The public beta release firmware version 20.85 has been released for the Fenix 6 series smartwatches. The beta version 20.85 was released by Garmin on 8th April. We look at the bug fixes, product improvements, and other significant points about the public beta release 20.85 for the Fenix 6 devices.
Update – 28.04.22 – Beta firmware for Fenix 6 has now been pushed to version 20.87. Firmware version 20.87 contains bug fixes that have been reported on the beta firmware version 20.85. The process to apply the beta firmware 20.87 to Fenix 6 devices remains unchanged. You may read the instructions in detail below.
Salient points about the Fenix 6 firmware version 20.85 (beta)
- The firmware version 20.85 for Fenix 6 supersedes firmware version 20.82 (beta).
- The current or the latest stable release version for Fenix 6 devices is the firmware or software version 20.60. Firmware release 20.60 was released by Garmin on 7th April 2022.
- There is a difference between the stable release version of firmware 20.60 and the public beta release version 20.85. For most people, we suggest sticking to the main or stable release versions of firmware on your Fenix 6 device.
- Garmin is deploying the firmware version 20.60 on the eligible Fenix 6 devices automatically.
- Firmware 20.60 for Fenix 6 is being rolled out in a phased approach. At this point, 20 percent of the eligible Fenix 6 devices have received the firmware update. Expectedly, all the eligible Fenix 6 smartwatches should get the firmware update within this month.
- The beta release 20.85 can be deployed on your Fenix 6 smartwatch manually.
- Garmin has published the firmware files for each Fenix 6 smartwatch model. You can download the zip archives of the firmware 20.85 (beta) and deploy it manually through your computer, Garmin express onto the smartwatch.
- The public beta release of version 20.85 is not suitable for the APAC region. Customers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, China, Singapore, and other Asian countries should not use the beta firmware version 20.85 as yet.
What Fenix 6 devices are eligible for the public beta release of firmware 20.85?
All the Fenix 6 devices can deploy the beta firmware version 20.85. Beta release of the firmware means that you are installing this firmware version and taking full ownership of any subsequent issues on the smartwatch. Garmin does help in resolving issues arising out of patching the beta release of firmware on the affected Fenix 6 smartwatches.
The following models of Fenix 6 are compatible with the beta firmware release 20.85:
- Fenix 6
- Fenix 6 Pro
- Fenix 6S
- Fenix 6S Pro
- Fenix 6X
- Fenix 6X Pro
If you are not very tech-friendly, we suggest waiting for the stable release version of the firmware to be offered to your device automatically. In other words, there are people who may like to keep things simple. If your Fenix 6 smartwatch is working fine, you may choose to skip the manual installation of beta firmware version 20.85 on the Fenix 6 device.
Stable release firmware versions are released for Fenix 6 devices regularly. The last stable release update version 20.50 was released on 14th February. In less than 6 weeks, the next version of firmware 20.60 has been released by Garmin. Garmin makes regular tweaks and improvements to the underlying software on Fenix 6 devices.
Beta releases are released more frequently. So, you may have to keep pace with the regular releases of the beta release firmware for Fenix 6 devices.
How can I install firmware version 20.85 on Fenix 6 smartwatch?
The beta release firmware version 20.85 can be installed on the Fenix 6 devices manually. You need to download the files from the Garmin servers and apply the update manually. We list the steps needed to deploy firmware version 20.85 beta on the Fenix 6 devices.
Download the firmware files for version 20.85 from the following links for each Fenix 6 model:
In the beta release version 20.85 for Fenix 6 devices, Sensor Hub files and the ANT files (on PRO models) have changed. So, we need to deploy the Sensor Hub update files and ANT files on the computer that will be used to push the update to the Fenix 6 smartwatch. Sensor Hub files get upgraded to version 18 and the ANT/BLE/BT (Pro models) version gets upgraded to 6.15.
You can deploy the firmware 20.85 on Fenix 6 smartwatch using the following instructions:
- Download the zip files corresponding to your Fenix 6 device. The download links have been published above, for your ready reference and action.
