Garmin Enduro – What we know so far
WARNING: This information might not be fully correct and is based on speculation as well as publically available information
There’s quite a bit of uncorroborated info already out there on the net for those of you who might crave more detail on this, however, even some of my sources hadn’t seen the info that other sources had. So…the Garmin Enduro is a strange one, sometimes with conflicting information from different places.
With that in mind, here is some of the publically-known information on the Enduro so far and I think it’s broadly correct, although certainly incomplete by the same token.
- Best Case: Effectively a new Fenix 7 hardware focussed for trail/ultra runners with new GPS chips, ELEVATE gen 4 and native running power
- Reality Check: It’s going to be yet another variant of the Fenix 6X (Solar), with cut down features. Two case options of the same watch.
I’m now excited by a reduced-smarts, proper running watch but less-so by the price tag. Essentially we are dealing with a re-purposed Fenix 6X/F6X Solar when looking at the Enduro model. However, that doesn’t mean it will sit in the Fenix range. Not at all. I am assuming this will be the top of the Forerunner range or, at least, one of the top models of the Forerunner range. Despite my ‘assumption’ of a Forerunner, the case shape is clearly that of a Fenix as shown at the FCC. These Garmin images give away much key information.
On reflection, I am now not entirely clear if we are seeing simply the two models from the FCC filing or something more exciting.
Latest best guess is for two 51mm models (both effectively non-pro); in the future, we might see smaller models (47mm, 42mm). [FCC info states only Solar models at launch]
Garmin Enduro Models
There are (at least) two models: a stainless steel-cased model and a grey-coloured, titanium-cased model with Diamond-Like-Carbon (DLC) bezel. This is normally consistent with a non-pro and pro version but I think these are both effectively non-Pro versions with different case/bezel material options as the only differentiator. Essentially its the same in looks and construction to the F6X and similar in materials to the Wahoo Elemnt Rival I reviewed a few months back.
It’s reasonably certain there is only the larger 51mm case size (like 6X), and its screen resolution will then be the new, larger Fenix-norm of 280x280px on a 1.4″ screen.
(47mm@260×260/42mm@240×240 might also be possible options but we NOT see them from Day 1 …but then we are talking a whole new Fenix mini-line. I’ve heard nothing about these smaller case sizes – but that’s commercially crazy as the mid-sized 47mm Fenix sells best. The Quatix 6 is NOT released in a 42mm version so it could be the same here, OTOH a LOT of runners have skinny wrists. #Confusion reigns)
Video: >>>>>> Here/below <<<<<<is the latest video which might not appear if the source is removed
Garmin Enduro Straps
Both models have lightweight straps, one is a new, super-lightweight Nylon strap (probably at somewhere near 5g ! It’s called UltraFit or UltraLite) to match the super-lightweight cases. It’s NOT QuickFit, per see, it might be compatible though I don’t think so. I’ve only seen a brief/partial image of the new looped strap and I suspect that they are broadly the same as the velcro-like band on the Coros Pace 2 which, in turn, is the same as the Apple Watch 6‘s Sport Loop (as shown below on the two straps on the right). If so, then that’s great. This is a near-perfect,sport-specific strap design, in my opinion. The downsides and they’re big ones, are that these straps easily get dirty and unhygienic furthermore, on lighter coloured straps, there is usually also discolouration because of the retention of dirt and grime (even though they will be anti-microbial).
Latest: It looks like there could be two, new & different strap types. One as I’ve just described and the other I’m not sure about! See the video link below
Garmin Enduro Solar
Both models support solar charging according to the FCC, hence Garmin’s POWER GLASS branding. Though the boost that the watch gets from Solar seems to be downgraded in the specs from earlier solar claims made for the Fenix 6.
There is a clue in the name ‘Enduro’. Whilst that term is usually reserved for Enduro bike racing, it’s almost certain that this watch is for endurance running and ultra running; thus they need every trick in the Garmin playbook to get the battery to last as long as possible within the constraints of a lightweight shell (ie small…think smaller space for a battery too)
A non-Solar version is also likely at some future point, despite the FCC filing showing 2x Solar models
Maps, Music and Mayhem
Multiple sources suggest that the Enduro has taken out maps to save battery life. Yikes!
