One minute review
Not content with revamping its wildly successful Forerunner line, Garmin is also releasing the Enduro 2, which is designed to take over from the original Enduro as one of Garmin’s best watches, especially for ultra runners and other high-performing endurance athletes. .
It’s a brutal watch, with an upgrade from the original’s already impressive battery life as its headline, along with the addition of a touchscreen, something noticeably missing from the original Enduro. Topographic maps have also been added – an essential feature for a serious adventure watch – in addition to a host of other features.
There’s even memory space for internal music, the lack of which was one of the biggest drawbacks of the original. Besides having a great performance watch, you no longer need to carry your phone or otherwise entertain yourself on long journeys.
Garmin Enduro 2: Price and Availability
The Garmin Enduro 2 now available at Garmin.com (opens in new tab), priced at $1,099.99 in the US. We’ll update this hands-on with UK and Australian pricing as soon as we get them.
Garmin Enduro 2: Design
- Titanium housing and Power Sapphire lens
- Extremely thick and robust
- Trusted Garmin OS and Connect app structure
The Garmin Enduro 2 shares much of its design ethos with its older sibling, the original Enduro. The watch case and bezel are made of sturdy titanium, with a Power Sapphire glass lens that offers battery-extending solar charging capabilities just like the previous one.
The classic Garmin five-button structure is here, with the start/stop, back/lap, up, down and light buttons along with the addition of a touchscreen. Like the Forerunner 955 Solar, you have the option to use the touchscreen or the buttons to navigate the watch. At first this feels a bit redundant (as with the 955) but it’s nice to have options.
The Enduro 2 comes with two strap options: the Ultrafit Velcro strap, specially designed for endurance training, and the thicker silicone strap for everyday use. They’re easy to swap out, but the watch’s huge 1.4-inch face and chunky body, paired with the beefy silicone strap, looks ridiculous in social settings. This is a handy tool and you can’t go seamlessly from run to restaurants without attracting a few odd looks.
Fittingly, the Enduro 2 feels satisfyingly firm in the hand, with premium build and engineering evident in the handling. This is a tank, not a high-performance supercar of a watch: instead of Michael Keaton’s Batmobile, think Christian Bale’s. Of course, this has to fit perfectly with its target audience: the people who buy the Enduro 2, or at least make the most use of it, are ultra runners, distance runners and other high-performing endurance athletes. If you were interested in a universal watch for everyday use, you could get something slimmer, sleeker, and probably cheaper, like an Apple Watch.
The design of the watch’s operating system and Garmin Connect app will be familiar to most existing Garmin users: if you’ve ever used one of the brand’s other performance watches, the wheel hasn’t been reinvented here. Holding the ‘down’ button to access the widget menu from your watch face brings up the usual customizable menu, with quick access to everything from your past activities to your Body Battery score to your built-in compass and barometer.
Oddly enough, there’s no option to add Training Readiness, one of the standout features of the new Forerunner and now Fenix range of watches, which tracks your body’s recovery after long runs. We can only assume it’s in the pipeline in a new firmware update; we would be very disappointed if it never makes it to the Enduro 2.
Garmin Enduro 2: Features
- All new topographic maps
- Health Snapshot feature bundles stats into an easy-to-read package
- Multi-LED Flashlight
- Built-in music capability
Here it gets good. This monstrous watch is packed with almost everything a die-hard endurance racing addict or adventurer could wish for. New to the Enduro range are topographic maps, courtesy of Garmin’s TopoActive community-based maps, which provide step-by-step directions. The new NextFork map guide shows the distance to the next trail intersection, and the Visual Race Predictor looks at your training history and estimates a pace you can complete on the day, a feature we’re looking to roll out to other top-end Garmins.
Combined with Garmin’s already impressive elevation tools and TracBack features, you’ll never get lost again. Ski maps are also part of this, making Garmin’s strongest watch to date an ideal companion on the slopes and on the trails.
Garmin has also introduced a new Health Snapshot feature on the Enduro 2, which will likely roll out to the newer Fenix and Forerunners. Garmin says, “The new Health Snapshot feature will record and generate a report with key stats.” Essentially, it’s a new way to package metrics it already collects, such as Body Battery, heart rate, heart rate, and stress levels, and send them to you in a single push notification, like the new Morning Report functionality did on the 955. and now the newer Phoenixes.
In terms of hardware, the Enduro 2 is well equipped for late-final adventures. In addition to the detailed multi-band GPS guidance we’ve come to expect from Garmin, the Fenix 7X’s multi-LED flashlight here is only twice as bright as on the older watch on the maximum setting. The flashlight is also dimmable, so you can find your campsite on a lower setting, or signal on the highest setting in the dark. Running in the dark? A red light safety mode allows the user to see and be seen. Another safety feature is automatic incident detection, which can alert a designated contact with your live location.
As for the usual smart functionalities, such as notifications, Garmin Pay and music controls, they are all there as expected. But there’s also built-in music space, so you can finally listen to your favorite tunes on the Enduro, without having to lug your phone around too.
The Garmin Enduro 2 may be great on the slopes, on weekend hikes and for paying for groceries with your wrist, but it really seems to shine on race day. An automatic rest timer can detect how much time you spend at the emergency stations, while Garmin says: [Adventure-Racing World Series]-Approved adventure racing activity profile tracks heart rate, elevation, segment times, and other stats when the race is underway and stores the data for post-race viewing in accordance with adventure racing rules.
While it now does everything and more, this is a watch for those who have read Born To Run cover to cover more times than they can count.
Garmin Enduro 2: Battery Life
- 46 days in smartwatch mode
- 150 hours in GPS mode
Admit it, this is what you’re here for. The Garmin Enduro had one of the best battery lives on the market and the Enduro 2 is out to beat it. With up to 46 days in smartwatch mode and a whopping 150 hours in GPS mode, you could run an entire weekend without having to turn this thing off.
The battery is supported by “enhanced” solar charging and SatIQ, a new piece of technology that automatically detects what kind of GPS mode is best to extend battery life without losing your navigation. In the middle of the wilderness or on a hill? You’re in a different GPS mode than a short run in a busy city, and it’s all buzzing away in the background.
It’s going to be extremely difficult to test the battery to its limits in the coming weeks unless the watch drastically and suddenly falls short of our expectations. We will fully charge it and within 21 days we will try to update you on how the GPS and flashlight are draining the battery and affecting that reading.
Garmin Enduro 2: Early Judgment
We’ve only had it on our wrist for a weekend and it doesn’t show up on Garmin Connect as an option to pair with our phone yet, so we haven’t really tested any of the Enduro 2’s features yet.
That’s why we’re not including ‘Buy it as’ and ‘Don’t buy it as’ sections in this early hands-on. If it’s up to spec, though, Garmin has another hit on its hands, albeit with a niche of serious athletes, and it’s likely to earn its spot on our list of the best-running watches.