Garmin has launched the Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro smartwatches, and (of course) the tech giant is claiming they are its best smartwatches yet. Featuring built-in LED flashlights, an updated heart rate sensor and new training features, they're available in three sizes and are designed to be worn 24 hours a day... and the starting prices are a lofty £749.99 for the Fenix 7 Pro and £829.99 for the Epix Pro, rising to £999.99 for the Epix Pro Sapphire Edition.
Both watches are available in three case sizes - 42mm, 47mm and 51mm - each featuring the built-in LED flashlight as well as a red safety light to help provide greater awareness while training in the dark, Garmin says.
Whilst wrist-based heart rate monitors may not always be as accurate as chest heart rate straps, Garmin says that the Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro has a next-generation optimised heart rate sensor for enhanced performance tracking across multiple sports, thanks to 'sport-specific algorithms'.
Of interest to cyclists is the new endurance score feature, which calculates how easy it is to sustain prolonged efforts, taking into account training data like VO2 max and training loads.
Another new feature aimed at providing better understandings of fitness levels is the hill score, which gauges how easy it is to run uphill and also evaluates progress over time using training history and VO2 max.
There are also new weather map overlays, which Garmin claims make it easier to view changing weather conditions, and relief shading on the topographic maps are said to make them easier to read at a glance.
Both smartwatches can be used for contactless payments with Garmin Pay and songs can be downloaded and played from Spotify, Deezer or Amazon.
Garmin says that the Epix Pro is the "ultimate high-performance smartwatch" featuring an AMOLED display, built-in LED flashlight and "advanced" training metrics.
The Epix Pro is designed to be worn all day, allowing all-day health and fitness monitoring which Garmin says will help users stay active, along with the new, preloaded activities such as football, basketball and horseriding, if you fancy a break from cycling.
It has a claimed battery life of 31 days, which is up from the claimed 16 days on the standard Epix.
In darker conditions, the Epix Pro features a Red Shift Mode which is said to change the display colours to shades of red, helping reduce sleep disturbance.
The Fenix 7 Pro is Garmin's solar-charging, "premium adventure GPS smartwatch", equipped with SatIQ technology for superior accuracy, so claims Garmin.
The added benefit of solar charging means that it offers a claimed battery life of up to 37 days in smartwatch mode, and a huge 139 days in expedition mode. This means there's no need to take it off at night or ever again (if that's your preference) as this watch aims to provide round-the-clock health and wellness tracking.
This includes sleep monitoring, Heart Rate Variability and a training readiness score, plus an endurance score, VO2 max and training status. Garmin says all of these features will help to gauge overall performance in your sport(s) of choice.
When out for a bike ride or a run, PacePro provides GPS-based pace guidance for selected courses or distances, while ClimbPro displays real-time information on current and upcoming climbs.
The Fenix 7 Pro also features more new preloaded activities such as whitewater rafting, mountain biking and motocross.
The Garmin Epix Pro starts at £829.99 and The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro starts at £749.99 for the standard editions, rising to a whopping £999.99 and £929.99 respectively for the fancier Sapphire editions. You can get a decent bike for that, we hear you say...
For more information and buying options for both watches, you can head over to the Garmin website.
What are your thoughts on these new smartwatches? Let us know in the comments section below...
Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.
Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…