Garmin Enduro Review | Best Ultra – Trail GPS Running Watch but…

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A Review of the Garmin Enduro
Garmin Enduro Review | Best Ultra – Trail GPS Running Watch

Garmin Enduro is the most expensive running watch ever and in this review, I look at the new ultra and trail running features that have been added to make this just a little bit more special than the existing Garmin Fenix 6 upon which it’s based.

It’s just a cheaper Fenix 6X Solar with no music & maps” will come the cry and there’s some truth in that.

OK, there’s a LOT of truth in that. However, I kinda like what I see despite the usual caveats, let’s start with a summary review of the Garmin Enduro and then on to some more detailed background info and a look at the super-new Garmin trail features.

Verdict: Garmin Enduro
  • Price - 65%
    65%
  • Apparent Accuracy - 50%
    50%
  • Build Quality & Design - 90%
    90%
  • Features, Including App - 95%
    95%
  • Openness & Compatability - 95%
    95%
79%

Summary

If you value features over price, this is the best Ultra or Trail running watch you can buy.

The hardware is superbly specified, although only available in a large case size. The most compelling and unique feature is the claimed battery life which is simply the best on the market and gives you literally days of GPS recording life. A notable contributor to the awesome battery life is solar charging which, of course, needs sunlight, although reasonable amounts of sunlight are assumed in the battery life spec.

The only non-monetary problem with this watch is the lack of maps. You absolutely can load and follow a breadcrumb route and that works well enough in an urban area where twists and turns are more obvious. In a forest where your GPS is thrown off, you may suddenly find that a straight line on a clear screen means very little without context.

A proper running watch for a proper trail runner

If you are looking for a ‘smart’ watch then the Enduro is lacking by Garmin’s usual standards and intentionally so. I like how it omits music and this omission gives the watch a sense of throw-back professionalism. A proper running watch for a proper trail runner. The omission of WiFi is mildly annoying and the inclusion of Garmin PAY a nice smart bonus. Of course, you get all the other market-beating Garmin smart features like notifications and incident alerts. In fact, you get every other market-beating Garmin PRO RUNNING feature ever…PacePro, Track Mode, ClimbPro, Physiology Insights, Virtual Run (Zwift Run) Mode, Multisport Modes, Daily Workout Suggestions (running) and more.

Pros

  • New revamped internal hardware – probably more future-proof than the Fenix 6
  • New, better like-for-like battery life than anything that has come before from any manufacturer, ever. 70 hours with GPS, 80 hours with solar+GPS. #Impressive
  • New ClimbPro alerts and descent features designed for trail runners
  • New VO2max calculations covering trail conditions
  • New Ultrarun rest timer
  • Run/Walk detection & logging
  • Contains every ‘proper’ outdoor, navigation and multisport feature and more besides
  • Contains Garmin’s latest physiology insights even covering acclimations to altitude and extreme heat.
  • Has Daily Workout Suggestion & Recovery Time
  • PacePro to pace your race segments to perfection.
  • Support for all outdoor-related features including GRIT and FLOW for MTB riding.
  • Awesome connectivity to external sensors and openness to 3rd party sites

Cons

  • The double-ended velcro/Nylon strap is novel but the single-ended version works best.
  • Lack of contextual maps is a problem for some outdoor navigation/races. dwMap is the best workaround.
  • Initial GPS & oHR accuracy needs improvement
  • Higher battery consumption rates easily happen when extra features are enabled, otherwise impressive. You could realistically get 100 hours or less than 10 hours of GPS if you go crazy on the backlight.
  • High price.

 

A Review of the Garmin Enduro

Background

Let’s quickly recap what the Enduro is intended for and what’s new.

In a nutshell: It is a Fenix 6X Solar GPS watch with a lightweight strap and improved battery life. It’s a non-pro version and, as such, omits maps, WiFi & music.

It has 3 new software features which are Trail VO2max, Trail rest timers and ClimbPro trail enhancements. These will find their way to Fenix 6, MARQ and 945/745.

  • VO2max – it’s difficult to get an accurate VO2max estimation when running trails and VO2max on the trail can still be disabled. The terrain impacts the ability to get a sufficiently long and accurate series of data points for the Fristbeat algorithm. The new algorithm has been modified to understand when you are working harder due to terrain variations over parts of your run ie conditions underfoot rather than elevation which was previously incorporated
  • Ultra Run Profile with Trail Rest Timer – this is a minor update to existing ‘pause’ functionalities and it’s designed to account for rest stations on longer runs. Just as in a transition in a triathlon, a trail rest still counts towards the full race time but you might just simply want to see the real amount of time you have spent running.
  • ClimbPro Trail enhancements cover flat and downhill sections of your route. You are alerted (via configurable ClimbPro Alerts!) to uphill/downhill sections and now the ClimbPro hill profile is shown for downhills.
  • Oh there’s also a tweak to the end-of-training summary screen with weekly summary data

Thus the two Garmin Enduro models we see are highly similar variants to the Fenix 6X Standard & 6X Solar, the difference being they have a lightweight strap and yellow detailing.

The new UltraFit nylon straps are super-light, coming in at just below 6g. However, this is still a fairly heavy watch with an overall weight of 70g. Well, I guess it’s heavy compared to a plastic one but light compared to a metal one and the metal part of the construction is considered important to the perceived need for an ultra/trail watch to be durable.

