply disables the optical sensor (for wearing the watch on the sleeve of a jacket). 

As with the economy mode, in the power modes we have different options that we can alter:

  • GPSNo change, off, normal, UltraTrac, GPS+GLONASS and GPS+Galileo
  • PhoneDo not change, disconnect, connect
  • CF in the wristDo not change, turn off, activate
  • Pulse oximetryDo not change, turn off
  • MapAllow, disable
  • DisplayAlways on, with automatic switch-off
  • BacklightingDo not change, turn off
  • External sensorsAllow, Disconnect

These are the different options that we can modify and, as I said before, in each of them it will be shown how it will affect autonomy.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Power Manager

When performing an activity, within the options we can choose which is the energy mode we want to use for that training. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - Power Mode

You can set the energy mode both at the start and during the activity, i.e. if you feel that there is a danger that you will not be able to get the battery to complete your training, you can change the mode at any time.

Finally, it's worth mentioning the new Expedition mode, which is actually another application (like a sports profile) whose objective is to be able to have an activity with GPS recording that can last for weeks. It's not something totally new at Garmin, it's a direct legacy of the Garmin MARQ Expedition.

How do you get weeks of autonomy (up to 56 days on the Fenix 6X Solar) by using GPS? Well, logically, by limiting the use of positioning as well as the rest of the sensors.

In Expedition mode all sensors are deactivated (phone, heart rate, low power screen, etc) and by default GPS points are obtained every hour.

However, this interval can be changed up or down (from 15 minutes to 90), or it can be configured so that when it is night, it does not register the GPS until the next day, avoiding any more consumption than necessary when you are not going to move.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Expedition mode options

When this mode is active we will have a low-power clock face, showing the most relevant information. At the bottom we will see how many days we have been on "expedition" and how many GPS points we have recorded.

If we press the button to scroll down we have the second page, with a summary of the total activity: distance traveled in the day, total, time, etc.

However, it lacks any kind of accuracy in recording a route with fidelity. Between each saved point it will simply create a straight line. The distances will be very relative, and all depending on your speed.

You can see this example of activity recorded on a car trip. There are only two points recorded and it is completely obvious what else you have done between the two records.

There are no turns, no curves and consequently the actual distance has been quite a bit greater than the one he has scored.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Expedition mode

It is available on all models (not exclusive to the Fenix 6 Pro or Fenix 6X) and is intended for a very specific usage profile. Personally I would never take advantage of it, but it is always nice to have more options to choose from, although combining it with a feature like Suunto's FusedTrack would be perfect.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar

In the Fenix series, the X has always had a unique and novel feature. The Fenix 5X included maps, something the rest of the Fenix range didn't. With the arrival of the Fenix 5 Plus and the popularization of maps, it was then Pulse Ox and Pulse Oximetry estimation that the Fenix 5X Plus debuted.

Now Pulse Ox is already across the entire range of watches, so Garmin has had to "invent" something new for its Fenix 6X, something that will lead the way for the future for the rest of the Garmin range.

But the difference this time is that Garmin has not waited for a Fenix 6 Plus or Fenix 7 to bring solar charging to the rest of the models in the range, it is already present in the rest of the Fenix 6 and you can buy any of its sizes with the solar charging glass, regardless of whether the finish is Pro or not.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Widget

These are the available models that offer solar charging:

  • Garmin Fenix 6S Solar
  • Garmin Fenix 6S Pro Solar
  • Garmin Fenix 6 Solar
  • Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
  • Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar

As with the Fenix 6X Solar, the Fenix 6S Solar and Fenix 6 Solar are simply a different version of the, shall we say, original model. In all three cases they simply add the technology needed to perform solar charging and thus slightly increase the overall autonomy of the watch.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar

To achieve this sun-powered charging, Garmin has incorporated a technology it calls "solar charging". Power Glass.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Power Glass

The watch crystal is capable of transforming sunlight into energy. There is a small ring on the outside of the display that will absorb 100% of the received light.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Solar charging ring

It's like the photoelectric cells in a Casio calculator for life, but it's not the only thing that transforms sunlight into energy. Underneath the screen is another solar panel that logically receives less light (because it's covered by the screen), but its size is much larger. This panel only transforms 10% of the energy, but since its size is much larger than the small outer ring, the contribution it makes is also important.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Power Glass

As for the lens material, the Fenix 6 Solar have a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 coating, as in the rest of the range.

What does solar charging bring to the watch? You won't have infinite battery life regardless of whether you're using GPS or not; it simply helps extend the already very good range of the Fenix 6X Pro even further, but it won't let you live far from an outlet.

  • Autonomy Garmin Fenix 6S Pro SolarIn use as smart watch goes from 9 days on the Fenix 6S Pro to 10.5 days (an additional day and a half). With GPS use up to 28 hours in the Solar, for 25 hours of normal.
  • Autonomy Garmin Fenix 6 Pro SolarIn use as smart watch from 14 days on the Fenix 6 Pro to 14 days on the Fenix 6 Pro. 16 days (two additional days). With GPS use up to 40 hours in the Solar, for 36 hours of the normal (4 additional hours).
  • Autonomy Garmin Fenix 6X Pro SolarIn use as smart watch from 21 days on the Fenix 6X Pro to 21 days on the Fenix 6X Pro to 24 days (three additional days). With GPS use up to 66 hours in the Solar, for 60 hours of the normal (6 additional hours).

All this data is talking about exposure to a light source of 50,000 lux. On a sunny day the illumination varies between 32,000 and 100,000 lux so in theory these are figures that would not be difficult to achieve.

Logically, if we make use of an extended battery mode, the more additional battery will be provided, because we will be spending more time in sunlight.

The performance is better than I had initially thought, but it is equally true that we are stretching a range that, without using this technology, already covers the 95% of regular use. I can't think of any activity where I need more than 60 hours of range, at least that is far from my plans!

Well, but all this is what theory dictates, and it is always much more interesting to talk about practice. Let's start with the specific watch face offered by the Solar models. At the top we have the icon of a sun, which tells us the solar intensity it is receiving at the moment.

This photo is taken indoors, without direct solar incidence. There is no segment of that circle marked, which means that the clock is receiving zero power.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar indoors

However, this other one is intentionally taken in an area with sun and shadow, which gives us 7 points of intensity (out of 10).

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Charging

When at maximum intensity, the sun icon will become completely full.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Maximum intensity

Below the time you can also see what the intensity of the last 6 hours has been, to see how it has been affecting the charge of the watch (or the time you have spent sunbathing).

And we also have a specific widget with the same information, but with a slightly more detailed graph.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar - Widget

In Garmin Connect, within the specific watch settings, we also pod can find a solar intensity report.

As for battery performance, which is the most important thing... are we really going to notice anything? Well, it depends.

The first test I wanted to do is to check if by activating the power saving mode (only display the time without notifications, sensors, etc), beyond poder keep the battery... is it possible to get some recharge?

For this I have simulated a possible situation on a multi-day mountain hike. At 9:49 this morning I activated the power saving mode of the watch, and left it on the roof (attached with a rope, I would not like to see tomorrow a seagull with a Fenix 6 Solar on the neck...).

At that time the watch was showing 27 days of remaining autonomy in that mode, and 20h with GPS use if I were to exercise with the settings I had at that time.

About two and a half hours later I picked up the clock from the roof, hoping to see some small progress. You can see that the solar intensity during that time period has been total.

The result is that it still indicated 27 days in power saving mode and the same 20h remaining in activity. So that recharging has not served for much more than, perhaps, simply "living" on the sun's energy during that period of time without wasting any battery (although the configured mode hardly represents an impact on autonomy).

Second test, simulating a long duration activity in full sun. For this I repeat the location, but this time placing an FR945 next to it configured in the same way in terms of battery saving etc. In both cases the battery was at 100% at the beginning of the test.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar, Garmin 945 on rooftop

The test started at 14:25. The Fenix 6 Solar was oriented towards the sun at all times. In the middle of the afternoon there was a moment of lowering of intensity (probably some cloud), but recovering the intensity until gradually you can see how the sun sets a little later than 20h.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Solar intensity

That is, in the test I have had about 4 hours of almost full sun and another 4 hours in which there has been no load at all.

