Today, Garmin launched the much anticipated successor to the fenix 5 Plus series of GPS sportswatches with the new fenix 6 lineup. With the 2 previous generations of the fenix 5 and the fenix 5 Plus, they released 3 different sizes and then the largest “X” model of each series got one extra feature that the others didn’t.
But with the fenix 6 series, they took that a step further and now offer 3 different levels of feature sets, as well as 3 different sizes. It’s sort of confusing, so let’s break it down.
fenix 6 – Base Level
First, you’re going to have the base level fenix 6. This is comprised of 2 different models: the fenix 6S and the fenix 6 with the difference between them being size. You can think of this as a fenix 5 (not Plus) with a firmware update to add features like Body Battery, Training Load Focus, as well as Heat and Altitude Acclimation. Both models start at $599. Notice that there is no “X” model in the base level fenix 6 line.
fenix 6 Pro
Then you have the 6 Pro which has all the new physiological features that were mentioned above, but also adds music, wifi, and maps. With the Pro level fenix 6, this is where you will have 3 different size options: fenix 6S Pro, fenix 6 Pro, fenix 6X Pro. In addition to the size options, with the Pro level you’ll also have tons of options like having a sapphire glass screen as well as just a ton of different band options that include new nylon bands, leather bands, Pearl Jam, etc… The Pro level fenix 6 line up of watches starts at $699 for the 6S Pro and 6 Pro, and then the 6X Pro starts at $749. You can spend plenty more if you’d like with those aforementioned options.
fenix 6X Pro Solar
Finally you have the biggest and baddest of the bunch with the fenix 6X Pro Solar. This takes all the features of the 6X Pro and adds solar charging via an additional layer over the display which Garmin is calling PowerGlass(TM). The solar charging feature is advertised to get you up to an extra 3 days of battery life in certain conditions; namely, you have to be in direct sunlight (50,000 lumens) for 3 hours per day. The fenix 6X Pro Solar starts at $999.
With all the models, there are going to be new battery management modes that will allow to enable and disable features based on your situation. For instance, with the Jacket battery mode, it will disable the optical wrist-based heart rate sensor as Jacket mode is intended for cases where you wear the watch on the outside of a jacket, like skiing.
PacePro is a new feature that is being rolled out with the fenix 6 series line of watches which allows you to create a pacing strategy for a certain distance or course. When trying to hit a certain time target, pacing is important but trying to keep track of your pace for anything over 3 miles could be a little hard to remember, and that’s where PacePro comes into play. With PacePro, you’ll choose either a course or a race distance in Garmin Connect. From here, you can choose either your target finish time or a target pace. But where it gets neat is that you’ll be able to fine tune your pace over the course of the run but adjusting a little slider that allows you to create negative or positive splits depending on your preference.
Where PacePro gets really interesting is when you choose to use a course, especially with varying elevation. It will automatically calculate your target pace based on the inclines and declines of the course. For instance, on downhills, it will calculate a faster split and for uphills, slower splits. There’s one more thing: you can also adjust the Uphill Effort in addition to your Pacing Strategy which allows stronger climbers to have a faster pace uphill and if climbing isn’t your strength, you can adjust the slider to have a slower pace uphill.
For more details, check out the video below.