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Garmin Epix Pro In-Depth Review: Now In Three Sizes!

The new Epix Pro series is here, finally bringing the Epix AMOLED display-enabled watch to the same three sizes as the Fenix lineup (42mm, 47mm, and 51mm). But that’s not the only change. All three editions now gain a flashlight feature on the front of the watch, a new optical heart rate sensor package, new Hill Score and Endurance Score stats, and a number of other changes including even better battery life, and multiband-GNSS now being standard.

Oh, but it’s not just the new Epix Pro today, but also the new Fenix 7 Pro – which essentially matches all the changes of the Epix Pro in terms of new features/hardware, but with the long-battery lasting MIP display instead of AMOLED. Check out that full in-depth review over here too!

As usual, I’ve been putting these watches through their paces. From crazy long trail runs from sea level to the top of an 8,000ft mountain, to doing an Ironman 70.3 race last weekend, to everything in between. And alongside that, my wife has been taking out the smaller edition Epix Pro 42mm sized unit in her long-distance training, as well as the smaller 42mm Fenix 7S Pro.

Finally, note that Garmin sent over a media loaner to test out. As usual, this review is not sponsored (nor does any company get to preview anything I review), and I don’t take any advertiser money from any companies I review. Once this unit goes back, I’ll go out and buy my own for any future testing needs. If you found this review useful, you can use the links at the bottom, or consider becoming a DCR Supporter, which makes the site ad-free, while also getting access to a mostly weekly video series behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And, of course, it makes you awesome.

What’s New:

Garmin-Epix-Pro-Editions

As is often the case when Garmin adds a ‘Pro’ or ‘Plus’ moniker to an existing product, it represents an in-between upgrade cycle. Meaning, this is not named the Epix vNext or whatever for a reason. Just like it’s named the Fenix 7 Pro, and not the Fenix 8. Garmin sees these as largely incremental upgrades – all new software features are being ported back to the existing Fenix 7 series and Epix units (except the watch faces that say ‘Epix Pro’ or ‘Fenix 7 Pro’ on them). Still, there will undoubtedly be some of you that are going to upgrade from a Fenix 7 to a Fenix 7 Pro. Or from the existing Epix to the Epix Pro, purely for hardware reasons. And for those of you, here are those specific differences:

– Now three sizes of Epix: 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm (exact same case sizes as Fenix 7 series)
– The three Epix Pro display sizes are 1.2/1.3″/1.4″ (same as Fenix 7 series), with resolutions of 390x390px, 416x416px, and 454x454px (respectively)
– All three sizes now have a flashlight/torch (previously only the Fenix 7X, Enduro 2, Tactix 7, and Instinct 2X had it)
– Completely new optical HR sensor – Garmin Elevate V5
– Epix Pro has ECG feature (via October 2023 firmware update)
– Added even bigger physical battery to Epix Pro 51mm (the larger Enduro 2 battery, to be specific)
– Added new ‘Redshift’ mode (makes screen red-only)
– Added multiband/dual-frequency GNSS as standard/base (previously just Sapphire)
– Increased storage to 32GB on all models as standard/base (previously just Sapphire)
– Added faster charging (now about 1hr, instead of nearly 2hrs before)
– Added Endurance Score metric
– Added Hill Score metric
– Added weather overlays on maps (precip, temp, wind, clouds)
– Added shaded relief on all maps
– Added new split screen data pages (map + data fields split vertically)
– Added new ‘perimeter’ data pages (data around edge of map)
– Added new ‘Recents’ feature to quickly access widgets anytime
– Added 30+ new activity/sport profiles (listed down below)
– Very slightly updated user interface (but not the newer Forerunner 265/965 one)
– Substantial bump in battery life on Epix Pro 51mm (the big one)
– Pricing stays same at $899USD for Epix base 42/47mm models (but now with extra hardware features), and $999 for the larger 51mm base model.
– Pricing stays same at $999USD for Epix Titanium-Sapphire models (not just material differences + pre-loaded maps), with the larger 51mm at $1,099
– They’ve also added a boatload of new QuickFit bands you can buy for each sized model (with new colors)

The big ticket item here is that the price actually stays the same for the base model, but now you get multi-band GNSS as well as the larger storage size. Meanwhile, Sapphire editions for $100 more gets you the Sapphire glass, and Garmin simply pre-loads more map regions. But you can download those same exact maps/regions yourself on the base unit using WiFi easily.

Oh, and here are all the newly added sports/activity profiles:

Basketball, Volleyball, Field Hockey,Ice Hockey, Football/Soccer, American Football, Lacrosse, Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, Cricket, Softball Baseball, Ice Skating, Archery, Overland, Whitewater, Kayak, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Snorkel, BMX, Motocross, Table Tennis Squash, Racquetball, Badminton, Platform Tennis

This is a notable change in Garmin’s approach. Up till now, Garmin mostly only created sport/profiles when they had specific data metrics for each sport (e.g., stroke rate while kayaking, or run length for water skiing). But that got to be more and more annoying when you wanted to simply use sport profiles for categorization purposes. It led me to use the cross-country skiing profile for outdoors ice skating this past winter, and others to use gym mode for basketball, and so on. All the while their competitors like Suunto and Polar offered tons of sports modes, albeit without the sport-specific data.

Now Garmin is going to split the difference. For some sport modes it’ll build-out those complex data metrics to back it (like it’s always done). Yet for others that people have been asking for, they’re creating sport profiles that at least allow you to categorize it correctly on-watch (and thus, on-platform later). Garmin says they’ll then take that usage data and figure out which sports they should invest further in, in terms of actual metrics/data. That approach seems…well…logical, if you ask me.

Next, here’s the full pricing charts for each mode, first the Epix Pro:

Screenshot 2023-04-25 18.05.06_thumb[6]

And then the Fenix 7 Pro:

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And then here’s the battery chart for both of them:

And again, as a reminder – every single software feature outlined above is coming to the existing Epix & Fenix 7 series units. Note that Redshift is only on Epix series units, not a Fenix 7 series display thing (either base or Pro models).

With that – let’s dive into the boxes.

In the Box:

Now, the box I have wasn’t final, though, the hardware is. As is often the case, companies (including Garmin) start making units and stock-piling the devices themselves far before final graphics get finalized and the boxes printed. Thus, when they made my box, they hadn’t quite decided on the final watch face yet. In my review video above, I creatively solved this problem with a sticker. But I was too lazy here.

In any case, here’s the box:

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And here’s what’s inside: The watch, a USB-C Garmin charging cable, and some paperwork that tells you nothing of value.

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Here’s what the unit looks like before I get dirty with it for a lot of miles:

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And here’s how the three units look side by side – the Epix 42mm, Epix 47mm, and Epix 51mm. These are all the Sapphire editions.

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And here’s how the displays left to right: COROS Vertix 2, Garmin Fenix 7, Suunto Vertical, Amazfit T-Rex Ultra, and Garmin Epix Pro (47mm):

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Got all that? Good, let’s get into it.

The Basics:

This section is all about daily usage. Everything from the hardware basics like the display, buttons, and battery – to the 24×7 activity tracking, Jetlag Advisor, and more. Basically, everything except sport/navigation/music/payments/flashlight, which have their own sections.

To begin, the Epix follows the standard Garmin 5-button design, but with a full touchscreen display as well. Garmin’s approach for this layout is that you can do any function you want via either touch or buttons. If you hate touch, you never have to use touch. If you hate buttons, the only time you need buttons is to start/stop/lap an activity. Equally, if you love touch for daily use but hate it for sport, you can even disable it during sports. Or disable it for running but keep it for hiking. The world is your oyster here.

From a button standpoint, there are three buttons on the left, and two on the right. The left-side buttons are generally for navigating up/down menus, whereas the right-side ones are generally for confirming/lap/stop/start/back.

DSC_6856 DSC_6857

Next, there’s the AMOLED touchscreen on the Epix series. The touchscreen comes in three sizes, with the Epix Pro using the same display as the previous Epix:

– 42mm
– 47mm
– 51mm

The touchscreen works well in wet conditions for the most part, though it’ll struggle a bit if you have hard water streams like a shower nozzle directed towards it. But interestingly, it won’t tend to ‘go crazy’ in the shower, as Garmin appears to have some slight bit of logic that requires a more firm human touch before it starts reacting under water pressure. But for normal rain/sweat/etc. usage, no problems in typical rainy Amsterdam training, nor racing in the rain for 5.5 hours, or umpteen other water situations I’ve had with it:

DSC_7070

As noted, you can enable/disable the touchscreen options in the system menu if you want. By default, the touchscreen is disabled for sport modes, but you can enable it across the board or on a per-sport profile basis. Or even just for maps only.

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Much has been made of AMOLED displays over the last 18 months since the first-gen Epix units came out. A lot of that noise is from folks that have used older AMOLED/LCD panels – even from just a few years ago. Whereas newer AMOLED displays are easy to see/use in the sun – and excel even better in darker/dimmer conditions. Even when on Garmin’s default lower-brightness levels (which is how I use it). It’s simply not true that these AMOLED displays are hard to see in the sun. They simply aren’t. Here’s the AMOLED-based Epix Pro side by side with the Fenix 7 Pro (MIP-based display):

DSC_6860 DSC_6861

Note: The camera (without any editing) made the Fenix 7 Pro look waaaaay better than it actually does here. Seriously. It must have paid off my Nikon.

The singular area where AMOLED displays can be harder to see is if they aren’t activated. In my case, I use my Epix in an always-on display configuration. This means the display is, well, always on. However, the default is actually that the display turns off when your wrist is down. Then you raise your wrist and it turns on. But again, I just keep it always-on. But in that always-on configuration, if my wrist is down, it dims the screen. In that scenario, if the screen is dim and the wrist isn’t facing you – then yes, it’s not as easy to see.

But honestly, that situation just doesn’t really exist very often in real life. If I need to see my watch – any watch – I’m generally turning my wrist just slightly to see it. It’s kinda that simple – no matter the display type. This is probably a better representation of the two side-by-side:

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Now, the other single area in sport where it can be more challenging is if you plan to mount your Epix on your bike handlebars. In that case, depending on how smooth the roads are, the watch will go to sleep when off-wrist after a period of time (under a minute). Albeit, on bumpy roads it never really goes to sleep. This is true of other AMOLED displays from other companies too – including Samsung, Apple, Fitbit, Google, and more. But more on that in the sport section.

For me, the very few edge cases where AMOLED is worse are far outweighed by all the cases where it’s far better – especially in dim lighting conditions (like indoors, or the entire time period of October to April in Amsterdam, where I live). Still, if you’ve tried current-gen AMOLED displays and it’s not your cup of tea, the Fenix 7 Pro is the exact same watch feature-wise with a MIP display instead.

In any case – let’s move along to some more basics. The watch face is fully customizable. Here I’m just showing the default watch face, but you can tweak any of the data bits on it (called complications), as well as download boatloads of 3rd party watch faces.

DSC_6865

As always, I’ll point out I fail to understand the huge data inconsistencies between Garmin’s Forerunner & Fenix teams on watch face data fields. Why is it that some Garmin Forerunner watches allow data bits like Training Load/Recovery/Acute Load/etc., yet other Fenix watches don’t allow it? In my mind, the list of data fields I can use on stock watch faces should be massive. Instead, it’s trivially small. There’s no value in seeing VO2Max daily, but there is value in seeing Acute Load, or Hill Score, or Endurance Score, or Training Readiness, or any other data for that matter from the widgets (none of which are allowed). For all the new metrics Garmin keeps adding, none of them are actually available here. Why?

Once you press down from the watch face, you’ve got your widget glances. These are little snippets of information that can be opened for more detailed views of that topic. You can re-arrange these, put them in folders, add/remove them, add 3rd party ones, and so on.

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Here you can see I’ve re-arranged things based on the most important ones to me. If I tap into one of them, like Training Readiness, I can see more information about that in a larger view.

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This is really the same for all the core metrics as well, such as steps or sleep. You can see here the widget glance view, and then more detailed views within it.

DSC_6874 DSC_6875 DSC_6876

And all of this is available via the Garmin Connect platform – either the smartphone app or the website. You can see some views of it here:

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In terms of sleep tracking and accuracy, I’ve had no issues with the exact time I fell asleep/woke up being correct. Garmin continues to improve this, and it handles things like middle-of-night wake-ups for small children, without much problem these days.

As for sleep phases/stages, that’s not an area I typically judge. Mainly because the technology to baseline it against frankly sucks. Even the best comparative technologies are only about 80% accurate, and we’d never accept that kind of analysis when comparing heart rate data or GPS coordinates. So I’m not sure why I’d compare products to something that’s knowingly inaccurate (especially since here it’s a binary element of just one of four choices, so it’s not like HR where you’re inaccurate by 152bpm vs 155bpm – here the entire phase could be Deep Sleep instead of Light Sleep – drastically different). Equally, I also don’t put too much stock in the data here, though, that’s somewhat challenging since it’s used for components like Recovery and Training Readiness.

Me, the day after a no-sleep redeye-flight trying to catch up on sleep. Didn’t really work:

DSC_6879 DSC_6881 DSC_6882

In addition, the Epix & Fenix 7 series both display HRV status. On Garmin devices this monitors your HRV values for the entire night constantly, and then simply averages them. You can see how this trends over the course of the night. The idea behind HRV status is to see how your body is reacting to various conditions – be it training fatigue, jetlag, sickness, or even drugs/alcohol. Generally speaking, you look for longer-term HRV trends – not just a single night.

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Here, you can see Garmin noticing my trend, including the pickup that I’ve been travelling overseas, as to why my sleep has been crap the last week:

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Garmin creates an HRV baseline over the course of 19 nights, so you won’t get the color coding until 19 nights are complete. That HRV baseline is unique/specific to you. You can see mine above. There are, of course, pros and cons to entire-night capture (versus doing it manually when you first wake up). On the pro side, the ‘easy-button’ factor is really high. It doesn’t require any work on your behalf. The downside is that you tend to ‘burn-off’ the effect of drinking or other stressors, which a morning-only value would sidestep. Except, those stressors have an impact on your sleep – so pretending they don’t exist is silly.

Anyways, the debate will continue to rage among HRV geeks as to which way is ‘best’, but for 99% of people, having a watch simply do it behind the scenes is going to produce more consistent and actionable results (no matter the brand).

DSC_6887 DSC_6888 DSC_6889

Now, much of this data comes from the new Garmin Elevate V5 optical heart rate sensor on the back. You’ll see this new sensor now has more LEDs, designed to better handle workout types where your wrist may be bent in funky positions (like weightlifting). Further, it’s designed to handle inbound light leakage better (outside light is the arch nemesis of any optical HR sensor).

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The optical HR sensor is responsible for more than just heart rate 24×7 and during workouts, but also a slew of other metrics like breathing rate, blood oxygenation levels (SpO2 aka PulseOx), HRV status, stress levels, and more. There are boatloads of metrics derived from it, and it operates every second, constantly recording. You can see just a small snippet of some of these metrics, which are mirrored both on various watch widgets, but also in Garmin Connect (Note: Blood Pressure here is coming from the Garmin BP-1 Blood Pressure Monitor):

clip_image001[10] clip_image001[12] clip_image001[16]

Now many will ask about ECG. This new sensor and the Epix Pro/Fenix 7 Pro units do have the right internal hardware components for ECG. Specifically, it includes an isolation ring you can see around the sensor and metal contact against the skin near the sensor, as well as internal wiring to be able to use the upper right button when doing an ECG. At present, the only other watch from Garmin with such hardware is the existing Venu 2 Plus, which is certified for ECG usage (here’s how that works). However, at launch the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro is NOT certified for ECG usage, and as such is not on the list of features by Garmin. [Update: As of October 2023, Garmin has released a firmware update to enable ECG on the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro series, you can find more details on that here.]