Result in battery performance? Here you can see it. Both the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar advertise a maximum autonomy of 36 hours with GPS use. Admittedly, the direct comparison is not entirely reliable, as the 945 is already a year old and the total battery capacity will not be the same, but they are the most appropriate means I have at the moment.

Test Garmin Fenix 6 Solar

I have marked with the vertical line the approximate time when the solar intensity drops from the 15%, after just over 4:30h of activity. But there is no noticeable trend change when the watch has been charging or not.

In addition to the graph we have the power consumption rate, being in the Fenix 6 Solar a 0.86% lower.

So... Solar or not Solar? In my opinion it is an option that is not worth it, or only in very specific cases. But in a watch where the autonomy is already really good, adding "that little bit more" (a maximum of 10% extra according to Garmin data) does not represent a significant change.

It's as if you buy a car capable of doing 1,000km on a tank and, paying an extra, you can go 1,100km. There is no doubt that in the end it is more distance but... do you really need it?

Honestly, the arrival of the Solar option to the rest of the Fenix 6 range surprised me quite a bit. Firstly because it was the signature of the 6X as the top of the range, and secondly because as we have seen it doesn't affect performance that much either.

Despite this, and as we have already seen in the Instinct Solar (with a larger solar surface, much more autonomy thanks to the sun and even an "eternal" mode), there are models or situations in which it makes more sense

Think for example of a future Edge 1040, with a screen much larger than that of any watch. Or a handheld GPS from the eTrex series. The possibilities you have are enormous, but you have to evaluate where it makes sense. In the Fenix range? I would not pay more in exchange for poder having this option.

Route and map navigation

Rather than touching specifically on route navigation or maps, I want to focus more on the differences between the various models of the Fenix 6. I don't want to go any further than necessary on the subject of maps, as this is something that is already perfectly covered in the Fenix 5 Plus test and there's not much change about that.

I'll focus on what's specifically new, recommending that if you're not familiar with the possibilities offered by the maps you take a look at the Fenix 5 Plus test I linked to earlier.

The first thing to remember is that there are two different models, and pay close attention to this. The normal Fenix 6 has no mapsFor that you have to buy the Fenix 6 Pro, which does have maps (and music playback).

But not having maps doesn't mean you can't make navigation routes. There's no problem creating a route from the application or from the computer, either created by you or downloaded. Then you synchronize it with the clock and you can follow the route without any problem, receiving warnings when you have to make a turn.

Although we don't have maps we also have the rest of the functions that are based on routes and navigation, such as PacePro or ClimbProBoth features need to have created a route in advance, but do not require a map on the clock to be displayed. 

It logically changes the way the screen looks and how the available roads look even if they are not on the route. Here is an example of what the same route looks like on a clock that has maps (on the left Garmin Forerunner 945, on the right Garmin Fenix 6).

Garmin Fenix 6 - Navigation

It is clear that the possibilities offered by map navigation are enormous compared to simply making a route with the track of it.

What's the benefit of having maps? For example, you can create routes from the clock without depending on an external device. Simply by browsing the map or choosing a point, the clock will plot the route directly. Useful if you're somewhere out of range, so your phone wouldn't be able to access the online maps to create the route. Or because you want to change your destination halfway through the route.

It also allows to calibrate at any time the altimeter to a known altitude, because they are DEM maps. That is, they have a digital elevation model. Or functions such as "Around Me", etc.

And now you ask me: "OK Eduardo, but what do I do if I'm not particularly interested in music?The Fenix 6 Normal or the Fenix 6 Pro?"

When you are about to use the navigation, you should choose the Fenix 6 Pro (or 6S/6X Pro), not because you will create the routes on the clock, or at least not exclusively, but because of the other possibilities it offers en route

Imagine that you have created a route at home, you have been looking at the map and you have designed something affordable of 18km and 600m positive to do in just over 2 hours and come back with time to be with the family. Everything is great and you have studied it well, right? 

You start your route and after 8km it turns out that what seemed simple on the map has turned into a rocky area in the bushes where you can't run. 20 minutes later you're a little over 1km ahead. Obviously you choose to turn around because you're going to miss your appointment, and nobody likes to crawl through the bushes.

With the Fenix 6, all you have to do is activate the back to start option and it will show you the same path you used to get there. You go through the brambles again and the remaining 8 km. In the end, you arrive at the time and you get a slap on the wrist for being so late. 

If in the Fenix 6 Pro you activate the lap to start, when having maps it will look for the fastest route to the point of origin where you have left the car. That equal there is no other way and you have no more remedy that to retrace the walked thing, but also it can appear another one of only 5 kilometers that will save you the ballot. And that calculation will do it to you in a few seconds. 

The normal Fenix 6 will also not calculate an alternative route for you in case you go off course because, say, you just found a river that wasn't there before or wasn't on the map. You have two options: turn around or cross. 

If you have the Fenix 6 Pro you can choose another route and the clock will change the route you have to follow to reach your final point if there is another crossing point 1km away. Once you have crossed the river you will not have to go back to the initial route, but if there is another more favourable option it will trace the route through that new path.

So I insist, the normal thing to do is to consider the Fenix 6 Pro and discard the Fenix 6. Unless there is a greater price difference in the future (currently it is 100 ?), the possibility of having maps is very worthwhile.

As for the new features in the maps of the Fenix 6 Pro, we can now choose different themes or display modes. In particular these are the ones available: high contrast, dark, ski slopes, sea maps and popularity.

I'd love to show you pictures of what the different modes look like... but the one I have at the moment is the regular Garmin Fenix 6, which does not have maps. Those pics will have to wait until Garmin has a Pro unit available in any of its versions. For the moment I leave you with "stock" photos.

In those images you can see a high contrast theme, and on the right different color coded ski slopes.

Optical pulse sensor and Pulse Ox

In the Garmin Fenix 6, we find the latest optical pulse sensor from the American company, the Garmin Elevate v3. MARQ and shortly after that he arrived at the Forerunner 945The Fenix 5X Plus has a pulse oximetry estimation system, which was introduced a year and a half ago and is the light that lights up in red on the back of the watch.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Pulse Sensor

In the simplest models - such as the Forerunner 245-, Pulse Ox is used exclusively during the night to make estimates of the different phases of sleep. In superior models such as Garmin? you can activate it during the day to make estimates of the amount of oxygen in the blood.

It is not a function designed for sports performance, but is dedicated to its use in health and more specifically in the mountain. Knowing the level of oxygen saturation allows you to know how your body is acclimatizing as you go up the mountain.

There are two ways to get a reading. The first is manually and through the pulse oximetry widget itself (which is similar to the heart rate widget). The measurement takes a few seconds (or even minutes), and it is recommended that you remain still and, if possible, keep your watch at heart level while doing this.

Garmin Fenix 6 - PulseOx

The manual measurement can be done at any time, but as I said, there is also the possibility of having it always active (at the cost of some impact on the watch's autonomy, something that the Fenix 6 has plenty of). 

Regardless of whether you activate the constant measurement (what you see in the picture as Acclimation), the sleep pulse oximetry measurement can also be activated individually.

Garmin Fenix 6 - PulseOx

By activating the acclimatization option the clock will take readings throughout the day that you can consult in the widget itself; not only during the 24 hours of the current day as you have seen before, but also the history of the last week.

Garmin Fenix 6 - PulseOx

However, you must bear in mind that activating this function will reduce the autonomy, although if there is something we don't have to worry too much about in these Fenix 6 it is precisely the battery life, of which we have more than enough.

But now let's talk about the optical pulse sensor when practicing sports. As a reminder you should keep in mind that a wrist pulse meter does not work the same way on every body. We are all different, and if we also put things like skin tone, tattoos, body hair into the equation... the difference from person to person can be quite big.

In my tests it is not that the spectrum of users is very broad: it is me, myself and I. So what works well for me might not do it for someone else, or it might be better.

