dcrainmaker heads off to Madeira for a hike with what? an Enduro, Instinct or Fenix 8?

dcrainmaker heads off to Madeira for a hike with Enduro, Instinct or Fenix 8

As fellow reviewer Dcrainmaker heads off for some serious hiking in Madeira, I’ve been asked now by quite a few people if that means he is testing Enduro 3.

I was also in Madeira last year and that was a trip combining watching the 48a Volta a Madeira, half-heartedly hiking, fairly seriously (bike) climbing, and lounging around a pool. Madeira is best suited for hiking and sunbathing out of all of those options. So let’s assume he’s testing a hiking watch rather than holidaying.


Here are Ray’s 3 days on Strava where he shares his stats showing him using Garmin Epix Pro gen 2 and Polar Grit X2 Pro – both high-end hiking/adventure & multisport watches also boasting AMOLED screens.

Day 1: Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) 47mm

Day 2: Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) 47mm

Day 3: Polar Grit X2 Pro

What Device is Ray Testing?

Based on historic release dates, the Enduro 3 and Instinct 3 are due soon. Fenix 8/Epix 3 could also be imminent but the timing doesn’t feel right. Of course just like investments, past performance is no guarantee of the future.

  • Enduro 2 AMOLED or Enduro 3 – I don’t see Garmin introducing an AMOLED version of Enduro. The whole point of Enduro is the maximal battery life that AMOLED would destroy. From the Strava links, Ray is using the Polar X2 Pro and Epix 2, and those are hiking watches not Ultra running watches therefore not the best comparators to a new Enduro. Would likely low sale levels of an Enduro justify a relatively expensive trip-cum-holiday? Perhaps, instead, an Enduro 2sPro (small, new sensors, non-AMOLED) is an option? Personally, I don’t see Ray just testing a new Enduro on this trip and certainly not just a smaller, slightly updated version of an existing watch.

Instinct 3 and Fenix 8/epix 3 would all be high sellers and each would justify a decent mountain testing trip to the beautiful island of Madeira.

  • Instinct 3 – this is my favourite candidate. Whilst Instinct 3 may not get either LTE or AMOLED treatment, to avoid buyer confusion with Epix, there are still plenty of software and hardware updates to be added to the old model. It’s a popular watch.
  • Fenix 8/Epix 3 – Obviously Garmin’s headline watches deserve the trip. My reticence is that I am expecting them next year or later this year, at the earliest June 2024. I’ve still not had a satisfactory answer to the conundrum of what NEW headline hardware features these watches will possess. Yet another new HR module with ECG, a slightly improved GNSS chip or a slightly better AMOLED screen isn’t good enough. But maybe Solar AMOLED and Elevate 5 would just be enough to justify a new model. Garmin is also incorporating payments to Garmin Connect and perhaps could give us some new paid-for features for free on a new Fenix but which everyone else has to pay for? Maybe the elusive next-gen LTE is also a candidate/ The latter was hinted at by the additions made to Connect IQ 7 at the end of 2023 and the expansion to the recent MESSENGER app.

I still reckon it’s the Instinct 3. That would give Ray just enough time to get a review out tomorrow as, according to the image below, there seems to be a new product launch tomorrow (Tue 9 Apr else 16 Apr) but my preferred speculation would be for a new Edge tomorrow (one is DEFINITELY inbound) and then the Instinct or 755LTE in May.

What do you think? Where is my logic flawed? (Be nice it’s just a bit of fun)

the earliest I’d expect to see a new Fenix 8 variant would be the late May/early June 2024 timeframe, DC Rainmaker Dec 2023.

FYI: This could have been a trip to test a non-Garmin product. There is one due but I wouldn’t have thought it notable enough to warrant this trip.

via: Twitter @Jakub




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