Racing A Trail Course

You can follow a course that a race organiser might create or you can make your own easily enough from the Garmin Connect mobile app and quickly sync it to your Enduro. You can see the climb profile and also check the popularity of the trail segments on the route and there’s also a nice, pacing feature where you can automatically create different pace targets as the challenges of the course vary with the terrain.

 

That all looks great on a smartphone but the reality of following a breadcrumb route gives you a feature that is no better than found with competitors like Suunto 9 or Polar Grit X. Sure, you are given the distance to the next turn, your heading and you can control the amount of zoom on the screen but you do not have the context given by a map which helps you orient yourself based on terrain indications around you.

Garmin Enduro – Running with the new ClimbPro descents & alerts

 

To compensate for the basic routes, Garmin gives you new hill features that offer a customisable alert to signal an approaching hill as well as ascent and descent profiles of all the key hills on the course you are following.

 

I found that trees tended to throw off the distance on the GPS-based alert feature for upcoming climbs but it didn’t really matter that I was alerted 60m before the ascent rather than 40m.

The climb/descent feature itself is pretty cool and I’ve used the same feature a lot on Garmin’s bike computers. The key hill info is nicely displayed alongside a useful graphic of the profile. It IS a useful feature, however, some of that usefulness is tempered when you are running. Simply put, it is sometimes unwise to keep glancing at a wristwatch when running, with a bike computer it’s a more natural and easy thing to do (in my opinion). That said, seeing the profile and knowing how long until the end are great bits of info.

Garmin Enduro – Trail VO2max

Previously, VO2max was inevitably calculated too low when running on trails. The old calculations didn’t take into account the extra difficulty of trail conditions.

There is now a new calculation for VO2max for the TRAIL running profile where better estimates are made for the terrain, as sensed by the onboard accelerometers.

You can still manually disable the new calculation.

 

Garmin Enduro – new Rest Timer

A simple way to manually log your time at rest stations.

Coupled with the auto-detection of walking in the run/walk feature then this is a great way to see your true efforts in your post-race analysis.

Garmin Enduro – new Nylon strap

The new Nylon strap is ‘quite’ good.

It differs from similar ones by Coros/Apple as it has velcro-like tabs at either end rather than just one end. I have used this kind of strap a lot and Garmin’s innovation of the double-ended velcro is a retrograde step. But, hey…it’s just a strap.

The strap is slightly harder to get on and more easy to pop out at one end and BANG, you’ve dropped your very expensive watch on the floor. The way Coros, Apple and others work means that it is simply not possible to accidentally drop the watch as the strap cannot come undone.

The big advantage of Garmin’s approach is that the metal pins are not part of the nylon strap. Thus the Enduro is QuickFit compatible and an old QuickFit strap can be easily added on.

Anything else new? Is it the Fenix 6.5?

We don’t know too much about what components are new under the hood.

The battery has a slightly better capacity (it’s slightly physically larger) and also benefits from improved efficiencies from ‘other components’.

However, the memory available to CIQ is lower than the earlier PRO and PLUS model ie lower than the 6X.

Enduro comes at the end of the Fenix 6/Fenix 6 Solar product cycle. We can expect a Fenix 7 in the fall/autumn of 2021 and, in the past, a minor release with this timing might contain upgraded internal hardware components that are tested out prior to inclusion in the MARQ2 or Fenix 7 – effectively this could be a Fenix 6.5. Improvements to the battery reliability, Solar efficiency and CPU power are plausibly likely but there appear to be no big-ticket items like the latest Sony GNSS chipset nor an Elevate Gen 4 oHR sensor.

Garmin Enduro – Review Negatives

The initial concerns at launch (Feb 2021) are stability, GNSS accuracy and oHR accuracy.

I’ve put these first negative impressions of Enduro in a separate post. Partly for the sake of completeness, partly because many readers don’t like negativity and partly because Garmin will address many of those points in relatively short order.

A Review of the Garmin Enduro
Detailed battery claims vs Fenix 6X

Garmin Enduro Headline Specs

  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 5.1 x 1.49 cm (Same as 6X)
  • Screen: 3.6 cm diameter (1.4″, same as 6X)
  • Lighter Weight: 72 gram, the case is 66g or 58g/52g for the steel (6X is 54g titanium case/66g steel case)
  • New UltraFit nylon strip (under 6g, 26mm QuickFit compatible)
  • Case options DLC coated Titanium (same as an F6X option) plus Stainless steel option (same as F6X option)
  • S$/Eu799.99 & US$/Eu899.99  (F6X Solar Pro is $1099)
  • Memory 64Mb (DEcreased from F6X 32Gb)
  • All CIQ Memory DEcreased eg Datafield is 32768bytes from F6X 131072bytes
  • Up to 70/80 hours battery in GPS mode (6X claims 60 hours +6 hours)… improved
  • Up to 200/300 hours battery in “max battery, GPS-on mode” (6X claims 120 hours +28 hours)
  • Solar cell to recharge the battery Up to 65 days of battery when used as a smartwatch (6X claims 21 days +3 days)

 

Headline Features, not necessarily new:

  • Power Glass Solar charging extends GPS-battery life to 80 hours.
  • Power and battery management features can toggle features during the run
  • Trail Run VO2max
  • Ultrarun rest timer
  • ClimbPro trail enhancements (adds descent/flats info)
  • Run/Walk detection & logging
  • Latest recovery advisor
  • Next daily workout suggestions
  • Recovery time enhanced by sleep & wellness data
  • Compass, barometer and multi-GNSS support (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
  • Expedition mode sports profile

Enduro has the new Sleep Stage widget! PacePro and Climb Pro REMAIN and require a pre-loaded course

These are removed

  • Maps & features that require an onboard map including those that are used in golf and ski modes and certain aspects of ClimbPro and PacePro
  • All music features
  • Wi-Fi

Garmin Enduro Battery Life Review

There are an incredible 70 hours of GPS battery life with an extra 10 hours if sensible sunlight conditions also exist (you could get more).

