Garmin Fenix 7 versus Epix 2 vs. Fenix 6: should you upgrade

Garmin has finally made the highly awaited Fenix 7 range and its fancier brother, the Epix 2, available for purchase on its website as of today. These are the Fenix 7 models, which succeed the Fenix 6 models that were introduced more than two years ago. The watches are available for purchase on Garmin’s official website as well as on Amazon (links: Fenix 7, Epix 2).

As a result of the numerous leaks and rumors that have been circulating in preparation for the big day, many of the specifications were already known in advance. Nevertheless, there were a few parts and pieces that have been kept secret up till the present day.

Those individuals who desire absolutely all that Garmin has to offer should look into the Fenix line of products. A Fenix product is designed specifically for the activity or experience you are most interested in partaking in. The watch is designed for extreme athletes and those with an adventurous spirit.

It should not come as a surprise that the equipment is expensive. There is now a more expensive option available, which is the more sophisticated Epix 2 model. However, current owners of Fenix watches are aware of the reasons for the high cost of their timepieces. It is worth the investment if you are serious about tracking every element of your health and fitness.

It’s not just the specifications that have been updated for the Fenix 7. Garmin has discontinued a number of its models. Which, at first glance, could appear to be a bit puzzling. With any luck, this article will shed some light on the subject.

Continue reading to learn about the differences between the Fenix 7, the Epix 2, and the Fenix 6, as well as which watch you should purchase and whether it is worth upgrading for current owners.

Design and hardware comparison of the Garmin Fenix 7, the Garmin Epix 2, and the Garmin Fenix 6

Finding common ground among the numerous models

The Fenix 7 features a design that is instantly recognizable as a Garmin product. At first sight, it does not appear that much has changed. It is the appearance that the corporation has also decided to make typical for its Forerunner product line. However, you shouldn’t deceive yourself. This time, Garmin has made some fairly helpful product upgrades.

The same three sizing options are available to choose from as before. In point of fact, they have not altered from Fenix 6 to Fenix 7. You can choose between the standard size, which measures 47 millimeters, the S model, which measures 42 millimeters and is designed for people with smaller wrists, and the X size, which measures 51 millimeters.

The fact that Garmin has been able to reduce its thickness by a few millimeters is certainly an intriguing development. For example, the depth of the basic version is now 14.5 millimeters, whereas the depth of the Fenix 6 model is 14.7 millimeters. It’s not a major deal, but anything that can make the watch thinner and more compact is a win in our book. Although there is a difference in thickness across the three various models, the reduction in size has been accomplished across the board. The weight has also decreased slightly, but only slightly.

It is essential to note that the manufacturer has discontinued the Pro version of the product. Those who desire built-in music, maps, and WiFi connectivity have the option to purchase this model of the Fenix 6 (both the base model and the compact model). These features are now included in every version of the product.

Regarding the Fenix 2, think of the Epix 2 as being similar to the Fenix 7 but with an AMOLED display. The majority of the other specifications are identical, except for a few minor nuances that will be discussed further in this article. When compared to the connection that exists between Vivoactive and Venu, the one that exists between Epix 2 and Fenix 7 might be thought of as an inverted version.

It would appear that Garmin is testing the waters with its Epix product. It has taken a cautious approach to measuring the demand level for that particular type of watch, and it has chosen this strategy.

As a result, the Epix 2 is only available in a single-size version, the 47mm. You also do not have a model that operates using solar energy, but you do have the opportunity to buy a version that uses a lens made of sapphire crystal. A key distinction is that if you select Sapphire for the Fenix 7, the device will immediately come with integrated solar power. The Fenix 6 is available in both a solar and a non-solar Sapphire model. However, Garmin has eliminated the option of having both.

I really hope that everything makes sense. The many possibilities are outlined in the following table for your convenience.

