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The Garmin Epix Pro 2 is, well, epic

It's an adventurous GPS watch in every sense of the word.
By

Published onNovember 21, 2023

A Garmin Epix Pro displays a map of Oahu with a weather overlay.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

I’ve written once or twice (or a hundred times) about how I’m not really a smartwatch guy. I don’t like having to charge one more device each day, and I can’t be bothered to type out a text message from the confines of my wrist. Give me a reliable GPS watch or tracker, on the other hand, with weeks of battery life and accurate tracking to keep up with my weekly running mileage, and I’ll be happy for a long, long time. Now, I think I’ve found my perfect match — a watch that checks all the boxes and then makes up more boxes so that it can check them too. Simply put, the Garmin Epix Pro 2 has ruined all other GPS watches for me.

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Built for adventure

A user explores the sport modes on their Garmin device.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Garmin isn’t shy about giving its best GPS watches all that and the kitchen sink — it’s exactly what I love about wearables like the Enduro 2 and Forerunner 965. They each have their strengths, with the former offering a built-in flashlight and a monster battery, while the latter packs a crisp OLED panel and a slimmed-down, stylish design. Garmin’s Epix Pro 2 combines the best of both worlds.

In many ways, the Epix Pro 2 is a Garmin Enduro that’s been slimmed down and polished up. It packs an impressive 16 days of battery life in smartwatch mode or up to 30 hours in GPS mode, which is long enough for an ultramarathon like the Western States Endurance Run — much further than the Apple Watch Ultra can trek on a single charge. The Epix Pro 2 also comes in three case sizes ranging from 42mm up to 51mm because not all adventurers have massive wrists, right? Anyway, the 16 days of battery life is Garmin’s estimate for the median 47mm case, with the 42mm coming up a bit shorter and the 51mm stretching even longer. If there’s one thing missing, however, it’s the fact that the Epix Pro 2 still relies on Garmin’s proprietary charging cable rather than adopting wireless charging.

It's built as tough as Apple's Watch Ultra, but Garmin's Epix Pro 2 offers far more flexible sizing.

On top of having the juice to go the distance, the Epix Pro 2 is built tough, like, really tough. It pairs a rugged fiber-reinforced polymer case with a titanium bezel and back cover but only weighs 70g when strapped to your wrist. I’ve accidentally banged it into doors and cabinets (I’m clumsy, it happens), and my apartment has taken more of a beating than the watch. Garmin’s sapphire crystal lens polishes off the durable package — pun intended — and shines with the crisp AMOLED touchscreen, which the Epix Pro 2 picked up from its Forerunner 965 cousin.

As if the excellent battery life and durable build quality weren’t enough, the Epix Pro 2 is loaded with extras. It’s waterproof down to 10 ATM of pressure, the top edge doubles as an LED flashlight (it’s bright, but it won’t replace a trusty headlamp), and it carries an NFC chip for wireless payments — something I won’t compromise on when my run almost always ends at a coffee shop.

Of course, you can get bits and pieces of the Epix Pro 2 in other smartwatches, including some from Garmin itself. The Enduro 2, for example, is where I first discovered Garmin’s wrist-mounted flashlight. The Apple Watch Ultra is crafted from carbon-neutral titanium, too, in its singular, massive case. Coros offers weeks upon weeks of battery life from its Vertix 2 and titanium to match. However, none quite seems to nail the premium mix of design features like the Epix Pro 2 — except for maybe the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro.

Flex appeal

Garmin Epix Pro Golf
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

By now, it’s pretty clear that I’m in love with the design of the Epix Pro 2. The Carbon Gray case and black silicone band are just the icing on top — they’re understated and easy to wear almost anywhere. And yet, what keeps the Garmin Epix Pro 2 on my wrist month after month is the rest of the experience. It pairs a straightforward setup process with more health-tracking metrics than I could ever use, and I’ve yet to find a sport that the Epix Pro 2 doesn’t support.

First, the setup — since it’s the first thing you’ll do. I love setting up a Garmin GPS watch because it takes almost no thought on either Android or iOS. As long as you already have Garmin Connect installed, it’s as easy as putting your watch into pairing mode (which it automatically enters the first time you turn it on). From there, Garmin will keep all your existing settings and preferences, like saved payment cards, stored music, and watch faces, and port them to your new GPS watch. I’ve moved my Epix Pro 2 from the Galaxy S23 Ultra to the iPhone 15 to the Pixel 8 Pro over the past few months and had no issues.

The Epix Pro 2 tracks more sports than any one person can realistically compete in — or need to measure.

As mentioned, there’s no shortage of sports to try out, either. I’ve put the Epix Pro 2 through its paces in the basics like running and bicycling, but the watch also has categories full of other workouts such as water sports like paddleboarding, team sports like football (American or otherwise), and even motorsports like snowmobiling. I don’t know how many calories you can burn while snowmobiling, as I live in a city, but simply having the option is impressive, if a little silly. I’ve also downloaded a few local golf courses to my watch to track hole layouts and shot distances, though it hasn’t improved my scoring at all.

A Garmin Epix Pro displays new training metrics.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The final feather in Garmin’s flexibility cap is its mountain of health-tracking data. The Epix Pro 2 has more performance predictors packed in its titanium and sapphire casing than I — or any other non-elite athlete — probably knows what to do with. You get the essentials like heart rate and the ability to record an ECG from your wrist, but the Epix Pro 2 takes performance a step further with a daily Training Readiness score and a new Endurance score. The former is a tried and true Garmin staple, but the Epix Pro 2’s Endurance metric is a dynamic data point that relies on your long-term training load and VO2 Max to gauge how well you can sustain long efforts.

I could keep going — it’s tough to know when to stop talking about the Garmin Epix Pro 2. It’s a well-built GPS watch that just doesn’t seem to run out, whether you’re looking for activities to track or data points to collect. Think of it like the Dalai Lama of GPS watches; it’s one with everything.

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