The following charts show an image of Garmin’s detailed battery life claims and then a chart of battery life I experienced with various combinations of GNSS, some backlight, a few sensors and sunlight. As you can see, the battery life can drop dramatically without very careful management. Garmin’s claims seem broadly realistic for the GPS battery life.

Luckily, Garmin provides you with the POWER MANAGER feature where you can turn off/on key features like BLE, NAT+, SpO2 (and more) to save battery. Some of these will make significant improvements to several 10s of per cent increases in battery life.

 

Garmin Enduro – oHR Accuracy

I’ll add some more images to the review over the next month, typically all the Garmin Enduro oHR tracks are not as smooth as they should be and numerous small peaks make the average for the whole track too high (aka ‘wrong’). It’s the same picture for a long, fairly hilly road ride where the small peaks and general ‘noise’ spoil an otherwise acceptable HR track.

 

 

Garmin Enduro – GNSS Accuracy

GNSS accuracy with GPS+GLONASS and GPS-only is unacceptable at times. For much of any individual run, the track is fine in a normal sense but then craziness ensues, which other reviewers have also found. It’s simply not worth my while spending any more time looking into this until the GNSS firmware is sorted out. If you want accurate pace, get STRYD and don’t rely on GPS/GLONASS.

 

Is there anything to be excited about?

If you’re in the market for a high-spec, frills-free ultra/trail running watch then a resounding “YES” is the answer.

If you want a watch whose battery longevity is unrivalled then get VERY excited. This is it

Perhaps you also like the larger-format screen to cram more metrics onto? Perhaps you like the new velcro-Esque strap? Perhaps you want a serious trail watch but have no need for a map?

If any of those tickle your fancy then get your AMEX card out and get spending. Actually, ALL those reasons plus the Enduro’s ability to be a fully-featured triathlon watch are the reasons why I got one. But, to all intents and purposes, YES – it is just a slightly cheaper non-Pro Fenix 6X Solar with a new strap. The unique selling point is simply battery life…and that is awesome.

Buy a Garmin Enduro, here are the prices and links to retailers

  • Enduro Steel with Gray Ultrafit Nylon Strap – US$/Eu799.99, £700
  • Enduro Carbon Gray Diamon-Like Coating (DLC) Titanium bezel with black Ultrafit Nylon Strap – US$/Eu899.99, £800

Garmin Enduro: Buy a Garmin Enduro HERE when available from one of my partners (or from the blue banner below).

 

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144 thoughts on “Garmin Enduro Review | Best Ultra – Trail GPS Running Watch but…

  1. A bit disappointed in this one based on the leaks you’ve got. Based on your comments about no maps or music, it sounds like this is based on the F6 base model instead of the F6 Pro (which also explains the no wifi) and just has some extra special battery management to double the battery life. If it does have native run power, I hope they would port that over to the F6 as well.

    Rest stops sound useful, and a new lightweight band could be nice.

    Will we see this in the next couple weeks or more like end of February/March timeframe?

      1. Dug a bit further in to the FCC testing and on this new watch they only report Bluetooth and NFC. I looked at the old testing for the Fenix 6 launch and it reported on Bluetooth, NFC and Wifi, so this supports your leaks about no Wifi (which also means no music). There must be some amazing feature they are hiding really well from the leaks if they are defeaturing a non-Pro Fenix even more and charging that crazy pricing. Even with a premium strap.

  2. Thanks for the info update. It doesn’t quite all add up in my mind. A watch like this needs “surprise and delight” feature(s). The extended battery for those UTMB folk will be nice no doubt. Removal of maps seems incongruous with it’s intended Ultra use. Let’s see. I hope there’s more to be had.

    1. For the price, I agree. However even if you look at Apple, comapnies are tending to keep major firmware updates separate from hardware launches (solar would be an exception where software/hardware came at the same time for obvious reasons). so my hoped-for native power might come soon after

  3. Yes yes yes. This is a great review and summary! My guess is 47mm size like 6, so 260×260, definitely new strap for comfort/weight, training features. Mixed on whether there will be Music or not (boo). And would be heartbroken to see absence of Maps, but agree that it’s a power hog and that makes sense.

    Where my guess would differ would be with the Solar usage – I think they HAVE to get better solution for that, and they accomplished it with the Instinct. Regular 6 solar adds 10%, so barely anything – new version HAS TO add 50% or so, or at least 30%.

    Also – regarding strap – have you seen Coros’ Velcro for the Vertix? I got one randomly and it’s a pretty neat snap on system to the standard Quick Fit – it’s literally an open plastic hook – so it fully works/holds, and allows for all traditional straps.

