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A Garmin Epix Pro displays new training metrics.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
aa2020 editors choice

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) review: Should you buy it?

Three feature-packed sizes to choose from, for the goldilocks in all of us.
By

Published onJune 18, 2023

aa2020 editors choice

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

Garmin swings the door wide open on its Epix Pro (Gen 2) lineup with more options for more wrists. Now available in three case sizes, the AMOLED display-touting devices feature a built-in flashlight, a completely revamped heart rate sensor, and multiband GNSS across all models. Garmin even added a few new training metrics, 30 new sport modes, and helpful improvements to its onboard maps.

What we like

Available in three sizes
Fantastic heart rate and GPS tracking
Built-in LED flashlight and Red Shift Mode
Incredible battery life on largest model

What we don't like

Expensive
New software features need tweaking
aa2020 editors choice

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

Garmin swings the door wide open on its Epix Pro (Gen 2) lineup with more options for more wrists. Now available in three case sizes, the AMOLED display-touting devices feature a built-in flashlight, a completely revamped heart rate sensor, and multiband GNSS across all models. Garmin even added a few new training metrics, 30 new sport modes, and helpful improvements to its onboard maps.

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) review: At a glance

  • What is it? The Epix Pro (Gen 2) is the half-step successor of the Epix (Gen 2). Not quite an Epix 3 but boasting major upgrades, the device is referred to as the Epix Pro, or the Epix Pro ((Gen 2)). A welcome update to one of Garmin's top smartwatch families with AMOLED displays, the Epix Pro series brings three unique case sizes to the lineup. Each packs a powerful heart rate sensor, multiband GNSS, a built-in LED flashlight, and advanced training tools.
  • What is the price? Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) models start at $899 for a 42mm or 44mm model and $999 for the largest 51mm option. Sapphire editions cost an additional $100 across the lineup.
  • Where can you buy it? The Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) is available now from Garmin and Amazon.
  • How did we test it? I tested the 42mm Garmin Epix Pro (standard edition) for one week. The review unit was supplied by Garmin.
  • Is it worth it? There is a lot to like about the upgrades on what was already one of Garmin's top watches. Anyone intimidated by the line's historic 47mm profile can finally hit check out on an Epix Pro (Gen 2) that's built for smaller wrists. Likewise, anyone hankering for an oversized wearable can now snag a 51mm option. Across the series, all three models offer a beautiful display, virtually flawless GPS and heart rate tracking, and tons of useful training features. The Epix Pro (Gen 2) is pricey for sure, but the hardware is fantastic and the company's commitment to supporting its devices makes the price tag an easier pill to swallow.

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)
Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)
See price at Amazon
Garmin Epix Pro
MSRP: $899.99
See review
See review

Should you buy the Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)?

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

To the joy of petite and wide-wristed users everywhere, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) is now available in three sizes: 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm. These are the same sizes found in the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro series which launched in tandem. As when Garmin added a second size to its Instinct 2 lineup, I gratefully tip my hat to the company for more inclusive offerings.

With that out of the way, there are plenty of treats in both the new Epix and Fenix goodie bags. I already covered many in our Fenix 7 Pro review, but I’ll touch on a few quickly as a refresher:

  • Endurance Score and Hill Score: Two new metrics for advanced training, Endurance Score measures users’ capacity to sustain performance, while Hill Score measures users’ power and strength on incline grades greater than 2%.
  • Weather map overlays: While very cool, weather overlays can only be accessed from the weather widget. They are not displayed over in-use maps like during a hike, which is what we were hoping to see.
  • Split screen and perimeter data pages: Additional screen views keep stats in view alongside maps so you’re not left toggling between data and directions.
  • Relief shading on maps: Automatically added to all maps, relief shading makes it easier to interpret the landscapes you’re covering.
  • New sport modes: 30 additional activity modes include a slew of team sports as well as more niche modes like motocross.

