In the good old days of 2015, if you wanted a Garmin with full mapping, the Garmin Epix was the watch you would buy. It had a square screen and looked a bit odd, but it worked surprisingly well.
The whole Garmin Fenix 7 The range now has great mapping support, so where’s the Garmin Epix? Well, it has a new place. The second generation Garmin Epix (sometimes referred to as the Epix 2) is basically a Fenix 7 with an OLED screen.
This makes it an excellent option if you want Top class running watch that doesn’t have a boring MIP screen. It has all of the deep tracking capabilities you would find on the Fenix 7, but with a brighter display. You’ll have to pay for that with the battery, though, as the new Epix only lasts about a week between charges. That’s great by smartwatch standards, but not a patch for the Fenix 7.
You can improve this by turning off the always-on screen mode, but it makes the Garmin Epix less comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis. Problem two: It costs a not-so-small fortune, around £200/$200 more than the base-level Fenix 7, and there’s no solar charging option.
We find it hard to argue that the Epix is worth so much more than the brilliant Fenix 7. But it’s still one of the best fitness trackers out there.
price and release date
- Released early 2022
- Base model from $899/£799
The Garmin Epix was announced alongside the Fenix 7 series watches in January 2022, seven years after the original Epix. Garmin sometimes refers to it as the “Epix (Gen 2)” to ensure it isn’t confused with its great-grandfather.
It is one of Garmin’s most expensive watches. The base model costs $899 / £799. It has a stainless steel bezel and a Gorilla Glass DX screen protector. For an additional $100/£100 you can get an Epix with a titanium bezel and sapphire crystal. Sapphire is more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass and titanium lowers the watch’s weight.
design and presentation
- Sharp AMOLED screen
- Lighter than the Fenix 7
One of our main complaints when testing the Fenix 7 was that it felt quite bulky and heavy, so you might not want to carry it all the time. The titanium version of the Epix takes significant steps to address this issue. It’s still big, 47mm in diameter and 14.5mm thick. But the slightly lower weight alleviates the problem.
Garmin’s classic MIP display style is replaced here with an AMOLED screen measuring 1.3 inches. This looks sharp but has some downsides, namely that it uses a lot of power when you’re standing outside as it has to turn up the brightness to be visible.
Now is probably a good time to address battery life. Garmin says the Epix will last up to six days in always-on screen mode, or 16 days if you turn it off. We think this estimate is actually quite conservative. During testing, the Epix lost 24% battery power after two days of general use with no tracked workouts. This suggests that about eight days is possible.
Garmin also claims that the watch will last 24 hours if you have all satellite system tracking options turned on. We found this to be broadly accurate, seeing a 4% battery drain after an hour of run tracking.
For background, we usually use the term “GPS” to refer to all satellite positioning systems, but it really refers to the Global Positioning System owned by the United States. In addition to GPS, the Epix can use the European GALILEO, Russian GLONASS, Japanese QZSS and Chinese BEIDOU systems. You can actually extend battery life by switching to a GPS-only function, which gives you 30 hours of juice instead of 24.
- Detailed tracking across multiple sports
- On Watch Cards
- Good music support
Garmin packs a lot of nerdy, detailed features into its watches, and the Garmin Epix is no exception. Let’s take indoor cycling as an example.
The Garmin Epix can connect to Smart Turbo trainers, which in itself is an unusual bonus. You’ll see metrics recorded by the trainer on your watch screen, which is nice – but there’s more. The Epix can actually control the resistance of the trainer and you can sync complete cycling workouts to the watch. These can be simple, structured routines that you create yourself, or they can be based on real-world routes.
This feature is possible because of the original Epix model’s unique selling point: on-watch cards. These are complete maps that can be downloaded to the wearable and contain detailed road and topography data.
There are 57 activity modes on the watch if we counted correctly. And while cheaper watches can have over 100 modes, many of these will do little more than record your heart rate. As we’ve already established, Garmin is more interested in creating detailed features. Hardcore runners, for example, will enjoy using the PacePro feature. This allows you to work out a pace for longer (or short) runs based on the time score you’re trying to achieve. You schedule these on your phone in the Garmin Connect app and send them to Epix.
