Garmin Fenix 6 vs Pro vs Solar vs Sapphire: Selection Guide [2022]

Since there are lots of variants of Garmin Fenix 6, we would like to prepare this deep dive for Garmin Fenix 6 vs Pro vs Solar vs Sapphire and share their key features and functions compare them with each other.

Which Garmin Fenix variant is the best for me - how to choose right one:

First off, we have prepared following chart to help you better understand what the differences between the Garmin Fenix 6 variants are:

Comparison of #Fenix 6Fenix 6 Pro & SolarFenix 6 Sapphire
Lens MaterialCorning® Gorilla® Glass DXPower Glass™Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX or Sapphire Crystal
Bezel Materialstainless steelstainless steel or Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated titaniumstainless steel, titanium or Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated steel
Strap materialsiliconesilicone or titaniumsilicone, leather, titanium or nylon
Display size1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter
Display resolution260 x 260 pixels260 x 260 pixels260 x 260 pixels
WeightSteel: 80 g (case only: 57 g)Steel: 85 g (case only: 62 g)
Titanium: 72 g (case only: 48 g)
Steel: 83 g – case with silicone band (case only: 60 g)
Titanium: 72 g – case with silicone band (case only: 49 g)
Battery lifeSmartwatch: Up to 14 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 48 days
GPS: Up to 36 hours 
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 72 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days
Smartwatch: Up to 14 days/16 days with solar*
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 48 days/80 days with solar*
GPS: Up to 36 hours/40 hours with solar**
GPS + Music: Up to 10 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 72 hours/93 hours with solar**
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days/36 days with solar*
*Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions
**Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions
Smartwatch: Up to 14 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 48 days
GPS: Up to 36 hours
GPS + Music: Up to 10 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 72 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days
Water Rating10 ATM10 ATM10 ATM
Battery
Saver Mode
Yes-Mode SelectionYes-Mode SelectionYes-Mode Selection
Smart Phone
Music Control
YesYesYes
Preloaded Topo MapNoYesYes
Music StorageNo2000 Songs2000 Songs
Recovery TimeImproved Recovery TimeImproved Recovery TimeImproved Recovery Time
Round-trip
course creator
NoYesYes
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

So, what models do we have in Garmin Fenix Series? We have Fenix 6, Fenix 6 Pro, Fenix 6 Solar and Fenix 6 Sapphire. To begin with, the base Fenix 6 model is pretty simple. If you really want something premium, you need to go the Fenix 6 Pro version. By the way the Fenix 6 Solar and the Sapphire models include all features and functions that come with the Fenix 6 Pro. But there are some additional things that we will be taking about later on this topic.

There are also Fenix 6S and 6X models out there. Simply saying, “S” is for small and “X” is for large. For S and X models, the functionality and the features are the same except the Battery life and the screen resolution, case size diameter, wrist band width and the circumference.

This is an extensive study for the Garmin Fenix and its variants. To sum up this post, we will provide a standalone Fenix 6 Review below, and comparing Fenix 6 vs Fenix 6 Pro, Fenix 6 Pro vs Solar, Fenix 6 Pro vs Sapphire, and Fenix 6 Solar vs Sapphire. You can either read the entire post, or jump right to the section you are most interested in.

Similar Article – Garmin Fenix 6 vs 7: Updates and Key Differences

Long Story Short Garmin Fenix 6 Review (THE Base MODEL)

Garmin Fenix 6 In-depth Review

Here is our highlight for Garmin Fenix 6 Review (the standard model):

  • Garmin Fenix 6 is made of Stainless Steel. It measures 47 by 47 by 14.7 millimeters. It comes 83 gr in total which is pretty much heavy. The Garmin Fenix 6 has 1.3 inches transflective MIP LCD Display with a screen resolution of 260 by 260 pixels.
  • The Screen for durability is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The gadget comes with silicone wristband.
  • When it comes to the sport mode this watch packs 34 modes and features only found in dedicated golf watch. For contactless mobile payments Fenix 6 supports Garmin Pay. It has 6S, 6, 6X and Solar Edition, Pro and Sapphire edition models. In fact, the core features of these editions are the same. The Solar Edition uses Sun’s ray to charge around 15% of its battery. The Sapphire Edition has lens material of Sapphire Crystal.  The 6S and 6X are related to the dimensioning (Small and X Large). In this post, we mainly focused on the Garmin Fenix 6, the standard model.
  • The Garmin Fenix 6 is resistant up to 100 meters. In terms of battery life, it is an excellent choice. In standard mode, it can last up to two weeks. When the GPS is enabled, battery life is 36-hours. When GPS and music switched on, it can last 10 hours. When the low power mode is turned on, it can last 48 days which is amazing. If you need more battery life or rugged smart watch, you can consider the Garmin Instinct instead of Fenix.

