Fenix 7- this is the end

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Image|Garmin

Does Garmin Fenix 7 mark the slide of the Fenix sub-brand toward obscurity?

The Garmin Fenix 7 is the second-best Garmin watch ever and, obviously, the best Fenix ever. Yet this could be the start of the demise of the Fenix…here’s why.

Must Read: Garmin Fenix 7 Review & Thoughts

Must Read: Garmin Epix 2 Review – Best Ever Sportswatch

 

Simply Put

In a nutshell: For the vast majority of people, the Garmin Epix Gen 2 is a better watch. Its screen is WAY prettier, it has a battery life that most athletes need and, well, that’s it.

Some more detail

Many athletes, wannabe athletes and fitness fanatics have a Garmin Fenix, I’m one of them. But it’s a bit boring though, isn’t it? I mean, everyone’s got one.

Fēnix has a funny accent on the e…nobody likes that. That’s so uncool that almost everyone omits it when they write it down; Garmin often does and I usually do too. That’s never good for branding but, hey, it seems to have worked well so far 🙂

The Epix? Well, that’s just Epic. I aspire to be occasionally Epic and maybe you do too? Look here, even Garmin thinks it’s Epic…

Image|Garmin

 

Plus I’m not quite sure what ashes the Fēnix is rising from.

Taking this a bit more seriously, Garmin has mostly solved the battery-life conundrum that faces most watchmakers. The conundrum was that until recently a pretty screen (AMOLED) needed so much power that any watch that used one would only last a day and a half or so…like my Apple Watch 7. Garmin now combines awesome, unbeatable sports features with a beautiful screen and some pretty darned good, but not excellent, smart features. But this screen is only found on the Epix and its somewhat inferior cousin the Venu 2 Plus.

What I suspect will happen with the simultaneous launches of the Fenix 7 and Epix Gen 2 is that many traditional Fenix owners will be tempted by all the features they know and trust in a pretty shell. Judging from the clicks on the various links on this site I reckon the interest level amongst existing owners & early adopters is something like One Epix for every Six Fenixes.

We shall probably see Fenix 7+/7 LTE and then Fenix 8 along with Epix Gen2+ and Epix 3. I reckon that even as soon as Epix 3, the Epix could sell more than the Fenix. #Cannabalisation

But it will be more than just cannibalization.

There will be many new customers who have previously wanted to wear a Garmin watch 24×7 but didn’t find it classy enough. Perhaps those who had an Apple Watch or a Wear OS/Samsung Watch just because they liked the all-day aesthetic. They got by with inferior sports features but now they have a new choice and some of them WILL take it.

Maybe also the ‘everything watch’ represented by the Epix will also encourage upgrades from within the Garmin family? I think so.

As of now in January 2022, it’s not yet so clear cut. The Epix still lacks in some aspects whilst winning on prettiness. But the things that are lacking right now are simple things for Garmin to rectify…like a ‘large’ version and a small version. Super Simple. Simple because the potential sales volumes DEFINITELY WILL be there to justify those new sizes of Epix.

Let’s take a closer look at the more important differences that matter to most people.

What are the differences between Epix 2 and Garmin Fenix 7?

These are the material differences between Fenix 7 and Epix Gen 2.

1. Size

Fenix 7s is the small one and 7x is the big one. The middle-sized, goldilocks Fenix 7 is essentially the exact same size & weight format as the Epix Gen 2. Of the 3 size formats, this one sells the most.

Here you can see all the physical factors are identical…apart from the screen.

Epix Gen 2 Fenix 7 Fenix 7S Fenix 7X
Size 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm 42 x 42 x 14.1 mm 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm
Display Size 1.30″ (33.02 mm) diameter 1.30″ (33.02 mm) diameter 1.20″ (30.40 mm) diameter 1.40″ (35.56 mm) diameter
Display Resolution 416 x 416 pixels 260 x 260 pixels 240 x 240 pixels 280 x 280 pixels
Display Type AMOLED (always-on) Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Weight 76 g (case only: 53 g, Sapphire 70g/47g) 79 g (case only: 56 g) 63 g (case only: 47 g) 96 g (case only: 68 g)

 

2. Display

Both Epix & Fenix have a touchscreen and optional sapphire screens that offer better protection against scratching. Whilst Fenix 7 and Epix Gen 2 share the same size screen, Epix displays superior resolutions, brightness and colours in every respect. Simply put, maps and charts look WAY better and work better, the AMOLED screen is brighter and more visible in every light condition.

