I’m only six months into my relationship with the Apple Watch Ultra, and Garmin is trying to pull me away from it again.
Today, the company announced the latest generations of its epix and fēnix watches and both are now going “Pro” in terms of features…and price. The epix Pro and fēnix 7 Pro will start at $799 and $899, respectively, meaning that Garmin’s offerings will start at and then exceed the cost of the Apple Watch Ultra.
So, do you get more out of Garmin’s offerings than an Apple Watch Ultra, especially since you’ll be paying more money for one? Oh yeah, but that’s always been the case with Garmin’s offerings. With the fēnix 7 Pro, the company added “additional mapping capabilities, around-the-clock health and wellness tracking, a built-in LED flashlight,” and a “solar charging lens on every model that offers up to 37 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 139 days in expedition mode.”
For the epix Pro, it now comes packed with “a crystal-clear AMOLED display, rugged design and impressive battery life. Touting up to 31 days of battery life, epix Pro Series is loaded with all-day health monitoring and fitness metrics to help users stay active. Plus, with three sizes to choose from – 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm – and a built-in LED flashlight on each one.”
In addition to the hardware features, Garmin is known for packing a lot more outdoor-focused features into their smartwatches, especially in the area of maps. The new epix Pro and fēnix 7 Pro both get all of those benefits. The new watches also come in a number of different sizes, something that is also still missing from the Apple Watch Ultra.
Despite all of this, I’ll still stick with my Ultra for now. It’s still a perfect companion to my iPhone and that walled garden has me happily locked in. I have enough features between Apple’s and third-party apps to get what I need out of my runs and hikes.
If I was ever to switch to Android, however, I would be buying a Garmin faster than you could say Apple fanboy.