Fenix 5s vs. 6s- Which Multisport watch is a better investment?

Are you looking to upgrade your smartwatch? Or, are you looking to purchase a Garmin Fenix watch for the first time and you are wondering which to pick between the Fenix 5s and 6s?

When looking for the most ideal smartwatches, you would need to always consider the fact that technology continues to advance as time goes by and you are better off investing in one that matches the current times. At the same time, you would need to examine your fitness and activity needs so that you can make a better choice. On that note, let us take a look at the top features and differences of the Fenix 5s and 6s watches by Garmin in the table below.

What are the differences between the Fenix 5s and the 6s?

Fenix 5s
Fenix 6s
Screen Resolution
218 x 218px
240 x 240px
Pixel Density
280 ppi
283 ppi
Screen size
1.1 inches
1.2 inches
67 g
58 g
Wi-Fi support
Battery life (with GPS on)
14 hours
25 hours
Battery life (smart watch mode)
9 days
9 days


Fenix 5s vs. 6s – How do they compare?

Design and Structure

The Fenix 5s and 6s both have an electronic display which allows you to view information on your sports activity. They are both dustproof, waterproof and sweat resistant which makes them both ideal for sports including swimming and adventure in any kind of weather conditions. In addition to that, they both have replaceable bands in case you would like to change the band to one that fits your wrist size.

The difference in their design and structure is seen in their screen size and resolution, weight and glass material. When it comes to the screen size, the Fenix 6s has a bigger screen than the Fenix 5s which makes your user experience better. The Fenix 6s has a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels while the 5s has a resolution of 218 x 218 pixels. This shows that the Fenix 6s has higher resolution than the Fenix 5s which means that you are able to access better screen image quality on the 6s.

Aside from that, the Fenix 6s is thinner than the 5s by 0.7mm and it is lighter than the 5s by 9 grams. This makes the Fenix 6s more compact, portable and comfortable to carry around on your wrist. Unlike the 5s, the Fenix 6s comes with a branded damage resistant glass which gives it its ability to withstand high levels of force. When comparing the two in terms of the glass material used in their design, the Fenix 6s is more durable than the 5s. Generally, the Fenix 6s has a better design and structure for your sports activities than the Fenix 5s.

Connectivity and Battery life

The Fenix 5s and 6s are both compatible with a range of Android and IOS devices such as phones, tablets and iPads and they both sync all of your data wirelessly without having to make you go through the hassle of using a cable. Additionally, they both support ANT+ which is a wireless protocol that allows for their connection to other fitness monitoring devices.

The difference between the Fenix 5s and 6s is seen in their connectivity options and battery life. Unlike the Fenix 5s, the Fenix 6s can connect to Wi-Fi and it supports Wi-Fi 4 meaning that the 6s has faster transfer rates and better data security than the 5s. Also, the Fenix 6s has NFC which allows it to perform the simplest wireless transactions and it is compatible with both MAC OS X devices and devices that are running the Windows Operating System. On that note, the Fenix 6s has better and multiple connectivity options than the Fenix 5s.

When it comes to the battery life of the two fitness watches, the Fenix 6s has a longer battery life than the Fenix 5s with GPS on. The Fenix 6s battery can last up to 11 hours longer with GPS on which means that you don’t really have to worry about running out of battery during an adventure.

Fitness Features

The Fenix 6s and the 5s have both designed to provide you with your activity reports and they are both fitted with heart rate monitors, accelerometers and compasses to keep you in track as you carry out your fitness activities. However, the Fenix 6s has better fitness features than the Fenix 5s such as the cadence sensor, thunderstorm alert feature and the blood oxygen monitor. Its ability to measure blood oxygenated levels helps you understand your fatigue levels and its cadence sensor allows you to keep track on how fast you are pedaling when cycling. Also, its fitness feature that alerts you when there is a risk of thunderstorms which allows you to properly plan your day.

Fenix 5s vs. 6s – A Comparison Overview

Fenix 5s

As a relatively small multisport GPS watch that has been fitted with Elevate wrist heart rate technology, the Fenix 5s comes in an elegant and compact design. It features preloaded activity profiles for all your sports activities and outdoor adventures. It can maintain its battery life for up to 9 days when on smart watch mode and for up to 14 hours when on GPS/HR mode. When it is on UltraTrac mode, it can last for up to 35 hours without wrist heart rate.

Generally, the Fenix 5s has been developed to show you the effects and progress of your daily workouts. It featured connectivity features such as automatic uploads to and smart notification from the Garmin Connect online fitness community. It has also been fitted with outdoor sensors such as a 3 axis compass with a barometric altimeter and a gyroscope, GLONASS satellite reception and GPS.


  • Sustainable battery life
  • Multisport watch
  • Waterproof, Sweat resistant and Dustproof
  • Portable
  • Compact design


  • Regular glass material makes it prone to damage


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Fenix 6s

The Fenix 6s comes in a rugged and sophisticated design and an always-on sunlight readable display that has been fitted with stainless steel buttons and a bezel towards the side. It features Pulse Ox and enhanced estimated wrist heart rate features to support altitude acclimation at high elevation and advanced sleep monitoring. It provides you with your performance data such as training load balance and status alongside your cycling and running dynamics.

It is also fitted with outdoor features such as built in sensors for 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter and gyroscope. It has been designed to support multiple global navigation satellite system which allows it to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone. Its connected features include Garmin Pay contactless payments and smart notifications when you pair it with compatible devices. It has optimal battery performance which lasts up to 9 days when in smart watch mode, up to 25 hours when in GPS mode and up to 34 days when in battery saver watch mode.


  • Branded damage resistant glass
  • Multisport watch
  • Connects to Wi-Fi
  • Monitors blood oxygenation levels
  • Has cadence sensor


  • Does not automatically sync data when you are around your compatible devices


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Both the Fenix 5s and 6s are multi-sport and well performing GPS watches. However, one is a better version than the other and provides you with more fitness features than the other.

Final Verdict: So, which is better – Fenix 5s or the 6s?

The Fenix 6s is a better investment than the 5s. It provides you with more advanced fitness features and it is more portable and comfortable to carry around.


Can I answer calls using the Fenix 6s?

No, you cannot. You can only accept and reject your incoming calls on the notifications that pop up but you can directly speak from your Fenix 6s watch.

Is my Fenix 6s watch compatible with my cycling power meter?

Yes, it is. It is compatible with a multitude of non-Garmin cycling power meters.


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