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Garmin Enduro Review – Stunning Battery Life

Garmin Enduro review – Are you an endurance athlete looking for a GPS watch with phenomenal battery life?

Garmin has released the Enduro, a special ultra performance GPS smartwatch, that should appeal in particular all ultra endurance athletes.

The Garmin Enduro is based on the fenix series – the range of functions is identical. The Enduro can be compared well with the fenix 6X Pro Solar or the fenix 6 Solar.

Compared to the 6X Pro, the Enduro lacks the premium features, compared to the 6 Solar, the Enduro is distinguished by the larger housing (51 mm vs. 47 mm). But, there is still one important difference: the color accent in lime green!

The missing fenix premium features:

  • Wi-Fi for data exchange – not so important in my opinion!
  • Maps (incl. other functions for navigation) – one of the fenix killer features!
  • Memory for onboard music – in my opinion also dispensable!

The Enduro is available in two variants:

  • Steel ( gray/silver) with a stainless steel bezel, a gray Ultrafit nylon strap, and a case weight of 65 g (MSRP: $/€799.99).
  • Carbon gray with a titanium bezel and DLC coating, a black Ultrafit nylon strap and a case weight of 55 g (MSRP: $/€899.99)

Unlike the fenix, there are no smaller 47 mm or 42 mm case options to choose from. Athletes with delicate wrists are left out in the cold.

The Enduro has inherited the robustness and resilience of the fenix – whether continuous rain and snow while hiking, moisture and mud while biking, streams of sweat while trail running and speed hiking, the fenix has survived everything for me for over 1.5 years.

Garmin Enduro vs. Garmin fenix 6X Pro
Garmin Enduro (left) vs. Garmin fenix 6X Pro

Lightweight & Comfortable – The Ultrafit Nylon Wristband

The Garmin Enduro is light. However, the weight advantage over the fenix is only due to the Ultrafit nylon strap.

To make a long story short: The elastic strap is super comfortable and ensures a secure fit during sports. But it also has a huge strength in everyday life. The lack of a buckle means that it is practically unobtrusive, which is a positive feature when working at the PC, for example.

Alternatively, 26 mm QuickFix wristbands can be used.

Garmin Enduro Review – Battery Life

To achieve even better battery runtimes, Garmin relies on a new platform with a power-saving processor as well as a more powerful battery.

A comparison to the 6X Pro Solar shows the advantage (specifications: up to …).

ModeEnduro6X Pro Solar
Smartwatch50 days / 65 days (*)21 days / 24 days (*)
Battery Saver Watch Mode130 days / 1 Jahr (*)80 days / 120 days (*)
GPS70 hours / 80 hours (*)60 hours / 66 hours (*)
Max. Battery GPS Mode200 hours / 300 hours (*)120 hours / 148 hours (*)
Expedition GPS Activity65 days / 95 days (*)46 days / 56 days (*)
(*) with solar

To test the battery life I took a pragmatic approach.

Unpacked the Enduro, except for a few minor tweaks (*) left everything as standard, wore it for a few days to play around, fully charged it and used it in a 24/7 mix of everyday life, sports and outdoor (including permanent smartphone connection). The weather – relevant to the solar panel – was a mix of snow, rain, sun, cold, warm, hazy and blue. By the way, the energy-sucking pulse oximeter mode is deactivated in the selected default settings.

(*) Including a switch from GPS + GLONASS to GPS + GALILEO, more on that later

In a fully charged state, 50 days were displayed for the smartwatch mode when the test phase was started. In the "Trail Run" activity with the "normal" energy mode, two appropriately configured data fields reported 100% battery capacity and 68 hours of runtime (GPS + GALILEO instead of GPS + GLONASS makes a minus of two hours compared to the stated 70 hours).

My Garmin Enduro test shows: After exactly 21 days – including about 26 hours of GPS while trail running, mountain biking & hiking – the Enduro still shows 14 days for the smartwatch mode and a remaining runtime of 19 hours in the "Trail Run" activity (= battery capacity of 28%). Thus, two weeks are still possible as a smartwatch, and 19 hours in GPS mode (maybe a bit more depending on solar activity).

