Why the Garmin Fenix 6S Sapphire is worth the splurge

Credit: Garmin

Credit: Garmin

The Garmin Fenix 6S Sapphire smartwatch is the good-looking fitness coach I never knew I needed. The device showed up under my tree, wrapped in a bow, and demanded I step up my game. After trying and failing to skimp by with low-budget smartwatches, my mother saved me from my own frugality by gifting me this Garmin device. I must say, I feel a bit silly for letting the price deter me for so long.

The first major difference I noticed after swapping my outdated Fitbit Alta for the Garmin Fenix 6S was a higher level of accuracy in tracking calories burned. I put the watch to the ultimate test the first week I got it by sweating my way through spin, boxing, treadmill sessions, and hot yoga. The activity reports reveal things like where my heart rate is hovering, how many calories I’d burned, and how my respiratory system functioned during different activities. 

One week with the device taught me a lot about how my body reacts to my favorite workouts. Surprisingly, some of the toughest workouts I put my body through burned fewer calories than those that felt a bit easier. Killer kickboxing classes hovered around 300 calories, while riding a stationary bike and rocking out in spin burned 450 calories. Honestly, I don’t mind this discovery at all. I love kickboxing, but it’s great to know I can really optimize my training by adding in more spin, which is a bit easier and definitely more fun.

I quickly realized I could also use this device for much more than tracking my workouts. I tend to run a bit anxious most days, and with this watch, I can check my heart rate when I’m feeling riled up and stop to chill out until the number drops a bit. I even use the Garmin Connect app to track how stressful my day was based on heart rate variation. We could all use a reminder to stop and breathe when things get hectic, and this device served that up with data showing me how stress impacts my body. 

Looks aren’t everything, but another much-appreciated benefit of this device is that it is more attractive than most smartwatches. My watch has a stylish gray band and rose gold features that complement the business casual wardrobe I typically wear in an attempt to fit in with fellow adults at the office. While I love this color combo, there are other options for band color and feature tone you can choose from. 

Of course, I wouldn’t be fairly reviewing a Garmin watch without mentioning battery life. This device holds a charge for about nine days, whereas my previous devices crapped out after a day or two. 

Another notable feature I enjoy, is the “Find My Phone” feature given that I lose my dang phone almost every day. I also plan to put the GPS to good use as I explore a few new hiking and biking trails this season. I downloaded the Garmin IQ app and added Wikiloc Trails so I can send trail routes to the watch. I was also pleased to find Spotify in the Garmin IQ store, as adding this app to my watch means I can leave my phone in the locker and still be able to listen to music during a treadmill session.

The Garmin Fenix 6S has become an invaluable tool to help me better understand my health. While it comes with a hefty price tag of $799, the accurate calorie tracking, wellness data, and GPS guidance make it well worth the splurge.