The problem with being a tech nerd is that I end up buying a lot of stuff that I don’t need. Case in point: the Garmin Epix Pro (v2) that I recently splurged on.
I don’t run. I use a Garmin Edge 840 for cycling. And I have an Apple Watch for keeping track of my general health and fitness data. The last thing I needed was another fitness-centric smart watch.
I basically justified the purchase thinking that it might be a neat way to gather more detailed information about my daily walks. Long story short, it wasn’t a completely horrible decision.
All the pros and cons of using the Garmin Epix pro to record walking data
If you’re feeling too lazy to read this entire list of pros and cons, just know this: it is very much overkill to use the Garmin Epix Pro if the only thing you’re going to use it for is to record walking data.
Yes, the data it provides is excellent (and accurate). The problem is that recording walking data is only a fraction of what this watch can do, and you might end up feeling a bit guilty about spending all that money on something you’re not going to use to its full potential. Unless you’re weird (like me) and you just can’t help yourself.
Note: even though my experience is based on the 47mm Epix Pro v2, this List of pros and cons is applicable to any version. They’re all fundamentally the same.
- The GPS signal is extremely reliable. Never once have I lost a signal while out on a walk.
- The data that records is extremely accurate (at least compared to my Apple Watch).
- The training readiness score (based on the data it gathers from previous workouts) helps me understand if my body is ready for another workout, or if it’s time to rest.
- It syncs with my iPhone and the Garmin Connect app flawlessly. I never have to wait for data to sync between my devices.
- It also syncs very well with my Garmin Edge 840 cycling computer (via the Garmin Connect app on my phone). Even on days that I don’t walk, the watch still has enough data from my cycling activity to be able to suggest how long to rest before my next workout.
- Battery life is excellent. I wear it 24/7 (not only when walking) and it usually goes 15 days between charges.
- The screen is very easy to see in bright sunlight.
- Some of the data it’s capable of recording and analyzing (such as the hill score metric) isn’t applicable to walking. I wish it was!
- It’s capable of recording and analyzing so much data (for all types of workouts) that it sometimes makes me feel like I’m not doing enough. Walking is typically a low intensity exercise, so it keeps pushing me to do harder workouts.
- The number of button presses it takes to start and end a walk is maddening.
- It’s a beefy watch. It hangs low and heavy on my wrist, which can be annoying when walking at a brisk pace (and my arms are swinging like windmills).
- It’s so large that it sometimes makes wearing my ROAD iD wristband on the same wrist somewhat uncomfortable.
- The design of both the body and wristband is very intricate with lots of little nooks and crannies for sweat and other gunk to get into.
- It’s going to take a while for it to gather enough data to be able to estimate things like training readiness and body battery. I had my Epix Pro for about a month before it fully understood my energy levels and readiness to work out.
- There are far cheaper smart watches and fitness bands on the market that record walking data just as well.
It’s worth noting that, despite the cons, I have absolutely no regrets splurging on this watch to track my walking data. It’s a keeper (despite its flaws).
- Easily one of the most accurate smart watches I've ever used to record walking data.
- Battery life is insanely good – I only have to charge it once every two weeks.
- Provides a lot more data (such as HRV, training readiness, endurance score, etc) than comparable watches.
Tips for getting the most out of your Garmin Epix Pro when walking
I am mostly happy with my Epix Pro and the way it records and analyzes my walking data. It’s not as simple to use as my Apple Watch, so there’s been a bit of a learning curve (to say the least).
I like it though. Especially now that I’ve taken the time to understand what it can (and can’t do) for me and the type of walking that I do. If you’re thinking of getting one for yourself, I have three suggestions:
- Don’t obsess over the numbers. The Epix Pro provides a lot of data (more than my Apple Watch), and it’s easy to get caught up trying to overanalyze everything. It’ll be a lot more fun if you use the data as a general guideline to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
- Keep it clean! There have been several occasions when my wrist broke out in a rash due to not cleaning the wristband after a hot and sweaty walk.
- If it tells you to slow down and rest, it’s in your best interest to do so. Basically, before I got this watch, I pushed hard every day (and wondered why I always felt like crap). I had no idea that I was overtraining! Taking heed of the training readiness score has greatly improved my overall energy levels.