Garmin Adds More Features to Fenix 7/Epix Series, Including Nap Tracking

IMG 0103

Garmin has just pushed out the first public beta iteration for their 4th quarter update, which will likely hit production in 4-6 weeks (assuming typical timelines hold true). This update appears to be including a blend of both recently introduced features (such as Nap Tracking on the Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 5 units), as well as some new features entirely. Albeit, most of these are smaller features at this point.

First up, here’s the quick-hit list of additions, as noted on the release notes for beta version 15.68. This includes the Fenix 7 and 7 Pro, Fenix 7x and 7x Pro, Fenix 7s and 7s Pro, Epix and Epix Pro 42mm/47mm/51mm, Enduro 2, Quatix 7, and MARQ Gen 2.

I’ve excluded the much longer list of fixes/tweaks/etc from the below, and kept it to just the ‘Added’ things:

1) Added the ability to track naps, including a new Nap widget and an updated Sleep widget.
2) Additions and enhancements to the Body Battery feature
3) Added audio prompts for course points
4) Added the ability to display images within smart notifications (Android only)
5) Added phone lost detection during an activity. Enabled in system alert settings
6) Added large font mode which can be accessed in System > Display menu
7) Added workout audio notes support
8) Added Inline Skating activity
9) Added a Moon Phase widget
10) Added tracking of splits for Ski
11) Added NAVIC GPS support
12) Added a confirmation popup when saving an activity via touch.
13) Added ability to enable Red Shift when Do Not Disturb is enabled
14) Expanded Red Shift functionality to include Orange and Green colors as well (AMOLED models only.)

The big ticket item is of course nap tracking, which doesn’t require you do anything to track the naps. Though, it will let you manually start a nap tracking session via the new Nap widget (seen above), which you can add. That ‘Start Nap’ actually doesn’t technically trigger the nap, but instead, lets you put the watch into the sleep mode so you don’t get disturbed, as well as set an alarm/timer for a set duration:

IMG 0111 IMG 0112 IMG 0113

In my case, I didn’t have time for a nap today. It was a very busy day, thus maybe tomorrow. Actually, definitely not tomorrow. I’ll be lucky if I make it back off the trail before dark. Perhaps Friday. Here’s how it would show on the Venu 3, post-nap:


Setting that aside, some of the other listed features above are there to support the nap tracking. For example, Body Battery “additions and enhancements” includes the new breakout contributing “factors” that we saw on the Venu 3 and Vivoactive 5 as well, roughly like this as seen on the Venu 3:


It’ll now show the same on the Epix/Fenix, listing the exact amount for each activity (normally you’d see stressful moments, workouts, naps, etc…). For example, right now my Epix Pro shows a Hike impacting it by “-9”:

IMG 0115 IMG 0114

But, since I wasn’t wearing this particular watch all day (had the Suunto Race & Polar Vantage V3 on my wrists), the data isn’t super complete like you’d see on the Venu 3 example above.

Speaking of other notable new features, we see the ability to show text message images if paired to an Android phone (Apple restricts access to this on iOS, thus Garmin can’t do that for Apple phones). Again, something we saw launched on the Venu 3 and Vivoactive 5.

However, one totally new feature is the ability to enable Audio prompts for course points. I’m gonna give this a whirl tomorrow, since I’ve got an absurdly long hike on the docket. There’s also the ability to get a notification if the phone disconnects during a workout. That’s actually something that would be legit useful, because I’ve had my phone fly out of my pocket while trail running once, and had to go find it in the bushes quite a long time later.

In any event, as always, you can sign up for the Garmin public beta updates, which get delivered to your device wirelessly. Because this is an earlier public beta build, you must force your watch to update via the settings menu. It will not automatically install this build until later in the public beta cycle.

With that – thanks for reading!

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  1. Eduardo

    Not for FR965?

  2. Rémy

    Is there any chance to see these features on F955/965?

  3. Wojtek

    Is the body battery future supported by Physio TrueUp? If ride a bike on Edge, do I get full stats? Or I need to run now all activities on epix?

    • Ahbe

      +1, I’d love an answer to this. It’s not clear if that works or not, even in my limited testing.

    • Patrick

      yes and no… my edge 530 (i think its the same with newer units) doesn’t support BB as such so your watch gets the sync of ride data and puts in some sort of estimated BB drain. in my experience it is typically a fairly low drain rate compared to the effort of the ride – typically after a ride the drain rate the next few hours will be higher than it was during the ride due to post-exercise stress

  4. Adam


    The forums have just posted about the course audio alerts – they require some additional files that should be available soon


  5. Rémy

    Thanks for your reply ! I hope you’re right :)

  6. Sam

    Message images on my Fenix 7??? Really that would be awesome.

