Garmin Fenix 6S Review: Best Smartwatch in 2020

The Garmin Fenix variety includes almost 20 variations– and also, the Fenix 6S is the smallest of the whole lot.

While a beefy construct is identified with the Garmin Fenix, the Fenix 6S diminishes every little thing down right into a much more wearable bundle.

It’s the most effective Garmin Fenix for ladies and also just as excellent for any person that feels that the bigger situation dimension of Fenix watches is also cumbersome on the wrist.

But is the Fenix 6S still worthwhile sporting activities watch and also are any type of sacrifices made to allow this smaller sized construct? Allow’s discover.

Garmin Fenix 6S crucial functions:

  • 1.2-inch
  • 42 mm case dimension
  • 240 x 240 pixel
  • 61 g
  • 6S data areas
  • 20 mm strap
  • 9 days smartwatch
  • 25 hrs GPS
  • 50 hrs Max Battery tracking
  • Pulse Ox, altimeter, barometer, compass
  • Heart price, VO2 Max
  • TOPO mapping

Fenix 6 Designs

Left to right: Fenix 6X Pro Solar, Fenix 6S, Fenix 6 Pro

The Garmin Fenix 6 comes in numerous tastes and also rate factors, so we’ll simply name them down below.

Garmin Fenix 6/Pro – The classic 47 mm variation, includes songs, Wi-Fi, maps– $599/$699 Garmin Fenix 6S/Pro – A smaller sized 42 mm case with a little reduced battery life, includes songs, Wi-Fi, maps – $599/$699 Garmin Fenix 6X – Bigger display, a little far better battery, songs, Wi-Fi, maps as conventional – $749 Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar – Solar panels for added battery life, songs, Wi-Fi, maps as conventional – $1149.


The Fenix 6S features a 42 mm case dimension, in contrast to the 47 mm of the classic Fenix 6, and also 51 mm for the Fenix 6X Sapphire.

That’s an enormous downsizing regarding wrist. It’s got a 1.2-inch transflective screen with a 240 x 240-pixel resolution. It’s a reduced pixel matter than the bigger watches, however, the same basic top quality.

It’s the same display discovered throughout many Garmin sports watches, and also allows make no bones concerning it, is dull, drab, and also in some lights needs you to manually trigger backlighting with the top-left switch. There is welcome wrist-raise backlighting.

However, it’s very powerful, always-on and also effective, and even this sacrifice in aesthetic appeal allows a few of the Fenix’s ideal functions.

The Fenix 6S evaluates 61 g with the band, lighter than a common Fenix 6, which is 83 g. A substantial conserving.

A nod to its even more female-friendly visual appeals, there’s a slim color-coded bezel which uses a little bit a lot more course than the conventional Fenix. We obtained a bring black with a gold variation; however, there’s additionally powder grey and also gold and also straight black. They look wonderful, which is so unusual for sporting activities watch.

Elsewhere it’s just the same as a common Fenix. There’s no touchscreen, and rather there’s the five-button range which functions all the same as the remainder of the Fenix tools. It’s typically rather simple to make use of– although the big range of alternatives and also customization the Fenix uses is most of the time concealed behind an extremely nontransparent food selection system. Garmin recognizes this, and also brand-new customers will certainly get bothersome “tips” presented on the watch.

You get a severe quantity of sensing unit technology constructed right into the Fenix 6S, which is a big component of that punchy price.

Optical heart price is offered; however, it additionally includes the Pulse Ox sensing unit, which can track blood oxygen. This enters its very own for rest information, which will reveal respiration when you’re in bed. You require to transform this on as it will certainly influence battery life.

There’s a compass, measure, and also altimeter, which will provide altitude and also climbing up information throughout a host of tasks consisting of snowboarding, trekking, and also hiking.
When rising this will certainly make it possible for the ClimbPro function which will certainly reveal you the information consisting of distance, time and also heart rate.

You can additionally pre-load ascents and also climbs up to pre-plan them.

Sports Tracking

While the Garmin Fenix 6S has reduced in dimension, the number of sporting activities tracked hasn’t.

And unlike alternatives like the Vivoactive 4 which has big sporting activities tracking choice, it’s the information you get and also a degree of analytics that makes the Fenix 6 the most effective.

You get running (path, interior, exterior, treadmill), cycling (interior, exterior, MTB), swimming pool and also open swimming, climbing up, snowboarding, and also snowboarding of all kinds, triathlon, toughness, SUP, rowing, kayaking, golf, trekking, yoga exercise and also much more using the Connect IQ system of applications.