But the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to follow some guidelines to wear the sensor. It should be tight (but not cut off your circulation), enough to keep the watch from moving freely on your wrist, leaving a separation of approximately one finger from the wrist bone. By following these details you will ensure that you get the best results that your conditions can offer.

I'll start with a mountain training, because maybe that's what you'll do most if you're interested in this model. As you know, when running in the mountains, the intensity changes constantly, especially if there are numerous climbs and descents on a continuous basis.

For this test, I'm wearing the Fenix 6 on one wrist, along with a Forerunner 45 on the other wrist (same sensor, but a much lighter watch). Forerunner 945 paired with a Polar H10 and another optical sensor, the Polar OH1+I simply record the activity with.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

In this case it is the Fenix 6 that suffers the most. I count up to 7 peaks at the beginning of the activity that are irregular.

I'm going to enlarge that first section to see it in more detail.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

Except for peak number 1, the rest are very sudden climbs that, in my opinion, are caused by the weight of the watch. The first minutes of this training are on a very steep climb (average slope of 19%), so the brace is quite high, which can cause the watch to move due to its high weight. However the Forerunner 45, much lighter, has not had that problem at any time.

In the rest of the training, with much more normal slopes, you can see how the behaviour of all the sensors is on par. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

I will now move on to a trail race: three hours of many ups and downs not as fast as we would like. In this case I was also carrying a Polar Vantage M in order to be able to check data later from the Polar H10 sensor which, in theory, had been paired with the watch.

It seems that I hadn't, because after synchronizing the activity there is no heart rate data, but the chafing that the sensor produced on my chest still lasts today, so it's proof that I was wearing it...

Well, I'll have to do the analysis with only two sensors. Although as you can see on the 99% of the race there's an absolute match.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensorBut at a quick glance you can see that there are a few peaks where there are discrepancies, and coincidentally it's the Fenix 6 that always stands out with these kinds of peaks, just like in the previous example.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

You can see that the pattern that these sudden HR rises follow is the same as we have seen in the previous example. It is always the Fenix 6 that shows the peaks. Or almost always, because in the next image where I have marked with the first arrow, it is the FR945 that has had a momentary peak.

I have also marked a second point where there is a difference in the measurement, too bad we don't have the data from that third sensor to see which of the two watches was measuring correctly. The circles are the ones that correspond to the peaks of the Fenix 6.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

But if we continue to move forward in time we keep seeing the same peaks. Very high and sudden rises for a short period of time.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

And one more new peak. But here are two other areas where the measurement is clearly different.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

When there are not such rapid changes in intensity or the exercise is quieter it is exactly the same as any other optical sensor, virtually without any problems.

Here's an example, a simple pre-competition activation training, at a fairly leisurely pace and without changes in intensity.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

There is a first moment where there is a noticeable drop by the sensor I was wearing on my chest, the Polar H10. I don't remember making any stops in that training. However, the other two sensors don't mark a similar data either, so we will leave it in mystery...

What about pure serial training? Well, here it is.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 - Comparative optical sensor

This is the last training I did last night with the Fenix 6, after receiving an update for the sensors that includes a correction for the optical sensor. Certainly in this training we have not seen a single peak that we have seen in the previous examples.

Apart from these peaks, the intervals are perfectly defined and coincide perfectly with the data collected by the chest sensor (an HRM-Tri). However, both the rise and fall of intensity show a delay in the case of the optical sensors of the Fenix 6 and the Vivoactive 4, which is the usual behavior of optical sensors.

Here's the second and third extended interval.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 - Comparative optical sensor

You can see how the Forerunner 945's graph is always faster in ascending and descending than the Vivoactive 4 and Fenix 6's optical sensors. Even at rest in the second interval the Vivoactive 4 has a little more delay.

As I say, this is normal optical sensor behavior, but it doesn't mean it's desired. This kind of interval is still the Achilles heel of optical sensors on the wrist.

Where I have seen some improvement is in cycling. In the past the optical sensors were more wrong than right. In this case the data from the Fenix 6, without being perfect, is quite accurate for most of the training. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensorBut as I always say, the data must be correct at all times. It is useless to have "almost good" heart rate data. One thing are the punctual peaks that hardly distort the objective of the training because it is something totally imperceptible beyond the graph (and with the chest sensor also 1TP10We must have this type of data). kennels) and a totally different one is that a major part of it is not correct.

Finally, I would like to point out that the Fenix 6 has been the first watch to officially allow the activation of the optical sensor during swimming. Before, both FR245 and FR945 had enabled it in beta versions (now already in final firmware).

How does the Fenix 6 optical sensor work in swimming? Let's assume that Garmin directly recommends that you use the HRM-Tri or HRM-Swimso I guess it's a good clue as to what we're going to find.

The results are usually variable between different sessions, let's say the data are simply approximate. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - Comparative optical sensor

You can see that this is common and not exclusive to the Fenix 6. Of the three sensors I had, there is not one moment when the three graphs are overlapping. Or maybe there is, when I complete a 500m block and do the rest period.

The rest of the time they simply mark "something similar". Which of the three do I listen to? The theory tells us that it is the HRM-Swim that is going to dictate which is the correct graph because it is the one that is specifically intended for this function. But if I had to bet, honestly, I wouldn't put my hand on the fire for any of the three.

So, if it's not going to help us make a detailed analysis of the session, what's the point of being able to measure the heart rate with the optical pulse sensor? Well, it's so that the load of that training can be counted, since without heart rate data there's no possibility of knowing the intensity, so it wouldn't apply any kind of load and would distort that overall metric. 

Not that entering data that is not totally correct does not detract from it... but at least it is something that now appears (before it did not, even if you did a 5,000m training session it would not add up to the load because it could not include the intensity).

To sum up everything about the optical pulse sensor, I think that in the case of the Fenix 6 there is some room for improvement. All the tests I have done so far on watches with this sensor have been quite satisfactory, in fact you can see above how the FR45 and the FR945 get better results using the same sensor. 

What is the difference between those two and the Fenix 6? The weight of the watch, and that is that the more weight there is the more movement when running and the more likely it is to have movement in the wrist.

In general the result is almost always good, but I have seen clearly that there are peaks in the graphs that should not be there, and that other watches with the same sensor do not have them. It is true that in the last training and after receiving an update those peaks have not been repeated, so it seems that Garmin has been filing those details that are still pending.

The pulse sensors on the wrist are improving little by little, but at the moment they cannot be considered as accurate as the chest sensors (note that the chest sensors are not as accurate either). Personally I have no problem using it for constant pace shoots or even intervals where I prefer to work by pace or power and not by heart rate, but for cycling and more specific training the chest sensor is still non-negotiable.

GPS Performance

Of course, the Fenix 6 includes the Latest GNSS chipset by SonyYes, the one that has retired all other chipsets by 2019 on almost every device on the market.The reason? Your low battery consumption is key to the autonomy figures that not only the Fenix 6 family watches have, but any of the latest models on the market.

Logically, in the new Fenix we have the possibility of using the combination of satellites that we choose: GPS only, GPS + GLONASS or GPS + GalileoToday Garmin recommends choosing the GPS + GLONASS option, as it is the one that has been worked on and polished the most. In fact, it is what is configured by default in the clock, and we no longer have as much problem in the use of battery as we had before.

I do hope, however, that Garmin will continue to work on the GPS + Galileo option, since in theory it should be the one that offers the best results. 

Just like the optical sensor tests you saw earlier, the GPS comparisons are done the same way: with the watches accompanying me in my regular workouts.

Carrying both the Fenix 6 and other models, and checking where problems appear, I have no defined route to establish a score for the simple reason that there are other external factors that we must never forget.

Things like clouds, leaves on trees or simply the satellite position can alter the GPS results from one day to the next, which is why I prefer to do this type of comparison instead of having a predefined path and assess it from there.

Let's start the comparison with this short pre-race activation training. A simple course, but the difficulty is in the low pace at which I'm running, which is not conducive to nice graphics.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

However, what interests me in this test is not how it records at low speed, but the specific comparison between the three models I have: Garmin Fenix 6, Garmin Forerunner 45 and Garmin Forerunner 945.

