These watches are expected to launch imminently, most likely during CES 2022.
The original Garmin Epix was launched back in 2015, being the first Garmin watch that had both mapping and multisport functionality.
This premium watch had all the functionality of the Fenix3 but with the new mapping functionality and a colour touchscreen.
While it may seem odd to launch the 2nd generation after 7 years, it makes some sense. The Garmin Epix is a flagship product that allows Garmin to integrate a massive change/upgrade to the Fenix series without causing backlash from users due to price hikes or them just not liking the functionality.
Technically, nothing has been confirmed, so you should consider the below as rumours.
Garmin Epix Gen 2 vs Fenix 7 – AMOLED vs Transflective Memory-in-Pixel (MIP)
The new Garmin Epix Gen 2 will be the first serious multisport watch from Garmin that uses an AMOLED display.
Using this display technology seems to be quite contentious with many users, so it is good they are keeping it off the Fenix range for now.
The argument for it is that AMOLED looks considerably better and has a higher resolution allowing an improved UI and the potential for improvements with apps and the way data is displayed. The Garmin Venu 2 has a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels vs 260 x 260 pixels of the vívoactive 4, more than double the pixels (173056 vs 67600).
The increased resolution will help with the mapping functionality, and this ties in well with the original Epix.
For casual wear, most people are going to prefer an AMOLED display.
The downsides to AMOLED are that it needs more power to drive and therefore lowers the battery life. You can save battery by having the display switch off while not in use, but if you use always-on mode, it will drop quite a bit faster.
However, Venu 2 lasts up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, which can be extended to 12 days in battery-saver mode. This is more than double that of the original Venu.
It is believed that the Garmin Epix Gen 2 could offer 16 days in smartwatch mode. Once you start using GPS, things will drop off quickly.
The Fenix 6 Pro has 14 days better or 36 GPS with no music. The Venu 2 drops its battery down to 22 hours on GPS. I'd expect the Epix Gen 2 to go a bit over a day with GPS only.
Then there is the issue with display visibility in the sunlight. It can be quite annoying trying to read your data mid-run when the display is difficult to read. This is something I experienced with the Suunto 7 and many other smartwatches.
Again, it is believed Garmin has addressed this problem, or at least it's better than other smartwatches.
The original Epix had a colour touchscreen using a MIP display. It looks like this year could be the first time that the Fenix range also gets a touchscreen.
The Epix Gen 2 will also have a touchscreen. This isn't normally ideal during exercise, thanks to sweat/water, but it is a great feature to have for general use or lower intensity activities.
A popular addition to the Fenix range has been the solar. It looks like the Fenix 7 may be solar as standard. However, the Epix Gen 2 will quite likely not have this feature.
In the previously leaked images, you can see a thick solar panel line on the Fenix 7 but nothing for the Epix Gen 2.
Most other features the same
Almost everything else should be identical to the new Garmin Fenix 7 series.
Specifics of the new features and functionality are a bit thin on the ground and not 100% confirmed.
However, the new watches will definitely have the 4th generation Garmin Elevate sensor, which is used on the Venu 2.
Music and Garmin pay will also be present.
Multi-Band Frequency GNSS is highly likely.
As for features, I'd expect some new and improved Firstbeat data.
It is also believed that Garmin has been working on native running power for the past few years. I think this feature was rumoured for the Fenix 6 as well as the Forerunner watches that launched in the past year or so. It is very likely we will see it in 2022. It is a feature that would certainly convince me to upgrade my Fenix 6 Pro to the Fenix 7 or Epix Gen 2.
The exact pricing remains unknown.
The original Garmin Epix launched for $549 while the Fenix3 was $499
In the UK, the Fenix 6 Pro has an RRP of £599.99 ($599) or the Fenix 6 Pro Solar is £729.99.
I’d expect pricing for the Garmin Epix Gen 2 to be north of £700
Images from WinFuture