Garmin Epix Gen 2
Garmin Epix Gen 2 combines the best of the Fenix and Venu series and makes them 10 times more attractive.
Garmin has taken all the best features of the Fenix and Venu series and mixed them all to create a premium AMOLED smartwatch for people who can afford that luxury.
DID YOU KNOW?
Garmin is working hard to make its products more appealing to less die-hard sports fans, and the new Epix franchise is a prime example of that effort. It’s essentially an upgraded Garmin Fenix 6 Pro paired with an AMOLED screen and features from the Garmin Venu 2.
Unsurprisingly, the Epix is one of the best smartwatches that will appeal to people who are willing to shell out a not-so-low price for this device. What do you get for your hard-earned money? A great watch with tons of smart features for health and wellness.
Price and availability
Garmin Epix was announced in January 2022 and is already available for purchase in Garmin stores in the US, UK, and Australia, we do not yet know about the start of sales in Russia.
Epix is available in slate steel, black titanium sapphire, white titanium sapphire, black/charcoal gray titanium sapphire DLC. Garmin Epix MSRP starts at $899.99.
In terms of dimensions, the Garmin Epix is similar to the Fenix 6. The bezel is thinner and the screws are in different places, but the overall thickness and width of the watch case are the same.
And as expected from Garmin watches, the build quality of the Garmin Epix is impressive. Even the base model features a Corning Gorilla Glass DX lens, a stainless steel frame, and a fiber-reinforced polymer body with steel back. The more expensive Sapphire Edition uses a sapphire glass lens and titanium bezel, as well as a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a titanium case back.
The Sapphire model is 6 grams lighter than the stainless steel model; 70/76 grams with strap respectively.
The layout of the 5 buttons is the same as on any other Garmin watch. You can control the Epix with the touchscreen, similar to the new Garmin Fenix 7 and of course the Venu 2. The silicone strap is the same as the Fenix 7 and is flexible, comfortable, and highly customizable.
The real hit is the AMOLED screen. It’s a 1.3-inch display with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels, and it’s pretty darn bright. I liked the Venu 2’s display and I’m sure the Epix uses the same display, or something very similar. It is easy to read in the daytime on the street, and it looks beautiful.
I would classify the Garmin Epix as a rugged smartwatch, which is why it is slightly larger than your Apple Watch 7 or Huawei Watch GT 3 . Epix also only comes in one size, which is great because you don’t have to think about which size to choose. Compare that to 22 different Fenix 7 variants.
One thing missing from Epix is solar charging. This, I was told, is because the AMOLED screen is so power-hungry that adding even a new updated Power Glass to the Epix won’t make much of a difference in battery life, but it will increase the price significantly. In short, there is currently no user benefit from enabling solar charging in Epix.
Why is it Gen 2
Although this is a new franchise, Garmin calls the epic “Gen 2”. This can be confusing since there was no Gen 1 Epix before. Well, no, there is a Gen 1 Epix, but they are seven years old and, apart from the name, do not look like new at all.
Think of epic as a restart, Garmin’s attempt to fix things and make Epix the bridge between fitness and outdoor watches.
Like the Fenix models, the Garmin Epix has a million features, more than the average person can fully utilize.
You get the new Elevate V4 optical heart rate sensor that measures all-day heart rate, tracks respiration and stress, advanced sleep with assessment and analytics, monitors body energy, batteries, and more. Most of the advanced features use the Firstbeat Analytics algorithm, which provides one of the most accurate estimates in a wearable device.
For best results, you should wear your watch all day long for accurate Body Battery and stress measurements. Wearing your watch at all times will help Epix provide you with more accurate recovery estimates. I find the watch a little bulky to wear 24/7, especially if you wear it properly when it’s tight against the skin, it won’t feel comfortable to most people.
Epix has the same multi-band frequency and multi-GNSS support for better and more accurate GPS positioning. This means that the watch picks up the GPS signal and keeps it easier.
Inherited from the Fenix series, Epix comes preloaded with TopoActive maps with free access to download maps of multiple continents from around the world. Updated SkiView Maps with new metrics and improved overview of slope activity from around the world.
The Garmin Epix has memory for storing music and maps on the watch. Music can be downloaded from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer (requires a subscription to these services). Cards can be swapped using the Card Manager feature on the watch.
Tracking and Accuracy
As expected from Garmin wearables, the Epix is pretty accurate when it comes to heart rate tracking. I tested the watch along with the Fenix 7 and noticed that the rep count on the Epix works a little better than on the Fenix 7. The motion sensor in the Epix should be more sensitive as the screen would often light up even if the watch was on the table and I was typing on the laptop next to it.
The GPS accuracy is similar to the Fenix 7: after starting the exercise, it took the Epix a few seconds to determine the exact position, and it followed me relatively accurately. In the worst case, they deviated by 1-2 meters, but in general, the route followed exactly.
The heart rate accuracy on the Epix is excellent. I’ve used them for running, weight training, and HIIT and they gave accurate readings most of the time. I could see everything on the heart rate graph in the Garmin Connect app after my workouts.
In the end, just because Epix watches are for the less ardent fitness enthusiast doesn’t mean Garmin will make the watch unusable by athletes.
For example, Epix is ready to go with Garmin Coach, an adaptive running trainer that matches your running program with your progress has PacePro, which tracks your pace strategy with level-adjusted recommendations as you progress through the course, and Real-Time Stamina. to track and manage load during activity to avoid burnout.
Plus, there are daily workout recommendations, and Epix even has animated workouts that you can watch on your watch. There are new HIIT workout modes (AMRAP and EMOM) so you can use Epix for cross-training.
The Garmin Epix has quite a long battery life for an AMOLED watch. Just two years ago, OLED watches could last up to two days on battery, while Garmin Epix watches can last up to 16 days in smartwatch mode with GPS turned off.
This time is reduced to 6 days if you set the always-on screen, and increases to 21 days when the power saving mode is on.
Battery life with GPS is a little trickier: up to 42 hours with GPS only, up to 32 hours with all satellite systems on, up to 20 hours with all satellite systems and multi-band tracking enabled, and finally up to 10 hours with all satellite systems. and music is on. Phew!
There is also a max battery GPS mode that gives you 75 hours of GPS tracking (but doesn’t track your movements every second), and with expeditionary mode enabled, the GPS Epix will last up to 14 days between two charges.
In practice and with average usage, you won’t need to charge your Epix more than once every two weeks. Not bad for an AMOLED watch!
Garmin Epix is a shiny premium smartwatch. They are rock solid and accurate enough to be used for running training just like other top Garmin watches.
I understand that there are technical limitations and Garmin may intentionally want to make their watches bulky, but I think the Epix would benefit from being a bit thinner and lighter. A watch of this size is not very comfortable to wear while sleeping and if you don’t wear it at night, Epix will not be able to provide an accurate assessment of the body and recovery.
I also appreciate that Epix is a premium smartwatch, but it’s pricey. The base model is much more expensive than the standard Fenix 7S, which is not a cheap watch either. The Epix is twice the price of the Venu 2, although it must be said that the Venu 2 is not positioned as a premium smartwatch. Although it’s also not cheap.
To whom would I recommend the Garmin Epix? People who love the Fenix series but want a watch that complements their style or smart casual wear.