Garmin Fenix 2 Watch Review ($279)

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When not used for its intended multi-sports purposes, the Garmin Fenix 2 makes for an excellent day-to-day watch, or at least in my case, a great watch when I go on training camps with my triathlete team.

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What I mean is that while some folks reading this blog would not be caught dead wearing a Timex Ironman watch (which, as a side note, happened to be President Bush’s watch while in office), I feel that the Garmin Fenix 2 would easily be the kind of watch that watch aficionados (such as us) would actually wear as a daily beater.

While I could wax poetic about the sport, I will instead talk about the intersection of these two passions of mine, as I do a cursory review of a watch I got last year to help in my training: the Garmin Fenix 2.

Finally, I would be chastised for not mentioning on this site that the Garmin Fenix 2 uses a proprietary strap design, which, while very comfortable, means that it is not a watch you can easily put on typical nato straps or one of the many aftermarket military inspired straps.

For night viewing, the regular Garmin Fenix 2 is a charm, with a nice red light that makes this watch super cool and even stealthier – almost like a Special Ops-style military watch.

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Instead, Garmin sells a few variants of the Garmin Fenix 2 strap in limited colours (orange, black, and olive) in the same rubber that comes with the watch as default.

How else can you explain the amount of training I subjected my body to last year, and just to cap it off with a 13+ hours event? Anyhow, whatever you’re feeling about endurance athletes and events, one thing you can see plenty of there is passionate folks doing something that may not make sense to the rest of the world or might seem downright crazy to others… That passion, the sense of community that comes with being an Ironman triathlete is very much akin to one of my other passions: watch collecting.

While not a perfect “survivor” watch, and neither the perfect “triathlon” watch nor the perfect “hiking” watch, the Garmin Fenix 2 is a good watch for all of these categories.

Furthermore, the Garmin Fenix 2 is a watch designed for outdoor activities.

The Garmin Fenix 2 is Garmin’s second version of what could be its most wearable sports watch.

Of course, this assumes you have already paired the Garmin Fenix 2 with the Garmin ANT+ HRM-Run heart rate strap (for running, hiking) and with the bicycle cadence or power meter ANT+ sensors.

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However, it is supremely lightweight at barely 85 grams (with strap), which makes it a watch I comfortably use for running, cycling, swimming, and even mountain biking (MTB); which is a sport that requires the perfect watch, otherwise, after a few minutes you feel like ripping the watch from your wrist as the constant shocks during MTBing will surely have the watch constantly hitting your wrist.

The multi-sports and GPS capabilities mean that you can use this for trail running, lake or ocean swimming, keeping track of distance, heart rate (not while swimming), and foot cadence (using Garmin’s HRM-Run strap).

I am sure Garmin went for that look on purpose since that must be part of the appeal and market segments targeted for this watch.

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While I have gone a few weeks on one charge when I left the watch in simple watch mode, when used for multi-sports activities, that is, connected to GPS signal, the battery will last you about 20 hours to maybe a full day.

Actually, I once went on a training ride/run with both my cycling computer and watch battery almost empty (by mistake) and it was easily my worst day training last year.
Garmin-Fenix-2-0010The Garmin Fenix 2 will then use that information to advise you of your recovery time as well as your predicted performance for various distances, e.g., 5km, 10km, half-marathon, and full marathon.

Garmin sells a special Garmin Fenix 2 edition with the LCD markers in normal mode (i.e., white background with black markers).

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