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Kelly Hodgkins / Review Geek

Garmin outdid itself with the Enduro 2. The GPS fitness watch is a significant upgrade over the original Enduro, addressing almost all the shortcomings of its predecessor. There are many reasons to love and few to hate this ultra-endurance watch for active lifestyles.

The Enduro 2 is a beast of a watch. It takes the best of Garmin’s rugged Fenix 7X series and makes it better. The battery life is unrivaled, and its navigation features ensure you won’t get lost in the woods. It’s not only the best outdoor watch in Garmin’s lineup; it’s the best outdoor watch, period.

Here’s What We Like

  • Outstanding sports tracking
  • Premium construction
  • Month-long battery life
  • Topo Maps
  • Onboard music
  • Flashlight

And What We Don’t

  • Large and bulky
  • Overkill for the casual user
  • Price

Review Geek’s expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

Design: Big and Bold

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Kelly Hodgkins / Review Geek

  • Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 0.61in (51 x 51 x 15.6mm)
  • Weight: 2.47oz (70g)
  • Display: 1.4-inch (280 x 280px) touchscreen with sapphire lens
  • Band: Ultralight nylon velcro strap (26m), Quickfit compatible

Garmin didn’t reinvent the wheel with the Enduro 2; it looks and feels like the company’s other flagship adventure watches. It’s big, bold, and beautiful, measuring a whopping 51mm and weighing 70g. This substantial size may be a turn-off for casual users, but it won’t deter the target audience of hardcore endurance athletes who are willing to sacrifice size for performance.

The Enduro 2 adds a convenient 1.4-inch touchscreen display to Garmin’s classic five-button layout, which includes start/stop, back/lap, up/menu, down, and light buttons. The touchscreen is a nice addition that makes it easy to navigate the many features of the watch, especially since it’s sunlight visible. It’s convenient when scrolling through the glances, which provide quick access to health data, activity information, and more, and it’s also helpful when browsing the integrated topo maps.

Garmin shipped the Enduro 2 with two watch bands—a nylon Ultrafit athletic strap and a thicker QuickFit silicone band for everyday wear. The nylon strap is comfortable, easy to adjust, and doesn’t irritate my skin like silicone typically does. It also complements the watch’s look and doesn’t add any extra bulk. It’s easy to swap between the straps, but I never did.

Durability: Rugged, but Too Robust

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Kelly Hodgkins / Review Geek

  • Display: Power Sapphire
  • Bezel: Titanium
  • Casing: Fiber-reinforced polymer with titanium rear cover

Want a watch that lasts for years? The Enduro 2 is the one for you. The watch casing and bezel combine titanium and a fiber-reinforced polymer that resists scratching. The display is equally durable with a sapphire lens that withstands bumps and bruises. I’ve worn the Enduro 2 for over a month around the clock, and it still looks brand new.

The Enduro 2 feels hefty in your hand; it’s a satisfying weightiness you only get with premium products. It won’t weigh you down, but its width can be an issue. The Enduro 2 sits high enough off your wrist that it tends to snag clothing. I had to wrestle with the sleeve of my shirt or jacket whenever I wanted to check a notification or glance down at my activity stats. I got so frustrated that I wore a short-sleeved shirt or bunched up my sleeve above my wrist so it wouldn’t cover the watch.

The thick body makes it difficult to recommend the Enduro 2 as an everyday watch. It’s a performance tool and not a fashion statement. Most people who noticed the Enduro on my wrist didn’t complement it, they reacted with shock at the size of the watch. After a minute or two of disbelief, they warmed up to the Enduro after I showed off the topo maps and health tracking features.

Activity Tracking on Overdrive

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Kelly Hodgkins / Review Geek

  • Sensors: GPS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate heart rate monitor, Barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, PulseOX
  • Modes: Outdoor recreation, cycling, swimming, running, golfing, and gym
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi

There are a bazillion sports modes on the Enduro 2. Everything from pickleball to windsurfing is included—it’s overkill for the casual user, but perfect if you’re looking for a specific activity or two to track. Each mode has sport-specific metrics that you can follow as you exercise or review when you’re done. You can scroll through all of the available activities when starting a workout or create a list of favorites for your most common sports. Also new to Enduro are Topo maps for hiking and skiing. Maps are a must-have for a flagship outdoors watch, and I’m glad Garmin added these to the Enduro series.