Fenix 7 Epix 2 Fenix 6
42mm Yes No Yes
47mm Yes Yes Yes
51mm Yes No Yes
Standard Yes Yes Yes
Solar Yes No Yes
Sapphire No Yes Yes
Sapphire Solar Yes No Yes
Pro model No. Features built into all models. No. Features built into all models. Yes

You might be curious about who Epix 2 is designed for in particular. On this topic, we also wrote a second post, which you might find interesting to read.

The MIP display is fantastic, especially when used in natural environments. But timepieces with AMOLED displays are not only aesthetically pleasing but also significantly simpler to read when worn indoors. Having said that, the memory-in-pixel display of the Fenix has the upper hand in settings similar to those found outside in the sun.

People who desire a Venu but don’t want to give up the rich features of the Fenix range will be one of the target demographics for the Epix 2 watch. Epix 2 is unquestionably the more stylish of the two. Even though it has a diameter of 47 millimeters, the watch is quite huge for individuals who have relatively small wrists.

Design

Both the Fenix and the Epix are tough watches to wear. All of these are constructed out of either titanium or stainless steel (depending on which version you choose). The scratch-resistant sapphire faces of the Sapphire model are another distinguishing characteristic of this variant. The range is tested for temperature, stress, and water resistance according to the specifications of the United States military.

The timepieces come with a rating of 10 ATM, which indicates that you are permitted to dive with them to depths that are up to 100 meters.

The most recent iteration of the Fenix watch features an essential upgrade in the form of a touchscreen display. You need not be concerned; the five physical buttons that you previously used to navigate the menus are still available to you. However, they can now be utilized in conjunction with a touchscreen as necessary. Choosing to maintain the physical button layout was an astute move. It is possible that using a touch display will be problematic if you are engaging in physical activity such as running. This is also true when you are in the water or if you are wearing gloves when you are outside in the cold.

However, having a touchscreen is a very convenient option to have. People who rely heavily on maps would benefit tremendously from this in particular.

The display has not been altered in any other way at this time. The display of the Fenix 7 model is also a memory-in-pixel (MIP) screen that is transflective, making it visible in sunlight. The Fenix 7 and the Fenix 6 display exactly the same size and resolution—1.3 inches (33.02 mm) in diameter and 260 by 260 pixels, respectively. The situation is the same with the models of the other sizes.

As was previously said, the Epix shines most because of its stunning AMOLED display. The fact that it offers 416 x 416 pixels of resolution, roughly double that of the Fenix, will appeal to certain people.

The engine compartment

Every single model in the Fenix lineup utilizes the same sensors. You will receive the complete package, consisting of an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, thermometer, Pulse Ox, barometric altimeter, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, and GPS/GLONASS/Galileo functionality. In addition, there is NFC, which enables mobile payments.

Naturally, there will be certain advancements with each succeeding generation. Therefore, the Fenix 7 and the Epix 2 come equipped with the most recent Sony multi-band GNSS chip in addition to the Elevate 4 heart rate sensor. The Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 945 LTE are the first products to have the Elevate 4 heart rate sensor, and early feedback suggests that it provides accurate readings. Those individuals who participate in activities while wearing a heart rate strap will be less enthusiastic about the enhanced sensor.

Additionally, multi-frequency location is available on the Sapphire editions of both the Fenix 7 and the Epix 2. This entails the utilization of various frequencies from each constellation in order to achieve improved location in areas where GNSS signals are weak. This should deliver fairly considerable gains in GPS accuracy when compared to the single-band versions of the non-Sapphire Fenix models and older products from Fenix. According to Garmin, this is a technology that was previously solely accessible to the armed forces.

The storage capacity of Sapphire models has been increased to 32 gigabytes, and they come preloaded with worldwide proactive maps. The non-sapphire devices only come preloaded with proactive maps for your particular region and have half as much storage space as the Sapphire variants.

Here is a table that compares the various pieces of hardware found in the high-end Fenix 7, the mid-range Epix 2, and the entry-level Fenix 6. All of these are variations on the 47mm size. In order to provide a more accurate comparison with the Fenix 7, we have also included the Fenix 6 Pro. This is because the Fenix 7 now comes equipped with the Pro capabilities by default.

