Garmin Epix puts a GPS navigator on your wrist

CES 2015: Garmin combines fitness tracking and navigation for outdoor wearable
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Convergence is a trend that we're seeing more and more with wearable tech, with devices increasingly blurring the lines between traditional product categories.

Garmin is a major player in this movement - see the Vivoactive that combines regular fitness tracking with a golf watch - and another of its CES 2015 launches, the Garmin Epix, also crosses over a few genres.

The Garmin Epix is a handheld navigator for the wrist, combined with a smartwatch, with fitness tracking features thrown in as well.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Forerunner 920XT review

The GPS navigator boasts a worldwide shaded relief basemap already installed (with one year's subscription to BirdsEye Satellite imagery included) and TOPO US 100K on some models. There's also a further 8GB of storage so you can add your own maps and satellite images.

It works with both GPS and GLONASS systems and offers the wearer waypoint and coordinate navigation and there's a handy TracBack feature that will take ramblers back to where they began if they get lost.

All of this is done using the 1.4-inch touchscreen and there is activity tracking and sports modes built in that also make use of the GPS connectivity, along with the built-in 3-axis electronic compass and accelerometer.

Wareable review: Garmin Vivosmart

This being a Garmin device, you can of course pair it to a heart rate monitor for VO2 based training.

The Garmin Epix also makes use of the new Connect IQ app platform - so you can expect to see new widgets added further down the line and there are basic smartwatch features such as incoming call alerts, texts, emails and calendar reminders.

With GPS switched on you'll get 24 hours of life, the watch-mode (with everything turned off) extends the life to 16 weeks. It's waterproof down to 50m.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivoactive

The price-tag is pretty hefty but, for the amount of tech Garmin has packed into the Epix, that isn't really surprising. Its suggested retail price is $549.99. It will go on sale in Q1 2015.

How we test

Paul Lamkin


Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

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