Serious about fitness? This Garmin is a near-perfect sports watch, and it’s now $200 off

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Ready to run with 47mm Garmin Epix Pro

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

What are Black Friday deals?

Amazon is currently selling the Garmin Epix Pro for $799, a $200 discount that puts the more recent Garmin wearable at its lowest price ever.

Why this deal is ZDNET-recommended

Smartwatches have long enjoyed AMOLED displays — and now sports watches are getting in on the action, too

Garmin has offered an AMOLED display on its mid-range Venu watches since 2019, but fans of the Forerunner and Fenix ​​series weren’t willing to compromise on features for the display alone. In 2022, Garmin introduced the Epix (2nd Gen) model as the first high-end watch with AMOLED and it was very popular.

Also: How tough is the Apple Watch Ultra? I stress tested it for 9 months

For the past few weeks, I’ve been running, swimming, biking, walking, sleeping, and living Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2). Garmin offers its new AMOLED Forerunner 965 and 265 device, so there is now a range of watches with a display that competes with popular smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch.


Recommended by ZDNET

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

Arguably the company’s most refined sports watch yet, with advanced training features and remarkably accurate performance tracking.

While the bright AMOLED display is certainly one of the main features of the Garmin Epix Pro, the company has significantly expanded the options and additional features of this year’s model. The 2022 Epix (2nd Gen) It was available in a single 47mm size (standard and sapphire) and this year’s model is available in larger (51mm) and smaller (42mm) sizes with standard and sapphire glass options, so the model will appeal to a wider range. Activity users. Price range from $899.99 to $1,099.99.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Another key feature included in the Epix Pro watch, which I used daily on the Enduro 2, is the integrated LED flashlight. After using it for many months on the Enduro 2, I will never buy another GPS sports watch without a flashlight. I’m very happy to see Garmin continue to integrate this feature into new devices including the Epix Pro, Fenix ​​7X Pro, and Instinct 2X Solar. Flashlight flashes red or white with strobe mode.

The red LED flashlight is perfect for helping you maintain your vision in the dark. With the Apex Pro, there’s also a red shift mode, which changes bright display colors to red, so your watch face doesn’t disrupt your sleep or your ability to see in low light.

Also: Best Garmin watches: Fenix, Forerunner, Venu, more

One of the main advantages of an AMOLED display — beyond brightness and rich colors — is the ability to provide more useful information for detailed maps. The weather map overlay helps you see upcoming conditions, and the relief shading on the topographic map provides quick information on the terrain you’re covering.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The usual Garmin five-button navigation system, along with a touchscreen, is present to navigate through the watch’s vast number of options, settings and features. I’m testing the medium-sized 47mm model with a sapphire glass display. With the always-on display option enabled, I got about six days of battery life, and 14 days with the always-on display turned off. With all the satellites, multi-band, and music playing, then you can expect about 10 hours of activity tracking — and that’s a worst-case scenario.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

When Garmin releases a new watch, we often see some new features revealed — and this one is no exception. Thankfully, we’ve seen Garmin do a great job of keeping previous devices updated, so check for updates on your current Garmin as it may contain these new metrics.

Since I live on a hill, and every one of my running sessions includes a hill, I’m excited about a metric focused on tracking my uphill running performance. Hill score Between 0-100, with higher scores helping you progress from recreational to elite level. Hills with grades greater than 2% are automatically detected and analyzed.

Also: My 5 Must-Have Gadgets for Off-Grid Adventures

Another new metric available on the Garmin Epics Pro is Endurance score. VO2 Max is a simple measure of aerobic fitness and the Garmin Endurance Score starts with that metric. Garmin then analyzes and interprets your activity history in terms of endurance — and as you’d expect, it takes time to build and calculate endurance on your Garmin watch.

ZDNET’s buying advice

Results from Garmin Epics Pro They had perfect GPS tracking, near perfect heart-rate tracking, more health and fitness metrics than you could practically use, a powerful and elegant smartphone app, and a huge ecosystem to help you train and improve your performance and lifestyle.

I’d probably consider this watch perfect for phone-free safety tracking with integrated cellular (like the Garmin 945 LTE), but since I usually pack a phone as well, I’d go ahead and say it’s the perfect watch for serious athletes.

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