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To be super clear here – while the hardware is capable of it (whereas the previous Epix/Fenix 7 didn’t have the hardware inside), Garmin, from an FDA compliance standpoint, legally cannot discuss any ECG plans on the Epix/Fenix 7, until the device is certified. Thus, if or when ECG gets lit up remains an unknown. Obviously, as Garmin has said previously on-record, they want to expand ECG access as much as possible. And given this unit has the hardware, it’s the certification aspect which remains outstanding.

Also, for lack of a better place to stash it, there is no skin temperature feature currently enabled on the Epix Pro or Fenix 7 Pro units. It wouldn’t surprise me if the sensor is capable of it (for a slate of reasons, especially around women’s health). But as of today, there is no skin temperature feature currently enabled on the watch.

Now switching topics and rounding out towards home, we’ve got smartphone notifications. The Epix Pro will display smartphone notifications from your phone, based on your phone configuration. Here’s one coming in here, showing emoji and all:

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Garmin continues to expand the on-watch emoji support, where it’s now pretty rare to get any text that has unsupported emoji in it. If you’re on an iPhone, you cannot respond back from the watch, due to Apple restrictions. However, on Android you can. For iPhone users, you’ll be able to read the full message, or clear the message (marking it as read).

Next, there’s the new Redshift mode. This mode shifts the entire display into shades of red/black – sorta like you might see with some night-friendly displays. You access this via the controls menu, letting you quickly toggle it on and off. Additionally, you can have this be the default at night time, based on your sleep mode settings (e.g., the time it automatically puts the watch into sleep mode):

DSC_6898  DSC_6903

Here’s what it looks like:

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While the Redshift is a nice touch, I honestly haven’t really had much use for it. The display is already super-dimmed in the night sleep mode (an even lower level of brightness than the lowest daytime level). But hey, to each their own!

Next, is the new weather overlays. Quirkily, this is within the Weather Widget, and not within the workout/activity modes. Thus to access this you’ll go down to the ‘Weather’ widget glance, then all the way down again within that to the overlays. There you’ve got four options for overlays: Precipitation, Wind, Heat, and Clouds. Here you can see the heat overlay:

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You can then play an animation that looks ahead at the next several hours. Further, you can zoom in/out and pan around. Here’s the wind variant:

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Now, as noted the big quirk here is that you can’t see this directly while doing an activity on the map page. Instead, you need to bounce out to the weather widget. To Garmin’s credit, they made this slightly better via the new ‘Recents’ feature which you can long-hold the lower-right button to access weather, and then go down a few screens to see it. And, handily, this will at least show your route if you have a route loaded (though, won’t match whatever zoom levels you had.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the charging speed has been significantly increased. You can add 10% battery in just 5 minutes, more than enough for just about any couple-hour GPS-enabled workout. Or, you can now charge to full in about an hour.

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I did a test where I went from 5% at 9:56AM, and by 10:06AM it was at 25%. By 10:26AM (30 minutes) it was at 58%.. At 10:36AM it was at 75%. At 10:47 it was 87%. From there you get into typical 90-100% trickle charging realm. At 10:58AM it was 93%. At 11:07AM it was 96%. When I remembered again at 11:18AM it was at 99%.

I’ll cover actual battery burn/usage a bit more down in the accuracy sections. With that, let’s talk about the flashlight.

The Flashlight:

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With the Epix Pro, the flashlight has arrived to the Epix camp. Previously, it was only available on the Fenix 7X and Instinct 2X, but now it’s available on not just all Fenix 7 Pro sizes, but also all Epix Pro sizes.

The flashlight might sound a bit Inspector Gadgety, but it’s probably one of the most useful day-to-day pieces of hardware upgrades you’ll find on the watch. The flashlight has three main modes:

A) General purpose white and red flashlight
B) Emergency strobe modes
C) Running-specific strobe modes tied to cadence

To use the flashlight in a general purpose mode, you can either double-tap the upper left button to instantly turn it on (at any time), or long-hold the upper left button to access the controls menu, then the flashlight option:

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As you can see above, there are four levels of white-light, and one level of red-light. The white light at full brightness is basically the same as my iPhone 14 Pro in terms of brightness. It’s great. However, the red light is actually my most frequently used one, which is awesome for getting around in the middle of the night without blinding yourself (or others). And the cool part is the watch will remember your last flashlight mode – so I just double-tap and it automatically turns on the red light (the mode I use).

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Sure, all of this is great and useful digging around in your tent – and I used it that way last summer in the Enduro 2 numerous times. However, it’s frankly just the most useful in day-to-day scenarios – such as when travelling in new hotel rooms and trying to find your way around at night.

Beyond the regular flashlight mode, there’s the strobe modes. These are also accessible via the controls menu as well:

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Within that, you’ve got the following strobe types:

1) Blink
2) Blitz
3) Beacon
4) Pulse
5) Custom

Within the custom mode, you can change the mode type (Blink/Blitz/Beacon/Pulse), the speed (slow/medium/fast), and the color (red/white).

Finally, there’s running-specific modes for the flashlight, enabled within the Run (or sport) Settings. The idea here is to increase your visibility for others on the trail or roadways. These are similar to the strobe modes above, but with one added option – cadence:

1) Blink
2) Blitz
3) Beacon
4) Pulse
5) Cadence

Within those settings you can assign it one of the five modes above, as well as three enablement options: On, Off, After Sunset

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This means that if you were to choose ‘Cadence’ as your option, and ‘After Sunset’ with it, then the flashlight would blink to match your cadence on runs only after sunset. The light is plenty visible quite far away (like a bike light), letting either vehicles (if on/next to a road), or perhaps other pedestrians/cyclists see you if on a multi-use trail.

You can also always just leave the flashlight on if you need to, to illuminate the trail ahead of you. And while that works in a pinch, it’s not exactly the best way to illuminate the trail because of your arm swing. But hey, if your flashlight dies – it’s better than nothing. In fact, I even used it in a pinch on a ride that went later than I expected – merely to let cars see/spot me more easily.

I think the flashlight is one of those features that, given a few years, we’ll see it on everything – beyond Garmin’s own offerings. For example, I could see the flashlight easily fitting into something like the Apple Watch Ultra range, or watches from Suunto or Polar. It’s just super effin’ functional and useful day-to-day, with just as much utility as the flashlight on your phone (if not more, since your hands are still free).

Sports Usage:

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The Garmin Epix Pro has seen the biggest jump in sports profiles that Garmin has ever made, adding some 30 new sport profiles. This represents a shift in Garmin’s thinking on when to create new sport profiles.

Up till now, Garmin has largely only created sport profiles (such as running, mountain biking, standup paddle boarding, etc…) when there was unique sport-specific data to back it up. Meaning the running profile has Running Dynamics measuring running efficiency, and if you went water skiing, it’d measure the length of each one of your runs, and so on. While that was great, it started to increase frustration that other sports didn’t have any way to easily categorize their usage. Stuff like skating or basketball.

That’s changed now. With the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro, the company has added 30 new highly requested profiles – with the bulk of them more simplistic. These are primarily used for categorization purposes, and don’t have any sport-specific data behind them. You can customize them as you see fit, like in the past, but there might not be unique metrics. Garmin says the goal is that they’ll look at usage data for these sport profiles, and then figure out which ones make sense to build out more fully with added data.

In any case, to start a sport, you’ll tap the upper right button, which shows the sports menu. The sports you’ll see initially are those that you’ve favorited (and you can customize/re-arrange/etc. this list):

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Here’s the full list of sports profiles available on the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro (note: the last few show up under ‘sports’, so I added them here too):

Hike, Run, Trail Run, Ultra Run, Treadmill, Virtual Run, Indoor Track, Adventure Race, Obstacle Racing, Walk, Pool Swim, Openwater Swim, Swimrun, Golf, Climb, Bouldering, Adventure Race, Fish, Hunt, Disc Golf, Horseback, Archery, Bike, Bike Indoor, MTB, eBike, eMTB, CycleCross, Bike Commute, Bike Tour, Road Bike, BMX, Strength, Cardio, HIIT, Yoga, Pilates, Elliptical, Stair Stepper, Row Indoor, Climb Indoor, Bouldering, Floor Climb, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Ski, Snowboard, Backcountry Ski, Backcountry Snowboard, XC Classic Ski, XC Skate Ski, Snowshoe, Ice Skating, SUP, Kayak, Row, Surf, Kiteboard, Windsurf, Whitewater, Boat, Sail, Sail Race, Sail Expedition, Wakeboard, Wakesurf, Water Ski, Tube, Fish, Snorkel, Soccer/American Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Cricket, Lacrosse, Rugby, Field Hockey, Ice Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton, Table Tennis, Platform Tennis, ATV, Snowmobile, Overland, Motocross, Motorcycle, Breathwork, Jumpmaster, Tactical, Anchor, Other, Tides, Anchor, HRV Stress, Project Waypoint, Health Snapshot, Reference Point, Broadcast HR, Tempo Training, ABC

Within each sport profile you can customize data pages with the data fields you want. You can have essentially an unlimited number of custom data pages, each with up to 8 data fields on them (even for all three sizes of watches, whereas only the Fenix 7X has 8 fields, the rest have 6 fields):

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There are also standard data fields you can enable/disable for things like heart rate graphs, elevation plots, and maps. In fact, the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro now have a few new data page types related to the map. The first is the ability to put data around the outer edge/perimeter of the map. You can customize the data fields you see on the edge:

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And the second is the ability to split-screen the map with data fields, like below. You can customize each of these in all the spots you see data.

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Further, you can also add either one or two (or zero) data fields atop the map page. Previously you had just one data field there related to distance, now you can tweak it how you see fit.

When it comes to sensors, the new units keep the same set of ANT+ & Bluetooth sensors as the existing Fenix 7/Epix units:

Headphones (Bluetooth), Heart Rate (ANT+/Bluetooth), Cycling Speed/Cadence Combo (ANT+/Bluetooth), Cycling Power (ANT+/Bluetooth), Running Footpod (ANT+/Bluetooth), Golf Club sensors, Garmin VIRB Action Cams, Tempe temperature sensors, Shimano Di2, ANT+ Cycling Shifting, ANT+ Cycling Lights, ANT+ Radar Sensors, Extended Display, ANT+ RD Pod, Muscle O2 (ANT+), XERO Laser Locations, Garmin inReach, Garmin DogTrack, Cycling Smart Trainer (ANT+), eBike

As in the past, you can save roughly 20 different sensors to the watch, as well as give them unique names. You can further enable/disable as you see fit (as well as delete). Note that in general, for dual-ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensors (like power meters), you’ll want to use the ANT+ side, since it not only gives you unlimited channels on that sensor – but more importantly has more data in the stream than the Bluetooth equivalents. Only if you run into some sort of interference/connectivity issue with your environment should you swap over to the Bluetooth side.

With everything all configured, you’ll get ready to start your workout. If doing a structured workout, you can load that up. Same goes if doing some sort of navigation (which I’ll cover down below under the ‘Navigation & Routing’ section). Additionally, the watch will offer Daily Suggested Workouts for both Running & Cycling. These can be general in nature (without a goal), or can be driven by a specific goal race on your calendar.

If you put a specific running or cycling event on your calendar, it’ll automatically build out a pretty comprehensive training schedule – including multiple phases (e.g., base, build, peak, taper, recovery), as well as even offer which days you want your long runs/rides. You can see an example of one below:

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The system is smart enough that if you’ve had crappy sleep or too much load from something not on the schedule, it’ll pull back the recommendations (or give you a rest day). Same goes for travel, if you’ve added your travel via the Jetlag Advisor feature.

In any case, regardless of whether you’re doing a scheduled workout or not, you’ll end up on this page, showing you the watch status before pressing Start. This shows GPS signal status, heart rate lock, any sensors paired, as well as any courses or workouts loaded:

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Once ready, go ahead and tap the Start button to begin your suffering. To change data pages you can either use the buttons up/down, or swipe between data pages. Here’s an example of a few data pages during a recent trail run & hike:

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If you’ve enabled LiveTrack, it’ll use your nearby phone to show your current location to a predetermined list of friends and family. Both my wife and I have our watches configured to automatically send an e-mail notification to the other person with our current location. This sends not only my exact location, but also things like heart rate, cycling power, pace, elevation, etc… And if you’ve loaded a course, it’ll show the loaded course as well.

During the workout you can either use auto-lap (such as based on distance) or manual laps. Or both. I tend to use automatic laps every 1km for my long runs, whereas I tend to use manual laps for other workouts like doing an interval workout (in fact, if a structured workout is loaded, it’ll automatically create lap markers for each section).

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If doing something like a multisport workout, you can iterate from sport to sport using the lap button. In my case with Ironman 70.3 AIX-en-Provence two weeks ago, I used the triathlon mode but also button-lock. This ensured that a single lap button didn’t advance from swim to T1, or bike to T2. Instead, I had to briefly long-hold the button to unlock the watch, and then press lap to advance. It worked great – no issues. You can configure which legs auto-lock in the settings.

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Note that with the Epix series (or any AMOLED watch from any company), if cycling with it, you’ll really need to be leaving it on your wrist. Sure, you can put it on your handlebars – and I’ve done that – but the display will automatically turn off when not on-wrist (even with always-on mode). On bumpier roads, it’ll actually stay on most of the time, but if you’re on beautiful smooth pavement, it’ll turn off to save battery and the display. Garmin says this is required to prevent a burn-in situation going wrong if left for many hours untouched. Though, I suspect if you’re a cyclist doing multi-hour workouts frequently, you’re probably going to have a dedicated bike computer.

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Once your workout is complete, you can tap to pause it, and then again to save it. From there, you’ll see your efforts, including an outline of the map, training load, heart rate, and more. I did feel like things got a bit slower here somehow, in terms of enumerating some of these charts for longer workouts (e.g., 3-5hrs+). Just a few seconds, but something I don’t remember seeing in the past.

You’ll then see all this same data over on Garmin Connect, either the phone app or the website. Then from there, any workouts you’ve done will automatically sync to platforms like Strava, TrainingPeaks, and more – assuming you’ve configured as such. That typically happens within about 1 second of your workout syncing to Garmin Connect. Sync on the Epix Pro will occur via Bluetooth Smart, WiFi, or USB cable. The world is your syncing oyster.

So, once the workout is done, we can then dive into how that impacts all your training load and recovery metrics, things like Training Readiness, Training Status, and more.

Training Load & Recovery:

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Next up are Garmin’s training load and recovery components, including Training Readiness and Training status. While these might sound similar, the reality is they have different purposes. Training Readiness is your overarching ‘Are you ready to train right this second?” number. Whereas Training Status is looking at the categorization and purpose of your training (e.g., is it too focused on aerobic vs anaerobic).

