Aug 29 Release : AMAZON IMAGE : Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire

Here you go folks. Pre-order if you have $950 spare. Actually you can’t as the listing has been removed

Garmin  Speculation – More Info – Enjoy

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40 thoughts on “Aug 29 Release : AMAZON IMAGE : Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire

  1. Garmin’s “PacePro” that offers grade-adjusted pace guidance is quite a challenge to Stryd. Makes me think Garmin are ditching running by power. I get that, as runners are not cyclists and without running power integration it’s quite a clumsy metric on Garmin watches. A grade adjusted value would be rather handy. Let’s see how Stryd respond.

    • Yes. My first thought when I saw “PacePro” was also to question if this was a sign of a shift away from “Running Power” for Garmin.

      However, even if it is I don’t think it’s a technical challenge to Stryd, but may well prove to be a marketing challenge. Let be explain:

      Stryd’s critics and even some Stryd fans will say that Stryd power really is nothing more than high quality real-time Grade Adjusted Pace. So for sake of argument let’s say it is. Stryd gets GAP/Power through accelerometer readings At The Shoe.

      Even With Their Footpod (which this Amazon listing does not say is required) Garmin watches give pretty shitty instant pace. Without their footpod Garmin watches give Really shitty instant pace.

      Even with a well-performing barometer Garmin watches have questionable, And Slow Reacting, elevation data. And we all know Garmin watches are famous for barometer “issues”.

      So I have a Really Hard Time believing that this Fenix 6X can measure pace and elevation change accurately enough and with enough responsiveness From The Wrist to be a challenge to Stryd data.

      We suspect a new Garmin pod is coming. It might be a RDPod duo, it might be a StrydKiller Footpod, but I do think it will be a further hint towards Garmin’s vision for Running Power. But, like I said, if a footpod of any sort was needed for PacePro I would have expected the listing to say “with compatible accessory”.

      • You’re right, correct instant pace is required for correct instant power measurement and display. I see more benefit in lap average GAP and similar average measurement than instant readings. I think watches with just GPS can still provide accurate avg pace most of the time.

        Big feature could be connection to Firstbeat metrics which the Stryd+watches combo doesn’t support.

        I’m also wondering if bigger screen means also new higher resolution display.

        • I agree 100% that even if this only provides further refinement to the Firstbeat metrics it is a significant step forward. Not as much of a step forward as the low hanging fruit of letting Firstbeat recalculate metrics if you edit (or simply discard) bad files (like doing elevation corrections or cropping out the time you spent inside your house by mistake, or correcting for wrong sport type or removing bad HR data), but a step forward nonetheless.

          And while lap average GAP would be an addition, for pacing I really want info coming at me more quickly than once a mile, once a km. By the time a km auto lap comes up the lagging indicator of heart rate has probably already told me I’m pushing too hard up the hill.

    • the fundamental problem is satelite based instant pace will not be as accurate as 9 axis foot pod like Stryd and Runscribe

      • Why would you say that? GPS is exceptionally accurate when it comes to movement. The position is accurate to within 10m, but that error is consistent (within activity timeframes), allowing movement detection to a few cm. Buildings and trees will cause errors, of course.
        A 9 axis sensor, on the other hand, is wildly inaccurate for this kind of use-case. Anyone who has done any coding with accelerometers will tell you that. Even the electronic compasses are hopeless at repeatability – you can see this by slowly and quickly turning a device with a compass to a known direction (edge of a table for instance) and seeing how many different results you get. Try the spirit level on a phone against a fixed surface – you’ll get all sorts of different readings for the same angle. Add to this constant 3 dimensional movement of a foot and the result is not only not accurate but also not consistent. This leads to all kinds of software tricks and assumptions to get a reading consumers will believe is accurate. They do believe it too, because they want to believe it’s possible to measure these things accurately. It isn’t, certainly not in such low cost consumer devices. Billion dollar nuclear submarines still need to come to the surface for position checks, and they have rather more sophisticated accelerometers!