Fun Fact: Apple Watch 7 displays 396×484 pixels

The display – Sounds simple so far?

A: No

The everything-on screen modes still have battery consequences, thus Garmin jumps through many of the same hoops that Samsung and Apple have to jump through to save battery at every turn.

The following chart from Garmin summarises Epix’s screen behaviour in a somewhat complicated way. The screen’s overall brightness is dimmed when not in use and turned off when REALLY not in use. Because Garmin has achieved some great battery lives here; they do NOT have to make some of the occasionally silly compromises that Apple/Samsung have to.

So far, the always-on display for Epix seems like the real deal ie Always-on means SENSIBLY always-on…and I’m cool with that.

 

Image|Garmin

 

3. Solar & Sapphire

Epix has no Solar option. We’ll come back to this.

Both Fenix and Epix have a Sapphire option for lens protection

4. Battery Life

Here are the detailed battery mode comparisons with some comments afterwards. Have a quick scan at the performances highlighted in bold

Epix Gen 2 Sapphire Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar
Smartwatch: Up to 16 days (6 days always-on) Smartwatch: Up to 18 days/22 days with solar* Smartwatch: Up to 11 days/14 days with solar* Smartwatch: Up to 28 days/37 days with solar*
Battery saver watch mode: Up to 21 days Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 57 days/173 days with solar* Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 38 days/87 days with solar* Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 90 days/ 1+ year with solar*
GPS Only: Up to 42 hours (30 hours always-on) GPS Only: Up to 57 hours/73 hours with solar** GPS Only: Up to 37 hours/46 hours with solar** GPS Only: Up to 89 hours/122 hours with solar**
All Satellite Systems: Up to 32 hours (24 hours always-on) All Satellite Systems: Up to 40 hours/48 hours with solar* All Satellite Systems: Up to 26 hours/30 hours with solar* All Satellite Systems: Up to 63 hours/77 hours with solar*
All Satellite Systems + Multi-band: Up to 20 hours (15 hours always-on) All Satellite Systems and Multi-band: Up to 23 hours/ 26 hours with solar** All Satellite Systems and Multi-band: Up to 15 hours/ 16 hours with solar** All Satellite Systems and Multi-band: Up to 36 hours/ 41 hours with solar**
All Satellite Systems + Music: Up to 10 hours (9 hours always-on) All Satellite Systems and Music: Up to 10 hours All Satellite Systems and Music: Up to 7 hours All Satellite Systems and Music: Up to 16 hours
Max Battery GPS: Up to 75 hours Max Battery GPS: Up to 136 hours/ 289 hours with solar** Max Battery GPS: Up to 90 hours/ 162 hours with solar** Max Battery GPS: Up to 213 hours/ 578 hours with solar**
Expedition GPS: Up to 14 days Expedition GPS: Up to 40 days/ 74 days with solar* Expedition GPS: Up to 26 days/ 43 days with solar* Expedition GPS: Up to 62 days/ 139 days with solar*
. *Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions *Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions *Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions
. **Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions **Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions **Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions

 

How much battery life do we really need? For 95% of us, the Epix 2 is surely fine? At least it is if it lives up to those claims after a few years of use.

Sure, battery life will degrade over time and typical estimates of battery degradation are that maximum capacity is reduced by about 20% after 2 or 3 years of typical usage. But that would still give the Epix over 30 hours of GPS-only usage.

Sure, some of us won’t always fully recharge the battery. Actually, that’s good practice for charging lithium-ion batteries as it makes them last longer if you don’t charge above about 80%. We’ll have to check the Garmin claims for recharge times.

If Epix 2 really doesn’t meet your battery needs then perhaps you have a serious need for every ounce of battery juice? So, I guess you’d want to buy Solar Fenix just to de-risk yourself in every scenario? Is there any point in a non-Solar Fenix 7plus or non-Solar Fenix 8?

5. External LED Flashlight

Only the Fenix 7X has an external red/white flashlight.

#Shrug

Speculation & Predictions

I like the speculation and predictions. It’s a bit of fun and it’s even more fun to get it right. The leaks are a bit tedious.

