From my high school days of having one of the earliest consumer GPS navigation systems mounted to my car windshield, I have always associated Garmin with top-of-the-line tracking technology.
So when I wanted to start collecting more actionable data to help me improve as a runner, you can understand why Garmin smartwatches were some of the first products I started researching.
What I found was that for ultra runners and those looking to log hundreds of miles on the trail each week, the Enduro is without a doubt the best smartwatch on the market.
But honestly, it’s not for me.
I like what I get with the Fenix 6 line because it offers a better combination of features in addition to activity tracking, such as music storage and built-in TOPO maps, that make it perfect for a more casual runner like me.
If you’re somewhere in between the ultra and the casual, then the choice between the two might be a bit more difficult.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how the Garmin Enduro and Fenix 6 stack up against each other!
Garmin Enduro at a Glance
The Enduro is marketed as the premier “ultraperformance” multisport watch on the market.
Noted for its exceptional battery life, the Enduro has customizable power management modes and a Power Glass solar charging lens to extend battery life to up to 80 hours in GPS mode, 300 hours in max battery GPS mode, and 65 days in smartwatch mode.
In addition to the industry leading battery, some other key calling cards of the Enduro include:
- Always-on display for conveniently viewing results during runs
- Rugged design is weather resistant to ensure performance during all racing conditions
- Trail Run VO2 Max estimates the cardiovascular fitness level of trail runners by adjusting for the various trail and terrain conditions that can affect performance
- Monitor your time at rest stations when utilizing ULTRARUN features
- Recovery advisor technology gives you accurate information for how long to rest between each running session
And these are just a few of the Enduro’s many selling points.
The bottom line is that if you are an extreme runner who loves getting “lost on the trail,” the Enduro needs to make your shortlist of top fitness watches.
Fenix 6 at a Glance
The Fenix 6, usually stylized fēnix 6, is widely considered to be Garmin’s flagship smartwatch.
And it comes in over 30 different versions, with the most common being Fenix 6, Fenix 6X, Fenix 6S, and Fenix 6 Pro.
While each of these models features some minor differentiations, the core design of the Fenix 6 remains similar, no matter which version you choose.
While the Enduro is marketed more toward the extreme side of ultrasports, the Fenix 6 is notable as being one of the best all-around performance watches that offers the widest range of features.
It is the watch to turn to for athletes that want to combine music storage, color maps, navigation, tracking, and workout analysis in a 1.4-inch display.
Some specifics of the Fenix 6 product line include:
- Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox to support sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation
- PacePro technology for grade-adjusted pace recommendations
- A healthy assortment of preloaded topographic maps
- Built-in sensors for 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter
- Battery life of up to 10 hours in GPS and music playback mode, 14 days in smartwatch mode, and 28 days in battery saver mode
And this is just a small sample of everything that the Fenix 6 line brings to the table.
So if you are looking for that all-purpose smartwatch that may not necessarily be the best in the industry in a single category but stacks up well for nearly every imaginable feature, the Fenix 6 should be considered a go-to option.
Garmin Enduro vs Fenix 6 Side-By-Side Comparison
If you want both, more power to you. But we’re here to help you make a decision between one or the other.
Keep reading the following breakdown for a side-by-side comparison of the Enduro and Fenix 6 along with a number of important consideration points.
The two products are exceptionally similar in terms of standard design and dimensions:
|Color||Carbon gray DLC titanium or black steel||Black, white, sapphire, carbon gray DLC titanium|
|Weight||2.5 oz||2.33 oz|
|Display Type||LCD color||LCD color|
|Width||2 in||2 in|
|Height||2 in||2 in|
|Depth||0.6 in||0.6 in|
|Diagonal Display Size||1.4 in||1.4 in|
As the Fenix 6 has so many different versions, there will be some models whose display case differs from the standard by a few millimeters.
For those runners who wanted the largest possible display, the Fenix 6X is slightly wider than standard, while those wanting something a little less pronounced will be happier with the Fenix 6S and its slightly smaller case.
If you are interested in the sapphire Fenix 6, note that it comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens, but it will cost you close to twice as much at most outlets.
The navigation and interface are nearly identical for both the Enduro and Fenix 6, with a simple five-button layout and customizable widget-view menu.
As the Enduro only comes in two models against the Fenix 6’s 30+, there are conspicuously fewer variations in design with the Enduro.
The diamond-like carbon (DLC) Enduro will be slightly lighter than the stainless steel version, but everything else is exactly the same across all Enduro watches.
Users do note that the ultra-lightweight nylon strap system is more comfortable than the silicone strap of the Fenix 6. As both watches are sizable, this is a key feature for helping the watch hug the wrist better without any unwanted rubbing during exercise.
All in all, there is not much that is markedly different between the design of the Enduro and that of the Fenix 6.
However, runners looking for a wider range of customizability in their design should choose the Fenix 6, while runners who want a no frills, rugged watch can’t go wrong with the Enduro.
One of the key features of the Enduro is its Power Glass solar charging technology that can help the battery last up to 80 hours in GPS mode when exposed to sufficient amounts of sunlight.
The Fenix 6 does have some solar versions that come with Power Glass features, but it is not standard in most models and will cost significantly more.
