1. Quick picks
  2. Key considerations
  3. Garmin Forerunner 265
  4. Coros Pace 3
  5. Garmin Forerunner 965
  6. Garmin Forerunner 55
  7. Polar Vantage V3
  8. Suunto Race
  9. Apple Watch Series 9
  10. Apple Watch Ultra 2
  11. Coros Apex 2
  12. Garmin Fenix 7 Pro
  13. Huawei Watch GT Runner
  14. Garmin Venu 3
  15. Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

​Best running watches to smash your PB: Top picks for beginners and pros

Top sports watches for triathlons, swimming, cycling and more
Wareable Best running watches 2023
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Whether you're a beginner focused on getting out of the door or a veteran prepping for an ultramarathon, buying a running watch can help you hit your goal in 2024.

Top running watches are more than just about tracking pace and distance; they're now designed to tell you how to train and when to rest, as well.

Luckily for you, we've tested and reviewed all of the best running watches on the market - from cheap options to feature-packed alternatives for athletes – and compiled a roundup of our favorite picks.

Below, you'll find both our quick recommendations, advice on how to buy the right running watch, and more in-depth details about the latest and greatest releases from the likes of Garmin, Polar, and Coros. 

Quick picks

Best for beginners: Garmin Forerunner 55

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is slim, lightweight, and simple to use, and it doesn't complicate things with too many bells and whistles. It hooks up to Strava, has a strong suite of sleep and wellness tracking, and comes highly recommended for those just starting.

Best value running watch: Coros Pace 3

With excellent heart rate, tracking accuracy, advanced metrics, and top battery life, the Coros Pace 3 still delivers unbeatable value. The price is now just slightly north of $200/£200 - bumped up from its predecessor - but, for runners who are starting to train for longer events and building speed, it's a savvy purchase.

Best for budding athletes: Garmin Forerunner 265

For those who want a powerful running watch to power their training and recovery - and one that also branches out to other disciplines - the 265 is the best choice. It may be a mid-range device in the grand scheme of Garmin's offerings, but it has more than enough features to warrant the loftier price tag - and it looks superb, too.

Best premium pick: Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

If money is no object and you want plenty of extras alongside the top-tier run tracking experience, the Epix Pro (Gen 2) is the perfect pick to consider. Aside from stellar HR and GPS accuracy, it has detailed mapping (presented beautifully on the AMOLED display), it can provide more reliable and relevant insights than rivals, and the battery life - around 4-6 days, depending on your use - is as good as it gets.

Key considerations

Battery life

The first consideration when buying a running watch should be battery life. How far do you run – and what kind of distances would you like to run in the future?

Some smartwatches with running watch features will struggle to last more than a few hours while tracking GPS, thus might not last a full marathon.

Likewise, many of the most premium running watches offer 100 hours of continuous tracking, which is overkill for people who just do a weekend 5K. Consider what you need.

More than just running

So, you like running – but do you want your watch to track other workouts? Most running watches will track swimming and cycling – but what about things like golf or HIIT?

For swimming, check the waterproof rating (5ATM should be the minimum) and ensure that pool metrics are up to scratch.

Training plans

Many running watches will have guided training plans built in, which is useful if you’re looking to structure your session or have a specific goal in mind.

Deep insights

More advanced running watches can tap into your body to reveal things like VO2 Max (the purest score of your fitness), recovery advice, readiness, fuelling, and even nutrition.

Music storage

There are plenty of running watches that can store music, so you can run to the beat and leave your smartphone at home. Check out our special guide to sports watches with music playback.

Garmin Forerunner 265

WareableGarmin Forerunner 265

Check price: Buy Garmin Forerunner 265

Key considerations:

  • Available in 42mm or 46mm
  • 4 days of typical, always-on battery life / 20-25 hours of GPS tracking
  • In-depth sports profiles for running, cycling, swimming, and triathlon
  • Dual-frequency / Multi-Band GPS tracking
  • Running features: Training Status, Running Dynamics, Garmin Coach, Suggested Workouts

The Forerunner 265 is one of the best running watches we've tested in years, combining accurate tracking, superb insights, and a very neat design.