Fenix 7 Epix 2 Fenix 6 Pro Fenix 6
Lens material Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX Sapphire Editions: sapphire crystal Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX or Sapphire Crystal Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX
Bezel material stainless steel passivated stainless steel Sapphire Edition: carbon gray DLC titanium or pure titanium stainless steel, titanium or Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated steel stainless steel
Case material fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover fiber-reinforced polymer with steel rear cover Sapphire Editions: fiber-reinforced polymer with titanium rear cover Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover
Strap material silicone (22mm) silicone (22mm) silicone, leather, titanium or nylon (22mm) silicone (22mm)
Physical size 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm 47 x 47 x 14.7 mm 47 x 47 x 14.7 mm
Touchscreen Yes Yes No No
Display size 1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter 1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter 1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter 1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter
Display resolution 260 x 260 pixels 416 x 416 pixels 260 x 260 pixels 260 x 260 pixels
Display type sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) AMOLED (always-on) sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Weight 79 g (case only: 56 g) 76 g (case only: 53 g) Sapphire Editions: 70 g (case only: 47 g) Steel: 83 g – case with silicone band (case only: 60 g) 72 grams for the titanium case, which has a silicone band (case only: 49 g) Steel: 80 g (case only: 57 g)
Water-resistance 10 ATM 10 ATM 10 ATM 10 ATM
Memory 16 GB Sapphire Editions: 32 GB 16 GB Sapphire Editions: 32 GB 32 GB 64MB
Sensors Heart rate, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2 Heart rate, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2 Heart rate, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2 Heart rate, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2
Ambient light sensor No Yes No No
Satellite connectivity GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO multi-frequency positioning (Sapphire edition only) GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO multi-frequency positioning (Sapphire edition only) GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO
Garmin Pay Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connectivity Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FI Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FI Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FI Bluetooth, ANT+
Music storage up to 2,000 songs up to 2,000 songs up to 2,000 songs No
Solar option Yes No Yes Yes
Price starting at $699.99 starting at $899.99 starting at $649.99 starting at $549.99

Comparison of the battery lives of the Garmin Fenix 7, the Epix 2, and the Fenix 6

Battery life is another aspect of the numerous models that can be distinguished from one another. Garmin, in contrast to Apple, is making significant progress with each new generation of its products.

In smartwatch mode, the Fenix 6 base model has enough power to last for almost two weeks on a single charge, while with GPS turned on, it only lasts for about a day and a half. In generation 7, this has been improved so that it now takes 18 days and 57 hours, respectively. Nice!

The solar-powered version also includes some additional enhancements. To refresh your memory, the Power Glass is a clear solar charging glass that rests on top of the watch face and is part of this accessory’s built-in Power Glass. Because the ring cell area that absorbs the rays is much increased on the Fenix 7, the battery is able to last far longer.

On the Fenix 6 Pro, for instance, using solar power grants you two more days of use in the smartwatch mode. But for Fenix 7, you get four extra days. The battery life varies depending on your chosen model, but the solar charging option is certainly more than just a gimmick this time.

In terms of the Epix, it likewise features a respectable battery life. However, a significant part of this is determined by whether or not you select the option for an always-on display. If you do, you may anticipate getting just about a week of use out of the smartwatch mode. Turning it off will give you a whopping 16 days of extra time.

The differences between the Epix 2 and the middle-range Fenix versions are broken down in the following table.

Fenix 7 Epix 2 Fenix 6 Pro Fenix 6
Smartwatch mode 18 days 16 days (6 days always-on) 14 days 14 days
Smartwatch mode with solar 22 days 16 days
Battery saver watch mode 57 days 48 days 48 days
Battery saver watch mode with solar 173 days 80 days
GPS only 57 hours 42 hours (30 hours always-on) 36 hours 36 hours
GPS only with solar 73 hours 40 hours
All satellite systems (with solar for Fenix) 40 hours 32 hours (24 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + multi-band 20 hours (15 hours always-on)
All satellite systems and music 10 hours 10 hours
Max Battery GPS mode 75 hours 72 hours 72 hours
Max Battery GPS mode with solar 136 hours 93 hours
Expedition GPS 40 days 14 days 28 days 28 days
Expedition GPS with solar 74 days 36 days