    And I think DLC Coated means Diamond Like Coating on the Titanium bezel for strengthening purposes since Titanium is so much more likely to scratch than SS, so not Sapphire – think the Power Glass and Solar limits them to Glass usage instead of Sapphire – or that’s my understanding at least.

    Awesome awesome awesome stuff! You guys do such awesome work compiling all of the info!

    And any chance it might actually be Enduro for actual enduro biking and Mountain biking? Now that I say it outloud enduro sounds so much like endurance that it’s gotta be long battery life and lightweight that is total focus of this watch. Again, you are spot on with it all.

    Thanks!

    1. some great points, I made a mistake !
      – map omission – i think it does NOT make sense. hey. what do i know !
      – am sure of 51 case size but there may be more. then, as you say, there would be the smaller screens. In fact you are making me rethink this. thank you !! Indeed if there is more than one case size then that would explain why there is different info from different people…as they are quoting different specs.
      – DLC, yes. Doh
      – Solar – I specifically didn’t hear that. However, my understanding is that there is generally more scope to eke more juice out of the solar tech. But I don’t think its happening here.
      – MTB – nah! its a watch from the fcc filing. yes, Enduro is HEAVILY associated wit a type of bike riding. #shrug

      1. Ugh – 51mm. The 6X is great in weight (lighter than the 6 for the case) but feels too big on the wrist, especially when using for all day (so not you) tracking for body battery and sleep. But will there be a smooth, flat bezel is the question – see any front pictures of the case? I hate the big ridges for the face screws. Maybe if it was skinnier and smooth edges on the bezel it will shave some weight and feel more comfortable.

        And how can they leave off maps – that would be triple-tragic if packaged in the 1.4″ 51mm case screen, upon which maps are best viewed!

        Thanks for all of you points and response!

          1. yes that’s what I’m afraid of – want something a bit different for new release. But thank you for the updates!

          2. solar will happen probably as we see power glass in fccid, also price range is high, too high for garmin watch without wifi, nfc or maps for example now

  4. Is it possible that this watch is the new version of the fenix and instead of calling it fenix 7, they decided to call it enduro?

    1. no sorry. that was my line of thinking for a while but that’s definitely not the case. although what i dont know is if this has any new internal components that herald what the F7 will deliver (probably not)

      1. The fact that there is another brand that uses “Enduro” on a fitness watch (albeit an old one), makes me wonder whether that’s the final branding for the line.

  5. Hmm, why a release date in February? For example, FCC ID 03992 shows April 8th as the publication date for the manual. Then it will probably be released in April.

    The FCC shows no WiFi, which is also not necessary in my opinion. And also no indication that the watch will have no maps. You can also update maps with Garmin Express.
    By omitting the WiFi module and the associated antenna, there is space for a larger battery and the thick bezel can be removed for example. I don’t know any serios ultra runner who streams his music from his watch. When you’re on the trail/road for training a longer time, you have a cell phone with you just for security reasons, right? And headphones are mostly forbidden at official competitions anyway.

    CIQ 4 compatibility is definitely a must. Who will spend more than 900 € on a watch that is already out of date at release?

    1. hey
      yes the existing f6 will be ciq4 compatible.. I was rather meaning that this might be the first to have it actually enabled and working.
      regarding dates, etc. I take your points. please note I am referring to multiple sources of info over and above the FCC.

      1. edit: actually its possible the f6 won’t be ciq4 compatible someone told me. but they weren’t 100% sure.

  6. Garmin fenix 6 sport

    • no maps or music
    • new dual frequency gnss chip
    • more for runners
    • no graphene battery
    • wrist-based running power
    • available April
  7. Everything from the leaked list in September is now available except the forerunner 955, 955 LTE, Fenix 6 sport variants. So this leaked list must be correct, and if there is a Fenix 6 sport then there won´t be a Fenix 7 this year.

        1. ha! I googled the same thing about 2 days ago!
          so the SPORT name could have been pushed out to retailers and then changed or the retailers could be doing some SEO and discovering that SPORT is a good word to use.
          The F6 SPORTs ARE still possible albeit unlikely. They could be like @Mario describes in these comments ie simply dropping the music/map/payments merely gives you the existing non-Pro version. But doing that *AND* adding in some of the latest tech could work AND such new tech would then be tested out by customer in advance of the F7 cash cow. Or the Marq2 could do a similar job.

  8. I was wondering about smthing….Maybe I see the things wrong but how this device will compete with Coros Apex Pro and Vertix? I’m not very familiar with these watches’ specs list but for the first sight they are rugged, great battery life, relatively lightweight, native running power, good materials, no maps, no music, no NFC.
    So this new Enduro maybe differs in the strap, maybe some solar panels, climb pro features
    The price of the Apex Pro and Vertix is too high in my opinion but this new Enduro may justify their price.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I think the Enduro can boost Coros’ sellings on the 2 models I mentioned cuz from what I see the usage is similar but Coros is way cheaper…I know, climb pro…but u can get that at a better price.

    However, I’m very curious about the full specs list of the Enduro, possible it will have smthing which attracts customers from the more feature-packed fenix line and Coros watches which are popular among ultra/trail runners.

