Garmin, the American-based consumer and professional navigation specialist, a company which is incorporated in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (the town is mostly known for being home for the luxury watch maker IWC), has just presented its new, ruggedized adventure wrist watch. Called Garmin Fenix, the new GPS-powered timekeeper features all the necessary gizmos that a hiker or a backpacker needs while travelling from point A to point B.
Being a real tool watch, the new Garmin Fenix features a very laconic, no nonsense design with clean lines and a bare minimum of decor, with the latter limited to a black (also available in orange) rubber strap and the bezel.
Being 49 millimeters in diameter, the watch features a fairly large monochrome LCD screen that has a resolution of just 70 x 70 pixels.
Although the pixel density of the screen doesn’t sound as impressive as that of Retina-style screens of the latest smartphones and tablet computers, the resolution seems to be quite adequate for the task: you can get all the information that you need with a single glance on the display.
As you can see on the photos, the pictograms are very graphic and the fonts that are used to display location information, altitude or barometric pressure, are pretty easy to read, although I personally would prefer to see a little bit more space between the letters and numerals.
Besides the altimeter, barometer and electronic compass, the watch also features a powerful built-in computer with 20 megabytes of memory that allows to store up to 50 routes with as many as 100 way points, as well as to keep a track log of 100 saved tracks and 10,000 way points.
Quite predictably, you won’t be able to upload a custom or a third-party map to this watch, but it still will make your life a lot easier if you go too deep into the forest on your photo hunting and suddenly realize that you don’t remember where the heck your base camp is.
According to the manufacturer, the watch will work 16 to 50 hours in GPS mode (when fully charged) with the maximum operation time increased to 3 and 6 weeks when working in sensor and watch modes respectively. Since the timekeeper’s built-in battery can be easily recharged while syncing the watch to a notebook or some other gadget that has a USB interface, the battery life should not be a problem.
What CAN be a problem is its miserable water resistance rating of just 50 meters. It will take you just one fall into a deep pond or a fast mountain river to ruin this piece.
At this time, Garmin asks around $400 for the piece, but the price will surely go up if you start add different accessories to your online order.
See also: Casio ProTrek All-Analog PRX-7000T
Photos and video: Garmin
Garmin Fenix Outdoor GPS watch specification
Price: $399.99 (MSRP)
Number of jewels: Not applicable
Movement frequency: Not applicable
Power reserve: 16-50 hours (GPS mode); 3 weeks (sensor mode); 6 weeks (watch mode)
Movement decoration: Not applicable
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, basemap, GPS, altimeter, barometer, electronic compass
Case material: No data
Bezel material: No data
Crown material: Not applicable
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 49.00 mm
Case height: 17.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Monochrome LCD screen; 70 x 70 pixels
Hour markers: None
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black or orange rubber strap on pin buckle
Crystal: No data
Case back: Solid
Package includes: USB cable, AC adapter with plug, owner’s manual