All three are Garmin. All three use Sony's GNSS chipset. However, the results are mixed, which proves that not only the chipset is decisive in obtaining good results. Things like software and antenna are equally or more important than the chipset itself used.

This is the beginning of the route. As with optical sensors the beginnings are always more complicated, as the clocks do not yet have a high number of satellites registered. If we add to that running parallel to tall buildings makes it difficult.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

In this case it is the Fenix 6 that is closest to the royal route, although obviously I wasn't loaded with glasses doing so many laps, but both the FR45 and the FR945 are quite a few meters away from that route.

Later on you can see how the three clocks are wrong. My passing line is marked in orange. As for the tracks, they are all straight, but offset to a greater or lesser extent. Both the Fenix 6 and the Forerunner 45 are offset by about a metre, while the FR945 is slightly further away.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

But now we can see that the track is stabilizing. There are not so many lurches in the graphics anymore, although we still need to add the precision of marking correctly the place where I have passed.

Further on (after about one kilometre from the exit) I arrive at the open area of the promenade and quickly the three clocks are in tune again.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

In the following image I have marked in orange which was my real route to enter that turn, in which you have to avoid a short fence. 

None of the three succeed in making the turn correctly, making a kind of loop that is not real. Of course I'm also asking you to record the change of direction made in a tile correctly, but that's what the difficult tests are for, right?

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

I don't want to stay there alone. Once we continue the path parallel to the river, the Fenix 6 seems to be unclear about where we are going, while the other two clocks are in a perfectly straight line.

And it's not the only trouble spot for the Fenix 6. Further on it has detours and curve cuts again. Curiously enough it goes off the road to come back, and so on. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Both Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 45 are perfectly aligned at this point.

Now we are going to do some mountain, theoretically for what this clock is more prepared. In this route I go around a small peak that, except for a small section that is made by a forest, has very good satellite reception. The only present difficulty, besides the mentioned zone of trees, is in the low speed in the slopes of 20%. The models used are the same as in the previous case, so the same is applied again about the chipset, software and antenna.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

In general the results on this route have been better than in the previous example. The reason may be that it was a day without many clouds, while in the activation training the sky was very overcast (it was during the cold drop days of late summer 2019).

We found a curiosity: Google maps are not always correctly aligned, something that can be seen in this image.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

I have marked the area where I have gone up and down the mountain. Having three clocks recording the route that gives a total of 6 tracks, which appear perfectly aligned both in the ascent and in the descent. However the track does not coincide with the path we see in the image, but are parallel to it. So there are several possibilities:

  • In a few months the road has been eroded and relocated, while the original road has been covered with undergrowth (the satellite photo is from 2019)
  • All three clocks have failed to rise and fall, coinciding in exactly the same error
  • Although there is a path I have decided to climb the slope to 20% doing cross country, because I am that great
  • Google does not have the image aligned correctly

I'm almost stuck with option 4... Which means you don't always have to trust these satellite images.

Next I go with the point where the forest area I mentioned before is crossed. In the satellite image we can't appreciate the path, but the three clocks make a quite aligned route. There is only one that shows a different track: the Fenix 6.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

That difference continues to be repeated during the rest of the route.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Once again Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 45 mark the same route above the trail, with the Fenix 6 being the only one that deviates. 

Let's follow the example of the mountains, in this case a 23km trail race that touches all the poles: fast areas, slow climbs of more than 30%, very lush forests or practically desert plains... It's a good test area with many points that put the GPS in trouble.

For this test I leave the Forerunner 45 and change it for the Polar Vantage M, which I carry in my backpack.

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

This is the initial and final section, the first time we pass through an area of forest and which is done by a path parallel to the river no more than 40cm wide. Same path to go and return and yet there is not a single graph that coincides on the other. 

Is it normal for this to happen? Unfortunately yes. When the difficulties are high there is no device that is able to receive the signal correctly. Compare it with the track further to the left passing by the dam where there are no trees, the graphics have nothing to do with it.

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

In this area there was not much tree cover, however it also presents some difficulty due to the speed of the climb and the constant changes of direction. I have highlighted that part of the route where there is no consensus. There is only a cut by the Fenix 6, however it is curious that the deviation is in all three cases in the direction of the clock.

I mean, the Fenix 6 was on the left wrist, and its graphic is a few centimeters off to the left (in the direction of travel). On the right wrist was the FR945, with the Vantage M also on the right side of the backpack. And the graphic of those two is a few centimeters off to the right. Patterns... you always have to look for patterns...

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

At the point I have marked with the arrow we have another error by the Fenix 6, while the other two watches have not had as much trouble identifying it. Again it was an area with a lot of tree coverage. 

However, I have highlighted the rest of the points where the ability to receive GPS signal is good. Indeed, there are no problems on the part of any of the three models.

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

But there is evidence of errors on the part of the Fenix 6, places where without much apparent reason they go off course. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

That is, there are areas where errors are understandable and you can see why the other two clocks also suffer in their charts. But these areas that I point out with the arrow should not be so much of a problem and yet it does.

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

The truth is that when difficulties come, it is the Phoenix 6 that always tends to suffer more than others.

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

But I repeat, this is something that happens in difficult areas. When there is no vegetation at all, we have no problem.

Garmin Fenix 6 - GPS

In short, the result is not bad, but it should be better, especially in difficult areas. I do not mean that it should be perfect at all times, there are places where the result simply cannot be better, neither in the Fenix 6 nor in any other.

But Garmin must work on the Fenix 6 GPS reception and tune it up more when the coverage is more complicated. All the watches I used in the comparison used the Sony GNSS chipset, and the ones I used during the tests that don't appear here too, so that can't be the excuse. Garmin must improve the firmware to increase the quality of the GPS reception, putting the Fenix 6 at least at the same level as the rest of the current Garmin models.

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Opinion Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6

As with every version of the Fenix family, Garmin's Fenix 6 has the most capable watches in its entire range, even surpassing the MARQ Athlete or MARQ Expedition, and the Fenix 6X Solar is the only solar-powered watch in its entire range. 

Unfortunately, as with every version of the Fenix family, the price has been increased again, and Garmin does this because it knows it is unrivalled in the marketplace, no other competing product is capable of matching the Fenix 6 in performance, not even close. But I don't think anyone is surprised at this point that a Garmin Fenix is expensive, it's already a given.

Ever since the Forerunner 945 was introduced and I knew the new features of this one weren't going to make it to the Fenix 5 Plus I was already clear what the new features of the Fenix 6 were going to be, although we have some new features not only in things like PacePro or power modes, but also in the redesign of the widgets (something I love).

PacePro has quite a few limitations, but for road racing it's possible to get a good performance out of it, but I think the power modes are very well thought out and provide not only a lot of possibilities, but also quite a lot of information about how each option affects the watch's range.

Overall my experience has been good, but not perfect. There are things that need to be improved, especially in terms of GPS reception (now that the optical sensor seems to be at least at the same level as the rest of the Garmin range).

I don't think anyone would be surprised if a Garmin watch comes to market with bugs that need to be fixed (not really from Garmin or any other manufacturer). Mind you, none of these have prevented pod from using the watch as a primary watch during these weeks, and pod might continue to do so were it not for the fact that it is already waiting to be returned on its way back to the manufacturer.

If you have any questions you know, leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

And with that... thanks for reading!

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127 Comments

  1. Impressive article, Eduardo! What you've already got us used to...

    I keep it on earrings and give it a quiet read when I get a chance

    THANK YOU

  2. I agree with Fede. Probationary. You're the only one who's explained to me what pacepro is for, in no other article can they explain it

  3. Good review

    I wanted to ask you, any of this will go into the Fenix 5 plus, or we users of these will be left with nothing

    Thank you

    1. No, it doesn't seem to be in the plans right now. It will come in the Forerunner 945, but it's a newer model

  4. Thank you very much Eduardo for the excellent work. The truth is that I am not so excited about the series 6 as to replace my Fenix 5 or my Forerunner 645 music. I think that if they had lower prices I would think about it, but in those conditions I do not see anything of the other world to acquire it. I understand obviously that that will happen for each one. But as I write, I give my opinion.