And the analytics is crazy. You are running deals excellent characteristics and also VO2 Max evaluation, consisting of Training Effect, Training Status, HRV, anxiety, Body Battery, healing, and also referrals on the kinds of exercises missing out on in your once a week strategy.

This is a few of our preferred information, and also a big factor to buy Fenix 6. As joggers, we’re addicted to the Training Effect and also Training Status information, which is a fantastic means to examine sessions.

The Stress Score and also Body Battery have actually additionally confirmed beneficial in analyzing preparedness for training – and also in some fairly chaotic durations of training sessions have confirmed rather exact in highlighting tiredness.

You can get equal information from the Forerunner 945 – although that’s restricted to the crucial triathlon sporting activities. You will additionally discover most of the VO2 Max and also recuperation statistics on the Forerunner 245 and also 645 – however, once again, not the complete range.

The VO2 Max information you discover on Fenix 6 watches originates from Firstbeat, and also, they’re one of the most effective in the business in taking advantage of heart price irregularity information and also grinding the numbers to evaluate recovery and also training impact.

Back with the Fenix 3, we placed a collection of watches up versus a research laboratory VO2 Max examination and also discovered that its information was closest to the laboratory outcome.

It’s essential to keep in mind, nonetheless, that VO2 Max and also all the charming information that’s created from it is significantly based around running. You will not get the same understandings from trekking, or perhaps breaking large practical physical fitness or CrossFit exercises in the health club. It needs to be an exterior keep up GPS, so if you’re not a jogger, you’re most likely to be losing out on a great deal of this juicy information.

Fenix 6S Trekking and Running

Garmin Fenix 6S trekking

There’s no distinction in the running monitoring – or any type of sporting activities from that issue– from the major Fenix 6. It’s one of the most effective running watches in the marketplace. You can have up to 6 web pages of information to cycle with – ready up from the watch itself.

Data consists of pace, distance, time details – however additionally lap information, tempo, heart price, areas, and also even more. It’s a leading running experience, however, no various from top-end Forerunners as we’ve currently stated.

We discovered GPS precision to be excellent throughout a variety of examinations and also accredited races.

The Fenix 6S additionally has the PacePro function discovered on the various other Fenix 6 watches – and also currently on reduced tools like the Forerunner 945 and also 245. This allows you to rate runs based upon GPS information you download and install from the Garmin Connect application, also considering split times on hillsides. It’s not an ideal system – and also you can review our complete screening independently.

When traveling, you additionally get the TOPO maps and also the compass to assist browse when you’re out in the wild. Much more on those listed below. You can additionally exchange in between power settings mid-hike, so if you’re getting short on the battery, you can place it right into the gentler UltraTrac setting.

Fenix 6S Mapping

The Fenix 6S additionally includes the same TOPO mapping – and also while it’s a great function to have, we still have bookings concerning its efficiency and also the functionality.

Fenix 6S mapping

In many exercises (running, trakking, etc.) you can cycle with the food selections to a map display. You can see what’s around you, roadway, spots, and also even more. There’s additionally an attribute that reveals sights.

The mapping isn’t actually at a degree of information you require for appropriate trakking and also reveals absolutely nothing in the means of shapes of the land – or anything except significant tracks. A great deal of the moments you simply see on your own in the white area – although the compass functions to reveal your heading, which can be beneficial if you go off-piste.

Landmarks are fairly cool, and also, you can pan/zoom using the switches. However, this actually is fairly a faff, and also the TV implies that by the time you’ve zoomed bent on seeing something (anything) beneficial, it’s also tiny to collaborate with.

The function does get better if you include GPX information to comply with waypoints on the run or hike, and also the added information from the TOPO assists place your run in context with positioning of rivers, timbers, and so on. It’s not great enough to go browsing your ways around the wild without an appropriate map.

Fenix 6S Heart Rate Accuracy

The Fenix 6S utilizes the same Elevate sensing unit discovered on Garmin’s watches – and also naturally, brought out the same outcomes.

In short, if you’re a stable jogger after that, you’re most likely to be delighted with the precision of the wrist-based HR. We discovered great outcomes versus an upper body band throughout runs of all ranges.

However, if you’re right into HIIT sessions, you’re most likely to encounter issues.

We were really a little stunned by the efficiency of the Fenix 6S in a track HIIT running session, and also discovered the sensing unit to be well behind the upper body band – bring out some seriously squiffy information.

And unsurprisingly, the information was practically specifically the like the Garmin Venu– which utilizes the exact same sensing unit.

