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Garmin Fenix 6 series buyer's guide: Prices, specs, and more

While no longer the company's top-of-the-line offering, the Garmin Fenix 6 series is still a powerful option.
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Published onMarch 15, 2024

garmin fenix 6 pro on fence watch face display nylon strap
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

When it comes to Garmin watches, the company houses one of the most comprehensive fitness tracker lineups available. Its high-end multisport watch offering, the Fenix line, is an attractive product for just about anyone — if you can justify the price. While the Garmin Fenix 6 series has been outdone by the Garmin Fenix 7 and Fenix 7 Pro series devices, the older generation still offers a powerful lineup that users can grab at a good price.


Garmin Fenix 6 lineup at a glance

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Elevate heart rate sensor • all-day heart rate • heart rate variability data
MSRP: $599.99
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is one of the most durable and powerful outdoor smartwatches on the market. It's preloaded with maps and ski routes, and the battery lasts up to 14 days with full functionality enabled.

As mentioned, the Fenix 6 isn’t the latest Garmin watch, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great wearable. The lineup offers a ton of choice with more than 10 separate base and pro models. To start, the series has three separate entries: the Garmin Fenix 6, Garmin Fenix 6S, and Garmin Fenix 6X.

  • Garmin Fenix 6S: The smallest model, features a 1.2-inch screen, 42mm case size, and a 20mm band
  • Garmin Fenix 6: The standard model, features a 1.3-inch screen, 47mm case size, and a 22mm band
  • Garmin Fenix 6X: The largest model, features a 1.4-inch screen, 51mm case size, and a 26mm band
A Garmin Fenix 6 Pro on a user's wrist displays a running playlist in their Spotify music app.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Once you select the size you want, there are also different versions avaible, the base version, the Pro version, the Sapphire Pro version, and the Pro Solar version.

  • Base version: No Wi-Fi, maps, or onboard music; Gorilla Glass lens; and 64MB of storage
    • There is no base version of the Fenix 6X.
  • Pro version: Built-in Wi-Fi, maps, and music; Gorilla Glass lens, and 32GB of storage
  • Sapphire Pro version: All of the features of the Pro version with a stronger sapphire crystal lens
  • Pro Solar version: All of the features of the Pro version with a Power Glass lens, capable of solar charging

No matter which version you choose, you’ll always get GPS, up to 9-14 days of battery life (without GPS on), and a host of health features like an optical heart rate sensor, pulse oximeter, and advanced sleep monitoring. You’ll also gain access to the company’s companion app, which has an incredibly rich feature set.

The Garmin Fenix 6 and 6S originally launched starting at $549. The Pro versions launched starting at $649 (the larger 6X Pro at $699). Now that the Garmin Fenix 7 series and Fenix 7 Pro series are here, you can typically find the older-gen line on sale for hundreds of dollars off. We’re also eagerly awaiting the launch of a potential Garmin Fenix 8,which would likely further reduce the price of the older generation.


Is the Garmin Fenix 6 worth buying?

A Garmin Fenix 6 Pro rests on a red and black book displaying the watch face.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Fenix 6 is absolutely worth buying if you don’t mind settling for slightly older tech. Compared to the Fenix 6, the Fenix 7 line boasts upgraded battery life and solar charging, plus training features. The Fenix 7 Pro adds a flashlight and spreads solar charging and multi-band GNSS across all models. However, many of Garmin’s best features can be found on all three Fenix lines, and Garmin continues to support the Fenix 6 series. On the other hand, if a touchscreen is a priority, you’ll want to spring for a newer model.

For most people, the best bet will be the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro (or 6S Pro for smaller wrists). There are much better (and cheaper) alternatives to the base version without Wi-Fi, but anything from the Fenix 6 Pro and up is a worthwhile investment.

The base model lacks onboard storage and music, so we recommend the Pro models and up.

It’s an all-around excellent device that serves well as a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. Its fitness tracking is truly all-encompassing, with features to please everyone from hikers to marathon runners and everything in between.

A user holds up a Garmin Forerunner 55 displaying activity profiles.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Garmin Forerunner 55

In fact, unless you can afford the Fenix 7 or 7 Pro series, the main reason not to get this watch is that it may be overkill for your needs. For example, if you’re primarily a runner, you can probably get away with a much cheaper running watch from the Garmin Forerunner lineup.

Garmin Fenix 6 highlights

  • Support for a ton of sporting activities
  • Garmin’s top-tier training analysis tools
  • Reliable software support
  • Multi-week battery life on a single charge
  • Durability and premium build materials
  • A good deal

Why it may not be a great pick

  • It is not the very best Garmin has to offer
  • It does not have a touchscreen display
  • It’s more than you need
  • No ECG support

Of course, no device is exempt from bugs or issues. Fortunately, Garmin has a great track record of supporting its devices with fixes and new features. If you run into any glitches with your device, check our guide to common Garmin watch problems and solutions


What sports does the Fenix 6 series support?

