Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Garmin Enduro 2 Initial Take: Ultra Long Battery Life, Maps On Board, Long Adventures Companion

 Garmin Enduro 2 ($1100)

On August 9th Garmin announced the Enduro 2, a large screen ultra long battery life multisport watch focused on ultra big and long adventures of all sorts. 

The Enduro 1 (RTR Review) had a large highly legible screen, long battery life, and a big $900 price tag but sort of inexplicably left out topo and road mapping relying on classic breadcrumb navigation.

The Enduro 2 seeks to rectify those shortcomings with full multi continent topo and road maps on board including a new NextFork trail turn and name indicators and then goes further yet adding yet more battery life, a touch screen to go with classic Garmin buttons, and new long adventure and long run focused software features. 

Its key physical specs are below with our initial analysis. 

It shares about the same case diameter as the Enduro but is a bit less than 1mm thicker and gains about 10g to 70g in the Titanium version. It is a remarkable 19g lighter in Titanium Sapphire Solar with the nylon band (silicone also included) than the Fenix 7X with its equivalent size 1.4” and resolution 280 x 280 display. 

At 70g, and given its 51 x 51 x 15.6 mm size, it remains to be seen and tested how accurate wrist heart rate will be on our skinny running wrists as the thicker, heavier and bigger the watch the more common the sensing confuses cadence with heart rate. 

This said recent updates have clearly improved Garmin wrist HR for me most notably in my Fenix 6S which weighs a still stout 58 grams and was great  in the Epix 2 (RTR Review) at the same weight as the Enduro 2 is slightly smaller. 

It actually loses 16 days of smartwatch everyday non solar battery over the Enduro 1 to come in at a still remarkable 34 days. With its solar capabilities the battery is extended to a near equivalent 46 days. Compared to the equivalent size display Fenix 7X Solar we still remain ahead by 6 days in everyday mode. Bottom line so much battery life that you will never think much about charging with any of the big Garmin options.

The Enduro 2 has Garmin’s new SatlQTM Technology  which through its "AutoSelect mode dynamically determines the GPS mode necessary to maximize battery life without compromising positional accuracy". The comparative stats below (prior to our testing) clearly demonstrate the improvements in battery life over close Garmin comparatives without increasing the watch’s weight or even much its size (thickness).

GPS battery life gains 40 hours over the Enduro 1 to come in at 110 hours while its Max GPS battery mode is now 264 hours, a huge 64 hours more than Enduro 1. 

Compared to the Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar we gain 21 hours in GPS only and 53 hours more in Max GPS battery.

The considerably higher 416 x 416 resolution screen Epix 2 at $1000 (RTR Review),  the standard to date at RTR in terms of any light condition from bright to shade to dark legibility has, unlike the Enduro 2, an AMOLED display which uses more battery. While several times the battery life in everyday and GPS of any other AMOLED watch (example Apple Watch) we have seen it does lag the Enduro 2 with 16 days everyday, 42 hours GPS, and 75 hours Max GPS Battery. Still huge and more than sufficient for all but huge adventures in our view.

On Board Maps and Music Storage

Unlike its version 1 the Enduro 2 now comes with “preloaded TopoActive maps with multi continent coverage. (+ music storage!)” Why does Garmin add music storage to their bullet highlight? Well, the Enduro 2 now has 32GB of storage vs. the comparatively miniscule 64MB of the Enduro 1. Plenty of storage for not only highly detailed maps but tunes for days! This additional storage may also explain the slightly thicker watch case in the Enduro 2. 

Superbright Flashlight

First introduced in the Fenix 7X, the multi-LED flashlight is twice as bright in Enduro 2. A very interesting and useful feature for night road running safety, and as a point back up to headlamps, including in a safety and night vision saving red

New Software Features

New software includes:  NextFork™ map guide, grade-adjusted pace, visual race predictor, automatic rest time and ARWS-approved adventure racing activity profile.

NextFork is a key new feature alerting you to trail junctions and names (if available), regardless if you have a route loaded or not.  Previously as far as I could tell a course had to be loaded and running to get this kind of useful heads up. Competitors such as Polar and Suunto through their partner Komoot’s mapping had this capability. 

Grade adjusted pace and grade adjusted Pace Pro join ClimbPro and are particularly useful on trail and welcome as is a new trail based VO2 Max which takes into account the fact you are climbing and descending.

Of course the Enduro 2 also includes every other Garmin “standard” and higher performance training features and smart watch features which are listed in the official specs here.

Quick Initial Take:

No question the Enduro 2 will set the standard for hikers and trekkers in need of multi day battery life and map based navigation including NextFork. Ultrarunners of course will also benefit from the previous and the on-course climb, trail grade pace (not yet appearing in Fenix 7 specs), and trail V02 Max features. Of course, many of these same features apply to endurance cyclists on road and off. 

“Regular” runners may find the watch size/weight and price somewhat daunting and can get many of the features, including on the wrist maps and still very strong battery life in a smaller and lighter package (with potentially more reliable wrist heart rate on skinny wrists)  in say the Forerunner 955 Solar ($600) with its 42 hour battery life. 

Our testing of the sample which Garmin kindly sent us will help determine how wrist "friendly" it is day in day out, at night sleeping and on the run, always a key consideration and of course its performance. For capabilities and presence this loaded watch is a stunning tech achievement and should prove a most capable any adventure companion.

Images: Garmin

Available at Garmin as of today HERE 
Coming to other retailers including our partners below soon

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