I used the Enduro 2 primarily for hiking and trail running. The features that are available while you exercise are innumerable. You can track all the standard metrics you expect, like pace, distance, time, and heart rate.

The Enduro then adds sport-specific data fields that you can configure—when trail running or hiking, I can track elevation changes, follow previous efforts on that course, and consult a map to ensure I’m still on the correct path. The watch works hard to track everything, but with its outrageously long battery life, I never ran out of juice on a multi-day hike or hours-long endurance run.

The Enduro 2 tracks just about everything you need, but if you find anything lacking, you can always add it on. The watch supports Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wi-Fi connectivity, and you can pick up accessories like running pods, bike cadence sensors, and chest heart rate monitors to further expand the functionality of your Enduro smartwatch.

Training Is Top-notch

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Kelly Hodgkins / Review Geek

The Enduro 2 is more than a fitness tracker; it’s also a useful training tool. Garmin included two activity metrics—training status and training readiness—that complement each other. Training readiness looks at your overall health and wellness before working out, while training status examines your performance after you exercise. I used both metrics to hone my running as I prepared for upcoming trail races.

Training status examines your activity level and considers the intensity and duration of your workouts. It then labels your efforts as productive, maintaining, or recovering. I used my training status to ensure I was exercising enough before a big race to improve and maintain my fitness level. I then used it to ensure I was tapering effectively since it’s easy to overdo it.

I appreciated the feedback from the Enduro 2, reminding me to stay in recovery mode and not inadvertently push myself back into maintaining mode.

Training readiness was the other metric I used to boost my training. It provides daily guidance on how prepared your body is to work out. To generate this metric, the Enduro 2 considers your activity level and health and wellness stats like sleep, stress, body battery, and more. Armed with this knowledge, you can exercise hard when you’re well-rested or take a day off when your body isn’t ready for physically stressful activity.

Using this training readiness metric, I discovered that sleep, or lack thereof, had a major impact on my training. I noticed that my runs were often sluggish, and I struggled to meet my mileage goals. When I finally started paying attention to my watch, I discovered my poor sleep habits were hindering my progress.

Smartphone Integration Is Not So Smart

Garmin’s biggest shortcoming is its smartphone integration. You can read all incoming messages and alerts on your watch, but your ability to respond is limited. If you use an iPhone, you cannot respond at all, you can only read. If you’re an Android user, you can respond to messages but are limited to a handful of predefined replies. There is no microphone or cellular support, so you cannot receive or answer phone calls.

Music storage allows you to link your watch to Spotify and download playlists for offline listening. You can pair Bluetooth headphones to the watch, so you don’t have to pull out your phone to control your music. The Enduro 2 has Wi-Fi functionality, allowing you to download music and upload activities quickly. There’s also support for Garmin Pay, a wireless payment service from Garmin. Though convenient to pay with your watch, only some banks are compatible with Garmin pay.

Garmin Connect Makes Sense of Your Metrics

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Like most smartwatches, the Enduro 2 has a compatible mobile app, Garmin Connect (available on iPhone and Android). It syncs with the Enduro and other Garmin watches and is also accessible through a web browser. It’s used to configure the watch and compile the collected fitness data and give you a quick overview. Connect has a comparably bland interface, but its power lies in its data analysis. While most watches focus on superficial stats like steps and heart rate, Garmin takes a deep dive into your health and well-being.

Garmin Connect opens to a configurable home screen called “My Day” that summarizes your health data for the day. You can add or remove which “My Day” cards you want to see and order them according to your preference. This is my go-to screen for a quick summary of my performance and overall health.

Once you look beyond the “My Day” interface, you’ll find long-term reports on your health, performance, and training stats. You can get insights into how your standard metrics like steps compare to other Garmin users. Almost all data collected by your Garmin watch is processed and presented in a way that’ll help your training.

Speaking of training, Garmin Connect has that, too. Garmin has coach-assisted and self-guided plans to help you train for a 5K or even a marathon. You can also create your own plan if you have a race in the future or sync training plans from a third-party service like TrainingPeaks.

The Connect app is your gateway to Garmin’s Connect IQ store. Click on the link to store, and it will launch the Connect IQ app (available on iPhone and Android). Connect IQ has new watch faces, data fields you can use while exercising, weather apps, and more. Training is very personal, and you may find a watch face you like or a data field you need. Most apps are eye candy because the Enduro tracks every metric under the sun. Connect IQ is still worth exploring, though.