There are lighter things too. Garmin offers multi-week training plans for couch-to-5K folks, and there are similar plans for cyclists too. For yoga and weightlifting, you can sync guided workouts to the watch. There are classes that come pre-programmed into Garmin Connect, or you can create your own by drawing in specific yoga poses and exercises at the gym. It’s also all accessible for free with no subscription required.
However, all of these features can be a bit overwhelming. You’ll have to dig deep to find out what the Epix can do.
However, the day-to-day experience with the Garmin Epix is straightforward. Swipe or tap down under the watch face and you’ll find a quick summary of all your recent stats, such as: B. how long you slept, your step count, your heart rate and your stress level. The “Start” button on the side of the watch takes you to the tracking mode menu where you start a run, walk or bike activity. Most of the time, these are the only interactions you need to worry about.
Like other mid-range and high-end Garmins, the Garmin Epix supports apps downloaded from Connect IQ. This is the Garmin App Store.
While there’s not much here compared to a real smartwatch’s library, there are some useful extras like Komoot, Samsung SmartThings and some third-party apps that can be used to control Philips Hue lights. You also use Connect IQ to download apps for Epix’s supporting music services: Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music.
Alternatively, you can transfer music files to the Epix’s own storage, which is handy if you don’t subscribe to any of the supported services. And when you run/walk with your phone, it can control the music playing on the phone. If your bank supports Garmin Pay, you can also use Epix for wireless payments.
- Good heart rate monitoring
- Brilliantly accurate GPS
- Flaky SpO2 readings
The SpO2 readings are the only notably flaky feature on the watch. This is your blood oxygen level, measured using a feature called Pulse Ox. We used the 2-minute health snapshot mode to give the watch the best chance of getting a good reading, but found our readings to be all over the place and completely unreliable.
The rest of the Epix’s sensors are much better. We didn’t see any of the weird altimeter readings advertised in ours Garmin Venus 2 Plus Checking which resulted in the clock saying we climbed a small mountain most days.
Its GPS is an absolute joy to use, locking on to the signal almost instantly. We saw no dropouts and no overly creative route planning. It even consistently placed us on the right-hand side of the road, only claiming that we ran right through a building a few times in the first few minutes of a tracked workout. We suspect the Epix signals an active GPS connection before the triangulation is 100% complete, which is why it feels so instant.
Heart rate results were similarly strong. It’s in a completely different league than the Suunto 9 Peak we’ve recently tried, with effective HR strap-quality reliability in most situations. It tracks the sprint from a baseline with a moderately high effort well, which some trackers typically miss completely.
The performance of a wrist-worn heart rate monitor can vary depending on the tightness of the strap, skin tone, and the shape of your wrist. But we’re more than happy with the Garmin Epix’s results based on our testing.
The Garmin Epix is a Fenix 7 with an AMOLED screen. You get all the depth, the labyrinthine array of features, and virtually the same reliable tracking accuracy.
Its battery doesn’t last as long due to changed display tech, but for most the idea of charging once a week is hardly a major issue. Longer battery life is also possible if you’re content with the screen only turning on when you’re using the watch or swiping your wrist toward your face.
However, the money involved raises the question of value. Garmin’s “entry-level” Epix costs $200/£200 more than the standard Fenix 7. While the extra $100/£100 for sapphire crystal, double the storage and a lighter titanium-coated case is a good deal, you don’t get the solar charging feature available in the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar.
Garmin’s Fenix 7 is likely a more affordable watch, but if you’re buying at this level you might be less bothered by the cost differences.
If that’s not for you
The decisive alternative to the Garmin Epix is obvious. It’s the Fenix 7 that has a screen that looks duller indoors but can be clearer outdoors. The entry-level Fenix 7 costs a lot less, despite offering exactly the same substance – at least beneath the surface.
You should also consider the Garmin Venu 2 range. These cost a lot less than the Fenix or Epix, are smaller, lighter and more comfortable. You’re missing out on a lot of advanced features, but aside from on-watch maps and the Epix’s slightly more nerdy approach to stats, many of these will likely go untapped by the majority of Epix owners.
If your main goal is GPS tracking of well-known runs and walks, where you don’t use the actual watch to navigate, then the Huawei GT 3 is worth checking out as well. It has little of the depth of the Epix, but has a nice screen, long battery life, and GPS activity tracking perfect for a fraction of the cost.
Garmin Epix 2 review | Live Science Source link Garmin Epix 2 review | Live Science