Yes, navigating on Garmin maps does slurp through the battery but this seems a very strange decision. Let’s hope the intel is wrong. It will have breadcrumb routes (a retrograde step) as they will be required to get the ClimbPro ascent details. Hopefully, we will be able to rely on getting maps through CIQ (eg dwMap)
Perhaps certain sources have only seen the info for one specific version and not the others? In this case, they may only have seen the non-Pro version. For a non-Pro Fenix, there are no maps, music, payments and WiFi so that would be consistent with other choices made on the Fenix line elsewhere.
The other smarts like PAY and Music will also be removed as this will be analogous to a Fenix 6 non-Pro which doesn’t have PAY/MUSIC/MAPS/WIFI. Some of you won’t like that but I’m OK with their omission as the omission is in-keeping with the pro-runner nature of the watch’s intended purpose.
As WiFi is also be removed, then this seems crazy as when you’ve finished your run and want to use the WiFi upload then the battery is not an issue as you are already at home, surely? You wouldn’t really use the WiFi for much else so there is no battery downside ie there are no music/maps to stream or download as those features are unsupported. Perhaps it’s simply an entire component that was removed to save space and battery?
Maybe there really are just two large models absolutely geared to give the near-lightest possible and best battery-extending experience.
These are the Fenix 6X Solar battery life figures
- Smartwatch: up to 21 days +3 days*GPS: up to 60 hours +6 hours**
- GPS and music: up to 15 hours +1 hour**
- Max battery GPS mode: up to 120 hours +28 hours**
- Expedition GPS mode: up to 46 days +10 days*
- Battery saver watch mode: up to 80 days +40 days**
and for comparison, these are the Fenix 6 Solar battery life figures
- Smartwatch: Up to 14 days plus 2 days
- GPS: Up to 36 hours plus 4 hours
- GPS and music: Up to 10 hours
- Max battery GPS mode: 72 hours plus 21 hours
- Expedition GPS activity: 28 days plus 8 days
- Battery saver watch mode: 48 days plus 32 days
Garmin Enduro battery life – this appears to have been improved over the 6X (6x has identical case dimensions)
- 80 hours in GPS Mode (continuous or not??)
- 2 Months in smartwatch mode
The headline battery-life figures are all that have leaked seem to show an improvement over the F6X in the GPS modes. The case is the same so my guess is that the battery tech is improved over the original F6X.
Likely New Features
We’ve already had the Garmin-leaks from beta software released for other Fenix/Forerunner models. These are features for the new Enduro.
The ClimbPro descent feature (called CLIMBPRO WITH TRAIL ENHANCEMENTS) is going to be a good one for Ultra/Trail runners. So you will be notified about your upcoming descents as well as ascents and the descents will give you the same types of info that you get for the ascents. (The non-Pro Fenix 6 gets ClimbPro from a pre-loaded course, thus the Enduro can omit MAPS and still have ClimbPro DESCENT).
The new VO2max algorithm for an Ultra/Trail sport profile is a different case (Called TRAIL RUN VO2max). There are difficulties linked with getting VO2max right on more severe terrain and which probably can’t be solved just with an accelerometer and a barometer. Coincidentally I was discussing this topic off-line a while back with some AI programmers and we determined that machine learning (ML) solutions would be possible for a company with Garmin’s wealth of user data to work with to determine likely slope conditions. However, ML would be a LOT of new work for a niche feature and I don’t think Garmin has used that approach. More likely the new VO2max is a minor ‘tweak’ the existing algorithm.
On the other hand, regular readers know that I keep saying how great STRYD is (except on more extreme terrain), so why can’t Garmin emulate some of STRYD’s accuracy there from a new, more accurate accelerometer?
One key area of Ultras are rest/aid stations and we should expect to see functionality appear that is conceptually similar to transitions in triathlons. This feature is ULTRA RUN REST TIMER
A trivial point is the new 80-hour/month badge in Garmin Connect which is likely linked to the launch of the Enduro.
Possible New Features
Native running power, calculated on-the-wrist, was supposedly arriving in January 2021. I had assumed it was to be on an FR955/FR655, maybe that assumption was wrong and it will be the headline new feature for the Enduro instead? I doubt it. The nature of trail/ultra running, which can involve walking & mud, causes the most problems for running power algorithms.
