Garmin is the must-go brand when it comes to precision, navigation, and now sports with their smartwatches. Their years of working with sports enthusiasts such as cyclists, swimmers, runners, strength centric gym-goers, and even divers made them the authority in monitoring performance.
One of their latest offering in the Philippine market is the Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire, it belongs to the new Fenix 6 series that targets the serious sports enthusiasts, fitness junkies, explorers, and even athletes. Our review unit was simply the premium one, the Sapphire series which taken from the name is holding a Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX or Sapphire Crystal display for added protection.
So how did the Garmin Fenix 6 series hold up? While we aren’t a serious triathlon, I believe my fitness is above average for most consumers. In my time with the Garmin Fenix 6, here is my full review with the device
Design / Display
The Sapphire 6 we have is a carbon black with black straps, it has the very rigid feel that commands toughness, similar to most watches that are waterproof, impact-resistant, etc.
The watch face made of strong metal for its body, with a Sapphire glass to protect the LCD display. The display itself is only LCD, unfortunately, no AMOLED here as compared to the likes of the Huawei GT Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch or even the Apple Watch.
But we’re sure Garmin made this cause of the watch’s structural integrity. Designed for athletes, its best for the watch to be more impact resistant where AMOLED displays lack off. For professions that demand durability than comfort/luxury, the trade-off is disappointing for non-target users but a plus-factor for its intended users.
No worries about the overall display quality and body, its rigid enough for everyday situations. In our time, its even items that bumped into the watch we should be worried about like my car’s door, tiles, etc.
The Fēnix 6 has 5 buttons in total, composed of the lights, navigation up and down, menu and quick access button for the sports mode / exercise you want. The buttons are rigid and feel above the usual smartwatch quality, which means you need to slightly press a little bit harder per press. Though it’s not something to drag you once you get used to it.
The push notifications of the Garmin Fenix 6 is great, fonts are visible and readable. Plus it even gives you the choice of from what time to end you want to receive the notifications, so if you are sleeping 10 pm onwards it can no longer push notifications. This is also a gesture Garmin will ask you upon setup, so kudos to them for thinking of your wellbeing.
The Garmin Fenix 6 has TONS of modes for its fitness, especially for triathlons who are doing long-distance running, cycling, swimming, etc. In our case, we were only able to use in regular workouts and casual running. I’m amazed that Garmin has tons of modes for the watch like others like treadmill, biking, trail run, climbing, etc.
One mode I was surprised was strength training, it gave me the flexibility to measure my reps and sets of my gym routine. Though the only downside is that you have to press a button for every rest and start of the set in order to track properly.
The details given by the Fenix 6 was fairly accurate for moderate to heavy lifting, but it finds some problems counting the reps when doing light exercises.
Running mode can also give you the live GPS map, simulating from a treadmill doesn’t really do justice but the positioning was fairly accurate. Garmin isn’t a navigation company without this feature, so its a great way to separate the brand from others.
In intense workouts, we even get notifications of the adaptiveness to heat. Meaning our body is getting conditioned to our workout routine, its a great indicator especially if you’re into the zone and wants notifications that are must-be motivational.
App Usage / Interface
Downloading the Garmin Connect App is the needed app for the smartwatch. Setup was fairly straight and with lots of settings that are actually helpful, including the option to connect to the WiFi for the watch and connect sound apps like Spotify.
Tracking exercises is great, while also other items like sleep, stress levels, and even in-depth analysis. There’s even other monitoring like consumption and hydration that we weren’t able to dive into as well. An interesting measurement we saw unique was the body battery, it gives you a measurement of your energy of the day.
Problems / Concerns
Slight concerns will be the accumulation of dead skin cells from time to time at the sensor area. So you need to clean it with alcohol to avoid skin irritation. This is a regular thing especially for smartwatches, if you’re into sports and getting a lot of sweat then this is not a concern at all.
Additionally, the Fenix 6 is favorable on the heavy side at 84g. So you will really notice the weight especially in normal days, if you’re thinking of making this your permanent watch then we suggest you need to get adjusted to the weight asap.
Charging is also via a dedicated port, so make sure the cable is well kept and avoid those “Ooops, I forgot to charge” moments. Good thing the battery is a tank with a minimum of 1 week even with all the push notifications.
Nothing to worry about the battery life as you’ll only do it once a week. In our scenario of 3 gym sessions a week with even continuous connection for notifications and nibbling results to impressive battery life.
Investing on a Garmin sports watch is not a serious joke, in this Fenix 6 Sapphire series, it’s already 48,995. This device is meant for serious athletes that need to invest in a device that can be their digital coach and improve their metrics.
Sports is not just a physical aspect to improve, its also about being analytical in improving your stats like speed, agility, breathing, pace, and others. Which the Garmin Fenix 6 can definitely do, that’s why we award it with our Hungry Geeks Approved Fitness Watch.
You may avail of the watch at Garmin Stores nationwide. Just in case the Sapphire is too much for you, they also have a more affordable series that can do almost the same as the Fenix 6S. More details here
But just in case you’re into smartwatches then they have the Venu, VivoMove 3, and VivoActive 4 series as well.