        • Yesterday I did a trail run under trees and near rocks and both my FR610 and my FR945 lost connection with gps very often. The FR610 vibrates when this occurs and says “lost gps connection”. With the reflection of gps signal of the mountain, there was another problem for the watches: reflection of gps signal in the water of the lake. The road I was running in was between the rock of the mountain and the lake. End result: the track was for the large part in the water.
          But I had a great run thanks to my Runscribe footpods, that gave me accurate instant pace and power. It’s true that 9 axis accelerometers are far from perfect, but for my use as runner I find it very good and a lot lot better than simply gps. For example when I do intervals both my FR610 and FR945 are useless when I don’t use instant pace and power of Runscribe footpod. I never tested Stryd because I find Runscribe very good, but I heard that also Stryd is accurate. Wind resistance of the new Stryd? Ok, I’m skeptical about it too and I won’t buy the new Stryd.

        • I’m ignorant to the facts. But have read examples of people running around athletics tracks with inaccurate GPS data yet very accurate accelerometer data. Maybe this is just a one off use case.

        • Then dual band gps chip could be the answer,accuracy of this chip can be 30cm under area cover by Japanese QZSS satelllite system and 1m under area with gallileo,but still currently none of watch’s brand using it as they are shifting to low power Sony chip,and with dual band chip,expertise is neede to do the programming,certain phone maker fail to utilise the dual band gps chip properly due to the progrsmming issue

        • Not sure you’re familiar with stryd, it’s very accurate for pace and generally more accurate for distance than gps. I agree it seems like magic but somehow they manage it. It’s kind of sad that for accurate hr you need a strap and for accurate pace you need a foot pod in addition to the $800 watch.

    • yes…but

      IIRC one of the AMBITS had this a long time ago. it’s not hard. but it’s only part of what STRYD can do…admittedly an important part (surface an wind are imp too for example)

      I was surprised that Garmin didn’t do this a long time ago. then again they did th egarmin running power.

    • So, this data was loaded directly by Amazon. They also put in that release date. They put it in the wrong field, Offering Release Date – which allows it to be pre-ordered, instead of Launch Date which only puts it on the site on that date.

    • i dont know who they’ve done it with yet but Amazon were essentially being less than truth ful with the 530/830945 releases. anyone who pre-bought with them was disappointed

      wait until you know who has the exclusive dela for the first month ro so

  2. Grade Adjusted Pace could finally enable trail runners to benefit from Firstbeat metrics available (being accurate) so far only for road running. That’s a shame this feature didn’t make it to running/tri watches as well.

    • On my morning run I was wondering if this would be back-added to recent watches (at least the 945, if not other recent watches). I know Garmin has added some features to older watches in the past, but based on the Amazon listing before it went down this seems like a headliner feature so maybe not.

      As someone who runs mostly road, but always in hills due to topography in my area, I’d love to see this back port to other watches (purely for the Firstbeat metrics you mentioned).

      • You sound like an ideal candidate for a Stryd. The latest version measures wind resistance too, unlike Garmin who just look at the online weather forecast and factor that in afterwards.

        • The latest version measures wind on the top of the foot – possibly the worst place to measure wind. It GUESSES wind resistance based on that measurement. As a result it is oblivious to tail winds and also to the actual wind speed on parts of the body where it matters such as the torso. An unexpected shoe design will completely baffle this device, as will water/mud in the wrong place.

          I know there aren’t many new toys at the moment, but we need to be more skeptical about the claims made by devices. Most of them are designed to sell devices rather than to carry out their stated claims.

          • Maybe you’re correct, we will see. If at the very least the new Stryd gives indicative values that inform the user to moderate pace, then maybe this is sufficient? Sometimes just being better than the competition is all that is required.

          • This. There are only so many sports devices that need replacing over say 2-3 years. Product cycles these days are a fraction of the expected lifetime of said devices, and sales driving features are usually based on sketchy algorithms from level V research at best, are only as accurate as the data they are fed – garbage in garbage out. Granted, a new gadget might get the weekend warriors and casual runners out the door more often but that initial extrinsic motivator wear off quite quickly when at the end of the day all those fancy FirstBeat metrics, and GAP, and whatnot didn’t make you any faster, nor have you injured less.

          • GIGO…lol. true of course

            weekend warriors and wannabe warriors/triathletes/parkrunners are all dirving the growth in the market.
            it’s generally a good thing IMHO.

            taking a step back. just think how mnay people now at least understand some quite complex physiological concepts when before they ‘just ran’. maybe the data is garbage but at least people’s understanding is improving and, hopefully, their fitness too.

            on a more positive note my 945 has been paying for a lot of sandwiches over the last couple of days in Bath!! #tapering. let’s see how fast the tech has made me this weekend.

