Garmin has released two new high-end smartwatches, the Fenix 7 and the Epix, less than two weeks after the Venus 2 Plus and Vivomove Sport launched at CES. The Fenix 7 is the latest iteration of the company’s rugged multisport flagship, while the Epix picks up the baton from a similar high-end watch that hasn’t seen an update since its release in 2015. Both are intended for outdoor use. adventurer who travels far and wide.
This is why the three sizes (42 millimeters, 47 millimeters, and 51 millimeters) of the Fenix 7 can be equipped with solar charging. The smaller and medium variants (Fenix 7s and Fenix 7) make this feature a $100 premium add-on, while the larger (Fenix 7X) has the standard feature. That works out to an additional nine days of battery (on top of 19 days without solar charging) in smartwatch mode, according to Garmin estimates.
The Fenix series has always been a more utilitarian, yet highly specified device. Garmin has only now added traditional smartwatch comforts like a touchscreen to go along with the button-based navigation of the Fenix range. However, tracking features like marathon performance prediction, trail ascent and descent rating, and downloadable maps for trails and courses have long set the Fenix apart from traditional smartwatches.
New features added include a real-time endurance tool to track effort, a running performance predictor, daily running or cycling workout suggestions, and recovery assessments based on your recent metrics. These accompany some of our favorite metrics from the Forerunner series like Training Status, Training Effect, and Body Battery. And, of course, it receives notifications from the smartphone.
In terms of hardware, the Fenix 7 has a heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter, thermometer, altimeter and GPS, now with the L5 frequency range. According to the government, this range is exclusively for aeronautical services and is designed to meet the high demands of life safety transport. This can be especially useful for Garmin’s built-in security features, such as Live Track and Live Event Sharing. The Fenix 7X also has an LED flashlight that can light the way or flash red and white to the beat of your run.
Garmin’s Epix Watch is essentially the Fenix 7, minus the solar charging, but with an AMOLED display (with always-on capability) swapped in place of the Fenix’s sunlight-viewable transflective display. The more power-hungry display means slightly less battery life, 16 days in smartwatch mode and six days with always-on display on. The Epix, however, has a few more sports tracking modes than the Fenix 7, such as kitesurfing, racket, and pickleball. It also features on-screen directional animations for strength, yoga, and Pilates workouts. Ultimately, this is Garmin’s ultimate multisport watch, not the savage warrior that is the solar-powered, LED-equipped Fenix 7, although it’s not far behind.
The Fenix 7 series starts at $700 and go up to $1,000, depending on size and features selected. The Garmin Epix has a basic $900 price for the version not fitted with sapphire and goes up to $1,000 for the addition of hard crystal.
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Listing image by Garmin
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