This smartwatch just got a juicy software update, especially for cyclists

The Garmin Fenix 6 has received a major software upgrade that includes a slew of new sports tracking profiles and better fitness tracking algorithms.

The long-awaited Garmin Fenix 7, replete with a new touchscreen and enhanced training capabilities, was introduced today (January 18), but if you’ve been considering investing in a high-end sports watch, this update may be enough to convince you to stick with the older model.

Garmin said earlier this month that gravel cycling is on the rise, so it’s no surprise that the Fenix 6’s Software has been updated with a slew of new cycling profiles that reflect the sport’s diversity. Not only gravel cycling, but also bike commuting, road biking, bike tours, and cyclocross are among them.

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E-bike and e-MTB profiles have also been updated. We haven’t tried these yet, but they appear to work in the same way as Apple’s upgraded e-bike profile, which debuted with the Apple Watch 7 last year. This monitors your distance traveled and heart rate, comparing them to your baseline fitness level to determine how much power you exerted and how much the bike’s engine contributed.

Garmin has also introduced additional profiles for tracking high-intensity interval training and tennis, as well as some less common activities like skiing, padel, and pickleball.

Alerts and Refinements

The update, which was first spotted by TizenHelp, also includes improvements to the watch’s lactate threshold and altitude acclimation algorithms, as well as some useful alerts like a warning if the watch’s battery runs low while music is syncing, or if the watch is taking a SpO2 measurement and there is too much movement.

This is also unlikely to be the Fenix 6’s final upgrade. Garmin has a long history of updating their watches with new firmware releases several years after their initial release, so expect even more refinements and additional tracking profiles in the months ahead.


There’s also the issue of cost. The Garmin Fenix 7 does not yet have a release date or price, but the base model of the Fenix 6 cost £529.99 / $599.99 / AU$949, so the new watch is likely to cost at least that much — if not more.