Another watch launch by Garmin: Garmin Epix (Gen 2)!

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The Garmin Epix (Gen 2) combines the best features of the Fenix 7 with a vivid AMOLED touchscreen display. It feels like the finishing touch on what was already a fantastic sports watch, with sharp graphs and vibrant maps that are simple to read in any light.

This magnificent display, however, comes at a cost. This is the most expensive Garmin watch to date but also in terms of battery life. The Fenix 7 ran for two weeks between charges, however, the Epix (Gen 2) only lasted six days.

That’s not bad for an AMOLED watch, but it’s something to keep in mind if you prefer off-grid activities. Garmin claims that the Epix is best suited to people who prefer to train in the gym with a few outdoor workouts thrown in, rather than those who only exercise outside.

If you’re not sure whatever the name means, the original Garmin Epix was released in 2018, and while it was acclaimed for its amazing list of capabilities including a touchscreen for navigating maps, it was also bulky and hard to wear. The touchscreen smartwatch was placed on hold until 2022 when the company’s engineers were able to fit all of the essential components into a casing with a 45mm diameter.

The end result is a very high-end timepiece and while it’s worth looking at Garmin’s model range before buying (You should be surprised how many features the mid-range Garmin Instinct 2 has.), the Epix is the one for you if you want the best of the best in sports watches.

Price and release date:

On January 18, 2022, the Garmin Epix (Gen 2) was released on (the same day as the Garmin Fenix 7. It’s one of the company’s most costly watches to date, starting at $899.99 / £799.99 / AU$1,399 for a stainless steel bezel and Corning Gorilla Glass on the face, or $999.99 / £899.99 / AU$1,499 with a sapphire crystal glass as well as a titanium bezel.

If you’re in the UK or Australia, there’s also a £999.99 / AU$1,549 variant with sapphire crystal and titanium bezel, as well as a chestnut leather strap instead of the normal silicone.

The regular Fenix 7 starts at $699.99 / £599.99 / AU$1,049, increasing to $1,999.99 / £859.99 / AU$1,999.99 The upper Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar costs $1,499 USD.

Design: Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

At first impression, the Garmin Epix resembles the Fenix 7 in terms of durability. The brushed metal finish and visible screws on the lugs give it an industrial vibe. The body is built of fiber-reinforced polymer, and the front and back are covered by stainless steel or titanium. This sandwich structure helps keep the watch light while also guaranteeing it can take a few blows.

Unlike the Fenix watches, the Epix (Gen 2) is only available in one size. Its casing measures 47mm in diameter. That is common for most sports watches, albeit it is thicker than most at 14.5mm. Despite this, it doesn’t seem too big on a smaller wrist, and at 76 grams (70 grams for the sapphire/titanium editions), it’s not too heavy.

The Epix (Gen 2) uses 22mm Garmin QuickFit bands. These can be made out of a variety of materials and colors, and they are easy to remove and replace. To release the band, simply push down the blue tabs on the underside.

Five Buttons And TouchScreen

The case has Garmin’s standard five-button layout, with the start button in the top right highlighted. In red and covered by a small bump on either side to avoid accidental presses or damage when on the move (a smart touch since this is the only way to pause an activity in progress).

The gorgeous AMOLED display, on the other hand, is the real star here. The Fenix 7’s biggest flaw was its color memory-in-pixel display, which lacked contrast and was muddy by its blue lighting. There is no such problem with the Epix (Gen 2), that is every bit as impressive as Garmin Venu 2 in 2021.

LED Flashlight

It’s worth spending some time tinkering with the Epix (Gen 2)’s settings before you start wearing it regularly, as the screen wakes up quickly on the default settings. It will illuminate with even the tiniest movement, draining the battery faster than you’d like.

Although the Epix (Gen 2) lacks an LED flashlight like the Fenix 7X. Double-pressing the backlight button causes a sequence of concentric circles to appear on the screen, emitting a significant amount of light. By touching the, you can change the brightness up and down keys, and you can also convert to a red mode if you like.