Battery Life Beyond Belief

  • Smartwatch mode: Up to 34 days / 46 days with solar
  • GPS Mode: Up to 110 hours / 150 hours with solar
  • Battery Saver Mode: Up to 111 days / 550 days with solar
  • Other: SatIQ intelligent GPS and solar charging

The Enduro series is known for its mind-blowing battery life, and the Enduro 2 doesn’t disappoint in this area. With over 150 hours in GPS mode, you can run or hike for almost 6 days without charging the watch. The incredible battery life is due in part to SatIQ, which minimizes power usage by adjusting the GPS mode based on your environment. It’ll enable low-power GPS mode in open areas and then turn on power-hungry Multiband GNSS in wooded areas.

Garmin included the improved Power Sapphire solar charging glass in the Enduro 2. This solar glass trickle charges the device, adding hours and not days to the battery life. The Enduro 2 monitors this solar charging, allowing you to track how much it contributes to overall usage time. Don’t expect this solar charging to power your Enduro when it is completely drained, you’ll still have to plug it into an outlet to fully charge the device. It takes a couple of hours to reach maximum capacity.

These power-saving measures are effective. I recently completed a 17-mile hike using GPS tracking and topo maps for navigation. At the end of the day, I barely put a dent in the battery life. Even when I was not out adventuring, I appreciated the extended battery life during daily use. I exercise an hour daily and could go almost a month between charges.

Because you charge so infrequently, it’s easy to lose the charging cord. It’s a proprietary cable Garmin uses on many of its watches. Unless you have a collection of Garmin watches kicking around, you’ll have to purchase a new OEM cable or a third-party cable as a replacement should you lose the one that comes with the watch. There’s even a nifty charging stand that works on your nightstand.

Pricing Is a Problem

  • MSRP: $1,099
  • Only one edition with all the bells and whistles

The Enduro 2 is one of the best outdoor watches on the market, but you may be shocked by its price point. You’ll have to plunk down $1,099 to add this watch to your collection. Garmin went all in with the Enduro and didn’t try to lower its price like it typically does with its flagship watches.

The Fenix 7 series, for example, is available in a standard edition that starts at $699, but that’s the bare-bones option. You can add solar charging for $100 more or upgrade to the sapphire solar model for an extra $200. The Enduro’s high price tag is a major detractor. Not many people are going to drop a grand on a smartwatch and roll with it. But if you’re looking for a premium outdoor smartwatch, you’ll have to pay a premium price.

The 4 Best GPS Running and Multi-Sport Watches

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Best for Most People

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running Smartwatch with Music and Advanced Dynamics, Black

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Best for Ultra Outdoor Adventures

Garmin fenix 6X Pro Solar, Premium Multisport GPS Watch with Solar Charging Capabilities, Features Mapping, Music, Grade-Adjusted Pace Guidance and Pulse Ox Sensors, Titanium

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Best for Triathletes

Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch with Music, Black

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Best non-Garmin Option

POLAR VANTAGE M –Advanced Running & Multisport Watch with GPS and Wrist-based Heart Rate (Lightweight Design & Latest Technology), Black, M-L

Should You Buy the Enduro 2?

The oversized Enduro 2 will appeal to ultra runners, long-distance cyclists, and similar endurance athletes. This group of performance-focused people will gladly sacrifice size for the longevity and advanced features the Enduro 2 offers. The high price tag may deter most potential buyers, but the serious athlete who uses their watch as a critical training and performance-tracking tool will see it as an investment.

Not everyone wants to spend a small fortune on a watch, no matter how rugged and feature-filled it is. Those looking for an all-purpose watch for everyday use would be better off with an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, which focuses on overall health and wellness. Garmin also offers the Venu 2, a great all-around fitness watch for athletic-minded people. These consumer-focused smartwatches are also much more affordable than the Enduro 2.

Folks who still want an outdoor performance watch should consider the Fenix 7 series, which starts at $699. The multi-sport watch shares many of the same core features as the Enduro 2 but is available in various configurations. Another alternative is the $349 Garmin Instinct 2, a rugged outdoor watch with solar charging and multi-sports support. You’ll save money but lose topo maps and the titanium construction of the Enduro 2.

Here’s What We Like

  • Outstanding sports tracking
  • Premium construction
  • Month-long battery life
  • Topo Maps
  • Onboard music
  • Flashlight

And What We Don’t

  • Large and bulky
  • Overkill for the casual user
  • Price

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