    • Sam

      I couldn’t get what’s app messages but security camera images worked! That’s even bette

    • Marek

      Hi Sam,

      I have Fenix 7X and I’m not able to see images on my watch if I get a message from messenger or WhatsApp. Should I change some settings to activate it? Or is it somehow limited?

  7. DK

    #rip FR965 lol

  8. Akhtar

    Thanks for the update… I’m updating it on my Epix gen 2.

  9. Joel Ibarra

    Will the Instinct 2x Solar have this feature added eventually? I really need nap tracking

    • Christopher Woolson

      Garmin is not supporting map mode to any of the instinct models. Hoping they will do so after offering it in beta for the more expensive models.

  10. acousticbiker

    Also noting Daily Summary made it, along with a Moon Phases glance.

    Don’t see Sleep Coach, though – any word on whether that will be added?

  11. edwin

    I would love it if Garmin offered an actual sleep activity. Mine always gets my sleep times wrong so all the readiness and body battery numbers are off. Sure, it might take a few weeks to get into the habit of starting and stopping it but long-term it would help make it accurate. It could also get hints from my phone: if my phone is unlocked it means I’m awake. Or offer me the ability to edit my sleep start and end time when reading the morning report.

  12. Thomas

    There is a type here:
    “I’ve excluded the much longer list of fixes/tweaks/etc from the below, and kept it to just teh ‘Added’ things:”

    I guess the typical Garmin customer is getting older, hence the large fonts option :-D

    I think the phone lost detection makes total sense… I never take the phone to a run, but still, could be helpful for a hike or something.

  13. Anders

    Wow, large font mode – finally – really looking forward to that.

    • Alby

      Hopefully…and displaying images beyond the text of messages would be a great thing too. Let’s hope Forerunner 955 isn’t left behind

  14. Niklas

    Hi Ray! Your text says Epix, but I assume you mean Epix Gen 2 and not the original Epix, that came out 2014.

    • Paul S.

      I think that goes without saying. The last update for the original Epix was about a year after it came out. I think Garmin is quietly trying to forget that there ever was an original.

    • Anders

      It works fine on Epix 2. Just got the beta and the updated features are really, really nice

    • Niklas

      Yes, but it should still be pointed out in the text, for optimal clarity.

    • Will

      “I think Garmin is quietly trying to forget that there ever was an original.”

      I agree with this. That’s gotta be why the product is branded as Epix (Gen 2) as opposed to Epix 2. They want ppl to call it an Epix in casual speech, and we’re already seeing that in the titles of YouTube reviews, etc.

      Wonder what the next model after Epix (Gen 2) and Epix Pro (Gen 2) will be.

      Epix 2 (Gen 2)? Epix (Gen 3)? Epix 3?

      They kinda painted themselves in a corner here lol. Epix 3 would probably be the smarter move, but Epix 2 (Gen 2) would be hilarious bc of the ambiguity it would create whenever anyone says “Epix 2”.

  15. Alby

    Thanks for your work… do you know if these updates will also arrive on Forerunner 955? thanks again…and find time for a nap😉

  16. TomTom

    Hey Ray, as a Garmin user I was really surprised when a friend showed me what his Huawei Watch 4 Pro can do. In smartwatch terms it seems way ahead of Apple/Samsung and I was curious how does it compare in sports department to the likes of Garmin (from various reviews I know their watches have a better heart rate sensor). I know Huawei products are banned in the US but in Europe people actually use them a lot so why no reviews? Probably will stick with Garmin for analytics but why not test watches that seem better than Fitbit, Samsung and Apple?

  17. Pascal

    Hi Ray,

    Hope you are doing well! I just discovered that they also added daily summary in the update. This is under the health & Wellness. It’s not mentioned anywhere although you stated it in another review.
    Cheers Pascal

  18. Ante

    What is “NAVIC GPS support”?

  19. Alex

    I’ve heard of these naps before… With 2 small kids, job, life, training, etc. that’s one feature I won’t be using.

  20. Fabian C.

    Finally Inline Skating is there, it does even feature a Indoor/Outdoor option 😊 and a very serviceable default Data Screen. I was always wondering why there were so many “obscure” activity types and not this one (you can go to any trail on any mayor city and you will find someone doing Inline Skating / Rollerblading)

  21. Alberto

    Moon phase widget?The Instinct had that on 2018…

  22. MatthewQC

    Got to give props for the humble brag of the nap widget conveniently sandwiched between a 7000+ endurance score and nearly 20000 steps for the day. Although it’s probably not as high as The Girl’s stats right now. Wonder what the Garmin training recommendation was post-Kona … probably “take a nap”, am I right?

    • Haha, and the next day was…75,000 steps! Hahah..

      Yeah, she took some pictures of it post-Kona. It was all zero’s for Training Readiness and such. Her Endurance Score has been floating in the mid-8 to low-9 range. Mine was in the low 8,000’s again, but then got whacked with the September of product launches reducing my time for longer workouts.