This is a useful little item that can help you find your socks when you’re going for a pre-dawn run. But it’s no substitute for a genuine flashlight or reflective clothing and a headlamp if you’re running at night.

Battery Life:

The Epix (Gen 2) can last In smartwatch mode, it can last up to 16 days (or six days if you’re constantly on), 42 hours with GPS enabled (or 30 hours in always-on mode), or 75 hours in max battery GPS mode (which follows your position occasionally rather than continually).

The Epix’s battery lasted about six days before the low power indicator kicked in with always-on disabled and monitoring an average of one activity each day. That’s a considerable change from the Fenix 7, which lasted about two weeks in identical conditions.

Solar panels to maintain the batteries charged between charges are not available on Epix (Gen 2) devices. This is a watch intended for folks who do a lot of their exercise in the gym, where sun charging isn’t an issue, according to Garmin. If you spend practically all of your time working out in nature. For you, a Fenix 7 Solar is a better choice. With the proper settings, it can run for weeks.

If you’ll be gone from the house for a lengthy amount of time, the Epix (Gen 2) offers an Expedition mode. That turns off sensors and accessories to save battery life and only records your location once per hour. It’s a big trade-off, but it’ll let you get two weeks out of a single charge.

Garmin’s proprietary link, which connects to the rear of the watch, is used to charge the battery. Wireless induction charging is more convenient. The connection does not shift, unlike so many clip-style chargers, so if you’re upgrading from an earlier Garmin, you may keep the charger as a backup.

Smartwatch Features

No Microphone for calls

A Garmin Epix (Gen 2) is mainly a sport watch, but it may also be used as a smartwatch. Although there is no microphone for answering calls, Android users can choose to decline a call automatically with a text message thanks to the device’s AMOLED display.

Garmin released the Venu 2 Plus in January 2022. That allows you to receive calls and use your phone’s voice assistant from your wrist, and we’re hoping for a similar upgrade for the Epix (Gen 2) shortly.

Music Storage and Streaming

You may save up to 2,000 songs (through the watch’s settings menu), stream music from Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music, or use the watch as a remote to control music playback on your phone.

Although the Epix (Gen 2) lacks cellular connectivity, For faster data transfer, it can connect to a Wi-Fi network. Use the Maps Manager and download apps, and it’s easy to accomplish with the Garmin Connect Mobile application.

NFC for contactless payment

Garmin Pay may also be used to make contactless payments and use public transportation. It may not be as widely accepted as Apple Pay or Google Pay. However, there’s a decent chance it’s compatible with your bank. Allowing you to grab a bottle of water or a snack mid-workout.

There are a limited number of third-party apps available for download through Garmin Connect IQ, compared to Apple’s App Store. The majority of them are for athletics rather than everyday use. However, there are some hidden treasures, and it’s well worth looking through the plethora of other ‘data fields’. These are windows that appear during activity and display relevant stats so you can quickly verify the information you care about.

Fitness tracking

Huge choice of activities: Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

This Garmin Epix (Gen 2) is practically the same as that of Fenix 7 when it comes to activity trackers, albeit with a more appealing look. It contains the same excellent heart rate monitor and top-notch GPS tracking that we tested and found to be accurate & responsive.

Fitness Tracking

The Epix (Gen 2) includes a vast number of workout tracking profiles. That goes far beyond merely counting distance, heart rate, and time, as you’d expect from a premium Garmin watch. Runners, cyclists, and swimmers are especially well catered for, and triathlons, duathlons, swim-runs, and other events have a multi-sports profile so you don’t have to track each stage as a distinct activity.

A graph displaying your expected race times for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon events. In addition to how they change throughout time in response to your training efforts, is one of the best new tools for runners. This information was previously only available through the Garmin Connect app. But you can now see it right on your wrist alongside other important fitness metrics like your VO2 Max and training load.

It’s a little point, but it makes a difference clear indication of how you’re progressing (or not), as well as an extra dose of drive. Graphs and charts are sharp, detailed, and easy to read at a glance thanks to the AMOLED display.

