Known for its feature-rich functionality and durable, rugged design, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro maintains its spot among the best running watches created by Garmin.
Offering stainless steel bezel and tempered Corning Gorilla Glass lens, this watch was designed to thrive in harsh outdoor environments so you can focus on the paths ahead.
As with previous watches in the Fenix series, the 6X Pro has all of your favorite features, including a multisport mode for triathlons, an ultra-powerful battery, downloadable music, preloaded TOPO mapping, and much more. Read on in our Garmin Fenix 6X Pro review to find out more about how this can be a suitable running watch.
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Overview
- Advanced training metrics including VO2 Max, recovery advisor, running dynamics, and more
- PacePro technology to act as a pacesetter
- Daily Workout Suggestions & Performance Metrics
- ClimbPro feature
- Pulse OX Sensor for gauging oxygen saturation in the blood
- Display Size: 1.40 inches (35.56mm) diameter
- Display Type: Transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
- Display Resolution: 280 by 280 pixels
- Battery Life: 21 days in smartwatch mode, 60 hours in GPS mode, 15 hours in GPS Mode + music, 120 hours in Max Battery GPS Mode, 46 days in Expedition GPS Mode, and 80 days in Battery Saver Watch Mode
- Memory/History: 32GB
- Water Rating: 10ATM
- Weight: 93 grams
- Bezel Material: Stainless steel
- Lens Material: Corning Gorilla Glass
- Strap material: Silicone
Design and Interface of the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro
First off, it is important to mention that the 6X Pro is big in every aspect. Although it is reduced in size compared to most of its predecessors, such as the 5X, it is still conspicuous.
In fact, it may feel as if you are wearing a badge of honor on your wrist. But the good thing is that the 1.4-inches diameter screen makes it easier for you to see more data while on the go.
The 6X Pro comes in Garmin typical black design with silicone straps and features five labeled buttons to help you navigate through the menus. There are many subcategories buried in the menus, and thus you need to interact with the watch more to learn how to use it well.
Remember that this is not a touchscreen device, which means you have to navigate the menu using the five pushbuttons provided. The buttons are basically like the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.
One area we would like to mention is that although the watch has widgets to keep the interface organized, there are plenty of categories underneath each widget, which can be too much for an average runner. However, if you are a tech-savvy person, you will quickly learn how to use many of its features.
In a nutshell, the watch is heavier compared to others in the same category, which means you will need to tighten the strap, so it doesn’t move up and down on your list.
For this reason, many people will find it uncomfortable to wear it when sleeping, but this comes down to personal preference.
Battery Life & Different Modes
The battery management options of the 6X Pro are one of the most significant improvements since its predecessors. Thanks to the multiple battery-saving options, the F6X Pro can last up to 80 days with one full charge.
As much you are less likely to use the watch for close to three months without charging, it is good to know the watch can serve you for that long when in battery saver watch mode.
In Expedition GPS Mode, the F6X Pro can last up to 46 days. In Max Battery GPS Mode, where the watch utilizes Garmin’s UltraTrac feature to record track points and data less frequently, the Fenix 6X Pro can last up to 120 hours.
In GPS mode, the watch can last up to 60 hours, and thus you don’t have to worry about it dying on you during your long-distance runs. For standard smartwatch mode, the watch can last for 21 days on a full charge.
Overall, with moderate exercise tracking, the watch can last for a week without recharging it.
Activity Tracking, Run Tracking, PacePro, and Heart-Rate
We tested the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro indoors and outdoors, mainly for cycling, breathing exercises, running, and gym workouts, and it was pretty accurate.
Wrist-based tracking is not always the best way to monitor your heart rate, but the F6X Pro does a commendable job of it. From our tests, the 6X Pro didn’t struggle to read heart rate. However, whether it is accurate or not in its readings, we didn’t countercheck with a dedicated heart rate device.
However, compared to many other watches we have tested, the readings on this watch were not contradictory, and thus we can say it’s pretty precise.
The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro picks up GPS signal pretty quickly, and we didn’t have an issue losing it during runs and cycles. This is probably due to the watch using the GLONASS + GPS, which utilizes 24 extra satellites for added precision.
The watch even could track minor routes, and thus you can’t lose track during your runs or cycles.
In addition, the F6X Pro displays six different data fields on its large screen, including heart rate, overall time, cadence, distance, pace, and lap time. You can change the data fields or even shuffle them to suit your preference.
You can easily track your gym sessions, thanks to the active tracking system that monitors your active moments and rest times. The data can help you better understand whether your gym sessions are productive or not.
The 6X Pro also tracks your training status and even recommends the types of training you can engage in to boost your endurance based on your stats, such as blood oxygen levels and VO2 max levels.The Fenix 6X Pro also supports Garmin Coach, an adaptive training program to help you train up to 5K, 10K, and half marathon.
The Garmin Coach adjusts your plan and gives recommendations based on your plan in the plan you choose to train. What else? The watch can also help versatile athletes who would like to train all three races.
Here’s an example of the Garmin coach in action:
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro as a Smartwatch and Music Player
Garmin has gradually improved its smartwatch functionality to keep up with its main competitors, such as Apple.