  5. Excellent work Eduardo (as always) !
    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Thank you very much x share with all of us your analysis and experience with this new Fenix 6 series.
    Personally, I'm glad I already have the fenix6 titanium and I couldn't be happier! I've had a week with it and I found it excellent, especially the increase in the screen, the new designs in the widgets, the new widgets (body battery) and the training states.
    In my experience, changing from fenix 5 to fenix 5 plus didn't really notice any change, since I hardly ever really used the new ones (wallet, music, only very odd maps).
    It is a sacrifice to acquire the new Phoenix 6, but I recommend it to 100%.
    I do not want to extend myself and if I return thank you eduardo x keep us informed of the latest in these devices!
    Thank you, Eduardo.

  6. Great article, it's amazing how you dissect these devices.
    Personally, this model far exceeds my needs... And besides, the price is a major handicap.
    I have two questions, do you think these new battery yields will reach future mid-range ranges?
    And the other one is offtopic. Do you contemplate to do some test with some model of CHOIRS? They begin to see themselves in the races... Thanks and congratulations for your work!
    Splendid.

    1. Thank you.

      The increase in autonomy comes mainly from the new satellite chipset, so it is reaching the mid-range.

      As for Chorus, I have tried to contact them on several occasions, but I have received no response from them...

  7. Excellent article Eduardo! I'm considering buying the Fenix 6 pro or the Fenix 6X, but I think that the accuracy of the GPS is not yet very achieved, I want to think that Garmin plans to improve it in both GPS+GLONASS and GPS+GALILEO as you say in the article, about this two questions Do you plan to make any future article where you check this point again, even indirectly as a share against other clocks? and Do you know if there is a published schedule of firmware revision by Garmin?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Well, it all depends on whether or not when I receive the Fenix 6X Pro Solar that I ordered to complete the analysis there have been changes in the GPS firmware. I am not going to buy one for future comparison, so everything will depend on that. Anyway, I am confident that Garmin will put it in the line of the rest of the models. It has just arrived on the market and has not yet received any updates, so it should not be complicated for Garmin to bring it up to date.

      As for timing, there is none because they tend to release updates constantly with small improvements. They come as they are available, but usually at a good pace.

  8. Good morning, Eduardo. Great article.
    I'm thinking about changing the 945 for the fenix 6 pro, what makes me go back a bit is the weight, going from 50 gr to 83 gr. Do you think it will be very uncomfortable to run (move around a lot), swim and even sleep? or do you end up getting used to it?
    Greetings and thank you very much

    1. No matter how much you get used to it, the weight is always there... I get used to it because in the end I try so many things that I don't even know which one is "mine", I don't care. What is undoubted is that the "watch feeling" has nothing to do, in that the Fenix 6 is far superior.

      If you're worried about weight, there's something in the middle: the Fenix 6S Pro. It's only 61g and there's not that much difference. And today you have it on offer.

  9. I have a 5s sapphire (my wrist is small) and I don't like them too bulky. Would you recommend changing to a 6S for major improvements?

    Very good analysis as always, the most professional and for me the minimum I study to buy a watch... ^_^

    1. 6S not normal, it would be a step backwards because of the lack of maps.

      6S Pro with the offer you currently have and if you sell the current one well (I calculate about 450 ?), you will probably get change for 150 ?, and you have to take into account that although the circumference is the same, the separation between pins is smaller in the 6S so aesthetically it will also be more compact and comfortable if you have a narrow wrist.

  10. For the first test that I do with the garmin fenix 6 x pro sapphire tracking a track, it goes a little clamp in the positioning, and it is quite annoying when it happens in the changes of direction to be located at a crossroads. I would like to think that it was the "possible lack of coverage" for being raining, but it had never happened to me with a garmin.
    To all this the first thing I did when I bought the garmin was to update the software (that goes web, just released and already with updates...

  11. Thank you very much Eduardo, excellent presentation. My doubt is that with the Fenix3 straps I had contact dermatitis, you know if they are made of the same material or have modified their composition.
    Thank you very much.

    1. The material itself is the same, but the manufacturing methods vary. Having had problems with the Fenix 3 doesn't mean you can have them with the 6. Or yes... but you can only know after using it.

      The watch has Garmin's QuickFit system, however, and you can quickly replace it with another one, and there are many options available in different materials. If you have regular problems with silicone straps, I would recommend that you keep an eye on the nylon straps.

    1. No, PacePro will not reach the previous Phoenix, only some current models: FR945 and probably 245.

  12. Hi, as I understand the Pace Pro is based on the height changes of a ride, so implementing it on the 245 that has no barometric altimeter would deliver any value!, wouldn't it have been better to think about this functionality for the Fenix 5 and 645?
    Greetings

    1. No, PacePro is calculated first with the altitude data from the maps. Whether or not the watch has an altimeter afterwards is irrelevant for the calculations, because they are designed beforehand.

  13. Impressive summary. I have the clock and it's a great one but there's one thing I couldn't configure. How can I configure a trainer so that when I do a 5 km series, at the end I get the average rate of those 5 km instead of every km? Will it be because I have the autolap activated? But I want it to warn me every km of the series.
    Thank you very much and congratulations on the page

    1. If you disable automatic laps and mark the laps manually (or those marked by the training) then you will have it

  14. Hi Eduardo, I've been using the Phoenix5 for a year now thanks to a recommendation from you and I'm delighted. But because of the fact that the loading nodes usually rust, I've been reimbursed on Amazon and now I don't know whether to buy the Phoenix 5, the 6, the 6 pro or the FR945...
    As I always go out for a run with my mobile phone on me, I don't think I'll use either music, garmin pay or maps except to calibrate the altimeter correctly which I think is important. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance

    1. If you are not going to make use of the extra features of the Pro I wouldn't invest in it. Calibrating the altimeter is fine, but it's perhaps too fine a job because you're going to have the altitude corrected after synchronizing the training. I wouldn't overpay for just that feature.

      As for the 945, the main difference is that it is lighter and narrower, perfect for triathlon, but if you are not going to use neoprene and only run and used to the materials of the Fenix 5 I do not know if you would be satisfied ...

      In your case I think I'd go to the Fenix 6 if you don't mind spending the extra. You'll notice much more fluidity in the menus, in addition to the extra features.

    2. I also got rust on the charging nodes of my 5S plus. I had it replaced two months ago and this one starts the same again. And that I have them covered with the plastic cap. I'm about to claim again. The 6 I see that it has the same system. I do not understand why they do not improve that.

  15. Hi Eduardo, I have a Vantage V and I'm happy with it, but it doesn't have any cycling metrics related to power, at least for now... in my old v650, I have TSS, NP, IF, (it doesn't have W/kg either) ; I think the Phoenix 6 pro has those metrics including w/kg. So I'm thinking about getting rid of the Vantage and getting a Phoenix 6 pro and a running pod, I already have an h10 and Vector S. Do you know if the update that comes for Vantage updates these metrics? for cycling I've gotten used to them. do you know if in the Phoenix 6 I can see in the clock as a cycling screen w/kg as a training screen data?
    Happy New Year, good to read you.

    1. No, you won't find those metrics at Polar because they are licensed from third parties (in this case, Training Peaks). They are present at Garmin.

  16. Good night,
    After many years with the Fenix 3 (normal, without sapphire or HR)... the poor guy ended up saying he couldn't take it anymore.
    So I'm thinking about renewal and I'm between Suunto 9 Baro (I'm lazy about changing platforms); Fénix 5X Plus Sapphire; Fénix 6 (normal) or the Apple Watch.
    My budget is 550 euros.
    The truth is that I don't know which one to keep, I usually do a 65%, I used to program in the Fénix 3 the series, the changes of rhythms, (various trainings), so I think that the Apple is discarded.
    It's true that I've always used Garmin so my training history is there; but if switching to Suunto is ideal I wouldn't mind doing it.
    So now comes my big question... What?
    If the answer is a Phoenix, which version do you recommend (Fenix 6 vs Fenix 5x Plus)?
    Are there other options that I have not valued within my budget better than those mentioned?

