Firmware update 21.00 for Garmin Fenix 6 from a few days ago has brought a bunch of useful features. However, some users are reporting a heavy battery drain with the new software. Garmin is looking to address this issue now with Beta update 21.01.
To remind, Garmin released firmware 21.00 on May 10th. It came with a long list of fixes along with support for Connect IQ system 5, Resting Heart-rate True-Up feature, enhanced strength functionality with a map of muscles used, support for horseback activity, Easy hunt feature and more.
Immense battery drain on firmware 21.00
However, some users have noticed that ever since that update their Fenix 6 is draining quite quickly. One user reports 2% per hour, and that’s with power safe mode on with no WiFi, SpO2 or heart rate!
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The Garmin Fenix 6 should be good for up to 14 days between charges in smartwatch mode and 48 days in Battery Saver Watch Mode. Of course, if you’ve been wearing and using the timepiece for the past few years, that will deteriorate somewhat. But battery life should still be close to these ball-park figures.
This doesn’t seem to be the case for some users following firmware update 21.00.
“You can basically watch how it looses energy every few minutes without doing anything.” one user says.
“Same here. I can watch the battery drain minute by minute, even in battery saver mode.” another one adds.
Some Fenix 6 owners are seeing the battery deplete by more than a third per day. Battery consumption has, essentially, more than tripled.
To prove his point, a user posted the following “before and after” picture on Garmin forums. The left side of the graph was before the update – the sharp fall on the right side is after the update.
There’s obviously some problem going on but it is not effecting all users. Doing a hard reset has helped resolve the issue for a few. But it has not worked for others.
In response Garmin has, this morning, issued Beta update 21.01. The change log says “This Beta update is intended for battery drain data collection only”. There are “no bug fixes, improvements, or feature additions in this software”. It is equal to the previous version of the software “with exception of the battery drain logging.“
At first instance we thought that the issue was resolved. But it seems that this is Garmin just acknowledging the problem and looking to log data to help them pinpoint the cause of the battery drain.
Let’s hope a fix arrives soon. For now Version 21.00 of the software should be considered as the main firmware or stable release. If you want to try the Beta 21.01 version, the download files can be found on this link. The update is 13.82mb in size.
The problems don’t end here
Just to emphasise once again, the vast majority of users have installed firmware update 21.00 with absolutely no issues. So there’s no point in installing the Beta if your device is behaving fine.
Unfortunately, for some the problems don’t end with battery drain. There are also reports on Garmin forums of the heart rate sensor behaving strangely, maps not loading, sleep data not recording and GPS not working properly following update 21.00.
If you are one of the unlucky few experiencing problems, you might be wondering if there’s a way to switch back to the previous version of the software. In theory, this is possible.
To downgrade the firmware you would need to have the zip file of version 20.51 downloaded. The problem is finding it as Garmin posts the latest version on their website. If you do have the file, unzip it and replace the GUPDATE.GCD file on the /GARMIN/ folder with the GUPDATE.GCD file that is under the extracted folder. So, replacing the GUPDATE.GCD file will take your Fenix 6 or Fenix 6 Solar back to version 20.51.
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