This will be a reasonably efficient post. Yesterday, Garmin announced the new Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro watches. The Fenix 7 Pro series now includes the flashlight in all three watch sizes. While the AMOLED-equipped Epix Pro series is now expanded to the same three sizes as the Fenix series, while also getting flashlights for all. Further, both watches get a new optical heart rate sensor and multiband GNSS as standard.
However, beyond the hardware upgrades, both units came with a small slate of new software features (outlined below). Garmin had already confirmed that all existing Fenix 7 units, and all existing Epix units, will get these new software features. However, there were still outstanding questions on the Forerunner 955/965, which share much of the same functionality as the Fenix/Epix products. The Forerunner 955 is the MIP-based display, while the Forerunner 965 is the AMOLED display variant. As Garmin previously noted when they launched the Forerunner 965, they expect the FR955 & FR965 features to remain largely the same watch for the short to medium term. Instead, the main difference would be the display-type (just like Fenix vs Epix).
Anyways, as a reminder, here’s the new software-specific features launched on the Fenix 7 Pro & Epix Pro, all of these are going to the existing Fenix 7 series and Enduro 2 & Tactix 7 units, as well as the existing Epix & MARQ 2 units. All of these updates are slated for their ‘Q3 Quarterly Update’, which Garmin confirmed to be “later this summer” (2023). As a perspective on timing, last year (2022) the Q3 quarterly update started as a late June public beta for an initial set of features, and then to production release in mid-August 2022.
– New Endurance Score metric
– New Hill Score metric
– New weather overlays on maps (precip, temp, wind, clouds)
– New shaded relief on all maps
– New split screen data pages (map + data fields split vertically)
– New ‘perimeter’ data pages (data around edge of map)
– New ‘Recents’ feature to quickly access widgets anytime
– Added 30+ new activity/sport profiles (listed down below)
– New Redshift mode (Epix & MARQ only!)
For reference, here’s the 30+ new sport profiles:
Basketball, Volleyball, Field Hockey, Ice Hockey, Football/Soccer, American Football, Lacrosse, Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, Cricket, Softball, Baseball, Ice Skating, Inline Skating, Archery, Overland, Whitewater, Kayak, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Snorkel, BMX, Motocross, Table Tennis, Squash, Racquetball, Badminton, Platform Tennis, ATV, Snowmobile, Motorcycle
Next, there’s the Forerunner 955/965 side of the house. Literally, it’s a different side of the house. Forerunner falls under the ‘Fitness’ team/division within Garmin, while Fenix/Epix falls under the ‘Outdoor’ division. These two divisions share tons of code, but, sometimes features are born on one side, and used by the other side. Or vice versa. While the units have huge overlap, they also have different priorities – or hardware capabilities. For example, the Fenix/Epix/etc units have a 100m water resistance spec, whereas the Forerunner series has a 50m water resistance spec. As such, for high-speed watersports, those will stay on Fenix/Epix/etc for device profiles.
With that in mind, here’s where things stand for the Forerunner 955 & Forerunner 965, with these features also slated for the 2023 Q3 quarterly update unless otherwise stated. That timeframe for that production release is roughly concurrent with Epix/Fenix for “later this summer”.
– New Endurance Score metric: Yes, part of Q3 2023 firmware update.
– New Hill Score metric: Yes, part of Q3 2023 firmware update
– New weather overlays on maps (precip, temp, wind, clouds): Yes, part of Q3 2023 firmware update
– New shaded relief on all maps: Yes, part of Q3 2023 firmware update
– New split screen data pages (map + data fields split vertically): Potentially Q3 2023, but still finalizing.
– New ‘perimeter’ data pages (data around edge of map): Not likely till Q4 at earliest.
– New ‘Recents’ feature to quickly access widgets anytime: TBD
– Added 30+ new activity/sport profiles (listed down below): The majority will be added, they haven’t finalized the exact list yet, but are saying that “most everything” that isn’t a high-speed watersport will come to the Forerunner 955/965 series.
– New Redshift mode (AMOLED displays): This isn’t currently in the plans for the FR965, but they aren’t saying no either. It’s on the ‘very rainy day’ list.
Also, for the Forerunner 945 LTE, I’m told they’re still sorting out which features will land where there. Once I get that, I’ll get it added in (that doesn’t apply to the older Forerunner 945 non-LTE). Finally – Garmin notes that, as always, things could shift/change if something unexpected on the technical side comes up
Got all that? Good.
Overall, I’d say this is good to see. We’re seeing a slow shift in Garmin’s thinking on backporting features that we didn’t see 3-5 years ago. While they have actually backported many features on various products in the last 1-2 years, I think this represents the most cohesive and comprehensive upgrade list of features we’ve seen yet from Garmin, for updates from current gen to previous gen.
Thanks for reading!
Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!
At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase. These posts generally take a lot of time to put together, so if you're shopping for the Garmin Epix Pro Series, Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Series or Garmin Forerunner 965 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!
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!