Garmin Epix - GPS/GLONASS watch
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- Included Software:Garmin BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (1 year subscription)
- Interface:USB, Bluetooth
- Functions & Services:Electronic compass, time/date
- Features:Barometer, barometric altimeter, alarm, calendar, AutoPause, Virtual Partner, Garmin Connect compatible, Virtual Racer, Training Effect, vibration alert, calorie computation, Virtual Pacer, stroke counter, step counter
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Run Time (Up To):50 hours, Type:Rechargeable - Lithium Ion, Interfaces:USB ¦ Bluetooth, Weight:85 g, Height:5.33 cm, Depth:1.78 cm, Width:5.08 cm, Features:Transflective, negative mode, Type:Colour - touch screen, Diagonal Size:1.4 in, Resolution:205 x 148, Design Features:Wrist watch, Protection:Waterproof, Included Accessories:AC power adaptor, USB cable, Trip Computer:Trip distance
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This is a phenomenal piece of equipment, it is vast in its abilities and functionality. I wont bother going into any detail as there are much better reviewers/reviews out there on the web focussed at this device.
Out of the box, I charged the device to 100% via my laptop USB port and spend a couple of hours playing and the battery degraded VERY quickly which was initially a huge concern but that night I charged it off mains for the whole night and found that for the first full day with it, I did an 8 mile ride to work on GPS, regular Bluetooth notifications from my iPhone throughout the day (this works really well for emails, sms and Whatsapp), a firmware upgrade without a cabled connection (make sure you do the firmware upgrade ASAP), copied over the (much more detailed) OpenStreetMaps file and then did another 5 mile walk with GPS in the evening. The device was showing at 92% - STUNNING. Make sure you do one solid nights charge off mains after delivery as this helps prepare the battery for its new life out of the box.
There is a mildly steep learning curve with this device, but I dont mean that in a way that suggests it is difficult to use, it is actually very well laid out with sound logic in its various menu systems, it's just the sheer amount of functionality and customisability on the device is vast so it takes a short while to get used to where things are. The full user manual (which is the one you will need to refer to if you get stuck) is not provided in the box but is only 1 click away via a web search.
Only slightly negative things I should mention are that the sleep monitoring is not very clever at all, I do not need this function so not a problem for me personally. Also, since upgrading to the latest IOS, the music controls stopped working, I think this is more Apple's fault than Garmin's but I am sure Garmin will have this nailed in the next software update. There is a fair bit of complaining about this on the web and from my experience, Garmin read these forums and listen to their customers so it's only a matter of time.
The device just works. It paired with the iPhone in seconds, it finds GPS in seconds, it gives me SMART notifications even before my iPhone beeps, I can choose and start an activity in seconds, it loads up my location on the map in seconds, it connects to its supporting software and app (Garmin Express, BaseCamp IQConnect & Connect app) with absolutely no fuss and all in seconds.
This device is large, it attracts attention and looks the business. I have small wrists yet it does not look out of place and is 100% comfortable to wear day and night. I could go on and on but my EPIX just told me to MOVE! So I will conclude with saying, a job well done to Garmin as it surpassed my expectations.
The outstanding issues I have are:
1. GPS accuracy is not brilliant when walking/running, but considering it's swinging on my wrist at 90 degrees to the sky, and I'm frequently near buildings, it does a perfectly acceptable job. When holding it horizontal and out in the plains, the accurancy is as good as any other GPS I've used.
2. The bundled recreational map of Europe is not good enough to plan hiking trips. Garmin will sell me more detailed, Ordance Survey maps, but they are expensive. However, it is possible to load free OpenStreetMap-based maps, and the device's 8GB of storage is very generous.
The Epix, for me at least, accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Things which I love:
-VO2 max, training effect and recovery time estimates
-Consistently good syncing with phone and PC (which I've not experienced with my garmin edge 810)
-Modifiable with apps
-Although I didn't buy for it's smartwatch function, it's actually quite nice.
-Used for running, cycling and swimming. Does all very well.
-I like the freedom of having a navigation device with such a long battery. I plan long runs on garmin connect, send to epix and then go for it. The battery is amazing.
Internet reviews have commented on menus. After only a day or 2 of use the menus are easily navigable.
So far its been excellent, far better than I was expecting. I had heard that the OS was quite buggy. Not any more!
When I first received it there was an update, then another a week later.
Everything has been stable and reliable.
The amount of data this watch collects is absolutely amazing. Not only that, there's detailed maps for the entire planet.
Thoroughly recommend it.