Garmin Adds New Beta Features to Fenix 7/Epix Product Family


The next quarterly public beta program has begun for the Fenix 7/Epix family, with the initial list of new features and changes being released. These features include features recently launched on the Garmin Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 265, such as wrist-based Running Dynamics (no longer requiring a separate accessory), and from the FR965 specifically, Training Load Ratio. Remember that Garmin previously noted those are coming to the Forerunner 955 in a beta update as well. Beyond the dozen or so new features, there are also a slate of bug fixes, or simply ‘improvements’ around tweaks to existing features. The line between ‘new feature’ and ‘improvement’ is sometimes a bit blurry.

As a brief recap about Garmin’s quarterly firmware releases process:

A) They start in public beta, which typically lasts anywhere from 3-6 weeks
B) You have to register your device (free/quick/easy) to get public beta updates.
C) Garmin usually will make this ‘production’ at roughly the same time down the road
D) The public beta process is for many products at once, but the timing for each product differs slightly
E) Not all products receive the same updates

The other big thing to remember is that this is the first public beta cycle where all WiFi-enabled products will use the in-watch option to force a firmware update for beta-registered. Further, there are no more ‘Alpha’ builds. I covered these changes last week in this post.


In any case, with that out of the way, today’s update for the Fenix 7/Epix/Tactix 7/Enduro 2/Quatix 7 units includes the following new features and improvements:

Change log for version 13.09 (changes since v11.28, currently Live):
Add more apps/glances to power controls and hot keys.
Added 7 day sleep stage graph.
Added Apps category to activity/app list add flow.
Added calorie burn rate chart to post-activity summary.
Added flashlight strobe option to power controls. (Fenix 7X/Tactix 7/Enduro 2 only)
Added HRV Status 4-week historical graph.
Added HRV status data field to watch faces.
Added Load Ratio to Training Status.
Added more data field options to the hierarchical data page layout.
Added new activity stage landing page.
Added Obstacle Course Racing activity.
Added Workout Execution Score to post-activity summary.
Added Wrist Based Running Dynamics.
Improved battery estimates when flashlight is used in activity.
Improved compass smoothness on the compass page.
Improved Ski activity to now distinguish when you are on lifts versus skiing downhill.
Improvements to Altitude Acclimation.

It also includes the following bug-fixes, although, usually there’s even more bug fixes than those listed here. And obviously, since it’s a beta, it likely includes new bugs too. Think of that like a bonus feature.

Fixed Armenian font issue.
Fixed issue that would sometimes show the run timer as negative in Wakesports activities.
Fixed issue where Health Snapshot glance was unable to be added for Quatix watches.
Fixed issue where several Tides menu options wouldn’t appear.
Fixed issue where the max speed of Wakesports activities would sometimes be incorrect.
Fixed issue with custom power modes during activities.
Fixed issue with flashlight cadence mode not showing red flashes.
Fixed issue with Outdoor Maps + deactivation flow.
Fixed issue with Outdoor Maps+ after having cleared settings on the device.
Fixed map only touch setting prompt after a device reboot.
Fixed potential issue where tones would alert when they shouldn’t.
Fixed potential issue with resuming Outdoor Maps+ downloads.
Fixed potential issue with watch face accent color changing from white to something else.
Fixed potential shutdown when clearing smart notifications.
Fixed potential shutdown when viewing fitness age.
Fixed potential shutdown with Drill Start in Pool Swim.
Fixed Recovery Time discrepancy.

As for the new features list, virtually all of these have appeared on other devices at some point. For example:

Already launched on Forerunner 965 (and most on FR265 too):
Added 7 day sleep stage graph.
Added calorie burn rate chart to post-activity summary.
Added HRV Status 4-week historical graph.
Added HRV status data field to watch faces.
Added Load Ratio to Training Status.
Added new activity stage landing page.
Added Workout Execution Score to post-activity summary.
Added Wrist Based Running Dynamics.

