While companies like Xiaomi, LG, and Motorola have experimented with phones that are charged with solar energy, many other gadgets already use this type of panel to work or extend their autonomy. Among them the Garmin Fenix 6S PRO Solar smartwatch, a multisport device with a wealth of functions and a patented invisible technology that collects energy from the sun. The company has implemented it in its entire range of outdoor wearables.
All the features you can imagine and more !
Garmin Fénix 6S PRO Solar allows you to receive notifications like any other smartwatch. Also, read WhatsApp texts on the screen (the emojis are in color): it will enable you to ignore the message, mark it as read, and reply with predetermined words or phrases (among which we miss a simple OK). It is also possible to answer calls by pressing a button, although you must pick up the phone to talk. It shows data on the weather, sunrise and sunset times, barometer, altimeter, heart rate, stress, and energy level (Garmin Body Battery function), pulse oximetry, VO2 measurement, and sleep monitoring. You can check a calendar appointment and maps of countless ski resorts and golf courses. It sends you breathing and hydration alerts, and for those who listen to music while training, the watch stores music and comes with Spotify and Deezer already integrated (if they’re not the ones you use, you can add more services from Garmin Connect).
When it comes to synchronizing the data between the watch and the phone with the app, it has not given us any problems; it has always been synchronized, although sometimes it has taken a while, and in others, it has been practically immediate. From the main menu, it has direct access to the battery level, music controls, the wallet to make payments with Garmin Pay, timers, alarm programming, location, time zones, and do not disturb mode, among others.
One of the functions you should consider if you are concerned about your security is the possibility of sharing your location in real time with the people you want. This tool is called LiveTrack, and it will give you peace of mind if you go out to exercise alone in lonely places. You activate it and choose the contact with whom you want to share your location data (the person receives a link and can see you on a map). Although it is true that if you carry the phone, you can activate the WhatsApp service that shows the location in real time. If you select the navigation mode, it tells you the points of interest around you (restaurants, gas stations, accommodation, leisure, shopping, transportation, hospitals, and hospitals, among many others).
Through the app, you can access all the statistics, both regarding physical fitness (sleep, weight, calories, pulse oximetry, respiration, heart rate, stress, Body Battery, hydration, and menstrual cycle) and performance (training status, V02 maximum, Training Effect, functional threshold power, lactate threshold, HRV stress, acclimatization by pulse oximetry) with the possibility of seeing them graphically, in percentage, by hours, days and weeks.
The watch is prepared to measure a good number of activities; indeed, there is the one you practice: multisport, trail running, running, treadmill, walking, virtual running, indoor track, hiking, climbing, cycling, indoor cycling, mountain biking, swimming in Pool & Open Water, Triathlon, SwimRun, Strength, Indoor Climbing, Block Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Ski Mountaineering, Cross Country Skiing, Paddle Boarding, Surfing, Rowing, Indoor Rowing, Kayaking, Golf, TruSwing, Cardio, Yoga, breath work, pilates, floor climbing, elliptical, stair climber, Jumpmaster, tactics, navigation and track training, among others. If you practice several sports, you add them to your favorites to access them directly without searching for them on this long list.
Autonomy at the height of a premium device
With solar charging, you’ll get up to 9 days of battery life indoors and up to 10.5 days with solar charging in smartwatch mode, according to Garmin. In GPS mode, it reaches 25 hours indoors or 28 hours with the solar charging system, the manufacturer explains.
In my experience, the watch’s autonomy has reached a full eight days with the GPS activated for about an hour and a half a day for five days. It hasn’t been in the sun long enough to know how much longer it can extend battery life. The device has an energy-saving system that I have not activated at any time.
When the watch indicates that it is low on battery, it does not mean that it will turn off shortly, but that once it warns, you can still carry out training with the GPS activated for at least one hour, according to the tests carried out for writing this review.
A large amount of data, statistics, functions, and applications offered by the Fénix 6S PRO Solar make it a watch that most likely has what you are looking for. With so many measurements and possibilities, together with the quality of its materials and an attractive design that tries to get away from an overly sporty look, it is not surprising that its price is high: 849.99 euros. It is a highly recommended watch for people who frequently practice at least one adventurous sport and much better if there are more. If not, many more affordable options provide traditional measurements for running, cycling, swimming, and other popular activities.
The technology to capture sunlight is most likely to blame for the fact that it does not incorporate a touch screen. However, while it’s hard at first to scroll through the features and find what you need, it gets the hang of it over time, and you won’t mess around with the five buttons as much. Apart from that initial difficulty, the watch has measured up and has worked great both when it comes to measuring activities and synchronizing with the app. While it is true that I have not subjected it to significant challenges or threats, it seems resistant and prepared to deal with adverse conditions outdoors. And its autonomy is one of the best you can find in smartwatches (not counting the sun’s energy). The biggest drawback is its price; not suitable for all pockets. If your budget allows it, you will not regret the purchase.