Garmin challenges the Apple Watch Ultra with new smartwatches

Posted:
in General Discussion
Garmin has announced a new lineup of watches, and their rugged designs and extensive features could make them a serious rival to the Apple Watch Ultra.




The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple's latest premium wearable, engineered for intensive activities in rugged surroundings. It has a titanium casing, dual-frequency GPS, a depth gauge, and a durable design.

However, the latest offerings from Garmin's watch collection possess features and functionalities that are on par with the specifications of the Apple Watch Ultra, catering to the needs of hikers, drivers, and athletes engaged in high-intensity sports.

Fenix 7 Pro

First, the Fenix 7 Pro series consists of premium GPS smartwatches designed to enhance the performance of athletes and adventurers. These watches feature solar charging capabilities and are equipped with advanced performance insights, expanded mapping functionalities, and comprehensive health and wellness tracking, empowering users to excel in their activities.

Including a built-in LED flashlight and a solar charging lens in all models, the Fenix 7 Pro Series offers impressive battery life, lasting up to 37 days in smartwatch mode and up to 139 days in expedition mode. As a result, it ensures that users can make the most of their outdoor experiences, both during the day and at night.




Combining durability with style, every Fenix 7 Pro Series variant showcases a solar-powered screen, a highly responsive touchscreen, a combination of traditional buttons, and a robust fiber-reinforced polymer case complemented by a steel bezel and rear cover. Notably, these smartwatches have undergone rigorous testing to meet the stringent thermal, shock, and water resistance standards the US military sets.

Epix Pro

The Epix Pro series is the other lineup of watches that Garmin is releasing. These smartwatches come with a crystal-clear AMOLED display, a rugged design, and an impressive battery life.

With a battery that can last up to 31 days, the Epix Pro Series is equipped with comprehensive health monitoring features and fitness metrics to support users in staying active. Furthermore, users can choose from three different sizes, namely 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm, and each size includes a built-in LED flashlight, making it an ideal companion for any adventure.

Crafted for extended wear, the Epix Pro Series is designed to offer a range of advanced health and wellness tools alongside a collection of intelligent features to keep users connected during their daily activities. With comprehensive 24/7 health monitoring capabilities, the Epix Pro Series incorporates a wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor2, Body Battery energy monitoring, a jet lag advisor, advanced sleep monitoring, sleep score assessment, and various other functions.




Upon waking up, users can access a personalized morning report that provides insights into their sleep quality, training outlook, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) status, and more, allowing them to customize their experience based on the provided information.

Pricing & Availability

The available models in the Fenix lineup consist of the Fenix 7S Pro in a 42mm size, the Fenix 7 Pro in a 47mm size, and the Fenix 7X Pro in a 51mm size. Each model offers Standard and Sapphire edition options, and prices start at $799.99.

Additionally, models in the Epix lineup consist of the Epix Pro in 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm sizes. These models offer options for both Standard and Sapphire editions, and prices start at $899.99.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    dennyc69dennyc69 Posts: 26member
    I work at a returns center, should be long before I see those coming through. 😂
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Hmmm probably a better comparison with AW Ultra would be the Garmin Descent Mk2. As far as I know, only their Descent models have dive computers. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    neoncatneoncat Posts: 142member
    I realize this is the least critical of the top Apple fan sites and tailors its editorial to the most committed users accordingly (gotta make a dollar, no shade intended!), but given Garmin has a proven track record of making ruggedized smart watches tailored to that niche for years, and the AW Ultra is still the newcomer, wouldn't a more accurate headline be something like, "Year-old Apple Watch Ultra up now challenging refreshed Garmin options"?

    There is nothing specifically wrong with the Apple Watch Ultra. It's a fine, one-size-fits-all product. But presenting the Apple option as the standard bearer through word choice is disingenuous fan service. All companies should have to work for every inch of their reputation through time, revisions, and responding to customer feedback, not have it handed to them for free. 
    edited May 2023 davgreggrandact73dewmewilliamlondongatorguyrundhvidmuthuk_vanalingamavon b7Dibiase
  • Reply 4 of 16
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,031member
    Competition is good for everyone.
    I own an Apple Watch Ultra and iPhone Pro 14 and use a Zoleo when out in the boonies.

    Unlike Apple's system, with a Zoleo I can send messages from pretty much any location on Earth. It leverages the Iridium satellite network. You cannot text from the Watch with Zoleo, but you can with the phone. I would not be surprised to see that function coming eventually.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,274member
    Competition is good, especially when it’s not simply based on price. Having strong competitors in the smart watch market further legitimizes the market as as a whole, in addition to validating Apple’s investment in their product that currently serves as the archetype for these products. 

    The more the merrier. 
    avon b7williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,045member
    Competition is indeed good.

    I have purchased my last Garmin product. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    jeff fieldsjeff fields Posts: 159member
    neoncat said:
    I realize this is the least critical of the top Apple fan sites and tailors its editorial to the most committed users accordingly (gotta make a dollar, no shade intended!), but given Garmin has a proven track record of making ruggedized smart watches tailored to that niche for years, and the AW Ultra is still the newcomer, wouldn't a more accurate headline be something like, "Year-old Apple Watch Ultra up now challenging refreshed Garmin options"?

