If you’re in the market for a premium GPS watch, Garmin is arguably one of the first brands that come to mind. But choosing the right model is a different story. Take the Garmin Epix 2 (or Epix Gen 2) and the Garmin Fenix 7. Both sport similar designs and share identical fitness, health, and navigation features. However, the Epix 2 standard edition costs more than the Fenix 7 base model. A lot of it has to do with the Epix’s vibrant AMOLED screen. But is that all there is to it? How else are these multisport watches different? We answer these in our Fenix 7 and Epix 2 review below.
Garmin Epix 2 vs Fenix 7 Comparison Chart
Design and Build
While these Garmin watches look identical, the Epix 2 boasts a more vibrant AMOLED screen compared to the traditional MIP display of the Fenix 7.
Like most Garmin multisport watches, the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 come in different models. However, the Fenix lineup is more extensive. You can choose from three sizes (42mm, 47mm, and 51mm) and opt for a Solar or Sapphire Solar edition.
In contrast, the latest generation of Epix watches is available only in 47mm. Outside of the base model, the series is also limited to two styles — black titanium or white titanium with a sapphire crystal lens.
In terms of design, the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 base models are nearly identical. You get the same case size, stainless steel bezel, and Corning Gorilla Glass lens. Both watches have five buttons — three on the left and two on the right — for navigation. But the display is also touchscreen, which comes in useful for scrolling on maps. Meanwhile, exposed screws on the lugs lend the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 a rugged aesthetic.
The Garmin Epix 2’s edge over the Fenix 7 lies on the screen. Most of Garmin’s watches have a transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display. With the Epix 2, you’re getting an AMOLED screen.
While MIP displays are visible under sunlight, they don’t have the vibrance of AMOLED. Garmin shares that the Epix 2’s screen also boasts a higher 416 x 416 resolution. As a result, the watch’s interface, animations, and mapping are more detailed.
Fitness and Activity Tracking
The Garmin Fenix 7 supports a couple more activity profiles than the Epix Gen 2.
At the heart of any sports watch is fitness tracking. In this area, the Garmin Epix 2 and Fenix 7 are quite similar. Both keep tabs on staple metrics like steps, floors claimed, and calories burned. You also get data on distance traveled and intensity minutes.
If you need motivation, the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 alerts you when you’re inactive. You can compete with other users, too, through the Garmin Connect Challenges app.
As for supported activities, the Fenix 7 has a few more modes. This is especially true when it comes to outdoor recreation. The Fenix 7 offers profiles like Hunting and Horseback Riding, modes you won’t get on the Epix 2.
However, both watches cover the basics you’ll likely use, from gym and fitness profiles to running and swimming exercises. Advanced training and planning features are also available on the two watches. They’re compatible with a range of sensors, too.
Designed for the outdoors, the Garmin Epix 2 and Fenix 7 are packed with mapping and navigation features. Both access GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. However, the standard editions only provide single-band connections. If you want to simultaneously connect with the three satellite systems, you’ll need to get the Sapphire models.
Maps for your region aren’t preloaded either. While you can download them from Garmin’s website, they’re not for free and can take some time.
Garmin’s Epix 2 and Fenix 7 have similar health and safety features.
It’s no secret that Garmin puts a premium on fitness and activity tracking. Nonetheless, the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 have solid health monitoring tools. You’ll find the usual features like wrist-based heart rate and respiration rate. Meanwhile, female users stand to benefit from the menstrual cycle tracking available on Garmin Connect or the optional Connect IQ widget.
With the Garmin Epix 2 and Fenix 7, you can spot-check your blood oxygen levels or set it to track during your sleep. As expected, sleep tracking itself is present, and you get sleep scores and insights to make better sense of your nocturnal habits. Stress can impact your workouts, so Garmin adds monitoring features for this health factor, too.
The Epix 2 and Fenix also track Garmin-exclusive metrics. Fitness age, for example, estimates how fit you are compared to your actual age. On the other hand, Body Battery Energy Monitor measures your energy reserves throughout the day. This is based on your heart rate variability, stress, and activities.
Like other flagship smartwatches, Garmin’s outdoor watches have safety and tracking capabilities. On the Epix 2 and Fenix 7, you get incidence detection on select workouts. LiveTrack is also available, allowing you to share your real-time location during hikes or marathons for family and friends to follow along.
Smart Features and Battery Life
The Garmin Fenix 7 trumps the Epix 2 when it comes to battery life.
Since the Garmin Epix 2 and Fenix 7 have touchscreens, they’re versatile enough to serve as smartwatches. And because they’re premium models, you get more than just call, text, and app notifications. For instance, both can be used to control your smartphone’s music. You can also store up to 2,000 songs locally.
If you want to personalize your phone, Connect IQ allows you to download watch faces, apps, and widgets. Standard features like calendar and weather are available, as is the ability to find your phone using the watches. Last but not least, the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 have Garmin Pay.
Battery life is where there’s a sizable gap between the two devices. Because it uses an AMOLED screen, the Epix 2 drains faster. However, the numbers you get from both devices are still above average. In smartwatch mode, for instance, the Epix 2 lasts 16 days, while the Fenix 7 can go up to 18 days. If you use battery saver, the battery life of the Epix 2 extends to 21 days, whereas the Fenix 7 lasts 57 days.
Since you’re more than likely to use GPS on these wearables, the battery life in this mode is important. The Epix 2 can go up to 42 hours, while the Fenix 7 lasts 57 hours. In Expedition GPS mode, the Epix 2 has a battery life of 14 days, whereas the Fenix 7 boasts an impressive 40 days.
While the Garmin Epix 2 has a better screen, the Garmin Fenix 7 offers better value given its features.
The main draw of the Garmin Epix 2 is its AMOLED screen. For outdoor watch enthusiasts, this means more detailed navigation and mapping. However, next to the Garmin Fenix 7, it loses in the battery life department. Plus, the fitness and health features are more or less identical. If you’re heading outdoors for a long period, the Fenix 7 will reliably last better. But if you want a more vibrant screen, prepare to shell out additional dollars for the Epix 2.
The main difference between the Garmin Epix 2 and Fenix 7 is the screen. Garmin’s Epix 2 comes with an AMOLED screen while the Fenix 7 uses a transreflective MIP display.
Garmin’s Epix 2 uses a 22mm Quick Fit silicone strap.
Yes, the Garmin Fenix 7 includes Yoga under its Gym & Fitness Equipment profiles.
Garmin’s Fenix 7 has a one-year warranty.