Another option for a headline feature would be the introduction of the new Sony GNSS chip (2020) for dual-frequency reception. This would give the headline of more accuracy but this chip consumes more power even with the dual-frequency disabled, so I highly doubt we will see that.
If there is no headline new feature in the software, and there usually is, then the headline is the merely strap design & better battery tech.
There is a good chance that we will get the new CIQ4 version activated. CIQ delivers the longer-term potential for better screen and app handling – way more than the simple widgets from the Lumen or Core. CIQ4 is backwards compatible to other devices.
Unknown Existing Features to be ported over to Enduro
Is it actually a triathlon watch as well as an ultra watch (Yes!)? At this price point, any Garmin Fenix 6 variant is multi-sport capable.
If, however, it’s classed as a typical Garmin running watch then it probably won’t have a triathlon profile and nor will it have enhanced single-sport OWS/Pool profiles, nor would it be able to get cached HR data from a HRM-PRO/TRI. Triple grrrr.
That said, it’s highly likely Enduro will have all other running features including TRACK mode and all the Firstbeat physiology features.
I would also bet that it includes most or all multisport features
These are premium, non-Pro models. But Fenix-premium rather than MARQ-premium.
- The DLC version could be a whopping GBP899, more likely somewhere around GBP750
- The price range would be within the USD750-899 band for the two models with a likely difference of about USD100 between the two. ie $750 and $850 could be the actual prices of the two models (same difference as with the Fenixes). The $899 is leaked by Amazon, below.
These will be released in mid-February 2021. Usually, that’s mid-month on a Tuesday and so 16 Feb is the day.
Some More Tenuous Info: pre-order Amazon.com
This listing doesn’t say too much new and the image is intentionally incorrect to avoid copyright. That said some of the other info shown below IS what I have seen from my sources and which I have never disclosed. So this IS a new source with some genuine info. That said, this info HAS been changed as there are some subtle typo differences and less than subtle errors compared to its original source. Interestingly it claims ‘Maps’.
Some sites give the following quote, which I’ve seen before so can confirm it’s correct, though I’m not entirely sure where they got it from as I don’t think it was on the Amazon listing that people jumped on. Oh well, it’s public now…so here we go (it adds nothing we didn’t already know)
Go the distance with the Enduro
ultraperformance multisport GPS watch. It features customizable power management modes and a Power Glass solar charging lens that harvests the power of the sun to extend battery life up to one year (all-day wear, 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions [edit: as a ‘watch’]). Prepare for even the longest races with advanced training features, including trail run VO2 max, ultrarun rest timer and the ClimbPro feature, which provides real-time information on your current and upcoming climbs, descents and flats. Stay in top form with an enhanced recovery timer and workout recommendations based on your sleep and wellness data. And navigate the most challenging environments with multi-GNSS support and a barometric altimeter and compass.
I’m somewhat confused about the information I have. It probably simply signals the two Fenix 6 variants as shown on the FCC, that is two Fenix 6X non-Pro variants that are targetted at a special type of runner. Essentially these would be the running equivalent of the Quatix/Descent/Tactix models targetted at other sectors. At the other extreme of possibilities, this could be the Fenix 7 in all but name with Garmin taking the Fenix line in a more run-focussed direction. There are more runners than hikers and it might make commercial sense for the direction of the Fenix to be spearheaded primarily in the running direction but I just don’t think the latter is the case, the Fenix brand is strong and I’m near-positive it will be continued broadly ‘as-is’. Most probably, the Enduros are simply F6 variants for runners, possibly there are more than 2 models planned but only 2 for now, sadly they will probably have little new tech inside….but will have a new strap 😉
Then again, January (Feb) is one of the times for a big, big launch.
When I first started getting the details in before Christmas I was wholly unexcited by Enduro. However, as I only use Garmin for sport (and Apple Watch 6 as a smartwatch) then, providing it does the basic triathlon piece, I gradually convinced myself that I might end up using it as one of my main SPORTS watches as I like lightweight, large watches with no smarts. For me, my longterm usage will just come down to multisport sport profile inclusion and I’d say that’s likely.
I’ll sell some of my watch collection and invest in the Enduro whatever happens…if it doesn’t have the triathlon profiles then ping me if you want to buy it from me in April-May 😉 as I can’t afford to have this one sitting unused in my collection box gathering expensive dust.