    There is nothing specifically wrong with the Apple Watch Ultra. It's a fine, one-size-fits-all product. But presenting the Apple option as the standard bearer through word choice is disingenuous fan service. All companies should have to work for every inch of their reputation through time, revisions, and responding to customer feedback, not have it handed to them for free. 
    Not so much! Apple Watch outsells the Garmin line by nearly 3-to-1, with much higher revenue and growth as well. So no. Apple is the standard-bearer in this category. To say otherwise would be distorting the facts.
    dewmesireofsethStrangeDayswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    looplessloopless Posts: 321member
    Unless you own a Garmin product, you don't realize what a chaotic, messy, and buggy eco-system it is. If you can live with that, fine. But there is no comparison to the full on "apple" experience of an Apple Watch and the tight, clean integration of WatchOS and iOS.
    StrangeDayswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,277member
    loopless said:
    Unless you own a Garmin product, you don't realize what a chaotic, messy, and buggy eco-system it is. If you can live with that, fine. But there is no comparison to the full on "apple" experience of an Apple Watch and the tight, clean integration of WatchOS and iOS.
    Yes and they won't change unless there is disruption in their core and cash cow markets. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,703member
    I wish Garmin luck, but their software user interface, and hardware integration. Has to get better they still have time to do that, but eventually there will be a overall die shrink on the Apple soc chip hardware and when it gets smaller and more powerful for it’s size, that is when Garmin really will be in trouble. All the Android smart watches also have the same software/hardware problem. (which is similar to the Android tablet software/hardware problems)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    mtfbwymtfbwy Posts: 1member
    I am as deep in the Apple ecosystem as anyone but can't  give up my Garmin sports watch. Garmin watches are not really direct competitors to the Apple Watch. In fact I have an older series 6 on my right wrist along with my Garmin Fenix on my left. 

    There is no comparison between the metrics for serous endurance athletes that Garmin provides and Apple. The  Applle Watch needs Work Outdoors but even that coupled with Apple Health is kind of a muddled mess in comparison, IMO. 

    Not to mention if you are a cyclist and have a Garmin computer, all of your performance data integrates well in the connect App. 

    The Garmin lacks any but the bare bones of smart Watch features. 

    I would say that the Apple Watch (including the Ultra) is the superior multipurpose platform but the software is still lacking for serious sports use at least for me. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    ApplePoorApplePoor Posts: 283member
    Have been on a seven week trip to Europe: Austria, Greece, Ireland and the UK. Wearing my Apple Ultra watch on the left wrist and my stainless steel 1968 vintage Rolex GMT Master Pepsi design two time zone self winding watch (from my Navy days) on the right wrist. They are about the same size and weight. The mechanical watch is just in case the Ultra has a hiccup.


    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,516member
    neoncat said:
    I realize this is the least critical of the top Apple fan sites and tailors its editorial to the most committed users accordingly (gotta make a dollar, no shade intended!), but given Garmin has a proven track record of making ruggedized smart watches tailored to that niche for years, and the AW Ultra is still the newcomer, wouldn't a more accurate headline be something like, "Year-old Apple Watch Ultra up now challenging refreshed Garmin options"?

    There is nothing specifically wrong with the Apple Watch Ultra. It's a fine, one-size-fits-all product. But presenting the Apple option as the standard bearer through word choice is disingenuous fan service. All companies should have to work for every inch of their reputation through time, revisions, and responding to customer feedback, not have it handed to them for free. 
    Not so much! Apple Watch outsells the Garmin line by nearly 3-to-1, with much higher revenue and growth as well. So no. Apple is the standard-bearer in this category. To say otherwise would be distorting the facts.
    Sales, revenue and growth have nothing to do with the original point which was on the product side of things. Specifically, the Ultra angle.

    The point was completely valid, as was the observation that, as an Apple centric site, the favorable Apple leaning is evident. 


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 16
    DibiaseDibiase Posts: 11member
    neoncat said:
    I realize this is the least critical of the top Apple fan sites and tailors its editorial to the most committed users accordingly (gotta make a dollar, no shade intended!), but given Garmin has a proven track record of making ruggedized smart watches tailored to that niche for years, and the AW Ultra is still the newcomer, wouldn't a more accurate headline be something like, "Year-old Apple Watch Ultra up now challenging refreshed Garmin options"?

    There is nothing specifically wrong with the Apple Watch Ultra. It's a fine, one-size-fits-all product. But presenting the Apple option as the standard bearer through word choice is disingenuous fan service. All companies should have to work for every inch of their reputation through time, revisions, and responding to customer feedback, not have it handed to them for free. 
    Not so much! Apple Watch outsells the Garmin line by nearly 3-to-1, with much higher revenue and growth as well. So no. Apple is the standard-bearer in this category. To say otherwise would be distorting the facts.
    Apple owns the overall smart watch market by a lot, but Garmen still owns the high end fitness market.  The ultra runner's, triathletes, adventure racers, etc are all primary Garmen users.  The apple watch Ultra was the first attempt to win these users over.  Battery life was really holding apple back from this group because the standard apple watch wouldn't last long enough to finish a lot of these races.  The Apple Watch Ultra was a good first attempt for this market, but Garmen still own it.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    dymmasdymmas Posts: 33member
    I have an AWU - I chose it over my normal aluminium base model update as I hike and snowshoe a lot.

    I sold my Garmin GPSMAP66 handheld for funds to go toward the AWU purchase.

    I kind of wish I’d kept the Garmin. I’ve found the AWU is a really good Apple Watch, but a just-average tool for navigating and gathering stats for long trips.

    Apple really is not the “standard-bearer” in this category at all: navigation options rely on third-party apps and internet connections, battery life is still lousy compared with Garmins, and I can’t wear it over my hard shell jacket without turning off wrist protection, which exposes my data to anyone who happens to get access to the watch.

    It just isn’t there yet at all for what it has been marketed as.
    williamlondon
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