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Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6 Compared

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Garmin have released the Fenix 6 series of multisport GPS smartwatches which includes the Fenix 6 and 6 pro, 6s and 6s pro, and 6x pro and 6x pro solar. These six will be succeeding the Fenix 5, 5s and 5s plus and 5x and 5x plus respectively.

These new sets of GPS smartwatches are more compact, have longer battery life and more fitness tracking features have been added. The six sets consist of a Basic and a Pro version with the later having onboard music storage capacity, Wi-Fi, and maps which the basic version lacks.

However, in this comparison, we comparing the Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6 specs and features.

Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6 Specs Compared

 Garmin Fenix 5Garmin Fenix 6
garmin fenix 5 vs fenix 6garmin fenix 6 vs


4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
3.1 out of 5 stars (3.1 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)


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Device nameGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Fenix 6
Device typeFitness/GPS smartwatchFitness/GPS smartwatch
Predessesor--Garmin Fenix 5
SuccessorGarmin Fenix 6--
Released dateApril, 2017August, 2019
Ideal forMenMen (will look good too on women.)


Display typeTransflective memory-in-display (MIP)Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)
Display size1.2 inches1.3 inches
Screen resolution240 x 240 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Input type5 buttons (Not touchscreen)5 buttons (Not touchscreen)


Dimension47 x 47 x 15.5 mm47 x 47 x 14.7 mm
Weight85 grams 80 grams
Casing materialFiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear coverFiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover
Strap materialSilicone or steel Silicone
Bezel MaterialStainless steelStainless steel
Band size22 mm22 mm
Screen protectionChemically strengthened glass
or sapphire crystal
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Water resistantYes, 10ATMYes, 10ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)Black/black band
Silver/blue band
Slate gray/yellow band
Slate gray/black
Black/red nylon
Dark gray/black


Internal storage64MB64MB
Memory card slot----


BluetoothYes, and ANT+ Yes, and ANT+
(sapphire edition)


SIM slotNoNo


Email alertYesYes
SMS alertYesYes
Calls alertYesYes
Event reminderYesYes
Weather forecastYesYes
Third-party appsYesYes


Sleep trackingYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
Distance coveredYesYes
Steps climbedYesYes


Bluetooth musicNoNo


Accelerometer YesYes
Heart rate monitor (HRM)YesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Gyroscope YesYes
Ambient lightYesYes
Other sensors--Pulse Oximeter
(with Acclimation)


Operating system (OS)Proprietary OS Proprietary OS


Type of batteryLithium-ionLithium-ion
Battery capacity ----
Battery lifeSmartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks
GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours
Smartwatch: Up to 14 days
GPS: Up to 36hrs
Max Battery GPS Mode: 72hrs
Expedition GPS Activity: 28 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode:48 days
ChargingCharging cableCharging cable
Charging timeAbout 2 hoursAbout 2 hours


Payment systemNoneGarmin pay
Compatibility Android 4.4 or later
IOS 10.0 or later
Bluetooth 4.0 or later
Check if your device is compatible
Android 4.4 or later
IOS 10.0 or later
Bluetooth 4.0 or later
Check if your device is compatible
Companion appGarmin connect IQ storeGarmin connect IQ store
Customizable watch faceYesYes
Interchangeable band Yes, 22mmYes, 22mm
Voice commandNoNo


Garmin Fenix 5Garmin Fenix 6
USB charging cableCharging cable
User manualUser manual


Price (last checked)About $450About $600
$800 (Sapphire edition)

What’s the Difference?

Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6 Features Compared
The difference between the new Fenix 6 and 5 is that the former is bigger and more durable, comes with pulse ox sensor that the 5 lacks and has a slight longer battery life than the Fenix 5.

  1. Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6: Design

  2. Garmin has done quite well in the design of their new Fenix 6 smartwatches, it has a bigger display, yet same case size with the 5. The Fenix 6 is also slimmer and weighs less than the 5 which together leaves it with a more decent and attractive appearance than the 5.
    The Fenix 6 weighs less than the 5 which makes it a more comfortable wear all day long.

    The Fenix 6 is also more durable with Corning Gorilla glass 3 manning the screen compared to the chemically strengthened glass of the 5. Moreover, the 6 with US military grade rating is a stronger and more rugged device that can withstand shocks.