This prediction of AMOLED for Fenix in 2020 (link) was derided somewhat…just sayin’. AMOLED is definitely here now.

Please feel free to add your thoughts on the Future of the Fenix, below

Pricing

To compare like with like pricing, we need to look at non-Sapphire and Sapphire models. Sapphire IS an important consideration as the only way to get better quality, multi-frequency GNSS is if you buy a sapphire version.

Non-Solar Models

  • Garmin Epix Gen 2 – £800
  • Garmin Fenix 7 – £600

Sapphire Models

  • Garmin Epix Gen 2 (non-Solar) – £900-£1000
  • Garmin Fenix 7 (Solar) – £780-£990

 

Garmin Fenix – the demise

In my opinion, Epix will become the dominant model in Garmin’s watch range. It will expand into different size versions and might get Solar. Fenix will have sales cannibalised by Epix but will continue to exist as a Solar-only model, Fenix will nevertheless remain a significant revenue-earner.

Fenix may well become the Ultra-endurance watch option somewhat similar to the Garmin Enduro but with maps! and never get LTE/Voice. Indeed, maybe that’s why Enduro never got maps in the first place?

Back to the Epix, that will eventually get LTE/Voice.

Thus Epix and Venu together start to veer towards inevitably increased conflict with the Apple Watch as that becomes more sporty in years to come. For example, it is rumoured that there will be a rugged/outdoors Apple Watch this year (hmmm #Sceptical).

More important than that, I will bet that every key Garmin sports watch in the future will embrace high-resolution AMOLED screen technology to some degree.

Pretty screens are the future. Always have been. Always will be.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pricing

Adding Solar, Sapphire and Titanium each bump up the prices. You should seriously consider sapphire to protect the lens and Sapphire is the ONLY way to get the dual-frequency GNSS goodness.

When widely available (now looks like late Jan 2022 onwards), this single link clicks to a choice of retail stores in your country eg Wiggle, PowerMeterCity, Amazon, REI, B&H, Walmart, Competitive Cyclist & Backcountry

 

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43 thoughts on “Fenix 7- this is the end

  1. I was pretty sure to upgrade my fenix 6x to a 7x but as time goes and I read more and more reviews I’m almost sure I’ll buy the Epix 2.
    Suppose if Garmin presents a new accessory(still waiting for a nylon Quickfit 22 as enduro one has) a rechargeable quickfit band(solar or not or both) considering the new design. Just an idea or a desire. This could be the definitive win of Epix and Garmin against Wear OS watches.

    1. I just bought a Enduro Style watchvand in 22mm for less then 10€ on Amazon. Quality is fine.
      The original is only available in 26mm.

  2. The latest manifestations may mark the start of less emphasis on pretty Fenix models, but perhaps the return of emphasis on the function-over-form in the Fenix line. Epix can probably reach upward and get traction in the price range under the MARQ line up. Exactly how to deconflict Fenix & Forerunner overlap may be more of a puzzle. People have tended not appreciate firmware enforced segmentation of features.

    Then again everything they’ve made seems to sell well enough, and if they distort any of the sub-brands too severely they can always re-center with a plus model if the normal cycle isn’t agile enough.

  3. What are the chances we get that fancy screen on the 955[LTE]? Would love that in a lighter, plastic package.

    1. hi
      the 955 exists and contacts i know have seen it. i have heard nothign from them about amoled. that said whether an AMOLED variant follows soon after or as the 965 (gulp), IDK. I am pretty sure than longer term AMOLED will be an option on every key model.

    2. Any info on the flashlight/cadence marker on cousin 955?

      Independent blinkie lights are easy enough to attach, but the flashlight felt like the most Forerunner-like hardware feature they rolled out this wave. The walking/running interval detection seems like a certainty.

  4. The only thing i’m sure is that fenix 8 and epix 3 gen will be different watches so bloggers, reviewers …and final users won’t say that the only difference is the display. At the moment i agree that epix 2 is a better watch for 99% of user except for ultramarathoners and so on.

