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Garmin Enduro 2 Review – aka the Fenix 7X (Pro) Ultra
This is the everything-watch. At least it is, for trail runners with big wrists.
I liked the idea behind Garmin’s first-generation Enduro. Sure, it stupidly lacked maps and many people missed headline smart features like music and Garmin PAY. The strap wasn’t great either as the watch could fall off your wrist.
You could buy a new strap and sure you could use the DWMAP Ciq app but that wasn’t the point. On an expensive watch, you want that kind of sport-specific feature as standard. Plus it was a bit buggy on release.
Garmin has now addressed the lack of Maps on Enduro 2 and added much more into the mix with a slew of new ~Sports & Smart features for the Enduro – although we’ve seen all the same features recently added to Garmin’s latest crop of watches and bike computers.
Q: Should I upgrade?
A: It’s definitely worth an upgrade from the Fenix 6 or first-generation Enduro but owners of the F7 Solar Sapphire have a highly similar watch already.
Garmin Enduro 2 – New Features
I’m confident in 6 months’ time we will look back and most owners will say, “This is an awesome trail watch“. You get upgraded hardware internals compared to the first generation and, of course, all the relevant software that has recently found its way onto our Garmin encrusted wrists.
Here is a very quick point-by-point overview of what’s new.
- GNSS – Multi-band, All Constellation, SatIQ glory awaits from the Airoha chipset, more details here. Garmin really has finally got good accuracy.
- The oHR has the latest gen Garmin sensor. oHR accuracy is rarely as good as a chest strap and a heavier watch like this will impact accuracy negatively during workouts.
- Battery Life- Stupidly good and about 50% more than Enduro Gen 1. Check out these claims for battery life without solar! GPS: Up to 110 hours, All Satellite Systems: Up to 78 hours, All Satellite Systems and Multi-band: Up to 68 hours. Wow!
- Size – Very similar size to the larger Fenix 7X and only available in Titanium. In my opinion maps on anything other than the larger Garmin format are very hard to use so it makes sense there is only one large screen size.
- Topo Maps – Yes, including Trail and Ski maps. Maps are also boosted by NextFork, UpAhead, Popularity Routing and AroundMe features which all add more context and richness to your interaction with routes.
- Music, Wifi, and Garmin Pay – Yes. Double the onboard memory can store up to 2,000 songs and maps, now you have Garmin’s full raft of smart features.
- Strap – I like velcro-like straps but the specific design of this band needs to change to one that can’t come loose at both ends. The gen 1 watch did fall off my wrist a couple of times – but only when I was taking it off rather than in use outdoors. The strap appears unchanged but you get a silicone band thrown in free for good measure as a consolation.
- Garmin Stamina – yep. Now you know how much juice is left in your anaerobic tank.
- Readiness & Morning Report – Yes along with the health snapshot. This is a much improved and relatively comprehensive feature set geared towards sporting readiness. The HRV analyses seem scientifically sound but I am sceptical of the quality of the raw data and sceptical about the scientific basis for the manipulations that Garmin adds to the HRV data.
- AMOLED-like screen – No. It would make battery consumption poor if a map was often on display. The awesome Epix 2 is the one to go for if you want a pretty screen.
- Large 1.4″ Sapphire Solar Touchscreen (280x280px) – Yes. Touchscreens are useful when outside of a workout. The sapphire screen here is more durable and solar significantly improves battery life in decent sky conditions.
- native Garmin Running Power – Yes, you get that plus grade-adjusted pace for those who can’t get to grips with running power.
- Change settings in Garmin Connect – Yes. That will be in all new Garmins, though longstanding Garmin devotees will probably continue to use the buttons on the watch as before!
- Daily workouts optimised for your calendarised race days – Yes, this builds in periodisation (Race Glance Widget)
- Cycling Power Guide (from the Edge 1040) – Yes. This is a bit like Best Bike Split where your efforts are guided over a pre-loaded course. I found implementation a bit rubbish on the 1040 but I hope for some tweaks soon.
- Flashlight from the Fenix 7X – Yes, now twice as bright.
- EKG – The watch is probably ECG/EKG-capable based on the design of the start button. A software update will come for this.
- Auto rest timer for aid stations – yes. Aid station rests are automatically recorded as discrete events whilst not affecting the overall record time.
Garmin Enduro 2 vs Enduro Gen 1 vs Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar
Try this link for a detailed comparison of Enduro Gen 1 vs Gen 2 vs 7X Sapphire Solar.
If you already have the 7X Solar Sapphire then you miss out on very little other than better battery life and a lighter titanium case. Sure there’s the better flashlight, NextFork and auto rest timer but they’re minor features in my opinion.
Trail runners will have their own personal preferences or criticisms of Garmin’s newer features. The bottom line is that most trail runners will love the new battery life and love the addition of maps. Add to that improved readiness metrics plus a choice of GAP or Running Power then you have some new and potentially useful second-tier features compared to the original Enduro. It’s worth the upgrade
Garmin Enduro 2 – Opinion
It’s definitely the best-ever trail watch and probably the best-ever running watch for the larger-wristed amongst us.
Other than launch bugs this is a product that is hard to fault. Watch out for the oHR accuracy which will be challenged by the relative heaviness of Enduro 2, especially if you have the heavier silicone band.
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