Its predecessor, the Forerunner 255 - only released in 2022 - offers essentially all the same features, but the big upgrade offered through the 265 is the AMOLED display. 

Once reserved for Garmin's mega-expensive models, the technology has now trickled down to the company's mid-range Forerunner, and it's a real difference maker. 

Battery life has taken a bit of a hit compared to the 255 because of it, but you'll still be able to receive around four days of heavy use with the always-on display turned on. We think the trade-off is absolutely worth it - especially since you can always tweak settings and extend the battery life to closer to a week. 

The rest of the experience, as we say, is similar to the last generation. There are still two case sizes to choose between, Garmin's excellent Multi-Band GPS is again on board, and music streaming from the likes of Spotify is still an option.

On the run tracking front, Garmin's Race Day mode is also carried over - something that helps you count down to your next big race, with Suggested Workouts, Garmin Coach plans also there to help you make it to the starting line in prime condition. Even wrist-based Running Dynamics - which delivers metrics like vertical oscillation and ground contact time - is on board.

If you want a running watch where you want more data, useful training, and analysis features wrapped up in a light design, the 265 ticks the key boxes and more. And if you want to save a little bit of cash, the 255 is still a great alternative.


  • In-depth tracking and insights
  • Incredible display
  • Superb HR and GPS accuracy


  • Battery life is not as impressive as 965
  • Price increased from the previous generation
  • Very basic smart features

Coros Pace 3

WareableCoros Pace 3


Key considerations:

  • 24 days in smartwatch mode
  • 38 hours in GPS tracking / 15 hours of dual-frequency GNSS tracking
  • Run, swim, bike, and gym workout modes
  • AI Trainer and Evolab stamina and recovery metrics

Coros is a relative newcomer to the GPS running watch world, but it's quickly made a name for itself – and that's best represented by the Pace 3.

Building on the success of the Pace 2, the latest iteration has all the tools to make it a formidable running watch - and, though the price has increased slightly, you still won't have to pay a premium.

The screen isn’t world-beating, but the 1.2-inch, 240 x 240, 64-color LCD puts it in line with other non-AMOLED devices. All the key sensors and running profiles are on board, too, with the optical heart rate sensor upgraded in the Pace 3 and delivering much more accurate monitoring during workouts. 

This also feeds into the AI Trainer, which is carried over from the Pace 2. This shows you a Stamina percentage and aerobic/anaerobic training effect to show how recovered you are. Coros EvoLab also offers the kind of training insights and a race predictor for runners that you'd expect to find on pricier watches.

The heart rate sensor isn't the only major upgrade, either, with Coros also including a dual-frequency GNSS chip for the Pace 3. As we've seen in other running watches, this yields improved positioning accuracy and distance estimates, and it's a superb feature to have at this price range.

Elsewhere, the Pace 3 still works with third-party apps including Strava, and also retains the mega battery life of its predecessor. It pretty much wipes the floor with equivalently priced Garmin and Polar watches for GPS battery life numbers.


  • Great tracking accuracy
  • Plenty of metrics and insights
  • Huge battery life


  • Screen brightness could be better
  • The design is looking a bit dated
  • Pricier than Coros Pace 2

Garmin Forerunner 965

WareableGarmin Forerunner 965

Key considerations:

  • 1.4-inch AMOLED display
  • Full-color touchscreen mapping
  • Dual-frequency/Multi-Band GPS tracking
  • 7 days of typical, always-on battery life / 25-30 hours of GPS battery life

If you want a running watch that goes big on tracking, training, and analysis features - and wraps that all up in a compact and premium design - then cast your eyes on the 965.

We still believe the 2022 Forerunner 955 is an excellent running watch, and those looking to save a bit of cash should absolutely consider it, but the improvement to the display means the newer 965 is our clear favorite. 