My fenix 6X Pro, which is worn continuously, spoiled me in this discipline – the Enduro is addictive. The look at the battery display can be omitted, a tour or training is actually always possible.

A few more words about the power management. The Power Manager allows you to assign different settings to the activities. For example, a mode can be created that increases the displayed 68 hours to 90 hours (among other things, by disconnecting the phone).

Where do possible competitors stand? Polar states a battery life of up to 40 hours for the Grit X in training mode (= GPS, heart rate measurement at the wrist), Coros states 60 hours for the Vertix in GPS mode.

Garmin Enduro - solar intensity
Garmin Enduro – solar intensity

Garmin Enduro Review – Heart Rate Accuray

In my alpine activity mix, numerous review (fenix 6X Pro, fenix 6 Pro Solar, fenix 6S, Instinct Solar) often produced disappointing heart rate data. In other words, the heart rate values were often completely off in some activities – an external heart rate sensor was mandatory.

One reason for this was the use of ski poles in steep terrain.

However, the Garmin Enduro review flashed me. The heart rate data is as it should be! Accurate! Even with the fenix 6X Pro!

There is only one assumption: Garmin has changed the algorithms in the background!

A few examples (fenix 5X Pro with HRM-Run monitor as reference):

The first activity (*) in a constant heart rate range around 160 with a sprint to the mountain top for the final heart rate kick shows an almost perfect match. A closer look only exhibits that the optical heart rate sensors reflect changes partly delayed, as expected.

(*) In steep areas with poles.

heart rate trail running (1) - fenix 5X Pro (blue), fenix 6X Pro (red), Enduro (green)
heart rate trail running (1) – fenix 5X Pro (blue), fenix 6X Pro (red), Enduro (green)

The next two examples (*) – only in partly different pulse ranges – reveal a similar picture. Only the fenix 6X Pro (red) briefly falls back into its old pattern, the Enduro (green) can show a few spikes up or down. Otherwise, great results again.

heart rate trail running (2) - fenix 5X Pro (blue), fenix 6X Pro (red), Enduro (green)
heart rate trail running (2) – fenix 5X Pro (blue), fenix 6X Pro (red), Enduro (green)
heart rate trail running (3) - fenix 5X Pro (blue), fenix 6X Pro (red), Enduro (green)
heart rate trail running (3) – fenix 5X Pro (blue), fenix 6X Pro (red), Enduro (green)

Two examples from mountain biking: Apart from short exceptions (image 1: Enduro, green; image 2: Edge 1030 Plus, blue), the results are also very good. This shows that heart rate measurement on the wrist also provides satisfactory results for mountain biking.

Garmin Enduro - heart rate mountain bike (1)
heart rate mountain biking – Edge 1030 Plus + Polar Verity Sense monitor (red), Enduro (green)
Garmin Enduro - heart rate mountain bike (2)
heart rate mountain biking – Edge 1030 Plus + Polar Verity Sense monitor (red), Enduro (green)

GPS Accuracy

As already mentioned, I selected for the Garmin Enduro review GPS + GALILEO in the settings instead of the standard setting GPS + GLONASS. Reason: I wanted to see if there were any differences in the accuracy of recordings compared to the fenix 6X Pro with GPS + GLONASS – on different days, with different satellite constellations and in often demanding "GPS terrain".

No, there is nothing to see even with numerous activities. Sometimes the fenix, sometimes the Enduro performs better. The deviations are within the usual range of up to 15 m for wearables.

The screenshots show two examples under average to good reception conditions in the foothills of the Alps (the scale bar helps with the evaluation).

