Apple watch 7 is the latest watch series made available this month. For someone who is looking to buy a new fitness and sports smart watch, Apple watch 7 offers a credible option alongside the Garmin Fenix 6 watch. Both watches cater to fitness trainers, sports enthusiasts and professional runners. We try to create a benchmark for you to decide between the Apple watch 7 or the Fenix watch 6. Do bear in mind though, that Fenix 7 is just round the corner. It is unclear if it may be launched before Christmas or in the first quarter of the 2022. However, let us look at how Fenix 6 compares to Apple watch 7, the latest watch from Apple.
Do you need a Smart watch or a Sports Watch?
An Apple watch 7 is a smart watch. It rings in all the features that you would expect out of a good quality smart watch. It has a wide screen in two sizes of 41 mm and 45 mm. It comes in 5 different color options in the aluminum body and the stainless steel or titanium option for the more conservative look. All the regular smart watch features of recording oxygen saturation, sleep tracking, taking an ECG, seeking emergency assistance in the event of a fall, and music ability are available on the Apple watch 7. If your purpose gets solved with these features and a watch that looks good on your wrist, you need not look further. Apple watch 7 is the watch of choice for you.
Garmin Fenix 6 goes beyond the capabilities offered by an Apple watch 7. It is the right watch for measuring and benchmarking sporting activities and fitness sessions. GPS tracking is top notch, and the Fenix 6 offers all the features that are also offered by the Apple watch 7.
The primary consideration for buying the Garmin Fenix 6 watch has to be around your love for sports, outdoor activities and fitness session and runs. Fenix 6 will offer much more if you are eager to tap the Fenix 6 watch series for recording activity and fitness data all along the exercise or fitness tracking sessions.
Personal Coaching on Garmin Fenix 6 watches
For fitness and sport enthusiasts, a Fenix 6’s additional cost can be justified in terms of the availability of personal coaching through a Fenix 6. If you are a Fenix 6 user, you can get customized coaching plans from one of the three professional coaches. Be it a fitness run to clock in 5K, 10K or higher distances, a personal coach’s guided path will allow you to measure your performance and attain the fitness goals set up for your individual practice.
Garmin’s elite list of coaches for Fenix 6 devices include the Olympian and best-selling author Jeff Galloway, physiologist and online running Coach Greg McMillan, or physical therapist and running expert Amy Parkerson-Mitchell.
Battery Life – Garmin Fenix 6 Vs Apple Watch 7
Sadly, nothing much changed between Apple watch 6 and Apple watch 6 when it comes to battery life. An Apple watch 7 comes with a battery life of 18 hours. Effectively, you need to charge the Apple watch 7 as a daily ritual. However, Apple watch 7 comes with a USB C Cable that can be used for fast charging. From 0 to 80% in 45 minutes !!! We always suggest out Apple watch 7 users to use the USB C cable shipped alongside the watch 7 to fast charge the watch.
Garmin Fenix 6 offers a much better battery life experience. On the smart watch mode, it can last for a full 7 days. Even with the most intense use of GPS and outdoor run or activity tracking, it will easily last a couple of days, if not more. For people looking to participate in cross country runs or in outdoor activities spanning multiple days time, a Fenix 6 will offer an extended battery life. Even though you may need to charge after 3 days, it still allows more convenience to wear a smart watch that does not run out in a day.
Some people like me forget to carry a charger during travels or short outdoor trips. I guess, for people like me, Fenix 6’s improved and extended battery life wins the competition against Apple watch 7. That too, without any doubt.
Body Battery feature of Garmin Fenix 6
The body battery feature on a Fenix 6 is a statement on your health, stress and physical activities. The algorithm on Garmin Fenix 6 calculates your body battery scores based on your stress and physical activity levels. The body battery gets discharged as you work through the day or participate in a run or outdoor activity. The body battery gets charged up when you take rest, allowing the body to recuperate after a hard day’s work. Usually, the body battery levels are the highest after a good night’s sleep. During the day, the body battery gets spent up to reflect the various tasks taken by you.
Apple watch 7 does not have a commensurate feature to the body battery feature of the Garmin Fenix 6 watch.
All weather tactile buttons on Fenix 6 watch
Apple watch 7 has an ultra-responsive touch screen. You could manage your watch with a quick touchscreen experience. However, runners and outdoor activity champions have experiences of the failed tracking due to touchscreen’s ultra-sensitive and responsive experience. During extreme cases of sweating during the summers or during extreme winters, regular fitness runners and activity taskers have reported issues with the touchscreen based watch recording. An accidental rub-off is the culprit on most instances for failed or stopper fitness activity recording.
This looks like a personal experience of some people, because most people seem to be happy with the touchscreen and its response on the Apple watch 7.
A Garmin Fenix 6 watch has tactile buttons or the push buttons to start and stop an activity, outdoor activity, fitness run or any other fitness activity recording. Tactile buttons are especially useful for people living in extremely hot weather conditions. And, also for people who live in extreme cold weather conditions. A push button on the Fenix 6 watch gives you an added satisfaction, when you are really jittery about recording complete fitness runs and activities.
