Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar, 6S Pro Solar
Garmin has today released four new Fenix 6 watches to complement the existing 6X Pro Solar. Now there is a SOLAR version of every Garmin Fenix 6 Pro as the 6X Pro Solar was previously launched in 2019. Garmin Fenix 6 Solar Review now updated with solar info.
Source: ALREADY RELEASED ON Garmin.com (USA, NL)
Garmin Fenix 6 Solar – What’s New?
What’s new is the Solar Glass technology that charges the Fenix 6 Pro Solar from sunlight. In ideal conditions, this can have a nicely positive impact on battery life. Clearly, this new tech comes with some physical modifications to incorporate it into the existing Fenix 6 design as well as an upward impact on the price tag. Less obviously we now also see more advanced battery management and a few extra screens.
There are two photovoltaic cells added to each watch, one a circular strip around the watch face and another beneath the entire full-face display
Added to this are a variety of battery modes which come pre-configured to disable certain features. you can create a custom battery profile too and the Fenix will indicate the likely increase/decrease in expected battery life.
Then, finally, there are some additional screens to give extra bits of info on what the new solar cell has been up to all day.
Note you can see the Solar widget on the first screen and there is also a new(ish) widget glance that was introduced in a firmware update a little while back. For the solar nerds out there the Fenix 6 will even write some solar data stats back to your FIT file for you to analyse later.
Also new are some additions to Surf, indoor climbing and bouldering profiles which I think were already announced in beta firmwares?
Garmin Fenix 6 Solar – Battery Lives
These are market-leading battery lives
|Fenix 6 Pro Solar||Fenix 6S Pro Solar||Fenix 6X Pro Solar|
|-Smartwatch||14 days/16 days with solar||9 days/10.5 days with solar||21 days/24 days with solar|
|-Battery Saver Watch||48 days/80 days with solar||34 days/59 days with solar||80 days/120 days with solar|
|-GPS||36 hours/40 hours with solar||25 hours/28 hours with solar||60 hours/66 hours with solar|
|-GPS+Music||10 hours||6 hours||15 hours/16 hours with solar|
|-Max Battery||72 hours/93 hours with solar||50 hours/64 hours with solar||120 hours/148 hours with solar|
|-Expedition GPS||28 days/36 days with solar||20 days/26 days with solar||46 days/56 days with solar|
|Weight||Steel: 85 g (case only: 62 g)||61 g (case only: 45 g)||Titanium: 82 g – case with silicone band (case only: 54 g)|
|Titanium: 72 g (case only: 48 g)|
(Approx +$150 for Solar, or +$300 on 6X)
|$849.99 USD||$849.99 USD||$1149.99 USD|
Note: Max values shown assuming 3 hours charging @50,000lux
Garmin 6 Pro Solar – Opinion
This is a widely expected move from Garmin, presumably delayed by CV19 and supply issues last year. There’s not too much to see here other than solar-related models and features. We’ve also seen the same features rolled out the to ‘baby-Fenix’ (aka Garmin Instinct) and clearly this tech will find its way to yet more Garmin watches as time moves on.
The solar tech, in percentage terms, doesn’t add TOO much to the battery duration. However, because Garmin has such good battery lives then the increases for them can be quite notable with up to several hours of juice being added in some circumstances. If Apple added the same kind of tech to their Apple Watch then, in all likelihood, they might only gain a few 10s of minutes extra ie it’s simply not worth the likes of Apple trying to do this (yet)
But the great battery lives that Garmin already delivers somewhat negates the real NEED for this tech. I can’t really see any use case for anyone who NEEDS this extra boost in battery life. Sure it might help sailors, surfers and sunbathers but they all probably own USB charging sticks! If you put the ‘need’ to one side then I would certainly LIKE to try out this tech…it’s cool and it’s nice to have. It’s also expensive and the already expensive Fenix becomes just that little bit less attainable for the average, everyday adventurer. If you are faced with an extra $150 for Solar or a harder glass then it’s DEFINITELY best to invest in the glass tech that will protect your watch face. If you can afford both…you know what to do.
Having said ALL of that, there is the future. I’ve no doubt that Garmin will improve the efficiency of what they have done here through firmware. Perhaps we will see more material additions to battery life, perhaps we will see the cost of the tech fall as it gets rolled out to more models and then we have a whole new ballgame. Of course, that ballgame is a fixture for next season.
Price, Discount & Availability
The Fenix 6X Solar is NOT widely stocked. It’s a high value, slower-moving line and tends more to be stocked by ‘luxury watch’ outlets rather than sports watch outlets. I’m expecting REI.com to stock them in the USA and Cotswold & Wiggle in the UK, I’ll add the best links automatically from the blue Garmin image, below, as and when they are live. There also appear to have bene Amzon listings that were taken down ahead of the launch so I will add those if they were real.