It’s seven years since the first Epix smartwatch was released, Garmin has deemed it worthy to resuscitate that product line with the release of the Epix (Gen 2). Literally, it should be called Epix 2, but its official name is Epix. It was released alongside the Fenix 7 series which consists of 8 different models. The main difference between the Epix and Fenix 7 is the display type and battery life. Beyond these, both have similar features. Just like the Venu 2 series, the Epix has an AMOLED display which leaves with a more colorful display over its Fenix 7 counterparts. We’ll be looking at the difference between Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 to help you make a more informed decision.
Features New to the Fenix 7 and Epix Series
Before we continue, you should know that the Fenix 7 and Epix units are literally the same in terms of features. Both brands have the same activity tracking features except for differences in display, weight and battery life. Here is what’s new to the Fenix 7 and Epix series.
- Every model in the Fenix 7 and Epix series has a touch-sensitive display unlike their respective predecessors.
- User interface has been revamped to a great extent.
- Only the Fenix 7X units feature a flashlight that suports SOS mode, strobe mode, and running white/red mode.
- Although a limited version, the Garmin Connect app is now available on-wrist in all models.
- Heart rate sensor have been optimized on all models.
- Health Snapshot that lets you log a 2 minute session of your heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, blood oxygen and stress is now available in all models. This feature will be added to the Fenix 6 series.
- Free downloadable worldwide TopoActive maps is available in all models. Only Sapphire models come with preloaded Topo maps.
- Free downloadable road/trail maps are also available. Only the Sapphire models come with preloaded road/trail maps.
- Preloaded Ski and Golf maps are also available in all Fenix 7 series models. Moreover, SkiView now contain slope and resort names. This also will come to Fenix 6 series.
- Added Cross Country Ski Trails to maps. Will also come to Fenix 6 series.
- Added RealTime Stamina – A feature that is used during runs and rides. It helps to track and manage exertion through a run or bike activity.
- Added the ability to configure activity profiles and data fields from your phone.
- Added a new Sleep Manager Settings that lets you customize what the device does while you sleep.
- Added automatic graphing for run/walk/stand during a workout.
- There is now a map manager app that lets you manage and download maps directly from your wrist.
- Added Up Ahead – This feature provides awareness for relevant map or course information that is coming up ahead.
- Multi-band satellite positioning is available in only Sapphire Solar models.
- Added more sport profiles such as kiteboard, windsurf, snowshoe and hunting. These profiles will come to Fenix 6 series.
- HIIT has been added to the list of available gym activity profiles. This will also come to Fenix 6.
- Added HIIT workout. This will come to Fenix 6.
- Each model in the Fenix 7 series has a longer battery life that its Fenix 6 series predecessor.
- Always-on Solar is now available in Sapphire models.
Garmin Fenix 7 Series
The Fenix 7 series consists of 8 different units as you can see in the table below. The Sapphire models are priced higher because they are more durable, support multi-band GPS and feature preloaded topographical, road/trail and ski resort maps. The standard models come with only preloaded ski resort maps. You can still download topo and road of your choice with the map manager app.
Garmin Epix Series
The Epix series consists of only two units; Epix Standard and Epix Sapphire. Like the Fenix 7 series Sapphire Solar units, Epix Sapphire is priced higher than the Standard model, has a more durable build, features preloaded topographical, road/trail and ski resort maps. It also supports multi-band GPS for greater accuracy in location tracking. There is no solar model in the Epix series.