Within that, there’s a slew of different components that make up all the pieces. I’m going to throw all the terms here, but we’ll walk through it step-by-step, so think of this more as a reference:

Training Readiness: This metric aims to be your one-stop shop to decide whether or not to train that day. It blends Sleep (vs both short and long-term history), Recovery Time, HRV Status, Acute Load, and Stress. In short, you can spike one category (badly) without necessarily killing your next training day. But all categories aren’t created equal.
Training Status: This is looking at your acute load, HRV status, load focus, and VO2Max trends. This one is less about should you train, and more about how you’re training. Meaning, are you doing too much high intensity, or too much low intensity? That’s what’ll give you an unproductive status. In other words, how would a coach look at your training log, ignoring most other life/feeling type metrics.
HRV Status: This is measuring your HRV values constantly while you sleep, and then comparing it against your 3-week baseline, up to a 90-day rolling window baseline. A single night of drinking doesn’t tank this score, but three nights of partying won’t keep you in the green.
Acute Load: This is looking at your last 7 days of load, except the load now burns off dynamically. Meaning, a hard training day 7 days ago is far less impactful to the score than a hard training day yesterday. Previously this was called 7-Day Load, now it’s Acute Load.
Chronic Load: This is looking at the last 28 days of history, albeit like Acute Load, it’s weighted too within the 7-day chunks. The easiest way to think of it is essentially looking at the averaging of those Acute Load pieces for each of the last 4 weeks individually.
Load Focus: This shows which categories your training efforts have fallen into, over the last 4 weeks. These include Anaerobic, High Aerobic, and Low Aerobic. Basically, you need to have an even training diet to get faster. Simply running hard/all-out every day won’t make you faster. It’ll just get you injured and slower.
Recovery Time: This calculates how much time you need till your next hard-intensity workout. As is often misconstrued, this isn’t till your next workout, just your next hard one. This is largely the same as before. Exceptionally good sleep can speed this up, and inversely, a high-stress day can slow this down.
Chronic Training Load & Load Ratio: Chronic training load is simply the average of your 7-day training load chunks, but over the last 28 days. And Training Load Ratio is a comparison of this week’s Training Load versus that 28-day average. In other words: How does this week’s load compare to the last 28 days load?

There are many metrics here, some might say too many. But setting aside the quantity of them, most of them do actually have a purpose, even if confusing. If I were stepping back and looking at which ones to focus on, it’d essentially just be the new Training Readiness status. Before diving into that though, I’ve previously covered HRV Status components in my Forerunner 955 review here, so that’s a good place to dive into that component.

The idea with Training Readiness is to take a bunch of components under one umbrella, and figure out how ‘ready’ you are to ‘train’ at that very second in the day. The value will shift throughout the day (higher if you do nothing, lower if you do a workout). The score is comprised of all the fellows you’ve seen before: Sleep, Recovery Time, HRV Status, Acute Load, Sleep History, and Stress History:

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Each of the components are weighted in varying ways, and against varying timeframes. Here’s the run-down:

Sleep: This one is specifically looking at last night’s sleep
– Recovery time: This looks at your Recovery time in hours (based on workouts, but can be sped up with good recovery)
– HRV Status: This is comparing your 7-day trend versus historical trend
– Acute Load: This is looking at your 7-day trend, weighted towards newness
– Sleep History: This is looking at last night versus your prior 2 nights of sleep history
– Stress History: This is looking at the recent daytime data (excluding overnight readings)

Again, the entire purpose of Training Readiness is a live score of whether or not you’re ready to train at that moment in the day. The score will generally rise throughout the day (if just relaxing), and then following a big training effort, will plummet down (to reflect that recovery time). An easier training effort and it’ll shift down less.

The two biggest factors in your Training Readiness score are Sleep and Recovery time (workout recovery time). In fact, you can have low recovery time, but if you’ve got poor sleep – it’ll slaughter the score. Whereas HRV Status is meant to be a checks & balances type component to mitigate some of the others (both positively or negatively).

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Outside of those two, the biggest component I tend to look at training-wise is my Acute Load. At first glance, you might think this is just 7-day Load renamed, but that doesn’t really cover what it actually does. Yes, it shows your 7-day load, but load burns off dynamically. In years past, if you had a big ride 6 days ago, that load would be factored into your total 7-day load duration as if it just happened yesterday. Versus with Acute Load, it’s weighted to burn-off within a few days, as is logical. That’s because a week later it’s unlikely that big ride is still impacting you. The point of this is to reduce the massive swings that used to occur in the Training Status panel when a big workout from a week ago disappears, making you go instantly from Productive to Unproductive in a matter of seconds.

Here’s my Acute Load. You can see the last two days are quiet, as I traveled across the pond on Saturday and landed Sunday. I haven’t worked out yet today. The green portion is my ‘tunnel’, which is basically my safe training load zone (high and low).

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Next, by tapping down, you can see your Chronic Load and Training Load Ratio. Your Chronic Load is simply the average of those 7-day chunks, but for the last 28 days. It helps figure out whether you’re ramping up too fast or not. Previously this was somewhat visible in a different way via the ‘4 Week Load Focus’ page, but in a different categorization of load types. Now it’s a simple gauge:

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If the two numbers (Acute and Chronic) matched exactly, that’d be 1.0. In my case, because of my travel the previous two days and not yet working out today – it’s below – at 0.8. Either way, it’s still in the ‘green’ as the green range is 0.8 to 1.5. This is also viewable in Garmin Connect Mobile.

Next, there’s Training Status. Training Status is the counterpart to Training Readiness. While similar sounding, they focus on different things. Training Readiness is more holistically looking at your sleep/stress (effectively your entire body), whereas Training Status is really focused mostly on just the training portion (with one aspect of HRV being pulled in for balancing it out). Overall, think of Training Status as trying to show whether or not the type of training I’m doing is beneficial to me getting faster. It’ll have messages like Productive, Unproductive, Maintaining, etc… Right now, I’m ‘Maintaining’, mostly because my Acute Load is on the lower end of the spectrum, and because my HRV Status is ‘Unbalanced’ from poor sleep with bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic these last few days.

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On the bright side, my VO2max scores have finally unstuck in the last 6-8 weeks (after 6 months of seemingly being broken in Garmin-land, despite huge gains in fitness/training), so that’s positive – and means I actually see the ‘Productive’ messages. Garmin had been looking into things the last few months, so whether or not stuff was quietly changed under the covers, or if something else triggered a shift – I don’t know.

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Next, there’s Recovery Time. Recovery time is showing your recovery time based on workouts. This is basically showing your recovery time till your next hard workout, in hours. This can speed up with a good night’s sleep, or slow down with crappy sleep or a very stressful day:

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Beyond Recovery Time, Acute Load, and VO2Max – Training Status also accounts for Load Focus (how you divide up your training), HRV Status, Heat Acclimation, and Altitude Acclimation.

In general, when looking at Garmin’s various training load/recovery metrics, I find the Training Readiness component the most useful, alongside Acute Load. For the most part, if Training Readiness is in the red, I likely feel that way too – and am probably kaput on my ability to go out and do a hard interval workout (either due to lack of sleep or workout recovery time).

Whereas inversely, for Training Status, I find that to be a bit more finicky, and often less representative of where my training is (e.g., productive/maintaining/etc…). Ultimately, for Training Status especially, Garmin is in effect replicating what a coach would do. And like any real-world coach, different coaches have different training philosophies. You may agree or disagree with one style, and this is simply one style of coaching.

Hill Score & Endurance Score:

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Garmin has introduced two new metrics with the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro: Endurance Score & Hill Score. These two new scores are designed to help you compare your overall training load and mountain climbing prowess with friends. Or quickly demonstrate your lack thereof.

Starting off with Endurance Score, the goal here is to look at your entire training load – but in a way focused more on duration than intensity. Further, unlike Garmin’s other training load metrics (or even VO2Max), Endurance Score is sport-agnostic. Meaning that most of Garmin’s other metrics are heavily skewed towards running and cycling. But Endurance Score can be used to track progress in ice skating or swimming, or whatever you want.

Your Endurance Score looks at your overall activity duration in conjunction with the intensity level. The longer the better, but at the same time, intensity plays a part, and in particular, intensity relative to your VO2max. However, the idea is that your Endurance Score is comparable with other people. Here’s mine below:

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You can see your historical Endurance Score, though how much you see is super variable on a painful amount of Garmin platform wonk. Basically, the first time you use the watch, it’ll pull your previous 30 days of historical data (maybe, that too depends on which watch you had). And then populate the graph.

Why on earth they can’t pull 90 days is beyond me. Garmin says it’s because they calculate it on the watch, and that’s resource intensive (both transferring the files to the watch, and then calculating). To which I say: Isn’t that the entire flipping reason you just spent a year re-architecting Physio TrueUp to be Unified Training Status? And isn’t that why you bought FirstBeat – to make this all seamless?

Making matters worse, at present, if you reset your watch for any reason, this too resets back to that 30 days of history. This below picture illustrates this incredibly well, with various watches in various states of recent resetting or being added to my account;

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To Garmin’s credit – after my incessant battering on this issue the past month or so, they agree this isn’t ideal – and are looking at ways to make this not suck. But it’s still frustrating. At the very first opportunity for a new feature after Garmin rolls out Unified Training Status, it goes out the window. Both Endurance Score & Hill Score. Seriously, any new feature shouldn’t be launched unless it’s fully supported in UTS for the full historical duration of whatever chart it has.

Ok, tangent aside – let’s talk about scores and relativity.

Garmin says that there’s no technical ‘limit’ to an Endurance Score per se. They noted they have some “internationally competitive” (read: pro) Ironman triathletes that have scores in the 11,000 range. However, they also noted that they think it’d be difficult to reach beyond 12,000. Not impossible, but likely pushing the limits of human physiology (at least, in a non-doped realm).

For further context, my Endurance Score the last 1.5 months or so has floated in the 8,000-8,200 range on about 8-14 hours of training per week, mostly in the Zone 2 (HR/Z2) realm. Sometimes higher or lower in duration or intensity, but that’s the rough realm. Meanwhile, my wife’s score has been in the 9,000-9,200 realm as she peaks her training for an endurance event later in June. Her training load is in the 12-15 hours/week range – again, heavily focused on the Z2 intensity.

The problem is that I’ve had numerous days where the Endurance Score changes simply haven’t made sense. One in particular was where I did a 2 hour trail run (with huge elevation gain) and the score literally did nothing (moved from 8,075 to 8,077). Yet, later that same day I did a super chill/easy 30-minute openwater swim, and it spiked from 8,077 to 8,114. Why? The heart rate showed a reasonably low value – yet Endurance Score had a major pop.

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I wish I could see better historical data here, to see how things trend better in various scenarios – but, that’s what we’ve got to work with.

Next, there’s Hill Score, which is all about running/hiking/walking. No cycling is accounted for here. Hill Score has two core components to it, based on climbs with gradients of 2% or greater:

Hill Endurance: This first component is focused on going long, or rather, going high. Distance over speed – the longer and higher you go, the better. So a very long mountain day would spike this more than your weeknight hill repeats would.

Hill Strength: This second component is aimed at how fast you can go up a given pitch. So something like hill repeats would help here, assuming you were pushing a bit.

In addition, your current VO2Max is also utilized as a foundational element for determining your score. For the initial Hill Score instantiation, you need about two weeks of data. Albeit, that can be jumpstarted with other higher-end and recenter firmware Garmin devices like an existing Fenix 7 or Forerunner 965. Till then you’ll just get a message to keep running.

Note that this feature is not using running power under the covers, nor is it using straight pace or GAP (grade-adjusted pace) either. Instead, Garmin says that while the exact details are a “trade secret”, they said that they’re looking at similar relationships between running power and GAP, but that running power isn’t a great method for this score because you can have the same running power on an incline as the flats. And the flats isn’t helping you build any hill endurance. Likewise, GAP doesn’t take into account any heart rate component – and HR is a component leveraged in relation to VO2Max (up to a point they said).

In my case, my initial Hill Score data point actually came in conjunction with doing an 8,000ft trail run/hike. I started from the sea, and went to the top of an 8,000ft snow-capped mountain in one go (the one you see in the background of the first photo), taking about 8 hours:

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This resulted in a rather interesting initial result – 85 – a very very very high Hill Score (I had one other hilly run a few days prior, but all remaining time was spent in Amsterdam on flat ground):

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The available categories are:

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Garmin says that your grading is “relative to others of the same age and gender, ensuring the progress you see is personally meaningful”. The challenge I have here is that I’m not a near-pro level hill runner. I mean, yes, I have lots of ‘endurance’ (or, stupidity as it was here). But I don’t think anyone would say that I’d be anywhere near a world-class level trail runner. Or even someone that does ultra running on the regular in the mountains. So for me to end up effectively on the podium on my opening game, is a bit suspect.

Unfortunately, Garmin isn’t really sure why I scored that high either. They agree that the initial 8,000ft climb was likely being overly weighted in the calculations. After doing that climb and a few others on that trip, my score slowly decayed down to 77. I was able to keep that score from decaying at the previous rate by doing another big 6.5 hour hike/trail run in the mountains – adding another 4,000ft or so of elevation.

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In my mind, the jury is still heavily out on this feature. I’ll be interested to see how others fare over the coming months in terms of Hill Score and how much mileage/speed/etc you’re putting up. In my case, while I have recorded good Hill Strength (the speed part), I suspect that too might be heavily influenced by just how long I can sustain a climb at a fast-hike level.

While I’m not great at ‘running’ up mountains, I’d say I’m very efficient at doing so for long periods of time  – and can do so for durations that are far beyond what most would bet I could do. For whatever reason, that’s my sweet spot. Last fall, without any background trail running/training, I went out and did the first 70KM of the UTMB course in the mountains in one 14hr shot (testing the Apple Watch Ultra). This was with a heavy pack of gear and just enjoying the beautiful fall day. This had 13,146ft of elevation gain by the time dinner came around (here’s the activity, in this case also on a non-Pro Epix unit).

My point is, perhaps I do have some mountain climbing talents that manifest itself well in the Hill Score values, even if I think they don’t at all compare to a true ultra trail runner.

While most of the time I can decode and fully understand the various metrics Garmin makes, this time with these two metrics – I’m still a bit in doubt. If we look at things like Training Readiness, or even the often quirky Training Status – I can generally understand the methodology behind how they arrived at a score. Sure, I might not agree with that coaching philosophy (since, it is in effect a coaching philosophy) – I can at least connect the dots and say ‘Sure, that’s not my cup of tea, but it’s a largely valid cup of tea’.

This time though, with these two scores – there’s shortcomings that seem hard to connect. I think Endurance Score is reasonably in the ballpark of things for me (minus some of the per-activity quirks I saw), whereas I think Hill Score is a bigger outlier.

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The Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro series have full onboard mapping and routing/navigation features. This means that unlike virtually all of their competitors, they can route free-standing using the data contained in their maps, without a pre-loaded course. Albeit, how often you actually do that in real-life will vary quite a bit (virtually never for me). Still, it is notable. Further, the maps in the Garmin devices contain details like street/trail/lake names as well as other points of interest labeled on them, which again, virtually none of their competitors contain.

The Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro units in particular now feature shaded relief maps (though existing Fenix 7/Epix units get that via firmware update). Interestingly, this doesn’t actually increase the map size. Rather, this is done using existing data in the maps data sets.

By default, your unit will come with preloaded maps for the region you bought it in (with free downloadable maps for all other regions). All Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro units have 32GB of storage now, which is plenty for not just maps, but also music and basically thousands of hours of workout recording. Here’s a quick look at the current sizes of the main downloadable map regions:

TopoActive North America: 9.1GB
TopoActive Europe: 10.4GB (*See update below for added Europe breakout)
TopoActive THID: 2.0GB
TopoActive Middle East & Central Asia: 1.3GB
TopoActive Australia & New Zealand: 1.8GB
TopoActive Africa: 4.6GB
TopoActive Japan: 3.9GB
TopoActive Hong Kong & Macau: 19MB (yes, megabytes)
TopoActive South America: 6.2GB
TopoActive Taiwan: 107MB
TopoActive Korea: 229MB
TopoActive SGMYVNPH (Singapore/Malaysia/Vietnam/Philippines): 1.3GB
TopoActive China Mainland: 6.6GB

In addition, in Europe, Garmin has also broken things out further, if you want smaller chunks. These overlap somewhat, to make it a bit easier to get the region you want. Alternatively, you can just download all of Europe per above:

Europe Whole: 10.4GB
Europe West: 6.8GB
Europe Central: 6.4GB
Europe East: 6.2GB

Here’s how the map region breakouts for Europe look:

To change which maps are on your unit, you can go into settings > Maps > Map Manager. This lets you add/remove maps via WiFi. Alternatively, you can do this via USB and the Garmin Express app. All of these maps are free to download.