    1. hi
      yes, good to bring in some reality.
      there is a good chance Enduro will be a Fenix in all but name. so, all the fenix features. of which there are very many and let’s not forget Garmin Connect too.
      coros doo have a good featureset but garmin has more and that’s not even talking about CIQ.
      strap: actually the strap will likely be similar to the one on the pace 2.

      because of the price i can’t see this being competitive to coros. i suspect 95% of Enduro buyers will already own a Garmin.

      1. or be wahoo rival unsatisfied users 🙂

        My Rival:
        cant’ connect to any chest strap via bluetooth it just don’t see it…
        it see my elite suito as power(can’t set resistance)

          1. is it a known bug? if not i can look
            i will have to change batteries in old h7.

            FIRST
            1. check you can pair your h7 to Polar BEAT
            2. Confirm the battery level % in BEAT
            3. remove that pairing
            4. then try

          2. i have battery in h7, last week it works with 945, this week worked with vv titan of my father 😀

          3. still nothing, battery: full, tried all settings, still can’t conenct or even find it

          4. so the H7 successfully connected to Polar BEAT.
            I only asked as I used to have problems with that because of a) Polar b) battery c) Android.
            I’ll have a look now

          5. ok
            basically with the H10 I used BEAT to turn off the ANT+ channel on the H10. i put in a new battery and updated the h10 firmware

            i tried pairing with the watch and pairing via the app

            pairing with the watch directly worked. but not with the app.

            I started the element app
            the h10 shows as paired (correct!).
            however it shows the ant+ id. i am hoping it get the ant+ id from the device after pairing with ble (the cant pair with ant+ in any case)

            so. I’m looking at a varying HR number now.

            I am NOT 100% certain it’s paired via BLE but i think it has.

          6. ehhhh i’m really dissapointed by the rival… wahoo is comapny that my friends advertised as it works and works quite well, i knew that rival is not perfect watch but

            -no trainer control(advertised it is there)
            -can’t connect to chest strap
            -my unit has manufacturing flaw(i will probably get full refund… don’t want new watch with such problems)

            On good side:
            hill reps showed exactly same ascent value over 8 repeats, polar do the same, but 945 does not 🙂

      1. 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). 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.

        1. trail run VO2″
          “Prepare for the longest races”
          “And navigate the most challenging..….”

          Still makes me thinking not having maps would be a very odd decision. Maps has been a clear differentiator to Coros so far.

          1. Power save modes can give users choice. Feels like a sports car having a fixed speed limiter because of fuel economy worries. 🙂

          2. I really don’t understand why Garmin doesn’t implement super high contrast mode for maps with minimum amount of details. Fewer details would mean easier to render and fewer pixels to flip when updating the map, which means it would be easier on the battery.

            The existing high contrast mode isn’t high contrast enough.

  9. Just a random thought: If they are removing hardware and software to improve battery life and weight, why not also remove the HRM? Wrist HRM is often derided anyway. Or is wrist HRM such an “essential” feature no watch can be sold without it?

      1. Same here, would love a watch without oHRM. Had 3 devices with oHRM so far and values from all of them were complete nonsense.

        1. i have owned grit x and ohr was spot on with my h7, fenix 6 pro way off, 945 little off but wrong also, wahoo rival i even don’t want to mention it… 220 peaks on easy run

      1. yes that is true.
        we now know it has the enhanced recovery metrics and so, therefore, it definitely has the oHRM…but is it Elevate gen 4?

    1. Absence of oHRM would ruin a big sales driver, the fact that the watch is that one thing you can take from the athlete side of your life over into your office identity (well, other than cycling glove tan lines). Sure, it’s technically possible to still use it as a plain (smart)watch and I’ve seen triathletes wear their Polar long before there was oHRM, but HRM during recovery hours (aka dayjob) is a core feature of those watches. If Garmin continues pushing out increasingly specialized niche models maybe one day they’ll do a “competition” watch that shaves off a few grams (two) in favor of external HRM only? Of course it would cost more, being a super niche specialization, than the oHRM enabled ones and marketet with the assumption that you already have an oHRM Garmin for the rest of the week.

  10. It still seems like the yet to come 955 w/wo lte would be the better call for most dedicated runners right? Unless the look of this Enduro is substantially more appealing and we don’t absolutely need the Fpro features. Looking for lightweight, big screen, best/better battery. At comparable price point (you think?), maybe a better call to just get the extra features a 955 would offer. Need an upgrade from my F5s…

    1. https://the5krunner.com/2020/11/30/garmin-forerunner-945-whats-missing-forerunner-955-fenix-6-anyone/
      (945) 955 WILL be a mid-size pro version with the smart features…maps music payments (745 is non pro and small)
      Enduro looks like non-pro, large/’exotic’ format, light weight.

      I assume all have the exact-same ‘proper’ running/tri features (in terms of pace pro, climbpro, virtual pacer, laps, DWS etc)

      so if you have the small F5s then the enduro is going to be a massive beast in comparison. I like the mid size watches eg F6 and have skinny wrists but I’m thinking the enduro/F6X will be too big.

      1. I definitely would prefer a mid size high end watch for running / trail / ultra / hiking. Assuming that the 955 will also get climb pro, trail vo2max and maps that might be the better choice, right? Only question is: When will that fking thing arrive? Waiting for it for over a year now. Any guess?

