Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Garmin Fenix 6 Review: 16 New Things To Know (Base/Pro/Solar)

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Hey folks, Ray from DCRainmaker.com here. And today I have your in-depth review

via 16 things to know about the new Fenix 6 Series. Now "Series" encapsulates

a lot of stuff because there's a lot of units in there, like 20-something units

across the entire series; which is sort of crazy we'll get that in just a second.

Now in putting these watches through their paces here in the French Alps and

actually the Swiss Alps as well, just over there and over there.

All the alps, I've been through all of them. And in going ahead and testing

them out. And trying to dig into some of these new features here, and so I've got a

pretty good idea on what's working fairly well, and what's maybe not working

so well. And so we're gonna go through all that stuff, but mostly I'm

gonna focus on the new stuff in this video. So things that are totally new to

the Fenix line, to the Garmin Forerunner line, to the MARQ line, to all

the lines basically new stuff. At the very end though, I'll encapsulate a bunch of

new stuff that's, yes, new to the Fenix 6, but was introduced on the

Forerunner 495, or the MARQ Series this past spring. So stay tuned

for that. The first like fifteen or so items are basically stuff that's brand

new that you probably haven't seen before. Oh, and then just to state the

obvious, this video is not sponsored in any way shape or form. It's just me do my

thing. Also if you want to check out my full in-depth review down in the description there,

that's where I have a lot more the accuracy testing, like elevation, and GPS, and heart

rate. All that stuff that is kind of boring to watch in a video, but is

detailed super deep down that video there across a whole bunch of sports, and

days, and weeks, and it's all there, so go check this out. First tho, #1

on the list is, we got to figure out this whole like listing of units because there's a

lot of them here. I'm gonna try to explain it all they start off at

$599 and they go all the way up to $1150 bucks. Pretty

expensive. And the way to think about it is, basically Garmin's broken the Fenix

line into kind of two pieces. There's the base piece, and there's a pro piece. The

base piece takes out the maps, takes out the music, and takes out the Wi-Fi. So it

kind of makes it like older Fenix , if you will. But adds in and keeps all of

the physio stuff that we'll talk about a little later on. So all the advanced

metrics, and all of that kind of stuff is still there. Versus the higher end ones (and you

can see all the prices on the screen right there), the higher end ones keep the

maps, keep the Wi-Fi, keep the music that you saw in the Fenix 5 Plus series,

and then eventually go all the way up to the Fenix 6X Solar which introduces

solar. Which again we'll talk about in a bit. Now, keep in mind that with that lack

of maps, there are other features that kind of depend on that, that fall away.

For example, there's no Climb Pro anymore on the unit itself,

there's no popularity routing on the unit itself, all the stuff that you kind

of depend-on on the underlying topo maps data

is gone. So I'll try to note that down at the bottom of the video there, when something

is not on the base unit. But for the most part, unless I say something, everything

you see here is on the base unit. So that gets us to #2 on the list which is

solar. And it's probably the one that everyone will be talking about, despite the

fact that's really only available from $1,000 up. Its introduced on the Fenix 6X.

Now keep in mind in the past the X-Series watches are where Garmin

has introduced a bunch of new technologies. So if you go back to the

Fenix 5X series, that's where you had maps but the rest of series did not. If

you go back to the Fenix 5X Plus, that's where they introduced PulseOx,

where as the rest of series did not. And, if you go now to the Fenix 6X, and I'm

probably gonna screw up these names at some point, this is where they're introducing

solar. Now, if you look just on the inside of the watch, just inside the bezel

itself, you'll see there's a thin strip. It's one millimeter all the way around,

and that is 100% solar panel. Meaning it's getting 100% of the light from the

sun out here into that little solar panel there that is one millimeter thick.

Versus the rest of the display actually has solar under it as well, but only at

10% efficiency. So in that case only 10% of the sun is making it into that solar

panel under the rest of the display. The entire display, including that one millimeter

piece there, is underneath Gorilla Glass, so you're not gonna like scratch the solar

panel off. Whatever you do scratch wise to the entire display is gonna happen

to the entire display. It's got a gorilla glass covering the entire thing. Now the

way Garmin sees this is a way to go ahead and top up your watch, and so it's

not designed to power your watch indefinitely forever. It's not forever

power. But it is pretty close in some scenarios. So if you go ahead and just

turn off GPS tracking, and just use it like say you're out working or something

like that. Maybe you have a job that is outdoors, and you just want to use it in regular mode.