Although it is not yet their main selling feature, they have improved. In the F6X Pro, you can answer a call and get general notifications from your synced phone.
Also, you will find 3rd party apps in the Garmin Connect Store, which can add more smartwatch functionality to your 6X Pro.
In addition, they have included music player functionality, and we can say that it works well, taking a few clicks to select a playlist from your account and download it via your cellular phone connection.The 6X Pro can sync playlists from Spotify and iHeartRadio and integrates with Bluetooth headphones to make your workout session fun.
Other Notable Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Features:
- PacePro. The entire Fenix series now has a PacePro training tool that allows one to set route or distance, and based on your several performances, this tool gives you guidance on the pace you should maintain to achieve your goals. The feature uses machine learning technology to give you the best possible pacing strategy.
Essentially, this means that you can create a running route using the Garmin Connect app and specify the distance and time you intend to complete the route. The watch will then calculate your split and collect data, which it will use to show if you are hitting your target time. This helps you to push harder every time you are running on the set route.
- Garmin’s Elevate Heart-rate Sensor technology. This feature monitors your heart rate continuously instead of doing it at different intervals. By doing this, you will have a solid picture of your body’s strain level during workouts and sleep. In terms of accuracy, we would say that heart rate monitoring is pretty consistent.
- Garmin Connect App. Garmin has improved its backend structure outside of the app to make syncing apps with their watches seamless. You will find a hefty selection of 3rd party apps in their Connect IQ store
- TopoActive Europe Map. This feature helps to guide you to your destination.Emergency function. The feature automatically sends alerts to predefined contacts on your smartphone in case you encounter a crashing incident. Also, there is a live tracking feature to help predefined contacts monitor your routes.
What We Liked
- Large Display: The 6X Pro comes with a more enhanced level of visibility than previous Fenix models. With a display of 1.4 inches, you will easily read everything while on the go.
- Durable Construction: Made using tough and durable material, this watch will suit athletes and swimmers who are into adventure exploration.
- PacePro: This is a relatively new feature in the Fenix series watches and helps to keep you on pace with set figures based on your potential
- Pulse OX Sensor: The watch uses light beams to gauge your oxygen saturation level in the blood to help monitor your sleep and altitude acclimation
- Advanced Performance Metrics: The 6X Pro is packed with training metrics that include heat- and altitude-adjusted VO2 max, running dynamics, recovery advisor, and more
What We Didn’t Like
- Due to a large number of subcategories in terms of features, the F6X Pro can be complex to use for an average user to use comprehensively
- It’s pretty expensive as compared to some of its competitors
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Comparisons
Garmin 6X Pro vs. 6X Pro Solar
The main difference between the 6X Pro and 6X Pro Solar is in their name – one has a built-in solar panel, and the other doesn’t.
However, although the two share most of the features, there is more to this, including mapping and music storage.
The Solar swaps out the stainless steel casing for lightweight titanium. This allows it to shave some weight. Also, it has a better battery life thanks to the addition of a solar panel.
Most of the other features, apart from the casing, battery life, and weight, are pretty similar. If you are willing to pay more to have a lighter smartwatch with more battery capacity, then the Solar version will appeal to you more.
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro vs. Forerunner 945
If you are looking for a sports watch for running, cycling, or swimming, you will most likely decide between the Fenix 6X Pro and the Forerunner 945.
The two top the list of best running and sports watches you can buy thanks to the wide range of helpful features they offer and great accuracy. However, they have their differences.
The Forerunner 945 takes the crown here thanks to its sporty appearance in terms of design and screen. From the polymer body to the silicone strap, it is a good fit for outdoor activities like swimming and running.
When it comes to display, the Fenix takes the crown by having a screen diameter of 1.40 inches against the Forerunner 945’ 1.2 inches. Both watches lack touchscreens but have five pushbuttons to help navigate their menus.
In terms of sports and activity tracking, the Forerunner 945 seems to favor triathletes thanks to its in-depth metrics, insights, and more extended battery. Conversely, the Fenix 6X Pro suits runners more thanks to its navigation, mapping, and outdoor sports tracking features.
Overall, these two are excellent multisport watches. Feature-wise, they have a lot in common in both smartwatch features and sports tracking.
We can recommend the Forerunner 945 to people who value a lightweight multisport watch that doesn’t sit big on their wrists and Fenix 6X Pro to people who want a smartwatch with a more prominent display and better battery life.
If you are considering buying a multisport fitness watch, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro can be an ideal option. The watch can cover virtually all your tracking needs.
It has an excellent built quality suited for indoor and outdoor environments, and the watch feels premium. What’s more? It has a large screen with high resolution that shows up to six different stats in real-time during runs.
In addition, the F6X Pro maps your route fast and with great precision, thanks to the GLONASS + GPS. Heart-rate monitoring is also consistent and pretty accurate, thanks to wrist-based sensors.
Additionally, it gives an accurate reading on VO2 max score, steps taken, blood oxygen levels, respiration level, and floors climbed, among other things.
And in terms of battery, the Garmin F6X Pro offers different power-saving modes. The 6X Pro will last you for up to 80 days in battery saver mode, while the smartwatch mode can last you for 21 days.
Overall, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro is a great fitness smartwatch that we can recommend for runners and multisport athletes.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.