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Garmin announces renewed Fenix ​​7 and Epix smartwatches

Despite being leaked to hell and back, the Garmin Fenix ​​7 Series was an absence at CES 2022. That's why Garmin decided to wait until today to separately announce its renewed multisport GPS smartwatches. In addition to an updated flagship of the Fenix ​​7 series, Garmin is also launching the Epix - a rugged outdoor smartwatch with an always-on color screen.

Some things with the new Fenix ​​7 smartwatches will be familiar to Garmin fans. There are still three sizes: 42 mm Fenix ​​7S, 47 mm Fenix ​​7 and the huge 51 mm Fenix ​​7X. Fenix ​​7S and 7 come in "regular" versions made of fiber-reinforced polymer, but there are also Solar Editions and Sapphire Solar Editions for all three models. In addition, Sapphire Solar Editions upgrades the materials to titanium and a sapphire screen for extra durability.

As the names suggest, Garmin also adds solar charging options for all three sizes. Garmin says that compared to the Fenix ​​6X Pro, these watches have 54 percent more solar surface area - and that translates to longer battery life. With GPS enabled, Garmin says the maximum battery for the 7S is 90 hours and 162 hours of solar charging. The numbers jump up for the 7 from 136 hours to 289 hours of sunshine. For 7X, Garmin says you get 213 hours or 578 hours of solar energy. Of course, these are all estimates, and what you actually get depends to a large extent on your individual consumption.

The Fenix ​​7 watches will all support all major satellite systems, but also add the L5 frequency range for better accuracy in "challenging GPS environments." The L5 is one of three "modernized" GPS signals for civilian use that, according to the U.S. government, have "higher power, greater bandwidth and advanced signal design." The series also gets touchscreen features - but don't worry, Garmin does not get rid of button control. (In fact, it's actually adding button screens to the start and stop buttons to minimize accidental presses.) The idea is to offer several ways to navigate through menus, such as scrolling through your settings or zooming in on GPS maps.

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You can also select a red light and a "strobe mode" that matches a runner's cadence.
Image: Garmin

The 7X also features a shiny new hands-free LED flashlight feature with adjustable red or white light to help multi-sport athletes see and be seen during night activities. Garmin says that it is activated via a double-tap and works for both left-handed and right-handed users. It has an optional strobe mode, where the flashlight also matches a runner's cadence. Basically, it flashes red when your arm swings down, and white when it swings up. Garmin says it works as headlights and taillights on cars so others have a better sense of what direction a person is heading.

For software, Garmin adds a Real-Time Stamina tool to help you compare the potential endurance you would have at moderate intensity versus your endurance at your current effort level. The company is also adding a new mapping feature called Up Ahead, which tells users the location of auxiliary stations, elevations, water and other points of interest on a particular lane.

Meanwhile, Garmin is finally refreshing its Epix smartwatch, seven years after it was first introduced in 2015. The new Epix is ​​basically what you would get if you took the Fenix ​​7 and asked, "What if I switched the transflective screen with a 1.3 "inch always on AMOLED screen?" It comes in three 47 mm models and includes many of the same features as the Fenix ​​7 such as buttons, touch screens and Real-Time Stamina. The biggest difference between the two lineups are that Epix does not have the new LED flashlight or supports solar charging.As for battery life, Garmin claims that Epix can last up to 16 days on a single charge - and an impressive six days with always on screen activated.

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The new Epix series adds a 1.3-inch, always-on color touch screen
Image: Garmin

Both smartwatch series also support push notifications, Garmin Pay, music storage and security features. They also come with the usual Garmin health features such as heart rate measurement, respiration, stress tracking, body battery, fitness age and sleep recording.

The Fenix ​​7 series costs a nice penny, but that’s par for the course for Garmin’s flagship GPS smartwatches. Although it depends on the materials and models you choose, the Garmin Fenix ​​7S and 7 start at $ 699.99 and go up to $ 899.99. Meanwhile, the 7X models range from $ 899.99 to $ 999.99. Epix is ​​similarly priced, as Garmin considers it a premium multisport GPS watch. It costs $ 899.99 for the slate and steel model and $ 999.99 for the white and black titanium models.

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