2022 could go down in history as the best year ever GPS sports watches from Garmin with a wealth of fantastic hardware options across a wide range of prices, improved watch and smartphone software, and quarterly feature releases that ensure buyers active support. Garmin has just announced the November 2022 software release that applies to multiple watches and the features are excellent.
The November feature updates will be deployed to the Venue 2, Venue place 2, Forerunner of the 255 series, Predecessor 945 LTE, Forerunner of the 955 series, Fenix 6/MARQ, Fenix 7/Epix (gen 2)MARQ (Gen 2), Endurance 2and Tactic 7. Earlier this year I reviewed the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, which launched with some of these features in this update, but even that device gets some of the new goodies. The Garmin Enduro 2 always lives on one of my wrists while I test all sorts of other smartwatches and GPS sports watches on the other wrist.
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The Venu 2 and Venu Sq 2 watches only get disc golf support with this update. There are also some caveats to what the Forerunner 255 series and Fenix 6/MARQ get. The rest of the watches will get these new features unless the watch has already been introduced with this feature (e.g. Morning Report on the Forerunner 955). New features include:
- Wrist-based mileage: Polar was the first to bring mileage to market on the wrist, 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 different elements of mileage. This is a useful metric for people who run a lot of hills and is my favorite metric for training.
- morning report: When you first wake up in the morning and look at your Garmin watch, you can now see your sleep, recovery, exercise prospects, HRV status, exercise readiness and weather for the day. You can also customize the data you see in the report and I find it very useful first thing in the morning.
- Incline-adapted pace: If you’re not a fan of running and prefer to train at pace, then incline-adjusted pace metrics are useful for checking pace on rough terrain.
- NextFork map guide: I tried this routing feature at a Camp Garmin event and it helps you figure out which path is the right one when paths cross or split. It’s useful for notifying you when you’ve strayed from your intended route, and then helping you get back on your chosen route.
- Backcountry snowboarding: Just in time for the winter sports season, we see an additional activity for everyone who enjoys the cold white stuff. There are several snow-related activities on Garmin watches and you can even view Skiview maps, so get out there and stay safe.
- disc golf: I’ve improved my golf game a lot since taking four lessons, but I’m terrible at throwing a frisbee. For those who have the skills, your Garmin watch can now track your round of disc golf. You can even get distances to the basket with the UDisc app on Connect IQ.
- tidal gaze: Even if you don’t have a Garmin marine device, you can now add a tide view and see the tides for your local or other designated area. If you select the overview, you can graphically display high and low tides for several days in advance. I loaded this onto the Enduro 2 as it helps with sea salvage and fishing activities.
- Automatic recovery for Ultrarun: The Enduro 2 was launched with this feature, but now it’s available on several other watches with this update. Your watch automatically records the time you spend at an aid station or checkpoint, so you don’t have to worry about pausing and restarting your ultrarun activity.
With this update, all of the new features we’ve seen on products released in 2022 are now present on the latest and greatest Garmin watches. 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 Bike computer with live event sharing, LiveTrack viewer news, and targeted adaptive coaching (Edge 1040 only).