GPS accuracy trail running - Enduro vs. fenix 6X Pro
trail running activity – Enduro (green) vs. fenix 6X Pro (red)
GPS accuracy hiking - Enduro vs. fenix 6X Pro
hiking activity – Enduro (green) vs. fenix 6X Pro (red)
Garmin Enduro - in the mountains
Garmin Enduro – in the mountains
Garmin Multisportuhr Enduro GPS - -
898,99 €
(As of: 2021/06/20 11:02 am - Details)
View on Amazon *
  • Power Glass Solar-Ladelinse erntet die Sonnenenergie und gibt Ihnen mehr Leistung und Zeit zwischen den Ladungen
  • Power Manager und Batterieschoner-Modi ermöglichen es Ihnen, Sensoren ein- und auszuschalten, um die Batterielebensdauer zu verlängern
  • Robustes, leichtes Design verfügt über ein immer aufgesetztes 3,6 cm (1,4 Zoll) Display und eine Stahl- oder DLC-beschichtete Titan-Lünette, Tasten und Rückgehäuse
  • Trail Run VO2 Max verfolgt Ihr Herz-Kreislauf-Fitnessniveau und passt sich an die Trail-Bedingungen an
  • Ultrarun-Aktivität mit Ruhe-Timer ermöglicht es Ihnen, Ihre Zeit in Hilfsstationen aufzuzeichnen
  • ClimbPro Trail-Verbesserungen gibt Ihnen Informationen für Abfahrten und Wohnungen — für zusätzliche Sicherheit und Bewusstsein
  • Verwenden Sie die Lauf-/Walk-Erkennung, um nach Trainingseinheiten oder Rennen zu überprüfen, wo Sie unterwegs sind, wie steile Anstiege
  • Sehen Sie Ihre Erholungszeit und Ihr nächstes empfohlenes Training basierend auf Ihren Schlaf- und Wellness-Daten
  • Navigieren Sie auch in den anspruchsvollsten Umgebungen mit Multi-GNSS Unterstützung (GPS, GLONASS und Galileo) und barometrischem Höhenmesser und Kompass
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.de/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Garmin Enduro – Navigation

A look at the English Garmin forum reveals an intense discussion of the question "Why doesn’t the Enduro have maps?".

One reason is probably the selling price. By adding the price for the PRO functions analogous to the fenix, the Enduro would end up in the $/€900 to $/€1,000 price range. Another argument could be battery life, as displaying and continuously rendering the map takes juice.

For whatever reason, I tried navigating without topographic maps intensively during my Garmin Enduro review: along completely new routes and in only very roughly known terrain.

It doesn’t work perfectly, but surprisingly well – especially in combination with orientation skills, experience and the best navigation system man has …!

With paths that deviate from each other at a narrow angle, the question can arise: Do I take the right or the left path? That’s where a map has advantages, especially as it provides additional points of orientation.

When biking, running and hiking with the Enduro, however, there are a few wishes for improvement that Garmin will hopefully deliver in an update:

  • The position marker should be positioned further down on the map page and not in the middle, so that more of the course ahead can be seen.
  • Small chevrons or similar along the track should clearly indicate the direction (there is a small red direction pointer, but additional elements would be better).
  • The course should stand out more clearly visually (e.g. with a stronger color).
  • If the starting point of a course is a bit out of the way, it would be practical to have a straight line to the starting point.

The screenshots show you the navigation along a course:

fenix - overview of the course
fenix – overview of the course
fenix - The street marked on the map helps with orientation
fenix – the street marked on the map helps with orientation
fenix - fenix - the little pond is an additional orientation aid
fenix – the little pond is an additional orientation aid
Enduro- overview of the course
Enduro- overview of the course
Enduro - Even without a map you can find the right way
Enduro – even without a map you can find the right way, the small red direction indicator (above) helps you to do so
Enduro - the turn ahead is clear
Enduro – the turn ahead is clear
Garmin Enduro & Garmin fenix - navigation prompts
Enduro (left) & fenix – navigation prompts

There are workarounds for bringing maps onto the Enduro via Connect IQ Apps. Currently, only dwMap is compatible (but I am not so convinced by its terms of use), another option could be Locus Map for Garmin, which currently has a problem with Garmin Connect 4.40 (a solution is still pending, as of April 2021).

Back to Start

If you want to find your way back to the starting point of your activity, you have two options.

With "TracBack" you navigate along the activity record to the starting point, with "Straight line" the Enduro guides you back along the shortest route with the help of an aerial line.

Garmin Enduro - back to start - straight line
back to start – straight line

The Garmin Enduro is compatible with the Garmin Explore app – this gives several options for navigation.

One option is to start routes from the app, another is to mark any point on the map in the app and send it to the Enduro via the "Navigate" function (screenshot).

