Garmin Fenix 6 has received the firmware version 21 update for the month of May 2022 on 10th May. This stable release version supersedes firmware version 20.60. Incidentally, firmware version 20.60 had been rolled out to only 50 percent of eligible Fenix 6 devices. And, we have had a new Garmin Fenix 6 firmware release that includes all the changes that were part of the beta release version 20.85, 20.87, and beta release 21. The beta release for firmware version 21 was released on the 5th of May, 2022. It is expected that firmware version 21 will be released to all the eligible Garmin Fenix 6 devices in the next few days. The firmware update is likely to be completed within the next week.
We now have the latest firmware version 21.80 that has been released by Garmin on 6th June 2022.
As of 16th May 2022, the firmware version 21 for Garmin Fenix 6 has been pushed out by Garmin to all the eligible Fenix 6 devices. APAC customers may not have received the latest firmware as of now.
You may read about issues arising out of firmware 21 deployment on Fenix 6 watches on this page. The page lists all the issues reported by users after installing firmware 21 on Fenix 6 device. Do remember that these issues affect a small percentage of users. For most Fenix 6 users, the firmware 21 would have served its intended purpose.
Firmware version 21 is being released in a phased approach. As of writing this, Garmin claims that it has pushed out the firmware version 21 for 70 percent of eligible Fenix 6 devices. Have you received it yet? There is a high likelihood that your Fenix 6 device may be already running on firmware version 21.
There have been far too many intermittent issues resulting from firmware releases on Fenix 6 devices in the near past. Hopefully, version 21 of Fenix 6 firmware addresses all the intermittent issues on Fenix 6 devices.
Fenix 6 firmware version 21 fixes a lot of bugs and brings in improvements on many existing features. A list of all the changes is given at the bottom of this document.
Firmware update 21 for Fenix 6 devices will work on the following Fenix 6 devices:
- Fenix 6
- Fenix 6S Pro
- Fenix 6S
- Fenix 6 Pro
- Fenix 6X Pro
How can I update to firmware version 21 on Garmin Fenix 6?
Firmware updates on the Garmin Fenix 6 devices should be preferably handled automatically. You should use the Garmin Express application on your computer to automatically fetch the firmware update. It will then patch the Fenix 6 device automatically.
Alternatively, you can use the Garmin Connect app on your mobile phone to fetch the firmware update and roll it to the Fenix 6 smartwatch.
Apply Firmware Update on Fenix 6 using the Garmin Express application
Garmin Express is a PC-based application that is used to keep your watch updated. You can download the latest version of Garmin Express for Windows or Mac from the following page – https://www.garmin.com/en-US/software/express/windows/. Once you have installed Garmin Express on your computer, you can follow the process below to update the firmware to version 21.
- Connect the Fenix 6 device to your computer.
- Launch the Garmin Express application. The application will map itself to your Fenix 6 device.
- If your Fenix 6 device is eligible, the Garmin Express application will download the software or firmware update 21 to the computer first.
- Upon download, you can remove the Fenix 6 watch from the computer. Allow the computer to push the update automatically to the associated Fenix 6 smartwatch.
You can validate the successful completion of the firmware update by following the firmware check process below:
- On the Garmin Fenix 6 device, go to Settings.
- Select About Device.
- Select Garmin device information.
This will give the firmware version running on the Fenix 6 device.
Update Garmin Fenix 6 to firmware version 21 using Garmin Connect
The preferred approach to update firmware on Fenix 6 has to be through the Garmin Express application on the computer. An alternate approach would be to update firmware on Fenix 6 through the Garmin Connect app.
Garmin Connect is Garmin’s app for smartphones. It is available for Android and Apple mobile operating systems. The current version of the Android app for Garmin Connect is 4.54.1 and it was last updated on the 6th of May 2022. The current version of the Garmin Connect app on the Apple app store is 4.54.1. Use the Play Store on your Android phone or the App Store on your Apple phone to download the latest version of the Garmin Connect app.
To update firmware on Fenix 6 device using the Garmin Connect app, please follow the instructions below:
- Fenix 6 device needs to be paired with a smartphone. The phone could be an Android device or an iPhone.
- Fenix 6 device needs to be in close proximity with the paired smartphone.
- If Fenix 6 firmware 21 is made available for your Fenix 6 device, the Garmin Connect app will pull it automatically from the Garmin servers.
- Through the paired connection, the firmware update 21 will be synchronized with the firmware files downloaded using the Garmin Connect app.
- Once the firmware 21 has been sent from the mobile to the paired Fenix 6 device, the firmware update completes on the eligible devices.
