Written by Lieze

Compare the Garmin Fenix 6 to the Garmin Fenix 5

The Garmin Fenix 6 is the successor to the Fenix 5, which is popular among sports enthusiasts. With a great deal of new sports and outdoor functions like PacePro and Power Manager, the Fenix 6 is a worthy successor. The Pro version in particular is the most complete sports watch to date. Check out all the similarities and differences below.

Garmin Fenix 6

Measures steps, heart rate, sleep, distance, and more | Integrated GPS | Shows smartphone notifications
549,99
temporarily sold out
  • Thanks to PacePro, you can achieve your pace goals even during ascent and descent.
  • You can view the effect of the settings on the battery life and make adjustments to extend the battery life.
  • You can make contactless payments with Garmin Pay.
  • If it's not a Pro version, it doesn't have maps and navigation isn't as transparent.
  • You can only listen to music with the watch if you have a Pro version.

Garmin Fenix 5

With integrated heart rate sensor | With integrated GPS sensor | With navigation
499,99
temporarily sold out
  • Thanks to the QuickFit watch strap connection, you can quickly change the strap.
  • Shows heart rate zones, so you can focus your training on endurance or burning fat, for example.
  • In addition to registering your route, the watch also navigates you.
  • You can only make contactless payments if you have a Plus version.
  • Doesn't support music storage, so you have to take your phone with you during exercise.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fenix 5

Fenix 6 Fenix 5
Battery life in smartwatch mode 14 days 14 days
Battery life in GPS mode 36 hours 25 hours
PacePro Yes No
Contactless payment Yes Only Plus versions
Power manager Yes No
Music storage Only Pro versions No
Topographic, ski, and golf maps Only Pro versions No

Battery life

Garmin Fenix 6 battery menu

Fenix 6: 36 hours with GPS

Within the Fenix 6 series, the battery life increases with size. The medium-sized Fenix 6 has a battery life of about 14 days in smartwatch mode and 36 hours with GPS on. The largest 6X Pro version has a battery life of a whopping 21 days in smartwatch mode and 60 hours in GPS mode. The S version lasts as long in GPS mode as the larger Fenix 5 normally does, but it only lasts 9 days in smartwatch mode.

Garmin Fenix 5 battery menu

Fenix 5: 25 hours with GPS

The battery life of all models in the Fenix 5 series is shorter than that of Fenix 6 models. It's pretty close. The biggest difference is the battery life of the Fenix 5 in GPS mode, which is 11 hours shorter than that of the Fenix 6 in the same mode. While the Fenix lasts 5 to 25 hours, the Fenix 6 lasts up to 36 hours. The battery life in smartwatch mode is similar to that of the Fenix 6.

Maps and navigation

Fenix 6 map navigation

Fenix 6: Pro versions with map navigation

Thanks to the topographic maps on the Pro models, you always know where you are during a hike. The navigation is clearer compared to the non-Pro and Fenix 5, thanks to the map directions. These only show an arrow pointing into the correct direction. On top of that, the Pro versions have golf course maps and over 2000 ski maps, while the Fenix 5 and models other than the Pro version don't.

Fenix 5 without a map

Fenix 5: less clear navigation

Like the Fenix 6 models except for the Pro, the Fenix 5 doesn't have maps. The watch navigates you with an arrow pointing in the right direction instead of with a map and directions. The Fenix 5 Plus does have maps, so it navigates you in the right direction based on map directions.

Music storage

Garmin Fenix 6 with Deezer

Fenix 6: music storage support for 8000 songs

Only the Pro versions of the Fenix 6 have 32GB of storage. This means you can store about 8000 songs on the watch. You play the music directly from the watch. You can safely leave your phone at home during a workout, because you don't need it to listen to music. Unless it's the Pro version, the Fenix 6 doesn't support a music storage but it does have music controls. This allows you to control the music from your smartphone.

Garmin Fenix 5 without music storage support

Fenix 5: no music storage support

The Fenix 5 only has 64MB of storage, which is basically nothing. It's clear you can't download music onto it. The Fenix 5, just like the Fenix 6, does have music controls. This allows you to control the music you play on your phone via Spotify or Deezer, for example. Turn down the volume or just start the next song from your wrist.

Battery saver function

Battery saver function Fenix 6

Fenix 6: determine how you save battery

Entirely new on the Fenix 6 is the Power Manager function. This allows you to see what effect certain settings have on the battery life of the watch. It's so precise that the watch indicates in hours what you'll save if you switch off the functions. As such, you can extend the battery life whenever needed, for example if the watch is about to run empty during an important workout.

Garmin Fenix 5

Fenix 5: save battery thanks to low reference GPS

The Fenix 5 doesn't have a Power Manager function. It does have an UltraTrac mode that extends the battery life by connecting to the satellites only sometimes. In practice, you only do this during a hike, when GPS isn't as important. This function doesn't compare to the Power Manager function of the Fenix 6, which lets you select the functions you want to turn off.

Contactless payment

Fenix 6 with Garmin Pay

Fenix 6: make contactless payments with Garmin Pay

You can make contactless payments with the entire Fenix 6 series, thanks to Garmin Pay. All you have to do is hold the watch against a contactless payment terminal. You can safely leave your wallet at home while exercising, because you can always make payments with the watch.

No contactless payments

Fenix 5: contactless payment not possible

Unlike the Fenix 6 watches, not every Fenix 5 watch has Garmin Pay. Only the Fenix 5 Plus does. Going for the Fenix 5 and not the plus version? You have to take your wallet with you during a workout in case you see a nice lunchbar and need a booster.

PacePro

PacePro Fenix 6

Fenix 6: achieve pace goal in mountain area

PacePro is a tool to achieve your pace goals during ascent and descent. It looks at the incline on your route and your final pace goal. Next, it calculates your pace per kilometer. During your race, you receive partial targets. Even when going up the mountain, you see if you're on schedule or if you need to step it up a notch.

Fenix 5

Fenix: no help achieving pace goals in mountains

PacePro is an entirely new feature from Garmin and isn't included with the Fenix 5. Do you run marathons regularly or participate in other competitions? We recommend the Fenix 6. PacePro replaces the paper tapes with intervals. You can see how far you are ahead or behind on your watch, even if you're descending or ascending.

Conclusion

When it comes to the most complete sports watch, the Fenix 6 is the ultimate winner. The Fenix 6 has a better battery life and a Power Manager function that extends the battery life even more when you switch off settings. You can also make contactless payments via Garmin Pay. Looking for the very best? The Fenix 6 Pro versions have music storage and map material for clear navigation.



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