2022 may go down as the best year ever for Garmin GPS sports watches with a plethora of fantastic hardware options across a broad price spectrum, improved watch and smartphone software, and quarterly feature releases that assure buyers of active support. Garmin just announced the November 2022 software release that applies to several watches and the features are outstanding.
The November feature updates are rolling out to the Venus 2, Venus Sq 2, Forerunner 255 series, Forerunner 945 LTE, Forerunner 955 series, fenix 6/MARQ, fenix 7/Epix (gen 2)MARQ (Gen 2), Endurance 2and tactix 7. Earlier this year, I tested the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar that launched with some of these features in this update, but even that device gets some of the new goodies. The Garmin Enduro 2 lives on one of my wrists at all times while I test out all kinds of other smartwatches and GPS sports watches on the other wrist.
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The Venu 2 and Venu Sq 2 watches only receive support for disc golf with this update. There are also some limits on what the Forerunner 255 series and Fenix 6/MARQ receive. The rest of the watches will receive these new features, unless the watch already launched with the feature (such as Morning Report on the Forerunner 955). The new features include:
- Wrist-based running power: Polar was the first to launch with wrist-based running power, then we saw the same feature appear on COROS and Apple watches. Garmin required an external accessory, but with this update nothing extra is needed to see the various elements of running power. This is a useful metric for people who run on lots of hills and is my preferred metric for training.
- Morning report: When you first get up in the morning and look at your Garmin watch, you will now be able to view your sleep, recovery, training outlook, HRV status, training readiness, and weather for the day. You can customize the data you see in the report too and I find it very useful first thing in the morning.
- Grade adjusted pace: If you are not a fan of running power and prefer training with pace, then grade-adjusted pace metrics are helpful for checking pace on uneven terrain.
- NextFork map guide: I tried out this trail guidance functionality while at a Camp Garmin event and it helps you figure out which is the correct trail to take when trails intersect or split. It’s useful for notifying you if you get off the intended trail and then helps guide you back to your selected route.
- Back country snowboarding: Just in time for the winter sports season, we see an additional activity for those who enjoy the cold white stuff. There are several activities related to snow on Garmin watches and you can even view Skiview maps, so get out there and stay safe.
- Disc golf: Since I’ve had four lessons, I am significantly improving my golf game, but I am terrible at throwing a frisbee disc. For those who have the skills, your Garmin watch can now track your round of disc golf. With the UDisc app on Connect IQ you can even get distances to the basket.
- Tides glance: Even if you do not have a marine-focused Garmin device, you can now add a tides glance and see the tides for your local, or other designated, area. Selecting the glance lets you view high and low tides in graphical format for several days ahead. I have this loaded up on the Enduro 2 as it helps with marine salvage and fishing activities.
- Auto rest for Ultrarun: The Enduro 2 launched with this feature, but now it is available on several other watches with this update. Your watch automatically keeps track of time spent at an aid station or checkpoint so you do not have to worry about pausing and restarting your ultrarun activity.
With this update, every new feature we have seen on products released in 2022 are now present on the latest and greatest Garmin watches. I’m not sure what the next quarterly update will bring, but I look forward to more from Garmin in 2023.
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Garmin also released a software update for the Edge Explore 2 other Edge 1040 Cycling computers that brings Live Event Sharing, LiveTrack Spectator Messaging, and Targeted Adaptive Coaching (Edge 1040 only).