Garmin’s Fenix devices support a frankly staggering number of sports and activities. As mentioned, the biggest reason not to get one is that it’s more than you need. However, if juggling a ton of active hobbies sounds like you, you’ll love this device.

  • Adventure Race
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Backcountry Snowboard
  • Bike
  • Bike Commute
  • Bike Indoor
  • Bike Tour
  • Boat
  • Bouldering
  • Breathwork
  • Cardio
  • Climb
  • Climb Indoor
  • Clocks
  • Cyclocross
  • Elliptical
  • eBike
  • eMTB
  • Expedition
  • Fish
  • Floor Climb
  • Golf
  • Gravel Bike
  • HIIT
  • Hike
  • Horseback
  • HRV Stress
  • Indoor Track
  • Jumpmaster
  • Kayak
  • MTB (Mountain Bike)
  • Multisport
  • Navigate
  • Open Water
  • Other
  • Padel
  • Pickleball
  • Pilates
  • Pool Swim
  • Project Waypoint
  • Road Bike
  • Row
  • Run Indoor
  • Run
  • Run Indoor
  • Ski
  • Snowboard
  • Snowshoe
  • Stair Stepper
  • Strength
  • SUP
  • Surf
  • Swimrun
  • Tactical
  • Tennis
  • Track Me
  • Trail Run
  • Treadmill
  • Triathlon
  • TruSwing
  • Ultra Run
  • Virtual Run
  • Walk
  • XC Classic Ski
  • XC Skate Ski
  • Yoga

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fenix 5 Plus: What’s different?

A Garmin Fenix 6 Pro on a user's wrist display the device's battery saver power mode option.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

While the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus was one of the most fully-featured fitness devices on the market when it came out in 2017, the Garmin Fenix 6 brought even more to the table. In terms of physical size, every watch in the lineup is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. This is even more impressive when you consider that the 6 and 6X versions have larger screens.

On the inside, the Fenix 6 packs an improved GPS, and Pro models and up feature twice the onboard storage, jumping from 16GB to 32GB. In music terms, this means you can store up to 2,000 songs. Battery life also saw a boost, with at least 10% more juice in the can. In GPS mode, you can expect 50% more battery life on the Fenix 6 than the 5, lasting up to 36 hours on a single charge. The difference is even greater with the Pro Solar edition, which features solar panels to charge during the daytime.

Software-wise, there are a host of features on the Garmin Fenix 6 series that weren’t available on the Fenix 5. These include better monitoring, route planning on maps, enhanced ski and golf features, and Garmin PacePro. PacePro allows you to fully customize your running routines with dynamic advice based on elevation profiles and more.

All that being said, if you already have a Fenix 5 Plus, the Fenix 6 series probably isn’t worth an upgrade. These devices are expensive, and the 6’s improvements aren’t particularly groundbreaking. Unless money is no object and you can jump to the Fenix 7 or 7 Pro line, you can stick with the older model for now.


Garmin Fenix 6 lineup specs

Garmin Fenix 6S, 6, and 6X specs
Display
Fenix 6S:
1.2-inch MIP LCD
240 x 240 resolution

Fenix 6:
1.3-inch MIP LCD
260 x 260 resolution

Fenix 6X:
1.4-inch MIP LCD
280 x 280 resolution
Input
Five face buttons
No touchscreen
Lens material
Base/Pro: Corning Gorilla Glass DX
Sapphire: Sapphire Crystal
Pro Solar: Power Glass
Dimensions and weight
Fenix 6S:
42 x 42 x 13.8mm
20mm band
41g (without band)

Fenix 6:
47 x 47 x 14.7mm
22mm band
57g (without band)

Fenix 6X:
51 x 51 x 14.9mm
26mm band
66g (without band)

Build materials
Bezel: Stainless steel or Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated steel
Case: Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover
Strap: Silicone, leather, titanium, or nylon
Battery
Without solar:
Smartwatch: Up to 9 days
Battery saver watch mode: Up to 34 days
GPS: Up to 25 hours
GPS + music: Up to 6 hours
Max battery GPS mode: Up to 50 hours
Expedition GPS activity: Up to 20 days

With solar (3h charging per day):
Smartwatch: Up to 10.5 days
Battery saver watch mode: Up to 59 days
GPS: Up to 28 hours
GPS + music: Up to 6 hours
Max battery GPS mode: Up to 64 hours
Expedition GPS activity: Up to 26 days
IP rating
10ATM
Sensors
Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Connectivity
Bluetooth Smart
ANT+
Wi-Fi (Pro, Sapphire, and Solar editions only)
Storage
Base: 64MB (No music storage)
Pro, Sapphire, and Solar: 32GB (~2,000 songs)
Compatibility
Android, iOS
Garmin Pay
Yes
Smartwatch features
Connect IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Plays and controls smartwatch music
Find my phone/find my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack

What are some good Garmin Fenix 6 alternatives?

A Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar rests on a wooden fence next to a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Left to right: Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

The Garmin Fenix 6 lineup faces stiff competition from other brands as well as from Garmin’s own lineup. Here are a few of our recommended Garmin Fenix 6 alternatives:

  • Garmin Fenix 7 Pro (on the product’s website)Currently at the top of the Fenix line, the 7 Pro series puts more great features on all model sizes including multi-band GNSS, solar charging, an LED flashlight, and advanced training tools.
  • Garmin Fenix 7 series ($699.99 at Amazon): Considering you can likely now find it on sale, the Fenix 7 series is still a fantastic buy. We saw a lot to love about this series during our Garmin Fenix 7 review. It packs all the tools of the 6 series plus a touchscreen display and more.
  • Garmin Venu 3 ($449.99 at Amazon): Though not as technically capable as the Fenix line, the Garmin Venu 3 is an excellent mid-range multisport fitness device with many of the same benefits. The crisp OLED display and useful smartwatch features are more than enough to justify this purchase.
  • Apple Watch Series 9 ($392.67 at Amazon): For iOS users, the Apple Watch Series 9 is hard to beat. It doesn’t offer quite the same level of fitness support, but it does have plenty of advanced features for runners and cyclists. Plus, it also has some of the best third-party app and accessory support of any wearable on the market.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 ($759.99 at eBay): For a considerable price bump, the Ultra 2 features everything we love about the Series 9 plus more durability, longer battery life, and some niche outdoor features for adventurous users. If you aren’t sure which ecosystem is a better fit for you check out our dedicated Garmin vs Apple Watch comparison guide.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series ($299.99 at Samsung): For everyone outside of the iOS ecosystem (read: Android users), the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series includes two capable alternatives to the Garmin Fenix 6. Neither are as accurate as the Fenix 6 line in terms of sports- or health-tracking, but Samsung’s software and smartwatch features do well to make up for that.
  • Suunto 9 ($240 at Amazon): Suunto’s best sports watch adds a host of multisport features, making it a solid alternative to the Fenix 6. The app and ecosystem aren’t as well developed, but the device features a large touchscreen and a rugged exterior.

Where to buy the Garmin Fenix 6

A Garmin Fenix 6 Pro on a user's wrist displays a clock face with the time, temperature, battery, and varied health and activity icons.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Fenix 6 lineup starts at $549 for the smallest model and runs all the way up to $949 for the largest 6X Pro Solar model. These are popular watches from a well-known company, so they are usually readily available online and in certain brick-and-mortar stores. Below is a quick breakdown of pricing not including sales or deals. Note that these are starting prices, and different bands and finishes may be more expensive. On the other hand, the arrival of Fenix 7 and Fenix 7 Pro lines means many of these devices can be found on sale.

  • Garmin Fenix 6S: $550
    • Pro: $650
    • Sapphire: $750
    • Pro Solar: $800
  • Garmin Fenix 6: $550
    • Pro: $650
    • Sapphire: $750
    • Pro Solar: $800
  • Garmin Fenix 6X: (Base model not available)
    • Pro: $700
    • Sapphire: $800
    • Pro Solar: $950

As mentioned above, we recommend getting the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro model, which you can buy at the links below.

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
Built-in WiFi, maps, and music • Solar charging • Garmin's top-tier training analysis
MSRP: $749.99
A feature-packed GPS watch with a Power Glass lens, capable of solar charging
Stellar GPS, up to 14 days of battery life, solar charging capabilities, and a host of health and fitness features all make the Fenix 6 Pro Solar a great wearable. The watch features an optical heart rate sensor, pulse oximeter, and advanced sleep monitoring, plus access to one of the most data-rich companion apps available. It's even preloaded with maps and ski routes so you can take advantage of its durability specs in the great outdoors.

FAQs

The appropriate Fenix 6 for you depends on your wrist size. The smallest 6S will fit wrists from 108-182mm in circumference, the standard Fenix 6 fits wrists 132-210mm, and the largest 6X fits wrists 135-213mm. The larger devices also have larger watch faces, so keep that in mind when choosing.

The Fenix 6 Pro editions feature a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass lens, and the Sapphire editions feature an even stronger sapphire crystal lens. Otherwise, they are identical.

The answer depends on your specific model and how you use it. Without GPS enabled, it can last for 12 or more days. However, enabling GPS will lower that to roughly 36 hours.

Yes, except for the base models. The Fenix 6 Pro, Sapphire, and Pro Solar models support Garmin-compatible music services including Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and local music uploads.

In short, very durable. Although the Sapphire models are the most resistant, all models are tested to US military standards for thermal, shock, and water resistance.

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Is the Garmin Fenix 6 lineup worth the price?

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