Since all the above can be found on both multisport lines, distinguishing between the Fenix 7 Pro and Epix Pro models primarily boils down to display. On the Epix Pro (Gen 2), users will find a bright, colorful AMOLED touchscreen. The Fenix Pro opts for a Memory in Pixel (MIP) display in order to stretch battery life. That display also harnesses and taps into solar charging, which the Epix Pro (Gen 2) does not. On the other hand, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) offers fast charging that will power up your device in under an hour, which the Fenix 7 Pro, unfortunately, does not.

The Epix Pro line also adds Garmin’s LED flashlight which I already loved on the Fenix 7 Pro; a flashlight strapped to your wrist is more useful than you’d think. Whether you love to camp or just regularly rely on your cell phone to light up your garage, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) now has you covered.

In addition to this popular feature, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) also adds another tool for late-night use. Tucked into the Garmin Epix Pro’s control menu users will now find Red Shift Mode (pictured above). This overlay turns everything on the screen into red-only hues, from the watch face to training metrics, to the deepest menu you can find. The idea of course is that red light preserves night vision. This is the type of feature that won’t get field minutes from every user. Those who do use it though will love the convenience. Plus, even if you just want to feel like part of a tactical unit at 2 AM on the way to the bathroom, Red Shift Mode is the play.

Two Garmin devices rest face down displaying the differences between the Gen 4 and Gen 5 heart rate sensors.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Back to the hardware, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) packs a brand-new Elevate Gen 5 optical heart rate sensor. In addition to updating its algorithms, Garmin spaced out the sensor’s LEDs for better accuracy, especially during workouts with more wrist movement. After one week of testing, it’s clear that space is ace. The sensor proved highly accurate compared to my chest strap throughout this Garmin Epix Pro review, including during weight lifting and circuit training.

At present, Garmin’s ECG app is still only available on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, but it seems likely this updated sensor package could support that feature in the future as well. For now, the heart rate accuracy, coupled with multi-band GNNS support across the board, makes this a fantastic fitness tracker. GPS routes recorded by my Epix Pro (Gen 2) were some of the most accurate I’ve dug into.

Finally expanded beyond its 47mm profile, the Epix Pro series puts a beautiful display, an accurate heart rate sensor, an LED flashlight, and tons of advanced training tools onto the wrists of athletes of all sizes.

Finally, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) also offers substantially updated battery life on its biggest watch. The 51mm model will now last up to 31 days in smartwatch mode or 58 hours in GPS only. This is outstanding performance for a device with an AMOLED display. With my miniature wrists, I tested the 42mm option instead which features a much smaller cell, and its own more humble battery life specs. Still, the watch easily made it three to four days with about an hour of GPS workouts per day. If you don’t mind disabling the always-on display, Garmin claims up to 10 days between charges.

All of that said, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) isn’t without its quirks. Primarily, the new training features don’t seem fully baked just yet. It’s also very possible that more data and workouts will improve that experience though so I’m not overly worried. Notably, all new software features will also roll back to the previous generation. Upgrading from the (Gen 2) is only worthwhile if you’d love an alternative case size or if your heart’s set on a flashlight (which we fully support).

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)
AA Editors Choice
Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)
Available in three sizes • Fantastic heart rate and GPS tracking • Built-in LED flashlight and Red Shift Mode
MSRP: $899.99
Premium fitness tracking smartwatch with a flashlight
Garmin swings the door wide open on its Epix Pro lineup with more options for more wrists. Now available in three case sizes, the AMOLED display-touting devices feature a built-in flashlight, a completely revamped heart rate sensor, and multiband GNSS across all models. Garmin even added a few new training metrics, 30 new sport modes, and helpful improvements to its onboard maps.
See price at Amazon
Garmin Epix Pro

What are the best Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) alternatives?

The Fenix 7 Pro, Fenix 7, and Apple Watch Ultra represent some of the best alternatives available.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Epix Pro (Gen 2) isn’t the only option for athletes looking for a powerful fitness companion. Check out a few of these alternatives as well.