        1. ha! you win this weeks prize for the first comment that made me laugh! (as much as I don’t allow swearing on the site 😉 )
          your assumptions seem correct
          the rumours are the street are that there are no rumours of the date.
          we’ve seen F6 solar as the upgrade for F6 so there likely wont be f6 plus. we saw that 945 came after MARQ, after 5+ and before F6.
          so pre-summerish for the 955 and late Q3 for the F7 would be a sensible bet but by no means a certainty

  11. Whaaaaatttt?! Just saw the updates – that is crazy – ugh now I don’t know what to think.

    Also – I just updated to beta F6 15.02 (Feb 3rd release) and there was an ‘Ultra Run’ profile on main list – that wasn’t there before, right? And there’s a new widget called ‘Device Usage’ that I don’t think I’ve seen. You may want to share these details.

      1. Yep – the Ultra Run profile – when you hit the lap button (bottom right) will start a rest timer instead of lap time – then when you hit the paus (top right) you get standard ones like ‘resume later’ but also ‘lap’ and ‘back to start’ – those might be on all Run profiles but I don’t use them that often.

        1. The rest timer is the only difference – the other items are there for other run profiles (Lap possibly only if you have disabled taking laps using the lap key).
          The way it works is that it shows a special page counting your overall time and the time in the current rest, so you know how long you’ve been at this checkpoint. Distance keeps accumulating. When you save the activity, the history contains an extra page listing the active and rest periods, showing the time for each and the distance for the active periods. (Ideal design for me would be not accumulating distance in rests, and maybe using GPS speed to alert you if you forget to reset rest as you continue, but even this is useful).
          The Device Usage widget is available when you’re running beta software but not in full releases (and the information in it is logged in Garmin\Debug while you’re running beta software).

  12. apologies if you’ve already mentioned/linked this info on the 955 LTE elsewhere on your site as I’ve lost track but have you seen these?

    fcc.report/FCC-ID/IPH-03949

    fccid.io/IPH-03949

    updated just a few days ago with new tests

    I suspect the price tag is going to be breathtaking and deny access to most

    1. as per the article, above, run power enhancmeents were always unlikely on a trail product as such terrain is harder for run power to be more accurate on…especially if from the wrist.
      i’d expect it on the next high-end forerunner 955/655 maybe 245+

  13. It looks to me like a fenix 6X with a titanium bezel, green accent paint instead of red, and a new band that gets ~1.3x the battery life of a f6X. The software features look like they are all in the 15.20 fenix 6 series beta firmware — with the possible exception of the rest timer? The f6X gets spec life of 60 hours GPS and 21 days in smart watch mode. The 60 hours spec is when not using map navigation. You can bump it up significantly by using custom Power Modes. I can get to 70 hours projected on normal GPS+GLONAS mode just by turning off most extraneous connectivity features and 90 hours by using GPS-only and display timeout. In practical adventure race conditions that require navigating an unmarked course with the map, 70 hours is more like 50 hours with using the map. You can get more burn time if you are willing to disable the optical HR also.

    I think that it is probably feasible to achieve ~30% more battery life just by using a chip foundry with a smaller feature size process than they are currently using. I don’t have the impression that the ARM chips Garmin is currently using are on even close to a cutting-edge process size.

    My guess is that this is exactly a fenix 6X with a better chip foundry proces — which is not nothing. It’s cool.

    It’s interesting that they are targeting even deeper into the Ultra endurance world. The only competition there is Coros Apex Pro and Vertix and to a lesser extent Suunto 9 (but I think the regular 6X already meets or exceeds the Suunto 9 Baro capabilities.)

      1. We shall see what happens.

        The non-pro aspect of the prediction doesn’t make sense to me unless it’s going to be sold at significantly lower prices than a 6X, which I don’t think is the case. I thought I saw $900 quoted as the price.

        What would make sense is a power manager option to disable topo maps and put it into breadcrumb mode to save power. Perhaps a dedicated, preconfigured Ultra Run activity that is already set up to save all the power.

        My sense is that the 6X while it has powerful power management features, only a small segment of people who have one can grasp how to use them effectively.

        Also if it has a more efficient processor that draws less power, the solar glass will have a larger effect. I noticed that there is fine print that pops up in the video that assumes solar charging to get the 80 hours — which is dubious. The last Ultra mountain race I did in December, it rained for 14 hours.

          1. Yeah, I’m getting a vision of how it would be possible to create exactly such a device with exactly the hardware Garmin already has just by using the chips from the f6 in a 6X or 6X solar chassis, using the non-pro firmware and tweaking the preset power management profiles.

            I even had a moment thinking a monochrome display like the Instinct would probably save significant power, but the video definitely shows a color display. I assume it has exactly the same transflective display as the 6X. And anyway redesigning the operating system for a monochrome display would represent quite a bit of work.

            If this is the story, it is much less exciting than it being a 6X / 6X solar with 30% more fuel efficiency. But there is, in fact, no fenix 6X non-pro. So it is a hole in their SKU line-up that they can fill with mostly marketing and not much R&D.

            I imagine there are potentially people who want the extended range battery for ultra but do not want to grapple with the complexity. But then the pricing seems to high. It should be like $600 for gorilla glass and $850 for solar if it were slotted into the fenix range.

            Maybe the whole point of the “enduro” branding differentiation is cynical pushing up the selling price.

            I hope there is more to it.

