This could be the defining multisport watch of 2020. The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar makes a big impact but has a lightweight touch being made from titanium. It carries every app and sensor you might possibly need inside, too.
The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar takes the lead of the 6x thanks to the injection of solar charging. It quite literally does everything under the sun.
The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar is like the Swiss Army Knife of multisport watches. With the natural development in technology, we see more and more functions on sportswatches. On this 51mm beast, you can track your general fitness as well as utilising coaching towards specific goals like marathon running or other fitness indications toward your health. This could be recovery time or VO2 max. If you’re connected via Bluetooth or Wifi, you can make the most of entertainment apps like Amazon Prime Music, Deezer or Spotify.
This isn’t really a sportswatch, it’s a fitness tracking weapon! Keen athletes with a penchant for the outdoors will love this. It packs in a bunch of training and navigation features as well as those nifty entertainment apps.
You might be sweating thinking about the battery life, hearing about all this? Here’s the innovation. The addition of solar charging has lengthened the battery life beyond expectation.
6X Pro Solar VS 6 Pro
You might be wondering what the difference is between the Solar and its predecessor? The Solar has really built on the already incredible variety of sensors and algorithmic abilities.
The 6x Pro Solar and 6 Pro are both able to deliver maps and music. They also both offer training coaches, and heart rate monitoring through the companion app.
The Solar has swapped out the previous steel case for a lightweight titanium. This has shaved a few grams off the weight. The clear difference is the battery life, thanks to the addition of Garmin Power Glass.
The quality of the build on the Solar is exceptional. The use of titanium and Torx screws give it a real rugged look. Garmin advertises that the Power Glass is scratch-resistant, but it’s not made from sapphire glass, there’s only so many knocks it can take before it’ll give in. Sadly, you can’t have both.
The screen also isn’t a touchscreen, which is why you get five buttons on it. They’re labelled, though, which users say is handy for getting right to using the watch and not spending days pressing the wrong buttons.
The ‘quick-fit’ straps are welcomed. They release with the touch of a button. They’re technically a dive watch and the silicone wristband keeps the HR monitor in place snugly.
The look is not at all subtle. Once you consider what comes inside this 51mm animal, you shouldn’t ever expect it to be sleek.
The most important feature to discuss. The Solar is bringing an AK47 to a knife fight. If used as a smartwatch, you’ll get 21 days. Perhaps GPS is what you’re relying on for a big adventure, you’ll get 60 hours. If the watch is getting a feed of direct sunlight, though, it’ll get a boost from this. This boost will take you to an astonishing 46 days when in expedition mode. To put that into perspective, that’s a trip up and down Everest.
In terms of harvesting the sunlight, it can absorb some when indoors but unsurprisingly the best impact comes from being outside.
Different modes offer different battery life length. It all depends on what modes you’re using and how hard you’re smashing the apps.
- 21 – 24 days as a smartwatch
- 60 – 66 hours in GPS mode
- 15-16 hours using GPS and listening to music
- 46 – 56 days in expedition mode (including GPS)
- Up to 120 days in battery saving mode
It offers an astronomical amount of sports, algorithmic calculations and sensors. Listing them would take too long, but it covers a lot of pre-loaded activities from trail running, biking, hiking, swimming and even golfing. The latter uses the map settings in a similar way to the skiing mode, but the latter offers turn-by-turn navigation. They really have considered what’s needed from the user during the specific sport. During running, for example, it’ll monitor your VO2 max based on your changing altitude.
Maybe you think that’s overkill? If you’re overwhelmed with the options, you can easily manage this data with the companion app. You can load a likely profile, or multiple profiles and upload those to your watch. By pressing a button you enter your bespoke list. The app will provide you with granular detail which you can choose to learn from.
Activity Tracking and Accuracy
Garmin has always been great at accurate activity tracking. The heart rate monitor on a Garmin has always been great at monitoring and the GPS has been able to pick up the location within a few yards. This isn’t a new thing, but they have certainly spent considerable time developing their sensors from previous models.
The Solar will display up to 6 data fields on-screen during a given activity. You’re able to pick these from the menu. Things like pace and cadence, lap times and heart rate.
The Fenix 6x Pro Solar isn’t unique, but it’s certainly refined. Garmin has gathered the best bits of their other models and integrated them together. You get everything you need quickly and easily.
The downside might be that it’s very data-heavy, maybe to the detriment of the user. You might not need sleep tracking, hydration checks and stress monitoring. It all depends on your needs.
Otherwise, the onboard coach, sensors, exceptional battery life and ability to connect your Bluetooth headphones for hours of music on an accurately-tracked run make this Solar watch an absolute winner.