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Fenix 6 firmware update – 19.21; released 17th September

Garmin Fenix 6 users who wish to update to the latest firmware should be aware that Garmin has published the firmware version 20 for the Fenix 6 devices in November 2021. You can read more about the latest version of firmware version 20 for Fenix 6 devices on this page.

Garmin has addressed the bugs in firmware version 19.20 and released a new firmware for the Fenix 6 devices on 17th September. The latest (beta) firmware version for Garmin Fenix 6 devices is the version 19.21. This latest firmware update 19.21 resolves the bug of intermittent failure on the Fenix 6 alarm on the max battery mode. Although unconfirmed by Garmin, the latest firmware is likely to improve the algorithm that calculates fitness training loads.

Issues with incorrect reporting on long and intensive runs should be resolved in the latest beta firmware 19.21.If your training regime is not showing up correctly, do unpair the Garmin Fenix 6 device with your phone and re-pair it after the firmware update to 19.21. Track your training loads, intensity sessions and fitness runs once again to see if the issues with incorrect data are resolved with the 19.21 firmware update.

For now, though, if you are not facing any issues with your Garmin Fenix 6 post the firmware update to 19.20, you may hold off the latest update. Let the main release 19.20 be the stable version for now, unless you have major issues with data reported during activity and running sessions.

As of writing this, the firmware update 19.21 is still in the beta release. Firmware 19.20 continues to be the main release version and it has been rolled out to all the Fenix 6 devices. Once again, hold off the firmware update until we progress further on the firmware 19.21 or we hear from Garmin about the number of devices that have been sent the latest beta release.

The beta firmware for Garmin Fenix 6 version 19.21 is not yet available for the APAC region. So, Garmin fenix 6 users from Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia need to put off the download of Garmin Fenix 6 firmware 19.21 for now, until Garmin confirms the availability of firmware for the APAC region.

Where can I download firmware 19.21 for Fenix 6 series watches?


Garmin has published the 19.21 firmware files on its servers, so that Fenix 6 users can download the firmware directly from the Garmin servers. (please please do not download firmware files fom 3rd party website for cause of malicious files and potential risks)

Please ensure that you are downloading the correct beta software for your specific device. The software or firmware will continue to be called beta until all fenix 6 devices have received the 19.21 firmware update.

  1. Fenix 6s: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15166
  2. Fenix 6s Pro/Fenix 6X Pro Solar: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15164
  3. Fenix 6: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15162
  4. Fenix 6 Pro: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15160
  5. Fenix 6x Pro: https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=15168

Please do take care of downloading these files on your device. If you have a Fenix 6, download the firmware files corresponding to Fenix 6 device. On a similar note, if you have a Fenix 6X Pro, download the files from the Garmin link that corresponds to Fenix 6X Pro. Do not mix and match the firmware files that are meant for different Fenix 6 series watch.

fenix-6-smart-watch-by-garmin

This Fenix 6 firmware update to 19.21 will push your GPS to version 5.30. So, if the update succeeds, you must see the GPS version 5.30 on your Fenix watch. There has been no change in the GPS version between firmware version 19.20 and 19.21.

We also suggest that you limit yourself to downloading firmware files from the Garmin website. Downloading firmware files from 3rd party sites could lead to unforeseen issues. Possibly, malicious payloads could be added to the firmware files being downloaded from the 3rd party websites.

As of writing this, Garmin has pushed the 19.21 firmware to unconfirmed number of eligible devices. If your device has not received the update, you may choose to wait for Garmin to push the files automatically to your watch. If you are unwilling to wait, please use the download links given above to download firmware directly from the Garmin servers.

Once you have completed the upgrade of the operating system to 19.21, you should see the following features or characteristics on your Fenix 6 series watch:

GPS: 5.30
Sensor Hub: 11.01
ANT/BLE/BT (Pro models): 6.11 (BlueTooth Stack)
ANT/BLE (non-Pro models): 3.00 (BlueTooth Stack)
Wi-Fi (Pro models only): 2.60

What has changed in Fenix 19.20 and 19.21 firmware update for Fenix 6 series watches?


The stated change in the Fenix 19.21 firmware update for Fenix 6 device involves fixing the alarm issue on the max battery mode. The alarm does not go off on the max battery mode for some users. Other features remain the same as in the firmware 19.20 of the Fenix 6 devices.

There are 6 main features that have been integrated in the Fenix 19.20 firmware update for Fenix 6 series watches.

  • Adventure race activity tracking comes to Fenix 6 series watches through the 19.20 firmware update.
  • Garmin has also added sleep tracking widget with sleep score and insights by Firstbeat AnalyticsTM.
  • Added new workout animations which can be updated with Express or a Wifi sync.
  • Added the ability to rate the perceived effort and feel of a Run, Bike, or Swim activity. The prompts appear during activity save. Go to [Activity] Settings > Self Evaluation for options.
  • Added metabolic calories into the total calories reported in the calories data field and recorded in the activity file.
  • Added setting to enable/disable workout audio prompts.