The Enduro then calculates a course line to the destination. You can navigate there with the help of the map or a course pointer (similar to "course CDI" for outdoor handhelds like Garmin GPSMAP). To do this, however, it is first necessary to set "Course" as the navigation type in the settings.

The following screenshots show the procedure.

Garmin Explore App - mark a destination on the map
Garmin Explore App – mark a destination on the map
course line to the destination
course line to the destination
course pointer
course pointer
an obstacle is bypassed on the right
an obstacle is bypassed on the right
the course deviation indicator (in the middle) moves to the left
the course deviation indicator (in the middle) moves to the left

Other Functions of the Garmin Enduro

Endless functions – whether fitness tracking, recording of the most diverse activities (from bouldering, to skiing & surfing, to yoga), smartwatch features, everyday helpers (payment function, timer, DND, smartphone search, …), barometer, numerous Firstbeat metrics & training functions, support for every imaginable ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor – the Enduro, like the fenix, actually offers everything that is hip and important. Almost too much, because understanding all functions and the sport physiological background is not without its challenges!

One innovation that Garmin introduced with the Enduro and also brought to the fenix is the VO2max for the "Trail Run" and "Ultra Run" activities, which can be enabled/disabled separately in the respective settings. However, this does not mean that there is a separate VO2max for these activities – the analysis data flows into the "normal" VO2max for running. The calculation of this special VO2max is complex, the only source with background information on the topic is dcrainmaker.com – for those interested I recommend reading his review.

Also worth mentioning is the new ClimbPro, which now even takes descents into account, but in my opinion still needs some fine-tuning.

Garmin Multisportuhr Enduro GPS - -
898,99 €
(As of: 2021/06/20 11:02 am - Details)
View on Amazon *
  • Power Glass Solar-Ladelinse erntet die Sonnenenergie und gibt Ihnen mehr Leistung und Zeit zwischen den Ladungen
  • Power Manager und Batterieschoner-Modi ermöglichen es Ihnen, Sensoren ein- und auszuschalten, um die Batterielebensdauer zu verlängern
  • Robustes, leichtes Design verfügt über ein immer aufgesetztes 3,6 cm (1,4 Zoll) Display und eine Stahl- oder DLC-beschichtete Titan-Lünette, Tasten und Rückgehäuse
  • Trail Run VO2 Max verfolgt Ihr Herz-Kreislauf-Fitnessniveau und passt sich an die Trail-Bedingungen an
  • Ultrarun-Aktivität mit Ruhe-Timer ermöglicht es Ihnen, Ihre Zeit in Hilfsstationen aufzuzeichnen
  • ClimbPro Trail-Verbesserungen gibt Ihnen Informationen für Abfahrten und Wohnungen — für zusätzliche Sicherheit und Bewusstsein
  • Verwenden Sie die Lauf-/Walk-Erkennung, um nach Trainingseinheiten oder Rennen zu überprüfen, wo Sie unterwegs sind, wie steile Anstiege
  • Sehen Sie Ihre Erholungszeit und Ihr nächstes empfohlenes Training basierend auf Ihren Schlaf- und Wellness-Daten
  • Navigieren Sie auch in den anspruchsvollsten Umgebungen mit Multi-GNSS Unterstützung (GPS, GLONASS und Galileo) und barometrischem Höhenmesser und Kompass
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
×
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.de/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Garmin Enduro Review – Summary

To buy or not to buy? If ultimate battery life is important to you and you can live without the premium features of the fenix series, the Enduro is a clear buy. There is currently no better battery life in combination with all conceivable functions – neither from Garmin nor from a competitor!

If battery life is not that important to you, there are not so many arguments for the Enduro, as one of the many fenix 6 models is currently the more sensible and cheaper option.

Apart from that, the hardware platform used in the Enduro should be the basis for a new fenix generation … let’s be surprised!

Garmin Enduro – Pros

  • Battery life
  • Range of functions
  • Accurate heart rate data
  • VO2max for trail & ultra running
  • ClimbPro with descents
  • Connectivity (smartphone, devices, sensors)

Garmin Enduro – Cons

  • Pricey
  • Course navigation with some need for optimisation
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