You'll come pretty darn close on a sunny day to just keeping things neutral across

the board. You might slowly dip down depending on how many notifications you

have an stuff like that, but more or less pretty neutral. Versus is if you're out

hiking and running like I am today out here, even though it's super sunny, you're

not going to get like dramatic additions of battery life to this. You're gonna get

a handful of hours. I'll put that number exactly right now on the screen there. So

you can see on the watch exactly these solar intensity in real time. And it's

pretty impressive. It's literally real time. If I go out of the trees, it takes

about two seconds or so to show and reflect that on the screen itself, and

you'll see there's two different ways to look at it. One is that little sundial

right there. That is showing kind of the full intensity. And so if it's at like,

you know, zero, or one, or two bars, it's probably overcast, fairly overcast

in fact. Versus if it's all the way filled up, then it's sunny. And right now I've got

mine all the way filled up here in the sun. Though when I go like this and kinda take

it out of the sun, because the sun is up there, I'm down at like one to two bars.

And what I'm generally seeing here is that when it's cloudy out I'm between,

let's just call it 0% to 50% solar intensity. And then when

it gets sunny, it's pretty much like straight into the 100% solar intensity.

There isn't a lot between that 50% and a 100% marker. Still it's it's

pretty cool. On the bottom there you've got also a graph that shows you solar

intensity over the course of the day. That has been kind of fun to watch on

some of my longer hikes where I was down in the tree canopy in the forest early

in the morning. So not great solar intensity, and as I went up to above the

treeline and into the sun, then you get kind of a full intensity. And then again as

I finished up down back in the treeline you lose that again. So pretty impressive

stuff. Okay let's go ahead and cook into #3 here because I'm way behind

my target timeline for this video right now. And so let's talk about Trendline

Popularity Routing. It was something Garmin introduced last year in the

Fenix 5 Plus series. And essentially that takes all the heat-map data that

Garmin gathers from probably about a million activities a day (GPS activities),

they have on Garmin Connect, and it puts it in the watch from a data standpoint. But

previously you couldn't actually see that heat map on your watch itself. The

data was there, you would route over the top of it, called popularity routing, and that

worked great, but now you can actually see it. Now you can toggle a map layer

that goes ahead and shows you the exact Trendline Popularity Routing of your

area. And it's cool but there are definitely some limitations that are

becoming super visible here, even in a place like Chamonix, it's like, just all

outdoor people all the time, and tons of people wearing GPS watches. Number one is

that I'm not seeing a lot of the popular routing data once I zoom beyond half a

mile of zoom-level there. Which makes it really tough to see beyond just my

little area. So I can't really see longer distance. That's something that they can

probably fix and change the rendering whatnot.

Number two, I'm also noticing that it's divided up based on sport, which makes

sense at first, but in the case of up here I saw a ton of data for running but

oddly not a lot of data for hiking- because people are probably just simply

sticking to the run GPS mode as opposed to hike. So I kinda just would choose run

up here so I can go ahead and see the stuff around me. Still, it's super cool

stuff and I think those are kind of minor tweaks that they can fix overtime.

Next on the list is PacePro. Now the goal behind this is effectively to replace

those paper wristbands that you wore at

marathons that would show your splits for every kilometer or mile during the

race. But they didn't necessarily account for the terrain very well, and that's what

PacePro aims to do. So the way it works is that you can apply a course, or you

can not apply a course, but in my case I've applied a course to it so it knows

the terrain for that. It knows how to take into account that terrain for running up

hills and down. Once you've got that loaded, then you go ahead and decide

do you want to positive split or negative split. Which basically means do you want to get

faster over the course of the race or not. And number two, you can choose how

aggressive you want to be on hills. And so as you dork with these sliders, you

can see the PacePro will shift the different pace splits for your entire

race, or workout, or whatever it may be. And then on training day, or race day

whatever maybe, you've got an actual data screen that's sort of like the virtual

partner one, where it goes ahead and shows you how you're doing against those

splits, as well as against the entire race. Pretty cool stuff. It's definitely

like taking virtual partner and kicking it up a notch, and it's giving you a lot more

