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Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6 – What’s New?

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Garmin has 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 Specifications Compared

Garmin Fenix 5Garmin Fenix 6
garmin fenix 5 specsgarmin fenix 6 specs


Device nameGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Fenix 6
Device typeFitness/GPS/Classic smartwatchFitness/GPS smartwatch
Predessesor--Garmin Fenix 5
SuccessorGarmin Fenix 5 Plus--
Released dateApril, 2017August, 2019
Ideal forMenMen


Display typeTransflective memory-in-display (MIP)Transflective MIP LCD
Display size1.2 inch1.3 inch
Display resolution240 x 240 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Pixel density282.8 PPI--
Input type5 buttons (Not touchscreen)5 buttons (Not touchscreen)
Customizable watch faceYesYes


Dimension47 x 47 x 15.5 mm47 x 47 x 14.7 mm
Weight82 grams80 grams
Casing materialFiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear coverFiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover
Strap/band materialSilicone
Or steel
Bezel MaterialStainless steelStainless steel
Strap size22mm22mm
Interchangeable band Yes, 22mmYes, 22mm
Screen protectionChemically strengthened glass or Sapphire crystalCorning Gorilla Glass DX
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, 10ATMYes, 10ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommended


Internal storage64MB__
Memory card slotNoNo


BluetoothYes, and ANT+Yes, and ANT+
Bluetooth callingNoNo
Payment systemNoGarmin pay




Email alertYesYes
SMS alertYesYes
Calls alertYesYes
Event reminderYesYes
Third-party appsYesYes
Text responseYesYes, (Android Only)


Sleep apneaNoNo
Sleep trackingYesYes
Floors climbedYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
VO2 Max.YesYes
Blood oxygenNoYes
Blood pressureNoNo
Menstrual cycle trackingNoYes
Swim trackingYesYes
Under-water heart rate trackingNoYes
Preloaded mapsNoNo
On-screen workout modesNoYes
Triathlon modeYesYes
ECG TrackingNoNo
Preloaded sport modesYesYes
Safety trackingNoYes


Music streamingNoNo
Bluetooth musicNoNo



Operating system (OS)Proprietary OSProprietary OS


Type of batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity ----
Battery lifeSmartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks
GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 60 hours without wrist heart rate
Smartwatch: Up to 14 days
GPS: Up to 36 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: 72 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: 28 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode:48 days
Charging typeUSB charging cableUSB charging cable
Charging timeAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hours
Battery saver modeYesYes
Solar powerNoNo
Rapid chargingNoNo




Control cameraYesYes
Music controlYesYes
Find phoneYesYes


Compatibility Android and iOS
Check if your device is compatible
Android 4.4+
IOS 10.0+
Bluetooth 4.0+
Check if your device is compatible
Companion appGarmin connect IQGarmin connect IQ
Voice commandNoNo


Garmin Fenix 5Garmin Fenix 6
USB charging cableUSB charging cable
Quick start guideQuick start guide
NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.
Official SiteOfficial Site

Garmin Fenix 5 vs 6 Features Compared

What’s the Difference?
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.

  • Design

  • 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 which is also available in Sapphire edition, 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.

  • Fitness Tracking

  • 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 5Garmin 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 ClimbProThe 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.

  • 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

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

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