  23. They changed the tones as well during workouts (when have headset connected to your watch). The beep is different, much more audible.

  24. Mark Cohen

    Heads up on a great deal on Fenix 7x Solar at buydig.com for $562.99
    I verified this is a US version, brand new in the box. I just ordered one. The deal is good through 10/31.


  25. Radha Krishna

    I have a query regarding the AMOLED screens on Garmin. Anyone experienced Burn-in? I read many reddit posts and Garmin forum too, citing Venu 1 series had severe burn in and some Venu 2 also. I am interested in the new Venu 3 series and I am thinking if any improvements have been made or this is still an issue with ALMOLED screens used by Garmin. If not Venu 3, I might have to go with the PW2 (waiting for DCR’s review on it).

    • TomTom

      Burn in will happen sooner or later, that’s just the nature of this limited technology. Question is: are you willing to go all out consumerism style like most people here and buy a new watch every year or two or do you prefer buying and using a lot longer than that…

    • TomTom

      Hi hari Krishna, burn in doesn’t exist on the latest Garmin watches. You can safely use AOD. So no worries about that.

    • Radha Krishna

      That’s not entirely true. My friend has a Galaxy Watch 3 and there is no burn it till now. It’s just how the company cleverly designs algorithms to prevent burn-in..

    • TomtTom

      Maybe but you can’t prevent organic diode from burning out, it will fade eventually and with AoD rather sooner than later. There was even a warning when I used a Garmin watch with AMOLED and they tell you this in the manual.

    • Burn-in on AMOLED/LCD screens is largely a thing of the past. We saw some with the Venu 1, but the watches from all companies are largely smart enough now to pixel shift/dim/etc automatically to prevent it. I haven’t seen/heard of any burn-in on watches from the 1-2 years, short of some sort of one-off watch malfunction.

    • Radha Krishna

      Thanks for the confirmation. Because Garmin devices are meant to last longer, I typically wish to use them for at least 5 years.

    • TomTom

      I’m honestly curious whether your watch in AOD mode will last that many years. If so, I will back down peacefully. But the truth is, these displays aren’t meant to be always on, they last many years in TVs and smartphones but I’m not sure about watches. And I’m talking purely about longevity, not burn in.

    • Radha Krishna

      I may not use AOD (not a huge fan of it), but tilt to wake is fine for me. MIP displays last longer. I own a Vivoactive 3 right now and it’s still perfect, not a single defect. I could say the same regarding my brother’s Galaxy Watch 3 which has AMOLED, he used it for 3 years (without AOD) and so far it’s fine. If it can last me 5 years without AOD, I would be perfectly happy. I am okay spending 450$ every 5-6 years (assuming I get the Venu 3).

    • TomTom

      Yeah without AOD it will last 5 years no problem. I just wouldn’t be able to use gesture mode as I switched to Garmin because raise to wake pissed me off on other watches. And on AMOLED it still kinda pisses me off because of constant dimming. Well, let’s hope Garmin won’t fully abandon MIP displays or will come up with some other tech (micro LED or something).

  26. Mark Pinkerton Sr.


  27. Dan Scoular

    It looks like they’ve improved the auto-brightness on Fenix 7 Pro. Fantastic!

  28. JD

    Only slightly off topic.. Anyone, Anyone..

    Is it likely that one of the new hardware features of Fenix 8 will be a camera? Kinda miss that feature in the old Samsung watch I had. I’d hold on to my Fenix 3 a little longer if that’s probable (instead of getting the Fenix 7 pro now)..

    • Paul S.

      Seems very unlikely. Garmin abandoned the action camera business a long time ago. The Apple Watch doesn’t have a camera and isn’t likely to, since the iPhone has excellent cameras. I can’t think of any other watch with a camera built in. You can, of course, control cameras from a watch. I do that with my old VIRB 360 and my new Epix, and there’s a “Camera Remote” app on my Ultra that controls the iPhone. I can’t see why it would be worthwhile to go to all the trouble. I can’t see it as a big draw.

  29. Adam

    There have been rumors about wrist temp tracking. I downloaded this temp x connect iq app a while back. It would show two temperatures- which I presumed to be ambient watch temp and skin temp. They were usually close but didn’t often match.

    Well the last week this third temp has popped up, intermittently and not often. Cannot pinpoint when or why it activates but it looks to me like wrist temp is almost certainly what it’s looking at.

    @dcrainmaker thoughts?

    • vpier

      There is a SkinTemp folder under the /Garmin folder, which though I don’t know whether it used to be there before the new Beta 15.68 update or not. On the other hand side, the SkinTemp folder seems to be placed on all watches (Pro and non-Pro watches) that got the beta 15.68 update, so no linking with the new Elevate HR v5.