For those that have already registered your device in the beta program, you can go ahead and download this immediately by going into the settings and doing a ‘Check for Updates” (Menu > System > Software Updates > Check for Updates):


Further, there’s more information here, including files to revert back to the current production version if you need to. And for those devices, those betas will launch in due time. Just a few weeks ago Fenix owners were all upset that the Forerunner 965 got new features before the Fenix 7/Epix, so now it’s the Forerunner owners’ turn to be upset the Fenix beta launched slightly ahead of the Forerunner side. See, balance of life thing to have everyone upset. Meanwhile, for Fenix 6 owners, obviously, the writing is unfortunately already on the wall there. Albeit, the current beta did add a few new features. However, Instinct 2 owners get some goods here, including Obstacle Course Activity profile.


Finally, as always, note that a beta is just that – beta software. It will have bugs, that’s the point of the beta program – to find those bugs. While it’s generally pretty stable, that’s not always the case. Further, don’t install it on your watch the night before your Ironman race or 18-hour non-stop ride. And always assume that somehow it’s probably going to kill your neighbor’s cat – problem is, you don’t actually know which neighbor. As long as you set those expectations accordingly, you’ll be good.

With that – thanks for reading!


Hopefully, you found this post useful. The website is really a labor of love, so please consider becoming a DC RAINMAKER Supporter. This gets you an ad-free experience, and access to our (mostly) bi-monthly behind-the-scenes video series of “Shed Talkin’”.

Support DCRainMaker - Shop on Amazon

Otherwise, perhaps consider using the below link if shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. It could simply be buying toilet paper, or this pizza oven we use and love.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

Click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. ChTS

    The only new feature I cannot find is the calorie burn graph post activity…..

  2. Robin

    Thanks Ray – Thanks for this and @Garmin, I’d be more keen to have a load related figure as a watch face data field than HRV status. I think that’s more usable…

    Also Ray, off topic I know but Shane Miller released a video over night (my time) about Garmin’s training effect now being calculated from third party apps (Zwift etc). What am I missing out on from Garmin by not dual recording these days? I’d rather avoid dual recording if at all possible….


    • I’ve gotta check my half-finished UTS post, and all my notes from my chats with them, to see if there are any outliers at this point. This was one of the last ones, albeit, this was actually being done quietly in the background the last little while, but just wasn’t shown on that activity itself (but was accounted for in Training Stauts related details that utilized Training Effect).

    • Robin

      Thanks – I maybe wrong, but I recall Vo2 changes not being processed, as well as FTP changes? At least before any recent changes.

    • Neil Jones

      Looking forward to this UTS post!

  3. acousticbiker

    Thanks, Ray! Do you know what these are?

    – Add more apps/glances to power controls and hot keys
    – Added more data field options to the hierarchical data page layout

    • ekutter

      Hierarchical data page layout is the layout with a couple of small fields on the left, big fields on the right. Those left fields were extremely limited.

  4. Matthias van der Hallen

    500€ watches apparently are supported for a shorter time span then the average android phone. 🙄

    • Robin

      Are android phone supported for 4 years? link to

      I’m impressed.

    • Matthias

      Fenix 6X (november 19) updates, feature wise, has been severely limited for a while now, ever since the 7 release in January 22. That’s 2y and 2m. I can concede that might actually come _close_ to three. Meanwhile median software support for android is 3 years of major android releases:
      link to
      Flagships are generally supported longer, as you can read.

      And it’s not like android is famed and prized for its long running support…

    • Garmin’s getting better here, but agree it’s still not where it should be. And the funny thing is, their devices usually have more than enough hardware reasons alone to drive upgrades. Especially lately.

      I suppose with Android vs Garmin, the question of what’s ‘Support’. Garmin supports theirs far longer than 3 years, both in terms of random bug fixes or just calling support. In terms of major new features, yeah, those taper out within a few months of a new replacement device.

      There are exceptions to that though. The Edge 1030 series has gotten plenty of upgrades well after the 1040 came out. And the FR945LTE plenty more since the FR955 came out.