So, basically, you now know all the units present in the Fenix 7 and Epix series. And you can see from the tables above, that even though the Epix and Fenix 7 share a lot of similarities together, only the Fenix 7 has the same physical size as the Epix. In other words, we’ll be comparing the Fenix 7 vs Epix head-to-head to know what the differences are.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7: Full Specifications Compared
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) Sapphire Specifications, Features and Price
Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar Specifications, Features and Price
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) Standard Specifications, Features and Price
Garmin Fenix 7 Specifications, Features and Price
|ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE|
|Device name||Garmin Epix (Gen 2) Sapphire||Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar||Epix (Gen 2) Standard||Garmin Fenix 7|
|Device type||Fitness/Sport smartwatch||Fitness/Sport smartwatch||Fitness/Sport smartwatch||Fitness/Sport smartwatch|
|Release date||January, 2022||January, 2022||January, 2022||January, 2022|
|Predecessor||None||Garmin Fenix 6||None||Garmin Fenix 6|
|Versions||Epix (Gen 2) Sapphire, Epix (Gen 2) Standard||Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, Fenix 7 Solar, Fenix 7 Standard||Epix (Gen 2) Sapphire, Epix (Gen 2) Standard||Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, Fenix 7 Solar, Fenix 7 Standard|
|Dimension||47 x 47 x 14.5 mm||47 x 47 x 14.5 mm||47 x 47 x 14.5 mm||47 x 47 x 14.5 mm|
|Case material||Fiber-reinforced polymer, Titanium rear||Fiber-reinforced polymer, Titanium rear||Fiber-reinforced polymer with stainless steel back||Fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Bezel material||Titanium||Titanium||Stainless steel||Stainless steel|
|Strap size||22 mm||22 mm||22 mm||22 mm|
|Screen protection||Sapphire glass||Sapphire glass||Corning Gorilla Glass DX||Corning Gorilla Glass DX, Power Glass|
|Water resistance||10 ATM||10 ATM||10 ATM||10 ATM|
|Swim-proof||Yes, recommended||Yes, recommended||Yes, recommended||Yes, recommended|
|Color||Carbon-gray case/black-band, White case/white band||Black case/black band, Carbon-gray case/black-band, Mineral-blue case/whitestone band||Slate steel case/black band||Silver case/grahite band, Slate-gray case/black band (Solar)|
|Display size||1.3 inches||1.3 inches||1.3 inches||1.3 inches|
|Display type||AMOLED||LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective||AMOLED||LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective|
|Display resolution||416 x 416 px||260 x 260 px||416 x 416 px||260 x 260 px|
|Pixel density||452.5 PPI||283 PPI||452.5 PPI||283 PPI|
|Custom watch face||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Input type||5 Physical buttons, Touchscreen||5 Physical buttons, Touchscreen||5 Physical buttons, Touchscreen||5 Physical buttons, Touchscreen|
|Bluetooth||ANT+, Bluetooth||ANT+, Bluetooth||ANT+, Bluetooth||ANT+, Bluetooth|
|GPS||Galileo, GLONASS, GPS||Galileo, GLONASS, GPS||Galileo, GLONASS, GPS||Galileo, GLONASS, GPS|
|Wi-Fi||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Memory card slot||No||No||No||No|
|CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY||CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY||CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY||CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY||CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY|
|Third-party apps alert||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pulse oximeter (SpO2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ACTIVITY TRACKING||ACTIVITY TRACKING||ACTIVITY TRACKING||ACTIVITY TRACKING||ACTIVITY TRACKING|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Incidental fall detection||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Underwater heart rate tracking||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery type||non-removable Lithium-polymer||non-removable Lithium-polymer||non-removable Lithium-polymer||non-removable Lithium-polymer|
|Battery life||GPS-only mode: Up to 42hrs (30hrs always-on), Smartwatch mode: Up to 16 days (6 days always-on)||Battery saver mode: Up to 57 days (173 days with solar), GPS only mode: Up to 57hrs (73hrs with solar), Smartwatch mode: Up to 18 days (22 days with solar)||GPS-only mode: Up to 42hrs (30hrs always-on), Smartwatch mode: Up to 16 days (6 days always-on)||Battery saver mode: Up to 57 days (173 days with solar), GPS only mode: Up to 57hrs (73hrs with solar), Smartwatch mode: Up to 18 days (22 days with solar)|
|Charging type||Charging dock||Charging dock||Charging dock||Charging dock|
|Charging time||1-2 hours||1-2 hours||1-2 hours||1-2 hours|
|Solar power||No||Yes (Solar model)||No||Yes (Solar model)|
|Operating system||Proprietary OS||Proprietary OS||Proprietary OS||Proprietary OS|
|Companion app||Garmin Connect||Garmin Connect||Garmin Connect||Garmin Connect|
|Compatibility||Android 7.0+, iOS 13.0+||Android 7.0+, iOS 13.0+||Android 7.0+, iOS 13.0+||Android 7.0+, iOS 13.0+|
|Payment system||Garmin Pay||Garmin Pay||Garmin Pay||Garmin Pay|
|Interchangeable strap||22 mm, Yes||Yes, 22mm||22 mm, Yes||22 mm, Yes|
|Find my phone||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Box content||Charger, Garmin Epix Sapphire, Manual, Straps||Charger, Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, Manual, Straps||Charger, Garmin Epix (Gen 2) Standard, Manual, Straps||Charger, Garmin Fenix 7, Manual, Straps|
Garmin Fenix 7 vs Epix (Gen 2) – The Difference
Although both the Fenix 7 and Epix share a lot in common, there are still slight differences. The Epix has a more colorful AMOLED display which is brighter and shows data in far more details than the transflective memory-in-pixel powered display of Fenix 7. As a result of the superior display, the Fenix 7 has a slightly longer battery life than the Epix models. Moreover, there is no solar model in the Epix series. The Solar models offer the longest battery life.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Design
Just like the Fenix 7 Standard and Solar models, the Epix base model has a fiber-polymer case with a metal rear and stainless steel bezel while the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX. Meanwhile, the Epix Sapphire model has a fiber-polymer case with titanium rear and bezel just the Fenix 7 Sapphire models. The display is protected by sapphire glass.