    Curious about the next tri watch (955 ??). Ironman races have to be completed in ‘only’ 16/17 hours so the battery life of the epix si more than enough…i think an amoled display could be the best choice

    1. Maybe wetsuits schools get a closed pocket on the arm to fit larger watches? At least the ones for triathletes

    2. I’ve worn my Fenix 5 with a high-end wetsuit in training and races many times and it’s never been close to damaged.

    3. yes i have a high end wetsuit too and haven’t damaged it.
      I’ve been careful tho
      in a race i’d be less than careful probably.
      plus sometimes i put the watch over the wrist wetsuit material (for my GPS testing) obvisouyl then the wetsuit wont come off but i might forget I’ve done it and give it a yank
      plus under the wrist wetsuit materially watch is at the end of the material and it is stretched…would it eventually rip? IDK.

  5. If Garmin’s profit margins are greater on AMOLED watches they won’t mind canabalising sales.

    With both perceived and actual quality being higher on AMOLED then Garmin look to have priced the Epix well.

    Just need to know how much R&D and manufacturing costs are…..

  6. Even ultramarathoners can manage with an Epix, you just recharge on the go with a powerbank (throw the watch in the backpack or get inventive with straps outside). That’s what I had to do not that many years ago, if I wanted GPS the whole time during a 30+ hours ultra trail with a Fenix 5.

    Epix 42 hours with GPS only and Gesture? Shut up and take my money!

  7. All things being equal a better display is better. Range and sensors are also desirable features. It will come down to the market and what makes sense financially for Garmin.

    8-bit color at DPI is kind of pushing up against a minimum quality floor. But also I don’t love the glow-ey look of amoled on a watch.

    I don’t see Garmin ceding the good display market to Apple or the range market to Coros. They want to be competitive in all the market segments.

    Also range is more than just how long you can go for a single activity without charging. It’s how much you have to futz with your watch. Today you have to charge an Apple Watch daily-ish. You need to charge an Epix weekly-ish. The f7X I don’t know but it seems like maybe monthly-ish.

    Before having a fenix I only wore a sports watch for sports and I wore a mechanical watch otherwise. The mechanical watch was self-winding. Before that I had a quartz watch with a battery you replaced every few years. The whole thing with charging regularly is a new thing and it is crappy.

    I noticed the fenix 7X in low power mode will go for 1 year+ according to the charts. That reads like lawyer-weasel-speak for “it goes forever”. Garmin may be within a generation or 2 or “forever power” if they keep some form of front-lit low power display.

    That’s a unique position in the electronic watch world coming back to a very old and desirable mechanical watch feature. That is interesting too.

    1. “I don’t see Garmin ceding the good display market to Apple or the range market to Coros. They want to be competitive in all the market segments.”,
      the market is probably best defined from a customer perspective and there must surely be a HUGE number of people who don’t need to buy a Fenix/Epix but do. So the danger is that Apple picks off the vast number of ‘low hanging fruit’ type athletes rather than the wannabe pros who will never be seen dead wearing an Apple on the trails. then Garmin’s business model doesn’t stack up.
      Plus Garmin HAS to cede the low end market segments as they are too price conscious and too competitive, and Garmins is effectively mandated to get >50% margins for its shareholders

      “forever power” i was thinking of that today actually whilst reading the Instinct 2 specs and thought there was a line for a story there until i remembered that Instinct effectively already claims that.

      “That’s a unique position in the electronic watch world coming back to a very old and desirable mechanical watch feature” maybe. I prefer the apple watch in terms of the ability to emulate a proper watch, although I tend to then use the Modular Duo to display a pretty recovery graph rather than an awesome-looking watch face. actually thinking about it AW’s watch faces aren’t awesome in that context…just very clever, tightly engineered and quite customisable.

      ” you have to charge an Apple Watch daily-ish. You need to charge an Epix weekly-ish. The f7X I don’t know but it seems like maybe monthly-ish.” that’s obviously true. however as a human can you organise the fenix recharging as part of your natural schedule? in some ways always charming an apple watch during a long shower is easier. it’s part of the routine. that’s why i say that for the likes of the apple watch , it’s recharge time that is more important that an increase of , say, 20% on battery life. such an increase doesn’t affect your need for a routine even though it might sound impressive. Apple has pretty much cracked the daily routine side of things in this regard.

    2. ha ha yes of course.
      needs can be created by marketing as well
      I think the word ‘need’ helps put in perspective the number of customers that may/may not have fluid brand loyalties

    3. The fenix brand is big and durable, though. It has been around since 2012 and has become quite popular. In fact the popularity of the fenix seems to have driven the design aesthetic of Garmin away from dorky utilitarian square watches to almost exclusively round watches often with a bezel ring. The Forerunner 101 through 920XT and Epix were all rectangular but in the current range I think only non-circular model is the Venu SQ.