Help Balance training and rest:

The on-wrist stamina meter is another new tool that shows how much juice is left in the tank during a race or training session. This feature is presently available for runners and cyclists, but it may be expanded to more sports in the future. It allows you to adjust your effort on the fly. To ensure you’re not holding back too much or risking bottoming out.

The Epix (Gen 2), like other Garmin, watches was released in recent months. Does a fantastic job of balancing exertion and recuperation. You’ll get not only the standard Body Battery score (which tracks your energy levels throughout the day and displays how well you have recharged overnight), but you’ll also get training and fitness-specific advice.

Unlike some smartwatches, which just push you to fit in some sort of exercise every day. The Epix (Gen 2) enables you to engage in a variety of activities with adequate rest intervals in between.

Changing fitness shown on-screen

The workout ideas were very beneficial; the Epix suggested that we were spending too much time training. At a low aerobic threshold, we would benefit from some shorter, harder sessions. Instead of a plain out-and-back, it proposed some different training styles (such as threshold and tempo sessions) to help us attain that. Following them led to an increase in VO2 max and a decrease in expected race times.

The Epix (Gen 2) has monitoring settings for the gym, pool, and even the golf course, so it’s not just for outside cardio. The watch works with the Garmin Golf application and comes with hundreds of course maps pre-loaded.

When it comes to maps, Garmin’s satellite navigation expertise shows through. All maps are crisp and detailed. In our tests, the Epix (Gen 2) established a satellite lock in a matter of seconds. Even in a densely populated area. The watch was accurate to within 200m on a measured 5km trip. A margin of error is easily explained by the fact that we were using public roads.

Companion app:

The Epix (Gen 2), like all Garmin sports watches, connects to the Garmin Connect mobile app. This is available for Android and iOS. Although it appears basic at first glance, providing your daily health and activity in a neat dashboard, it is one of the most feature-rich fitness apps available.

The watch will automatically sync with the app after each training session. You’ll receive a notification on both devices when it’s ready to view. You’ll find a massive amount of data, all of which is presented clearly and concisely, including maps and graphs where necessary. The program keeps track of your activity for years, allowing you to simply sift through them and spot patterns.

Can generate custom routes

You may either download courses to the Epix (Gen 2) from sources like Training Peaks or make your own. In the Garmin Connect app if you’re searching for a novel training path to liven things up. Other programs simply let you draw routes by tapping waypoints on a map. While Garmin Connect can automatically create a route based on your choices.

Simply select an activity, a starting point, or a distance. Whether you want an out-and-back or a loop, the app will generate a map for you in seconds. Do you love to ride your cycle on quiet streets rather than jog up hills? No issue; the app will take it into account and then send the resulting route to your watch. That will give you turn-by-turn directions.

Creates adaptive training plans

Garmin Connect also has a training program for runners and cyclists that adjust based on your performance. Choose an event to train for, a date, and a goal time, and the app will schedule weekly exercises for you to complete. With appropriate rest intervals in between. As you progress through the plan, it will change. Sync with your Epix (Gen 2), which will guide you along the way.

You can learn more about the app if you go a little deeper into it. You’ll find capabilities for tracking weight, calories, hydration, your menstrual cycle, and more. There’s even a gear tracker to keep track of how long you’ve been wearing your favorite pair of running shoes or cycling shorts. People create apps that are passionate about sports, and their knowledge shines through in the small things.

Conclusion

The Epix (Gen 2) is excellent for navigation; the bright AMOLED screen is ideal for maps, and the touch interface makes panning over them simple.

Outdoors, a Garmin Fenix 7 Solar watch will last longer. But if you also want to include some gym time into your routine. You might be willing to swap that for the Epix (Gen 2)’s the sharper screen.

When it comes to battery life, the Epix (Gen 2) isn’t bad. But if you need to track your location for several days without charging. The Fenix 7 Solar watch is a better option.

This is an undeniably costly watch, and it’s worth your time. Look at the rest of Garmin’s offerings before making your decision. You are surprised by how much an Instinct 2 watch can accomplish.

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