The weight differs slightly, the Epix units weigh 70g, the Fenix 7 Sapphire model weighs 76g, while the Fenix 7 Standard and Solar weigh 79g. Both Epix and Fenix 7 units have a waterproof rating of 10ATM which represents swim-proof up to 100 meters.
Only Fenix 7X units come with a built flashlight that can help illuminate small dark space as well as mimic your cadence as you walk or run.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Display
Although both the Epix and Fenix 7 units have the same display size of 1.3 inches, the display type is the main difference between the two. The Epix units have a more colorful AMOLED display compared to the transflective memory-in-pixel display of Fenix 7.
With a higher 416×416 pixels resolution, the Epix is far more colorful than the 260×260 pixels of Fenix 7. Probing further, the Epix has a 452 PPI just like the Galaxy Watch 4 compared to the 282 PPI of Fenix 7. That’s 62% approx. more colorful.
Both Epix and Fenix 7 are equipped with 5 physical buttons alongside a touch-sensitive display and a revamped interface that makes any of these two easy to access.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Activity Tracking Features
In terms of activity tracking, both the Epix and Fenix 7 units have the same number of sensors and features. Each of these two will track your heart rate, steps, stress, calories, sleep, floors climbed, blood oxygen, respiratory rate, hydration and menstrual cycle for women.
Both models offer incidental fall detection that lets the watch start a call to a preset emergency contact when your phone is nearby. You also get an animated onscreen workout and the health snapshot feature that lets you log a session of vital data like your heart rate, blood oxygen and stress.
Just like the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar models, the Epix Sapphire comes with preloaded topographical, road/trail and ski resort maps. The Epix and Fenix base models come only preloaded ski maps with the option to download topo and trail maps using the new map manager app. Moreover, the Epix and Fenix 7 Sapphire models support multi-band GPS that enables higher tracking accuracy.
New workouts like HIIT and sport profiles like windsurf, snowshoe and kiteboard have been added. In other words, both Epix and Fenix 7 units have the same activity tracking features.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Media and Storage
There is no difference in storage capacity. Both Epix and Fenix base models have 16GB storage capacity while the Epix Sapphire and Fenix 7 Sapphire come with 32GB storage. Supported music services include Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music. You can download your playlists on any of these services, then pair a Bluetooth headphone to enjoy music with any of these units.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Notifications and Garmin Pay
Both Epix and Fenix 7 models will alert you when you receive a notification on your phone. And you have the option to reply to messages with preset quick replies (Android only). Both units also feature Garmin Pay – a non-contactless payment system that let’s make payments directly from these watches without your card.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Battery Life
Despite having a brighter and more colorful AMOLED display, the Epix units offer up to 16 days battery life, 21 days when battery saver mode is enabled and up to 42hrs in GPS mode. Meanwhile, the Fenix 7 base model offers a longer battery life of 18 days and 57 days with battery saver mode enabled. It’s up to 57hrs in GPS mode.
The Fenix 7 Solar and Sapphire Solar models offer a little longer battery life than the base model. You get additional 2 days and up to 73hrs in GPS-only mode. So, the Fenix 7 units offer a far longer battery life which is where it wins against the Epix model.
Garmin Epix vs Fenix 7 – Which is Better?
The Fenix 7 and Epix are two fantastic smartwatches. In fact some of the very best fitness smartwatches. These two have got a very durable design and an outstanding long battery life. However, in my opinion, the Epix with a more colorful AMOLED display is a better smartwatch than Fenix 7. It also has up to 16 days long battery life.
We all have different needs, so if you really want that extra-long battery life, then the Fenix 7 is a befitting choice.
For me, a more colorful and easier to read display with up to 16 days of battery life is a better bargain. So, it’s the Epix for me.