    Thanks a lot for everything and excellent work, keep it up!

    1. If you do a lot of training with the watch, I recommend that you stay with Garmin, because Suunto training scheduling is very basic.

      Between Fenix 6 normal and Fenix 5X Plus the second one is a better option. Maps are a very important differentiator when using it in the mountains, so if you don't want to spend the extra for the Pro you better go to the previous range.

      Available only today on sale at El Corte Inglés at a very good price, being the version with sapphire glass (not the normal one).

  17. Hello.
    First of all, congratulations on the review, it's a real pleasure to read such a detailed analysis, and with the work that goes with it.
    I would like to ask you your opinion about buying a new Garmin Fenix. Currently I have the Fenix 3HR with HRM Run tape. This one really meets all my needs. But I would like to switch to something more current. The option is to buy a Fenix 5X Plus Sapphire that stays at 456. But I would like to know your opinion about the differences from this Fenix 6 Pro.
    Pace Pro is a tool that I won't take much advantage of, but regarding new metrics, software, interface... Do you think it's worth to wait a little bit and try to go for this Fenix 6 Pro?
    Thank you in advance and a greeting.

    1. It's a very personal opinion... but I would opt for the Fenix 6 Pro. It's not just metrics, it's more processor speed, bigger screen, better UI and of course more upgrades (the Fenix 5X Plus will not be upgraded anymore)

  18. Thank you very much as always for the review. Ingredient of your work.
    One question, I am seeing some offers in German pages of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, could I have any problem with buying it there? I understand that not because the menus will be configurable to other languages and the maps are of all Europe, right?
    That's for making sure, given the amount of money we're talking about.
    Thank you

  19. Thank you very much for this very interesting test Eduardo
    My question is this.
    I was about to buy a Garmin Vivoactive 4, when I started to discover the Garmin Fenix 6.
    My sports activities are mainly gym, indoor cycling, walking, swimming and golf.
    I can't run on my knees.
    You think I'll be worth the extra cost of the Phoenix 6.
    If I've seen that the battery life is much longer.
    What other advantages does the Fenix 6 bring to me compared to the Vivoactive 4?
    Thank you very much in advance, a greeting
    Eduardo

    1. If you play a lot of golf then I recommend that you go for the Fenix 6 because in its Golf application you will have the maps of the courses, and they will indicate distances to flags, etc. I think it can be an interesting option for you. If it is something that you do not care much about, then the Vivoactive 4 and the Fenix 6 will offer you the same service (autonomy apart).

  20. Hi, thank you so much for such interesting articles but I'm not quite sure about my future purchase. I'm hesitating between the Phoenix 6s and the Vivoactive 4s.
    I practice trail running and mountaineering, I also train in the gym, especially strength training and spinning. In addition, I want a watch to wear every day, I have a small wrist and almost all watches are bulky.
    Well, among all these variables I'm exposing you to, which watch would you advise?
    Thank you very much in advance
    Greetings

  21. Hi Eduardo my name is Jose Andres and I'm from Murcia. I have the fenix 6X pro and I have a question:
    When I am following a route that I have previously downloaded ( for example from wikiloc ) and it is saved in the clock.
    I start and select navigation and I can't get it to indicate turn by turn, I have to follow the track. And I have selected in the clock, turn by turn , but it doesn't appear , it doesn't indicate it.
    Would you help me with this matter?
    Thank you very much, Eduardo, very grateful.

    1. The twist notices depend on the path file including it. Most CREATION tools do this, but at Wikiloc you are downloading the path made by another user, not a path created for that use.

    1. If you are not creating them from scratch and you are downloading an activity from another user, yes. If it is a route created with Strava they should have the turn data.

  22. Through YouTube you will see tutorials so that the routes downloaded from Wikiloc can be done indicating you turn by turn.

  23. Excellent article in detail to learn about the new Garmin Fenix 6 ranges.

    It has been great for me to learn about the features of the new Fenix and how to get the most out of it.

    Congratulations Eduardo!

  24. Hi Eduardo, first of all congratulations for the article. I am between the 945 and the 6 pro. Is it worth the price difference. Is there much difference in the finishes (thinking about small bumps, scratches...)?
    Thank you very much.

    1. More than difference versus rivers is in terms of perception of quality. The 945 is all plastic.

      But it is thinner and lighter, which is beneficial for sensor performance and triathlon use.

  25. Hello good morning, first of all I want to thank you for the enormous work of the article, I have a question recently sold the fenix 5x sapphire, and I am thinking of buying the Fenix 6, I sold it because it seemed to me a pretty heavy watch for running, triathlon, now which one would suit me to buy?

    1. Thank you Nicolás

      Yes, the 5X is size-wise the largest of the Garmin range. I recommend you take a look at both the Fenix 6S and the Forerunner 945 if you don't mind the plastic. Both are noticeably lighter and more comfortable.

  26. Hello Eduardo. First of all congratulations and thank you for all your work because you help us a lot in the sometimes difficult task of deciding which item to purchase. I wanted to ask you which option would be better between the Fenix 6S pro or sapphire and the 945. With the updates of the 945 what differences are you still talking about between the two at the level of functions and utilities? Pace Pro and the display of 6 data at a time is already also in the 945?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you. The only thing not present on the 945 is the advanced autonomy features; the rest has already arrived via firmware update including Pace Pro and the 6 data per display.

      1. Thank you very much Eduardo. So we are really talking about:
        - size differences, the 6S a little smaller;
        - and aesthetics;
        - the issue of battery life, less on the 6S but with the option of poder configure and adjust the usage to last longer;
        - and the small difference in weight, the 945 being a little lighter, very little in the case of the pro, a little more in the sapphire, right?
        - And, of course, the price
        And for both would you recommend the HRM-TRI and HRM-SWIM bands (for triathlon)? Or, if you consider that they are necessary, with the TRI would podría cover everything? The problem is that the swimming training is done in the pool.
        Thank you very much and sorry for so many questions

  27. Greetings Eduardo and thanks for the reviews. One query. When using a Fenix (or a Forerunner) in cardio or strength modes, obviously doing that type of exercise, the aerobic and anaerobic records shown by the watch are very low. Is that a flaw in the registry? Thank you.

  28. Apologies for not being clear. Let's see, look. When I run or bike or play tennis with the Fenix 5 or the Forerunner 645, at the end of the workout the Anaerobic and Aerobic values are relevant for an hour or more of exercise. But if I exercise at home in "Cardio" mode or "Strength" mode for the same amount of time and become exhausted, those Anaerobic and Aerobic values are almost zero. Is that so or is it a defect of Garmin?

    1. These values are determined from the heart rate zones and is independent of the sport profile used. It depends on the intensity, not on the exercise or the fatigue it produces.

  29. Hi, Eduardo,
    First of all congratulations for the great work done in this analysis.
    I have seen that in the "finishes and comfort" section, you have rated the Fenix 6 slightly better than the 945 but I understand that, in terms of comfort, when it comes to running, the 945 is perhaps more comfortable because it is much lighter than the Fenix 6. In my case, I usually go out to run series but I also like to enjoy long routes in the mountains. In addition, I like that the Fenix has a slightly larger screen. For this reason, a priori I would prefer to buy the Fenix. However, I value very much the comfort of a watch since I wear it 24/365 and for this reason I would like to ask you if the difference in comfort between the two models is big enough to have to opt for one or the other. From your point of view, which one is the most comfortable? Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Thank you Joan.

      I find the 945 more comfortable because, once you get used to its lightness, it is true that the Fenix 6 is heavy. But I can also tell you that although the screen of the Fenix 6 does not seem much bigger, it is also noticeable.

      To use it at all times you must also value the aesthetics, and in that the Fenix is undoubtedly superior.

      You also have the in-between option... The Fenix 6S and you go the middle way.

