Garmin Fenix 6S Professional Assessment: Small watch, massive deal
“Garmin’s Fenix 6S Professional beefs up its health options with out dropping its concentrate on outside adventures.”
Altitude-savvy pacing information
Prolonged battery life
Black Friday is an superior time to purchase a health tracker just like the Garmin Fenix 6S Professional. Take a look at our favourite Black Friday health offers.
The Fenix 6S Professional would be the smallest watch in Garmin’s newest Fenix 6 collection, however don’t let the small measurement idiot you. The GPS watch is as rugged and full-featured as its larger siblings. It has a pulse oximeter for measuring oxygen ranges in your physique, a helpful new PacePro metric, streaming music assist, and rock strong navigation.
All this and extra is packed into the watch’s comfy 42mm body. I’ve been testing the $700 Professional model of the Fenix 6S, which incorporates music, maps, and Wi-Fi, to see the way it compares to earlier Fenix fashions and the competitors.
Earlier than diving into the options, the largest enchancment on the Fenix 6 Sequence is the revamped interface, which nonetheless maintains Garmin’s attribute feel and look. The brand new and improved default clock face neatly arranges all the numerous metrics like temperature, barometer, altimeter, coronary heart price, and battery life proper on the entrance display screen. The information is massive sufficient that you would be able to simply see it however compact sufficient that it doesn’t get in the best way of the time and date.
I just like the look a lot that, for the primary time, I haven’t felt an urge to vary the clock face from the default setting. I just like the little tweak to the battery meter, too. It now shows the variety of days left earlier than you must cost, which, to me, is considerably extra helpful than a share.
The Fenix 6S Professional additionally has a brand new row-based widget interface, which is markedly completely different from the full-screen widgets in earlier Fenix fashions. As a substitute of scrolling by way of a number of distinct screens, the widgets are organized in rows that permit you to see the earlier and subsequent rows as you scroll. Every row gives a abstract of the info, and you’ll choose the row to view further particulars. As a result of the Fenix is an outdoors-focused watch, the widgets embody climate, sundown/dawn occasions, a digital compass, in addition to conventional health metrics.
Don’t just like the defaults? You’ll be able to change the metrics proven and their order as desired. It’s a lot less complicated and extra customizable.
Refined design tweaks for the higher
What’s inside could have modified, however bodily appears are largely intact on the Fenix 6S Professional. The corporate caught with its conventional 5-button design and rugged fiber-reinforced polymer casing, It appears and looks like a Garmin watch.
To guard the show, Garmin did away with the chemically-strengthened glass materials and changed it with Gorilla Glass three, however you now can select between Gorilla Glass three or the costlier sapphire crystal for his or her show lens materials. I’ve not been in a position to check the long-term scratch-resistance of the show materials, however Gorilla Glass three is on low-end telephones and will shield you from the occasional rustle and tumble, however it’s nonetheless glass. Sapphire is what’s on costly watches and is a way more more durable materials. When you steadily scuff up your watches whereas open air, the sapphire mannequin is value shelling out for.
The Fenix 6S Professional is the smallest watch in Garmin’s Fenix lineup, measuring 42mm for the case and weighing 61 grams. It’s slimmer and lighter than earlier Fenix watches, however it’s nonetheless a rugged watch. Whenever you first put on the Fenix 6S, you may really feel the load of the watch in your wrist, however it’s not so heavy that it’s burdensome; actually, it’s fairly comfy. I wore it operating, climbing and swimming and shortly tailored to the load. I didn’t really feel slowed down in any respect by the watch.
The buttons additionally sit almost flush with the casing, and I didn’t have points with them digging into my wrist. It’s a pleasant change from earlier Fenix fashions, the place the outsized buttons had been fairly actually painful. Regardless of having smaller buttons, they’re nonetheless straightforward to find them with no need to have a look at the watch.
Pacing Like a Professional
Garmin not solely added new health options, however it additionally migrated current options, like physique battery and coaching load focus, to the 6 collection. What you find yourself with is a well-rounded watch that does virtually all the pieces.
New to the Fenix 6 Sequence is a characteristic known as PacePro, which is a digital model of tempo bands worn by marathoners and different long-distance runners. As a substitute of manually calculating cut up occasions and goal paces for every mile or lap in a course, the Garmin Join app does it for you. Better of all, the app not solely appears on the distance, but additionally takes into consideration elevation when figuring out your tempo and cut up occasions.
PacePro was immensely helpful throughout my runs, holding me targeted on a single lap at a time.
If you end up able to run, you may load this PacePro information and use it to observe your tempo in real-time. The show will present your goal cut up tempo, your present cut up tempo, and the way far off you’re out of your total objective. You can also see the space remaining on the present cut up. PacePro was immensely helpful throughout my runs, holding me targeted on a single lap at a time as an alternative of the whole size of my run. It additionally helped me decelerate on steep mountain runs permitting me to preserve power on the inclines and make up time on the downhills. For mountain runners who need to take the guess work out of pacing, this characteristic is a godsend.
The Fenix 6S carried out flawlessly all through my testing. I in contrast it to a Forerunner 945 and the Coros Apex, and all of the important metrics — coronary heart price monitoring, GPS distance, and tempo — had been spot on throughout the board. Like most Garmin watches, there may be an abundance of information screens, and you’ll customise them to view the metrics you want essentially the most.