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There are also maps listed as Outdoor Maps+, these are paid subscription maps, mainly for satellite imagery. Garmin has actually long offered that under the ‘Birdseye’ branding, but recently rebranded that under the Outdoor Maps+ branding. Said differently: No, Garmin isn’t now trying to charge you a fee for something that was previously free. Instead, that’s rebranding something that Garmin has literally been doing for more than a decade. I hate subscription fees as much as the next guy, but this isn’t the thing to complain about (in fact, it’s a heck of a lot better than before, which required some stupid software on your computer to transfer over – now you can do it straight from the watch).

Once you select a map on the unit, it’ll start downloading once connected to a charger. In general, this is not a fast operation. Whereas via USB with a computer, it goes far faster. Basically, the WiFi chipset/antenna on the watch isn’t really designed for big-bandwidth operations (it’s designed for power efficiency). Thus by using a computer you can download a ton faster.

In any case, when it comes to courses/routing, you can create courses in a million different places/ways. Be it on Garmin Connect, Strava, Komoot, GPX creators, etc. All of them ultimately end up with the course showing up under ‘Navigation’ on the Epix or Fenix series. Here’s your full list of options (to navigate):

A) Point of interest
B) Around me
C) Back to Start
D) Courses
E) Activities
F) Saved Locations
G) Sight ‘N Go
H) Coordinates
I) Use Map

In the vast majority of cases, you’re going to be using a pre-loaded course. These are courses you create, as noted above, via either Garmin Connect or 3rd party platforms. In my case, I created this route via Strava, and then synced it to the Epix Pro:

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From there, you can look at overall details about the route, including climbs, elevation profile, and map. You can also reverse it. And of course, you can load it up to start it.

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Once a course is loaded you’ll get prompts for turns as you approach them. For hiking/running/etc it’ll be about 50 meters out, and for cycling it’s about 150 meters out. You can see this here as I hike up an 8,000ft mountain on a 35km or so route:

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It’ll notify you on any data page, so you don’t have to stay on the map page. I can use the map page with my finger (touch), or use buttons, if I want context for things around me. If you go off-course, it’ll notify you of such. You can re-route if you want to (using the underlying map data), though by default it won’t re-route you – it’ll just let you know you’re still off-course.

Note above the shaded relief on the maps, that’s the greyish area. Here’s another look at it, side-by-side with the Fenix 7X Pro (at right):

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However, when I’m doing longer climbing routes, I’m typically going to stay mostly on the ClimbPro page. ClimbPro will automatically determine the climbs based on your route (some route has to be loaded, even if created on the watch). You’ll see the full list of climbs, and then each individual climb as you’re on it:

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As you plod along, it’ll show you how much distance/elevation to the top, and your ascent rate. There’s also a profile of the climb itself. As I’ve said many times, it’s one of my favorite Garmin features. Especially for crazy big mountain climbs like this where knowing not just how far it is to the top distance-wise, but also how much vertical is remaining (since that will vastly impact my speed).

Ultimately, there’s no watch out there that comes close to Garmin in the navigation/routing realm. The closest you can get today is some of the 3rd party apps on the Apple Watch (as natively Apple doesn’t offer navigation/routing today), though that tends to be a bit more scattershot in terms of features. And likewise, while companies like Suunto/COROS/Polar have navigation, they don’t have underlying routable maps (and mostly don’t have map data like road names/trail names/etc…) Meaning if you do want to do on-demand routing between two points from the watch alone, you can’t do that. Albeit, as noted above, it’s very rare that I do that. I’ve almost always got a route planned ahead of time.

GPS & Elevation Accuracy:

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There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS or heart rate accuracy.  A watch could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road?  Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet!

GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.  I use 2-6 other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day.  Conditions include everything from tree/building cover to weather.

In this case, the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro units are all configured for so-called ‘SatIQ’ or AutoSelect mode, which means they’ll use Multiband GNSS when necessary – like under a cliff overhang (the best possible GPS/GNSS configuration), and then tone it down to other modes when unnecessary (such as across a farm field). This massively helps the battery life, as most times you don’t need multiband GNSS. The other units are configured as noted.

In my case, I’ve got nearly two months of data here – so I’m just gonna kinda pick and choose some of the hardware – because spoiler, virtually everything is perfect (as has been the case on virtually all of Garmin’s new multiband GNSS devices the last 18 months). Nonetheless, we’ll nitpick for the sake of nitpicking! However, it does demonstrate just how far ahead Garmin is to every competitor out there, especially when details matter. You can easily see this in the more challenging situations below.

First up, we’ve got an ‘easier’ run through the woods and around the rowing basin of Amsterdam while doing 8×1-minute intervals. I mean, I suppose it was easier for the watch – less so for me. This is the Epix Pro, Suunto Vertical, and Forerunner 965. Here’s that data set, it’s boringly perfect:

Epix-4-8xIntervals-GPSA

About the only time we see some brief variance is mostly from the Suunto Vertical (blue towards the left), however we do see the Epix Pro seem to meander a meter or two off-track briefly in one early section.

Epix-4-8xIntervals-GPSB

Next, we’ve got another Amsterdam run, this time more in the woods, doing a tempo run. This has the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro, along with the COROS Vertix 2. At a high level, things look OK from all units:

EpixFenix-TempoRunGPS1

As you can see above, at a high level it looks pretty similar. But as you zoom in, within the woods you can see the COROS Vertix 2 meanders quite a bit. The Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro are virtually identical on-track:

EpixFenix-TempoRunGPS2

This is somewhat typical of the Vertix 2, never quite nailed (even in multiband as it is here). You can see it straight-up cuts across the top of the hill, and is offset in the trails:

EpixFenix-TempoRunGPS3

Along with cutting this corner here too, whereas the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro units are spot-on.

EpixFenix-TempoRunGPS4

Now let’s increase difficulty, this time a trail run in deeper woods. It starts off on pavement, and then shifts to the trails. I’ll ignore the pavement portion, since that’s boring (and perfect). This is the Epix Pro compared to the Suunto Vertical, Apple Watch Ultra, and COROS Vertix. Here’s that data at a high level:

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-GPSA

As I traverse across the expanse of woods, you can see the Apple Watch Ultra & Epix Pro are very closely aligned, alongside usually the Suunto Vertical. Occasionally, the COROS Vertix 2 meanders a bit.

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-GPSB

You can see that classic COROS Vertix 2 meandering below in harder GPS conditions, whereas the other units are spot-on each other (and where I actually went):

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-GPSC

And again here as well:

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-GPSD

For fun, here’s the elevation plot for that run – with a bit more separation than I’m used to. In all my elevation tests, I let GPS handle auto-calibration, and a unit has to get it right by itself. In this case, I had calibrated the Suunto a day prior near the beach. Albeit, it still drifted downwards slightly, and was below actual starting elevation slightly. You can see the COROS was substantially below sea-level despite starting a few meters above sea level. The Garmin and Apple Watch Ultra were in the rough ballpark of about 5-8m starting elevation.

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-Elevation

Again, we’re now going to increase the difficulty level. This time a mountain hike from the sea to the top of an 8,000ft mountain, alongside massive cliffs and in deep forest canyons. Here’s that data, with that somewhat hard to see set of lines on the map:

Epix-1-TurkeyMountainGPSA

As I plod through the woods, you can see all the units are actually very close to each other here. This would be the Epix Pro, COROS Vertix 2, Suunto Vertical, and Amazfit T-Rex:

Epix-1-TurkeyMountainGPSB

Same goes for this very challenging situation, GPS-wise. Here’s the same map section, but showing it with two different layers:

Epix-1-TurkeyMountainGPSC Epix-1-TurkeyMountainGPSD

If you really zoom in on some of these sections, it’s where you notice the imperfections of other units – such as the Amazfit T-Rex Ultra here in green, meandering off-track a bit. Though, I’ll note that the Amazfit T-Rex and COROS Vertix 2 were looped onto the backpack on this particular hike, rather than wrists/hands. In general, it probably helped them, because they’d been on the back facing the sky the entire time. But hey, I just want to be clear one way or another. Of course, as seen below (and as usual) – sometimes you just can’t give enough assistance to the T-Rex Ultra.

Epix-1-TurkeyMountainGPSF

And as I climb towards the top over snowfields, all the units converge back to reality and snap together very tightly:

Epix-1-TurkeyMountainGPSE

Again, here’s the elevation plot for that hike:

Epix-1-TurkeyMountainElevation

So, the question is – how close to the final elevation did the four units get? Here’s what it says the elevation is at the top:

GPTempDownload

And then here’s the elevation listed when I hit stop at the top, according to the files:

COROS Vertix 2: 2,353m
Suunto Vertical: 2,355.9m
Garmin Epix: 2356.2m
Amazfit T-Rex Ultra: 2354.15m

All four watches are within 2 meters of each other. I’d assume the listed altitude on the building would be at ground level, but then again, maybe it’s actually where the numbers are? I don’t think there’s any portion of the mountain higher than the building. Either way, for all watches to be that close is fairly darn impressive.

Next, another trail run/hike, this time along the cliff-laden coast of France in a national park there. Here’s the data set from that, comparing the Epix Pro 51mm with the Fenix 7X Pro, as well as the COROS Vertix 2, Suunto Vertical, and Forerunner 965. The last three being snapped on the backpack facing the sun. You can see the route starting in Cassis, and ending in Marseilles:

Epix-2-FranceGPSA

Just to show how good these tracks are (from all units actually), I’m gonna show both variants of the map so you can see the cliffs and such:

Epix-2-FranceGPSB Epix-2-FranceGPSC

However, here’s a really good example of just how much better Garmin’s implementation of multiband/dual-frequency is. Below is a cliff face that I’m going to hike under the edge of – all the way across as far as you can see in this image. Scale is tough to understand, but the boulders you see down below are as big as me. In some sections the cliff is over me entirely.

clip_image001

Now, here’s the GPS tracks from that. Note the Garmin ones are clustered much closer against the wall and together, versus the others are a bit more wobbly out further away. In the grand scheme of things this isn’t a huge deal, but it demonstrates it well.

Epix-2-FranceGPSD

And one more final section showing how good the tracks are:

Epix-2-FranceGPSE

Finally, here’s the elevation plot. Notably, the FR965 track seems to be more ‘smoothed’ for some reason, including a section while I went to jump in the ocean to cool off, and it randomly rose a bit (despite that unit sitting on the beach on my backpack). Meanwhile, the Vertix 2 also seemed to be undercutting at times. In any case, the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro seemed spot on with the Suunto Vertical.

Epix-2-FranceHikeElevation

Next, let’s look quickly at a couple of rides – both gravel and road. Here’s a gravel bike ride I did this past week, with the Epix Pro 51mm and Fenix 7X Pro, compared to the Hammerhead Karoo 2 bike GPS:

EpixFenix-GravelDay1-GPS1

You can see that everything is very tight together:

EpixFenix-GravelDay1-GPS2

Even in the woods, albeit, here you see a bit of meandering from the Hammerhead Karoo 2:

EpixFenix-GravelDay1-GPS3

Looking at the elevation there, we do see some slight differences and drifting from the different units. This ride didn’t exactly start/end at the same place – so using that as a reference isn’t exactly correct. Either way, we do see some differences here of a few meters.

EpixFenix-GravelDay1-Elevation

Next, here’s the bike portion of my Ironman 70.3 race two weekends ago. I’ll pick some sections that were more challenging GPS-wise, such as this here. We can see it’s virtually identical between the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro, versus the Garmin Edge 840:

EpixFenix-IronmanGPS1

This twisty-turny mountain descent was also nailed by the two wearables, and oddly, the Edge 840 was the one slightly off:

EpixFenix-IronmanGPS2

But these other areas here look all spot-on:

EpixFenix-IronmanGPS3

And while I don’t have a 3rd data source for the openwater swim, I think we can all agree this looks incredibly perfect. And by that, I’m referring to my awesome swimming straight capabilities – who cares about the watches:

EpixFenix-AIX-Ironman-Swim

It’s funny to look at the transition (T1) GPS lines, you can see here where I stopped to grab my bike:

EpixFenix-AIX-Ironman-Transition

Finally, one last one. I’ve got tons of openwater swims, and frankly, they’re all the same – very very strong. Here’s one of many from Turkey (there’s a ton more in my Suunto Vertical In-Depth Review GPS-section, if you want). This is compared to a swim buoy reference track that floats along with me:

Epix-OWS-TurkeyMay2nd-A

With that, as you can see, the GPS/GNSS accuracy is spot-on with the Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro series, and easily industry-leading. About the only company that’s putting up similar-level GPS tracks is Apple and the Apple Watch Ultra with multiband. Behind them is the Suunto Vertical, which has a rough time in openwater swimming, but does quite good in land activities with dual-frequency/multiband (albeit, has some very minor quirks from time to time). Then further down the list is COROS Vertix 2 with multiband, showing more errors in challenging conditions.

In terms of battery life, I’ve got lots of interesting charts – but the takeaway here is the Epix battery life is super impressive – especially the Epix Pro 51mm. Here first is a 6.5hr hike (with navigation enabled, and always-on display), where you can see the Epix Pro is on track for 50 hours of battery life. The Fenix 7X Pro? Only slightly more at 54 hours. Both in SatIQ mode. Note the FR965 was forced to multiband here, hence the lower battery life.

BatteryChart_thumb[1]

Here’s my Ironman 70.3 race, where both units were used in the swim, then bike (with power meter), and then finally the run. Optical HR sensor for all of them, always-on for both. You can see the Epix Pro 51mm was on track for 45 hours, while the Fenix 7X Pro was on track for 48 hours.

BatteryCharge2IM_thumb[1]

Then there’s a gravel-bike ride, where both units were connected to power meters as well as electronic shifting. Here we see a bigger jump from the Fenix 7X Pro, likely due to the very sunny conditions.

BatteryCharge2

Still, these numbers are impressive on the Epix side especially! I’ll add in some more regular Epix Pro 47mm and Epix Pro 42mm battery charts shortly.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, running power, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Heart Rate Accuracy:

DSC_7107

Before we move on to the test results, note that optical HR sensor accuracy is rather varied from individual to individual.  Aspects such as skin color, hair density, and position can impact accuracy.  Position and how the band is worn, are *the most important* pieces.  A unit with an optical HR sensor should be snug.  It doesn’t need to leave marks, but you shouldn’t be able to slide a finger under the band (at least during workouts).  You can wear it a tiny bit looser the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, for HR accuracy testing, I’m typically wearing a chest strap (either the Polar H10 or the Garmin HRM-PRO Plus), as well as another optical HR sensor watch on the bicep (often the Whoop 4.0 band). Note that the numbers you see in the upper right corner of the charts below are *not* the averages, but rather just the exact point my mouse is sitting over.  Note all this data is analyzed using the DCR Analyzer, details here.

First up we’ve got a nice tempo run to kick things off, showing the increasing steps of heart rate throughout. This has the Epix Pro (47mm) vs the Fenix 7 Pro (47mm), compared to an HRM-PRO Plus, here’s the data:

EpixFenix-TempoRunHR

As you can see, it’s very very close. A tiny bit of latency at the very beginning for a few seconds, and then one brief bobble around the half-way marker for no obvious reason, but otherwise, both units were very close to the chest strap.