Activity tracking and intelligent features on the Garmin Fenix 7, the Garmin Epix 2, and the Garmin Fenix 6

The design and the technical specifications are the two areas in which the numerous Fenix versions and the Epix 2 diverge the most from one another. When it comes to tracking activities and sports, however, not much differentiates them from one another. Particularly considering that Garmin has discontinued the Pro model altogether.

Additionally, some of the functions that are included with the purchase of the Fenix 7 and Epix 2 will soon be made available for the Fenix 6 model in the form of software updates. For instance, this watch’s owners have recently benefited from a substantial update to the watch’s firmware. It adds support for the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) activity profile and other activity profiles enhancing the algorithms for altitude calibration, lactate threshold, altitude acclimation, and more.

So, what additional features come standard on the most recent models?

Realtime Stamina is the name of one of the new measures that have been introduced. The purpose of this is to provide something that assists you in maintaining a steady pace. During sports such as running or riding a bike, you can use it to monitor and control the amount of effort you put forth. In this way, you will be able to finish just as strongly as you began.

The next screen that we see is the Health Snapshot. This is a screen that compiles all that you can do for yourself using the many health stats widgets that are available. But it also includes heart rate variability (HRV) as RMSSD (root mean square of consecutive deviations in milliseconds) via the optical sensor rather than having to put a strap on. This is not the same as stress, as HRV is only one of several factors that contribute to stress. The Fenix 7 and the Epix 2 are the first Garmins to report the HRV metric. Previously, the only way to obtain this information was by using a heart rate strap and installing ConnectIQ apps.

A built-in LED flashlight is included with the purchase of the Fenix 7X model. This is not an original thought at all; there are already quite a few fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market that have the ability to brighten their surroundings. In low-light situations, turning it on will make it easier for you to find your way around. This function allows you easy access to a beam of light that is both bright and steady.

Moving on, the Fenix 7 and the Epix 2 both have real-time settings synced with Garmin Connect Mobile and On-device Connect IQ store. This is the next significant distinction between the two models. Because of this, using and managing the watch should be simpler because you will be able to connect to the IQ store directly from the device itself. In addition, the Connect app allows you to modify your watch’s settings.

The newest generation of timepieces comes with only a few minor improvements to their existing functions. Below, for the sake of completeness, is a list of them. As was noted, some of this functionality will probably be added to older models in the form of software upgrades in the future.

 

Fenix 7 Epix 2 Fenix 6 Pro
Stamina metric Yes Yes
Health snapshot Yes Yes
Up Ahead (at-a-glance awareness for selected POI checkpoints ahead). Summary of key trail points coming up. Yes Yes
Golfing features (touch-targeting; Tournament legal) Yes Yes
Pairs with Garmin Golf app Yes Yes
Outdoor recreation profiles (hunting, kiteboard, windsurf, snowshoe) Yes Yes
Connectivity (smart trainer control) Yes Yes
Built-in LED flashlight Yes
Ultra running Yes Yes
Vo2 Max (Trail run) Yes Yes
Realtime settings sync with Garmin Connect Mobile / On-device Connect IQ store Yes Yes

 

Comparison of the Garmin Fenix 7, the Epix 2, and the Fenix 6 with regards to cost and selecting the appropriate model

The Fenix 6 has a starting price of $550 and goes up from there depending on whether you select the pro, solar, or sapphire model, as well as depending on the build that you select and the strap option that you go with. Although the Fenix 7 has a starting price of $600, it is not really accurate to compare this to the Fenix 6’s most basic configuration. A more accurate comparison would be with the Fenix 6 Pro model because of the features that come standard with it. This indicates that the price difference is roughly $50, which is not terrible.