You can validate the successful completion of the firmware version 21 on your Fenix 6 device by checking the system information as per the below-mentioned instructions:
- On the Garmin Fenix 6 device, go to Settings.
- Select About Device.
- Select Garmin device information.
This should give you the firmware version running on your Fenix 6 device.
Can I update firmware 21 on Fenix 6 manually?
The manual update process of firmware on Fenix 6 is no longer available. The firmware files will no longer be published or made available in the zip format for stable release versions or the beta release versions of firmware on the Fenix 6 devices.
The modified approach to updating the firmware on beta or stable release versions includes:
- Using the Garmin Connect app for downloading beta releases and reporting bugs. Your Garmin Connect app gets mapped to the Fenix 6 device. Upon successful mapping, your device becomes eligible to participate in the beta program for Garmin Fenix 6.
- Using Garmin Express or Garmin Connect apps to update stable release firmware on the connected Garmin Fenix 6 device.
Thankfully, the intricate process of applying the Garmin Fenix 6 firmware updates manually is being done away with. It also ensures that the devices get firmware automatically through the Garmin servers.
Issues after a firmware update on Garmin Fenix 6?
If you experience issues after updating firmware on Fenix 6 device, you can try to do a reset on the watch and re-apply the firmware update. In some cases, the firmware update may not have succeeded on account of multiple ancillary reasons.
How much time does the firmware update on Fenix 6 take?
Generally speaking, firmware updates are quick as the firmware update files are pretty small in size. With a good computer Internet connection and Garmin Express, you can expect the entire activity to be completed in less than an hour.
On a similar basis, if you are using Garmin Connect, it may take an hour for the firmware to be downloaded and applied to the paired Garmin Fenix 6 smartwatch.
We suggest that you must ensure the following while attempting a firmware update on the Garmin Fenix 6 device:
- Ensure that Garmin Fenix 6 is charged up.
- Ensure good internet connectivity on the PC or computer if you are using the Garmin Express application for firmware updates.
- Ensure that your Fenix 6 and smartphone are close to each other if you are using the Garmin Connect app to update firmware on the Fenix 6 device.
- Ensure that the paired smartphone is fully charged up.
- Also, ensure that there is good Bluetooth connectivity between the paired smartphone and Garmin Fenix 6 smartwatch.
You can read about the last stable release firmware version 20.60 for Garmin Fenix 6 on this page.
Bug-fixes and improvements in Fenix 6 firmware version 21
The firmware version 21 for Fenix 6 is significant because it brings in many performance improvements. It also superseded firmware version 20.60 while it was in the middle of being rolled out. The firmware version 21 should be applied as soon as it is made available to your Fenix 6 device.
The following is a list of bug fixes, feature additions, and performance improvements that are a part of the Fenix 6 firmware version 21:
- Added support for Connect IQ system 5.
- Added a new tip to inform the user each time a new emergency contact is added from Garmin Connect.
- Added a new tip that will recommend the user to reboot the device if the GPS is unresponsive while waiting for a fix before an activity.
- Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
- Added the Horseback activity.
- Added the new Easyhunt feature to the DogTrack app.
- Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
- Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
- Added animation to progress arc when viewing Intensity Minutes widget.
- Updated incident detection to better distinguish between supported and unsupported activities.
- Updated inReach messaging to now allow the watch to send messages up to 160 characters in length.
- Updated support for Shimano Di2.
- Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
- Improvements made to Run/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.
- Fixed an issue when setting timer alerts on the Track Run activity.
- Fixed an issue where one could preview workout videos for user created workouts.
- Fixed an issue where inReach menus are available while in Expedition mode. These menus are no longer available when in Expedition mode.
- Fixed an issue where the time of day would intermittently get cut off on the lap alert.
- Fixed an issue where the lap banner would not go away when on the music player.
- Fixed an intermittent issue where the backlight would not turn off in Expedition mode.
- Fixed an intermittent issue where graphical data fields would not render properly.
- Fixed an intermittent issue where the golf round summary would display an incorrect net strokes value.
- Fixed slight UI delay when accessing widgets from the watch face.
- Fixed UI issue on the golf last round widget.
- Fixed potential issue causing 0 pool swim distance. [Sensor hub 18.02]
- Connect IQ stability improvements and bug fixes.
The firmware version 21 for Fenix 6 is available and can be applied automatically through the Garmin Express application or the Garmin Connect app. Firmware updates on Fenix 6 cannot be applied manually. This firmware update assumes significance because it contains a lot of fixes and improvements.
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Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].