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Garmin announces the epix - handheld capability on your wrist

Posted this in our "New Years predictions" topic already, but thought it deserved a thread of its own. Maybe we should change the title of this forum to "Garmin Handheld and Wearable GPS"? ;)

They have basically put all the features of their handheld devices into a (large) watch, including 8GB of memory. Doesn't interest me personally, but kind of a cool product. I just wonder how useful a topo map would be on a 205x140 pixel screen…


epix is the first-of-its-kind, high-resolution, color, touchscreen GPS/GLONASS mapping watch with worldwide, shaded relief basemap and 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. Some models also feature preloaded TOPO 100K maps. Eight GB of built-in memory supports additional mapping, including BirdsEye Satellite Imagery and regional TOPO U.S. 24K maps. The revolutionary, stainless steel EXO antenna combined with GPS and GLONASSS reception mean better signal strength and quicker position fixes.

Detailed Mapping
The epix touchscreen display gives you fingertip pan/swipe access to vivid, detailed maps, including the built-in worldwide shaded relief basemaps. And with 8 GB internal memory and extensive mapping support, you’ll have plenty of room to add (and interact with) compatible maps, including TOPO 24K, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, City Navigator® and BlueChart® g2 maps.

Extensive Navigation Features
Our new, high-sensitivity, EXO antenna technology means better GPS signal strength and faster time to your first fix. epix uses HotFix® to access both GPS and GLONASS satellites for noticeably quicker positioning than GPS alone. Once the fix is made, you have access to a full menu of navigation features, including advanced track recording, track navigation, TracBack®, waypoint and coordinate navigation, Sight'n Go and point-by-point routing.

Altimeter, Barometer and Compass
epix is equipped with auto-calibrating ABC sensors to provide relevant real-time information. The built-in altimeter provides elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent, while the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. The 3-axis electronic compass keeps your bearing whether you’re moving or not.

A Full-featured Fitness Training Watch
No need to change watches between adventures. epix gives you easy/quick access to fitness training feature sets, helping you get ready for your next one.

Rugged Construction
The epix color mapping watch features a rugged design with mineral glass lens and rugged PVD-coated surfaces. With a water rating of 50 meters, epix is designed to withstand some of the roughest conditions you’ll encounter. It’s also an auto-calibrated timepiece that both helps convey you to point B, and convey to others how serious you are about the outdoors.

Connect IQ™
epix uses the Connect IQ platform for specialized software so you can personalize your watch with customized apps, widgets, data fields and unique watch faces that make your Garmin smartwatch even smarter.

Stay Connected
epix displays smart notifications from your compatible Bluetooth® device¹ so you never miss a text, email or notification, unless you want to. And, with Garmin Connect™ and Connect IQ you’ll be connected to a whole community of people who love the outdoors as much as you do and to outdoor app developers building smart apps specially for epix. With LiveTrack, others can track where you are (within a coverage area) through Garmin Connect on your smartphone.


  • Tim 1484 Points
    Boyd said:

    Maybe we should change the title of this forum to "Garmin Handheld and Wearable GPS"? ;)

  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Now that's customer service! :)
  • DaveM 160 Points
    It's cool. However you would need eyes a lot younger than mine to be able to use it.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    It is interesting, but I fail to see this as a home run. A watch is typically something you use every day and not many people need a tiny screen with a topo map daily. When you need the functionality of a topo map, and especially if you need it most days, a watch won't likely be the right form factor.

    Garmin seems to be doubling down on their fitness products, which is probably a very smart move. Navigation has moved from being a product several years ago to now simply a service.

    Many of my friends how are athletes love Garmin products and hardly ever use maps or navigation... but they sure know the Garmin fitness products. Garmin has so far done a respectable job transitioning their consumer products from mostly navigation to mostly fitness.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    edited January 2015
    I would agree. It reminds me of the Monterra a bit - another innovative product that didn't catch on.

    @DaveM - I don't see the screen size as that big a limitation (if you want such a device, which I don't). You can easily hold a watch right up to your nose if you need a closer look. I just question the low pixel count. For example, the Apple Watch packs 272x340 pixels on a 1.5" screen vs. 205x148 on the epix 1.4" screen.

    But I would rather have a gps in my pocket or clipped to my belt instead of a big, heavy awkward thing strapped to my wrist. :)
  • DaveM 160 Points
    @Boyd I agree I wouldn't want one ether and would much rather have a handheld. As for the screen size the older I get the farther from my eyes I need things not at my nose.

    I do think it's cool and know people including one of my grandsons that will want one. I guess he will need to ware it on the opposite wrist from his Apple Watch that I can't read the screen on ether. :)
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    One interesting feature is the water rating of 5 ATM… "Withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters".

    Don't try that with your eTrex! :D
  • alanb 557 Points
    I was surprised to see that the Epix supports geocaching. That might be of interest to some fitness folks that also geocache.
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