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WATCH REVIEW: Garmin Enduro

After testing this GPS watch for a 42-hour activity, it still held 80 per cent battery life

Photo by: Matt Stetson

The Garmin Enduro has a unique feature like no other watch on the market: a 50-day battery life and over 80 hours of GPS. Over a weekend, we put 42 hours of GPS activity on it to test the GPS accuracy, battery life and solar repowering of the watch. For long races and FKTs, it’s simply unbeatable.

An overview of the three day testing of the Garmin Enduro

The initial observation is that this watch is heavy-duty and simply refuses to die. Whether you are using it for its GPS battery or daily use, few watches come close to the Enduro for battery life.

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The battery 

The standard smartwatch holds up to 50 days of battery life and 65 days with solar. (The watch charges itself anytime it’s worn outside on a sunny day.)

The Battery Saver Mode gives users 130 days of battery life, and one year with solar (battery saver mode is only available outside of GPS modes).

The GPS mode gives users up to 70 hours of battery, and 80 hours with the solar feature. After using this watch for 42 hours of running, hiking and walking, the watch battery did not drop lower than 80 per cent.

Expedition GPS mode is appropriate for long-distance hikes or treks. The battery is good for 65 days and up to 95 days with the solar feature (incl. Rest Timer feature)

Photo: Matt Stetson

Other notable features

There are a few other features worth noting. The Garmin Enduro added a rest timer and proper VO2 max metrics for trail and ultra running. (These metrics are also now available for Fenix 6 and FR945 users in the most recent software update from Garmin.)

The inclusion of the new pause-menu Rest Timer feature in ultra and trail running modes gives athletes the ability to manage their time spent at aid stations without stopping the GPS.

There is also an updated version of ClimbPro, which now tracks and displays descents, triggering alerts before your climb starts.

The Enduro comes with a durable nylon strap that’s comfortable and appropriate for all activities.

The super-durable nylon/velcro band on the Garmin Enduro. Photo: Matt Stetson

What is missing 

Some features that are missing from the Garmin Enduro are live maps and heatmap routing. (Both features are in the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.) The watch does not connect to Apple Music or Spotify and can’t physically store music, though it does display current music playing on your iPhone or Android phone, and you can play or skip songs playing through your connected Bluetooth device.

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The verdict

The battery life on the Enduro does not appear to come at the expense of bad GPS or heart rate inaccuracy. While using the GPS modes, the watch would pick up satellites within 10 seconds of starting an activity.

This watch is perfect for the ultimate athlete who loves the outdoors, where the main priority is having a watch they rarely have to charge. The Enduro has everything from backcountry skiing to golf to ultrarunning, and will give the user an in-depth analysis of Vo2 max levels and heart rate zones during most activities.

A solar intensity reading of the last six hours on the Garmin Enduro. Photo: Matt Stetson

The Garmin Enduro may inspire a new generation of high-tech devices that are focused on long-haul performance, differentiating themselves from charge-every-day sports watches.

The Enduro comes in two styles, retailing $1,099 for the stainless steel face and $1,249 for the titanium-faced model.