    • Christian Köhler

      Samsung: New Android versions for 4 years, an additional (5th) year of security updates & bugfixes.
      This applies to all premium (“S”) devices and many midrange devices (A33, A53 etc). Samsung is very open about that policy.

      No reason for polemic jokes.

      Remember, Samsung cannot control what Google will do with Andoid in 5 years, so I don’t think you can ask for much more. Garmin on the other hand is in total control over its own platform, so it should be much easier for them.

    • MaDMaLKaV

      Welcome to Garmin. I personally said “enough is enough” when they refused to backport the ability to set Garmin Pay as a button shortcut from Fenix 6 to Fenix 5 Plus, effectively setting a $500 paywall for a €@#% shortcut.

    • David

      So is that the end for the 955?
      Feels like that.

    • SoCorsu

      Hi, it’s not so bad for a watch released in August 2019 (near to 4 years)—fenix-6—excel-changelog

      Added since january 2022:
      Added Obstacle Course Racing activity.
      Added a new tip to inform the user that the device battery life can be extended by switching the PulseOx setting to manual.
      Added support for Connect IQ System 6.
      Added support for Primary Wearable and Primary Training Device (Unified Training Status)
      Added unspecified gender support  
      Added a new Settings shortcut Hot Key and Power Control.
      Added a prompt to end Resume Later for an activity when user is near their sleep window.
      Added the Exercise Load graph.
      Adds the backcountry snowboard activity to the list of available activities.
      Added a new Acute Load graph, which can be accessed via the updated Training Status widget.
      Added a power key control menu item for RCT
      Added eBike Support
      Added Heat Acclimation history page to Training Status.
      Added HRV Status widget glance.
      Added major update to Training Status widget. The main widget now displays Training Status, HRV, and Acute Load data. The widget also contains its own glance view containing Acute Load, Load Focus, VO2 Max, Recovery, Heat Acclimation, and Altitude Acclimation data.
      Added Reference Point feature
      Added support for Connect IQ system 5.
      Added new alert to display after this SW update to inform user that wifi networks configured to WEP security are no longer supported.(Pro models)
      Added a new tip to inform the user each time a new emergency contact is added from Garmin Connect.
      Added a new tip that will recommend the user to reboot the device if the GPS is unresponsive while waiting for a fix before an activity.
      Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
      Added the Horseback activity.
      Added the new Easyhunt feature to the DogTrack app.
      Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
      Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
      Added animation to progress arc when viewing Intensity Minutes widget.
      Added ability to turn off recording an activity during a golf round.
      Added an alert to notify user when battery is critically low during a music sync.
      Added HRV Support from chest strap for Yoga and breathwork.
      Added pop-up to Pulse Ox Measuring feature if the device detects too much movement and cannot get an accurate measurement.
      Added support for new biking activity profiles: eBike, eMTB, Cyclocross, Gravel Bike, Bike Commute, Bike Tour, and Road Bike.
      Added support for the HIIT activity profile and workouts.
      Added support for the Pickleball profile.
      Added support for the Padel profile.
      Added support for the snowshoe activity profile.
      Added support for the tennis activity profile.
      Added new tips to indicate which activities support Incident detection.

