Garmin has released the Epix Pro as an advancement of its premium smartwatch with an AMOLED display. Along with numerous features, Garmin offers the Epix Pro in three different sizes. Each model is equipped with a built-in LED flashlight.
In February 2022, Garmin introduced the Epix Gen 2, an outdoor smartwatch that is basically a Fenix 7 but features a high-contrast AMOLED display. Despite both products already being positioned at the top end of the product lineup, Garmin has added new features to the Epix Pro, an improved PPG sensor, and introduced new sizes to provide greater differentiation.
Epix Pro Gen 2 – Available in three sizes
Unlike its direct predecessor, which had a one-fits-all 47mm case, the Garmin Epix Pro is available in three different sizes. In addition to the existing 47mm model, Garmin now offers a smaller variant measuring 42mm and a larger variant measuring 51mm. This range of sizes allows users to choose the size that best suits their preferences and wrist size for optimal comfort and fit.
- Epix Pro Gen 2 42 mm
- Epix Pro Gen 2 47 mm
- Epix Pro Gen 2 51 mm
Unlike the Fenix and Forerunner series, Garmin has chosen not to include size designations in the names of the Epix Pro models. While other series may have variations such as the Fenix 7S or Fenix 7X to indicate different sizes or features, Garmin has opted for a simpler naming convention for the Epix Pro models, without explicitly indicating the size in the name.
The introduction of different sizes for the Epix Pro makes sense, especially if the standard Epix Gen 2 model is considered as a testing ground. The reviews for the premium model have been consistently positive, but the size of the watch may not equally suitable for all customers and situations.
In addition to different sizes, Garmin also offers the Epix Pro with different types of watch glass. The models with Gorilla Glass DX are more affordable and slightly lighter, while the models with sapphire glass are more resistant to impacts and scratches.
The sapphire models, in addition to being slightly heavier, may have a bit more reflectivity due to the nature of the sapphire glass.
All models provide 32GB of storage space and are water-resistant up to 10 ATM.
Garmin Epix Pro – New and noteworthy
The Epix Pro, as indicated by the “Pro” designation in its name, represents an evolution rather than a completely new generation. The new models offer a moderate advancement in features and improved specifications.
Despite not being a major generational shift, the Epix Pro still introduces some intriguing functions that can make the purchasing decision easier.
Hill Score – A new metric for uphill runners
For those who venture off the flat running routes, a new metric named “Hill Score” aims to provide a better assessment of strength and endurance.
In addition to the numerical value (“score”), Garmin categorizes the performance into the following levels:
According to Garmin, an initial assessment of the Hill Score is based on the recording of two weeks of outdoor running, walking, and hiking activities. Cycling activities are not considered in the calculation of the Hill Score.
The Hill Score, addresses “Hill Strength” and “Hill Endurance.”
Endurance Score – A new metric for overall endurance
Similar to the Hill Score, the Endurance Score aims to provide information about the your endurance capacities. It is based on activities from the past four weeks, with greater weight given to activities that are performed more frequently.
The Endurance Score is likely not exclusive to the Epix Pro/Fenix 7 Pro and may be applicable to a range of Garmin sports watches.
Garmin has already integrated an LED flashlight into the Fenix 7X, Enduro 2 and Instinct 2X. This flashlight can illuminate the surroundings in four different levels of brightness and also has several strobe modes for added safety during sports activities in the dark. Additionally, the flashlight can emit a red light.
Maps: Weather overlays and relief
The Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro offer improvements in working with map views. It’s now possible to overlay weather information such as precipitation, wind, temperature, and cloud cover onto the map view.
Additionally, these be displayed as small animations to show their development over time.
To provide a better representation of the Earth’s topography, the maps on the Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro can be displayed as relief maps, showing the shape and contours of the terrain.
Dual band GNSS and SatIQ
Not entirely new but still worth mentioning is the support for Dual-Band GNSS, which is only available in the Epix Gen 2 Sapphire. The Pro model is expected to offer support for multiple positioning systems and the L1 and L5 frequency bands of GPS across all models.
In addition, the Epix Pro is likely to feature SatIQ, a technology that has already been introduced in the Forerunner 965 and Instinct 2X. SatIQ allows for dynamic assessment of signal strength and quality, aiming to rely on a single GNSS whenever possible and utilize signals from multiple GNSS in challenging environments.
SatIQ aims to achieve the best balance between positioning accuracy and power consumption from the watch.
Garmin Elevate V5 – 8 LED and some metal pads
The latest generation of the Elevate sensor, which is used in both the Epix Pro and the Fenix 7 Pro, brings some significant features, even though Garmin did not explicitly mention them.
Increased number of LEDs
Compared to the previous generation, the sensor has a significantly higher number of green LEDs (6 LEDs compared to 2 LEDs) and two new yellow-orange LEDs. The increased number is expected to provide greater overall accuracy, while the use of yellow-orange LEDs ensures higher accuracy for darker skin tones.
Additionally, the Epix Pro features red LEDs that are used for measuring blood oxygen saturation (SpO2).
Metallic contact surfaces
There are four metallic pads placed around the optical sensor. The exact purpose they serve remains to be seen. Initial information suggests that the sensor is capable of creating electrocardiograms (ECG). However, the function is currently deactivated. Whether and when it will be activated is uncertain.
Since Garmin was able to activate the ECG app on the Venu 2 Plus after receiving FDA clearance last year, it is likely that the Epix Pro is awaiting the necessary approvals from regulatory authorities.
The Epix Pro offers excellent battery life for a smartwatch with an AMOLED display, usually lasting for weeks rather than just a few days. Even in always-on mode, the battery can last for a couple of days.
|Epix Pro 42 mm / AOD||Epix Pro 47 mm / AOD||Epix Pro 51 mm / AOD|
|Smartwatch mode||10 / 4||16 / 6||31 / 11|
|Battery saver watch mode||14||21||41|
|GPS||28 / 20||42 / 30||82 / 58|
|GPS (max battery)||49||75||145|
|All GNSS||21 / 16||32 / 24||62 / 48|
|All GNSS + multiband||13 / 10||20 / 15||38 / 30|
|All GNSS + music||6||10||17|
If the battery is depleted, it can be fully charged again in approx. one hour. The Fenix 7 Pro, on the other hand, takes about twice as long to complete the same task.
Prices and availability
Epix and Fenix belong to the high-priced products in Garmin’s portfolio, and this remains unchanged with the introduction of Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro. This is partly due to the limited competition in the market, allowing Garmin to have more flexibility in setting their prices. As a result, the new models seamlessly fit into the existing pricing structure of the Fenix and Epix series:
|Product||Diameter||Gorilla Glas||Sapphire Glas|
|Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2||42 mm||€949.99 / $899.99||€1,049.99 / $999.99|
|Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2||47 mm||€949.99 / $899.99||€1,049.99 / $999.99|
|Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2||51 mm||€1,049.99 / $999.99||€1,149.99 / $1,099.99|
Garmin has not differentiated the prices between small and medium models for some time now. For the larger model with 51mm, Garmin charges an additional 100 €. The same price increase applies when switching from Gorilla Glass DX to Sapphire glass.
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