Pros – Fenix 6 Review

  • Long Battery Life up to 14 Days
  • The Improved GPS Accuracy
  • The Water Resistant Depth of up to 100 meters
  • Versatile as it supports Both Voice assistance (Alexa and Google Assistant) and compatible with both IOS and Android Devices.
  • Wrist-Based Pulse Oxygen and heart rate

Cons – Fenix 6 Review

  • Heavier and Bigger
  • Lacks Music Storage
  • Smaller Screen with less resolution
  • Expensive than Apple Watch Series 7, even the standard model
  • Lacks ECG App
  • Lacks preloaded topo maps

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fenix 6 Pro – Side by Side Comparison

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fenix 6 Pro - Side by Side Comparison

Maybe you are budged restricted and wondering, if you can buy the base model Fenix 6? So, we made a side-by-side comparison for Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fenix 6 Pro and we will never recommend the base model of Fenix 6, since it lacks almost all the premium features. You can either upgrade it to Pro, Solar or Sapphire edition, or go and pick the Forerunner 955 which is almost at the same price level as the base Fenix 6, but includes all the Premium Features which comes with the Fenix 6 Pro. Here is the article that compares the Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 955 in many aspects.

So, what are the main differences between the base Fenix 6 and Fenix 6 Pro? The base model Fenix 6 has no Wi-Fi connection, no music storage, no function for preloaded topo maps, or audio. It has only 64 MB memory which is incredibly less than the Fenix 6 Pro. On the other hand, the Fenix 6 Pro has Wi-Fi connection, music storage up to 2000 songs, preloaded topo maps function and has 32 GB memory. Now, you can see why we do not recommend the standard-base model of Fenix 6, but recommend the Fenix 6 Pro variant.

Here is the table that we have put together to show the key differences between Garmin Fenix 6 and Fenix 6 Pro:

Key Differences of #Fenix 6Fenix 6 Pro
STRAP MATERIALSiliconeLeather, Nylon, Silicone, Titanium
BEZEL MATERIALStainless steelDLC Coated, Stainless steel, Titanium
WI-FINoYes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
AUDIONomp3/mp4
BLUETOOTH MUSICNoYes
Preloaded Topo MapsYesNo
Storage64 MB32 GB
Music StorageNoYes, Up to 2000 Songs
Latest RatesCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

It is so obvious that the Fenix 6 is not a premium smart watch without the features that we mentioned already. So, it is just a waste of money, if you do not prefer the Pro version. Or you can consider the Garmin Forerunner 955 instead of all Fenix 7 Series. Why? The answer is so simple, since Forerunner 955 is cheaper, and still has almost all the premium features that come with high-end Fenix 6 variants.

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro vs Fenix 6 Solar – Side by Side Comparison

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro vs Fenix 6 Solar - Side by Side Comparison

The only main difference between the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and Fenix 6 Solar is their screen glass. The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro uses Corning Gorilla Glass DX on its display screen. On the other hand, the Fenix 6 Solar uses Power Glass which has solar panels to produce extra power. Therefore, the Fenix 6 Solar has a longer batter-life compared to the Fenix 6 Pro, if it is exposed to sunlight! The difference between the batter-life of them can extend up to 15%.

Another difference between them is the available screen area. Since Fenix 6 Solar has solar panels around the edge of its watch face, there is less screen area compared to the Fenix 6 Pro.

All the other features and functions are the same, but you need to pay extra for the Fenix 6 Solar as it is expected.

Our Verdict for Fenix 6 Pro vs Fenix 6 Solar

Honestly, if you are not doing an expedition or do not need extra battery-life for any reason, there is no need for the Solar version. It will cost you an extra of $150 compared to the Fenix 6 Pro. The question you need to ask yourself is it really worth?

Check Latest Rates on Amazon:

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro vs Fenix 6 Sapphire – Side by Side Comparison

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro vs Fenix 6 Sapphire - Side by Side Comparison

The major difference between the Fenix 6 Pro and Fenix 6 Sapphire is that Fenix 6 Pro uses Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX, on the other hand, the Fenix 6 Sapphire uses Sapphire Crystal on its glass which is a synthetic gemstone that’s created in a lab. So, the only thing which is harder than a Sapphire is the diamond. Therefore, the Fenix 6 Sapphire has the most durable display screen glass out there. The only downside to Sapphire is actually it transmits less light and it’s more reflective. So, the visibility of the Fenix 6 Sapphire display is a little bit dark and reflective. Therefore, the Fenix 6 Pro is a lot easier to read at different angles.

