Guides / Reviews / Technology

A Review of the Garmin 6X Sapphire

A Review of the Garmin 6X Sapphire

Garmin is amongst the undisputed leaders of the smartwatch industry, especially when it comes to high-tech tool watches. With implementing ever-evolving technologies, the brand has secured its place at the forefront of the smartwatch revolution. The 6X model was launched in the late summer of 2019 as part of the Fenix range. The series is targeted towards athletes and anyone aspiring to reach new levels of greatness and self-improvement. Garmin creates its watches with a purpose, but are they fit for purpose? To help you decide for yourself, we are presenting you with a review of the Garmin 6X Sapphire. 

Hardware

Straight out of the box the Garmin looks fantastic. The design of the watch is sleek and modern. It has a very appealing slightly utilitarian look. There is a slight factory and rubber smell when you first open the box but that completely goes away after about a day or so. There is a USB charger, the user manual and safety information included in the box.

You can’t deny that the 6X Sapphire is built to last. The model has a bezel made of titanium coated in diamond-like carbon (DLC) and a sapphire crystal. Both materials are highly durable and will guarantee the watch keeps in pristine condition with longterm wear. The case is fibre reinforced polymer and the case back is metal. Measuring at 51 mm in diameter and 14.5 mm in depth, the model is definitely not small. For its weight and measurements, the 6X Sapphire is very comfortable and lightweight compared to some other timepieces of the same size. 

The strap is silicone and feels very secure. It is also interchangeable and can be removed easily without the need for specialized tools. This makes the maintenance of the watch easy, especially as you might need to clean it fairly regularly as you’ll probably wear it every day. The only minor inconvenience when it comes to the design is that both the strap and the loops used to secure the strap are both made of silicone. This creates a bit of difficulty when securing the watch and is slightly annoying if you take the watch on and off. The watch is water-resistant up to 100 metres however so if you’re looking to wear it constantly this shouldn’t be much of an issue. 

Setup

Models come charged slightly, however, it’s best to charge the device before use. In order to best preserve the battery charge it from a computer/ laptop. From a completely depleted battery, the watch takes about 2 to 2 and a half hours to charge. The charge is extremely long-lasting and can last for days even with constant use of multiple applications simultaneously. The overall initial setup of the Fenix 6X is fairly easy. Once you have downloaded the Garmin Connect app onto your phone the steps you need to follow are quite simple and self-explanatory. Garmin has done a good job of making the preliminary setup straightforward. The setup of the app and the smartwatch took about 10 minutes. 

The full set up and personalization of the dial took slightly longer for the sole reason that there are so many customization options. The amount of customization has to be one of my favourite features of this device. Everything from the layout of the dial to the colour of the second’s hand can be tailored to your preference. The 6X comes with several pre-set dials from which you can choose or you can create one to show exactly the information you need. There is a wide range of options and you can select to have anything from the weather to the altitude and your blood oxygen levels. An interesting option is that once customized the dial can be saved. You can tailor a dial to show specific information for an activity, for example climbing. This means you can easily switch out the information from what you need on a daily basis to what you need during climbing in less than a minute and saves you the hassle of having to set up the dial over and over again each time you do a climb.

Navigation

Navigating the watch was slightly tricky at first, however, that might be due to the fact that when diving into exploring the watch, I did not read the manual. I wanted to get an authentic feel for how easy and intuitive the menus are. The watch is not touchscreen and is operated by five buttons on the side of the case. Each button is subtly labelled on the bezel which I found extremely helpful. Tips will appear on the display of the watch if you’re entering a menu or have gone into specific settings for the first time, which greatly helps with the initial navigation. Some might see the lack of a touch display as a downside, but I personally consider this a smart and interesting choice on Garmin’s part. In terms of the Fenix 6X being a sports-oriented watch, it makes navigation easier during any vigorous activity. Recording laps when running or swimming is quick and easy with the press of a button, meaning you don’t even need to glance at the watch to operate it when training. 

Apps and Features

The Fenix 6X has a very large amount of apps and functions you can take advantage of. The watch comes with some of the essentials preset, such as navigation, maps and walking. It allows you, however, to add or delete activities from the list. There is also the option to set an activity as a favourite which makes it show up at the top of the list for easier access. 

If you press up or down from the dial you will access the widgets. They allow you to see more detailed information from the biometric sensors, weather and sundown/sunrise times, most recent activities and activity levels etc. These too can be customized and changed as you see fit.

The watch automatically tracks your steps, respiration, sleeping, heart rate and your stress levels. You can view most of this on the watch itself. A report is also sent to your phone app where you can see your activity in detail and track progress. The app keeps records of previous activities and gives you a view of your vitals for the previous day as well as an average for the week. An interesting function is that the watch monitors your body battery. This shows you the amount of energy you have spent for the day how much you have gained from resting. This can be especially useful during long expeditions or if you’re trying to maintain a healthier more balanced lifestyle. The Breathwork application is also very useful in this regard. It can help bring down stress levels and help you recharge throughout the day and is a great relaxation tool. Keep in mind that the application will make a distinctive loud noise if the option isn’t turned off, so it might not be best to use it for the first time in a crowded space if you’re trying to be discreet.

As the watch is geared towards athletes the app allows you to join into monthly and weekly challenges and compete within the Garmin community. It effortlessly taps into a competitive side of your personality and helps you stay motivated throughout the month. As challenges are completed, personal records set or new milestones reached the app also gives you badges and reminds you that all of your accomplishments matter. 

Overall Impressions

I went into this review of the Garmin 6X Sapphire expecting to not be very impressed. The model looked like it would be heavy and far too complicated. After wearing it for a week, however, and exploring all it’s features my opinion has entirely changed. The number of activities, the customization and the biometric data you received makes the watch completely worth it. It’s comfortable to wear and sleep with and does not impair any activity while training. Getting used to navigating the menus was slightly tricky as the button positioning is not entirely intuitive and is a bit awkward at first, but you become used to them after about a day of playing around with the watch and the controls. Overall the advantages of the Fenix 6X greatly outnumber the disadvantages, if you can even call them that. This is an incredibly useful device with many features to suit every one of your needs. It’s extraordinary and ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle of any level, whether you’re looking to better your health or you’re an avid triathlete.

What do you think of our review of the Garmin 6X Sapphire? Let us know in the comments down below.

Related stories