O ye fitness aficionados, Garmin has announced updated versions of its outdoors smartwatches!
Garmin, the company popular for making GPS-enabled smartwatches for outdoor activities, has revealed its revamped lineup, along with a new model. Many fans expected the manufacturer to show up at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show, but Garmin had other ideas.
It has now unwrapped the updated Fenix 7 lineup and the debut of the new Epix, coming with even more ruggedness and always-on color display.
Garmin has retained some features across the models, like the dimensions, like the Fenix 7, Fenix 7S, and Fenix 7X remaining their sizes. However, while the standard 7 and 7S will be made of fiber-reinforced polymer, all the variants will have Solar Editions and Sapphire Solar Editions for all three. The Sapphire Solar Editions also use titanium materials, and as the name suggests, uses a sapphire display for increased toughness.
Still from the name, the solar versions add charging from the sun to all the sizes, with a significant increase in battery life. Garmin increased the surface area available for charging by 54 percent compared to the last edition.
With GPS functionally enabled, the 7S lasts 162 hours with solar charging and only 90 hours without. For the 7, the battery lasts 289 hours instead of 136 hours without solar. The 7X is the battery champ, lasting 578 hours with solar and 213 hours without. Your mileage may vary with any of these devices, but they are impressive estimates.
The 7 supports all popular satellite systems but includes the L5 frequency to help when you find yourself in areas where GPS is poor. As the US government explains, L5 is a very modernized version of GPS certified for civilian use.
The new Garmin smartwatches will also sport touchscreens. Of course, the company is not ditching button controls, but it wants to offer more than one way to make inputs or control the devices. Making the screen responsive to touch will help some applications, like manipulating the GPS maps or moving around the menu.
Another new feature, but limited to the 7X, is a LED flashlight. You can use it hands-free and select either red or white lights. The flashlight will help you see in the dark, and also importantly, be seen by others, such as motorists. This light works whether you are right or left-handed.
Garmin says the LED light has a strobe effect that syncs with your body movement. When your hand swings up, the light goes red but turns white when it goes down. It will give other road users a sense of the direction you are running.
On the software front, there is a new Real-Time Stamina tool that lets you compare your stamina when you are at moderate intensity and your current intensity. You will also get Up Ahead, a map-related feature that informs you of locations ahead of you, including elevated portions of the road, water, aid stations, etc.
Also revealed is the updated version of the Epix smartwatch, which has been overdue since its first release in 2015. It now has a 1.3-inch screen with an always-on AMOLED display. There are three models, and they share many features with the Fenix 7, including touchscreen and the Real-Time Stamina feature. Both also have push notifications, Garmin Pay, safety features, etc. However, the Epix does not have solar charging or an LED flashlight.
The battery is still impressive, lasting 16 days but goes down to six with always-on display enabled. It will track your heart rate, respiration, sleep, stress level, etc.
The Fenix 7 and 7S starts at $699.99, while the 7X starts significantly higher at $899.99. The Epix starts at $899.99, but the black titanium model starts at $999.99.