      It seems that skin temperature will be released soon as part of this beta lifecycle if Garmin doesn’t remove the folder, although it is a bit confusing that the folder appears on all watches.

      What I am more interested in is if Garmin will utilise the data in a meaningful way, e.g. detect onset of illness (long shot) or for better estimating sleep cycles (more down to earth feature).

  30. King Bradley

    How many of the new features will also end up on the Forerunner 265?
    Is there anything known?

    • SoCorsu

      Waiting for the next Beta phase, as of today no news.
      link to forums.garmin.com

    • King Bradley

      Nice! A new public beta version 17.18 is out:

      Change Log

      -Adds embedded images in smart notifications
      -Adds naps and personalized sleep insights
      -Adds new functionality to body battery
      -Adds red shift.
      -Adds inline skating.
      -Adds large font mode.
      -Adds up ahead voice prompts.
      -Fixes an issue where workouts were missing from some activity profiles.
      -Fixes an issue that could cause the device to reset when scrolling through the calendar glance.
      -Fixes course point limitations.
      -Fixes some Spotify and related music issues.
      -Various UI improvements and fixes.
      -Sensor Hub Firmware update.

      Glad to see the nap feature is coming to the FR265.

  31. Radha Krishna

    Garmin needs to change its update policy. I like the new Venu 3, but until this moment, I was under the impression that it supports Garmin Courses, but unfortunately, it doesn’t. In the past, it was acceptable because there was a considerable price difference between Vivoactive and FR series but now Venu 3 is identically priced as FR265 and although there are a few differences like the new HR sensor on Venu 3, and FR has multiband GPS, FR has a lot of features/metrics which are not seen in Venu 3. I wouldn’t ask for all the running metrics and things, but Courses are very basic functionality, and at 449$ it feels like not a good idea to exclude it. The reason I wish to choose Venu 3 is for the presence of a mic and speaker. I am not sure if Ray is still following this post, but if you are, it would be great if you could ask them if they have any plans to bring this to the Venu 3 series.

  32. David Tunney

    Would you have an example of a notification with an embedded image please Ray?

    • albert

      I also wonder what it is… I think it’s the possibility, in addition to messages, to receive photos…

    • Radha Krishna

      Yes. It was introduced in the Venu 3 series I believe ( I am sure it’s there on Venu 3, but not sure if it was introduced earlier). A message with an embedded image (if any). I am not sure if it supports all the apps or its limited to certain apps. Ray should comment on that. I also think its Android only.

    • albert

      Unfortunately it seems that WhatsApp is not supported

    • Radha Krishna

      Hopefully, it will come as an update later.


    I have installed the new beta 17.18 on my F965 and I am really happy with the first impressions. The GPS is giving me more precise tracks than before in Sat IQ mode, the weather widget is now updated based on the location and more things that I am testing

  34. Matthew Harris

    …would love to have the moon phase widget on the fr 965…

  35. Andrzej

    What’s about Sleep Coach?

  36. Chris

    My 955 is recording “naps” while TV. Ha ha ha

  37. Chris Karam

    Yo! Appreciate all your write-ups and videos! I have the Epix 2, but don’t see how to engage the Nap widget. Help!


    • Calvin

      Same here. I have an Epix (gen 2) non-pro. Just updated to 15.74 and still no nap widget or sleep coach. Is it possible that it only went to the Epix Pro?

    • Calvin

      Never mind! I spoke too soon. It wasn’t in my Glance list because it was already added to all the widgets… oops. It must have come with this latest update. Perhaps I’ll see the sleep coach soon, too?

  38. John Reinke

    Fyi, I just received the update (version 15.74) to my Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar. I’m not a beta user, so the update is public now. Check for updates if you’re not a beta user and you’re waiting for it.
    Too bad I didn’t check sooner – I had a nice long nap this afternoon which would have been a great opportunity to test it! It’s a feature I’ve been wanting ever since I started sleep tracking on my previous Fenix.

  39. Tee

    FR265 got also updates like nap and new body battery.

  40. Darin Rohatinsky

    But my nap didn’t show in garmin connect app in iOS

  41. Ray,

    Since you tested all versions, what size of Garmin Epix gen 2 pro that you prefer?

    I am moving back to Garmin from Apple Watch Ultra 2. As a pool swimmer, I miss the custom large data screens and interval metrics provided by Garmin during swim workouts. I am concerned that the Epix pro 51mm may be too large and heavy (88g) for swimming. I also have a Garmin 6X Pro Solar, and experienced heart rate spikes on the 51 mm version while swimming. Since Garmin now offers ability to enlarge text size in the new software update, I am gravitating towards the Epix gen. 2 pro 47mm (70 g). I am 5’-9” and 178 lbs. Any thoughts?

  42. Charles

    Anyone know when Garmin is going to add individual network connection for their fenix series watches so one can send sms or make calls without a phone?