Next, we’ve got a trail run, including some hard mountain inclines and a fast running descent. This is comparing the Garmin Epix Pro (51mm) to the similarly-wised Suunto Vertical, and then a chest strap.

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-HR

As you can see, the Suunto struggles a bit here and there, but the Epix Pro manages to come out very close. Running downhill fast is actually really hard for optical HR sensors, and it does well throughout. Below is one section as I ascend, and you can see a tiny bit of latency in some cases from the Epix Pro, though usually only a few seconds. The Suunto Vertical is slightly more latent than that.

Epix-3-2hrTrailRun-HR2

Next, we’ve got an interval run. These are 8×1-minute borderline all-out intervals. This is very hard for optical HR sensors, and we can see the fallout from that, when compared to the chest strap. The Suunto Vertical essentially gives up before it even starts, and the Whoop 4.0 optical HR sensor is equally annoyed as the situation, being low-offset much of the time. The Garmin Epix Pro manages to hold on throughout most of it, though does struggle on interval #3 (entirely missing it), as well as undercutting intervals #1/2 a bit. The other intervals were pretty good though.

Epix-4-8xIntervals-HR

Next we’ll take a look at the heart rate during my Ironman 70.3 (bike portion) on a triathlon/TT bike. I don’t have a comparative recording device for the run/swim (meaning, not a 3rd watch to record the chest strap data), so no point in looking that. Whereas for the bike, I had the bike computer record from the chest strap. Here’s those results:

EpixFenix-IronmanHR

As you can see, the first half or so, the results were fairly close. Better in the first 1/3rd, but still, pretty darn good for riding in rainy conditions on occasionally bumpy roadways. Optical HR during cycling is still very challenging for many watches.

Where you see it struggle a bit more though is the lower-HR sections, when I’m descending bumpy roads and holding tightly on the handlebars (watching my competitors fly across into the woods and worse, in the horrible conditions). That’s where you see the most variation, and that holds true here too.

Next, we’ve got a gravel ride from this past week, on a gravel bike (in a road-style handlebar setup). I note the handlebar design, because it makes a difference when it comes to accuracy for most users, since the wrists strain differently between a triathlon bike and a road bike. Here we can see that, on the whole, things are pretty darn close. Though, we have a few moments where the blue-line of the chest strap drops below.

EpixFenix-GravelDay1-HR1

Curious, I dug into those blue-line drops, and could see that in all those cases, I had stopped pedaling (coasting) – perhaps due to the rolling terrain, or the group of people with me, or maybe I just wanted to eat a Slim Jim. Who knows. But, that pedal-stopping action naturally drops my HR, and we can see it drop far faster on the chest strap than the Epix Pro (51mm) or Fenix 7X Pro. This is fairly normal to see on optical HR sensors, and why they tend to do better in steady-state riding than interval-type efforts outside on the road – especially bumpier gravel conditions like this:

EpixFenix-GravelDay1-HR2

By and large, this is Garmin’s best optical HR sensor to date. Between all my Epix Pro & Fenix 7 Pro datasets, it’s very very good, in all sizes. However, the changes are especially notable in cycling, where it’s right more than it was in the past. Historically, we’ve seen more incorrect spots, whereas now, it’s very good the vast majority of the time in mostly normal conditions. In cases like cold wrists descending wet mountain passes holding on for dear life, we see it still struggle. Likewise, as seen above, we see a bit of latency on bumpier roads where it’s trying to denoise everything.

Still, for the most part I can trust it in most of my training – especially running, indoor cycling, and road-riding outdoors that’s more steady-state, to be largely correct and dependable. As always, with optical HR sensors, environmental & terrain conditions, your skin, and other factors can and will impact accuracy. But, it continues to improve, one iteration at a time.

Wrap-Up:

P1088624

The Epix Pro is a nice little bump in specs compared to the existing Epix. For many people, the choice of three sizes is a huge difference in terms of choosing between Epix and a different watch. That by itself will be seen by some as a massive upgrade (and rightfully so). Likewise, the addition of the flashlight across the board on all three units is super handy, and a favorite of many on the existing Fenix 7X, Enduro 2, as well as Instinct 2X. And of course, the added multi-band GNSS continues to keep Garmin at the front of the pack when it comes to GPS accuracy.

For other features and upgrades, the state is a bit more jelly-like. For example, the new optical HR sensor package is very solid in terms of heart rate accuracy in my testing. Spot-on. However, at present Garmin hasn’t lit-up features like ECG, or skin temperature monitoring (the latter of which can be used in women’s health tracking in particular). If or when that occurs remains anyone’s guess. Obviously Garmin is limited in saying anything with respect to ECG due to FDA limitations, until FDA clearance occurs. Though, at least the hardware is in there today (unlike the existing Epix/Fenix 7 watches). And on the software side, I’m curious to see how people’s experience is with Hill Score & Endurance Score. I think the Endurance Score is reasonably good overall (with only minor quirks), but Hill Score for me specifically, seems pretty suspect.

In that same vein, areas like the weather overlays (pictured above) are great, but just misplaced. I have zero use for them within the normal weather widget. And while the new ‘Recents’ option to quickly get back to the weather widget is handy, I still feel like the lack of having the overlays directly on the maps I use to navigate/route seems like a crazy omission. Perhaps Garmin is concerned about balancing battery life there, but still – I think there’s a better way of handling that concern (perhaps in the same way they constantly proactively nag you to consider turning off the Always-On display every time you unplug the Epix Pro from a charging port).

Nonetheless, other areas like the expanded sport profiles, the new data pages, and even the split-screen data pages are pretty cool. And same goes for Redshift, if that’s your (strawberry-tinted) jam.

Overall, I appreciate Garmin didn’t raise the prices here, but instead just added a boatload more features – both hardware and software to the Epix. And even more, I appreciate that all the new software features I talked about here, are going back to the existing Epix as well. Kudos to Garmin on that one, since that hasn’t always been the way they handle things.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Epix Pro Series or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! 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. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

This is a dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart cycling cadence sensor that you strap to your crank arm, but also does dual Bluetooth Smart, so you can pair it both to Zwift and another Bluetooth Smart app at once if you want.

This is one of the top straps I use daily for accuracy comparisons (the others being the Polar H9/H10). It's dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, and in fact dual-Bluetooth Smart too, in case you need multiple connectons.

Seriously, this will change your life. $9 for a two-pack of these puck Garmin chargers that stay put and stay connected. One for the office, one for your bedside, another for your bag, and one for your dog's house. Just in case.

This speed sensor is unique in that it can record offline (sans-watch), making it perfect for a commuter bike quietly recording your rides. But it's also a standard ANT+/BLE sensor that pairs to your device. It's become my go-to speed sensor.

This wifi-connected scale will track your weight and related metrics both on the scale display and in Garmin Connect (plus 3rd party apps like TrainingPeaks). It'll also then sync your weight to your watch/bike computer, to ensure accurate calorie data.

The HRM-PRO Plus is Garmin's top-end chest strap. It transmits dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but also transmits Running Dynamics & Running Pace/Distance metrics, stores HR data during a swim, and can be used without a watch for other sports. Also, it can transmit XC Skiing Dynamics as well.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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217 Comments

  1. Alex

    The Enduro 2 And Tactix 7 have a flashlight as well, not only Instinct2X and Fenix 7X.

  2. Heiko

    I read somewhere else that the MIP display was slightly improved for the fenix models (higher contrast etc.). True?

  3. Codasco

    Have these models’ golf applications been upgraded to match the new Approach model?

  4. Steven

    Tell DES it’s Epices…..

  5. Gary

    If only it had LTE, Not worth upgrading my Epic Titanium for unless it had LTE, I don’t want to have to bring my phone for LiveTrack.

    • Richard

      Yup – same here. (but 955 Solar) we need a more modern LTE variant with dual band, the new sensor etc.
      I can’t bring myself to buy a 2yr old watch, with a smaller screen and no dual band.

    • jack

      Yup. Really hope the 945 LTE was not a one-off thing. I like the features enough that I don’t think I’d really consider switching to anything that didn’t have LTE at this point. If there isn’t another one by the time my 945 dies, I’ll probably have to consider an Apple Watch Ultra or something.

    • msquared

      agreed 100%

  6. zfJames

    Regarding the Always On Display alert: Once you dismiss the always on display battery life reminder by tapping the top right and then dismissing it from the menu instead of the bottom right back button, that alert doesn’t come back.

    • Haha…I’ve always just dismissed it via the back button. Funny.

    • zfJames

      I think a lot of people do – I know on my MARQ Aviator I never dismissed it correctly :P

      Thanks for the detailed review!

    • Karoline Kernig

      For me it would be intersting how the battery life of the 42mm is in comparison to Fenix 7s 42mm.
      Are you going to show us a battery chart of these models as well?
      I‘d really like to have an AMOLED. But if there is an unaccteptale battery life (walking with navigation over 6h) i‘d rather buy a fenix 7s.
      Looking forward for your answer!!

  7. Steph

    the map region breakouts for Europe is sub optimal.

    If you live in Switzerland, you can’t have also France, uneless you download the whole Europe, which takes a lot of space on an older Epix…

    • Totally agree. The whole map region thing is honestly just silly.

      Just give me countries. Again, traveling last week and I had reset units (which wiped maps) and then realized I had to re-download all of Europe again for just France for just two days.

      Then again, also last week, when I had to download all of North America for just Illinois for just three days. Like, just let me download at least countries, and ideally states/provinces. Just like other companies do.

    • Volker

      Totally agree. Have already suggested this many times to Garmin, but …

      This would be also very use-/helpful for downloading a single country via the MapManager using WiFi in a hotel instead to spam the memory with maps you will never use/need. Maps are getting bigger an bigger (see new climbPro maps for the Edges), so 32gb is almost too small.

  8. Stephan

    Is the amoled display still dimming down automatically and almost as useless on the handlebar as the normal Epix 2 display is?

    • Same behavior there. If you’re a cyclist that wants to put it on your handlebars, realistically you’ll either want a MIP-based display watch at this point, or a dedicated bike computer. This is true of any AMOLED display from any company, as they all do the same on bike handlebars (when not on your wrist).

      If it’s on your wrist, it won’t shut off entirely, but will dim when not facing you. I haven’t had any issues perfecting the slight wrist-flick to see the watch better (which is really true of any watch on bike handlebars).

    • Cédric

      Is this only the case when cycling or for all sports?
      A lot of flatwater kayakers put their watch on a watch holder so they can see it while paddling We want to see our data fields and turning your wrist to look at the watch would interrupt the kayaking.

    • It’s any sport. Basically, if it’s not on your wrist, they assume it’s likely on a table. They’re trying to avoid a burn-in scenario at high brightness. With your wrist, you’re bound to put it down eventually, so it’ll dim eventually – even if just momentarily.

    • Koen

      Problem seems to be that when I’m wearing arm-warmers or winter-vest (with Epix over them) for cycling the watch will also remain dimmed … very annoying

    • Niklas

      Ray! I wish o find this info in the main article.

      As a gravel biker, I often use the map page on my Edge 1030 plus (for navigation) and use my Enduro 2 to look at some relevant biking metrics.

      And yes, the Enduro 2 is mounted on the bar…

    • Christoph

      So this really means, in winter when not wearing it on the skin, it is useless?
      That would be a dealbreaker for me ….

    • Marcos

      Hi,

      That could be easily identify by any type of connection to any sensor (HR Strap, Cadence/SPD, Power, etc) which would certainly be the case for a handlebar ou similar.

      Regrads,

  9. Matej

    Hi, do you have any information from Garmin (or other sources) which if the new SW features (such as Endurance score, the new map screen with metrics around it, etc) will get to Epix 2 via update?

    Thank you.

  10. Øystein Barth-Heyerdahl

    Thanks a lot. Very good review! Have you heard any rumours about Garmin`s LTE-strategy?

  11. Michael

    Hi Ray, thank you very much for the review. Do you have any information or idea if the expanded sport profiles, the new data pages, and split-screen data pages are coming to the FR 965?

  12. Felix

    Hey, do you know if the split-screen data pages will make it to the Forerunner 965? Would make a lot of sense with the large screen.

    Thanks.

  13. Panos

    Hello everyone, does anyone know whether a natural color stainless steel version be available in the near future? The titanium version would ok but it has this side white color that makes it very hard to match with any strap other than white , thanks

  14. acousticbiker

    Thanks, Ray! Recognizing that all the training and health analytics rely on the accuracy of the HR sensor, would you consider the degree of improvement in the new sensor to be a reason to upgrade from the non-Pro epix 2?

    • John

      My question exactly…I am still in the 90 day return window of REI and am disappointed with the HR interval tracking on biking. Of course – could use a chest strap but…preferences.

    • It depends on the sport you do. For running, I didn’t really notice a major increase in accuracy for me (because honestly, I’ve gotten really good results on the V4 sensor). For cycling, it did increase accuracy notably.

      Your skin type or such (hair) may impact that. Likewise, other sport types might impact that.

      All that said, I suspect we’ll see more features take advantage of this new sensor longer term, whereas the existing sensor has reached the end of the feature-road.

    • John

      Thank you for the fast response!

    • John

      Dammit – you sold me. Ordered the new one and returning the old one.

    • acousticbiker

      How about pulse ox accuracy? None of the Elevate sensors to date, including on the non-pro epix 2, have been usable for me (showing high 80s to low 90s when a reference device shows high 90s)

    • Brett

      I’m more curious if the new HR sensor performs better in colder weather. My Epix 2 does relatively well on runs until it drops below say 35 F wind chill, then it’s pretty unreliable. I’ve even tried 3 separate units, on different parts of my body, all with the same result.

    • Chris

      Is the new sensor reliable for water sports: swimming, SUP, surfing, etc.?

      In my experience ~20% of my outings my Epix 2 measured HR drops to low levels once it gets wet.
      Thus, I use a HR strap now. Since it’s still optical, I would imagine that the Pro sensor does not avoid the issue.

  15. Richard

    I presume the Marq Athlete now looks a silly buy compared to the similar sized Ti Epix Pro.

    Any more IQConnect fields? Or are we will still stuck with 2?

  16. Roach

    I’m a little disappointed by the massive ring on the larger sizes. Garmin squeezes the same 1.3″ 416 pixel display into the Forerunner 265 and Venu 2+, but the new Epix is 47 mm where the 265 is 46.1 mm and the Venu 2+ gets away with just 43.6 mm. The Forerunner 965 is only 47.2 mm but fits the 1.4″ 454 pixel display. To get that display on the Epix you need to go to the 51 mm case.

    Is there a difference in the displays beyond the size and resolution? Do they need the extra space for other hardware, like the flashlight? Is it just an aesthetic choice?

    • Tom

      Are you referring to the bezel? Imagine that’s an aesthetic choice to make it more akin to a luxury watch, for which the Epxi/Marq are the target audience.

  17. Walt Lopus

    Great review, Ray! Does the 51mm have a 26mm band (it looks that way)? I went from a Fenix 5x to the (at that time) new Epix titanium/sapphire for the AMOLED display (with a 22mm band), and have really, really missed the wider strap, as I greatly prefer the bigger/bulkier look and feel. Thanks!

  18. Maksym

    Any info new features to appear in Garmin 965 via updates? Namely Redhift

  19. Dan Brown

    The white on the case body of the titanium model kills this watch for me. It loses the “professionalism” that has allowed the Epix and Fenix lines to be the de facto choice for the office.