As you can see from the information listed below, the upper body band periods are completely created, while most of the last periods from the Fenix 6S do not resemble being completely tracked, with heart price comes to a head missing out on the outright leading end, however, additionally recuperation not effectively tracked in between ruptures.

There are a couple of takeaways below. Is what we constantly claim: optical information is great if you’re looking for an overview of your efficiency and also your workout– be it running, biking, snowboarding, etc. – is typically constant.
If you’re actually concentrated on information – or you’re doing HIIT and also desire exact HR outcomes – make use of an upper-body band.

Garmin Fenix 6 VS Garmin Fenix 6S heart rate

The Fenix 6S works with ANT+ sensors.

This isn’t a Garmin issue, and it’s the same for any type of optical sensing unit on the marketplace, and also, it’s not most likely to change anytime quickly.

It’s additionally fascinating that the precision of the Garmin Fenix 6S, among one of the most pricey sports watches about, coincides with a lot of reduced tools in Garmin’s variety. Grab a Forerunner 45, and also you will not get even more exact information.

Fenix 6S Battery Life

The Fenix 6S’s decreased case dimension does result in one significant distinction over its larger siblings – battery life. There is fairly a big pay-off in regards to a long life from choosing the 42 mm gadget.

The priced estimate battery life is 9 days as a smartwatch – with as much as 25 hrs of GPS monitoring. That’s below 14 days and also 36 hrs from a 47 mm Garmin Fenix 6.

One of the large distinctions in the Garmin Fenix 6 over Fenix 5 is power management, and also, this has been structured.

Max Battery setting (the brand-new name for Garmin UltraTrac) ups tracking to 50 hrs on the Fenix 6S; however, it minimizes GPS precision and also ought to just be utilized for lengthy walks or ultra-marathon ranges. It will additionally disable the heart price screen.

Jacket setting maintains every little thing live; however, it switches off heart price and also benefits wintertime sporting activities where you could have the watch over the top of your layer. It tends to provide around 10% added battery life.

You can access these power settings by bringing and also beginning a task up the food selection by holding the up and also pushing UP MENU switch at 9 o’clock. Max Battery and also Jacket Mode – and also get an estimate of the GPS time you’ll get within that setting if you pick Power Mode you can pick Normal.

If you’re not pressing the restrictions of endurance after that, our company believes the Fenix 6S greater than offsets the battery life sacrifice with its decreased mass. It’s a lot more wearable, and also will certainly match a lot more wrists.

Fitness Monitoring and also Smartwatch Functions

As a health and fitness tracker, you’re getting basic step counting, rest surveillance, and also all-day anxiety monitoring. You’ve got Garmin fitness tracker staples like its Move Bar, Body Battery power screen, and also flexible vehicle action objectives to provide even more inspiration.

From within the watch setups, you can watch added fitness monitoring information consisting of Body Battery, calories, floorings climbed up, and also stress.

It’s most likely one of the most thorough fitness monitoring experience around and also a lot more tailored to sporting activities enthusiasts than, say, Fitbit or Apple, so it’s good than Garmin’s Fenix fitness monitoring goes past the essentials if you’re an energetic individual after that tip matters could indicate extremely little to you.

The rest monitoring experience is additionally extremely thorough and also can make use of the Pulse Ox function to check your breathing, along with heart price in deep, light, and also REM rest phases. It’s one of the most information abundant rest radar we’ve utilized – however, there’s very little evaluation or actionable/understandable information.

You’ve additionally get Garmin Pay and also the Connect IQ shop. Applications and also watch encounters can be discovered and also downloaded and install from Garmin’s Connect IQ shop.

You additionally get call signals and also notices to the wrist. There’s not that much display room for checking out messages; however, at least you will not miss out on anything.

However, you do not get granular information over the applications on your smart device that are permitted to hum your Fenix.

You can pick no notices, all notices or simply calls, and also messages. We picked the last after getting fed up of the watch humming away for every single e-mail; however, WhatsApp does not count in this mix, so it’s a little bit mistaken.

Fenix 6S vs. 6S Pro

There are some added functions of the Fenix 6S that you’ll just open if you select the Fenix 6S Pro variation.

The major one is song playback. You get area for 2000 tunes, consisting of assistance for offline synced Spotify playlists (if you have a Premium account). Deezer and also iHeartRadio are additionally sustained…

It’s not one of the easiest to use established – however rather simple to browse and also make use of, and also great if you wish to leave your phone in the house. GPS and also songs battery life rests at 6 hrs – which is rather brief.