If you’re familiar with Garmin’s current line-up, an initial glance at the Epix 2 might leave you drawing comparisons with the more affordable yet similarly feature packed Fenix 7. And for that you’d be correct. Borrowing almost all of the same design elements from the more affordable device, which is no bad thing at all, the Epix 2 uses Garmin’s now established five button layouts to navigate around the menus. If you’re graduating from a lower tiered Garmin device, it’ll feel very familiar.
The black titanium bezel gives the watch a rugged and premium feel whilst keeping the weight down. The model I tested tipped the scales at a svelte 70 grams so almost 20 grams lighter than the similarly sized Coros Vertix 2. The case size is 47mm which is identical to the Fenix 7. Elsewhere, the Epix is 14.5mm thick and will fit wrist sizes between 125mm and 208mm when using the detachable silicone band. Beneath the titanium bezels, the body of the Epix is made from a fibre reinforced polymer which is an oft used if vague description of strong plastic designed to shrug off impact whilst still being lightweight.
Garmin have equipped the Epix 2 with a beautiful, always on 1.3” AMOLED touchscreen display which a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels so everything on screen looks exceptionally sharp and detailed. The benefit of an AMOLED display is that individual pixels can be
controlled rather than using a backlight so contrast is exceptional with rich blacks and no bleeding between colours. I’ve used some watches that are an absolute pain to set up, requiring data to be inputted on a tiny screen with cumbersome keyboards making me want to throw the thing at a wall before we’ve even taken it outside.
Thankfully, Garmin’s excellent Connect app takes care of most of the setup by scanning a QR code on the watch to transfer the process to your phone. It’s easy to link Garmin Connect to your choice of training platform to automatically upload activities.
The Epix is essentially a rebodied Fenix 7 with a fancy screen and depending on the exact spec it’s in the region of £150 to £200 more than the equivalent Fenix 7. The question of value for money therefore is a tricky one here as it really depends on how much you value the trade-off between the improved screen and less battery life.
If your adventures are limited to a couple of days then the decreased battery life won’t be a hindrance but if you’re regularly off grid for weeks on end then having to charge up every 6 or 7 days is just another thing to remember.