As the Enduro is designed for endurance trail runners, it does have some “augmented” features that are geared toward this demographic.
Some of the most prominent Enduro features are the Trail Run VO2 Max, which assesses performance in relation to trail conditions and adjusts to the environment based on heat and altitude; the ClimbPro Trail Enhancements, which provide real-time analysis of upcoming hills in terms of gradient, distance, and elevation gain; and a rest timer that automatically monitors your time at rest stations when the watch is in ULTRARUN mode.
Although the Fenix 6 line does not have as many “ultraperformance” features as the Enduro, most Fenix 6 models generally come with a wider range of general smartwatch features.
For example, the Fenix 6 has 32 GB of offline music storage against the Enduro’s 64 MB (about 500X more storage!), has WiFi connectivity features, and offline topographical and point of interest maps. It also has offline maps of golf courses and ski resorts, something that the trail-centric Enduro lacks.
Some general performance watch features that both products share include:
- Body Battery energy management readings
- Sleep tracking
- Pulse Ox blood-oxygen sensor
- ABC sensors
- Weather widgets
- Smart notifications
So if you’re an ultramarathoner–generally someone who trains for and completes races over 26.2 miles long–then the Enduro likely has the more practicable feature set for you.
However, if you’re more of a casual runner (like me!), then the Fenix 6 line is probably of greater interest.
Ultramarathoner or not, you are likely looking into the Enduro for its battery life.
It is simply unbelievable.
Some of the key metrics of the Enduro’s battery life include:
- Up to 80 hours in GPS mode (the mode used to track runs)
- Up to 300 hours in max battery GPS mode
- Up to 65 days in smartwatch mode (GPS turned off)
There is no other fitness watch–let alone a fitness watch with a screen as large as the Enduro–that can match these mind-boggling metrics.
Although they may seem paltry compared to the Enduro, the Fenix 6’s battery is nothing to sneeze at. It can get up to 10 hours when using all sensors, GPS, and music playback; 36 hours when strictly using GPS; 72 hours in max battery GPS mode; and 14 days in smartwatch mode.
However, if you are looking for a watch that will allow you to get lost on the trail for days at a time, there is no matching the Enduro in terms of battery life.
Both the Enduro and Fenix 6 operate on the same sensors, all of which are considered best-in-class among smartwatches.
The most impressive is the Sony GNSS chipset. This package accesses multiple global navigation systems, including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, which helps the watches stay connected in terrains in which basic GPS fails.
For fitness activity, both products use the Elevate V3 heart rate sensor. This sensor does a great job of monitoring heart rate at elevated levels but has been noted to be a bit on the high side when taking resting heart rate. As both the Enduro and Fenix 6 are multisport watches, this minor drawback might not be a dealbreaker, but it is worth noting.
So overall, you can count on both the Enduro and Fenix 6 line to do their jobs admirably as performance tracking devices.
If you’re looking at nothing more than the standard product, the Enduro will be the noticeably more expensive option. This can be expected anytime a tech product has a top-of-the-line feature–like the Enduro’s battery life–that users are willing to pay for to stay ahead of the laggards.
Therefore, you likely won’t find a new Enduro anywhere for under $700.
However, the price range for the Enduro is pretty narrow, as an upgrade to the enhanced DLC titanium case likely won’t exceed $950.
The Fenix 6, on the other hand, is all over the place in terms of price, thanks to the plethora of versions on the market.
The most basic Fenix 6 can be found for as little as $350. However, upgraded models that feature a sapphire case and Power Glass technology can actually be even more expensive than the Enduro, checking in at over $1,000 at some outlets.
What Runners Love About the Enduro and Fenix 6
When making your decision on which of these products to buy, you don’t necessarily have to take Garmin’s word at face value. Let’s see what other runners love about both of these smartwatches.
Obviously, no one is complaining about the battery life on the Enduro. However, some other common themes among satisfied customers include:
- The always-on, easy-to-read screen makes it easy to track performance without breaking stride
- The nylon elastic wristband impinges the wrist less and makes movement more natural when shaking your arms out when running
- The augmented tracking features set this watch apart from competitors and allow ultrarunners to tailor their sessions
Although the Fenix 6 is known for its all-encompassing features among fitness watches, some other strong points that stand out to runners include:
- The accuracy of the maps is second to none, whether you are near a road or off the beaten path
- Many people love the preloaded maps for navigating golf courses and ski resorts
- The screen is easy to read in daylight
What Runners Wish Were Better About the Enduro and Fenix 6
While both products are among the in-class leaders for fitness watches, nothing is perfect, and some runners do note some areas they would like to see improved.
- Too expensive for a watch whose only defining feature is a long battery life
- Too large for a watch that will be worn for days at a time
- Major frustration when the watch freezes on the trail
- Some users don’t like how often the watch updates and are unhappy with the results when it does update
- The rep counter in the strength training tracker is considered inaccurate by many
- The pixel count on the display is a bit low for a premium piece of technology
In Summary: Garmin Enduro vs Fenix 6
For those ultra runners looking for a watch that will go for days on end, you can’t beat the Enduro.
If you’re like me and want a more balanced watch that has a huge array of “smart” features, then the Fenix 6 is the way to go.
Whatever your preference, go grab one of these top-of-the-line products to help you reach your running goals!