The new UI it enables is modern and sharp, and the extra detail available when using offline mapping is invaluable. Though it offers pretty much all the same features as last year's model, the AMOLED screen means this feels like a totally new way to track your training efforts. 

There's really no better watch to track them from, either. Features that debuted through the 955 are all still here - such as Training Readiness, HRV Status, and Morning Report - and are now bolstered by native Running Dynamics and Running Power. 

All the usual training-specific features, such as Training Status, Race Predictor, and Garmin Coach plans, are backed up by much-improved sleep tracking and smart features like offline music streaming, as well.

Considering the move to AMOLED screen tech, the battery life also remains exceptional. It's not quite as long-lasting as its predecessor, but, from our testing, we've found it can consistently track a full week of outdoor workouts with the always-on display turned on. And if you want it to last longer, there are plenty of settings you can tweak, too.

Our only real issue with the 965 is the durability. The design is premium and lightweight, which is ideal for training, but it's not especially durable.

We've experienced several scratches on the titanium bezel and display without really partaking in any rigorous outdoor exercise, so those requiring something rugged and hard-wearing are still better off with the Fenix/Epix watches.

We should also note that Garmin's Elevate 4 HR sensor that features on the 965, while still very accurate, has now also been superseded by the Elevate 5 that features on the Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro (below).

This isn't a huge deal, but our testing shows the latest tech is slightly more accurate, so keep it in mind if you're picking between them.


  • Very accurate GPS and HR tracking
  • In-depth run tracking and insights
  • Mapping and other extras


  • Same feature set as 955
  • Not as durable as Garmin Fenix/Epix watches
  • Smart features are very limited

Garmin Forerunner 55

WareableGarmin Forerunner 955


Key considerations:

  • 2 weeks smartwatch/20 hours of GPS tracking
  • Run, swim, bike, gym
  • Adaptive training plans
  • VO2 Max

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is the natural successor to the Garmin Forerunner 45, but this entry-level running watch steps things up.

The Forerunner 55 boasts a low-profile and minimal design, and it's brought on board some of the more insightful training and analysis features usually reserved for pricier Garmin watches.

The watch case itself measures just 42mm, which creeps up slightly in thickness coming in at 11.6mm thick compared to the 11.4mm sized body on the 42mm Forerunner 45.

Front and center is a 1.04-inch, 208 x 208 transflective, always-on display, which offers strong visibility in all conditions, and is a lot kinder on battery life.

The Forerunner 55 promises up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 20 hours of GPS battery life and that's what we experienced in our testing. That's more than good enough for those embarking on half and full-marathon training programs.

When it comes to racing, a key addition is PacePro, which helps you target race pace with gradients taken into account, VO2 Max estimation, and race predictor data on finishing times based on your fitness.

It now supports Garmin Coach and suggested workouts, so it can be more of an active participant in your training.

There's Garmin's Elevate optical heart rate monitor to track heart rate continuously, during exercise and unlock features like Garmin's Body Battery Energy monitor and the improved recovery advisor.

You also have the option to pair up external heart rate monitors to improve accuracy in measuring effort levels during runs.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is an improved running companion thanks to new software features that seek to help you run your best. It balances a fantastic set of features that offers way more than the basics, in a sleek and light package. We love it.


  • Small, light design
  • PacePro and suggested workouts
  • Full Connect IQ support


  • Basic metrics compared to Coros
  • Low-resolution screen

Polar Vantage V3

WareablePolar Vantage V3


Key considerations:

  • 5-7 days of battery life (or 47 hours of dual-frequency GPS)
  • FuelWise fuelling recommendations, HillSplitter analytics
  • Breadcrumb navigation and upload routes via Komoot
  • FitSpark workouts/Performance & recovery tests
  • Running power, sleep, and recovery insights

Replacing the Vantage V2 that had got a little mixed up alongside Polar's newest offerings, the Vantage V3 arrived in late 2023 and takes aim at Garmin with a punchy new display.

