October 4, 2023

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Garmin’s lineup labels the Epix 2 and Fenix ​​7 “Pro”

Garmin’s lineup labels the Epix 2 and Fenix ​​7 “Pro”

Garmin joins the Pro bandwagon. On Wednesday, the Epix 2 Pro and Fenix ​​7 Pro launch, both of which come with a slew of new mapping and training features, flashlights and sensors. The Fenix ​​7 Pro series starts at $799.99, while the Epix 2 Pro starts at $899.99.

There’s good news if you wanted to get your hands on last year’s Epix 2 but were bummed that it only came in one size. Garmin doesn’t believe less means more, so now you can choose from three sizes of the Epix 2 models: 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm. Both Pro groups also offer a more durable Sapphire version.

The vast majority of everything new will be shared across the Epix 2 Pro and Fenix ​​7 Pro series. For example, all models will now feature a built-in hands-free LED flashlight. The flashlight was introduced last year but was limited to the 51mm Fenix ​​7X. The light has variable intensity, a red safety light, and a strobe mode for night training.

Both teams will also get a new heart rate sensor. Garmin says the new sensor will provide improved tracking for a variety of activities. In terms of training features, all Epix 2 Pro and Fenix ​​7 Pro models will get a new Endurance Score and Hill Score. The former tells you how easy it is to maintain sustained efforts with Vo2 Max and long/short training loads across multiple training activities. The latter also uses your training history and Vo2 Max to measure your running power on steep climbs and long climbs.

For mapping, the Pro sets also get weather map overlays, an Up Ahead feature, and relief shading for topographic maps. Weather map overlays will make it easier for outdoor enthusiasts to view upcoming conditions, while relief shading aims to make maps more readable at a glance. Meanwhile, the Up Ahead feature highlights certain points of interest—assistance stations, for example—right from the wrist.

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The flashlight feature is coming to the Epix 2 Pro and Fenix ​​7 Pro series.
Image: Garmin

Users also have the option to dispense with Garmin’s Outdoor Maps Plus Subscribe for satellite imagery, general earth maps, and wrist-enhanced topographic maps. Subscription costs an additional $49.99 per year and has been around for a while Other Garmin navigation devices And a handful of other smartwatches. However, Garmin still doesn’t keep any health or training data behind the paywall.

As with the non-professional versions of the Epix 2 and Fenix ​​7, the main difference between these watches is the screen. The Epix 2 Pro has an OLED display, while the Fenix ​​7 Pro has a memory in pixel (MIP) display that supports solar charging. The Epix 2 also has a new red shift mode that changes screen colors to red for easier nighttime viewing — something familiar from what Apple did with one of its Ultra watch faces. However, the Fenix ​​7 Pro models will feature a slimmer MIP display than the “regular” Fenix ​​7 lineup. According to Garmin, the pixels, backlight, and solar panel have all been redesigned to improve brightness and energy efficiency in a number of lighting conditions.

Battery life is a little different, too. The Epix 2 Pro is rated for up to 31 days, while the Fenix ​​7 Pro can get up to 38 days. However, you should take these estimates with a pinch of salt. Battery life is highly dependent on the size of the watch, your GPS settings, whether you’re using the Epix 2 Pro’s always-on display, and the mode you’re in. For example, if you don’t care to use the Fenix ​​7 Pro as a smartwatch, Garmin says you could theoretically get 139 days out of the 51mm 7X Pro. We’ll put both through their paces to see what you can actually expect with more real-world testing conditions.

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