We tested Garmin’s new Enduro around the same time that some of Europe’s top football clubs threatened a breakaway European Super League, a move lambasted by fans as losing touch with reality.Which in many ways is analogous to this fiscal beast of a watch, which comes in at nearly £700 for the steel version (tested) and £800 for the titanium version. Read that again – a training watch that’s more expensive than the road bikes many of you are riding.
Okay, it’s also a lot less than the tri bikes many of you ride, but you get the point – this is expensive to the point of vulgarity. How do Garmin justify that price tag? Here’s how, the battery life. In fact, a battery life that’s greater than any sports watch to hit the market. As a sampler, we’re talking around 80hrs in GPS mode; two months in smartwatch mode; and up to 300hrs in ‘max-battery GPS mode’. This energy reserve’s down to a thin solar panel around the perimeter that’s purportedly 100% efficient at converting solar energy into chemical energy. Beneath the entire screen’s a second solar panel, which is 10% efficient.
This is a potential game changer… for admittedly a very small market. We’re talking multi-day ultra-runners who are racing or training off the beaten track. For the rest of us, we have the luxury of recharging electricity at a finger switch. There’s also compromise as some familiar top-end Garmin features don’t make the cut. We’re talking in-built music and, more importantly, full topographical maps. This seems a strange omission for a watch pitched as the ultimate outdoor tool.
Which, from its remaining feature list, it has grounds to claim. There’s the ultra-run feature, which logs the time you spend at aid stations; mountain-bike dynamics, that rather niftily rates trail difficulty and how smoothly you descend; and VO2max figures specific for trail running. Why specifically? It’s down to previous Garmin models underestimating aerobic capacity when off-road running because they failed to account for obstacles often found on trails like fallen trees, meaning the watch thought you were working harder than you were.
You can also measure your hydration, recovery, respiration and even your blood-oxygen status. So there’s a helluva lot here.
Which will satiate the appetite of data-philes everywhere. But at a very high price. Impressive but personally, we’d save £200 and go for Garmin’s Forerunner 945.
Verdict: Huge amount of features but so very, very expensive, 73%