          2. yes there is the non-=pro gap
            the premium is for exotic materials

            OR

            there is more to come on Tuesday! eg gen4 elevate

  14. 80 hours with GPS, 2 month in smartwatch mode and 1 year in powersave mode in a Fenix 6 variant with a normal lithium ion battery is not bad. I don´t think it will have dual frequency GNSS – waiting for tuesday then we will be smarter.

  15. Honestly I think Garmin are doing themselves a disservice with all those over-specialized model names. It makes sense at the low end, where a Vivoactive surely should not be marketed as a Forerunner because it would be kind of intimidating to the VA target audience (“what are they thinking, I’m surely not planning to run a Marathon!”), for wild outliers like Diving or Golf and obviously for the MARQ range that wouldn’t be “perfect accessory gifts” for boat, plane or track car owners if they didn’t come in the appropriate categories. But I believe that their full-featured performance sports watches would best be served by a single model family (or maybe two, for the mapping/not mapping delineation) with further subdivisions named exclusively for their technological difference. Extended battery version, super-lightweight version, saphire glass or not and so on. I’d expect that trail runners will actually *like* knowing that the same family of watches will also be seen competing at Kona, Triathletes would get a laugh out of wearing something that others might use in their attempt at the Darién Gap and of course the office dweller who replaced his Apple Watch to let everyone know how serious he is preparing for that charity run strives for association with all of those things. Niche models make sense at the fringes of the Garmin watch audiences (Vivowhatever and MARQ ranges, Lily, that gamer Instinct), but for the core GPS watch audiences, it’s just weakening their brand.

    1. yeah, so the Fenix 6X Ultra or even Forerunner 655 Trail SE would perhaps be better? although each of those does add a bit of confusion.
      Plus Enduro is just the wrong word to use. the advantage of FENIX And FORERUNNER is that they are trademarked and no one else uses them
      I dont think Enduro is TMd by Garmin and even if it is that trademark for running is meaningless as it’s used a LOT elsewhere for enduro/cycling.
      it’s going to be hard for people like me to rank for the ENDURO keyword. although in combination with GARMIN ENDURO then maybe that makes it easier for DCR to rank.

    1. Compared with Fenix 6x photos where solar ring is visible in the enduro video it was not. Maybe something changed here?

    2. From the Amazon site:
      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). 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.

  16. So I guess this confirms the watch does NOT have maps, no mention of it on the ad. If it had maps they surely would have mentioned it, they’ve gone out of the way to mention everything in the list, even though almost everything is out by now.

    And the battery hours quoted are only possible with Solar (50.000 lux).

    900 price tag? No thanks…

    1. blimey!
      1. company makes mistake and fails to stop the release of marketing material into the public domain
      2. people see material
      3. people comment on material
      4. people banned.
      sounds like a freedom of speech issue. Perhaps Garmin could better focus on preventing step 1?
      I have taken down some images of the Enduro that were posted in the comments on this thread. There’s LOTS of info leaking as usual. eg this has been taken down too https://www.reddit.com/r/Garmin/comments/lju41k/garmin_enduro_actual_pics/

      1. bunch of shops and sites already posted something about it like it was hours to release, why garmin did banhammer? possibly someone up get angry and PR have to react somehow

      2. “Any” news is good PR – even if it’s people talking about leaks, people being banned etc – keeps people talking about the product.

        But the marketing team are going to have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to make this Enduro seem a great product. Reminds me a bit like Porsche who remove features to make it a lightweight Special Edition, and charge customers more for it in the process. Marketing Genius 🙂

        1. sad thing is i’m going to buy one!
          i think the weight is 70g which isn’t that light, otherwise the appeal of a coros-esque weight watch might have appealed to some.
          I’m hoping the enduro is full of new sensors GPS, ohr, next gen accelerometer/barmer for running power and whatever else. i suspect i am hoping in vain! but THTAT could be exciting

          1. It hasn’t been released yet, but I followed the link to Amazon elsewhere in these comments. I note the watch face has no seconds in the product image on Amazon. One of the main ways to optimize energy consumption is to limit the display updates.

            I would lay a bet right now that there is no new hardware whatsoever that doesn’t exist in other SKUs of the fenix 6 range — that it is physically the electronics of a fenix 6 non-pro combined with the case, battery and solar glass of a fenix 6X solar and a titanium bezel option.

          2. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/702797/pn/010-02408-00#specs

            GPS: Up to 70 hours/80 hours with solar**
            Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 200 hours/300 hours with solar**

            I get a 71 hour projection mode for my 6X configured for ultramarathon with oHR and GLONAS on but all the accessories, music, bluetooth and wifi disabled. But the “Max Battery” mode is 120h not 200h.

            I wonder if that difference can be accounted for simply by not having to power the amount of RAM needed to decode and play audio or there is something else.

      3. In some weird circular reference I post a link to this article on there when someone posted the ‘forbidden’ video! Wonder if I’ll be banned? How will I even know 🙂

  17. I went back and looked at the fenix 6 vs. fenix 6 pro. They quote identical GPS activity burn time. I think Garmin has always quoted the time without using the map screen. Also, apparently, the difference in chips does not result in a significant battery life in the fenix 6 over the 6 pro. (Though it is possible that Garmin gloss this because it wasn’t the story they wanted to tell.)