control over how you race against something. Just a super quick scenic

interruption, if you're enjoying the video go ahead and whack that like button

right now, down the bottom there, or hit the subscribe button! It really helps out

the channel as well as the video. With that, onto the next one. Next we've got a

slew of battery related features. And I've kind of broken them out because they are

different features. Number one it is something called Power Modes, and now

what Garmin has done here is they basically looked at Suunto and said, "what

you did last year with the Suunto 9, that was a really good idea, we're gonna copy

it"! Which is that Suunto introduced these battery modes where we basically would

know how much battery time you had from an hour standpoint; so you have a say 20

hours, or 40 hours, or 50 hours of battery life left on the watch based on the

battery that you have right then and there. And you could change the battery

modes both prior to activity as well as during the activity to go ahead and

complete your activity. It made a lot of sense. So Garmin took that same thing

and they created new battery modes, and more or less copy the entire feature. So

that segways right in the next one called Power Manager. Now Power Manager

allows you to create your own custom profiles and as you're doing it, it'll

actually show you how many hours it'll add for each thing you do. So if you turn

off the optical heart rate sensor, it'll show you exactly how many hours you're gonna

gain by doing that. If you turn off sensor connectivity, the ANT+ sensors

and Bluetooth Smart sensors, it shows you exactly how much time you're

gonna gain in doing that. And you goes through this entire list of things. And it's things like

music for example that are turned off, that would obviously vary. So they can't

give you like a straight answer for that. So it just simply says "Vary". And now if

you were creative enough within this, you could actually get to our next item

which is the Battery Saver Mode. Now the goal

behind this is sort of replicating kind of like Casio does. On basically creating

a mode that will last more or less forever. Like 41 days, which is a long

time for a Garmin watch. And what it does in that mode, when you enable that,

you can just toggle it through the battery

manager there, is it goes and it basically turns everything off, and it

just simply updates your time screen once per minute. One of the things that

most people don't realize is that, that seconds-hand on your watch and showing

it, is a huge battery drain over the course of a longer period of time.

Finally on the battery related train of new features, here is Expedition Mode.

This is something that came to the Garmin MARQ Expedition Series this past

February, but you probably didn't use it because that cost $2,000!

But it's here now. And the way it works is it goes ahead and disables everything,

kind of like Battery Saver Mode, except GPS. So GPS actually stays on but it

checks in once per hour. The idea behind this is that you can get up to roughly 46

days or some crazy number of days depending which unit you have. It's

like 21 days if you have the 6X, all the way up to 46 days if you have the X.

and that allows you get the single GPS plot once per hour if you're going a

really long ways and don't really care about anything else except for... I don't

really know who's gonna use it to be honest. Like I think if you're going 46

days you probably have a battery pack with you, and the other modes, you know

like the other normal GPS modes, last up to 120 hours- so that's gonna cover

almost everyone else. So it's cool but, I bet no one ever actually uses it. Next

we've got a quickie. Which is the increased number of data fields per page!

Simple as that. If you have the 6S or the 6, you

get up to six data fields now (from the previous four). And if you have the 6x you

get up to eight data fields from the previous four.

So again, Garmin kind of following what Suunto and others have done here, and

adding more data fields per data page. Next we have some tweaks to the size of

the unit's themselves. And now over the past couple years, for the most part,

the Fenix series have stayed the exact same size, the display is has changed a

little bit, but they kind of are what they are. Now that all changes with the

Fenix 6 series. Starting off with the display size, they've increased that

across the board by decreasing the bezel size. So the actual screen resolution

increases as well as a screen size. And then on the thickness of all of the units

they've decreased those by varying amounts as well. And then last but not

least on the 6S, which is the smaller one, that tends to be more popular with women-

including my wife. They've reduced what's called the "Lug to Lug" distance.

They always stuck out a lot, and they it looked a little awkward.

They reduced that considerably which should make it a little bit better for people to have small wrists.

Next on the list, we got Widget Glances. Now this is one of those

things that probably doesn't sound that exciting, but it's just so awesome when you

start to use it. In the past a Garmin had in the widget role, which is a thing that

you scroll through and you've got widgets like weather, and your activities,

and all that kind of stuff. It's not really designed for during the workout

but just the rest of the day. But you had one page for each widget. And that was

fine, but there was a lot of wasted space there. And so with Widget Glances they've

shrunk that down into these glanceable things, that you can go ahead and you see

three per page. and you can click on them to get the full widget size. It's awesome.