    • Dave Lusty

      They did briefly do an Epix 2 Ti with grey sides as special order. Unfortunately I already had the Fenix 7 Ti Grey and the Epix black by that point. Totally agree though, Garmin’s design team are going in the wrong direction with colour choices. Look at the Fenix 5s+ and 6s lineup which had some stunning designs for women with silver, rose gold, gold and various band options, now reduced to a couple of quite bland choices which don’t really look premium at all in comparison.

    • Not sure I understand – there’s both a white and black version of all models here with Titanium.

    • Dave Lusty

      The white is the issue. The white plastic pretty much only goes with the white band. The grey plastic like the F7 ti goes with most bands.

      In this context titanium refers to the colour of the front, so the not-black one on Epix

  20. Scott

    When the Fenix 7/Epix 2 came out I just wasn’t ready to try first attempt at amoled screen. The differences between the 6 and 7 just weren’t enough, and finding a very good sale, made me go to the Fenix 6 (from a FR245). I’ve told myself when Epix 3 comes out i’m jumping. While this isn’t that, I guess the question is……is this close enough? I want the ECG functionality (reading between the lines it surely is coming), the flashlight I can definitely see as handy, and of course I want the screen. I’m thinking this is enough to jump?

  21. Does it have freeride climb pro?

  22. Cory Miller

    Do you think that Red Shift Mode will become available on the Marq 2? I know you said it’s not going to the Fenix series, but I am hoping the Marq 2 will get it since it has an AMOLED.

    • I’ll ask on that. My understanding is that MARQ2 is basically considered ‘Epix 2’ for the purposes of these sorts of things (just like Enduro 2 is considered Fenix 7).

    • Cory Miller

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for looking into this! That makes sense to me! 😊

  23. V Pier

    Any ideas Ray on when these will be available in Europe (and not just the main markets, such as UK, Germany, etc.)?

    • They should be available today, via either Garmin’s site, or 3rd party retailers. Whether or not every single retailer in each country has pre-ordered/etc… that’s a whole different ball game.

  24. chepix

    When are the quarterly updates for fenix 7 and epix?

  25. Jonny

    Great review as always. I may have missed it… do you think that the new profiles will trickle down in a future update to existing devices? like an Epix 2?

    While I mostly cycle and run, I do the occasional in-line skate and would like a native way to record that.

  26. morey

    Will new firmware functions (map splitscreen data, redshift, endurance metric, etc) get ported to the Forerunner 965?

  27. Thomas D

    Great review, and good to see Garmin continue to push their produkts forward.

    When will the shaded map be available for the Epix 2/fenix series? Instantly, or would we have to wait for a product specific update?

    It might need software adjustments too, or is it just the map file that’s changed?

  28. Kyle

    Have you used the new heart rate monitor while swimming? I have an Epix 2 and it seems to me like it reads my heart rate as being quite a bit lower than it should be. I’ve manually checked my pulse and while I’ll get 160s after an interval the watch always reads 130s. I’m not excited about having to get and wear a chest strap and I actually don’t care that much about what my heart rate is when I swim except that it gives me very low training loads and makes the training load metric a lot less useful.

    • I have. I’ve gotten mixed results. On some swims it was pretty good actually, believable. Yet, at the same time, other swims, less so.

      I had one swim with two new Pro watches, and one required fairly high HR’s, and the other normal HR’s. As always, I don’t put much stock in optical HR while swimming (and neither do the companies). Though, I will say this does seem slightly better than some of my past tests.

  29. chris

    Do we know if the bluetooth chip is the same as the original epix gen 2? I had tons of issues with bt dropouts on headphones on two separate epix watches and finally gave up. The same headphones worked great on fenix 7 and tactix.

  30. Fabian C.

    Great review. I was kind of waiting for this one to actually to take the plunge, but i was thinking of getting a FR 965 ( I as do a lot of swimming). As coming from a Fenix 6, do you have the weight of each of the Epix 2 pro sizes compared to the Fenix 7 pro ? I was looking to get the X but I’m a little bit worried that the weight will be to much for regular lap swimming.

    Thank you.

  31. Nathan M

    Do you know if any of the units had a CPU upgrade? It’s a trade off the more snappy a watch can be with a faster process vs better battery life. I’ve been so used to the fluidity of Watch os on an Apple Watch Ultra. The WorkOutDoors app renders maps very quickly especially if they are cashed offline. I never thought the mapping experience would replace my Garmin but it did. I rarely need to pull out my phone with how easy it is to pan and zoom, but, when I had the original Epix the mapping experience wasn’t as intuitive as it is on an Apple Watch with the Digital Crown for panning and zooming.

    How about the screen nits? I’ve also been used to the 2000 nit screen on the ultra that I can’t imagine going back to the 1000 nit screen like the original Epix had. Any changes in max brightness with this iteration?

  32. Cameron

    I find it interesting (amusing) how people’s wish-list for watches differ.
    For example I have absolutely no desire to have a watch with LTE. If I wanted to make/receive phone calls I would take my phone with me instead. When I am out exercising/exploring I do not want to be interrupted with a phone call…!
    Also, I absolutely have ZERO desire for wireless charging. Wireless charging is significantly slower and the charger is typically specialized per device and much more bulky in size. So if I travel and need to charge multiple watches (mine, wife, and extra spare) I have to pack big bulky chargers and slug them along with me. Small thin charging cables are much more convenient – I travel with either an Anker or RAV Power charger that have 4~6 charging ports. I can charge all my devices simultaneously with simple cables.
    Just my opinion ;-)

    • Chris

      Haha I agree. If they ever add LTE, I won’t activate it. One of the reasons I like the Fenix line is that it’s fitness focused rather than hyper connected with phone parity. I like to get away from it;).

  33. Matt

    What functionally does the new snorkeling activity have?… I hope they are iterating on the way to a recreational scuba/freedive activity like in the Ultra.

  34. Jiri Sladky

    When I saw that 30 new sports activities had been added, I hoped that my SCOOTER/ KICK BIKE would finally be among them. And it’s not again :-(
    I can’t help myself, but how many people measure things like archery or snorkeling on Garmins compared to riding a scooter (in Europe: Czech Republic, Holland, Germany,…). What the hell is the problem with adding a scooter to sports?

  35. Sheepie

    The main reason I went with the Fenix7X was because the Epix didn’t come in the X/51mm size. Now that it does, I have to decide if it’s worth upgrading to the Epix Pro 51 or wait until the next full generation.

  36. Justin

    Can the red light shift be set to turn on at scheduled times?

  37. Jean

    Awesome review! Thanks, is there a chance Garmin will add the user interface of the 965?

  38. Jason R Bourne

    Wonderful job! Thanks so much. And you should be pretty proud of an 8k ft hike – quads of steel! If you are ever back near Mukilteo, be sure to hit me up and we can do a run in Japanese Gulch. 👍

  39. okrunner

    Amazfit T-Rex Ultra? Please explain Ray! I waited all day and no one else asked.

  40. John X

    Hi Ray,
    thanks for the update! Now I am unsure if I made a mistake with buying the FR965. Difficult to understand why that one didn’t get the v5 hear rate sensor as it just came out a few weeks ago. I would guess Garmin need to justify the much higher Fenix/Epix prices somehow.

    On this note, any plan on issuing an overview of the software features that will get ported to the F965 as well? I would hope for contour maps and split screens.

    Thanks!

  41. damyok

    Thanks a lot for what you are doing on that page. Great!

    I really missed a deep comparison between AMOLED and MIP displays (especially in terms of EPIX 2 Pro and Fenix 7x Pro). In general my question is who is a target of AMOLED and who is a target for MIP display? So, could you tell which one is personally better in your opinion?

    In my case, most of the sports I am doing are ski touring, skiing, running, cycling (not sure, perhaps would be nice to have a separate bike computer for that), climbing, and mountaineering.

    Are you using display always on, or gestures (in watch and sport mode)? How comfortable is gesture mode?

    The GPS was not so accurate during climbing (Fenix 6x/Tactix). I understand why but wondering if Garmin fix anything related to that. Do you think that multiband mode is really saving a live in terms of accuracy?

    Can Fenix or Epix replace a separate bike computer?

    Looking at my sport activities SOLAR is not going to be probably game changer as during climbing – usually I “hide” the watch behind a Buff headband or other clothes. Similarly during other sports, except for trainings when looking at the watch is crucial. In terms of comparison Fenix PRO without Solar and Epix with display always on the numbers are significantly better for Fenix. GPS – 31h more, all GPS – 15h better, multiband in that case only 6h better.

  42. FPM

    I cannot find the Epix Pro (gen2) in the Comparsison Matrix, will be included soon? I would like to have a look to a field by field comparison with the Fenix7 Pro (that is included). Thanks in advance and as usual supper reviews

  43. usr

    I really like the look of that redshift feature: this is what the future was supposed to look like thirty years ago, when every couple of years hifi components came with a more elaborate LCD layout (not pixel based, obviously)

  44. Aasen

    So what would be the watch of choice if upgrading from a older unit?
    965, Epix or Epix Pro?

    Prefer the UI on the 965, but would the hardware on the Epix Pro mean its more useful when they actually start to implement the software to utilize the hardware.

    Reading the summary on the 965 its pointed to a number of suggested improvements to come in the top of the pos version, but dont see all this in the Epix Pro either..

    “What you don’t see here is Garmin going out on a limb. There is no LTE functionality here, such as found on the Garmin Forerunner 945LTE or in more advanced form in the Garmin Bounce kids activity tracker. Nor is there ECG as recently launched in the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. Neither is there a speaker or microphone like the Venu 2 Plus. And there’s not a flashlight like in the higher-end Fenix 7X. Nor wireless charging like on the new Vivomove Trend. These are all puzzle pieces of the theoretical dream smartwatch that Garmin seems to be laying on the table, but not yet composited into a single unit. Undoubtedly, such a dream watch would probably land first as a Fenix, MARQ, or Epix series unit rather than Forerunner. “

  45. Shai

    Looking to upgrade my fenix 6x to en Epix. I wonder if the Epix3 wil release in Jan 2024? Any ideas about that?

    • Matthew B.

      Highly unlikely. Ray has stated elsewhere that it’s generally a 14-18 month cycle on the Fenix/Epix line. More likely is a MARQ or LTE version of something (or 965 variant).

      My guess is this Fall/Winter they will announce ECG and skin temp (enabling it on current devices) and then will launch some new colorways.

    • Shai

      Thank you for your reaction.

  46. Tee Koo

    Will Garmin add those new sport profiles to other watches?

  47. Klaus

    Hi Ray, thanks for your great Comparison.
    I noticed exactly the issue with the Epix 2 I use on my bike also as my bike Computer. The display is not readable when it goes to “hybernation/dimm” mode.
    Is that different with the Fenix 7Pro?
    Thanks, Klaus

  48. Konstantinos

    It would be nice if it had a depth sensor for the new snorkel activity. It seems like Garmin do not want yet to pursue the road paved by Suunto, Apple and Huawei for measuring depth and make available this type of measurement in non-diving, generic leisure/outdoor watches. Especially for Epix/Fenix Pro series it seems like an odd omission. The UI discrepancies between in their AMOLED watches, along with discplay to case ratio, leave alot to be desired. Not to mention discrepancies between EDGE and Fenix/Epix/Forerunner high end watches in SW features.

    Garmin did a nice run aligning SW back in the 945/Fenix 6 era. Now it seems that hell is let loose once more!

    • Cameron

      @Konstantinos, If you need a Garmin with a depth sensor then you need to look at the Garmin Descent Mk2 or G1 (aka Instinct) range of SCUBA diving watches. Basically a Fenix 7 with a depth gauge and rated for 100 m (330 ft) diving.

    • Konstantinos

      @Cameron

      Indeed, which I consider it an overkill (Descent Mk2) for recreational scuba diving purposes. Descent G1 is not on the same league with Fenix/Epix watches.

  49. V Pier

    Hi Ray,

    Which watch do you use in your pictures, just to make sure for which size I should go with. What’s your preference and what’s the rationale?

    Thank you in advance.

  50. Peter

    Great review as always, written from someone who really tests all aspects of a sports watch. Great watch, thinking about upgrading from the Epix 2 but surprisingly Garmin did not give a stainless steel slate option this time around. I like the clean look of the SS slate and the titanium white looks horendous with the white plastic on the side. The black version is ok but my last four garmin watches have been black and I am little tired of the colour.

    I am wondering if Garmin will offer another SS slate model like it did for Epix 2 and Fenix 7 series, have you heard anything about it?

  51. Andrej

    Great review and always good to stay up to date with the sports watch market.

    And then one topics towards Garmin. Basketball as sports activity? Really? I would refuse playing against anyone wearing a watch and throw him/her off the court.

    • Paul S.

      Isn’t that true of a lot of organized sports? I know high school basketball players around here aren’t allowed to wear watches or jewelry.

  52. BJU

    Thank you for the review.
    I made my decision. I will skip the Epix Pro and stay with my Epix Gen2.
    I would like to have the flashlight and the 51 mm case. But for me that’s not worth to upgrade. I will wait for the Epix Gen3.

  53. George W7GES

    I was wondering if the Garmin watches automatically add sensors like the Edge devices.

    When I purchased my 1040 Solar my power meters / HR straps / Tempe sensor etc were all automatically added.

    I received my Epix Pro 51mm today and it looks like I will need to add all the sensors manually?

    Thanks for the Great review.

    • It was slated (migration of everything, including sensors – going beyond what Edge even has), but pulled at the last second. So yeah, for now you’ve got to re-build it all.

      But it’s super cool when it does work. :)

    • George W7GES

      Haha… Thanks for the feature preview.

      I added the sensors the old fashioned way and they worked fine this morning…

      Of course they will enable the new feature soon!

    • etrolan

      Although copying sensors seems cool, it has some ways to go on the Edge. Just upgraded to the 1040 and all the sensors copied over but couldn’t get the vector2s to work. Had to delete it and re-add and then worked great. Also sensor detection has spotty results on both the edge and Epix pro.

  54. Safak

    When Garmin will start to sell Epix Pro 51 in the stores?

    • My understanding is everything is yesterday (and just two comments above you someone already got the Epix Pro 51mm). That said, it’s up to individual stores whether and what they pre-ordered.

  55. Volker

    One question, Ray:

    Is this pic from a glass or saphire device?

    link to media.dcrainmaker.com

    on my Epix 2 (non pro) the ClimbPro colors are looking very washed out.

    • It’s the Sapphire (which actually typically reduces the colors).

      Sometimes the lighting when I took the picture will help. In that case, it was actually just before sunset against a dark park bench. So the camera helps more there. Though honestly, it’s pretty easy to take a picture of that unit and have it come out pretty every time.

      Taking pictures of the Fenix 7 series is far more challenging…

  56. Ryan

    I see the Fenix 7 Pro in the Product Comparison Database, hopefully the Epix Pro will be there soon! (really want to compare these two watches, but essentially it’s the display that’s the difference, right?)

  57. Johannes Ostermeier

    Is it possible to load street maps and use the epix pro for navigation purposes for example on a motorcycle as well?

    • Cameron

      @Johannes Ostermeier — not really. The only time you can “navigate” is during an exercise activity, and then you can only navigate using a course, or to POI (Points of Interest), or ‘Around Me’ (eg coffee shop, business, etc.), or Coordinates, or use ‘Use Map’ option to select a point on the map display. But you cannot navigate to a specific address, unless you saved the location previously and downloaded it to your watch. I do not know how good route recalculation will work when driving at high speed when you miss a turn, etc

    • Johannes Ostermeier

      Ok, thank you Cameron for the reply. I was googleling around the whole internet to get such an helpful answer. You really helped me out a lot. But there are so many different map types available from Garmin. Why did they not just offer road maps like on a normal car navigation system to download. They are really good with all the big symbols for the different types of crossings and so on.

