Garmin Fenix 6X, a mixed bag

So Garmin is having a big spring sale, so I decided to treat myself to a Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire. It has some amazing features – too many to list here. I had it in my head that I might be able to use it instead of my Forerunner 920XT, but I might have to hold on to the 920. At first I was thinking it would be a good replacement because the screen is big and clear. But I’ve paddled with it twice, and it has a really annoying bug.

When you’re paddling, every time you paddle under a bridge or too near a concrete wall, the watch would lose GPS satellite signal. Every previous watch I’ve had (Forerunners 301, 320, 910Xt, 920Xt) would show a slow speed for a little bit, then it would show a high speed for a little bit, then would settle down and show the correct speed again. Not this guy – instead it shows a blank screen for a short time, and then it shows some crazy impossible speed. Today at one point it was showing 886,844 km/hr. That’s 30 times as fast as the International Space Station in orbit, by the way. If I really hit that on the canal, I’d probably evaporate all the water from Buffalo to Albany.

The worst thing about these huge spikes is that it makes my speed graph unusable. Two days ago I paddled with the 920XT on my boat and the Fenix on my wrist. This is what my speed graph looks like from the 920XT.

Forerunner 920Xt speed graph

And this is what it looks like from the Fenix.

Fenix speed graph

Useless.

Now I remember from reviews on DC Rainmaker that the Forerunner 945 had some accuracy issues because they’d switched to a Sony GPS chipset to improve battery life. I assume that’s what the difference is here as well. Hopefully there will be a firmware update to fix this.

Interestingly, it appears that Strava has done some sort of smoothing, because my speed graph looks normal on it, with a max speed of 13.7 km/hr instead of 888,000.

Shameful Confession

Several years ago when I was working from home completely, I decided I needed a really good chair. I did a bit of research and bought a chair that was advertising how much they customize it and how ergonomic it was and all that. It cost more than a Herman Miller Aeron Chair, even if you didn’t buy it from a 90s era startup that had gone bust, but I thought if it saved my back it would be worth it.

Ok, first problem was their amazing customization was basically asking you three questions and then picking either a small, medium or large lumbar pad. I was expecting bespoke and I basically got off the rack. And it wasn’t very adjustable after it was delivered. I was lead to believe there would be a call with a consultant on how to set it up or a comprehensive manual, and I got none of that.

Second problem was that they insisted it had to be delivered via an 18 wheeler, like this was a major selling point or something. This chair was no bigger than any other office chair and it could have been delivered by a panel van, but they insisted. And so I get a phone call from a delivery driver who doesn’t know how he’s getting his gigantic rig down our tree covered residential neighborhood streets. I tell him to deliver it with a panel van, he says he can’t and suggests I come out to meet him somewhere and he can give it to me. I say there’s no f-ing way I’m going to do his job for him. So lo and behold a little while later this truck comes down the street, slapping tree branches all the way, and delivers this package that’s no bigger than other things UPS has delivered in the past.

So anybody, I spent way too much on a not very comfortable chair, and I was embarrassed to admit it, so I’ve kept this chair for about 8 years. And if this lockdown continues for much longer, I’m not sure if my back can take it. And I’m not sure I want to order a chair without trying it, and that’s not going to be possible.