          • Of course it’s a “guess.” Everything in sports tech is a guess, even cycling power meters. The question is whether it’s a useful guess. I believe they claim 5% accuracy, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. It’s worse than cycling power meters by a long shot, but one could also argue that 5% is still really useful because unlike in cycling, running biomechanics change significantly depending on grade, whereas cycling should mostly feel the same if you keep your power and cadence constant. A highly experienced cyclist can probably keep closer to a target power output without a meter than a highly experienced runner can (over varied terrain, of course; good runners are great at estimating pace on a track).

            It most definitely does account for tailwinds–that shows up in reduced frontal air pressure, regardless of whether it’s a net tailwind (faster than you’re running) or not.

            The impact not measuring wind resistance on the torso is probably not that meaningful in running, both because the air resistance is so low compared to cycling, and more importantly because body position is not something that a runner can manipulate in any meaningful way.

          • that’s a VERY good point that everyone (including me) seems to forget sometimes.
            300w up a hill is not always the same as a flat 300w as the biomechanics change. I was thinking that only yesterday running up a freaky steep hill in Bath (Widcombe Hill). much harder than it should have been

            the new STRYD accounts for wind.

          • I tried running with power with my Runscribe pod and FR945, using the app Runpower. I used 3 second power and 10 seconds power.
            For intervals in flat road it was ok, I run the intervals at 4/km and my power was about 300 W. It was nice.
            Then two days ago I run in a road with a lot of small uphill and small downhill. I noticed that with the same power (my goal power value was 260 W), the perceived effort for flat, uphill and downhill sections was quite different. This is another point against running power, maybe this is one of the reason why Garmin is lunching the same metric of Strava, GAP=grade adjusted pace, maybe this is more useful for runners. I will continue testing running power, but till now I’m not euphoric about it.

          • Mirko:

            > I noticed that with the same power (my goal power value was 260 W), the perceived effort for flat, uphill and downhill sections was quite different.

            I believe Stryd would say this is expected in the Runscribe (and also Garmin) running power model. Both Runscribe and Garmin attempt to model the Total Energy of Running, whereas Stryd is attempting to model the Metabolic Energy of Running. The difference in your case being that the total energy of running does not track well with Perceived Exertion on hills because total energy = metabolic energy (what your heart responds to) + recovered/spring energy.

            No Running Power model (even a theoretically perfect force plate shoe) is going to track perfectly with the muscular/skeletal stress of running.

            Grade Adjusted Pace also is attempting to match Perceived Exertion and thus should track much much closer to the Stryd model than the Runscribe/(current)Garmin model. In fact the greatest insult to Stryd (not without truth) is that it’s nothing more that GAP displayed as Watts, and the Watts model is basic in that pretty much w/kg = m/s, so you take GAP in m/s and turn that to w/kg, multiply that by weight and display that as watts…

  3. Couple other Amazon links:
    6s Sapphire:
    6 (standard):

    The Fenix 6 gets a small bump in screen size. Looks like the 6s stays the same. It seems the “pro” will feature the PacePro stuff. The new bezel design is kind of fugly in my very personal opinion.

    Other than that, it seems it’s just a refresh to upgrade the Fenix 6 to the new elevate sensor and Sony chip. I’m still having a hard time justifying the “upgrade” from the Fenix 5. They should really include the RacePro feature across the entire line. Why split it out into even more models? Hopefully I’m wrong.

    I wonder if DCR has this on his wrist as we speak.

    • remember that the 945 also has a faster processor than the 935. so a hopefully faster F6 will be good.
      tho already the 945 seems to have slowed a bit with some of the updates to me.

    • nice find
      looks like some copying of th epolar ignite there.
      we need some more interest from the specs now to see what’s really in there
      venu??? yet more confusion and complication of the garmin product range

  4. You’d think with their vastly expanding watch product range they’d offer a square/rectangular format watch? This format works well for Apple and it’s what cyclists and triathletes want. It’s what I want – but I guess I’m in the minority.

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