Epix 2 is reserved for customers with more substantial budgets. You do not have access to as many customization options, and the price range for Slate Steel begins at $900. If you choose the Sapphire model, you’ll have to shell out an additional thousand dollars.

 

Fenix 7 Epix 2 Fenix 6
7s – standard – Silver with Whitestone Band ($700) Slate Steel ($900) 6s – standard – White with White Band ($550)
7s – standard – Silver with Graphite Band ($700) Sapphire – White Titanium ($1000) 6s – pro – Rose Gold-tone with White Band ($650)
7s – solar – Rose Gold with Light Sand Band ($800) Sapphire – Black Titanium ($1000) 6s – pro – Black with Black Band ($650)
7s – solar – Slate Gray with Black Band ($800) 6s – pro sapphire – Rose Gold-tone with Powder Gray Band ($750)
7s – sapphire solar – Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Band ($900) 6s – solar pro – Light Gold with Light Sand Band ($800)
7s – sapphire solar – Dark Bronze Titanium with Shale Gray Band ($900) 6s – solar pro – Amethyst Steel with Shale Gray Band ($800)
7s – sapphire solar – Cream Gold Titanium with Light Sand Band ($900) 6 – standard – Silver with Black Band ($550)
7 – standard – Silver with Graphite Band ($700) 6 – standard pro – Black with Black Band ($650)
7 – solar – Slate Gray with Black Band ($800) 6 – standard pro – Black with Black Band ($650)
7 – sapphire solar – Black DLC Titanium with Black Band ($900) 6 – sapphire pro – Carbon Gray DLC with Black Band ($750)
7 – sapphire solar – Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Band ($900) 6 – sapphire pro – Titanium with Ember Orange Band ($750)
7 – sapphire solar – Mineral Blue DLC Titanium with Whitestone Band ($900) 6 – solar pro – Black with Slate Gray Band ($800)
7x – solar – Slate Gray with Black Band ($900) 6 – solar pro – Mineral Blue Titanium with Whitestone Band ($900)
7x – sapphire solar – Mineral Blue DLC Titanium with Whitestone Band ($1000) 6x – standard pro – Black with Black Band ($700)
7x – sapphire solar – Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Band ($1000) 6x – sapphire pro – Carbon Gray DLC with Black Band ($800)
7x – sapphire solar – Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Band ($1000) 6x – solar pro – Titanium Carbon Gray DLC with Black Band ($950)
7x – sapphire solar – Black DLC Titanium with Black Band ($1000)

 

Garmin Fenix 7 vs Epix 2 vs Fenix 6: Bottom line

The Garmin Fenix product line is the pinnacle of electronic gear for use in the great outdoors. Individuals who desire the greatest sports watch that their money may purchase should have this.

The addition of a touchscreen, an improved GPS chip, and longer battery life are the primary differentiating factors between the Fenix 6 Pro and the Fenix 7. The gap is not particularly large, and if these additions are the only reason to update, then doing so will be prohibitively expensive.

The Elevate 4 sensor, which could be useful for someone who wants to put significant effort into their heart rate, is included in the package, as expected. On the other hand, they always have the option of using a heart rate chest strap. It is expected that the Stamina and other software goodies will be made available as a software update. Having said that, if you are still using the Fenix 6, there are more compelling reasons to upgrade now that you have access to maps, WiFi, and music than there were before.

If you are in the market for a new sports watch, the Fenix 7 is an excellent choice that you cannot go wrong with. Because it will be able to receive additional software updates in the future, purchasing that model makes a great deal more sense. Unless you want to acquire the Fenix 6 at a lower price and save a few bucks in the process, in the next few months, prices for that model will almost certainly go down quite a bit.

Those with substantial financial resources should consider Epix 2. A beautiful AMOLED display is included in addition to pretty much everything else that comes with the Fenix 7 series. The catch is that the only available diameter is 47 millimeters, and there is no possibility of powering the device using solar energy.

Both the Fenix 7 and the Epix 2 watches are available for purchase on Garmin’s official website as well as on Amazon (links: Fenix 7, Epix 2).

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