      Garmin has a history of field testing new technologies in a side brand and integrating them into the mainstream fenix brand in the next generation.

      Historically the Epix brand was a 2015 one-off brand that introduced the TOPO map feature. It was then discontinued and the TOPO map feature was integrated into the fenix 5X, and then all fenix 6 pro editions, and then all fenix 7 editions full stop.

      The enduro similarly seems like it was a one-off brand that previewed the power efficiency (which allowed for somewhat more useful solar charging) and extended battery range which became legit solar charging and even more extended base battery in fenix 7X without the limitations of the enduro.

      Epix Gen2 introduces an AMOLED display from the Venu but without the now signature solar glass technology that Garmin acquired from SunPartner Technologies in 2019.

      If they follow the pattern, then Epix Gen2 brand will go away and the fenix 8 will include at least some SKUs that combine solar glass and OLED dispaly technology around 2024 without reducing the range at all from the 7 series.

    4. yes, maybe.
      though you are coming at your thinking from a product tech perspective not from a customer perspective (which i guess we all often do)
      CHRONOS/MARQ was introduced as a brand for a certain kind of affluent user, not the technology in the watch

      fenix enters a problem with nomenclature…fenix 10, 11 and 12, for example, don’t sound right. they could have a Fenix X , XI, etc but then would the Fenix 9X become the XX?. it’s the same sort of thing with 245, 255, 265, 275…it serves a purpose but eventually starts to become silly and you also eventually get to 295. then what? Ask BMW.

      do you go for the approach like that taken with Epix. ie have a gen 2, gen 3 etc etc. maybe. but again that’s a bit techy, albeit a slightly trendy way to name things at the moment.

      fenix’s image is associated with ‘pro’ users. CURRENTLY AMOLED is not ‘pro’ in the same sense as Fenix has previously defined it due to how amoled restricts battery life (debatable). i would guess that’s why amoled was put on another model

      your phrase ‘one off brand’ doesn’t sit comfortably with me. although it does have more than a ring of truth. do companies really want to create a one-off brand? or are they hoping (or planning) it turns into more? I don’t think garmin would create a one off brand. Fenix had to start somewhere, I suppose. that said, my argument then supports what you are saying in that maybe garmin wants these peripheral brands for it to periodically resurrect to try out new tech without damaging the image of a main/successful brand. (chronos, marq, enduro, epix…only the latter is NOT a one-off brand so far!)

      is the apple watch a dorky, utilitarian rectangular watch? (A: yes! it probably is but it sells even better than the Fenix)

  8. I’m looking to upgrade from Instinct, mainly for maps – which currently means Fenix or 945 (Epix looks epic but too much $$). Can you see topo maps coming to any mid range Garmin watches in the next year or so?

  9. > is the apple watch a dorky, utilitarian rectangular watch? (A: yes! it probably is but it sells even better than the Fenix)

    Ah but it has Jony Ive and Mark Newson design chops and the Apple marketing machine behind it. I never liked the Newson Ikepod design language it is echoing but arguably it is iconic and well done.

    Chronos was apparently a one-off branding although replaced with Marq.

    Marq seems like had more marketing behind it and they hoped to continue the brand but I don’t know what the numbers are behind it. It seems like attempt #2 at the same market as the Chronos but it may be like the gold and ceramic Apple Watch: a swing and a miss.

    Epix was definitely a side excursion brand brand that does not really have continuity with Epix Gen2 except that the Epix was partially derived from the fenix 3 but with more of the design language of the 920XT and then folded back into the fenix 5X.

    The enduro never seemed to me like it would be a durable brand. It was more of a way to explain why this tweaked fenix 6 non-pro thing should command a high price-point.

    Tactix is a fenix with a different backlight to support night vision goggles. It seems like this exists because of Garmin’s long history as a military contractor and the brand kind of organically escaped into the public.

    D2 and Quatix are just fenix with de minimus software tweaks and different color options sold by the marine and aviation divisions of Garmin almost as accessories to their vastly more expensive maritime and flight navigation systems. The Marq brand actually makes more sense to me for this purpose.

