Garmin Fenix 6 vs Ticwatch Pro (Budget vs Premium)

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch pro main screen

It’s been a while since I used the Ticwatch Pro so I decided to wear it for a while to refresh my memory, whereas the Garmin Fenix 6 is one of my favourite watches and it’s probably one of the watches I’d wear daily.

But the Fenix 6 is a niche watch that not everyone can afford nor need its advanced capabilities. The Ticwatch Pro is a much more mass-market watch that provides great value.

Related: Apple Watch Series 5 | Polar Vantage V | Fitbit Versa 2

Smooth operation?

Do you remember the bad old days of Windows 95 or 98? Those were the days when the Blue Screen of Death would appear and ruin everything. Unfortunately, the Ticwatch Pro reminds me of that antiquated system.

With a slow Snapdragon Wear 2100 (a 2016 processor), the Ticwatch struggles severely. I initially thought that the slowness was temporary and would improve over time, but I am quite disappointed to learn that isn’t happening. It can be quite frustrating when you tap the screen and there’s no response.

The Fenix 6 is a much better performer. Whenever you initiate a command, the watch will get back to you almost instantaneously. It’s what we have all come to expect in 2020.

Winner: Garmin Fenix 6

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch texts

Texts, emails

Both watches will receive texts and email, but replying is where both watches differ. Note that you can’t reply if you are paired to an iPhone.

The Fenix 6 allows you to reply using a range of canned responses that you can customize, whereas the Ticwatch Pro offers greater flexibility. You can used a ready-made response or you can input text using the keyboard, by drawing letters or by using the speech-to-text system.

The Ticwatch Pro is definitely a better option here because you can rely less on your smartphone.

Winner: Ticwatch Pro

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch calls

Calls

The Ticwatch Pro has a microphone and a speaker, while the Garmin Fenix 6 has a buzzer. This makes a huge difference in the kind of information these two watches can receive and transmit.

You can call from your Ticwatch Pro and chat on the watch on an Android. Some of my friends find this feature to be ridiculous — who’d want to chat on a watch? But I have found that this is a great convenience when you’re in a private room and when your cellphone is nowhere to be found.

The Fenix 6 can accept calls or decline them, but all conversations will have to be done on your smartphone.

Winner: Ticwatch Pro

Apps

The number of apps available has a correlation with the number of users on the platform, and the Ticwatch Pro’s Wear OS definitely beats out the Fenix 6’s.

I really enjoyed the Google Play Store on the Ticwatch Pro. It’s great because you can download a wide range of apps from voice recorders to Spotify. You can also download a suite of Google apps including Maps, Keep and Translate.

The Fenix 6 has significantly fewer useful apps. The app store, Connect IQ, has a few apps for music and fitness tracking, but otherwise it’s mostly just watch faces.

Winner: Ticwatch Pro

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch maps

Maps

The Fenix 6 Sapphire that I am reviewing has integrated maps, and they are great. They do not require a data connection. I found it quite useful when I was biking and I needed to navigate to a new place using an unfamiliar route.

The Ticwatch Pro has access to Google Maps and the functionality of Maps is fantastic, although it does require a data connection to download maps. It uses Google’s excellent routing system for different modes of commuting.

When I tried using Maps on the Ticwatch Pro, it was a bit frustrating because the Ticwatch was so slow. I eventually gave up and relied on my smartphone.

Winner: Garmin Fenix 6

Voice assistant

The Ticwatch Pro has a significant advantage over the Fenix 6 because it has Google Assistant. With the Google Assistant, you can ask it to do multiple tasks including find directions, add something to your calendar, make calculations or tell you the weather. It’s very convenient to be able to do everything on your wrist.

Unfortunately, the Ticwatch Pro’s lacklustre performance really diminishes the voice assistant’s functionality. I remember Google Assistant telling me to “speak now” and when I do speak, only the latter half of what I spoke got through. This is extremely annoying because instead of a convenience, using Google Assistant becomes a hassle.

The Fenix 6 does not have a microphone, therefore it will never have a voice assistant.

Winner: Ticwatch Pro

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch workout

Workout hardware

The Garmin Fenix 6 just cannot be beaten as a sport smartwatch. Both watches have an integrated GPS for location data when tracking workouts, but only the Fenix 6 can be brought into water. The Ticwatch Pro does have a water resistance rating, but it does not guarantee that it will survive a swim.

The Fenix 6 also has the added advantage of being able to connect to ANT+ and Bluetooth sports data collectors such as power meters or running accessories.

Winner: Garmin Fenix 6

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch exercise

Workout tracking

I really liked Garmin’s workout tracking, and in fact, this is the main reason why you would shell out all that money for this watch. It’s just class leading. 

Runners will especially like the Fenix 6’s ability to create a race training program on the Connect app, as well as measure your VO2Max on your wrist. It can tell you about your fitness status and whether you are improving, detraining or overworking yourself. If you aren’t a runner, the Garmin Connect app can still provide good data on your training and whether you are working at the right intensity.

The Ticwatch Pro can provide basic data through Google Fit or Ticwatch’s own TicExercise. I found Google Fit to be a superior experience because Ticwatch’s apps do not offer the same streamlined experience as Google Fit does. It really is bloatware that needs to go.

The Ticwatch Pro collects the typical data that you can expect from most smartwatches including steps taken, Move Minutes and Heart Points (which rates the intensity of your exercise). Overall, Google Fit provides a good amount of coverage for most people.

Winner: Garmin Fenix 6

garmin fenix 6 ticwatch watch face

Verdict

Buy the Garmin Fenix 6 only if you REALLY know what you want. It will improve your lifestyle, health and training if you put your mind to it and use every last feature available on the Fenix 6. I really enjoy wearing it for exercise tracking.

That said, the Fenix 6 is very expensive and most people would be happier with a more general-purpose smartwatch such as the Ticwatch Pro. The Ticwatch Pro is good for productivity such as messages and email. Having a microphone and speaker is also excellent because you can use Google Assistant, answer calls and more.

BUT — you can do better than the Ticwatch Pro if you want a Wear OS smartwatch. The Ticwatch Pro is a bit let down by its bloatware and slow and old processor. As of writing, I feel that there is no better Wear OS watch than the Fossil Gen 5 series.