Everything you need to know about the New Solar Watches from Garmin
Garmin has just announced new models for their Fenix 6 range, instinct and tactix delta. The new models all come with solar charging lenses but also have a couple of extra features specific to the solar models of that family. These models vary in price and are currently available for preorder in Australia with stock expected to arrive Mid July to Mid August 2020.
Fenix 6 Solar vs Fenix 6
There are 5 new Fenix Solar models, 3 in the 47mm size (Slate Grey Solar, Black Solar, Titanium Solar) and 2 in the 42mm Fenix 6s size (Amethyst, Gold).
These models not only come with the solar charging lens but also:
- Surf-ready features: record surf sessions with a dedicated activity profile; access the Surfline widget to see the waves height, tides and weather and other alerts for your favourite spots.
- Tides Widget: Stay up to date with ocean condition with at-a-glance updates.
- MTB Grit and Flow: Track the details of every ride with mountain biking metrics plus specialized grit and flow measurements hat rate trail difficulty and how smoothly you descend, giving you a score to beat next time.
- Indoor Climb Activity: This new activity profile allows climbers to track their sessions at indoor facilities; see metrics such as the number of routes, vertical distance climbed, climbing time, the difficulty of each route and more.
Tactix Delta Solar vs Tactix Delta
The Tactix Delta Solar is the only watch on this list that has both a solar charging lens and sapphire glass to protect that lens. It also comes with the new features available on the Fenix 6
- Surf Ready Features
- Tides Widget
- MTB Dynamics
- Indoor Climb Activity
The other big difference between these models is the price. The standard sapphire delta has an RRP of $1,499 while the Solar Sapphire is $1,949. As you can see below in terms of visual hardware design, the only difference is the band. The solar panel underneath the sapphire glass lens isn't quite visible, but if you have one in person, you can see the panel under a light on a tilted angle.
Instinct Solar Models vs Original Instinct Models
The instinct Solar range has the largest number of new solar models introduced to its family along with some new versions exclusive to the Solar models. I’ve outlined the models below.
Unlike the other models the Instinct Solar range has gained even more new features with power manager settings available now to extend your battery life but suspending certain watches features. The new instinct models also come with Pulse Ox now. Garmin has also upgraded their original pulse ox sensor to not only measure your altitude acclimation but giving you advanced metrics on how much recovery you are gaining for sleep.
Finally, you have the Body Battery/Energy Monitor feature. This feature is designed to help you optimize your body’s energy reserves, using heart rate variability, stress, sleep, and other data to gauge when you are to be active or when you may need to rest. It should also be noted that the instinct models has the largest surface area for the solar panel to take in 100%. The Fenix 6 and Tactix Delta have much smaller panels so the increase in battery won't be as significant as it will be on the Instinct watches.
Overall each Garmin family range has seen improvements. In my opinion, the instinct series has seen the biggest improvement and would represent the best bang for your buck in terms of new additional features for the price increase. Obviously the fenix 6 and Tactix Detla have more health and tracking features alongside music and maps so if you're looking for the ultimate smartwatch for hiking and the outdoors then you would be better suited to those models.