- Connect your Fenix 6 device to the computer using a USB cable. Ensure that there is connectivity between the Fenix 6 device and computer. You can test the same using the Garmin Express application.
- Extract the files from the zip archive to a temporary folder on your computer.
- Once the files have been extracted, you will see 3 folders that are generated.
- The folders that are generated are SensorHubUpdate_1800, SystemBackDate_2050 and SystemUpdate_2085. The Pro models will also have an additional folder ANT_BLE_BT_Update_615.
- Copy the files from each extracted folder to the corresponding folders.
- GUPDATE.GCD file from SystemUpdate_2085 needs to be copied to \GARMIN\ folder.
- GUPxxxx.GCD (xxxx is the version number like 3294 or 3293 etc.) from the SensorHubUpdate_1800 needs to be copied to \GARMIN\REMOTESW\ folder.
- On the PRO models, GUPXXXX.GCD file needs to be copied from ANT_BLE_BT_Update_615 to \GARMIN\REMOTESW\ folder on the device.
Once the files have been copied to the destination folders, the firmware installation on the Fenix 6 smartwatch gets completed.
How can I roll back from firmware version 20.85 (beta) on Fenix 6 smartwatches?
There may be cases wherein you may want to roll back the beta firmware 20.85 to a previous version of the main or stable release firmware. Garmin allows you to roll back from firmware (beta) 20.85 to the main or stable release version 20.50.
To roll back from firmware (beta) 20.85 to firmware version 20.50, you need to perform a single step:
- Copy the file GUPDATE.GCD from the extracted folder SystemBackDate_2050 to the \GARMIN\ folder on your watch storage. The GUPDATE.GCD file of firmware release 20.50 will overwrite the GUPDATE.GCD file of the beta firmware 20.85 version.
Upon completion of the rollback, your Fenix 6 device will revert to the stable release version 20.50.
Version information for Fenix 6 devices after deploying beta firmware 20.85
For the non-PRO models of Fenix 6 smartwatches, you will see the following versions of individual components:
- GPS: 5.30
- Sensor Hub: 18.00
- ANT/BLE (non-Pro models): 3.00
The pro models of Fenix 6 will have the following version of individual core components:
Sensor Hub: 18.00
ANT/BLE/BT (Pro models): 6.15
What bugs fixes and product improvements have been made in the firmware or software version 20.85 for Fenix 6 devices?
The following changes have been made from beta release 20.82 to beta release 20.85 for Fenix 6 software:
- Added decimal precision to weight editing in Strength activity.
- Updated inReach messaging to now allow the watch to send messages up to 160 characters in length.
- Fixed an intermittent issue where the Daily Suggested Workouts would display an incorrect suggested workout.
- Fixed an issue in Yoga and Pilates activities where ethe lap summary time would display an incorrect value.
- Fixed an intermittent issue where the golf round summary would display an incorrect net strokes value.
- Fixed a potential shutdown issue on the Altitude Acclimation widget.
- Fixed an issue where the weight-entry screen would not allow 3-digit weight entries.
- Other minor improvements and bug fixes.
Fenix 6 beta release firmware version 20.85 updates the Sensor Hub files and the ANT_BLE_BT files. The beta release of firmware has to be applied manually. You will need to deploy the firmware files manually onto the computer. The update will get pushed out to the connected Fenix 6 device automatically.
We do suggest beta firmware release updates for tech-friendly users of Fenix 6 smartwatches. For most people, the stable release versions are more than appropriate and suitable.
You may like to read more content related to Garmin smartwatches below:
- Garmin Fenix 6 Firmware 20.60 – released 7th April 2022
- Garmin Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
- Is Fenix 7 waterproof?
- Does Fenix 7 have ECG
- Apple Watch SE vs Garmin Venu 2 Plus
- Garmin Venu 2s vs Garmin Venu 2 smartwatches
Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.