We don't think it's as good as Garmin's premium Forerunner, the 965, but the Vantage V3 is a very solid running watch for those who want an alternative.

The price is relatively lofty, but Polar has added plenty here to help justify it. Aside from that display upgrade - which sees the Vantage V2's 1.2-inch, 240 x 240 MIP display dropped for a new 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 AMOLED panel - the company has added offline mapping features and dual-band GPS. 

Polar has also upgraded the heart rate sensor here to one it calls Elixr. It's a great name, but it's not one we had a great time with during testing, so watch out for that if you're not going to be pairing a chest strap. In contrast, the GPS performance was excellent.

As ever, and as you would expect from the top-tier Polar watch, the workout tracking experience here is very comprehensive. Features like FuelWise and Hill Splitter remain, and are joined by the likes of running power estimations, training load info, HRV insights, and more.


  • Big performance boost on Vantage V2
  • Crisp AMOLED display
  • Rich multisport and run tracking insights


  • HR performance isn't super reliable
  • Lacking smartwatch features
  • Costs more than rival watches (that are better)

Suunto Race

WareableSuunto Race


Key considerations:

  • 6-7 days of battery life (or 40 hours of dual-frequency GPS)
  • 1.43-inch AMOLED display; 466 x 466 resolution
  • 49mm case; 13.3mm thick
  • Dual-frequency GPS
  • Offline mapping

Suunto has fallen off pretty rapidly in the last half-decade, losing plenty of ground to the likes of Garmin and Polar in the process. But the Race is a huge step in the right direction for the Finnish company.

It improves in all the areas where the company's watches have really lacked in recent times - and it means there's a fresh design with an AMOLED display, improved smart features, and a renewed effort in the insights and analytics department of its run tracking. 

It builds on the platform Suunto built with the Vertical, all while bringing the price down to make it a compelling alternative to Garmin and Polar. 

We enjoyed our time testing it - with the battery life impressing under heavy use, and GPS accuracy proving very solid - but it's also true that there are still compromises in choosing a Suunto watch over a Garmin. 

The software, while improved, just isn't as slick as rivals, and the sleep tracking accuracy just isn't quite there to make the frankly overwhelming array of recovery insights really shine.

It's the best option available if you love the brand - but proceed with caution.


  • Accurate dual-frequency GPS 
  • The battery is resilient under heavy use
  • Mapping is great on AMOLED display


  • The software is slightly buggy
  • Insights aren't presented very neatly
  • Sleep tracking isn't that accurate

Apple Watch Series 9

WareableApple Watch Series 9


Key considerations:

  • Two case sizes - 41mm and 45mm
  • 18-hour battery life
  • Apps for Strava, Nike Run Club and more
  • Only works with iPhone

Back when the Apple Watch first arrived, we’d have struggled to recommend it as a running watch. Fast forward to today, and, for casual runners, the Apple Watch Series 9 (and Apple Watch SE) are two of the best options out there.

With GPS on board, it’s well set up for the tracking of outdoor runs, and there are treadmill workout options for those who enjoy the gym. 

The onboard heart rate sensor is up there with the best we’ve used on any device, and Apple is adept at harnessing it to produce meaningful data. You’ll see data like VO2 Max and Cardio Fitness levels within the Fitness and Apple Health iPhone apps.

The large, AMOLED screen is well-suited for showing off mid-run metrics, and the Workout app is well-designed and easy to use.

But what really sets it apart is the App Store. We prefer to use the Strava app for Apple Watch as it’s our preferred service, but if you like Nike Run Club or MapMyRun, all these are available too.

And then there’s the music aspect. With Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music apps, it’s one of the slickest devices for taking your tunes on the go.

There are downsides. Battery life with GPS tracking is around 7 hours – and, in reality, can be less if music or LTE are involved. If you’re planning on doing a marathon, we’d probably look for something more specialized.