When we move them around the Sapphire doesn’t really make a big difference out in direct sunlight, although the Gorilla Glass is definitely a little less reflective. However, it’s quite noticeable especially when it gets darker out.

About the durability of glasses of Fenix 6 Pro vs Sapphire; the Corning Gorilla Glass of Fenix 6 Pro is quite durable, but it is not scratch proof. So we would suggest putting a screen protector on it. On the other hand, the Sapphire crystal of Fenix 6 Sapphire is extremely resistant to scratch!

Our verdict for Fenix 6 Pro vs Fenix 6 Sapphire:

Both of them are basically the same exact watch, the only difference between these two devices is the material used for the glass. Everything else inside, they are almost identical. The features and the functionality are the same. You’re going to get the same exact performance from both watches. So, you got to ask yourself is it worth it $100 to  get the Fenix 6 Sapphire it’s a little bit more durable, but it’s a little dimmer and harder to see. On the other hand, the Fenix 6 Pro is $100 cheaper but you may scratch the lens. Then, again you could just get a screen protector on there for like $5 and protect it.

Check Latest Rates on Amazon:

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar vs Fenix 6 Sapphire – Side by Side Comparison

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar vs Fenix 6 Sapphire - Side by Side Comparison

When we make a side by side Garmin Fenix 6 Solar vs Sapphire comparison, the main differences between the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar and Sapphire are the material of their glass, battery life, durability, weight and comfort. So let’s go through these differences one by one:

  • The most notable difference between the Fenix 6 Solar and Fenix 6 Sapphire is that Fenix 6 Solar uses Power Glass, on the other hand, the Fenix 6 Sapphire uses Sapphire Crystal on its glass. The Power Glass is not quite as durable as the Sapphire Crystal on the Fenix 6 Sapphire model. But it is much easier to read since there is less reflection and glare on the Power Glass of Fenix 6 Solar.
  • Also, the battery life on Fenix 6 Solar is longer than the Fenix 6 Sapphire since Fenix 6 Solar has solar panels on its glass. These panels can help to extend the battery life up to 15% compared to the Fenix 6 Sapphire edition.
  • Another major difference is the durability of their screen glasses. The Fenix 6 Sapphire has Sapphire Crystal on its glass which is highly durable and it is almost impossible to scratch it. On the other hand, the Power Glass of Fenix 6 Solar is not as durable as the Sapphire Crystal. If you are concerned about the durability of the screen, you can put screen protectors on the Fenix 6 Solar, but then you end up with kind of a reflection that looks like the Sapphire model anyway.
  • So far, Garmin has not shipped a Fenix 6 with Sapphire and Solar options together. We think it’s due to that reflection. You’re not going to get the most sunlight into the solar panel of the watch with that Sapphire Lens, because it reflects the light back out. So they use a power glass to improve that solar performance.
  • The last major difference between them is the comfort. The Fenix 6 Sapphire is a bulkier and heavier smart watch then the Fenix 6 Solar. Actually, you can feel that on your wrist.

Our Verdict for Fenix 6 Solar vs Fenix 6 Sapphire

Comparing the Fenix 6 Solar with the Fenix 6 Sapphire side by side, they’ve got a lot of similarities. For instance, the menu system is exactly the same. Also, the amount of activities that you can track with them is the same. There’s no difference in terms of the guts or how they work on a day to day basis. The only difference is that the solar model has a solar panel on side at the very edge around the perimeter. Therefore, Fenix 6 Solar can last longer than the Fenix 6 Sapphire. But, the Fenix 6 Sapphire has a more durable glass than the Fenix 6 Solar.

To sum up this comparison; if you are looking for a rugged smart watch, you can go with the Fenix 6 Sapphire. But, if you expect more battery life and comfortable watch on you wrist then the Fenix 6 Solar is a better option. All of the other features and functions of both smart watches are the same.

Check Latest Rates on Amazon:

Bottom-line FOR FENIX IN-DEPTH REVIEW

All in all, we do not recommend going with the base Fenix 6 model since it lacks the most usefull features which are expected from a premium watch. On the other hand, the Fenix 6 Pro is an excellent option. Also, you need to pay more for Fenix 6 Solar and Fenix 6 Sapphire edition. These two watches have the all features and functions of the Fenix 6 Pro. But, additionally, the Solar version has 15% bettery battery-life, if it exposed to sunlight frequently and the Sapphire edition has the most durable glass on it (highly durable, rugged watch).

Again, we think you should have solid reason to go with the Solar and Sapphire variants since they cost a lot more than the Fenix 6 Pro.

If you are wondering how Garmin Fenix 6 does compared to other high-end smart watches, we strongly recommend reading following articles: