Garmin Fenix 6

Yes, you read that right, I said Fenix 6. I know, I know. Everyone else is talking about the Marq, but we did that months ago.

So, that Fenix 6. I think today confirms a few things for me which I’ve speculated on previously. Firstly is that Fenix 6 will launch in January 2020 approximately 18 months after the 5+ which was 18 months after the 5 which was 6 months after the Chronos (all timings very approximate!).

This shows that Garmin are doing what’s known as a “tick tock” release. You make big changes on one release, then refine for the next. The difference here is they also have a canary release to test the waters. Chronos gave us pretty much a Fenix 5 platform which allowed them to test things out before the 5 came along. Making it SUPER expensive means fewer users. On purpose. When you’re testing lots of new things fewer users is a good thing. Controlling the outlets is also a good thing. Limiting to high end watch shops means Garmin has a much simpler and more direct feedback mechanism away from their shouty mass market forums.

Next, that connector. I note that people are already complaining about “yet another” connector on DCRainmaker’s comments. Am I the only person who remembers that the Descent needed to use the Fenix 3 connector to be waterproofed properly? This connector looks like it solves that issue by being shallower. Queue the Fenix 6 getting rid of the specific SKU for diving and adding it to all watches as I predicted previously. That makes the new charge cable a very, very good thing. Also – isn’t that new “altimeter” hole interesting. 4 holes in a removable section of case plus what looks like a drain hole on the base of the watch.

The “altimeter” holes on the Marq. Screenshot of DCRainmakers photo at https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/03/garmin-marq-series-detailed-overview-hands-on.html

PulseOx – well obviously it’s through the range. My Vivosmart 4 had it ages ago.

Sony GPS. Yes. Well. This gives Garmin 9 months to either get that thing working or back out entirely without really losing face. The Sony chip is amazing on battery, but then so is my Fenix 5 Plus. But the 5+ always knows where it is, the Sony chips sometimes flip out and go all etch-a-sketch cubist with the tracks. I think Garmin will be able to get them stable, to me it does look like stability in the firmware and driver rather than a device that doesn’t work. When it works it’s really, really good. This means it’s probably a weird bug somewhere.

The price. Yes you could easily buy gold underpants for that money. They’d ruin your washing machine though and get stolen from the washing line. In reality inflation is a thing and Garmin are at the top of their game. The Chronos prepared us for the Fenix 5 price hike such that we were relieved the 5 was “so cheap” by the time it arrived. The Fenix 6 sill start at $700 for the base model because that’s in line with inflation from the Fenix 5 release. Plus a small bonus for completely outstripping the competition in every way. If Polar can charge $500 for the Vantage V why shouldn’t a Fenix 6 be $700?

The storage. 32GB seems a lot now. When the Fenix 6+ is released in mid 2021 that will feel like nothing. You can’t hold full worldwide maps AND all your Spotify on 32GB. So we know one feature of the Fenix 6 Plus already – lack of built in obsolescence.

And one final thought. We’ve not yet seen the analogue Marq yet, but we know there is one coming!

10 Comments

  1. Good read!
    I am thinking of switching from my series 4 apple watch to a fenix 5x plus but was worried that the 6 was imminent. I am getting back into my fitness regime after a few “resting” years and probably dont need all the features in the fenix but i long for a big bulky, yet smart time piece compared to that of apple. Or do you think im just wasting my money?

    • I think it’s a good move if you’re into sports. It’s a very different watch than the Apple though so see if you can try one out before buying even if just in the shop to see the screen and speed of the interface. I’d caution you though that DCRainmaker has just said there are quite a few new things coming in the next 7 weeks. I don’t think a Fenix 6 will be among them (I may be wrong!) but you never know what else is coming – for instance the Wahoo Rival is still overdue.

  2. What about the 935 replacement/upgrade?
    Thanks

    • October 2019 or later

      • 945 with Garmin Pay should be announced within the next couple weeks (possibly sooner). Will be released in “Q2” – probably May, June for wide availability.

        • … and hopefully with maps

      • It would be weird to replace a tri watch at the end of the season…. May (or the next year) seems more appropriate for me.

  3. What do you think the A03521 will be from Garmin that popped up on FCC site? NDA until April 15th, which is right around Boston time.

    • I’m currently thinking Vivosport but not looked in detail yet.

  4. This may be something to add to March Roundup… FCC via (Tawanese NCC) has released photos of the long lost Forerunner 245 / 245 music. (BTW – I’m very happy with my FR235 but would upgrade to 245M when the price drops in a few years.) A few websites have reported on it which is where I found the link below. https://fccid.io/NCC/CCAF18LP2270T3/l0Av7qe25qQ=

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