And the reason we use Strava is that we don’t feel that the Fitness app provides the detail, analysis, and motivation we crave as runners. There aren’t monthly progression targets, PB tracking, workout suggestions, or details on readiness. And this is where Garmin and other brands still hold plenty of cards.


  • Beautiful display
  • Solid run tracking and plenty of third-party options
  • Unrivalled features outside of running


  • Insights are limited compared to rivals
  • Battery life will put plenty off
  • Very minor improvements over Series 8 

Apple Watch Ultra 2

WareableApple Watch Ultra


Key considerations:

  • 1.92-inch AMOLED display
  • 36-hour battery life / 12 hours in dual-frequency mode
  • Dual-frequency GNSS positioning
  • Only works with iPhone

The idea of the Apple Watch is to be a better companion to those who love outdoor adventures – and the Ultra 2 (as well as the original Ultra) solves many of the pain points of the Series 9/SE.

It’s a huge design shift from the Series models, with a bigger, brighter display and toughened 49mm case. It’s kind of garish, but it does look like a proper adventure watch that packs bags of personality.

For road runners, the key improvements are boosted battery life and dual-frequency GPS, which has enabled the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to compete with dedicated running watches. 

Battery life is upped to 12 hours of dual-frequency tracking. That’s significantly less than the 40+ hours touted by most flagship GPS watches but good for most normal people’s running efforts.

We put the original Apple Watch Ultra up against the Garmin Epix at the Chicago Marathon and found its accuracy was superior around the challenging course of skyscrapers that can destroy most running watches. So, if you can live with the battery life, there is a good payoff.

For off-road runners, there are some modest navigation features on board, and you can program waypoints in the compass app, and use trackback to find your way home. 

As ever, there are third-party apps that can do this better – and like the Series 9 – this is the Ultra’s strength. The native analysis of runs is still lacking, but, with battery life and accuracy boosted, there’s a lot to like.

The other downside, of course, is that you do pay a premium for the extras. With a price tag that eclipses the Garmin Fenix 7, what makes the Apple Watch Ultra 2 worth the money is the fact it's a desirable watch and the smartwatch features it delivers daily.


  • Superb personality
  • Excellent, intuitive running tracking
  • Very complete experience outside of running


  • Heavy to run with compared to other Apple Watch models 
  • Data not as in-depth as other brands
  • Battery life can't compete with proper running watches

Coros Apex 2

WareableCoros Apex 2


Key considerations:

  • 17-day battery / 30 hours full GPS
  • Mapping and navigation
  • Effort Pace guidance
  • ECG sensor for HRV recovery assessment

The new Coros Apex 2 is a good pick for advanced runners, looking for a good value watch that shoots for big fitness insights.

It’s closer to the Garmin Forerunner 955, with navigation added to the mix. 

There’s a focus on more advanced insights, with stride length, running power, elevation, and training effect insights all on board.

And then there’s Effort Pace, which is a new take on running power, designed to be more user-friendly. There’s some development to be done here, and this new feature needs to evolve a little more to be a true tool.

The Apex 2 offers downloadable global landscape maps and topographical regional maps. You can also use the touchscreen support to navigate around them.

And there’s also an ECG sensor on board, which is used to power an HRV test, that will assess your recovery after big workouts. We’re fans of that application of ECG, however, the fact that this is done manually makes it less effective than similar features on Garmin and Whoop. However, accuracy via ECG should be better.

If you want more advanced multiband GPS tracking, you’ll need to opt for the more expensive Coros Apex 2 Pro.


  • Super running tracking
  • Improved battery life
  • Light and comfortable to run with


  • No music support
  • Smart features are poor
  • Sleep tracking drains the battery

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

WareableGarmin Fenix 7 Pro


Key considerations:

  • 16-18 days in Smartwatch Mode
  • Up to 57 hours GPS battery / 23 hours Multi-Band Mode
  • Full-color mapping
  • Garmin Elevate 5 optical heart rate sensor
  • Flashlight and solar charging as standard

A mid-cycle upgrade on the original Fenix 7 range, the Fenix 7 Pro is still very much an outdoor-first watch - but its catch-all approach ensures it's also a superb running companion.

