Ready to launch! We are delighted to announce the release of the newest member of the Garmin fēnix range – the Garmin fēnix 6!
It has been shrouded in secrecy, but as of today the 6 Series is available to buy. It is a powerful evolution in fēnix smartwatch technology, retaining the lifestyle-enhancing focus that the range has become famous for, but adding in some essential technical functions for outdoors and adventure use.
We’ve put together a brief guide to the fēnix 6 Series. Here's a breakdown of what's new, what it can do, and why you should buy one.
Garmin are clear about their mission with the fēnix 6 series. They are firmly refocusing on the outdoors market, with specific attention paid to three key audiences: endurance runners, snowsports-enthusiasts, and traditional explorers.
All of this is new technology is in addition to the varied suite of multi-sport functions carried over from previous models. The fēnix 6 offers expert support for the full range of activities, but if you are an ultra-runner, skier or hiker, then it has something special for you.
For many people, 26.2 miles just isn't far enough. The ultra-marathon has exploded in popularity, with experienced runners turning their sights to longer distances, and rookies facing the ultra as a right-of-passage.
Garmin have responded to this with technology that directly benefits the long-distance runner.
First, the battery. It now offers a huge 60 hours of power with GPS tracking. This is a giant leap forwards in battery life, one that ensures ultra-runners won't lose trail mapping even during the longest run. Also, for those casual runners who want to get off-grid or explore unfamiliar surroundings, the transition to a display of "remaining battery time" rather than percentage means complete confidence in the amount of navigation time left.
If 60 hours isn’t enough, the fēnix 6 also offers the option to switch off certain functions, further extending the battery.
In terms of software, the big news is PacePro™.
For the first time, the watch takes elevation into consideration when setting pace goals. Whereas previous Garmin watches based an estimated pace / finishing time on distance and speed alone, PacePro™ examines the pre-programmed route and adjusts for hills. It's a seriously useful tool for offroad, trail or ultra-running, where the elevation becomes a major factor.
Garmin have recognised that skiers want bragging rights. For the first time the fēnix 6 Series allows ski data to be uploaded to the Garmin Connect app, and from there to Strava.
On top of this, the 6 also features detailed maps, for both resorts and backcountry skiing. These are available as a free download, meaning you can find the nearest route to suit you and then map your performance.
With performance in mind, the fēnix 6 has significantly enhanced its cross country (XC) ski metrics. By pairing the watch with the HRM-Pro chest belt, skiers will be able to consult their ski power, stride length, cadence and pole metrics.
The belt and the analytics will be available for the 2019/20 ski season.
The great outdoors is a playground to be hiked, climbed and discovered. The fēnix 6 features significant improvements to key functions, each designed to get the best out of your day outdoors.
Mapping is fundamental to Garmin. The 6 Pro comes equipped with full-colour TopoActive Europe maps. The maps are preloaded with data and colour-optimised for at-a-glance tracking. As well as being clearer and bigger than previous Garmin maps, they are also auto-adaptable for different activities. This clever bit of programming means that the watch will display an appropriate amount of detail for each activity. Cycling or running at speed? You'll see the broad cartography. Out hiking? The watch will show you all the extra detail you need to orientate yourself.
The navigation is based on a 3-satellite system, using GPS, GLONASS and Galileo for comprehensive coverage. This threesome can track in more challenging environments than GPS alone, helping you find new places to explore, in confidence that you know where you are.
Finally, for explorers who want to go up as well as across, the fēnix 6 features the ClimbPro widget. This add-on is easily downloaded from the Garmin app and provides real time detail on climbs. This includes weather reports, taken directly from weather reports on your smartphone.
On tougher ascents, the watch also feeds back how well your body is coping with the altitude. The Pulse Ox Acclimation Sensor uses bounces light beams (told you it was hi-tech!) off your bloodstream to gauge your oxygen absorption and give you real-time feedback on how well your body is coping with the thinner air at altitude.
Look & Feel (and other perks)
The fēnix 6 clearly shows Garmin's re-commitment to sports and adventure function. An increased screen size extends to the very edge of the watch, packing in more pixels and up to 8 data-fields on a single screen. All of this is achieved without increasing the overall size of the watch, which actually feels more compact and sport-oriented than previous models.
The screen itself is constructed from Gorilla® Glass 3. This is glass that has been strengthened at an atomic level, increasing strength whilst providing extreme clarity.
The fēnix 6 Series includes both a Sport and Pro model, each in a variety of sizes and colourways. The Sport features the improved battery and the convenience of Garmin Pay, meaning you can leave your wallet at home when you head out. The Pro is where the colour maps come in, alongside music and on-wrist wi-fi.
Watch this space.