      Improved since january 2022:
      Updated Altitude Acclimation widget to now shows altitude acclimation as a percent.
      Updated the Golf activity to now allow users to disable the auto-lap notification when recording the activity.
      Updated the inReach app to prompt the user when the inReach device is out of range when tracking is toggled on.
      Improved Ski activity to now distinguish when you are on lifts versus skiing downhill
      Improved algorithm for calculating calories burned in Swim activities.
      Improved voice prompts played during activities.
      Improved the treadmill pace algorithm.
      Improvements and fixes to Backcountry Ski/Snowboard split detection.
      Improves the backcountry ski and snowboard activities to automatically detect climbs, descents, and transition time.
      Updated altimeter calibration to use weather forecast data to improve calibration.
      Updated feedback phrases on the Training Status widget.
      Updated the activity profile limit to 75.
      Updated the UI of the nautical units menu.
      When an incident is detected by your watch, a message appears on your watch and phone, and an automated message is sent to your emergency contacts. You can cancel the message from either device.
      Improved race time predictions
      Improve fonts on acute load page.
      Improved VO2 Max graph to now show 4 weeks of data
      Updated Max HR Alert
      Other minor improvements and bug fixes.
      Other minor improvements and bug fixes.
      Updated incident detection to better distinguish between supported and unsupported activities.
      Updated inReach messaging to now allow the watch to send messages up to 160 characters in length.
      Updated support for Shimano Di2.
      Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
      Improvements made to Run/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.
      Connect IQ stability improvements and bug fixes.
      Other minor improvements and bug fixes.
      Updated the software update process to allow the user to defer the installation. This replaces the automatic install during the user’s sleep window.
      Improved robustness of nightly altitude calibration.
      Improved Explore Sync app waypoint load times.
      Improved Lactate Threshold and Altitude Acclimation algorithms.
      Improved measurement loading UI when taking an SpO2 measurement.
      Update the altimeter’s auto calibration to be either be “On” or “Nightly”. Setting to “On” will set the device to periodically calibrate altitude throughout the day. Setting to “Nightly” will set the device to calibrate altitude at night and before the start of an activity.

  5. Stuart

    Ooh – thanks for this. I’m not keen on running beta firmwares, but this gave me the information I needed to get the firmware update for my Fenix for version 11.28, as well as my Edge 530 to 9.5 (they were on 10.46 and 8.20, respectively.)

    It irks me that Garmin doesn’t provide an ‘official’ way to update their fitness devices without also synching to Garmin Connect, which I expressly do not want to do. Workaround done; thanks again.

    • Jan

      In both Garmin Express (Windows) and Garmin Connect Mobile (android) I found a privacy switch to prevent it from uploading activities. But still allow downloads, like new firmware, workouts and routes. Does that solve your issue?

    • Stuart

      Yes, it does, thank you. It’s decidedly non trivial to find – you have to select a device and then click through from there, rather than being in the main settings page – but I got there in the end.

      I’m really not a fan of “opt in by default”, for a number of reasons, and I dislike it even more when settings like this are buried. But being told that it’s there gave me the nudge I needed to find it. I appreciate the pointer. Again – thank you.

    • Jan

      You’re welcome, thanks for replying! By the way, I found it in app settings – profile & privacy – data – upload to device. But it’s buried indeed.

  6. Richard

    I feel Garmin are getting better at firmware updates for their watches and devices which is really good.

    What I find odd in this current stream of devices is the Epix, being treated as one and the same as the Fenix so on the same FW cycle, even thou it’s not MIPS (so requires lots of different sprites etc for the display).

    Why Garmin can’t do this for the 955 / 965 is crazy.

    • inSyt

      The 255, 955 and Fenix 7 should share the same share the same firmware.

      The Venu 2, 265, 965 and Epix should should share the same firmware.

      If this is done, everyone will get updates at the same time.

    • These watches all have different underlying hardware though. The Epix is, under the hood, more similar to a Fenix than to a 965 or 265. There’s a lot more than just the display.

    • Pavel Vishniakov

      Fenix and Forerunner devices aren’t really the same. One notable difference would be power modes: Forerunner models don’t have those at all.

  7. Pavel Vishniakov

    Hopefully the skiing feature upgrade lands on 955 before the next season as well. Was skiing with it this season and the watch consistently tracked me standing in a lift queue as going down.

  8. JP

    Do you know if it is a feature or a bug that the Fenix 7 automatically records intervals when you register manual laps during a running activity (not a workout).

    On older watches it would just register the rounds. Now it registers rounds and intervals on top of that. It’s like you started an interval training with Open Repeats, but you didn’t start that. You just start a running activity and record laps. I don’t want to see these intervals, because Garmin often misinterprets them, but I can’t find how to switch it off. I have contacted their support a month ago and they are all over the place with totally unrelated answers. They just don’t seem to grasp the problem (not even after a step by step explanation).

