Garmin's new smartwatches pack solar charging for ultra-long battery life

Garmin has just announced the upcoming release of two new smartwatches. One of them is a refreshed version of Garmin fēnix, the company's flagship smartwatch, and the other is the next-generation Garmin epix series. The watches each come with a long list of bells and whistles, and they were both designed to make workouts easier, more efficient, and more fun.

The company has certainly picked the best time of the year to release these new products. While we're all still riding the wave of our "new year, new me" resolutions, Garmin swoops in with two innovative multisport smartwatches that are available right now. While the fēnix and the epix are not cheap, they just might be worth the money.

With premium features such as an AMOLED display, up to 16 days of battery life, exertion trackers, daily workout suggestions, and more, these smartwatches really do seem to cover quite a few bases. Garmin has talked about both the watches at length, so let's dive deeper into what they have to offer.

Garmin fēnix: A smartwatch to withstand almost anything

Garmin fēnix 7 is an update to a line of smartwatches that dates back to 10 years ago. The company introduces the watch as a tool made for adventuring, built to withstand the rugged conditions of outdoor sports. It's hard to deny that the watch sounds sturdy; it's made of titanium, has a scratch-resistant sapphire lens, and some models even feature solar technology for prolonged battery life. For these solar-powered models, Garmin promises up to 5 weeks of use between charges.

The watch should come in handy wherever (and whenever) you go thanks to a variety of features meant to make adventuring easier. It has a built-in white or red light flashlight with hands-free use, which is nice enough by itself, but when combined with preloaded SkiView maps, it turns into a powerful tool. The Sapphire Solar line also lets you download maps from every corner of the globe, so if the watch doesn't already have it, you can probably get it. Of course, running the smartwatch in GPS mode has a huge impact on battery life, reducing the aforementioned 5 weeks to 5 days.

Garmin fēnix can be worn all day and it includes a variety of workout/wellness-oriented features. The model keeps track of your pulse, wrist-based heart rate, and respiration. It also tracks sleep, calories, and workouts. There are also tools that monitor exertion in real-time, predict run times during jogging sessions, and suggest future workouts based on your daily activity.

You can pair this device with a smartphone to direct all incoming notifications to the watch. It can be navigated easily via touchscreen or built-in buttons. There are several different models of the fēnix available right now, with the cheapest one starting at $699.

Garmin epix: A beautiful display attached to a useful tool

Unlike the fēnix, Garmin's epix is a multisport watch aimed at the premium sector; it comes equipped with a beautifully vibrant display that tops off its universal design. Fully controllable by touch, it can be paired with your smartphone for easy access to notifications during workouts.

This watch resembles its already established sibling in terms of durability. Both titanium and sapphire make a reappearance, creating a sturdy device with a 1.3" AMOLED display as the cherry on top. If you're not a fan of the touchscreen, it also features button controls.

Epix offers 24/7 monitoring features, including wrist-based heart rate tracking that can be configured to alert you when something's off, respiration, stress tracking, and sleep tracking. It comes with several sports apps that cover a variety of different sports, from rock climbing to golfing. The model also tracks all your workouts and creates workout plans, projecting what the future may look like based on your daily activity.

The watch comes in three color variants and is available right away on Garmin's website. Like its sibling, it doesn't come cheap—expect to shell out at least $899 if you'd like to get this premium smartwatch on your wrist.