Out of the box, the latest offering from Garmin was considerably different to the forerunner models that I was used to handling. With its larger and heavier bulk, knurled metal buttons and a dense rubber strap, the chunky exterior may mislead some of you into thinking it would be a weight on the wrist, but it isn't.
This watch is designed to be rugged for a reason and with a list of features that will make any trail and ultra-running enthusiast leap a stile with joy, it’s a clear choice for those who want a watch to survive more than just some casual road running.
It’s not only the exterior that will suit those with adventurous tastes. The fēnix boast a comprehensive navigational toolset that includes an altimeter, barometer and compass, whilst also allowing users to plan trips, create routes and record waypoints; all incredibly useful features, especially Garmin’s pioneering TracBack™ technology, if you’re someone who wants to immerse themself in the wild with a renewed confidence of finding a way out.
The watch comes preloaded with a variety of activity profiles including running, hiking, cycling, mountaineering, skiing and even hunting but you can add your own if you wish and each one is programmable to offer you a plethora of info, especially when linked with Garmin’s heartrate monitor and speed/cadence sensor.
Usability is easy, the main menu is accessed via the big orange button on the side and is simple to navigate, plus there are some nifty shortcuts to help you keep track of the abundance of information that is made available to you when you're out on the trails.
With a battery life of up to 16 hrs (which can be extended to up 50 hours using Garmin's new UltraTrac® mode), it’s more than likely that you’ll be tired before this watch is.
The only sticking point really is the price, at £349.99 it's not cheap, but then this is the top end of the Garmin range and for those who wish to enter the wilderness free from constraints and with a wrist brimming with data, the enjoyment this watch offers more than makes up for the dent in the wallet.
To find out more info, visit the
Garmin fēnix site.