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Fenix 6 vs Apple Watch 6

I have seen sports enthusiasts move from Apple watches to the Garmin’s Fenix watches. The Apple Vs Fenix watch comparison is a very interesting piece, as we seek to find a common ground between two watches that bring altogether different set of capabilities on the horizon. What should be your deciding criteria if you were to choose a Fenix watch over an Apple watch, especially in light of the launch of the latest Apple Watch 7? Below, we talk about the primary factors that may help you tweak your decision for Fenix 6 series watch.

Smart watch vs Sports Watch?

Are you looking for a smart watch or a sports watch? This should be your first question if you wish to choose between an Apple watch or a Garmin Fenix watch. An Apple watch is a perfect fit if you just wish to have a robust smart watch that provides all the necessary features such as sleep tracking, oxygen saturation, more than a decent GPS system, music and heart rate monitoring. And, if you are a big fan of touch screen, then Apple Vs Fenix 6 watch would or should be decided in favor of an Apple watch as it affords a touchscreen watch.

However, if you are looking for a sports watch with extended list of activity tracking, personal coach app, and up to a second reliability on GPS, Garmin Fenix 6 wins hands down. No two ways around it. One of the best features of a Garmin Fenix 6 watch series is the availability of the personal coach to set you up for personalized goal based tracking. As of now, Garmin’s personal coach feature allows you to work with personal coaches that include Olympian and best-selling author Jeff Galloway, physiologist and online running Coach Greg McMillan, or physical therapist and running expert Amy Parkerson-Mitchell.

Personal Coaching on Garmin Fenix 6 watches

Personal coaching allows you to work on a customized and personalized plan to train using a goal based approach. Be it a 5K, 10K or a higher distance run, personalized coaching plan will give you the focus and continuous monitoring to achieve the goal.

The functionality of a personal coach fully justifies the decision to get a Garmin Fenix 6 watch for sports and activity enthusiasts. You will totally love it if you love hiking or running through.

Battery Life

One of the best aspects of a Garmin Fenix 6 watch is the extended battery life of the Fenix 6 watch devices. A Garmin Fenix 6 watch comes with an extended battery life of 7 days, that gets reduced to as low as 3 days. In comparison, an Apple watch 6 comes with a battery life of 18 hours. If you are fine with perpetually charging your smart watch everyday, then an Apple watch 6 fits the bill. However, if you are fond of outdoor activities or are away in the dense forests for more than a day, Garmin Fenix 6 will work well for you. You can’t beat a Fenix 6 watch when it comes to the battery life. Nothing comes near, not the Apple watch or the Fitbit Versa or the Fitbit Sense watch.

Body Battery

Another top of the line unique feature on a Fenix 6 watch has to be the body battery score. Body battery is a score that reflects your energy or health levels as you progress through the day. The body battery score goes up when you take rest or de-stress. The body battery levels will fall when you participate in an activity or as you work through the day. Over a period of time of using a Fenix 6 device, you will be able to create a reliable baseline of the body battery scores for your health. You will know the period of extreme physical activities and their impacts on the body battery levels through the day.

An Apple watch does not come close to offering anything of the sort of ‘body battery’ feature on the watch.

All weather tactile buttons

Yes, tactile buttons is one of the better watch body features on the Garmin Fenix 6 watches. Tactile buttons come in handy when you are training in cold weather conditions. You can start or stop an activity session by pushing the tactile button on the Garmin Fenix 6 watch. I cannot say enough about the buttons because people in the North would really understand the significance of having a tactile push on your sports watch or a smart watch. Ottawa folks can testify the working of tactile buttons. Probably nobody could explain the cold weather and application of the tactile buttons on the Garmin Fenix 6 watch.

On a similar basis, tactile buttons are very useful during summers, when the sweat could cause disruptions in activity session recording or fitness runs recording on a touch based smart watch like an Apple watch.

Compared to the tactile buttons on a Fenix 6 watch, an Apple watch comes with touch based functionality. And touch screens can accidentally stop activity tracking, leading to incomplete data for the activity sessions. The bad part is that you will not know about the stopped activity tracking until you stop and have a look at the watch. A touch based approach to activity and fitness run tracking is not the most appropriate approach for precise recording of fitness runs. If your primary focus is on measuring precise data for your activity sessions or fitness runs, do consider using a sports watch like the Fenix 6 series watch.

