Garmin Fenix 6S Professional Evaluate: Small watch, huge deal
“Garmin’s Fenix 6S Professional beefs up its health options with out shedding its give attention to out of doors adventures.”
- Slimmed-down design
- Altitude-savvy pacing knowledge
- Prolonged battery life
- Simple-to-use interface
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 could be the smallest watch in Garmin’s newest Fenix 6 sequence, however don’t let the small dimension idiot you. The GPS watch is as rugged and full-featured as its greater 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 snug 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 most important enchancment on the Fenix 6 Collection is the revamped interface, which nonetheless maintains Garmin’s attribute feel and appear. The brand new and improved default clock face neatly arranges all the numerous metrics like temperature, barometer, altimeter, coronary heart charge, and battery life proper on the entrance display. The info is giant sufficient you can simply see it however compact sufficient that it doesn’t get in the way in which of the time and date.
I just like the look a lot that, for the primary time, I haven’t felt an urge to alter 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 it’s a must to cost, which, to me, is considerably extra helpful than a proportion.
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 assist you to see the earlier and subsequent rows as you scroll. Every row gives a abstract of the information, and you’ll choose the row to view extra particulars. As a result of the Fenix is an outdoors-focused watch, the widgets embody climate, sundown/dawn instances, a digital compass, in addition to conventional health metrics.
Don’t just like the defaults? You may change the metrics proven and their order as desired. It’s a lot less complicated and extra customizable.
Delicate design tweaks for the higher
What’s inside could have modified, however bodily appears to be like 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 to be like 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 3, 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 take a look at 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 harder materials. Should you often scuff up your watches whereas outside, 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. Once you first put on the Fenix 6S, you possibly can really feel the burden of the watch in your wrist, however it’s not so heavy that it’s burdensome; in actual fact, it’s fairly snug. I wore it working, climbing and swimming and shortly tailored to the burden. I didn’t really feel slowed down in any respect by the watch.
The buttons additionally sit practically 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 have been fairly actually painful. Regardless of having smaller buttons, they’re nonetheless simple to find them while not having to have a look at the watch.
Pacing Like a Professional
Garmin not solely added new health options, however it additionally migrated present options, like physique battery and coaching load focus, to the 6 sequence. What you find yourself with is a well-rounded watch that does nearly all the pieces.
New to the Fenix 6 Collection 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 break up instances 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 to be like on the distance, but in addition takes into consideration elevation when figuring out your tempo and break up instances.
PacePro was immensely helpful throughout my runs, conserving me centered on a single lap at a time.
If you end up able to run, you possibly can load this PacePro knowledge and use it to observe your tempo in real-time. The show will present your goal break up tempo, your present break up tempo, and the way far off you’re out of your general purpose. You can also see the gap remaining on the present break up. PacePro was immensely helpful throughout my runs, conserving me centered on a single lap at a time as an alternative of the full size of my run. It additionally helped me decelerate on steep mountain runs permitting me to preserve vitality on the inclines and make up time on the downhills. For mountain runners who wish 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 charge monitoring, GPS distance, and tempo — have been spot on throughout the board. Like most Garmin watches, there’s an abundance of information screens, and you’ll customise them to view the metrics you want essentially the most.
Navigation value following
Navigation is likely one of the robust factors for Garmin watches, and is likely one of the core options of the Fenix sequence. I sadly discovered the laborious method that when your Garmin Fenix 6S Professional says you’re astray, you higher hearken to it.
Throughout a take a look at hike, my watch informed me I used to be astray, 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 in addition they have onboard topo maps. I fired up the maps, discovered my location and used the navigation to seek 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 knowledge 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 worthwhile details about the ascent forward of you.
Realizing how far and the way steep it’s a must to push is vital, particularly in case you are reaching the restrict of your endurance. I strive not to have a look at it until I completely have to as because it a continuing reminder of how a lot additional it’s a must to toil to succeed in the highest. Adore it or hate it, Climb Professional works as marketed and is one the numerous further options that units the 6S Professional other than its competitors.
Well being and wellness for the win
Despite the fact that the Fenix 6S Professional is an journey watch, it doesn’t imply the watch ignores the wellness aspect of being outside and bodily energetic. You have got all the main 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 every 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 4.
The respiration charge metric might be essentially the most fascinating because it estimates your breaths per minute utilizing your coronary heart charge knowledge. Like so many metrics, your respiration charge displays your health — the decrease your respiratory charge, the higher your health degree. Respiration charge is commonly utilized by athletes throughout a exercise to gauge how laborious 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 charge is a brand new metric for Garmin, and it present promise. I didn’t bodily rely my bodily breaths per minute however I did discover that my estimated respiration charge each awake and asleep precisely mirrored my basic health degree. As Garmin accrues respiration knowledge and begins analyzing this knowledge, it’ll be fascinating see how this metric evolves in future watches.
Garmin packs a ton of power-hungry options into its Fenix sequence, however the firm someway manages to ship affordable battery life in its watches. The Fenix 6S Professional lasted over every week in smartwatch mode and a strong six days when exercising on daily basis 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 proportion. 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 assist you to swap energy settings on the fly whenever 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 10Okay run with lower than 5 % battery remaining thanks to those lowered energy modes.
Value and availability
Garmin’s Fenix 6S Professional is on the market now on Garmin’s web site and different on-line retailers equivalent to Greatest Purchase and Amazon. The 6S Professional is likely one of the cheaper fashions within the Fenix 6 sequence, however it’s nonetheless pricey with a beginning price ticket of $700. Fenix watches are geared in the direction of out of doors adventurers and have outdoor-centric options and a rugged design. Consequently, they are typically costlier than the Forerunners and different comparable fitness-focused smartwatches.
Garmin’s new Fenix 6S Professional could be the smallest mannequin within the Fenix sequence, however don’t let that dissuade you. It’s as rugged and nearly as full-featured as its huge brother, the Fenix 6X Professional. The 6S Professional has a compact design, refined interface, and helpful new options that make it enticing to of us searching for a health watch with a powerful out of doors focus.
Is there a greater various?
The Fenix 6S Professional could also be the most effective outside journey watches available on the market, however it’s not with out its flaws. Once you begin comparability procuring, the very first thing you’ll discover in regards to the 6S Professional is the $700 price ticket. For $100 much less, you possibly can snag the $600 Suunto 9 Baro. This outside endurance watch provides a slick touchscreen interface and power-saving battery modes that ship excellent battery life.
One other knock in opposition to the Fenix 6S Professional is its weight. At 58 grams, it’s noticeably heavier than similar-sized GPS watches. Runners could wish to commerce a few 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 popularity for longevity in its watches. Not solely do the watches final seemingly without end, however Garmin continues to improve them nicely previous their launch. I count on the Fenix 6S Professional to final no less than three to 4 years beneath regular utilization. You’ll probably wish to improve to a flashy new watch earlier than the Fenix 6S Professional fails.
Do you have to purchase it?
If you would like 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.