    Although, there’s a sapphire edition of the Fenix 5 that comes with Wi-Fi support, same with the Fenix 6, but lacks Wi-Fi support.

    Garmin have also added to the Fenix 6 series a widget feature that allows you see more complications that eases navigation significantly. The Fenix 6 has a widget feature that shows up to 8 data fields making it easier to access your favorite features.

  3. Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6: Fitness Tracking

  4. Just like all Garmin’s GPS smartwatches, the Fenix 6 and 5 are fitness focused and well equipped to offer you the most comprehensive fitness tracking experience. No doubt two of the best GPS smartwatches on the market.

    Both the Fenix 6 and 5 are well equipped to track your daily activities such as steps, calories, fitness age, distance, sleep monitoring, and all day stress tracking.

    Each of these two also feature indoor gym activities such as indoor rowing, strength training and cardio training, including in-depth training and planning analysis features that includes training load, training effect and activity history on your watch.

    You also get running features such as running, treadmill running and trail running, plus heart rate sensor that tracks your heart rate variability and capable of showing your heart rate zones, max and recovery time to help you achieve more fitness goals without breaking down.

    Both the Fenix 6 and 5 have outdoor recreational features that include hiking, climbing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, XC skiing, stand up paddleboarding, rowing, and jumpmaster. And cycling features such as biking, indoor biking, mountain biking, triathlon, including in-depth golf and swimming features.

    However, here are newly added features to the Fenix 6 that the 5 lacks,

    Garmin Fenix 5 Garmin Fenix 6
    Lacks pulse ox sensor and features that comes with it The Fenix 6 comes with pulse ox which serves two functions; A. for altitude acclimation, where it can help you know when it’s not safe to continue climbing and B. sleep monitoring to help you see your sleep quality. The Pulse ox sensor achieves these functions by monitoring how well your body absorbs oxygen.
    Lacks incident detection. The incident detection feature introduced to the Forerunner series is also available on the Fenix 6 which can help you get the needed help when there’s an accidental fall. It sends your location to preset emergency contacts.
    Lacks body battery energy monitor. The body battery energy monitor feature uses data from heart rate variability, stress, sleep and other data to gauge when you’re ready to be active or when you may need to rest so that you train and achieve more without breaking down.
    Lacks wrist based swimming heart rate tracking. The Fenix 6 has the ability to track your heart rate while you swim which can give you more insightful overview of your swimming activities.
    Lacks ClimbPro The Fenix 6 allows you to access ClimbPro ascent planner on downloaded courses to see real-time information on your current and upcoming climbs, including gradient, distance and elevation gain.

  5. Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6: Battery Life

Both the Fenix 5 and 6 have impressive long battery life that will see you through days on a single charge. However, the Fenix 6 has a longer battery life than the 5 thanks to the new power manage feature that lets you manage its battery life.

There’s also new power modes which allows you to create custom battery saver modes, as well as the expedition mode featured on the MARQ series is also here. These new battery management features will see the Fenix 6 last a little longer than the 5 which no doubt makes it a great choice for anyone involved in extreme sport activities.

Garmin Fenix 5 Garmin Fenix 6
Smartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks
GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours
Smartwatch: Up to 14 days
GPS: Up to 36hrs
Max Battery GPS Mode: 72hrs
Expedition GPS Activity: 28 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: 48 days
Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6: Which is Better?

Although more expensive, I’ll go for the Fenix 6, it’s a more durable and rugged smartwatch, has a longer battery life that lets you go longer on a single charge with its intuitive battery saver features, and it’s a more comprehensive fitness tracker than the Fenix 5. It also has a wider display, looks more attractive with NFC onboard supporting Garmin pay which allows you to make payment on the go from this watch which is not present on the Fenix 5.

On the other hand, the Fenix 5 is no doubt a great choice for fitness enthusiasts and pros alike. It’s a comprehensive fitness tracker with an impressive battery life. A nice alternative if you’re low on budget.

Our Pick

The Garmin Fenix 6 is a more decent looking smartwatch and a comprehensive activity tracker with a longer battery life, it’s our preferred choice.

Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6: Compare Prices
in stock
61 new from $371.39
2 used from $379.99
Free shipping
in stock
26 new from $709.99
1 used from $709.99
Free shipping
in stock
15 new from $391.75
6 used from $322.50
Free shipping
Last updated on January 19, 2020 1:12 pm
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