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Garmin fenix 6/6S/6X vs Apple Watch 6 vs Fitbit | GPS Smartwatch Comparison 2021

Thinking about getting one of those amazing little computers on your wrist? When it comes to features and price, you've got options galore. Do you want a simple fitness tracker, an advanced smartwatch, or the ultimate in sport smartwatches: the fēnix 6/6S/6X outdoor fitness watch. When it comes to the fēnix 6 Garmin watches, there's really no comparison, but let's do it anyway ...

Welcome to the robust Garmin fēnix 6 series vs the Apple Watch 6 vs the Fitbit Sense/Versa 3 comparison!

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Got a need for a smartwatch that can keep up with you? Let's compare
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Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X vs Apple Watch 6 vs Fitbit Sense and Versa 3

Whether you're an amateur or an athlete, the sport-specific savvy of the fēnix 6 series pairs perfectly with your dogged determination. Off the charts in terms of design, tracking, training, health monitoring, and more, the fēnix 6/6S/6X has the advanced features you want on-wrist, during everything from triathlon training to climbing that next rock wall.

But what if you're a dedicated iPhone person, how does the Apple Watch 6 measure up to these Garmin fēnix 6 adventure smartwatches? And what about the widespread popularity of Fitbit activity trackers? Can one of these offer you everything you're looking for in a smartwatch with fitness savvy?

The answer, of course, depends on how you want to use your smartwatch. Do you want a fitness watch that has more of a software edge, is more fitness- and health-tracking oriented, or one that blows everything else out of the water (or mountains or wherever you're crushing goals)?

In this article, we compare the the fēnix 6/6S/6X vs the Apple Watch 6 vs Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense and will demonstrate how the fēnix 6 is the only one that can keep up with all you outdoor fitness and adventure junkies!

Benefits of a fēnix 6 GPS Sport Watch on Your Wrist

On-Wrist Training Features

Advanced workouts, interval training, and features for running, cycling, and swimming—always within reach!

Robust Health Monitoring

Know your body's shape while you get in shape with wrist-based heart rate, advanced sleep, Body Battery™ energy monitor, Women's Health, and much more!

GPS and Navigation Tools

Get multi-GNSS (GPS, Galileo, & GLONASS) for more reliable tracking in that challenging terrain you just can't stay out of!

Smart Features

Get the convenience of your phone on your wrist. fēnix 6 watches give you smart notifications, music, and more right there!

Style

Feel good and look good before, during, and after your workout with a Garmin fēnix 6 GPS smartwatch!

Big Ol' Battery

9 days or more battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 2 months with solar power in expedition mode—that's fēnix 6!

Ready. Set. Compare!
Garmin fēnix 6 vs Apple Watch 6 vs Fitbit

Sport Watch Features — Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X vs Apple 6 vs Fitbit  

Garmin fēnix 6S (starting at $549.99), Garmin fēnix 6 (starting at $649.99), & Garmin fēnix 6X (starting at $699.99)

All 3 of the fēnix 6 sizes (6S=smaller, 6=medium-er, 6X=larger) have the same sport and fitness training and analysis features. The main difference between the sizes are battery life and materials, and size and weight, of course. There are also 4 SKUs for each size: standard, Pro, Sapphire, and Pro Solar (exception: the 6X does not have a standard size). As far as sport savvy, Garmin loads their tech into all of these models, which includes:

