Garmin Fenix 7 & Epix 2 – BIG *NEW* features released – some for runners

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Garmin Fenix 7 & Epix 2 – new Features

Check out the Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin Epix 2 beta mini-site for some exciting new Garmin features. (here). This is a fairly decent set of new features that will find its way onto our high-end watches sooner rather than later and certainly in time for Xmas…thank you Garmin!

In Other Reading: Wahoo Roam 2 Review

Running Power

The interesting one to me is that we now get running power calculated on the wrist, or at least the wording below implies that. This brings Garmin into line with every other major sports watchmaker to enable runners to calculate running power only with the watch ie an HRM-PRO or RD-POD is no longer needed. For more info on Running Power see here or, of course, consider Stryd for more accurate measurements.

Morning Report

I use the Garmin morning report every morning on my Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, particularly to grab the overnight HRV data that I correlate with Oura, Whoop, HRV4Training+Polar H10 and the Apple Watch Ultra. However, the morning report has a much wider scope than that and also includes forward-looking things like details of today’s workout.

Love ❤️ It – Garmin Morning Report

If anyone is interested, here are the daily and baseline correlations I have for the last 30 days. Prior to that period Garmin 955 was awful and essentially did not correlate at all. Now it does, it’s even better than Whoop when previously Whoop was better. Oura is always either pretty good or excellent and this is the first time I’ve even looked at the Watch Ultra data…it doesn’t look good. I’ll have to check Athlytic as I’m using that software to report the sensor readings the Watch automatically takes – this doesn’t surprise me as I’m having issues with the HR and with the GPS on the Watch Ultra (looks like I’m sending it back)

 

Grade Adjusted Pace

I lose track of which niche metric is on which watch. Anyway, Grade Adjusted Pace is an existing feature that’s now making its way onto Fenix 7/Epix 2. Grade Adjusted Pace in some ways is like running power for people who don’t understand power. The grade adjustment restates your actual pace in terms of how it might be on the flat.

Next Fork Data Field

When following a route it’s always good to know how far the next fork is and, where possible, what ‘shape’ of fork it is eg a T-junction. Now you get this…even if you are NOT following a route.

Expanded Haptics

This means that the Fenix and Epix will now vibrate in more weird and wonderful places than before. Haptics might not sound too exciting but when you are using a touchscreen to scroll through lists/menus the haptics can significantly improve the experience and feel. The Apple Watch has had it for ages…it’s a good feature for Garmin and shows that they are very mindful that they need to significantly ramp up the on-watch usage experience to keep up with the superior interactions offered by Apple and others.

 

New Alpha Features – Available Now

  • Added wrist-based run power support.
  • Added Next Fork data field.
  • Added Morning Report.
  • Added Grade Adjusted Pace data field.
  • Added haptics to more places, including scrolling lists.
  • Added Tides glance.
  • Added Anchor, Sail, and Sail Race activities.
  • Added Auto-Rest for Ultra Run.
  • Added Backcountry Snowboard Activity.
  • Added Disc Golf Activity.
  • Added golf Scoring settings menu.
  • Added nautical unit options for Boat, Sail, and Sail Race activities.
  • Added Reference Point as a hotkey option.
  • Added support for Armenian characters.
  • Added support for heart rate chest strap in Yoga/Breathwork/Health Snapshot.

 

Thoughts

Some nice updates and a good sign of continuous improvement.

 

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22 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix 7 & Epix 2 – BIG *NEW* features released – some for runners

  1. Coros have shown running power from the wrist is very viable and it tracks very closely to Stryd so it’ll be interesting to see how Garmin’s wrist version does. I expect it will trend higher than Stryd / Coros but will roughly show similuar peaks and valleys.

    Stryd are going to be in big trouble – Ebay UK completed listing search reveals a massive selloff and this started before the new version annoucement…

    1. I agree with your coros/garmin comment…testing awaits! although I’ll wait til it comes to the 955. I would point out though that a runner’s power duration curve is much flatter than that for a cyclist and is therefore more ‘sensitive’ to inaccuracy. ie a slightly inaccurate device can give power variations that are significantly different to the one targetted to get whatever specific physiological response the runner is looking for. I’m not saying stryd’s power is accurate (it probably is tho) but it’s sensor inputs are…**two** of their biggest competitors told me so!

      stryd in trouble?? – it’s possible, i guess. there are other announcements coming up soon as well. I hadn’t seen the second-hand market until a few moments ago…there are only 5 for sale on ebay.co.uk and one of those comes from Macedonia. MAybe in the USA it’s different. of course, it just could be people selling them for the latest, greatest Stryd.

  2. 47 Stryds have sold on Ebay UK over the last 3 months – for a niche product that seems a lot. I think a lot of that has coincidenced with the ‘native’ Garmin implementation! – if so wrist based power will see that selloff accelerate (even if it isn’t very good)

    PS: Wrist power has an On / Off setting so if you use Stryd it won’t replace that data.