  • Garmin Epix ((Gen 2)) ($853 at Amazon): The Epix Pro (Gen 2)’s older sibling, the Epix ((Gen 2)) comes in just one case size and won’t have the same heart rate sensor or built-in flashlight. However, it’s a formidable device now likely to go on sale.
  • Garmin Forerunner 965 ($853 at Amazon): A Garmin wearable with an equally attractive AMOLED display, the Forerunner 965 is our top recommendation for dedicated runners.
  • Fenix 7 Pro (on the product’s website): Though the 51mm Epix Pro offers an impressive battery, true endurance athletes looking for hours and hours of GPS tracking will still likely find the Fenix 7 Pro a better fit with its MIP display and solar charging.
  • Apple Watch Ultra ($799 at Amazon): The best smartwatch for adventurous iOS users remains the Apple Watch Ultra. It doesn’t offer the same level of training features, but it’s a durable device with accurate tracking tools.

Garmi Epix Pro (Gen 2) specs 

Garmin Epix Pro
Display
42mm:
1.2-inch AMOLED
390 x 390
47mm:
1.3-inch AMOLED
416 x 416

51 mm:
1.4-inch AMOLED
454 x 454
Input
Five face buttons
Touchscreen
Lens material
Standard model: Corning Gorilla Glass
Sapphire model: Sapphire crystal
Dimensions and weight
42mm:
42 x 42x 14.2mm
Standard model: 63g (with band)
Sapphire model stainless steel: 63g (with band)
Sapphire model titanium: 58g (with band)

47mm:
47 x 47 x 14.6mm
Standard model: 78g (with band)
Sapphire model: 70g (with band)

51 mm:
51 x 51 x 15.0mm
Standard model: 98g (with band)
Sapphire model: 88g(with band)
Build materials
Bezel
Standard model: Stainless steel
Sapphire model: Stainless steel or titanium

Case
Standard model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with steel rear cover
Sapphire model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with steel rear cover
Battery
42mm:
Battery saver smartwatch mode: Up to 10 days (4 days always-on)
Smartwatch mode: Up to 14 days
GPS only: Up to 28 hours (20 hours always-on)
All satellite systems: Up to 21 hours (16 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + multi-band: Up to 13 hours (10 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + music: Up to 6 hours
Max battery GPS: Up to 49 hours
Expedition GPS: Up to 9 days

47mm:
Smartwatch mode: Up to 16 days (6 days always-on)
Battery saver smartwatch mode: Up to 21 days
GPS only: Up to 42 hours (30 hours always-on)
All satellite systems: Up to 32 hours (24 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + multi-band: Up to 20 hours (15 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + music: Up to 10 hours
Max battery GPS: Up to 75 hours
Expedition GPS: Up to 14 days

51mm:
Smartwatch mode: Up to 31 days (11 days always-on)
Battery saver smartwatch mode: Up to 41 days
GPS only: Up to 82 hours (58 hours always-on)
All satellite systems: Up to 62 hours (48 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + multi-band: Up to 38 hours (17 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + music: Up to 17 hours
Max battery GPS: Up to 145 hours
Expedition GPS: Up to 27 days
IP rating
10ATM
Sensors
Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor (Gen 5)
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
Beidou
Multi-band GNSS
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Ambient light sensor
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Connectivity
Bluetooth
ANT+
Wi-Fi
Storage
32GB
Compatibility
Android, iOS
Garmin Pay
Yes
Smartwatch features
Connect IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Plays and controls smartwatch music
Find my phone/find my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) review: FAQ

The Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) features a water resistance rating of 10ATM. This rating makes it safe for showering and swimming to depths up to 100 meters.

Yes, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) series is compatible with both iPhones and Android phones.

Yes. the Epix Pro (Gen 2) features an SpO2 sensor.

While budgeting is deeply personal, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) is certainly a powerful device that warrants a hefty price tag. Garmin watches are also built to last and receive regular software updates for many years.

You cannot complete a phone call from your wrist with a Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2). You can, however, receive and accept incoming calls and then use your phone to talk.