Garmin announces Fenix 6 series: Solar power, bigger displays, and grade-adjusted pacing

The annual update for Garmin's high end multi-sport GPS watch was announced with a new charging technology, larger displays, and a new feature that may address one area that drives runners to using the power metric for training. Three new Fenix 6 series devices were revealed with prices starting at $599.99.

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Image: Garmin

Garmin's Fenix line is designed for serious multi-sport athletes who spend time outdoors hiking, trail running, mountain biking, golfing, diving, and more. Some of the great features recently launched in the runner-focused Forerunner 945 are included, along with some new features not yet seen on a Garmin wearable.

The top-of-the line model, the Fenix 6X Pro Solar, incorporates Power Glass that uses the sun's energy to power up the battery of the watch. Solar charging is not the primary charging mechanism for the watch, but enhances the longetivity of the watch. For example, the smartwatch mode of the Fenix 6X Pro Solar is 21 days, but when the solar charging is accounted for the battery life is extended an additional 3 days. So we might see an additional day of battery life after a week of 24/7 wear with sunlight available. The 6X Pro Solar also has a 1.4 inch display, which is 36% larger than the Fenix 5X model.

See also: Garmin Fenix 5X Plus review: Champion multi-sport GPS watch with music, Garmin Pay, and advanced sleep tracking

The Fenix 6 and 6X models essentially the same, but with the 6X having a 1.4 inch display and the 6 having a 1.3 inch display. Sapphire editions are also available for these models, along with new nylon and silicone QuickFit band selections.

Since I live on a hill and every training run incorporates hill running, I've been using a Stryd running power meter to help me maintain a steady level of effort on hills and flat terrain. With the Fenix 6 series, Garmin is introducing a new feature called PacePro. PacePro is is designed to provide grade-adjusted pacing guidance as you run a course. This will be one of the first features we explore in our upcoming review of the Fenix 6 series.

Another new feature that I hope comes to other Garmin devices, is the customizable Power Manager. Watch wearers will be able to see how various sensors and settings impact battery life so as you plan adventures you can make informed decisions about charging your watch and which sensors are critical for the adventure.

See also: Garmin Forerunner 945 review: Music, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

The Garmin Fenix 6 series watches include topographic maps out of the box, including ski maps for over 2,000 resorts and more than 41,000 golf courses. 2,000 songs can be downloaded and enjoyed on the Fenix 6 series with Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer services supported. Garmin Pay is also supported on all models of the Fenix 6.