Garmin reveals big updates to its flagship Fēnix 7 smartwatch and launches a new version of the Epix

New touchscreens are among a raft of new features for Garmin's premium GPS watches

Garmin smartwatch
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has unveiled the next generation of its flagship Fēnix 7, a solar-enhanced multisport GPS smartwatch, and simultaneously launched the second version of the Garmin Epix watch.

The US brand has added a new touchscreen to the Fēnix 7 Series which it says “enhances the reliable five-button interface” and also adds “innovative new training features, multi-band positioning and multi-continent mapping, all integrated in a tough housing with protective button guards and metal-reinforced lugs.” 

Meanwhile Garmin describes the new Garmin Epix as a “versatile premium multisport wearable with AMOLED display and exceptional battery life built to deliver essential wellness, training and recovery features right to your fingertips.”

Garmin Fēnix 7

Garmin smartwatch

(Image credit: Garmin)

As well as a new touchscreen, Garmin has introduced Sapphire Solar models to the new Fēnix 7 series, meaning users do not have to choose between solar capabilities and a scratch resistant sapphire lens, as they had done for the outgoing Garmin Fēnix 6

Garmin says it has improved the solar harvesting capability up to 200% in smartwatch mode from Fēnix 6 Solar to Fēnix 7 Solar, claiming the the solar-powered Fēnix 7X models can go even longer between charges with a battery life of up to five weeks in smartwatch mode and up to five days in GPS mode.

CW tech editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan has a Garmin Fēnix 7 Sapphire Solar on test - you can read her first impressions here.

The Garmin Fēnix 7X also introduces an integrated hands-free quick-access multi-LED flashlight, which Garmin says is a game-changer for sport, adventure and daily life. A red or adjustable white light is intended to supply greater visibility and situational awareness. With running mode enabled, the light matches running cadence, alternating between white and red with each arm swing so they can see and be seen.

Since it’s designed to be worn all day (and night) the Fēnix 7 series features Garmin’s 24/7 health and wellness tools including Pulse Ox, wrist-based heart rate, respiration and stress tracking, plus Body Battery, Fitness Age and Sleep Score with Advanced Sleep Monitoring, which lets you see how much time was spent in each sleep stage and scores your night from 0-100. 

Also as before, it will receive all smart notifications on the wrist; there are safety and tracking features with automatic incident detection and manually triggered assistance alerts; Garmin Pay contactless payment and the capability to listen to music playlists from streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer, which come preloaded on the Garmin Fēnix 7 series through the new Connect IQ Store On Device. This allows users to discover recommended apps and install over Wi-Fi directly from the watch, no phone required. 

The Garmin Fēnix 7 retails from £599.99 (Fēnix 7, no Sapphire, no Solar) up to Fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar with Titanium strap will set you back £1,149.99; the Sapphire treatment is anti-scratch and offers greater durability. 

Keep an eye out for our full review.

Garmin Epix

Garmin smartwatch

(Image credit: Garmin)

The Garmin Epix, which Garmin says is built for "everyday wear" (as opposed to pure sports) combines a durable design and premium materials like sapphire and titanium with a 1.3in always-on AMOLED display. Users can swap out Epix watch straps with QuickFit bands available in metal, leather, suede and silicone.

As with the new Fēnix 7, the Epix gets a new touchscreen interface for dual utility alongside its buttons.

Garmin says the Epix has its broadest range of 24/7 health monitoring features including: wrist-based heart rate (with user-configurable alerts for high or low readings), respiration and stress tracking, advanced sleep with sleep score and insights, and Body Battery energy monitoring. 

It also supports a broad spread of sports with apps for gym workouts, pickleball and tennis, climbing, bouldering, golfing, surfing and skiing, which Garmin says is only a few.

If you're into running (the Epix is arguably more targeted at two legs than two wheels) it can prepare you for race day with customised training plans from Garmin Coach, complete with a virtual personal trainer for added motivation. 

There's a range of advanced training features like PacePro, which keeps a runner’s pacing strategy on track with grade-adjusted guidance as they run a course, and Real-Time Stamina to track and manage exertion through activity to avoid burnout.  It will suggest workouts based on the user's fitness level, their recent workouts, recovery time, training history and biometric data. 

The Epix features multi-band frequency and multi-GNSS support for improved and more accurate GPS positioning. 

There's no Fenix 7-style solar option, but the Epix has a claimed battery life of up to 16 days in smartwatch mode and up to 42 hours in GPS mode.

However, the Epix includes the smart features of Garmin's high-end smartwatches including notifications to the wrist, music storage, safety and tracking, Garmin Pay and personalisation, allowing the user to download apps, widgets, watch faces and more from the Garmin Connect IQ store.

The Garmin Epix comes offered in slate steel, black titanium sapphire and white titanium sapphire, black/carbon grey DLC titanium sapphire with a suggested retail price starting at £799.99 and going up to £999.99.

We have a Garmin Epix that we'll be reviewing here, so keep an eye out for that.

Find out all the details and shop the new watches direct at Garmin's website.

Take a look at our guide to the best smartwatches.

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