    • Paul S.

      Garmin makes a motorcycle specific GPS unit, the Zumo. I think you’ll find that, like bicycling, a unit on the handlebars made for that specific activity is much preferable to one on the wrist.

    • Johannes Ostermeier

      Hi Paul, I totally agree. In normal situations when you are planning trips and so on you always would aim for a normal navigation system. I’m specifically thinking about situations where you know the road because you are more often driving there but the road is closed due tue construction work and you need to find a alternative way. Or due to an accident. There you just want to have a view streets in order to get back on track. For this purpose if you anyhow wearing a watch with GPS and Mapping, this would be a easy and quick way for it.

    • Paul S.

      Just viewing streets it would probably work, especially if you were familiar with the area. The maps, even on the watches (I have a Fenix 5+) include all roads in addition to trails, and you can certainly navigate on the roads. But the one weakness of the Edges I’ve used over the years (currently a 1040) is that there’s no way to tell it “I can’t go that way, find me another way”. Instead, you have to feel your way around the blockage until it finally starts rerouting when it realizes you’re off your intended course.

      Garmin automotive GPS’s (I don’t know if that includes the Zumo) will quickly find out about blockages ahead and warn you about them and offer you alternate routes or at least tell you a delay time. In the automotive units I’ve used, they get that information using FM radio subcarriers. It’s probably possible to do the same (at least in areas with cell phone coverage) via a phone and Bluetooth, but I don’t think any Garmin watch/cycling GPS does that.

    • Cameron

      @Johannes Ostermeier — there is a ‘Navigate’ activity that you can add to your watch (if not already there). But again, with the above said limitations you cannot navigate to a specific address. You can navigate to: Courses, Point of Interest (Cities, Food and Drink, Fuel Services, Lodging, Attractions, Entertainment, Recreation, Shopping, Transportation, Auto Services, Community, Hospitals, Others, Geographic Points, Obstructions, Tides, Anchorages, All POIs), Around Me (pick a nearby place/destination), Activities (previous activity as a course), Saved Locations, Sight n Go, Coordinates, Use Map (which allows you to pick a point on the map)…

      As an example, when you use Points of Interest > Cities, the watch will order suburbs/cities in order of distance nearest to you. It becomes cumbersome to pick a ‘city’ and if you do, it will navigate to the center of the city, not a specific address… It cannot detour you around something either.

      Clearly the watch is not designed for driving navigation. Best to use Zumo (motorcycles) or Drive (car), Tread (offroad use), Montana (handheld navigation) GPS navigators intended for that purpose.

    • Johannes Ostermeier

      Thank you Paul.
      This would be a helpful feature for me at least if garmin could implement this.

    • DVPRW

      Have you tried the Garmin Explore companion app? There you can search for an address, choose ‘go’, and the location is sent in real-time to your watch, where you can then select an activity. I find this the easiest way to use the Fenix for navigation purposes, and it works quite well.

  58. Hi All-

    Here’s the complete list of all the new Epix Pro features getting backported to existing Fenix 7, Epix, Forerunner 955, Forerunner 965, and other watches. This includes timeframes and a breakdown by watch:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Cheers!

  59. Billy Ho

    Is it worth the extra $$ for the sapphire and titanium sapphire models? I’m thinking not but would love your feedback. Thanks!

  60. Akshay

    Hi Ray,
    What mode of GPS do you use when training in remote areas with poor network? Also personally do you prefer epix 2 pro over the Fenix 7x pro? I have a Fenix 6 and am
    a triathlete looking to upgrade the watch; torn between the two.

    • I use AutoSelect/SatIQ – which means it’ll use multiband when it needs it, and save battery when it doesn’t.

      I’ve tested the crap out of that mode in some of the hardest GPS scenarios in the world the last year, and it’s spot-on. Be it the buildings of Manhatten, massive cliff overhangs of the Alps, or going under tunnels and highways, it cleanly tracks all of those (or, cleanly sorts out the entry/exists).

      There’s zero reason in my mind to always have it set for Multiband. That’s just totally unneeded with SatIQ.

      I prefer the AMOLED watches, so in my case, Epix Pro over Fenix 7 Pro series.

    • Matthew B.

      Hi Ray – for the 47mm Epix Pro, what are you seeing for SatIQ GPS life? I ordered the 51mm because of battery (really don’t want to have to charge my watch on 100k/100m races – but what multiband accuracy), but perhaps the 47mm would be fine for that with SatIQ.

    • So random data point would be yesterday in mostly overcast conditions at the time of the ride, I did about 2hrs, and the battery trend line for both the Epix Pro 47mm and the Fenix 7 Pro (same case size), have me at about 33hrs predicted for F7P, and 25hrs predicted for Epix Pro.

      Note this was with power meter connected, shift sensors connected, phone connected for Bluetooth & LiveTrack, SatIQ enabled, always-on enabled for Epix Pro and auto-brightness off for F7P. Everything else as default/on. No navigation on this particular meander.

      Data set: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      With so many models and only so many wrists, as randomness happened, most of my 6-7hr hikes/etc were on the Epix Pro 47, Epix Pro 51mm, and Fenix 7X Pro. Whereas I’ve got 2-3hr rides on the F7P. I’ve got some longer hikes coming up this week again to poke a bit more. May mix it up again.

  61. Nick

    Awesome review, as always! I upgraded from my Epix Gen 2 to the 51mm model as this was the only thing on my wish list.

    Is the new UI from the 965 getting ported over to other Amoled watches? Seems like a bit of a waste to keep it on a single release.

  62. Stephan

    A question about the new weather overlay maps:

    Precipitation: is it true, that one only get the map displayed up to the time you have requested it (if yoy have requested it at 10am you will get it from 6am to 10am) and not for the next 2-4 hrs (10am to 2pm) in advance? Why should one want to see the weather from the past?

    • So right now it’s 10:26AM. When I start the weather widget, it shows, in blocks:

      8:00AM
      11:00AM
      2:00PM
      5:00PM
      8:00PM

      So basically, it’s showing weather in 3hr blocks, including whatever block you’re currently in. Fwiw, on my phone, using the default weather app, it basically shows the same thing – from 7AM till 9PM, despite currently being 10:28AM now.

    • Stephan

      Thanks, but are you really sure? I am only talking about the precipitation overlay map.

    • Paul S.

      You want to see the past to see if the model prediction for the future is believable.

  63. Chris

    Hi Ray

    My main use case is on bike handlebars so I don’t need to buy a computer (using the Garmin handlebar attachment).

    Does “auto-scroll” on the bike activity settings prevent the amoled display dimming/turning off?

    That would prevent burn in, and allow me to use it fully on the bike. If it doesn’t, please could you suggest that to Garmin as a simple workaround? Thanks!! 💪🦵 🚴

  64. Nathan M.

    Is there a good place (besides Garmin’s marketing) that lists all the features of the Epix? The list of all the features the Epix is capable of is almost borderline overwhelming. I find myself wondering what features are actually useful and which others are not. I recently forgot about the “upcoming trail fork” option while hiking. There’s all kinds of features I forget are even useful.

    I find myself going back and fourth between an Apple Watch ultra and an epix pro. There are little convenience features such as phone calls and texts on Apple Watch that I might miss. I put my phone in my hiking backpack, hate having to dig it out to respond to someone while on the trail. It’s a little thing but is very useful. WorkOutDoors has the maps and data I need on the trail. Off the top of my head I think the Epix has: turn by turn directions, the better battery, sweat loss estimation (kinda cool), climb pro, up ahead, the distance to trail fork option, stamina. What else is there?

    I ultimately find myself trying to figure out if the Garmin features are even worth it. There’s a lot of features that are not all that useful and it would be nice to have a long list of specific features to sort through what I would use and what I wouldn’t. What brings value and what doesn’t. I’d give up the phone call on my watch aspect if a hiking specific feature of the Epix was something that actually brought me value to the hiking experience.

    • Paul S.

      You can wear more than one watch, you know.

    • Nathan M.

      Haha while that would be nice, the cost of both an Apple Watch ultra and an Epix is just too much to have both. I’d sell the ultra to make up for the painful cost of the Epix pro.

    • Paul S.

      There’s an Ultra on my wrist right now, and I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch since series zero. It’s much too useful to give up for an Epix Pro. But I also own a Fenix 5+, and earlier this week wore them both while recording on the Fenix 5+. In a few minutes I’ll go out for my daily ride, wearing the Ultra but using my Edge 1040 to record. I never use an Apple Watch for activities unless I’ve forgotten the others and it’s the only choice.

      Yeah, the Epix Pro is expensive. The Fenix 7 Pro is less so. The Epix (and they’re trying to erase the memory of the original Epix, which I also own) and the Fenix 7 even less so, having been $200 off for the last couple of weeks. The Fenix 6 even cheaper. So maybe embrace the power of the word “and”.

  65. Drew Martin

    One thing to note if you are thinking about battery life. These charts while acccurate do not reflect navigation/routing drain if you use that screen. I’ve been in contact with Garmin in the past and they have stated they do not have an option to display estimated battery life if you are using the navigation data screen. So while the chart gives “GPS Only” estimates etc….they do not have one for “GPS Only w/Nav and map screen” which I get it is down in the weeds a bit to want the estimates while navigating. But the drain in these (includes all variants Epix, Fenix, Enduro…) is fairly substantial if you accidentally leave that screen up. I’ve learned the hard way on long days.

    If you scroll away from the map to another screen you will be more true to the estimates, so you are sort of in a “only check when you need to mode” for the map. Also changing the heading bug to fixed helps as well. Hopefully that info saves someone from a dead watch on a long excursion, tapped out my Epix at around 15 hours on an excursion in “Jacket Mode” because I left that mapping up.

    • My battery tests, as noted, do include navigation where noted. And they even note which screens were left on.

      Yes, leaving on the map mode the entire time will burn more, though, navigation by itself isn’t really a deal killer. As I also showed last summer with my Enduro 2 crazy battery test – that had navigation and everything else enabled.

  66. vpierX

    Hey Ray,

    Whenever possible (just an idea for your reviews) for the occasions there are multiple watch sizes; please add the size you are wearing or demoing right next to the picture! It will help us choose the right size!

    Thanks,
    V

  67. Martin

    Hello and thanks for this awesome review

    Any comparison how big the “sensor-bump” is compared to the former Epix.
    (and how “sharp” the edges are)
    I did struggle a little with the comfort especially when wearing it all day long with it.
    Especially compared with the round sensor of apple watches or the “flat” sensor of my forerunner 945

  68. Bezel-Less

    Is the Epix bezel so huge Garmin had to draw a circle on it to create the optical illusion of a smaller bezel?

    What is PRO about that!?

    Maybe next version will get a screen that goes edge to edge. Or is it to much to ask for, for that amount of money?

  69. BillyHo

    agreed and thanks for the reply, DC!

  70. Augusts

    Spotify doesnt work on Epix Pro. I added it and then your choose the library / headphones and next screen is just small play icon and nothing works.. how abt you guys? the same bug?

  71. Shoreview

    Looks like a great watch for a strictly sports experience. I’ve decided to go with the Apple Watch Ultra–partly on faith that Apple will address its significant software deficiencies–because of features such as the mic (useful for voice command, decibel detection and so on), LTE, and push notifications on heart health like Afib.

    The way I see it is that the AWU’s deficiencies are fixable in software (for now, add about two third-party apps and put up with having five separate apps to work with including Apple’s three); while as for Garmin, they need to integrate the Venu 2 Plus’s features and revisit the 945 LTE.

    But the Garmin UI is not to be dismissed; it is FAR easier, as of right now, than Apple when it comes to serious sports use, and also more informative, with Garmin’s suggestions about workouts and rest days far more useful than the glorified YouTube channel that is Apple Fitness+.

    I can get away with the AWU because I have an Edge 530 for the sake of informativeness about rest days and power meter data and so on. I think someone looking to “do it all” with a watch has a serious challenge on their hands in deciding between watches if they have an iPhone, and Garmin might already be building a significant advantage if they could just wean themselves away from segmenting their products so much. You have one feature on one watch and another feature on another — can’t you just get them all on one watch? A Venu 2 Plus/945 LTE/Epix Pro combination would be a knockout product, even if Garmin doesn’t go the whole hog with smartphone integration beyond what’s on those products.

  72. Chris

    Great review, thanks.

    Is there a way to record when you’re feeling unwell? Thinking similar to the self-evaluation feature at the end of an activity, but for day-to-day wellness.

  73. Allison Grace

    I have the Fenix 6s which is great but I’d love a better display. I’ve noticed the Epix 2 and the Forerunner 965. However, they will be too big for my wrist, so the fact they do a small version now with the Epix 2 pro is good (but it is so expensive.)

    Do you think they will bring out a smaller version of the Forerunner 965 or on the next Fenix edition?

    Will your wife be uploading what she thinks as I am very interested!

    Thanks.

  74. Antonio

    Thanks! Great review as usual :D

    Do you know if they solved the issue with the lap button on the Epix?
    Mine have been replaced 3 times in 2 months, after 1-2 weeks lap button stop working.
    Apparently a production issue, maybe the quality of the button, but garmin keep sending me new devices from the same production block that keep stop working after 1-2 weeks, this is quite annoying.

    Evaluating to ask to swap with the Epix pro (I’d pay the price difference).

  75. damyok

    Hi,

    could you tell me if multiband is a holy grail for GPS in activities like climbing in mountains, ski touring, and mountaineering? I am considering buying an Epix but I still have doubts about GPS, especially for climbing trips like 2-3 days in the mountains without the possibility to charge. I would like to track a trek to the wall, then climb there, and go down to the camp.

    How the notifications are killing a battery?

    Thanks.

  76. Pete Sansom

    I’m struggling to decide between the forerunner 965 and the epix 2 pro?
    Any thoughts from anyone please?
    I like the UI, size and forerunner has most of the features I like.
    However epix 2 has the new HR sensor and torch, which are two major upgrades imo.
    I cycle (mtb & road), run, play football, squash and golf.
    Tough call?
    Thanks

  77. Keith Seckel

    Thanks for the awesome review!

    Neither Backcountry nor Competitive Cyclist have the Epix Pro listed. Looks like both do show the Epix (Gen 2) at discounted prices.

    Have you heard anything from either partner re: availability?

    ~ Keith

    • Hi Keith-

      Inventory is indeed hard to find. Another partner listed that helps is The Pro’s Closet. I’ve actually parterned with them for a year now, but they aren’t quite showing up in the links table above (probably today).

      In any case, they have the Epix Pro available in both Sapphire & not-Sapphire: link to pros-closet.sjv.io

      Purchases there help support the site (via that link), and the DCRAIN40 coupon code actually gets you $40 off any $200 purchase as well.

      Cheers, and thanks for the support!

  78. Felix

    How is the max flashlight brightness level of the Epix Pro in comparison to that of the Enduro 2?

    In your video, it seems that the flashlight brightness levels are different between the different sizes (42mm, 47mm, and 51mm) of the Epix Pro, is that so?

    Thank you for doing this epic review on the Epix Pro!

  79. SoCorsu

    As for performance, it’s astonishing: all the latest 2022/2023 models – F7 /E2 / Pro and FRx55 / FRx65 – have the same engine. Only the Instinct 2 / 2S / 2X / Crossover is anemic.

    link to forums.garmin.com

    —-

    We’ll wait for a Teardown to realize the differences.

    link to f-blog.info

  80. Ronnos

    Where can I find the new Sport profiles? I don’t have inline skating anywhere.

    • Fabian C.

      I recently bought the Epix Pro 47 and I also cannot found anywhere the Inline Skating profile.