  9. Ben Katz

    Waiting to see if you’re going to compare running dynamics between HRM Pro and watch only

  10. StephanK

    I found a subtle update that I can’t see referenced anywhere: race predictions have been improved to reflect the “hillyness” of a route. For my two upcoming trail races, the predicted finish time have been reduced drastically (while my VOmax, 5km predictions, etc. stayed constant) with the added insight: “incorporate more hill training into your runs to better prepare you for the hilly race route”.
    Though I still don’t see daily workout suggestions orientated towards hill (trail) running 🙂

  11. Navaneetha

    Ray — you are the best. Just a couple of days back you mentioned on YT that this can land anytime and here it is.. Loving the updates and thanks to Garmin for keeping the Epix 2 updated with the cool stuff in newer models 👍

  12. Jimmy L.

    Is garmin intend to change the font character and pictures on the epix series like they are on new forerunner (965 and 265)?

  13. David

    Do you reckon the 955 will go the way of the 645M? I got a 645m for my wife and it’s most disappointing how neglected that was/is.

  14. Johan Lundberg

    If you use Zwift and Virtual run, beware that 13.09 crashes on connection. Bug is reported…

  15. Ray Sephton

    Hi Ray, thank you for all the great work.
    Sorry unrelated topic.
    Has anyone noticed on Garmin Connect PC that the Map Overlays such as, Speed/Hr/Power are no longer available or working?
    However on Connect App its still working. Thanks

  16. Jamie

    I wish they would sort the battery drain issue on my Fenix 6. Has really put me of buying another product from Garmin. Currently charging every few days.

    • Paul S.

      A few months ago I was having a similar issue with my 5+. I did two things. First, reboot it (power off and on). Battery drain on anything can sometimes be due to a runaway process chewing up resources. Second I installed a battery monitoring CiQ widget (the one I chose is Battery Info by topcaser, but there are many others). One or the other seems to have done it; I no longer see excessive battery drain.

  17. Jason

    I have been running beta software with Garmin for many years almost and just had minor issues with a random bug. However, this beta software I will I would have waited and said no.
    1) Can’t sync with NRC Nike Running Club
    2) Maps+ just fails when I try to download.
    3) Watch reboots when in virtual run mode and makes the connection to Zwift.

    How do I roll back? When I tried to opt out of the beta program it just states I am stuck with it until final release is released. WTF?

  18. Rixter

    Did you hear that Garmin is adding a Sex tracking activity to their wearables?!?

    Malaysia, 1 April 2023 – Garmin today announced the latest software update across a wide range of wearable products that provides users with the ability to track their sexual activity. Backed with Garmin’s proprietary Health Science data including advanced motion monitoring, intensity minutes, and orgasm time, the software update will deliver an expanded and enhanced list of physical activities, supporting more customer needs for varying active lifestyles and sports preferences, and an added a slew of updates to the user experience for greater day-to-day usability.

  19. Rixter

    Another image of the press release

  20. Andrii Pogrebennyk

    Is there much difference between the FR955 and Fenix 7 currently? And will the 955 be getting the wrist-based running dynamics>

  21. qpop

    I would love to join this beta, however all I get is a generic error “Something went wrong” when trying to sign up on web connect.

    I’ve tried from three different browsers on different devices and different wifi networks. Garmin support was next to useless. I suspect it’s some account setting (perhaps that I’m based in UK not US?) but who knows – not a great user experience, but I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the fancy new features to hit the main update stream.

    • Check out the Garmin forums. There’s people that have had that error, and they can usually get you sorted pretty quickly that way.

    • qpop

      Haha, so slightly amusingly I’ve worked out the problem…

      Garmin’s software doesn’t properly support emails with + in them. I have historically used them so I can separate email sources, and all the major email providers support them (e.g. I could have so that I could easily see it had come from this website).

      Anyway, changing my email address to remove the + allowed instant enrolment.

