The right smartwatch? 

Welcome to the second installment of our Buyer’s Guide! Previously, we looked at some of the that money can buy. Today, it’ll be a bit different. In fact, if you couldn’t already tell by the title, we’ll be taking a look at smartwatches today--a far cry from the traditional mainspring-powered timekeepers we’ve looked at. In this day and age, smartwatches are all the fad and for good reason too. They provide indispensable and useful features that can be used in conjunction with our smartphones, and some of them look pretty good too. Enter Garmin, the Swiss based US tech brand that is pioneering in developing and designing high-quality smartwatches for the masses. If you’re looking for a smartwatch, whether it’s your first rodeo or an upgrade, you certainly can’t go wrong with Garmin’s smartwatches.

 

 

We’ll be taking a look at the Fenix line today. Widely regarded as their top of the line flagship models, these versatile multisport smartwatches have advanced features and in-depth running data that set the standard for other GPS capable smartwatches. Worn and used by ultramarathoners and triathletes alike thanks to its slew of available sports monitoring features and data, it also has an extra-long-lasting battery life to match the performance too. It’s a serious piece of kit, and there is no doubt that you’re getting one of the best smartwatches in the market today with the Fenix. But with flagship performance comes flagship prices as well. With prices starting from just under a thousand to over $1,500, the Fenix easily justifies its price with its competent functions as well as the high level of fit and finish on each smartwatch. The ranges that we’ll be looking at today are the pro and sapphire versions of the Fenix 6, 6S and 6X.

 

 

The main difference between the Pro and Sapphire versions comes down to the materials, as they share almost all the same internal features. Aside from the Fenix 6X Pro Solar, all of the Pros uses Corning Gorilla Glass, a stainless-steel bezel, and silicon bands for a tougher and more versatile option. The Sapphire versions, as the name suggests, dials the durability up to eleven by using sapphire crystals, a titanium or DLC bezel and more premium strap options such as leather, or nylon (which also includes a secondary silicon strap). Right, with all the nitty gritty out of the way, let’s get down to business.

 

 

Pro Models

Fenix 6S Pro

Fenix 6 Pro

Fenix 6X Pro

Fenix 6X Pro Solar

Screen

Corning¨ Gorilla Glass

Corning¨ Gorilla Glass

Corning¨ Gorilla Glass

Power Glassª

Bezel

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Titanium

Band

Silicone

Silicone

Silicone

Silicone

 

VS

 

Sapphire Models

Fenix 6S Sapphire

Fenix 6 Sapphire

Fenix 6X Sapphire

Lens

Sapphire Crystal

Sapphire Crystal

Sapphire Crystal

Bezel

Titanium or DLC (diamond-like carbon)

Titanium or DLC (diamond-like carbon)

Titanium or DLC (diamond-like carbon)

Band

Leather, Nylon, or Silicone*

Titanium, Nylon, or Silicone*

Leather or Si

 

 

 

Pro VS Sapphire models (Screen size & battery performance)

Models

Fenix 6S

Fenix 6

Fenix 6X

Fenix 6X Pro Solar

Screen Size

1.2"

1.3"

1.4"

1.4"

Battery Life

Smartwatch: 9 days

GPS: 25 hours

GPS + Music: 6 hours

Max Battery: 50 hours

Smartwatch: 14 days

GPS: 36 hours

GPS + Music: 10 hours

Max Battery: 72 hours

Smartwatch: 21 days

GPS: 60 hours

GPS + Music: 15 hours

Max Battery: 120 hours

Smartwatch: 21 days + 3 days*

GPS: 60 hours + 6 hours*

GPS + Music: 15 hours + 1 hours*

Max Battery: 120 hours + 28 hours*

 

 

Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar

 

 We think that the 6X Pro Solar deserves a section of its own as this is the first time Garmin has incorporated solar technology into its smartwatches. Needless to say, the advantages of solar charging for a smartwatch is very significant, vastly improving longevity and battery life simply by being under the sun. There’s a neat little feature that the watch has, where a sun icon at the top display shrinks when you are in the shade and lights up when you are exposed to sunlight to show how efficiently the battery is being recharged. With about 3 hours a day under bright sunlight, you can get an additional 6 hours in GPS mode, and up to 28 hours in Max Battery mode. And as a nice premium touch, the 6X Pro Solar is nicely finished with a lightweight yet highly durable DLC coated titanium bezel as well as a versatile silicon band to competently manage all of your adventures.

 

Which Fenix is the best for you? 

 

Now that we’ve gone through the main differences of the models, the easiest way to figure out which one will work the best for you will be; as it often is with watches, a matter of personal preference. If you’re buying a watch like this, chances are you’re gonna be out and about with it a lot, and if you are, then the silicon strap options are gonna be your best bet.

The Fenix 6 may be the most suitable for those looking for a larger screen size, improved battery life and the ability to always stream music whether they’re on a run or on their daily commute.

The Fenix 6S may be the best for you if you have smaller wrists and are looking for a highly functional and lightweight smartwatch that’ll easily last you all day.

And the Fenix 6X is ideal for the athlete/everyday man who wants a day’s worth of GPS tracking, plenty of music streaming hours, a larger display with even more impressive data fields and won’t mind a bit of extra weight.

These same features and benefits apply to the 6X solar too of course, but with the added benefit of a significantly enhanced lifespan and battery performance if you’re out and about in the sun a lot. It is lighter than the regular 6X too.

And finally, if you’re out and about a lot, looking for a hardwearing, sturdy and high-performance smartwatch with many great features and tools, the Sapphire models are certainly gonna be your best bet. Being more than capable of surviving the most rigorous trainings in the most grueling of conditions with you.