    1. thanks for the second point. i just found out from DCRs video a few minutes ago too.
      that is a VERY useful feature. I kept moaning to Polar that they needed it but….still waiting 3 years later

      47 stryds. ok that’s a few more. still relatively small. I think your point still stands about the competitive landscape for stryd i just don’t think that’s particularly worrying evidence after all 47 NEW RUNNERS *bought* stryd according to your data 😉

    2. It won’t replace the data even if the wrist power is on … it records both … and power center or TP takes the Stryd’s power … GC shows both – wrist and Stryd as well.

    1. it’s going to be different. I’d be interested if power from the new HRM pro is different from the old one but I’m not going to test it! (might have a different accelerometer or more memory)

      I would expect to see different levels of responsiveness from wrist-based garmin power. tho it would be hard to eliminate responsiveness from the smoothing done by the algorithms and user settings.

  3. I didn’t see the wrist-based power coming. Maybe next quarter they will integrate powern for 3rd party sensors using the ANT+ power profile that cycling uses — which already sort of works with Stryd. (A CIQ field can read the power from a Stryd connected as a native power meter and a running a cycling activity can also do it natively.)

    Is Stryd in trouble: probably. It could go either way. Awareness of running power could increase the market by increasing awareness. Stryd could benefit by dominating the small percentage high end of the market. I suspect the native implementations from Garmin and the other watch makers — Coros, Polar, Apple — will be good enough to dry up demand for a 3rd party implementation, just like most people are satisfied with watch-based wrist HRM.

    You see this all the time in the tech space. It’s called “Sherlocking”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_(software)

    Sometimes a niche competitor can survive after being Sherlocked but usually not. I think Stryd will have to continue to pivot into services to survive. They can have better margins by not becoming more of a virtual coaching service with a focus on power than selling expensive widgets with a subscription service add-on.

    No matter what, I think it will be a tough row to hoe for Stryd.

    1. hi
      no i didn’t see it coming either. at least not so soon. i expect they’ve been able to do it for ages but Apple and some other things coming soon meant that they were an outlier and it just looked weird what they were doing…how many HRM-PRO sales did their current algorithm get…probably not many. so there was no justification for not putting running power fully on the wrist

      I don’t see an ant+ running profile now happening nor any more fiddling by Garmin in that respect. they will just hunker down and make what they’ve already done natively into a better product.

      is stryd in trouble?: no. I expect stryd will get a boost over the short term from the new model. i expect they will get a boost in the medium term from apple and garmin growing the market. sure stryd’s market share will fall but it will be a growing pie.

      i think coros and polar are red herrings. it’s all about Apple and Garmin.
      – apple just provides their own workout app. their workout app will always be low on running power features. stryd is well placed with the watchOS app to offer a far superior power running ecosystem (it’s already better than most [all?] running apps on watchos eg ismoothrun). competition here is on features
      – garmin is different, garmin offers all the features and will add those it doesn’t. so here is where stryd may become niche as you suggest. IMHO they have to PROVE that their power is better and more accurate. then they get those athletes that want that. otherwise, stryd kinda becomes relegated to a definitely accurate distance/speed pod and stryd-lite, i think, proved there was an insufficient market for that (even tho i thought there would be a good market for it)

      dual pods are also an obvious way to increase sales as would a pod to track torso/hip movement. but then we get to runscribe’s market and there’s not much money there at all (gait metrics), the money is power measurement from motion sensors.

      subscription service: that will surely be part of the income portfolio. i don’t know how important it is to them. I suggested to Angus at stryd years ago that they do an equine version…there’s big money there. #diversification. if i were them i would open up their watchOS app to apple running power and make sure there is a subscription model to upgrade to. there’s $millions there for stryd if they think about it

      tough market: – yes business is tough. it’s hard to make money and hard to keep making it. that’s life.

      exit strategy: I can’t see an exit strategy for Stryd’s VC owners. I could have seen apple buying them …perhaps…maybe…but not now. so if there is no exit they need a ROI.

  4. For me Stryd still gives good enough value by allowing me to have great treadmill sessions with accurate pace/effort. It might be a niche use for most people, but the capability to do indoor runs and have meaningful data out of it it’s invaluable (wrist based pace it’s not accurate, at least in the current Garmin implementation, you can be alright with one pace but then you start to do hiit and it gets all over the place).

  5. I think that’s the death of Stryd, I was quite annoyed that they introduced fees for their app and the Stryd app didn’t work on the Apple Watch for quite a while, Garmin has advantages now because everything is in one piece

  6. I wonder if garmin will only allow their power numbers to be integrated properly into the watch – structured workouts etc. That could really lock Stryd out of the game.
    (or am I behind the times, and they do this for Stryd numbers already?)

  7. I did few test runs, you can even display stryd and garmin power at the same time on the watch. I am pretty surprised how identical both values are ( I mean I’m trends on the chart and responsiveness ). I did not have same experience with Coros where my power were 10sec behind stryd.

  8. Is the virtual run profile broadcast the wrist base power? This would mean that only with you watch no extra sensor you would get HR, pace and power to external apps.

    About STRYD, it’s looks like the future is not all rainbow and sunshine for the hardware side(wrist base power, like ohrm are taking over.) but for data analysis, training plans, … they are still ahead. For how long!!

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