  • Built-in, highly accurate GPS tracking for how far, how fast, and where you run with multi-GNSS (GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS)
  • Step counter
  • Move bar
  • Calories burned
  • Floors climbed
  • Distance traveled
  • Intensity minutes
  • Gym/sport activity profiles: strength, cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, floor climbing, indoor rowing, pilates, yoga, running, treadmill running, indoor track running, trail running, virtual running, hiking, indoor climbing, bouldering, climbing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, XC skiing, stand up paddleboarding, rowing, kayaking, surfing, jumpmaster, tactical, pool swimming, open water swimming, swimming/running
  • Workouts: cardio, strength, yoga, and pilates
  • On-screen animated workouts
  • Auto rep counting
  • Heart rate zones, alerts, calories, % HR max, % HRR, recovery time, auto max HR
  • Heart rate variability (HRV) stress test
  • GPS speed and distance
  • Auto pause
  • Interval training
  • Advanced workouts and downloadable training plans
  • Auto lap, manual lap, and configurable lap alerts
  • Heat and altitude acclimation
  • VO2 Max (run)
  • Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)
  • Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC)
  • Training Load and Training Effect
  • Finish time
  • Virtual partner
  • Course guidance
  • Garmin and Strava live segments
  • Activity history on watch
  • Advanced running features
  • Advanced golfing features
  • Advanced outdoor recreation features
  • Advanced cycling features
  • Advanced swimming features

Basically, Garmin took every watch they ever made for every segment, and dropped it in one watch!

The Apple Watch 6 ($399–$1200)

While it doesn't exactly shine on the fitness side, the Apple Watch 6 does bring some game to the yard with:

  • All the basic tracking metrics for counting steps, measuring distance covered, and easily monitoring daily progress
  • An altimeter to measure elevation, letting you know floors climbed
  • Built-in GPS lets you track runs, rides, and more, and the Workout app has evolved to track activities like dancing
  • Activity rings, sharing, and competitions that can help you stay motivated to exercise
  • Apple Fitness+, Apple's new fitness platform, where you can access video workouts and see your metrics on the screen of your Apple device. Get 3 months free of this subscription-based platform when you buy the watch

The Fitbit Versa 3 ($229.95)

This popular fitness tracker is very basic, with features that include:

  • Built-In GPS for Activity Tracking
  • Workout Intensity Map (in-app only)
  • Active Zone Minutes
  • All-Day Activity Tracking
  • 20 Goal-Based Exercise Modes + SmartTrack™
  • Cardio Fitness Level

The Fitbit Sense ($299.95)

In the realm of fitness features, this activity tracking smartwatch adds nothing new compared to the Versa 3.

 

Garmin fēnix 6 Sapphire

Apple Watch 6

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Sense

Health Tracking — Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X vs Apple Watch 6 vs Fitbit Versa 3/Sense

Garmin fēnix 6S (starting at $549.99), Garmin fēnix 6 (starting at $649.99), & Garmin fēnix 6X (starting at $699.99)

Again, all sizes of the fēnix 6 share the same features. Their robust suite of health monitoring features include:

  • Wrist-based heart rate metrics
  • Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturation (spot-check, and optional all-day acclimation and in sleep)
  • Fitness age, which reinterprets your VO2 Max score to make it more relatable by estimating the body’s age using chronological age, activity, resting heart rate, and either body fat % or BMI
  • Body Battery™ energy monitor allows you to track your body’s energy levels so you can find the best times for activity and rest
  • Stress and relaxation features
  • Advanced sleep and sleep score with insights
  • Hydration
  • Women's Health for tracking pregnancy and menstrual cycles.

The Apple Watch 6 ($399–$1200)

  • Impressively, the Apple Watch 6 offers an ECG app similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. The ECG app can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation—a serious form of irregular heart rhythm—or sinus rhythm, which means your heart is beating in a normal pattern.
  • Measure blood oxygen levels
  • A sleep app to help you set and achieve your sleep goals
  • An app for overall health and wellness, including tracking menstrual cycles, hearing protection, and mindfulness practice

The Fitbit Versa 3 ($229.95)

  • Heart Rate Tracking
  • Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) Monitoring
  • High and Low Heart Rate Notification
  • Skin Temperature Variation
  • Sleep Stages and Sleep Score
  • Stress Management Score
  • Guided Breathing Sessions
  • Breathing Rate
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Menstrual Health Tracking

The Fitbit Sense ($299.95)

The Fitbit Sense fitness tracking smartwatch provides all the health monitoring features as the Versa 3, plus:

  • The on-wrist EDA Scan app detects electrodermal activity—which may indicate your body’s response to stress—and reveals a graph in the Fitbit app to illuminate it.
  • Heart rate zones
  • An ECG app right on your wrist to assess your heart for atrial fibrillation—a heart rhythm irregularity—and share the results with your doctor.