  30. Hi, Eduardo.

    Excellent article and I am a loyal follower of your blog, Now I own a Polar Vantage V but I'm always checking how the technology goes. my question is mostly to the web service, which you think is the best platform for training amateur athletes, polarflow or Garmin Connect? considering that there is also training peaks and its integration with garmin is very good even with suunto now. Is it so important to get carried away by the fact that Garmin or suunto have good integration with training peak and move to one of these brands or do you consider that with the Polar flow is enough?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you Jesus.

      In my opinion Polar Flow is the platform that best combines clear information along with valid details for advanced training. Garmin Connect may have the same possibilities depending on the watch, but it all becomes too confusing due to the number of menus and the separation of data.

      TrainingPeaks is a great and complete platform as well, but don't forget that it's not cheap and its main advantage is poder sharing workouts with a trainer.

  31. Great analysis!
    But my doubt is, renewing my 935...Continue in FR945...Or change. FÉNIX 6PRO...
    More than 2000km a year running ...75% asphalt and occasional swimming in gym and in summer, more...And data geek and screens!!!!
    Your opinion? ????????????????????????

    1. It is a very personal choice, depending on whether you are looking for higher build quality (Fenix 6 Pro) or lighter weight (FR945).

      If you want a more substantial change you may have to switch to the Fenix, because the FR945 is exactly the same as the FR935, with the difference of the software.

  32. Hi Eduardo,
    Impressive review! Thank you for the time spent writing this. I am curious to understand how you see the Heart Rate accuracy? I have been through numerous HRMs in the past including the V800, and in my honest opinion, they are all quite inaccurate and have too many glitches (ghost peaks etc.) when measuring the heart rate over a longer period of time. How do you feel the Fenix is performing as a pro-level HRM?
    Thank you
    Lars

    1. Thanks Lars.

      First of all I recommend you that take a look at this post. I wrote a lot about the way each one of them works and what you should expect.

      You have to remember that, on OHR, it depends on the user. Not only his/her conditions (skin color, tatoos, hair, etc), but also how you wear it. Besides that I find it to be very similar to many other sensors. Some are a little bit better on some conditions, and some are on different ones.

  33. Brutal analysis Eduardo, the best I've seen on the internet, congratulations.
    Currently I have a Phoenix 6x sapphire, delighted with the aesthetics, but I am not happy at all with the optical pulsometer, when it is at rest more or less goes well but only walking and there are times that it is going the clamp and does not keep a real pulse. suddenly fails much going well doing exercise bike and without making any movement or something that could change the position on the wrist changes and has nothing to do with reality.
    I'm thinking either to change or buy the 945 because from what you say it is more accurate maybe because of the weight issue, it is so because I have valued the option of the fénix 6 pro but they are only a few grams of difference that I do not think are relevant but if there is much difference with the 945.
    Thank you very much in advance

  34. Hello!

    I have a Fénix 6 Pro since 1 week ago, I have only gone out once with it and it was to make a small bike route, at home I saw the track on the map and the marked line is mostly green, but there are lighter green sections and very short sections in red, what does this mean? I have read the manual and I have not found anything.

    On my old Phoenix 5 the track line was red all the way through.

    Best regards and many thanks in advance.

  35. Hello and congratulations on your blog in general and your product reviews in particular.
    My fenix 2 has been tired of tracking me for the last 6 years. It has been great for tracking tracks, running, biking, swimming and mountain training.
    At first, I wanted to change it for fenix 5...then I saw that the 5 plus 1TP10 might fit better, especially for an offer of 399€...and reading your analysis I have doubts with the 6 pro.
    In a reply I read that you prefer the 6 pro to the 5 plus for fluidity, screen,....
    Assuming that whichever one I buy will be much better than the fenix 2, what would be your recommendation?
    Thank you very much,
    Lorenzo

    1. The issue of fluidity is always something quite subject to sensations and expectations. And coming from a Fenix 2 I guarantee that when you try one or the other the feeling you will have is that they fly.

      Both are very similar, what you will notice most is the small difference in screen size of the Fenix 6.

      As for the choice, it all depends on the price difference, and that will depend on the time of purchase. If the difference is not a problem for you, I lean more towards the Fenix 6 Pro mainly because of screen size and the possibility of having more data on it.

  36. Hello Eduardo, Congratulations for the analysis because I found it very complete.
    I have a Fenix 5S and I want to change it for a 6Pro or a 6XPro, right now I find them with a price difference of 7 € on Amazon (I do not rule out the 6S Pro), my doubt is that apart from running and cycling I do Crosstrainig training, so the optical sensor is the main detail that interests me, especially for when not using the chest band. Since the weight of the watch influences the metric, and that gives me the feeling that the XPro is quite large (coming from a 5S)... What is more worthwhile? Is the 6XPro really too big? I do not know to what extent I will get to take advantage of seeing the maps a little bigger. What do you recommend?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Going from a 5S to a 6X seems like overkill to me... the X is BIG. As with everything, you end up getting used to it, but I guarantee that the first few days you're going to constantly notice the size of the watch.

      I think the regular 6 Pro will be less "traumatic", and you're already going to notice a noticeable difference in screen. Both in size and resolution.

  37. Good afternoon.
    See if you can help me.
    I have near vision "problems".
    My ideal choice would be the 6x sapphire but I have found good deals on the solar and 6 sapphire.
    The x sapphire is out of stock.
    From the 6 sapphire (639€) I am worried that it will be too small for my eyesight and from the solar (759€) that since it is not sapphire it will scratch.

    For size and supply I would buy the solar, but as I said, I'm worried about scratching.

    What do you recommend?

    1. Unless you're going to be "rubbing" the watch a lot on very hard materials, I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not it's sapphire. In all this time testing (and mistreating) watches I've only scratched one, and that was from wearing it hooked to a hydration pack and leaving it on top of some rocks. Apart from that, I've had falls, I've dropped my watch, I've used them daily, I've hit them with pool mats... I've never scratched a screen.

      My recommendation, in all honesty, would be the Fenix 6X Pro. It is currently well priced and I do not consider that what the Solar provides justifies the €160 difference.

  38. Thank you very much for your response, Eduardo.
    First of all, I would like to acknowledge the quality and detail of your analysis. Spectacular.
    As if that were not enough, you are quick and sincere in your answers. A real luxury poder to have your opinion.

    I may order through Amazon also a 4-pack of protective glass and even a case that seems from the reviews to be unnoticeable and does the job.
    Between the two things I have spent less than 20€ and I have 3 spare parts.
    Then we'll see if I end up using them or if I get sick of them.
    Although you say that it is not essential, I am very fussy about the conservation of things.

    I'm looking forward to a new watch and, although my wife won't let me wear it until Thursday, which is my birthday, I went to see it today.
    I took a look at it and it looks good.
    It is true that it is big but I like that.
    In fact I've been wearing a steel Casio MT-G for 4 years and it weighs 198 grams.

    Now I am looking forward to try this one although I have the feeling that I will have to dedicate quite a few hours to poder to get a minimum of performance out of it. I hope it will be quite intuitive.
    Thanks again for your advice!

  39. Good morning, Eduardo,

    My congratulations for the analysis of the Fenix range, it is amazing how you dissect each and every one of the details, pros and cons, and all from the most absolute objectivity. I have been reading you for a long time and I have decided to become a vip because you have to support this great work you do.

    Now I wanted to tell you, I've been with Garmin for years, I used to do only running and some gym. Now, I have changed my training, I still run, but I do a lot more cycling, and I do strength training and circuits more often. I've also started swimming and I'm thinking about trying triathlon. I currently have the Forerunner 235, and it continues to work acceptably after years, but for example when I do strength, or pool, I notice that its performance drops in terms of data reality. When I read about the fénix range it seems great and makes me want to buy it haha, but I've seen that the 945 is also an interesting option. For what I do, and also I wear the watch 24/7 even sleeping, which one would you recommend? Aesthetically wins Fenix 6, but the other seems more comfortable. On the other hand, what size dial would you choose? The 47, I think it is the best, because having the Forerunner I will see it bigger, the X dial is a bit exorbitant, no? Besides my wrist is thin.