    • Bruno Dethune

      me neither… I created (for now) a custom app
      on the IQ store there is a good app for that (Skating app professional) … unfortunately it is not updated to be compatible with the pro models (yet)

  81. Bill P

    Hey @Ray,

    Which size do you wear / prefer? I remember you have 17 wrist circumference, which is exactly the same as mine.

    Thanks for your help.

    Bill

  82. Tommaso Schiavon

    Hi, and thank you like always for the deep and detailed review…
    Just a question and your opinion about it, actually I have an Enduro2 and i’m happy with that, I use it for training (Run, Gym, HIIT, Bike and Swim) i bought it just because I was interest about the long battery life or Better to say i need to recharge it less 🤣
    Now I’m fascinated with the new Epix Gen2 in your opinion make sense to switch from an Enduro2 or not ?
    Thank you again

  83. David

    Interested in either the Fenix 7 or Epix Gen 2 now that they are discounted. Is the Epix Gen 2 worth $100 more?

    • Van den Dries Peter

      Great review once again, thanks !
      About the Garmin fenix 7x: I can’t get the Daily Suggested Workouts for Running activated, while I followed the step instructions, and have a primary and a supporting event set for September. Could you help pls ?

  84. Bruno Dethune

    you’ve confinced me … just baught the 51mm version sapphire… niiiiice
    seems just I cannot find how to setup the map with the fields around it.
    who can help me with this?

    • Bruno Dethune

      I forgot … I cannot find the inline skating app… (located in Belgium… just below the flat country ;) )
      where to find it?

  85. Charles

    This comment focuses on pairing the Garmin Varia Vision to the EPIX Pro Gen2 Sapphire I just got. It looks like the Vision did connect to the watch, both showed connected, but, the Vision locked up and when I say locked up I mean even if I chose Remove the Display the Vision was still stuck and I couldn’t even power it off. I really got worried that I ruined the Vision. Fumbling with the watch settings I finally got it to let go of it’s hold on the Vision and the Vision started working properly again. So I tried this a second time and the same thing happened. I thought I was going to have to put the Vision somewhere away from the watch and just let it ruin out of charge. Garmin site says that there is no more support for the Vision and I couldn’t find any help anywhere. I felt I could use these two devices for cycling and lose the Garmin 830 since the watch is on my person all the time. Sad this doesn’t work.

  86. etrolan

    Hi Ray,
    I looked over your review of both the Fenix and Epix and I didn’t see you comment about the Data recording setting. I just purchased an Epix from the link and was setting it up and noticed the default is smart recording. I set it to every second as I have done with every Garmin watch I get. Does this have less significance now?
    Thanks
    ET

  87. Tubbers

    I hear you criticize other vendors software platforms but never talk about what a crapshow Garmin Express is. I mean it looks 10 years old, it’s slow and frequently crashes. It’s it about time it was updated

    • I’ve actually talked about how annoying it is, any time I talk about it. That said, very few users use it, aside from loading maps (and even that, I expressed my annoyances at above). Given that almost no other companies even offer desktop sync software anymore for their watches, complaining about relatively minor things even more when nobody else has it, seems…odd.

      Said differently, I’ve complained about the pieces that matter up above (in many ways). I’d rather focus my efforts on things that can make a difference. Also, i’ve never had Garmin Express crash (in at least as many years as I can remember), and seems to be fast enough. Works just fine on my computer.

  88. DrDennyM

    Ray, Great review as always. One of the features I especially like in the Venu2 is the 12 hour HR recording feature. Epix2 only does 4. Will that change with the Epix2 Pro software and will that be available to us legacy Epix users?

    • Hi Dr Denny!

      Which/what 12-hour recording are you referring to? On the Epix/Epix Pro, if on the HR screen, you can swipe through beyond the initially shown 4 hours, just like on Venu 2.

      Cheers!

    • DrDennyM

      Sorry Ray, I wasn’t clear. Yes, the Epix does track the last 12 hours but it does not record the highest and lowest HR during that time. It does so only for the last 4 hours even though 12 hours of data is available. The Venu records the highest and lowest HR recorded in the last 12 hours. I have found this to be a helpful estimation of resting heart rate – better than checking your HR when you first wake up.

  89. Hi Folks-

    Just as a quick heads up, I’ve published my Garmin Epix complete beginners guide/user guide, which you can find here, including all the chapters/sections: link to youtube.com

    Also notable, once the firmware later this summer hits for the regular Garmin Epix, it’ll basically be the same for both units.

    Enjoy!

  90. Adrian

    Trouble is, it’s a Garmin. With Garmin software. So at some point there will be a mandatory update (they’re all mandatory) that reduces battery life to 12 hours. Sure, it’ll be fixed in a couple of months but by then the cycle life of the battery will be shot. Then there’ll be an update that breaks Bluetooth intermittently. And then, if yours lasts two years, it’ll just stop pairing with Garmin Connect altogether regardless of firmware version. This is how two Vivoactives and an Edge 820 ended up dying.

    • Except Garmin has never had a ‘mandatory update’. Like, it doesn’t exist in Garmin land. Many people stay on older firmware forever.

    • Adrian

      That’s just not true. It is not possible to decline updates to Garmin watches. You can say no to the update and it just says it’ll install overnight.

      I’ve confirmed that with Garmin customer services. Although technically you’re right, Garmin customer services say that you can turn your watch off forever and it’ll never update, but I don’t really see that as a viable option.

      Similarly for Garmin Connect, it’ll update (either automatically or when you reinstall on a new phone) and won’t connect to old device firmware, forcing you to upgrade your device. When I bought my brand new Edge I had to upgrade the firmware using Express before it’d work with Connect.

    • Again, there are settings to prevent this.

      On the Epix Pro for example (and many other devices), there’s literally an option. Settings > System > Software Update > Auto Update.

      See attached photo.

  91. Artur W

    Hi Ray :)
    Is the glass on epic2pro little below metal bezel and it is flat-flat (like in fenix / enduro) – not rounded on edge like in all new phones, aple watches or venu`s? None of Your photos is taken from watch size so i can`t figure it out.

  92. John Kehoe

    Hi DC
    Thanks for the great review-big fan of your site.

    There’s one point that I’d suggest you mention in future reviews: Garmin’s heart-rate monitoring is – presumably for power-saving reasons – only remotely accurate while in workout mode.

    Meaning that these are very inaccurate tools for monitoring ‘all-in’ activity levels including activities which aren’t recorded as workouts, like cycling commutes, walking the dog etc.

    I try to thread as many of these ‘non-workout’ activities into my daily life as possible and was hoping that my Epix Pro would serve as a way to capture them (unlike my Apple Watch which also samples HR very infrequently when not recording a workout). But it most certainly does not. If I walk the dog in zone 2, Epix shows it as z1. Over the course of time, the cumulative effect is a highly inaccurate HR trace (and all the metrics that Garmin derived from HR).

    Had I known this I wouldn’t have purchased. An all-in fitness tracker for both ‘workouts’ and ‘life’ is my particular use case and, for that, Epix is not accurate despite having a much improved HR monitor.

    I’d guess there are other users out there who’d appreciate this steer!

    Thanks again,

    • Paul S.

      I don’t understand. You’re recording a workout (choose an activity type, hit the start button, FIT file winds up on Garmin Connect) and the heart rate is inaccurate? Or are you expecting it to be accurate without actually recording the workout?

    • John Kehoe

      The latter. I was expecting a watch that would accurately track my heart rate all day, whether I was doing a ‘workout’ (for which I use dedicated HR monitors anyway) or not.

    • Paul S.

      Good luck finding that. I don’t know of anything that will do that (certainly the AW Ultra on my wrist won’t), because during a workout your HR will be changing rapidly at times. That’s why an Epix will record every second when you’re recording a workout. You don’t want to miss peaks.

      Maybe you should look into something like a Whoop band or Oura ring? I think they both claim 24/7 abilities. I doubt they actually can do it, though.

      Out of curiosity, how do you know the Epix is inaccurate? What are you comparing with?

    • John Kehoe

      Thanks. If I do find something I’ll post back here.

      Equally – assuming that there must be quite a few with my use-case – if anyone else has found a device that works, please let me know!

      I know the Epix is (wildly) inaccurate as to HR when outside a workout by comparing it to monitors that I trust such as my Polar H10; or to my Apple Watch in workout mode or the Epix itself in workout mode. When I say wildly: I did a z2 workout on a stationary bike earlier this week where my H10 was mainly showing a HR of 135bpm but the Epix (not set to record a workout) was showing 80bpm….When I set the Epix to record the second half of the workout the HR tracked the H10 pretty closely…

      Since I do a good share of my Z2 as activities threaded into my daily life such as commutes to work, fast local walks, which I don’t want to record as ‘workouts’, this is a real issue for me.

    • Bud

      Nice catch. That would of course be anything but good if the Epix is only good/reliable when recording a workout. What I know is that when not in workout mode, there‘s a lot of ‘smoothing‘ within HR. But that they‘re that way off – I didn‘t know…

    • Bud

      Concerning some workouts where HR changes quite fast I can fully understand your point.

      But when just taking a walk or going out with a dog there shouldn‘t be that big spikes within the workout…

      Apple seems to be much better than Garmin within that point.

    • Bud

      Hey John,

      are you using the actual Epix Gen2 Pro with Sensor Gen. 5 or an older Sensor Gen from Garmin?

    • John Kehoe

      Hi Bud, it’s the latest gen.

  93. Timo

    Hi Ray, when will you drop some battery comparison with the 47 mm version?

  94. Ian

    I’ve got the Epix Pro and I love it.

    I had the Epix Non Pro and it would calcuate training readiness and training status despite the fact I never wore it continuously for 3 days. Epix Pro insists that I do that – does anyone have a work around? I wear a Vivosmart 5 to track sleep and body battery etc which obviously isn’t talking to the Epix Pro to give it the info it needs to give me a score – presume this is a missing link in the Unifited Training Status Armour or is there something I can do to switch this on? Any help gratefully received!

  95. Le

    As always, many thanks for a great and very useful detailed review.

    While I love my new Epix Pro watch, I am struggling with one thing:

    I would like “Always On” display to actually mean always on at the brightness setting I select. Additionally, when I set the display on time to 15 seconds it only seems to actually use 8 seconds.

    I would love to use the watch on my handlebars when riding BUT not useful when screen keeps dimming.

    Any work-around to get screen to actually be Always On?
    thanks and regards

    • TOm

      I would also love to get “Handle-Bar always on” option! Will look for thé feature request and upload it in Garmin’s forum!

  96. Joe

    Can the new 51mm Epix Pro FINALLY have customizable data fields during pre set interval workouts? Or theres still ONLY 3 data fields and the counter on the bottom telling me how many intervals I have left? Has Garmin given us a reason that they dont let us edit this? I want to see my HR during interval workouts and I just dont understand why thats so hard for them to implement in a crazy expensive watch.

  97. Nick

    Dear Ray, how is the screen visibility outdoors when mounted to handlebars for cycling? I have heard that the display will dim even in ‘always on’ mode, and is very difficult to read on the handlebars.

  98. Michael

    I’ll ask as I do every release. Have they fixed the floor counter hang bug?
    My routine consists of walking up and down a 20 floor condo 4 times.
    My F3 and F6 both count the related steps correctly but the floor counter hangs typically at somewhere 20 and 40 floors. Others have reported the same problem. Disabling auto synch was the best workaround on earlier models but cant be done on later “must always be gathering data” models. Others suggest its the altimeter.
    Basic feature, known problem , never investigated, resolved or discussed. My metrics are nonsense because of it. Meanwhile add a 1000 profiles for sports nobody does and call it better.
    Give me a free $1000 watch and perhaps i’ll ignore this as well.

    My current theory if anyone at Garmin can be found who is rewarded for actually fixing problems, not just closing them, is this. Garmin detects the home wifi at a random point in the stairwell and kicks off a synch. The floor counter is told to wait on the synch, but the synch cant complete because the wifi is gone. The synch code waits on a new opportunity, but fails to tell the floor counter code. Floor counter code sulks and never restarts.

  99. krist

    Because of your reviews, I know which Garmin watch to buy, thanks! However, I wish that you would do a video reviewing the difference in watch SIZE. 42,47,51. Is it all about cosmetics, all about which watch looks better relative to the size of your wrist? (sure, the display is bigger on the 51 than 42….but “does size matter?”) Is it worth getting a larger size because the display is better/easier/something else? Are those with smaller wrists doomed to the 42, or would the bulk of the 51 be noticed? Spending this much for a watch for sports and not an evening at the opera, would it be prudent to go with bigger is better, or …. go with smaller it doesn’t matter (that’s what seems to be available now; large models out of stock) At the moment…it seems that it’s all about “how fashionable does it look on the wrist,” having nothing to do with function… is that true? Sure the pixels are different… but does it really matter? Thanks

  100. Griff

    I wonder if using the red shift feature will lengthen battery life because it doesn’t seem as bright?

  101. LEE

    love your channel and indepth reviews. I have had a vantage 2 since it came out and has now been way left behind (never caught up) so looking at a new watch> Vantage 3 not an option so looking at the epix gen 2. Just wondering if it is worth paying for the sapphire glass or just buying a screen protector. Do you buy a screen protector for the sapphire glass? Is the metal frame the same on both watches? Just the glass that is different? Thanks so much

  102. Kevin

    Just wondering if you had issues with the seat post slipping. I’ve had to use fibre grip and torque the nut to well past 8nm to get it to stay.

    Agreed the stock touch points are torrid. I only lasted a few days with the saddle before having to switch it out. It’s narrow and hard.

  103. 760Raptor

    Does this watch have a face that graphically shows the current tide at common beaches and the time? I want to use it for surfing as well.

  104. Magnus

    Hi – Thanks for an awesome review! Much appreciated!

    I am looking to get an Epix watch to be used for sports (running, trail, skiing, golfing,…), and potentially continuous activity / health tracking in periods, but initially not expected to be used for work (office job). Therefore, my budget is also somewhat capped, which with current deals in my country allows for either the Epix 2 (“Non-Pro”) Sappphire or the Epix Pro 2 Standard (Gorilla glass).

    What are your recommendations in this situation, taking into consideration durability, features, potentially future-proofing / longevity of the watch, etc.?

    For context on the offers, the two options in scope are approximately $40 apart whereas the Pro Sapphire would cost me another $180-200..

  105. Marc Steingrand

    Not sure if i missed something but eopix pro does not exist with solar? only the fênix 7 x pro solar?

  106. Alexander Aeroad

    Hello. Is there any information about burnout of AMOLED displays on Epix watches?

  107. Nolan Barrios

    Question for the group; has anyone been able to have audible alerts for workouts push to your phone and thus to your BLE connected headphones? It appears this has been broken for quite some time on the Epix. Only when headphones are connected to the watch can you receive audible alerts for workouts and even activity workouts. While some people dislike audible alerts, I find them to be very useful when doing structured interval workouts based upon time and or distance. Why a Forerunner 245 or my former Fenix was able to perform this function without issue raises concerns. Thank you for reviewing and commenting.

  108. This morning Garmin Australia dropped the price of the 51mm Epix Pro carbon gray Sapphire by AUD$350. I imagine a new model is imminent.

  109. Jen

    @dcrainmaker – you mentioned your wife liked the 7S pro sapphire. Has she tried the Epix gen2 pro? I have a 645M and looking to upgrade but concerned about battery life if I go the Epix/amoled route.

    Haven’t seen a lot on battery life real world for these smaller versions. And if she had any concerns on the mips screen brightness on the 7s pro sapphire that would push her it into the Epix

  110. Scott Ferguson

    Has anyone heard of people have eye strain issues with the display? I ask because I have issues with the Apple Watch display.