      Leaving this message here in case it helps someone else.

  22. Chris Cooper

    Any word on whether any of these updates might come to the FR 945 LTE? Would love to lose my run pod and keep Run Dynamics! Thanks!

  23. Matthew B.

    Hey Ray – Any idea if Garmin intends to add FR 965 into the beta program for this quarter with the Forerunner beta release in the coming week(s)? Thanks!

    • Historically Garmin has usually kept the just-released devices on their own faster-update path. But, ya never know. I don’t know in this particular case what the plan is, since basically the new beta features are one the FR965 already has.

  24. Just a quick update for FR955 folks, that beta has just dropped: link to

    Here’s the list:

    • Tracks short-term and long-term load ratio.
    • Shows altitude acclimation percentage.
    • Adds support for wrist-based running dynamics.
    • Provides workout suggestions for upcoming bike events.
    • Calculates calories from wrist-based heart rate while swimming.
    • Adds support for sleep mode features such as sleep schedules.
    • Adds support for disabling the auto discover feature for sensors.
    • Fixes an issue where workout steps could be skipped in track runs.
    • Fixes an issue where workouts with time-based steps could have an incorrect total distance.
    • Fixes an issue where the device could fail to route to a saved location with an error about missing routable roads.
    • Fixes an issue with touch controls on maps not working correctly.
    • Fixes an issue where pace was not properly filtered during a navigate activity.
    • Fixes an issue where stride length or vertical ratio data from a running dynamics pod could sometimes be missing or inaccurate.
    • Fixes an issue with the layout of the training page shown during a custom HIIT or strength workout.
    • Fixes an issue where AutoShot data could fail to be detected correctly when golfing.
    • Fixes an issue with auto pause not working correctly on lifts for skiing and snowboarding.
    • Fixes an issue where the device could show a phone connection error.
    • Fixes various other minor issues.
    • Updates translations.

  25. Eric

    One day we may even get the Inline Skating app!

  26. Jonathan

    I would really like to see other watches start to get ECG. Has there been any news on this?

  27. Douglas Maier

    i new something changed .

  28. Jens

    Hi Ray, thanks for all the test and reviews. I really appreciate your work and your site is my first stop for new Garmin Watches. :-)

    What I really don’t like about my Fenix 7: on incoming calls, it only vibrate twice (witch GC on Android) and I’ve missed many calls. Over at the Garmin forums are many users complaining (for years) but no update, if this will change or made configurable. Do you have any insights you can share, whether Garmin will change this at some point in time?

  29. chrisgg

    Re Fenix 7, I have the Sapphire/Solar. What continually drives me up the wall is the estimate of my VO2 Max (currently 42, should be more like 33) and the terribly inaccurate race prediction times. The VO2 Max has been way higher than reality for years on Garmin and thinks I should be doing times I could only manage 10 years ago when aged 62. Its current prediction for my 5k time is 26:34. I haven’t even beaten 30 minutes since March 2022 and currently average 33-34 minutes. Garmin claims it gets the VO2 Max figure from an app which crunches your health data and comes up with an “accurate” figure, independent of pace and speed. Then I found a similar (or maybe the same) app freely available on the internet. link to On the app, they give various ways of measuring VO2 Max. Their most crude measure is to subtract resting HR from Maximum HR (crudely, it uses 220 minus age) and multiply by a certain constant. I fed my resting HR of 57 in and …hey presto! It gives my VO2 Max as 42. How ridiculous! Garmin has 12 years of all my running data since I began in 2011 and it relies on a freely available app to calculate a worthless figure and then calculate my predicted best times. I’m not blaming the app. If you have nothing else to go on it might be an option. I’m flabbergasted that Garmin should use such a useless way of predicting my times! Please look into it DC!

  30. Chris

    I commented on your main review but it might sit better here. I wish they would allow users to select a white background for notifications. Seems like a simple thing, but a problem with the F7 line up. F6 had this and they changed it for the F7 (and to suit Epix Gen 2) presumably. It’s annoying.