    Fenix 6X pro solar:

    Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/24 days with solar*
    Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days/120 days with solar*
    GPS: Up to 60 hours/66 hours with solar**
    GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours/16 hours with solar**
    Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 120 hours/148 hours with solar**

    Enduro:

    Smartwatch: Up to 50 days/65 days with solar*
    Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 130 days/1 year with solar*
    GPS: Up to 70 hours/80 hours with solar**
    Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 200 hours/300 hours with solar**

    The enduro quotes 1.33x GPS life over the 6X and a more significant solar charing effect of 10 hours rather than 6 hours (although still 10%). The “Max Battery” configuration quotes 200 hours for the enduro rather than 120h for the f6X.

    It’s possible they squeezed a larger capacity battery in there and managed to get significantly more efficiency out of power glass. A simpler explanation is that the enduro CPU and main board is ~30% lower at peak and around half the power consumption of the 6X power budget.

    The enduro appears to be more than just a fenix 6x non-pro solar. It seems to be a substantially more fuel efficient hardware configuration.

    1. Sorry 16% more GPS life at highest burn rate. 60 hours goes to 70 hours. Not 60 hours goes to 80 hours.

      But in any case the point is the same: the hardware seems more fuel efficient. Maybe a generational die shrink.

      The 6X already had just about the same battery life as a Coros Vertix — slightly less. These enduro claims are all around 10% higher than the Vertix claims. And it is lighter with a larger display. It seems like actual competition on everything but price.

    2. Thank you Brian. Awesome thoughts, as ever.
      battery: the total available shell space must be the same. BUT there is less diskspace 64Mb and no wifi – so there could be a tiny bit extra room for a slightly larger battery.
      There could be improved battery tech as well perhaps?
      other things equal, unless there is a no new battery tech, i cant see increased battery size giving us the better battery performance.

      as you say: a better, more efficient cpu would be a good candidate. other components could be more efficient but it seems we have the same ELEVATE (so that can’t be one) and the new Sony GNSS is less efficient (so that can’t be one). Perhaps a better screen driver? or does that count as part of the cpu (gpu) with these devices?
      yep: a main board could be a candidate too

      as a guess it looks like there must be more than one improvement. And so this then comes back to why i think it might be a Fenix 6.5 in all but name. so this WILL be the basis for the Fenix 7.

  18. I love the idea of this watch. Scaled back features to appeal to the long distance crowd. But that price tag is ridiculous.

    1. I just read a couple of articles and found your article, but noted an image on one that did indeed show a map. As a trail runner using a 5X for a few years, the added vo2max feature is compelling but maps I do use as well. IN any case not sure what to make of this article but it did include the screen shot I posted. New Garmin Enduro running watch has HUGE battery life: goodbye Garmin Fenix?

  19. Wait, so it’s a gimped F6 with less under the hood than the FR945 and a nylon strap you could buy off of amazon for like 10 bucks.

    Umm, The Pace 2 from Coros is lighter and does everything this does for $200. And the battery lasts 10 days.

    1. it’s a Garmin-branded nylon strap you could buy off of amazon for 10 bucks
      the base hardware innards are different eg it almost certainly supports ciq4 and the fr945 might not. there’s more than meets the eye

      1. Okay, it supports the most recent user-made apps that tend to do more harm than good for the watches. Good, glad we got that one cleared up.

        I know my disdain for all things Garmin has been magnified. Still, honestly, after having been out of the ecosystem for near a year with a device that I don’t have to worry about doing what it’s supposed to, that anger towards Garmin for me found justification.

  20. Seems pricey for what it is, certainly doesn’t make me regret going with a 945. Of course I am far from the niche that it’s aimed at. Even my old 645 made it though my longest events (~9.5h) with around 10% battery left.

  21. What are the reasons you’re going to buy Enduro and not wait 955? I’m in similar position (kind of) as I’ve got 6s sapphire, but for some strange reason I’d like to get my hands on Enduro 🙂

  22. The way Garmin’s pricing goes I can see a Fenix9 or FR975 hitting 2k MSRP.

    I assume the ultra market is small and rather niche and so far they did okay with what Suunto offered and Coros does nowadays, so I don’t understand Garmin’s ideas here. Other than bloating their watch range with another name and offer to keep customers confused.

    1. it’s smaller than other markets but i’m guessing they’ve done their market research on numbers/sizes !
      tens of thousands of people must do ultras and even more trail running. obviously only a small percentage will want a $800 watch Many people will just want a better battery and the latest ting (because they can)
      then there is the idea of testing out the new tech innards on a smaller, unsuspecting market segment rather than risking everything with totally new and unproven tech on the fenix 7 launch

      pricing…lol!! yes !! seriously tho, Garmin know the price points that sell and as long as they can keep differentiating the product between the different price points then all will be good. the problem that they have is that they have to differentiate the super-high end watches by hardware alone and not features. as every F6 buyer wants and expect every feaure.

  23. Good review and I agree with your findings (I actually like the way the new strap works though). How are you getting the battery discharge rates? Normally I’d use the Battery Min Max data field, but it’s not available for the Enduro yet. Would really like to be getting this info. Thanks!

  24. As an owner of Fenix 6s PRO/S I was super pissed off about display-gate – do Enduro also come with two versions of display? I have suffered with F6s in regards of oHR and GPS too. Now I see “Fenix 6.5”, by end of the lifecycle of F6 is having same accuracy issues again? I am just … speechless. Hopefully this is not F6.5, but just warehouse cleanup. Hopefully F7 will get new HW.

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