If you want proper mapping, rich analysis, and big battery life in a chunky design, then this is one for you.

As a bonus with the Pro range, the solar charging and flashlight that was reserved for certain versions of the Fenix 7 range now comes as standard across the three case sizes - Fenix 7S Pro (42mm), Fenix 7 Pro (47mm) and Fenix 7X Pro (51mm).

You will still have to pay extra for the more durable sapphire glass cover, though, which we tend to recommend if you want to avoid scratches and the like.

In terms of features, as we say, the Fenix 7 Pro range gathers everything Garmin can do into one watch.

That means you can follow full TOPO maps, use the touchscreen to navigate, and enjoy laser accuracy with the company's dual-frequency GNSS 'Multi-Band' mode.

Accuracy here is second to none, and that's also the case with the improved heart rate monitoring.

The difference between the Garmin Elevate 5 included here and Elevate 4 is relatively minor, but we do think the marginal gains in accuracy are worth it - especially for those who don't plan to use an external sensor during workouts.

Then there's the battery life. Typical daily use for us saw the Fenix 7 last 16 days, which is mighty impressive, and it's capable of much more if you aren't using things like Spotify or the most power-intensive tracking modes. 

For those ultras and longer excursions, the GPS battery is a massive 57 hours (without solar), and you can get even more out of the 7X Pro.

If you want a running watch with huge battery life, great mapping, and the best of Garmin's running features, that's what you get from the Fenix 7 Pro lineup.


  • Excellent battery life
  • The flashlight feature is really handy
  • Unbeatable insights and tracking


  • Chunky design won't be for everyone
  • Lesser display than many rivals
  • Standard Fenix 7 range offers better value

Huawei Watch GT Runner

WareableHuawei Watch GT Runner


Key considerations:

  • 14 days smartwatch battery life/15 hours GPS (from testing)
  • 100+ sports modes
  • AI Running Coach
  • Running Ability Index, VO2 Max, training load, lactic acid data

Of course, the Apple Watch only works with iPhones – so, if you have an Android smartphone, the Huawei Watch GT Runner is a top smartwatch option.

It's a repackaging of the Huawei Watch GT 3, which is also excellent for running workouts. But the GT Runner has got a more sporty design and lightweight build.

Core running features include excellent training plans and coaching, based on your performance as a runner, and you can do everything from the watch itself.

There's also a host of VO2 Max and training effect data on the watch – including the Huawei Running Ability Index, which measures your performance and suggests finishing times for key race distances. And these were spot on in our testing.

GPS has supposedly been boosted with a new floating antenna, although we saw no real evidence of improvement in our testing and we did find some small tracking issues in built-up areas.

Heart rate tracking performance was also quite average, with up to 10 bpm variations from a chest strap, which is slightly more than we'd expect to see from rival Garmin/Fitbit/Apple devices. Thankfully, you can pair it up with an external heart rate monitor to improve that data.

Pretty much all Huawei Watch GT Runner features can be found on the cheaper GT3, but the design will appeal to runners. However, for Android users looking for a smartwatch, the positives outweigh the negatives.


  • Nice, light design for running
  • Useful running software features
  • Good for a week's worth of heavy training


  • GPS accuracy lacking at times despite new antennae
  • Lacking third-party support
  • Average smartwatch experience

Garmin Venu 3

WareableGarmin Venu 3


Key considerations:

  • 14 days battery life in Smartwatch Mode
  • 26 hours of GPS tracking
  • Garmin Elevate 5 optical heart rate sensor
  • Tracking modes for running, cycling, swimming
  • Speaker and microphone

The Venu has emerged as Garmin's answer to the Apple Watch. With the Venu 3, you're still getting a color screen, the best smartwatch features Garmin has to offer, and those tracking staples that make it a great fit for running.

