Garmin Fenix 6 brings new running smarts, a bigger screen and solar

Our top sports watch just got bigger (and better)
Garmin Fenix 6 brings new running smarts

Garmin has unveiled the Fenix 6 – the latest and greatest version of its super charged (and super expensive) outdoor and running GPS watch.

The Fenix 6 is set to come in 6, 6S and 6X flavours – just like previous Fenixes – but now there’s a solar version. More on that shortly.

So what’s going on with the Fenix 6? Headline changes cover both hardware and software. The screen size has been given a boost, so it’s now a 1.2-inch display (and 1.4-inch on the 6X).

Runners will get a new PacePro feature which displays grade-adjusted guidance in real-time, so you don’t need to despair over your pace as you tackle local hills.

During races Fenix 6 users will be able to set target split pace, actual split pace, distance to next split, and disconcertingly, how much time you're ahead or behind your target from the watch face. That’s great news for PB chasers, especially when tackling 13.3 or 26.3 distances.

Garmin Fenix 6 brings new running smarts, bigger screen and solar

Topographic maps stay of course, but now there are 2,000 ski resorts built in. And while golf has always been part of the feature mix, the course data is now built in, so you don’t need to download the info in Garmin Connect and sync.

As you’d expect, the Elevate heart rate sensor is still in situ, as is the Pulse Ox sensor for sleep monitoring and altitude sensing. Firstbeat’s Body Battery is present – all-in-all it’s still one of the most advanced watches out there for multi-sport. The list of supported activities on a Fenix watch reads like the Olympics TV guide – even skydiving makes the grade.

Going solar

While the new features do seem a little incremental, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar is all new. With the aid of solar panels hidden under the glass, battery life is boosted by three days (in smartwatch mode). That’s a total of three days' extra use based on the standard 6X – which isn’t game-changing, but is extremely welcome.

There’s no word from Garmin about how much extra you’ll get in GPS mode, but it seems fairly negligible. But the new Power Manager feature let's you kill battery-sapping features for max-longevity.

The Fenix 6 series start at $599.99 – just like the Fenix 5, but we're waiting on confirmation of the 6X Pro Solar price.

Tags:   Running
Tagged   Running