In-depth review of the Garmin Enduro GPS watch


Let’s make it clear right away: there’s precisely one reason – and ONLY ONE reason to buy the Garmin Enduro: you want really long battery life and you’re fine with any other features. Whether it’s the battery life of the GPS or the battery life of the daily watch, there is no Garmin watch that lasts as long as the Enduro. And Garmin is betting you’ll pay extra for that feature in addition to a regular one Garmin Fenix ​​6 base unit .

Which doesn’t mean the watch is bad, far from it. It also has new features that Garmin has formally introduced here (yes, they are coming to existing watches, more on that in the next section). At first glance you might think this is just another variant of the Fenix ​​6 series, and in many ways you would be right. When the dust has settled this week, the Fenix ​​6 and Enduro watches will have virtually identical software.

But that hides what’s really going on under the covers. The basic battery claims of the Enduro begin with 80 hours of normal GPS activation time with solar enabled (and optical HR enabled as well), but then increase to 300 hours of GPS battery life in certain configurations. That kind of battery life wasn’t just Garmin putting in a bigger battery. Rather, Garmin claims the Enduro is a new underlying platform, allowing them to boast what I suspect is the longest GPS battery life of any device out there.

In addition to the battery, however, it adds rest timers and the correct VO2 max metrics for trail running, both focused on trail and ultra runners. These metrics are now also available to Fenix ​​6 and FR945 users, thus giving credit to Garmin sometimes offering functionality to “older” watches. Additionally there is a slightly updated version of ClimbPro, which now tracks / displays descents and can trigger alerts before the ascent begins. But we’ll dive into all of that in a second.

First note that I’ve had this watch for a while now, putting it to the test in all kinds of winter workouts and twists – long and short. But once I’m done with this loaner device for this review, I’ll box it up and ship it back to Garmin. Just the way I move If you found this post helpful, please consider the idea of become a DCR Supporter who makes the site ad-free, while also gaining access to a series of mostly weekly behind-the-scenes videos from DCR Cave. And of course, it makes you awesome.

Now, I’m going to insist that this is identical in functionality to a Fenix ​​6 base unit, except only with solar, a larger battery, and a nylon strap. However, for those who haven’t updated the firmware yet to get these new features on your Fenix ​​6, the Enduro more visibly introduces these new software features:

Descents of Climb Pro 2.0: adds descents to ClimbPro for non-cycling activities. So now you will see the same data for going up also down
– Climb Pro 2.0 alerts: now you can set a warning banner to warn you at the start of the climb or a configurable distance before it
– Trail Run VO2Max: you will now get more accurate VO2Max estimates for trail running in particular than before that would often have been underestimated
– Ultra Run Rest Timer: this allows you to track the duration of the breaks at the rescue stations and see those in the analyzes later

And yes, the Fenix ​​6 and MARQ get these feature updates today in a firmware update (well, they were in public beta even a few weeks ago). In addition, the Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 745 will also receive all these updates. The Forerunner 245/245 Music will receive VO2Max Trail Running enhancements. The timing on the Forerunner series is less clear however, with Garmin arguably saying more spring.

However, the real key difference to the Enduro is actually the battery life: 70 hours of full GPS punctuality with no solar and 80 hours if you have some solar time. Here are Garmin’s official battery stats on this:

Smartwatch mode: up to 50 days / 65 days with solar *
Battery saving clock mode: up to 130 days / 1 year with solar *
GPS training mode (with optical HR): up to 70 hours / 80 hours with solar **
Max battery GPS mode: up to 200 hours / 300 hours with solar system **
Expedition GPS Activity: up to 65 days / 95 days with solar system *
* Solar recharging, assuming wear all day with 3 hours a day outdoors in conditions of 50,000 lux
** Solar charging, assuming use in conditions of 50,000 lux

To remind you where some other watches are currently located, here are their official battery stats for normal GPS mode with 1 second log mode (meaning, no reduction in logging or sampling rate):

Garmin Enduro with solar GPS training mode (with optical HR): 70/80 hours with
Garmin Fenix ​​6X Pro solar GPS training mode (with optical HR): 60/66 hours with training mode
Suunto 9 Ultra solar : 25 hours
COROS Vertix UltraMax GPS mode: 60 hours
Polar Vantage V2 GPS training mode: 40 hours GPS training mode
Casio HBD-1000: 14 hours

But the real kicker is the maximum battery modes that every company offers. With all of these companies, they basically reduce GPS track points to a handful per minute (varies between brands). Some, like Suunto, try to draw / update the GPS track using other internal sensors and it usually works quite well.

Garmin Enduro with Solar Max battery mode: 200 hours / 300 hours with solar
Garmin Fenix ​​6X Pro Solar Max battery mode: 120 hours / 148 hours with solar
Suunto 9 GPS training mode: 120 hours
COROS Vertix GPS training mode: 150 hours
Polar Vantage V2 Power saving mode: 100 hours
Casio HBD-1000 Intermittent GPS Mode: 18 hours (for real, someone would ask if I didn’t list it again in this table)

As you can see, it’s a huge high jump. And that technically bypasses Garmin’s “Expedition mode,” which gives you 65 days of GPS track points or 95 days with Solar. In any case, you are very determined to cross the whole of Africa on foot… without carrying a portable battery. But don’t worry, we’ll discuss some of these battery claims down below in that battery section.

First though, you need to decide if you want to sacrifice non-battery features for battery life. Remember, this is not a Fenix ​​6 Pro series watch, and as such, you lose all of the following features:

– No map (nor Trendline / heat map routing)
– No music
– No WiFi synchronization
– No ClimbPro on the fly (as it requires maps), but you can do ClimbPro based on a route
– PacePro based on a round trip route created on the watch itself (but otherwise PacePro works fine with courses downloaded or in advance via the app)

And then you have to finally decide if you want to buy in this price range. The Enduro costs $ 799 for the base model or $ 899 for the lighter titanium one.

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