Why Garmin didn’t release the Fenix 6 at CES 2018


Since about the middle of 2017, the rumour mills and people have been asking about the Fenix 6 release or a Fenix 5 update. In an article recently I speculated about the launch of the Fenix 6 and was convinced myself that we would see it at CES 2018.

However in December 2017 when I was sent the leak of the Forerunner 645 with music and this changed my view and I think its more like 2019 now

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CES is traditionally a bit place for tech companies to launch and show off the latest product and Garmin normally use this as a platform as they did with the Fenix 5 last year and the Fenix 3 and other devices before that. Over the last couple of days following the release of the Forerunner 645, people have still being asking will we see a Fenix 6 at CES 2018 and the answer is very simple, no.

So whilst the answer no is a very simple answer, I wanted to provide more of an answer as to why the Fenix 6 has not been released yet and give you my thoughts on when I think it will arrive

The Forerunner 645 stole the show

Garmin forerunner with music

Simply put the Forerunner 645 has been released at CES 2018 and that it is the star of the show as far as Garmin is concerned. The Forerunner 645 brings one of the biggest features Garmin has introduced that will attract a wider audience and that is Music to a Garmin fitness watch. So for Garmin to bring out the Fenix 6 or a Fenix 5 update, it would have taken the limelight from the Forerunner 645 with music.

Fenix 5 with music 

So this takes me to my second reason why we didn’t see the Fenix 6 at CES 2018 and that was music on the FR645. Now Garmin has launched music on a fitness watch for the first time it needed to be in one product to get it right for future products. They did this with the Vivosmart 3 with strength and rep counting and then released this feature to the FR935 and the Fenix 5 late in 2017. Garmin will want to get user feedback and improve the technology before they enable a Fenix 6 with music or a Fenix 5 with music in the future.

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Fenix 5 is selling well


Garmin Fenix 5 with musicNow moving onto the very good sales performance of the Fenix 5 along with the still strong-selling Fenix 3 HR. Why would Garmin bring a new wearable out that would compete with a product line that is already doing well until they have a good reason to update it.  People could argue that they updated the Fenix 3 to the Fenix 3 HR, but that was a big update in terms of bringing the optical HR. Then Garmin did the same with the Fenix 5 buy bringing Firstbeat training technology and maps to the Fenix 5x. So in my view, Garmin will want to sweat the Fenix 5 line until we see a Fenix 6 update.

So when will we see a Fenix 6 or Fenix 5 update

Whilst I don’t have a crystal ball or inside information from Garmin. I now personally believe that we won’t see a Fenix 6 until 2019. However, we will see a Fenix 5 later in 2018 and this is more likely to be around may or June 2018. I think this will be an incremental update for Garmin and we will see a Fenix 5 with music along with new build materials and maybe even Garmin Pay.


Garmin Forerunner 645 musicSo that is my thoughts on the Fenix 6 and Fenix 5 update, let me know in the comments below what you think and don’t forget to keep checking back or subscribe for the latest news on the Fenix 6

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  1. Some great thoughts, however what I would like to understand is when Garmin Pay will come to the UK… its long overdue now. I have a Vivoactive 3 and feel one of the features I bought it as not arrived and that is unfair.

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