We strapped on the beautiful Garmin 6s Sapphire for a few weeks, intrigued by the promise (or at least, the hope) of being more disciplined with our fitness goals.
With plenty of hype since its 2019 release, the 6s is the smallest of a 19-model Fenix 6 range. This model is a dainty little thing, with a lens built from Gorilla Glass 3 or a splashier Sapphire Crystal, rose gold-coated steel and a silicone strap in the original shade of grey. The watch sits comfortably on your hand, it feels light enough to sleep with it on weighing at just 61g. Its lightness is big plus for the market, especially with ladies finding previous Garmin models too heavy and bulky — we’ll leave the weights for the workout.
The interface is clean, straight to the point and clutter free with figures like your heart rate and steps taken visible at all times. What you see isn’t necessarily what you get, and by which we mean the interface is customisable although we preferred keeping it simple. The battery lasted almost a good two weeks for us and took just a couple of hours to fully charge.
Pairing it to your phone via bluetooth and setting up your Garmin Connect account on the app gives you quite the rush — modern day motivation for a gruelling boxing workout, which is where we first got to test out the 6s. There’s a bit of fidgeting initially involved for the technologically impaired but finding the right menu to select your workout gets easier at it goes, and goes to show how much effort you’re really putting into your workouts. There’s a whole variety of specific activities to choose from, including running, swimming, running, biking, hiking, rowing, backcountry and resort skiing, golfing, and yoga.
Lacking in boxing however, we selected the cardio workout and was presented with a nice detailed report that syncs to your phone right after, giving you stats on calories burned, your heart rate throughout and overall duration. Unless you’re required to be precise about these things, the fitness tracker gives you a good boost to help understand and analyse your physical state, particularly useful for a strict weight loss or training program.
The 6s sports an enhanced optical heart rate technology that calculates the intensity of your activities are well as your heart rate variability for a stress level score. It’s of course, safe for underwater use now without the need for an additional strap to track your heart rate. Golfers will surely appreciate the full-colour CourseView maps for more than 41,000 preloaded golf courses worldwide.
We tested the watch out for two more very different workouts; a long morning hike and an even longer month of yoga classes. The Fenix 6s proved to be more functional for hiking, even more so than for the cardio function. Granted, it is Garmin’s area to shine with GPS functions. When it came to yoga, we found the watch to be a bit underwhelming purely because well… there isn’t much to calculate for a non-cardio activity. But we have to admit, pop-up notifications on a pretty, lightweight watch is always welcome.