Garmin Fenix 6 vs 7: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

By Amirah Z.
Updated April 2024

Garmin Fenix 6 vs 7

Garmin Fenix series is a premium adventure smartwatch line designed for outdoor enthusiasts and fitness fanatics. If you own a Fenix 6 model and looking to upgrade to the 2022-released Fenix 7 model, this article will help you decide if it's worth making the switch.

To help you make an informed decision, we'll compare the key features and improvements of the Fenix 7 over its predecessor.

Key Takeaways

Fenix 7 has longer battery life than Fenix 6. It also introduces new features like Nap Detection, maps for golf and ski, a touchscreen display, and Wi-Fi connection for real-time syncing with Garmin Connect app.

On our list

#1 Price

#2 Design and Display

#3 Battery Life

#4 Fitness Features

#5 Smartwatch Features

Garmin Fenix 6 vs 7
Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 7

Worthwhile upgrade

Improved battery life and the convenience of a touchscreen.

Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6

Best multi-sport watch

Rugged and affordable wristwear for the more adventurous and sporty.

1. Price

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 6

First of all, it's important to note that the Garmin Fenix 6 and Fenix 7 are not individual watches. Rather, both lines contain a line-up of watches carrying different price tags and within these, you can opt for the Solar edition (which has solar charging capabilities) or the scratch-resistant Sapphire edition.

Depending on which model you are looking at, the Fenix 7 versions are going for a couple hundred dollars more than its respective predecessor. The difference in pricing between the models form the basis of this comparison to understand if it is worth paying the extra for the Fenix 7 series.

2. Design and Display

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 7

Both the Fenix 6 and Fenix 7 look similar in that they have metal bezels and the customising ability to switch between Garmin's bands whenever you want. However, a noticeable design difference is the new metal guard around the Garmin Fenix 7's start button to prevent accidents and avoid accidental starts or pauses. Depending on the model of your Fenix 7, the lugs are made from metal (stainless steel or titanium), while the lugs on the Fenix 6 watches are resin.

On the surface, the display size of the Fenix 6 and Fenix 7 appear the same with a 1.3-inch screen. However, due to more premium metals used in the Fenix 7, this watch is slightly lighter, weighing in at 79g compared to the Fenix 6 which is 80g.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 6

Though both watches have colour memory-in-pixels, they aren't as bright on the AMOLED screen found on the Garmin Venu 2 and Garmin Epix. A trade-off is better battery life. Display-wise, the Fenix 7 has a touchscreen whereas the Fenix 6 is powered by buttons around the bezel. One thing to note is the Fenix 7 touchscreen is turned off by default when the watch is tracking an activity.

A cool addition only available on the Fenix 7X is the flashlight function. Containing both red and white LEDs, the flashlight shines out of the top of the watch case. It comes in handy when you don't have your smartphone's flashlight or to make yourself more visible when working out at night. Not to mention, there's a cadence visibility flashlight for running-specific instances and beacon flashlight mode for emergencies. Another design upgrade is it's a lot easier to tweak your watch's settings from your phone.

The touchscreen is a nice-to-have feature, it's not worth upgrading to the Fenix 7X just for it. Consider the Fenix 7X if you're planning on all-day wear.

3. Battery Life

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 7

Battery life is a game-changer especially if you're an outdoor person going on runs or hikes. To start, Fenix 7 watches offer a considerable better and longer battery life than the Fenix 6.

According to Garmin, in normal GPS mode, Fenix 7 watches can power for as long as 57 hours, which is extended to 73 hours in the Solar editions. The equivalent, Fenix 6 on the other hand, have up to 36 hours of battery life and this is extended to 40 hours with solar.

If you don't want to pack a charger with you, go for the Garmin Fenix 7.

4. Fitness Features

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 6

New tracking modes have been added to the Garmin Fenix 6 and Fenix 7. Some notable modes include adventure race, windsurfing, e-bike and cyclocross.

Two new features on the Fenix 7 worth mentioning are the Stamina (tracks and manages your exertion when you run or ride) and Up Ahead (shows ultrarunners a quick look at upcoming course points, exact locations of aid stations and turn-by-turn navigation).

Just like its predecessor, the Fenix 7 requires you to purchase TopoActive Maps for road and trail maps. However, it comes with preloaded Ski Resort and Golf Course Maps that you can access for free. If you want preloaded TopoActive Maps that you can access without additional fee, the more expensive Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar variant offers this.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 7

There's also a new and improved heart rate sensor with the Garmin Fenix 7. The watches in the Fenix 7 line use a new 4.0 version of the pulse ox sensor which will provide more precise data than the older Fenix 6 that has the 3.0 sensor incorporated within.

Another feature that we love from the Fenix 7 is that you can check your training load with a tap on your wrist. More detail is available on the Garmin Connect app, but you get an overview bar chart showing your daily training load, what training you're engaged in by colour, and whether the activities you are tracking are boosting your overall fitness. There's even a number that informs you if you're at risk of under or overtraining.

5. Smartwatch Features

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 6

Not much has changed when it comes to smartwatch features. Both watches offer Garmin Pay, the ability to download and play songs from music streaming services and receive smartphone notifications including alerting you to incoming texts and calls. Wellness tools such as all-day heart monitoring, sleep tracking and women's health tools are also available. 

One difference is that the Garmin Fenix 7 also offers Nap Detection, a feature that automatically detects daytime naps. This allow you to have a more comprehensive rest data. 

Furthermore, the Fenix 7 provides access to the Garmin Connect IQ Store, allowing you to seamlessly add apps directly to your phone rather than having to use the mobile app. Plus, watches in the Fenix 7 line automatically sync settings between the watch and the Garmin Connect mobile app in real-time!

Though the Fenix 7 has a minor change, it makes using the watch easier and more convenient. 

Compare Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Final Thoughts

Here's our take on which Garmin watch is best for you before you go rushing to upgrade. Even if the core features are the same, the Garmin Fenix 7 is a pretty obvious winner when battery life and the touchscreen display are considered.

That said, the Garmin Fenix 6 is still a brilliant watch if you're looking for a more affordable alternative and don't mind foregoing features that the more expensive counterpart offer.

If you like to read more on Garmin smartwatches, check out our other relevant guides here:

Best Garmin Smartwatches

Garmin Instinct 2 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Fenix 7 vs 7 Pro

Garmin Fenix 7 vs Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Fenix 7

Garmin Epix 2 vs Fenix 7

Explore the full collection for Garmin on or visit the Official Garmin Singapore Store.

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