We tested the official smartwatch of some of the most demanding adventure races. This is the result
If we talk about watches, let’s save time: this episode is about a smartwatch for those who wait for the weekend to learn the longitude and latitude of Ushuaia, who can spell the three main Icelandic volcanoes without stuttering and those who go running when it rains and not when it rains. it’s good. It is a watch for the putative children of Amundsen and Scott, of Hillary and Norgay. We are talking about the Garmin Enduro 2, a watch with several faces .
When this watch became the official device of the Raid Gallaecia (in A Coruña), part of the first European adventure racing championship, the idea arose that if we could not participate in the event (not due to lack of desire, but authorization medical), we could at least prove it.
At first glance the Enduro 2 is the older brother of the Fénix 7, one of the most recognized products, from the Garmin ditto. At just 70 grams and with a sapphire-coated screen (a paltry point on the Mohs diamond hardness scale), it’s a tough device that’s more at home in mud than a convertible (incomprehensible, but true). On the wrist it feels comfortable and practically forgetful, we hardly even remember that we are wearing it. Includes two straps, one nylon and one silicone. Both are fine, correct, but after several hours of sweating, learning the different textures of mud and collecting pine needles, they could be a little more comfortable.
The buttons are easily accessible and the screen is easily visible in broad daylight. It includes a more than decent flashlight that easily becomes a toy due to its capacity. It is not going to blind a deer in the middle of an Asturian excursion, but it is going to prevent us from ending up practicing breaststroke at 3 in the morning in the Covadonga lakes.
The maps that are already loaded (an evolution from the Fenix 7) are very precise. You can pay with it thanks to the Garmin Pay app and it also has other more “social” apps to enjoy music or podcasts. It also incorporates the obvious measurements of heart rate, oxygen, sleep study, stress, etc. with the pertinent warning that we are not dealing with a medical device.
In this sense, it is like the employee who does his job very effectively, without publicizing his achievements, but is not as recognized as the one who does 80% of it and dedicates the rest to intra-office media campaigns… But when it comes to facing to an Excel template with more than 50 columns, the bosses ignore the advertising and call the first one. And yes, we are comparing it to the Apple Watch Ultra. He will not have his ancestry or his lineage, but he is plus ultra. Obviously it has different sports modes, it records stage times… come on, the complete and well-known catalog . But to that it adds three very interesting characteristics.
The first of them is Next Fork, which we could castilianize on the map, that at a certain distance we have a fork, although we do not see it. Very useful for secluded paths, not to get lost… Or to do it treacherously. In more remote or little traveled places, where animals collaborate with the topographic map and create their own bends, this configuration can save us kilometers. And divorces.
The other feature is SatIQ, read as Satellite Intelligence. The Enduro 2 connects to one or more satellites depending on how accurately it can read the terrain : in open, unobstructed terrain, one is enough. In lands with an orography that is more fertile in accidents and thin in horizons, it will connect with more satellites for a more exact portrait. With this, it is possible to spend less battery… And taking advantage of the situation… Garmin speaks of up to 150 hours of autonomy with GPS and solar charging. The estimate is in certain light conditions that hardly occur on a regular basis. Yes, it lasts a long time even with the GPS active, which is very good, but to speak of more than 5 days constantly, no .
Finally the last feature that causes an approving head tilt: the Grade Adjusted Pace or GAP . Sorry? In a very loose translation we could call it “the law of least effort”. This configuration not only anticipates the slopes that follow, it also tells us the pace at which we should face them to make the same effort that we have been doing on the flat, that is, that the slope does not break us. The truth is that to run through the mountains, the GAP is very useful when it comes to dosing the effort and learning to run.
The Enduro 2 is one of the best, if not the best, sports watch. What is the problem? Yes, there is always a downside . And in this case we talk about the price: almost 1,100 euros. We already warned that it is a watch for athletes, but not for all athletes. Those who have seriously considered buying an Apple Ultra will have no problem leaning towards the Enduro 2: much better for the price difference. But for weekend professionals, freaks of the “every once in a while” and those who still have an office to go to for 8 hours a day, it’s a weight on the wrist and there are very decent alternatives for less than half. Now, if you want to change a vacation for Enduro 2, we will not be the ones against it.