2022 could become the best year ever Garmin GPS sports watches with a plethora of great hardware options across a wide range of price points, improved watch and smartphone software, and quarterly feature releases that ensure buyers are actively supported. Garmin just announced the November 2022 software release that applies to different watches, and the features are great.
The November feature updates are rolling out to Venus 2, Venus m2, Precursor 255 series, Precursor 945 LTE, Precursor 955 series, phoenix 6/MARQ, phoenix 7/Epix (Gen 2)MARQ (Gen 2), Enduro 2And Tactics 7. Earlier this year, I tested the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar that launched with some of these features in this update, but even that device gets some of the new goodies. The Garmin Enduro 2 lives on one of my wrists all the time while I try all kinds of other smartwatches and GPS sports watches on the other wrist.
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The Venu 2 and Venu Sq 2 watches only receive disc golf support with this update. There are also some limits on what the Forerunner 255 and Fenix 6/MARQ series get. The rest of the watches will receive these new features, unless the watch already launched with the feature (like Morning Report on the Forerunner 955). New features include:
- Wrist-based running power: Polar was the first to launch with wrist-based running power, then we saw the same feature appear on COROS and Apple watches. Garmin required an external accessory, but with this update, nothing extra is needed to see the various elements of running power. This is a useful metric for people who run a lot of hills, and it’s my favorite metric for training.
- Morning report: When you first get up in the morning and look at your Garmin watch, you’ll now be able to view your sleep, recovery, exercise outlook, HRV status, exercise readiness, and weather for the day. You can customize the data you see in the report as well, and I find it very useful first thing in the morning.
- Pace adapted to the grade: If you’re not a fan of running power and prefer to train with your pace, slope-adapted pace metrics are useful for controlling your pace on uneven terrain.
- NextFork map guide: I tested this trail guidance feature at a Camp Garmin event and it helps you figure out which is the correct trail to take when trails intersect or split. It is useful for warning you if you go off the intended route and then helps you get back to the selected route.
- Snowboarding in the countryside: Just in time for the winter sports season, we see an additional activity for those who love the white cold. There are several snow-related activities on Garmin watches, and you can even view Skiview maps, so get out there and stay safe.
- Disc wave: Since taking four lessons, I’m improving my golf game dramatically, but I’m terrible at throwing a Frisbee disc. For those with the skills, your Garmin watch can now track your round of disc golf. With the UDisc app on Connect IQ you can even get distances to the hoop.
- Tide’s gaze: Even if you don’t have a sea-focused Garmin device, you can now add a tide look and see the tides for your local area or another designated area. By selecting the glance you can view the high and low tide in graphical format for several days ahead. I loaded it on the Enduro 2 as it helps with sea rescue and fishing activities.
- Automatic rest for Ultrarun: The Enduro 2 launched with this feature, but is now available on many other watches with this update. Your watch automatically tracks the time spent at an aid station or checkpoint so you don’t have to worry about pausing and restarting your ultrarun activity.
With this update, all the new features we saw on products released in 2022 are now present on the latest and greatest Garmin watches. I’m not sure what the next quarterly update will bring, but I look forward to more from Garmin in 2023.
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Garmin has also released a software update for the Edge Explore 2 And Edge 1040 cycling computers that offer live event sharing, LiveTrack spectator messaging, and targeted adaptive coaching (Edge 1040 only).