The Death of an Icon: Why Garmin's next Epix watch will spell the end of the Fenix franchise

Mark my words: we're a couple of years away from the demise of the fan-favourite Garmin Fenix line of adventure watches

Man hiking while wearing the Garmin epix (Gen 2)
(Image credit: Garmin)

I love the Garmin Fenix 7. It's one of the best Garmin watches and definitely the best Fenix ever to exist. I love the long battery life, the fact that it can now be controlled via touch gestures, the stamina feature, the flashlight, everything. However, once Garmin figures out how to improve its solar harvesting technology to power AMOLED watches, it'll make the Fenix line obsolete. And this is likely to happen in the next two years.

You see, the Garmin epix (Gen 2) is essentially a Fenix watch with an AMOLED screen minus the solar charging. Garmin is no stranger to creating competition for its watches. The new Fenix 7 makes me question why anyone would buy a Garmin Enduro, a watch aimed at endurance trail runners, as the Fenix 7 has all the features of the Enduro plus point-of-interest navigation and better solar charging.

However, the epix (Gen 2) is different. It's the same watch as the Fenix with a better screen but poorer battery life. When I spoke to Rich Robinson, Head of UK Product at Garmin, before the launch of the new watches, he said Garmin didn't include solar charging on the epix (Gen 2) because the Power Glass technology isn't efficient enough to provide a tangible benefit to users. Yet.

Taking into consideration how much the Power Glass has improved since the launch of the Enduro (and especially the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar), it's safe to say that in a couple of years, when the next epix and Fenix models are likely to come out, the technology will be good enough to support AMOLED watches.

And when that happens, there will be no point in keeping the Fenix line alive. Why would Garmin bother with carrying on supporting a non-AMOLED watch franchise that has the exact same features as its AMOLED flagship? There are so many premium smartwatch lines one company can produce.

Female athlete bouldering while wearing the Garmin Fenix 7

(Image credit: Garmin)

The death of the Fenix line makes me sad. Of all the Garmin watches, including some of the best running watches and best triathlon watches, the Fenix has always been the closest to my heart. It's the most versatile watch Garmin has to offer, and it just looks so damn good. That said, I'm hopeful that the epix will carry on the Fenix legacy the right way.

After all, the epix (Gen 2) is a Fenix disguised as a premium smartwatch. Come to think of it, maybe I was wrong all along. Maybe the epix (Gen 3) will be the rebirth of a new Fenix: shinier, faster, more modern. And I'm okay with that.

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).