I've got some bad news for Garmin Fenix 7X owners: there is a new top dog in town, the Garmin Enduro 2. This beast of an ultrarunners' watch boasts even longer battery life, maps, and other trail-running specific features most people will love, including me, a lifelong Fenix fan.
I was slightly confused but also excited when the original Garmin Enduro came out – it was an expensive watch tailored to ultra runners; indeed, a niche market. When earlier this year Garmin told me the Enduro 2 would be released in 2022, my initial thought was, 'Gosh, more Enduros are coming?!' Are people actually interested in this watch enough for Garmin to design and produce a successor?
As it turns out, the answer to all these is a resounding yes. That's not to say the Garmin Enduro 2 is not a confusing watch. It has many features the Fenix 7X does, including maps and the Solar Sapphire lens, and looks pretty similar, too. The Fenix franchise is Garmin's most popular watch line – at least, judging by the number of people subscribed to the Garmin Fenix subreddit – making it all the more questionable why Garmin would carry on releasing Enduros.
That said, since I love Garmin watches and have reviewed almost all new releases for the last few years (check out T3's best Garmin watch guide for more details), I will always be excited when new models are released, and this was exactly the case when I first laid my eyes (and hands) on the Enduro 2. And the more I used the watch, the more I liked it. It's only been a week, but I'm already falling in love with it.
Garmin Enduro 2 – Price and release date
The Garmin Enduro 2 was announced on 9 August 2022 and is available to buy now directly from Garmin US (opens in new tab), Garmin UK (opens in new tab) and Garmin AU (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of £929.99 (approx. $1,123.80/AU$1,614.89).
In comparison, the more expensive carbon version of the OG Enduro retails for a measly $899.99/£619.99/AU$1,399, so the new model is significantly more expensive than its predecessor. You can even buy the Enduro via third-party retailers such as SportsShoes.com (opens in new tab) for even cheaper: it's currently £549.99, £70 off RRP.
Garmin Enduro 2 – What's new, Scooby Doo?
Let's address the elephant in the room: the Enduro 2 has insane battery life. Back in the day, when I first reviewed the original Enduro, I couldn't get over the fact of how long the battery lasted on the watch; now, it lasts even longer in GPS mode, thanks to the improvements to the Power Glass and battery optimisation features such as SatIQ.
SatIQ is a GPS technology that determines the optimal GPS mode based on your environment. SatIQ switches between battery modes depending on your surroundings to ensure you always get a good signal without having to use the Max Accuracy GPS mode (as that drains the battery the most).
How long is the battery life then?! The Garmin Enduro 2 can function up to 46 days in smartwatch mode and up to 150 hours in GPS mode – compare this to the Fenix 7X (37 days/122 hours with solar) and the Enduro (65 days/80 hours with solar). As you can see, the battery life in smartwatch mode actually decreased, probably because of the addition of health features, but the GPS battery life is absolutely out of this world.
And yes, the Enduro 2 uses Garmin's latest multi-band GNSS system for better accuracy and faster signal recovery.
Another big change is that the Enduro 2 now has preloaded TopoActive maps. Maps were not included on the OG Enduro, which was super strange, considering that the watch was aimed at trail people. However, the Enduro 2 doctors this issue, and you can finally also use your sausage fingers to operate the maps thanks to the touchscreen display! So much fun.
There are two more exciting trail-running specific new features on offer: NextFork and Grade-adjusted Pace. NextFork is a map guide that shows the distance to the next trail intersection, as well as the name of the upcoming trail, so you have 'increased awareness of your current location', Garmin says.
Grade-adjusted pace helps runners pace themselves over varying terrain by displaying what an equivalent running pace would be on flat ground' allowing you to adjust your pace and maintain stamina throughout a race. It's the evolution of the 3D Speed and 3D Distance features that were actually introduced in the Enduro. These change the way outdoor watches read speed and distance by taking into account elevation changes when calculating distance and speed.
I saved the best for last: the Garmin Enduro 2 has a physical flashlight, similar to the Fenix 7X. Not just that, but according to Garmin, the Enduro 2 contains Garmin's brightest flashlight to date! It's said to be twice as bright as Fenix 7X's flashlight, and it provides an optional strobe mode to match your cadence or a red safety light mode that 'allows users to see and be seen'.
I need a couple of more weeks to test at least the main features of the Garmin Enduro 2, but it's safe to say, so far, I'm impressed! I only ran and swam with the watch so far – after all, it's supposed to be featured in our best triathlon watch and best outdoor watch guides – so there is plenty of cycling, trekking, and trail running to do in the coming weeks. Will the Enduro 2 push the Fenix 7X off my wrist? It's not unlikely...