Like I don't need this huge page for most of these things, like just seeing my

heart rate, or seeing the altitude, or elevation. It works pretty well. This is

something that it sounds like they are gonna open up to the rest of Connect IQ here

at the same time. So other developers will be able to go and take advantage of that as

well. Next there's the new Map Display Themes. Now, this is only available on the

ProModels that have maps of course, and what it allows you to do is to change the

theme of the map. So in the past Garmin had their standard issue map, but this

allows new map themes. So for example, there is the Popularity Routing Theme,

which is how you see the trend line popularity data- the heat map data. There

is a high contrast theme, there's a dark theme, there is a marine theme- which

shows like more marine stuff. There's a ski resort theme. All those things, you

just simply toggle the themes however you want, whenever you want, even mid

activity. Speaking of maps the 6Series now includes ski resort maps as well as

golf courses on the device itself. So in case of ski resorts there's 2,000 ski

resorts, and I check this one here, and Chamonix is on the list which is great.

In the case of golf courses there's 41,000 that are pre-loaded on the device

as well. I don't golf, so I really can't... I'm really good at like miniature golf, but not

so much the big ball golf. So I can't really help you there. Next on the list

though is ClimbPro. So back to something that is in my ballpark.

Now ClimbPro was introduced in the past, I think I'm a Fenix 5 Plus Series.

And basically what it does, is it shows you your climbs automatically if you're

loading a course. And it's really cool. I've been using it all day, everyday,

on all of my hikes here. Because I'm just climbing all day everyday- I love it!

It's one of my favorite features. That was in the past, what they've done now

though, is they've taken the coloring that is on the Garmin Edge 530, 830, and 1030

series, where it colors the actual map itself based on the incline- so based on

the suck factor if you will. That will be on the wrists itself. Now

unfortunately that feature won't be there at launch, so if you have it you're

not gonna see it on day zero. They are still fine-tuning that a little bit. Next

for those triathletes in the crowd, you now have optical heart rate enabled for swimming.

This is something that Garmin has started to do some beta builds on this

past summer for the Forerunner 945, and also if I think for the

MARQ Series too. But now for the Fenix6 Series, if you want to use the

optical heart rate on your wrist itself- for swimming, you can do that. You can

still of course use the HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim straps, which Garmin says, and I

would agree with, will give you better quality data. So you're gonna have to do

some testing to see if it works for you. Now last but not least, is the beast of a

list of items that our added to the Fenix 6 Series that came within the

Forerunner 945 Series. So if you're asking yourselves

are there gonna be any difference between the 945 and the Fenix 6

Series, the answer is probably a few, but more or less, both should kind of blend

together. Again all those features (I'll put them on the screen right now because

there's so many features that I can't possibly talk through them all). Where I have

talked through them all, though, is in the full In-Depth Review linked at the bottom down

there. You'll see all of them, and you can find out more than you probably ever

wanted to know about everything there. Okay, so there you go a complete look at the

new Fenix 6 Series. So what are my kind of concluding thoughts? I'm generally

impressed. I think a couple things. One, the solar is intriguing to me. I want to

see it in a lower price point, like in these other devices. But I have no doubt that that's gonna

happen. That's, Garmin spent a lot of money according this technology they're

not just gonna put in a single watch. And they have kind of, you know, alluded to that a little

bit. So that's cool stuff, I I'm seeing the benefits of that in the sunny day

hikes and whatnot. Number two, I'm actually impressed with the accuracy,

even if those you have been following me for a while, I have not been super

impressed with the Sony chipset accuracy on any of the devices- whether it be Suunto,

a Polar, or Garmin, over the past year as they've all shifted that. But I'll give

them credit, I'm getting really good GPS tracks in some really tough places up

here. Some pretty sketchy places that are getting really good GPS tracks, so that's

good. With that thank you for watching. Go ahead and whack that like button on the bottom

there, or the subscribe button, in particularly because there is a

disturbing amount of new sports technology stuff coming in the next

ten days, that you do not want to miss out on. Like seriously, it's,

my tracker sheet is, it's

concerning for my health right now.

But you're gonna enjoy it, I think I hope!

Have a good one

The Description of Garmin Fenix 6 Review: 16 New Things To Know (Base/Pro/Solar)