    Descent is legitimately a brand for an advanced dive computer combined with an adventure watch that is wearable as a daily watch. They followed Descent Mk1 with Mk2 so it seems like they are serious.

    Instinct also seems like a clear strategic decision to make a fenix lite watch with a lower bill of materials and a g-shock type of aesthetic. I think it’s a good and practical brand for them.

    Other than Descent and Instinct, I these smaller brands seem to be mostly created by Garmin Outdoor division with minimal differentiation and not much marketing commitment to see if they can diversify into another consumer segment. If they happen to succeed, then they will continue. Otherwise the differentiated feature just gets added back to the mainstream product or abandoned.

    Forerunner, Venu, and Vivo are brands of the Sports and Fitness divisions.

    I am genuinely curious at the success of the Marq at establishing a prestige brand for Garmin. It seemed like Chronos was a failure. Is this also a brand of the Outdoor division?

    I saw one Chronos once in real life on a Safari. I don’t know anyone who has a Marq and I have never seen one — even at the fancy marinas in Cape Town and Annapolis where there are very expensive yachts loaded up with very expensive Garmin marine nav tech.

    I saw a D2 once at the business lounge in the airport at Adis Ababa. I am surprised the D2 and Quatix continue to exist. I suspect there is something to do with the division split at Garmin that keeps these in existence.

    1. Corrections:

      Garmin Outdoor
      – fenix
      – enduro
      – tactix
      – epix
      – instinct
      – marq?
      – chronos?

      Garmin Sports and Fitness
      – forerunner
      – descent
      – Vivo
      – Venu

      Garmin Marine
      – Quatix

      Garmin Aviation
      – D2

      I don’t understand how this product development works internally because there are clearly generational platforms shared across divisions.

    2. sounds about right
      yeah i have no idea how MARQ sells. it has different distribution to the more regular products. so no-one tells me.
      many of those examples seem to be a differentiate-and-hope attempt at a sector-based rebrand. Fair enough. I guess they all work to some degree and avoid confusion with fenix (eg garmin is into aviation so don’t confuse their aviation products with fenix instead create a D2 brand for that group of customers)

      anyway

      this AMOLED malarky is something different. It enables Garmin to move toward the SMART watch space (for want of a better phrase). that’s BIG. and they will have given branding some considerable thought. maybe the Venu family really is how they want to entirely compete there? IDK.
      I’ve never seen a MARQ either…more to the point i probably have but never realised. they’re not that distinctive.

    3. The dumb part to me is that they sold the Marq through some jewelry store retail channels and not through their marine and aviation channels.

      It should have been at the yacht store when you buy a new Garmin navigation system to install in your boat they offer you a Marq captain as an impulse purchase.

      Similarly I have a friend who spent tens of thousands on a Garmin instrument panel on his light aircraft. Why didn’t they have Marq pilot watches on display?

      Head-scratcher.

    4. I imagine the MARQ roll out was specifically to forge new channel contacts. Place higher-end status products where higher-end status products are naturally found & without an Apple Watch to distract the buyer at the last second.

      Moving product also through Marine & Aviation channels seems reasonable. Perhaps the first wave of seller agreements was easier to negotiate without that sort of competition being active.

  10. You might be rushing into biased predictions. But if so, my biased opinion is that for me battery life is more important and you can argue that it definetely lasts longer than apple watch. I find that comparison pointless as garmin has constantly given some of the best battery lives recently, too far ahead of Apple, instead you should compare it with what garmin has offered recently. Epix2 has at most half the battery life of Fenix 7, don’t even wanna think about a small size Epix2.
    Anyway, I want a watch or any kind of wearable that I simply forget to charge and/or don’t need to take it off. You may say Enduro is there, but I want the extras of the Fenix as well.
    If it’s just the screen that makes the (positive) difference, it’s not worth it, not on a watch. In the future, when the amoled won’t eat more than half of the battery and we’ll get other cool and useful features, yeah.