GPS

There have been endless debates about the GPS performance on Garmin Fenix 6 vs Apple watch 6 or any older model of the Apple watches. Garmin Fenix 6 is based on the Sony chipset. And, Sony chipsets have one of the best GPS performances for a device. This would mean that the Fenix 6 is more than ideal for taking in GPS data for your runs through the cities or dense forests with thick tree density. For dense forests and cities with tall buildings, you may consider using the GPS settings involving the use of US and Russian satellite systems i.e. GPS+GLONASS. If you are in Europe, the GPS settings may have to be tweaked for better performance. So, you may want to test GPS only, GPS +GLONASS or GPS + Galileo. Especially, for the users in United Kingdom, GPS + Galileo satellite settings may be more useful.

Apple watches have had a good and consistent GPS performance, and there are no doubts about the recording or presentation of geo data for an Apple watch user.

Fall Detection

Fall detection or incident detection is a critically important feature that may save you in distressed situations of experiencing a hard fall. Time and again, Apple watches have successfully demonstrated the fall detection in the real life scenarios. We know of multiple cases where an Apple watch was able to call 911 and save lives of the watch owner.

Compared to the fall detection of Apple watch, Garmin’s Fenix 6 watches come with incident detection feature. Honestly speaking, the incident response system on Garmin Fenix 6 is built on the same premise as in the case of the Apple watches. But, the incident detection feature on the Garmin Fenix 6 is half as good as the Apple watch. There can be no qualms about it. It would be pertinent to expect Garmin to work on the incident response system and improve or streamline it to match Apple watch’s standards, if not better than the fall detection of Apple smart watches.

The reason I say that the incident detection is half as good as Apple’s fall detection lies in the response given by each smart watch on a hard fall. An Apple watch can notify the designated emergency contacts or the emergency services (for countries that support emergency service numbers that can be called) and share the coordinates of the wearer of the watch. Garmin Fenix 6 will, instead, detect an incident and share the fall with up to 3 emergency contacts defined by you. Fenix 6 won’t contact emergency services on your behalf.

Golf and Maps

When it comes to Golf course maps or the topo maps, Garmin is next to none. Fenix 6 comes with pre-loaded maps and several options to load more maps for Golf or for topographical regions. In terms of navigational maps, you cannot beat a Fenix 6.

Fenix 6 maps come for different categories of use. There are maps for:

  • Automotive
  • Golf
  • Marine
  • Outdoor
  • Cycling

Fenix 6 comes with pre-loaded maps. And, Garmin allows you yo upgrade maps through paid alternatives for the specific goals you are working on. There is a clear path of utilizing 3rd party map apps and data with a Fenix 6 device. In comparison, an Apple watch 6 still relies on getting the map information from the paired iPhone. There cannot be a true comparison between a Fenix 6 and Apple watch 6 in terms of maps functionality because Garmin Fenix 6 outscore every other watch in this department.

Water Resistance

Garmin Fenix 6 beats the Apple watch as far as water resistance rating is concerned. Fenix 6 devices come with an ATM rating 10. ATM ratings are used to signify the depth to which your watch can sustain water pressure. A Fenix 6 watch has an ATM rating 10, which means that you can wear a Fenix 6 watch up to 100 meters depth under water or 330 feet under water. This makes Fenix 6 an ideal fit for swimming up to 100 meters below water for a period of 10 minutes.

Apple watch 6 comes with an ATM rating of 5, which means that the Apple watch can sustain for 10 minutes at a depth of 50 meters below water level or 165 feet below water level. This would make an Apple watch 6 an ideal fit for swimming in shallow waters. Swimming in indoor pools would be the right recommended swimming compatibility for Apple watch 6.

Compatibility with Android phones

All smart watches need to pair with a smart phone for updates of the firmware and features. Fenix 6 devices work flawlessly with the Android phones. Seamless integration with the Android phones can be seen at work on almost all the features that need a user’s attention, including the notifications. A Fenix 6 device also works well with an iPhone.

However, Apple watch 6 will work only with an iPhone. So, if you have an Android phone, you won’t be able to make use of an Apple watch 6. Infact, you will not be able to perform the initial setup of the Apple watch on an Android phone. Apple, it is learnt, is making efforts to bring the Apple watch’s future models for Android phones. Having said that, the integration would not work well unless Apple decides to share the watchOS with the Android phone operating systems. This looks highly unlikely in the near future.

Summary

A fenix 6 smart watch is ideal watch for sport enthusiasts who wish to train, track and measure the performance against pre-determined fitness goals. Ability to work with personalized plans devised by personal coach justifies the premium pricing on the Garmin Fenix 6 watches. Aside from these factors, a prolonged battery life in comparison to Apple watches should be considered as a factor by people who wish to use smart watches for extended outdoor runs.