The latest model still comes in two size options - the Venu 3 (45mm) and the smaller Venu 3S (41mm). The standard Venu 3 will give you the bigger, higher resolution color AMOLED touchscreen display, but both include Garmin's latest Elevate 5 optical heart rate sensor that promises to deliver more accurate data.

You'll get built-in GPS of course - but no dual-frequency GNSS - and core running metrics along with additional ones like running VO2 Max found inside Garmin's companion Connect app.

As a smartwatch, it's something that works with Android and iPhones and gives you notifications, a music player with room for 2,000 songs, and support for streaming services like Spotify.

There are also payments and access to the Connect IQ Store to add more apps, watch faces, and data fields. If you want some voice-enabled features, the new model also offers a built-in microphone and speaker to let you access your smartphone assistant from your watch.

We found tracking accuracy very reliable - particularly in the HR data - and the bigger screen and improved UI make it a nicer watch to run with, too. 

Battery life is also much improved from the Venu 2 - delivering over six days with the always-on display enabled, up from 4-5 days in the previous model.

If you want more battery than an Apple Watch and great run tracking, the Venu 3 is one to look at instead.


  • Good smartwatch features
  • Beautiful design
  • HR accuracy is outstanding


  • Extremely pricey
  • Sleep accuracy isn't elite
  • Run-tracking insights are limited

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

WareableGarmin Epix Pro


Key considerations:

  • 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen display
  • Full-color mapping
  • Endurance Score, Hill Score, Training Readiness and more
  • Garmin Elevate 5 optical heart rate sensor
  • 6 days of always-on battery life / 16 days of battery in smartwatch mode 
  • Up to 42 hours of GPS battery life / 20 hours of Multi-Band battery life

The Garmin Epix is what you get when you take the AMOLED screen from Garmin's Venu series and match it up with the features of a Fenix 7 / 7 Pro.

If that sounds like the recipe for a great running watch, then you'd be right.

With the release of the newer Pro range, the Epix (Gen 2) is now finally available in three cases case sizes - 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm. There's no solar charging here, which we don't consider a great miss, but the flashlight is now standard across the board, which we love.

It's not only a superb safety feature for winter or nighttime runs, but we've also been surprised at how handy it proves in daily use. 

Other than this, the main upgrade comes in the form of the Elevate 5 optical heart rate sensor, something we found during testing delivered some marginal improvements over the previous Elevate 4 tech (featured on the standard Epix).

The rest is pretty much the same, with features that debuted on the Epix Pro (Gen 2) like Endurance Score and Hill Score now trickling down to less premium devices.

That means there's still a touchscreen, which is smooth and responsive and brings a whole other dimension to viewing the full mapping it supports. It also makes scrolling through menu screens and using music controls a much slicker experience.

Based on extensive use, we can't recommend the run tracking highly enough. The Multi-Band Mode delivers unrivaled positional accuracy, despite the knock-on effect it has on battery life, and the wrist-based Running Dynamics are insightful for data nerds who love to analyze post-run.

Then there are older features, like the scarily accurate Race Predictor, useful Training Readiness score, Garmin Coach plans, and the Race Widget that unlocks daily workout suggestions.

With that AMOLED screen in place, that does mean battery life isn't quite on par with the Fenix 7, but it's still good enough to get you through around a week of tracking with the always-on display enabled.

It's the kind of compromise you can make based on the difference that color screen makes living with the Epix Pro day-to-day compared to the Fenix. It's a great running watch, and, if you've wanted a great running watch with a color screen, this is easily the best one out there.


  • Excellent AMOLED screen for mapping
  • Unrivalled run-tracking insights
  • Positioning and HR accuracy are top-tier
  • The flashlight is a great addition


  • Standard Epix (Gen 2) represents better value
  • Smart features are basic
  • ECG tech is only live in the US

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

Related stories