Garmin has a brand new smart watch, the Garmin Enduro. The question is: Is the Garmin Enduro a good choice for cyclists? Well, it really depends what kind of cyclist you are, and what you need your smart watch to do. This post will help you figure out if this new fitness watch is for you. Watch the video review, check out our list of Pros and Cons of the Garmin Enduro, and decide for yourself!
This video gives a great overview. After the video, we list the Pros and Cons of the Garmin Enduro fitness watch.
Chart Showing Pros and Cons of the Garmin Enduro Multi-Sport Fitness Watch
|Outstanding battery life: up to 80 hours in GPS mode, up to 300 hours in max battery mode and up to 65 days in smartwatch mode with solar charging
|Tracks pretty much everything: including steps, floors climbed, heart rate, sleep quality, and respiration rate. Includes a very accurate pulse oximeter
|Outstandingly excellent training tools, including Body Battery (which maps how well rested or depleted you are), Stress, VO2 Max over time, and Training Status. Plus new features including Trail Run VO2 Max, an upgraded ClimbPro, and new Ultrarunning specific features. Improved VO2 Max calibration
|It is a very large watch (although suprisingly light for its size)
|Easy-to-see face in the sunlight. Has a 1.4-inch transflective (sunlight visible) color LCD screen. At night, there's a button to light it up. Screen doubles as a solar panel
|Easy-to-use user interface
|Excellent GPS tracking
What’s New about the Garmin Enduro Smart Watch?
The buzz around the Garmin Enduro fitness watch has to do with one simple – and astounding – fact: the battery life is phenomenal. We are not talking hours or days here – we are talking WEEKS. I find this enormously impressive, seeing as my first Garmin fitness watch was a Garmin Connect VivoActive 3, which had to be charged at least once a day. The watch sports a built-in solar array, but this merely augments the power supply. The secret to the longer battery life rests in a complete re-design.
We believe that this massive upgrade to battery life is going to revolutionize the world of smart watches. The bar has not just moved – this is a whole new bar, people! It will be interesting to see how the competition responds.
The Pros: Battery Life, and Other Things Too
Battery Life of the Garmin Enduro Smart Watch
On the plus side, who doesn’t want a month or more of battery life? To be more precise, Garmin claims “Get up to 80 hours of battery life in GPS mode, up to 300 hours in max battery mode and up to 65 days in smartwatch mode with solar charging.”
These claims are (refreshingly) NOT exaggerated. The battery life truly is awesome. This would be great for two kinds of cyclists:
- Cyclists who want to record all their rides, but don’t want to think about it too much. Just hit the button on your wristwatch every time you start riding.
- Ultra-distance cyclists, who want to be able to record very long, multi-day rides, without worrying about running out of charge.
It would obviously also be great for tri-athletes who regularly do long rides, runs, and swims, as it can record all of these.
And also for most athletes, as it can record all of these sports: Run, Ultra Run, Trail Run, Treadmill, Virtual Run, Track Run, Indoor Track Run, Bike, Mountain Bike, Indoor Bike, Pool Swim, Open Water Swim, Triathlon, SwimRun, Hike, Expedition, Climb, Indoor Climb, Bouldering, Ski, Snowboard, Cross Country Ski, Cross Country Skate Ski, Backcountry Ski, Surf, SUP, Kayak, Row, Indoor Row, Navigate, Track Me, Pilates, Yoga, Breathwork, Cardio, Strength, Golf, and others. All of these are built in.
It is super easy to read the watch, even in bright light. It sports a 1.4-inch transflective (sunlight visible) color LCD screen. At night, you can use a button to light it up. The screen doubles as a solar panel.
It’s simple and quite intuitive, utilizing five buttons (not a touchscreen).
Of course, the Garmin Enduro fitness watch has smart notifications. And if you have an Android phone, you can also rely to messages. But not if you have the misfortune to still own an Apple phone, as Apple won’t let you reply with anything but an Apple watch.
Tracking EVERYthing You Need it to Track
This smart watch tracks a lot of things: These include steps, floors climbed, heart rate, sleep quality, and respiration rate. Plus, it has a very accurate pulse oximeter which uses a special red LED. A pulse oximeter is “an oximeter that measures the proportion of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood in pulsating vessels.” You can choose to have it track your pulse ox 24/7, but of course that will impact battery life. Or, you can also choose to just track pulse ox as you sleep, or just turn it off and check your pulse ox on demand whenever you want.
Of course, you buy a watch like this to get fit (or fitter), and the Garmin Enduro is fully loaded in that department (and then some). Its training tools include Body Battery (which maps how well rested or depleted you are), Stress, VO2 Max over time, and Training Status. Also, Garmin is launching a bunch of new features with this watch, including Trail Run VO2 Max, an upgraded ClimbPro, and new Ultrarunning specific features.
Garmin has improved a number of its training tools, notably the VO2 Max calibration. Previously, if you did a ride while, for example, carrying heavy luggage, this would skew your numbers. Now, you can choose to pause the VO2 calibration when doing rides that would skew the calibration.
For me, the best part of tracking bike rides is having a record of exactly where I went. From that point of view, the Garmin Enduro does an awesome, effortless job.
Related Post: 7 of the Best Cheap Bike Computers under $70
The Cons of the new Garmin Fitness Watch
Primary Con: No Maps
There’s always a catch, right? Well in this case (assuming the price is not a problem for you), the catch is that Garmin ditched the maps for this smart watch.
You can still download a course and get breadcrumb directions. However, if you get off course or get lost, the watch is not going to be able to help you out.
If maps are a MUST for you, then you are better advised to look at the Garmin Fenix 6 – which has topographic maps of the entire US built into it.
Other Cons of the Garmin Enduro Smart Watch
It’s very big (but surprisingly light, at 71 grams.) More specifically, it is two inches by two inches and 0.6 inches thick. If you want to shave off 10 grams, all you have to do is spend an extra $100 for the titanium version! (Just joking … not sure why anyone would do that.)
It cannot play music. The Fenix 6 has 32 GB of data space, which you can use to store music. That means you can listen to music on your rides, even if you leave your phone at home. On the other hand, the Enduro has just 64 MB of space, and does not store or play music for you.
Related: How to Use Strava for Cycling
Should you Buy the Garmin Enduro Smart Watch to Track Your Bike Rides?
For some of us:
- YES, if you can afford it; and
- you want the convenience of hardly ever having to think about battery life; OR
- you want to be able to record long bike rides without bothering with a bike computer, or worrying about your phone dying; OR
- you want to record all your bike rides and performance data with ease; OR
- if you tend to do very long bike rides.
For others of us:
- NO, not if you really need navigation help and maps.
- Nor if not having music on your watch is a deal breaker.
- Nor if you simply cannot afford the price, of course.
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