If accurate session recording is your goal, the tactile buttons allow you the complete freedom to push on or off and clock your data to precise accuracy. Arguably, one can say that the sport and fitness enthusiasts would be better off with a Fenix 6 and its tactile button range.
GPS – Fenix 6 Vs Apple watch 7
Fenix 6 series watches are based on the Sony chipset. And, Sony chipsets are known to have reliable GPS connectivity. Garmin Fenix 6 supports GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite systems. For most cases, the ‘GPS’ setting provides accurate GPS data for the Fenix 6 wearer. For cities with tall buildings or dense forests with higher number of trees, you may double up the GPS setting with GPS + GLONASS to get a better accuracy. While the GPS is the US satellite system, GLONASS is the Russian satellite system. The European Union has its own satellite system in Galileo. When in Europe, you may make use of GPS + Galileo for better GPS accuracy. It is more about testing between these 3 systems on a Fenix 6 watch to get reliable accuracy of the GPS data.
Apple watches have also known to offer accurate GPS data. So, Apple watch 7 continues the tradition and there are no red flags for GPS performance on an Apple watch 7.
Fall Detection on Apple watch 7 Vs Garmin Fenix 6
Fall detection on an Apple watch 7 has to be one of the best features for offering guarded protection in the event of a fall. For a start, Apple watches are quick to detect a fall. The watch 7, like its predecessor, will try to elicit a response from the wearer to check about the whereabouts. If the wearer fails to response to the alerts, it will send an emergency notification to the emergency contacts. And, if your country supports an emergency service like a 911, an Apple watch 7 will make a call on the emergency number with the wearer’s GPS coordinates. In the past, Apple watches have demonstrated exceptional responses on encountering a hard fall. Emergency action taken by Apple watches have saved multiple lives of Apple watch owners.
One can confidently say that Apple watch 7’s hard fall detection is the best amongst all the smart watches. This is true for watches all over the world. If you are after a reliable watch to cover hard fall detection and response system, look no further than an Apple watch 7.
The incident detection feature on a Fenix 6 watch tries to emulate the hard fall detection of an Apple watch 7. However, the drawbacks on the Fenix 6 watch are that the Fenix 6 cannot call an emergency service number. So, no 911 calling on the Fenix 6 watch. You will need to set up emergency contacts on a Fenix 6 watch. These contacts will get GPS coordinates in the event of incident detection.
For the reasons explained above, if I have to buy a watch for hard fall detection and subsequent response action, I will buy an Apple watch 7 without any second thoughts.
Golf and Maps on Garmin Fenix 6
Availability of topographical, navigation and Golf maps on the Garmin Fenix 6 watches is a huge feature for the Fenix series smart watches. The maps on the Fenix 6 include the following different types:
Garmin Fenix 6 comes with pre-loaded maps; you can also update them with paid alternatives to make the maps data more accurate for your part of the world. Maps on Apple watch 7 will work through the navigational data provided by the paired Apple iPhone. If at all you have to buy a smart watch for exceptional maps data, there can be no alternative to a Fenix 6 watch. It beats other smart watches by a distance. And, if you are fond of playing Golf, Fenix 6 is the watch for you.
Apple watch 7 has a WR50 water resistance rating. This means that the Apple watch 7 is suitable for shallow water swimming. It has an ability to sustain depth pressure at a depth of 50 meters below water level or 165 feet below water level. In comparison, a Fenix 6 watch has an ATM 10 rating. This means that the Fenix 6 watch can sustain a depth pressure of 100 meters below water level or 330 feet below water level. Clearly, water resistance rating on the Fenix 6 watch is a winner when you pitch it against an Apple watch 7.
For professional swimmers or people training under a swimming coach, a Fenix 6 watch will be more appropriate in comparison with an Apple watch 6. There can be no two ways round it.
Irrespective of the water rating, both watches are not meant for deep sea diving or snorkeling. Also, you must avoid exposure to ocean water for any smart watch. This includes an Apple watch 7 and a Fenix watch 6. Ocean water is detrimental to the screen of the smart watch. If exposed to ocean water, wipe it clean with a wet cloth or clear and clean water.
Compatibility with Android phones – Fenix 6
Pairing of a smart watch with a phone is needed to push firmware updates, feature upgrades and manage the watch device appropriately. A fenix 6 device works efficiently with an Android phone and equally well with an iPhone. Infact, some analysts are of the opinion that the integration between an Android phone and the Fenix 6 device is more tight and seamless than an iPhone. But, the Fenix 6 device or watch works without issues with both the operating systems.
Apple watch 7 is limited to being used alongside an iPhone. So, it is not sure if the Android phone owners will get lucky anytime soon in terms of compatibility with an Apple watch 7.
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.
You may also like to read related content for the Fenix 6 smart watches below:
- Fenix 6 firmware update – 19.21; released 17th September
- Garmin Fenix 6 Firmware Update 19.20 – Issues
- Fenix 6 Firmware 19.20 updated 09.02.2021
- Fenix 6 firmware updates to 19.10; now 19.20
- Does Fenix 6 have body battery?
- Does Fenix 6 have fall detection?
- Fenix 6 vs Apple Watch 6
- Garmin Fenix 6 firmware 19.74 – released on 13.10.21
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.