 

Garmin fēnix 6X Sapphire

Apple Watch 6

Fitbit Sense

How Smart Are These Smartwatches?

The Apple Watch 6 ($399–$1200)

We gave the Apple Watch top billing in this section, because if you lean harder on the smartwatch side of things or are a diehard iPhone person, it might win out over a Garmin for you.

  • If you want gobs of storage space and LTE connectivity, you will probably lean toward the Apple Watch. HOWEVER, you're going to pay for it and you'll have to charge it daily
  • You can stream 75 million songs with Apple Music
  • Use Apple Pay
  • Have Siri at your disposal
  • Get maps
  • The App Store on your wrist
  • Tap iPhone Ping button to find your phone
  • Use your Apple Watch as a remote for your phone, e.g., control music, snap a pic
  • Use with a cellular connection for Emergency SOS.

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X (starting at $549.99)

For the standard model of the fēnix 6 series, you get:

  • Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+® connectivity
  • Connect IQ™ for downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps
  • Smart notifications
  • Calendar and weather
  • Battery saver gives you customizable low power watch
  • Controls smartphone music
  • Find My Phone, Find My Watch
  • Garmin Pay™

With the Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro

The Pro version adds music compatibility, maps and Wi-Fi connectivity.

With the fēnix 6/6S/6X Sapphire

Everything you get with the Pro with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lens on top.

With fēnix 6/6S/6X fēnix Pro Solar

Adds incomparable solar-charging technology to your fēnix 6/6S/6X battery life.

The Fitbit Versa 3 ($229.95)

  • Store and play music & podcasts on Deezer or Pandora and control Spotify from your wrist
  • Smart Notifications—call, text, and app notifications
  • Voice Assistant—Quickly check the weather, set bedtime reminders and alarms, control your smart home devices and more—just by speaking to Google Assistant or Alexa Built-in on your wrist
  • Fitbit Pay
  • Find My Phone

The Fitbit Sense ($299.95)

The Fitbit Sense smartwatch adds the following to the features in the Versa 3:

  • Always-On Display Mode
  • Choose from hundreds of clock face designs and store up to 5 of your favorites right on your wrist

Apple Watch 6

Fitbit Sense

Garmin fēnix 6S


Battery Life Comparison — Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X vs Fitbit vs Apple Watch

Garmin fēnix 6S (starting at $549.99)

See for yourself ... there's just no living up to a Garmin's battery life!

fēnix 6S, Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar:
Smartwatch: Up to 9 days/10.5 days with solar

Battery Saver Watch Mode:
Up to 34 days/59 days with solar
GPS: Up to 25 hours/28 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 6 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode:
Up to 50 hours/64 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity:
Up to 20 days/26 days with solar

Garmin fēnix 6 (starting at $649.99)

fēnix 6, Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar:
Smartwatch: Up to 14 days/16 days with solar

Battery Saver Watch Mode:
Up to 48 days/80 days with solar
GPS: Up to 36 hours/40 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 10 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode:
Up to 72 hours/93 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity:
Up to 28 days/36 days with solar

Garmin fēnix 6X (starting at $699.99)

fēnix 6X, Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar:
Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/24 days with solar

Battery Saver Watch Mode:
Up to 80 days/120 days with solar
GPS: Up to 60 hours/66 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours/16hours with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode:
Up to 120 hours/148 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity:
Up to 46 days/56 days with solar

The Apple Watch 6 ($399–$1200)

The Apple Watch Series 6 smartwatch is still stuck at an 18-hour battery life.