    Thank you very much Eduardo and best regards!

    1. Thank you very much Javier!

      Fenix 6 and 945 are very close in terms of performance (although the Fenix 6 is now getting some new beta upgrade that the FR945 doesn't have), so the main difference is going to be aesthetics. But also weight.

      The 945 is a lighter and slightly thinner watch. It doesn't look like it, but when it comes to wearing it on the wrist it is noticeable. The Fenix 6 feels heavier, but it also has aesthetics and materials that the FR945 undoubtedly does not.

      If you have a thin wrist, forget about the 6X, it will look like you are wearing a chime on your wrist and you will feel strange with that one.

      In the end it depends on what sport you are going to do. If you're going to do a lot of triathlon the 945 will end up being more comfortable to wear, especially in the swim under the wetsuit. But you'll also see a lot of Fenixs at any triathlon start. Both fully comply with what you are looking for, it depends on whether you prefer to give more value to the weight of the watch or its aesthetics and materials.

  40. Hi, I have created a training session for swimming pool. I was following it step by step and at the end of the workout, instead of giving me the option to continue or finish, the workout continues alone, that is, the timer keeps running and I have to stop it manually and it does not stop automatically. Thank you!

  41. Hi, do you know what is the battery life time, in navigation mode and with the heart rate measurement from the wrist, in the garmin 6 models? Thank you. Excellent articles

    1. Thank you Tomás.

      I can't give you a figure because it will depend on many factors of the route, amount of detours, etc. It will be somewhat less than the total announced by Garmin, but that less "depends".

  42. The article you have prepared is a spectacle. Congratulations and thank you very much.

  43. Hello, First of all, thank you for the article, one of the best I found.

    I would like to consult you, about which watch you would recommend for road cycling and MTB. I have the Cadence 2 and Speed 2 sensors, plus the Dual HRM band, which I use with a Garmin Edge 520 Plus. All three sensors, are both ANT+ and Bluetooth. I want to know if I can replace the Edge with a watch, if that would be convenient, perhaps with all three sensors (cadence, speed and heart band) linked to the watch or being able to part with some of these and replace them with those on the watch itself. I was looking at the FR945 and the Fenix 6 Pro, although there may be some not so expensive model that also meets what I need.

    Thank you in advance for your contributions!

    1. Thank you Enrique.

      For cycling, it is best to stick with a cyclocomputer, due to its size and location. If what you want is a watch to complement the cyclocomputer, practically any model will do in terms of basic functions. If you want something more economical than the FR945 or Fenix 6, you can take a look at the Garmin Vivoactive 4which is a good choice as a multisport watch without having a specific focus on anything.

  44. Good morning, Eduardo,
    I bought a Fenix 6 two months ago and for the last two weeks I have been observing that the battery only lasts 2-3 days. The configuration, bluetooth and pulse sensor activated, and the number of activities performed (about 5 per week with gps activated 1h.) have not changed since I made the purchase. The first few weeks the battery lasted about 8-9 days. Have you received any comments indicating a problem like this or is this battery consumption normal?
    Thank you.

    1. You may probably have a problem in the software. The first thing you should do is reset the watch and redo the settings from scratch. And watch out for Connect IQ dials, they can cause battery consumption to skyrocket.

      1. Thank you Eduardo for the answer. I did what you indicated in your message (several times) and the consumption is still the same. I have sent the watch to the technical service, I will tell you how the issue ends.

      2. I sent the watch in for repair and after 21 days it was returned to me with the same erratic performance. With the watch I received a letter from #garmin indicating that they have performed a reset and that the consumption varies depending on the options you are using (and they remain so wide). At this time, after 16 h. in Smartwatch mode and 35 min. of GPS, the watch has 58% of battery left. According to the Garmin manual, the battery should last between 14 and 15 days.

      3. I contacted Amazon, who sold me the Fenix 6, and after explaining again what happened, they sent me yesterday a new Fenix 6. In 24h in SmartWatch mode and after 40 minutes of running with the GPS activated, it has only consumed a 6% of battery. New heart rate monitor and problem solved. Thanks for your attention.

  45. hello good and congratulations for the analysis that are amazing,
    I am not superdecided between the 6 pro and the 6x pro, I love the 6x pro.
    Big watches but I'm afraid of messing up with the weight, I don't know what to do ufff, and finally is the sapphire model worth it for 100
    Euros more, thank you and I look forward to your advice

    1. If you like big watches don't be afraid with the 6X. The weight of course is high... but the weight of the 6 Pro is also high. As for sapphire, it depends on how prone you are to "dragging" the watch. If you don't usually leave marks on watches I wouldn't spend the extra money.

  46. Hello Eduardo, thanks for the analysis you do, I have a question, I do cycling both road and MTB and go running both on asphalt and in the mountains, I wanted to buy the Garmin Edge 1030 plus as I am interested in map navigation by downloading routes from wikiloc but of course it has a high price for use only on the bike and of course now I see the Fenix 6x Pro that I can use it for everything, I have the Fenix 5 and I am delighted with it but not having maps navigations are not as accurate. Selling my Fenix 5 how do you see the purchase of the fenix 6x Pro for me? It is clear that the best thing would be to buy the 1030 plus and the 6x Pro but as they are so expensive....???? Thanks in advance!!!

      1. Eduardo I think I've also seen that you even have the option to view the strength and yoga workouts with animation, no?

  47. Eduardo, I just have a doubt, which may seem very absurd, but in the Fenix 6, in any of its models, can you include the "functional" and "gym" workouts of Garmin Conect? Or only the "cardio" workouts, (running, cycling and swimming).

  48. As always fantastic work, because of you I'm already breaking the piggy bank to change my fenix 5 for the 6 pro.

    1. Thank you Maxi.

      Be a little calm in breaking the piggy bank because next week comes Amazon Prime Day. No word... but maybe there will be some surprises.

      Of course, on the web you will have the best offers.

  49. Thank you very much for the spectacular report. I have the 5 S plus and I think that, although it is veryyyy greedy the 6 pro, and especially the solar option called me much attention, for now I will not stay with mine. But who knows... Thanks again.

    1. Sorry, I meant to say that for now I'm sticking with mine 5S plus.... I do trail but if I don't carry music or the route loaded, the 5 h holds me well.

  50. as always, incredible analysis. this is already my third fenix and when i receive it, i read the "espabilaburros" and your analysis. well, in this one, i have read your analysis first while the maps and others are being downloaded. Thank you very much

  51. Hello, I come from a fenix 5 which has gone the screen, full of stripes. I am undecided between fenix 6 pro or 945, the aesthetics of fenix I like more for the day to day. Have the gps problems been corrected in the fenix? Better the 945?

    1. Both are very similar, there are few differences at the software and GPS level so what you should consider is mostly aesthetics (and associated weight). If you like the Fenix better, go for it.

  52. very good report, spectacularly detailed, I am going to retire my Garmin chronos to acquire fenix 6x solar.

  53. One question, the normal fenix 6, not carrying music, does not have the audible warning per lap when connecting bluethooth headphones? in the pro that I was able to test, the warning per lap was marked on the headphones.

  54. Hello I'm starting in the field crreras, and I would like to know if this watch has apart from running, functions for when I do the typical strength exercises and ginmasio; I understand that it is valid for water, jij.
    It has clarified a lot for me.
    But I would like to know if it has the normal smarwatch functions; like wassap, calls and mails.
    Thank you very much and great article

  55. Hi, how can I configure the fenix 6pro to automatically recognize if I go running, biking or walking?
    Thank you

  56. Hello good afternoon, excellent analysis congratulations!!!! I currently have the forerunner 246 music, my workouts are only running Half Marathon is the distance I run, I have the possibility of getting the fenix 6x pro almost half its normal price, my question is whether I should make the change of the 245 for the fenix ? Thank you very much in advance.

  57. I am from Mexico, so my question is if the watch will be sent to me from Europe or America? Thank you very much for clarifying my doubts.

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