Today Garmin has updated several of their most popular multi-sports watches, the Fenix 6 series, Instinct series and Tactix Delta.

All the main features remain identical, but surf, mountain biking and climbing activities have now been added.

The main difference is the new Power Glass lens material which offers a small increase in battery life, but with a relatively large price hike.

Full list of solar watches available here.

Prices and battery life improvements

Prices taken from Garmin, you will likely find the current none Solar models for cheaper.

Garmin updates watches with Solar charging for an extra £100+ with Instinct Solar, Fenix 6 Solar & Tactix Delta Solar announcement 1

Fenix 6S Pro Solar

Available from the 3rd Quarter 2020 this is £739.99 RRP up from £569.99 on the Garmin website giving you a £170 price difference

With that you get:

  • Smartwatch: Up to 9 days/10.5 days with solar
  • Battery saver watch mode: Up to 34 days/59 days with solar
  • GPS: Up to 25 hours/28 hours with solar
  • GPS and music: Up to 6 hours
  • Max battery GPS mode: Up to 50 hours/64 hours with solar
  • Expedition GPS activity: Up to 20 days/26 days with solar

Fenix 6 Pro Solar

This is priced the same as the 6S for the none Solar, but its larger size means longer battery

  • Smartwatch: Up to 14 days/16 days with solar
  • Battery saver watch mode: Up to 48 days/80 days with solar
  • GPS: Up to 36 hours/40 hours with solar
  • GPS and music: Up to 10 hours
  • Max battery GPS mode: Up to 72 hours/93 hours with solar
  • Expedition GPS activity: Up to 28 days/36 days with solar

Instinct Solar

Garmin updates watches with Solar charging for an extra £100+ with Instinct Solar, Fenix 6 Solar & Tactix Delta Solar announcement 2

Priced at £349.99 while the standard model is £239.99 so a £110 difference.

If you want the Instinct Solar – Surf Edition, that will set you back £399.99

  • Smartwatch: Up to 24 days/54 days with solar
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 56 days/Unlimited with solar
  • GPS: Up to 30 hours/38 hours with solar
  • Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 70 hours/145 hours with solar
  • Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days/ 68 days with solar

tactix Delta – Solar Edition

The biggest price rise of the three, the tactix Delta – Solar Edition goes up to £999.99 from £799.99, so £200 more

  • Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/24 days with solar
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days/120 days with solar
  • GPS: Up to 60 hours/66 hours with solar
  • GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours/16 hours with solar
  • Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 120 hours/148 hours with solar
  • Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 46 days/56 days with solar

How much does the Solar charging improve the battery?

Garmin updates watches with Solar charging for an extra £100+ with Instinct Solar, Fenix 6 Solar & Tactix Delta Solar announcement 3

Looking at the Fenix 6S Pro Solar you get:

  • Smartwatch: Up to 9 days/10.5 days with solar
  • Battery saver watch mode: Up to 34 days/59 days with solar
  • GPS: Up to 25 hours/28 hours with solar
  • GPS and music: Up to 6 hours
  • Max battery GPS mode: Up to 50 hours/64 hours with solar
  • Expedition GPS activity: Up to 20 days/26 days with solar

So a potential 16% improvement in the smartwatch life and potentially a 28% improvement with the max battery GPS mode.

The Fenix 6 Pro Solar has a 14% improvement for the smartwatch and an 11% improvement for regular GPS mode.

The Instinct with its monochrome display benefits from the Solar charging much more. With this you potentially go from 24 days use to 54 days, giving you a 125% improvement.

Normal GPS mode can go from 30-hours to 38, giving a 26% improvement.

So in this case, I would say the £110 is easily justified.

As for the tactix Delta that gets potentially 14% extra for the smartwatch and 10% extra when using the normal GPS.

How much sun do you need?

For me, in Blackpool working from an office, day to day use probably won’t improve much

Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions

Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions

I don’t know what a 50,000 lux condition is, but I am guessing it does not happen up north too often (Wikipedia states 1,000 – 2,000 lux for a Typical overcast day, midday).

However, the main benefit would likely come when participating in endurance events or any long GPS activity outside. Having the Fenix 6 Pro go from 24 hours to 28 hours could make a huge difference for some people.  

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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