The Fitbit Versa 3 ($229.95)

6+ day battery life. Varies with use and other factors; up to 12 hours with continuous GPS.

The Fitbit Sense ($299.95)

6+ day battery life. Varies with use and other factors; up to 12 hours with continuous GPS.

 

Garmin fēnix 6S Pro Solar

Which Fitness GPS Watch Is Your Style?

Apple Watch 6

Fitbit Versa 3

Garmin fēnix 6S (starting at $549.99)

Size: The fēnix 6S display is smaller compared to the rest in the fēnix 6 lineup—1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter.

Color: white, black, rose gold, powder gray, carbon gray/black, rose gold/ black nylon, light gold/shale gray (leather), rose gold/white, silver/black, light gold/light sand, amethyst steel/shale gray (colors available with certain SKUs; go to our fēnix 6S and fēnix 6S Pro Solar product pages to view).

Garmin fēnix 6 (starting at $649.99)

Size: The fēnix 6 display is mid-range compared to the rest in the fēnix 6 lineup—1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter.

Color: black, silver/black, carbon gray/black, titanium gray/orange, black DLC/red nylon, titanium, black/slate, slate/black, mineral blue/whitestone, titanium carbon gray DLC (colors available with certain SKUs; go to our fēnix 6 and fēnix 6 Pro Solar product pages to view).

Garmin fēnix 6X (starting at $699.99)

Size: The fēnix 6X display is larger compared to the rest in the fēnix 6 lineup—1.4” (35.56 mm) diameter.

Color: black, carbon gray, leather, titanium (colors available with certain SKUs; go to our fēnix 6X product page to view).

The Apple Watch 6 ($399–$1200)

Apple has a huge variety of styles for their latest wearable, but they also come with a variety of price tags that can go upwards of $1,200. It has a square-ish display available in 2 sizes: 44mm or 40mm case size.

The Fitbit Versa 3 ($229.95)

Size: Offers a custom AMOLED display (1.59in l x 1.59in w x 0.49in h) and 2 band sizes: Small—Fits wrist 5.5" - 7.1" in circumference; Large—Fits wrist 7.1" - 8.7" in circumference.

Color: Black/Black Aluminum, Midnight/Soft Gold Aluminum, Pink Clay/Soft Gold Aluminum, Thistle / Soft Gold Aluminum, & Olive / Soft Gold Aluminum

The Fitbit Sense ($299.95)

Size: Offers a custom AMOLED display (1.59in l x 1.59in w x 0.49in h) and 2 band sizes: Small—Fits wrist 5.5" - 7.1" in circumference; Large—Fits wrist 7.1" - 8.7" in circumference.

Color: Sage Grey / Silver Stainless Steel, Carbon/Graphite Stainless Steel, & Lunar White/Soft Gold Stainless Steel

Pricing — Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X vs Apple Watch 6 vs Fitbit

Garmin fēnix 6S — $549.99 & Up

Garmin fēnix 6 — $649.99 & Up

Garmin fēnix 6X — $699.99 & Up

The Apple Watch 6 — $399–$1200

The Fitbit Versa 3 — $229.95

The Fitbit Sense — $299.95

Garmin fēnix 6


The PlayBetter Bottom Line

The Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 offer substantial health and wellness features along with basic activity tracking and smart features. But for the price, it doesn't beat the Forerunner 55.

Without a doubt, the Apple Watch 6 offers a robust smartwatch experience that will no doubt be attractive to iPhone users.

But across the board, the Garmin fēnix 6 lineup offers an experience you can't get with a Fitbit or Apple Watch. If you're the kind of person who goes beyond daily life often, then this watch can go with you, supporting your outdoor adventure side as well as the daily grind! Check out our fēnix 6 series article to see a fēnix 6/6S/6X comparison chart with side-by-side features!

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