Navigation value following
Navigation is among the sturdy factors for Garmin watches, and is among the core options of the Fenix collection. I sadly realized the arduous method that when your Garmin Fenix 6S Professional says you’re off beam, you higher hearken to it.
Throughout a check hike, my watch instructed me I used to be off beam, however I ignored it and pressed on. Two miles later I got here to a roadside as an alternative of the summit signal. Fortunately, Garmin’s watches not solely have route following, however additionally they have onboard topo maps. I fired up the maps, discovered my location and used the navigation to search out my method again to the trailhead.
Garmin has extra navigation options than most smartwatches and one characteristic that stands out is Climb Professional. Climb Professional analyzes a preloaded course and makes use of elevation information to interrupt down the hike into particular person climbs. It’s the Garmin model of “Are we there but?” for mountaineering. As you enter a bit with a climb, Climb Professional shows invaluable details about the ascent forward of you.
Realizing how far and the way steep you must push is crucial, particularly if you’re reaching the restrict of your endurance. I strive not to have a look at it except I completely must as because it a continuing reminder of how a lot additional you must toil to achieve the highest. Find it irresistible or hate it, Climb Professional works as marketed and is one the various additional options that units the 6S Professional other than its competitors.
Well being and wellness for the win
Although the Fenix 6S Professional is an journey watch, it doesn’t imply the watch ignores the wellness facet of being open air and bodily energetic. You’ve all the most important metrics like sleep stage monitoring, stress monitoring, and pulse ox. In a shock transfer, Garmin launched an replace shortly after launch that added new options like day by day respiration monitoring and sweat loss monitoring throughout exercises. If these options sound acquainted, they need to. They first debuted final month within the Garmin Venu and Vivoactive four.
The respiration price metric might be essentially the most attention-grabbing because it estimates your breaths per minute utilizing your coronary heart price information. Like so many metrics, your respiration price displays your health — the decrease your respiratory price, the higher your health degree. Respiration price is commonly utilized by athletes throughout a exercise to gauge how arduous they’re working and the way shortly they get better from an exercise. Earlier than you get too excited and throw your chest strap out the window, this metric sadly is disabled whereas exercising. You continue to want a chest strap to measure respiration throughout an exercise.
Watch-based respiration price is a brand new metric for Garmin, and it present promise. I didn’t bodily depend my bodily breaths per minute however I did discover that my estimated respiration price each awake and asleep precisely mirrored my common health degree. As Garmin accrues respiration information and begins analyzing this information, it’ll be attention-grabbing see how this metric evolves in future watches.
Garmin packs a ton of power-hungry options into its Fenix collection, however the firm someway manages to ship cheap battery life in its watches. The Fenix 6S Professional lasted over every week in smartwatch mode and a strong six days when exercising day by day for an hour. To assist customers handle battery life extra successfully, Garmin now shows the battery meter as days and hours remaining as an alternative of a share. As a substitute of charging each evening simply in case, I used to be in a position to plan my charging round my coaching and racing schedule.
Garmin additionally added battery modes that permit you to swap energy settings on the fly while you want extra battery life. Greater than as soon as, I let my battery drain throughout testing and was in a position to eke out a 10Ok run with lower than 5 % battery remaining thanks to those diminished energy modes.
Value and availability
Garmin’s Fenix 6S Professional is accessible now on Garmin’s web site and different on-line retailers equivalent to Finest Purchase and Amazon. The 6S Professional is among the cheaper fashions within the Fenix 6 collection, however it’s nonetheless expensive with a beginning price ticket of $700. Fenix watches are geared in direction of outside adventurers and have outdoor-centric options and a rugged design. Because of this, they are typically costlier than the Forerunners and different comparable fitness-focused smartwatches.
Garmin’s new Fenix 6S Professional would be the smallest mannequin within the Fenix collection, however don’t let that dissuade you. It’s as rugged and virtually as full-featured as its massive brother, the Fenix 6X Professional. The 6S Professional has a compact design, refined interface, and helpful new options that make it engaging to people on the lookout for a health watch with a robust outside focus.
Is there a greater various?
The Fenix 6S Professional could also be the most effective open air journey watches in the marketplace, however it’s not with out its flaws. Whenever you begin comparability buying, the very first thing you’ll discover concerning the 6S Professional is the $700 price ticket. For $100 much less, you may snag the $600 Suunto 9 Baro. This open air endurance watch presents a slick touchscreen interface and power-saving battery modes that ship excellent battery life.
One other knock towards the Fenix 6S Professional is its weight. At 58 grams, it’s noticeably heavier than similar-sized GPS watches. Runners could need to commerce a number of the outdoor-specific options of the Fenix for the lighter profile (38.5g) of the Forerunner 245, whereas triathletes who run, bike and swim could also be higher served by the marginally slimmer (50g) Coros Apex.
How lengthy will it final?
Garmin has a long-standing repute for longevity in its watches. Not solely do the watches final seemingly endlessly, however Garmin continues to improve them nicely previous their launch. I count on the Fenix 6S Professional to final a minimum of three to 4 years underneath regular utilization. You’ll probably need to improve to a flashy new watch earlier than the Fenix 6S Professional fails.
Do you have to purchase it?
In order for you a small watch that’s packed filled with outdoor-focused options, then look no additional than Garmin’s Fenix 6S Professional. It’s value each penny.