Apart from these features, there have been bug fixes and product improvements. Some product improvements include:

  • Automatically disable Battery Saver when battery sufficiently charged.
  • Updated workout audio prompts for hundredths distance precision.
  • Updated Intensity Minutes determinations to align with guidance from CDC.
  • Improved feedback on stress level readings.
  • Improved calorie calculations for activities using a power meter.
  • Improved results for daily Body Battery calculations.
  • Improved visibility of Climb Pro alert page.
  • Improved power meter calibration and settings.
  • Improved layout of target card page. (Only applies to tactix Delta – Solar Edition with Ballistics)
  • Improved Body Battery estimation when the device is powered off for a long period of time.
fenix-6

How do I update firmware on Fenix 6 series smart watches?


Firmware updates on the Fenix 6 series smart watches can be done through the smart watch. Or, you could also download the firmware update on your computer and let Garmin Express app on the computer to handle the update on the connected Fenix 6 watch. We will review both ways to update the firmware on a Fenix 6 watch.

Before updating the firmware on a Fenix 6 smart watch, we need to ensure that automatic updates are turned on your device. This is the default setting on Fenix 6 series watches. To check if automatic updates are enabled for the smart watch, please see the instructions below:

  • Hold Menu on the smart watch of Fenix 6 series.
  • Choose System
  • You will see an option – Software updates. Toggle the on/off option to enable or disable automatic updates.

We need to make sure that software updates are set for automatic updates.

How to check firmware on Fenix 6 series watch?


As a standard practice, it is a wise thing to note the current firmware version on the Fenix 6 series watch. This should be done before each attempted update.

To know the current firmware version on a Fenix 6 watch, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Hold Menu
  2. Choose System
  3. Choose About

In the About section, you will see the current firmware version installed on the Garmin Fenix 6 series watch. These instructions are applicable to Fenix 6, Fenix 6S, Fenix 6X, Fenix 6X Pro and Fenix 6X Pro Solar watches.

Update firmware on Fenix 6 from the watch itself


  • Before performing a firmware update, please do make sure that your Fenix 6 series watch has adequate charging. We do not want a situation of the watch shutting off during the middle of the update. Generally the firmware updates are pretty fast and contain a small file of less than 100 Mb size. These firmware updates can sometimes be interchangeably called as system updates.
  • On a similar note, your mobile phone must have adequate charge. It should also have a good Wi-Fi connection or cellular connection to the Internet. The firmware update file is sent from Garmin servers to the mobile phone.
  • Garmin connect app on the mobile phone will also be needed for the smooth update of the firmware on Fenix 6 series watch. We need to make sure that the Garmin connect app on the phone works without any errors before initiating the update on the smart watch.
  • Setup the mobile phone hosting Garmin connect app and pair it with the Garmin Fenix 6 series watch. A good quality pairing is desired for the smooth transition to the latest firmware update.
  • Launch the Garmin connect app, and check the Garmin icon to see if there is a firmware update that is available for your Fenix 6 series watch. If the Garmin connect app finds a firmware on the Garmin server, it will pull the file or the server will push the firmware file on to the mobile phone.
  • Now, we need to sync the smart watch with the Garmin connect app. Through the mobile phone, the file will be pushed to the device i.e. the Fenix 6 series watch’s device storage. So, we are effectively using the Internet connection to download the firmware from Garmin to the phone. From thereon, the phone sends the firmware on to the device, for an eventual installation on the Fenix 6 series watch.

In the entire update cycle of Fenix 6 series watches to the latest firmware update, we use an automated approach through the Garmin connect app on the mobile phone to handle the update.

Update Fenix 6 series watch from Garmin Express


The firmware or system update for a Fenix 6 series watch can also be installed using the Garmin Express app on your computer. Most people prefer using the Garmin Express app to perform firmware updates. Map and Golf course updates can only happen through the Garmin express app on the computer. This is because map and golf course update files are massive in size and cannot be transferred seamlessly using a BLE paired connection.

To perform a firmware update on the Fenix 6 series watch, we will use the instructions below:

  • Install the Garmin express app on your computer.
  • Use a USB cable and connect your device to the computer.
  • Using Garmin express, connect to the Garmin website and download the firmware update on your computer. In effect, if the firmware update is available, Garmin express will pull the firmware files on your computer.
  • From the computer, Garmin express will send the firmware update files to the device. This will complete the update cycle on the Fenix 6 series watch using Garmin express app on the computer.

Summary


Firmware beta 19.21 on Fenix 6 series watches becomes the latest firmware as of September 2021. You can manually update the watch or let Garmin push the files to your Fenix 6 series watch automatically. Desist downloading update files from 3rd party websites.