    1. Biased opinions are great.
      If you get lots of them from different people you can weigh up the pros and cons better and make an informed decision 😉 or have your own, informed opinion 😉

      the comparison to apple watch is not pointless. clearly garmin watches are superior when it comes to battery life. as i say it depends on the individual as to whether or not they can adapt the apple watch to their daily routine or their garmin to their monthly/weekly routine. the point being that no-one would remember to charge their garmin at 4:45 every other friday (or something like that)

      clearly if you really need 20 or 30 or 70 hours of GPS time then garmin, coros or others offer a variety of options.

      bearig in mind that the apple watch has probably sold more units than the combined total of every other smartwatch, i think it’s fair to assume that the future is amoled-like screen tech. niche markets will always exist.

    2. I turn off all of the “smart” features, FWIW. I don’t want notifications on my phone, let alone my wrist.

      I probably shouldn’t extrapolate too much from myself to what other people would want.

    3. I’m with you that the battery life isn’t long enough. When and if they achieve a Citizen eco-drive performance that you should never need to charge except in complete extremis like you live in a mine or maybe like Killian at the arctic circle it is night 24 hours a day for a month.

      The Instinct Solar and fenix 7X are tantalizingly close to this on paper. It seems like a generation improvement in power consumption and generation could achieve “forever power”.

      I think that is cool and something people would buy.

      (If they had a transflective display that is a little higher resolution and 10 or 12 or 16-bit color too, even better.)

  11. All other things being equal there will always be people who prefer wearing a screen that usually sticks to reflecting ambient light over wearing something that insists on glowing in the dark.

    Might have been smarter however to stick both display technologies under the same model family brand (dunno, perhaps a “Fenix 7 shine” for this generation’s AMOLED, then switch the default next time with a “Fenix 8 shealth” or whatever). “Epix 2” feels a bit like disturbing the peace of the dead whereas Fenix seems to be their most well-established sub brand by far and relegating it to “the non-AMOLED version of the Epix 2” feels kind of wasteful.

  12. AMLOLED is really beautiful display.
    I have Amazfit GTR with 1,4in AMOLED and it looks great (also watch). Except on the direct sun. Except when is dark and it flashes to my eyes when I accidentally rise my arm. Except when I want to measure 25 seconds doing my expresso and it dims (or I have to use stopwatch).
    That said AMOLED display (even so great) and lack of any type of navigation is the reason to think about buying Garmin Fenix or Coros Vertix 2.
    What stopped me until now was poor battery in Fenix 6 (X) (comparing to my GTR) and small display in relation to watch size in both of them. I hoped that Fenix 7 will get bigger screens but at least battery is a bit better. Forget solar – I use watch under coat most of the time.
    I do prefer my watch not dims and shows time (and other things) constantly like an old fashion watch without draining battery like crazy. So – long life MIP.

  13. I do not agree with the Epix (AM)OLED hype.

    1. Burn in. Big problem on first Venu, and on any always on display with a constant watchface. Pixel shifting doesn’t solve everything.
    2. Fenix has better battery life although display is always on. Big differentiator.
    3. I’m an outside hiker. I don’t want a constant or gesture light in the dark. It attracts attention. Same for hunters, military etc.
    4. Transflective display is great in even the brightest sunlight.
    5. Solar just makes much more sense on an LCD watch.

    1. 1. it was a problem. it could still be a problem. I hope and suspect not
      2. it does have superior battery life and it is a big differentiator for some…but how many?
      3. I guess that’s why the Fenix will stay for those markets. it serves it well.
      4. it certainly does the job but doesn’t look as impressive in a 24×7 way
      5. Yep

  14. I also think it is a branding problem that Epix is a premium cable TV channel in the US. It belongs to MGM — soon to be owned by Amazon.

    Fenix is also a Chinese brand of LED flashlight and a Mexican luchador, so maybe I make too much of this.

  15. Funny nobody makes these same battery life arguments about smartphones. If some company wanted to they could make a smartphone that had an inferior display and a few other fairly small functional compromises and the battery life could last a week instead of a day. But nobody would buy it, so they don’t make that.

    The fact is most people are fine plugging their watch in every 5-16 days and it’s going to be the new normal. You won’t be able to buy an old-display Fenix for more than 3-4 more years is my prediction. They will get the display and battery life tech of the AMOLED models up to where the Fenix 6 was within the next 3-4 years, and then it will be a case of the 2% of the market for these fitness watches who want a crappy display with a month of battery life won’t be big enough to support.

    1. True. And same with TV set.
      But it is a watch dedicated for outdoor activities. If you want just beautiful AMOLED screen you can get better made products for much less than Garmin.

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