Fenix 7 is priced at 699 up to 999 USD. Epix is priced at 899 up to 999 USD.
To be clear, the price is not in favor of the Epix since the Epix is more expensive. Only the Fenix 7X has the same price as the Epix.
Check the current price of the Epix Gen 2 on Amazon.
The Epix is for the most part a Fenix 7 with an AMOLED screen.
You really need to love the AMOLED screen since all the reasons to choose the Epix are based on that. The Fenix 7 beats the Epix in every other difference these smartwatches have.
Reason #1 The Amoled Screen is Super Vibrant
The AMOLED screen colors are super vibrant and the screen overall looks awesome compared to the Fenix 7 which in comparison has far fewer colors and they look somewhat washed out if compared side by side.
For example, when looking at the HR Zones of an activity with the AMOLED screen it’s a lot easier to see the different color codes of the HR Zones. Also when using maps it’s easier to read the map with the brighter more colorful display.
Reason 2# Increased display resolution enables you to do more
The Epix has a 1,3” display with a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels and the Fenix 7X has a 1,4” display with a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels.
When using Garmin Maps, the larger display resolution on the Epix enables one to see more details at a wider zoom level. So with the Fenix 7, you need to zoom more in before you can see the same details.
Also if you are reading messages or emails the higher resolution allows you to see additional rows of text. This is helpful when glancing at a message without scrolling. You will have a better chance of knowing what it’s about and whether you want to react to it or not. Also, you will be able to read an email faster if you decide to scroll through it on the watch.
Reason 3# The EPIX AMOLED display will allow you to look at the watch to see the time
When using the Epix you can always glance at the watch to see the time by just turning your wrist to see the watch even in dark conditions. With the Fenix 7 if it’s too dark you will not see the display even though it’s always on without pressing the backlight button. So that’s one-click more you need to do with the Fenix 7.
Update: Actually the Fenix 7 does have settings to control the backlight and you can set the backlight to gesture mode so that it does turn the backlight on when you turn your wrist.
Compromises you will need to make if you choose the EPIX
As I mentioned earlier the Fenix 7 is better in pretty much every other way excluding the display.
The largest compromise is the battery life since the Fenix 7 has up to 18 days in smartwatch mode and the Epix has up to 6 days in always-on mode (or up to 16 days in gesture mode). In my opinion, the gesture mode is quite annoying and my guess is most people will prefer using it in always-on mode.
We can also compare the GPS time of 89 hours (or 122 with solar) on the Fenix 7X to the 30 hours of GPS time on the Epix in always-on mode. This might be a big difference for people who go for multi-day hikes.
Another major difference is the lack of solar charging on the Epix. This of course also affects the battery life and makes the difference even larger. Just to make a point let’s compare the Fenix 7X’s up to 28 days is smartwatch mode or 37* days with solar charging to the Epix which has only 6 days of battery in always-on mode. (*Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions)
Another thing to note is that the Epix was launched only in one size which matches the Fenix 7 size. So if you prefer the larger 7X or the smaller 7S size then it’s somewhat of a compromise to go with the medium size.
Garmin included a led flashlight on the Fenix 7X and I find that’s super useful. So if you are choosing the Epix you won’t have that option. Also, note that the led flashlight doesn’t exist on the smaller-sized Fenix 7 and 7S either.
The Epix still has the screen acting as a flashlight and that’s also helpful but not to the same extent as an actual led flashlight.
Final thoughts and who the Epix is meant for
The Epix is a perfect choice for those who have always wanted the flagship Garmin Fenix smartwatch with a bright and vibrant AMOLED screen.
This might be the time to get an Epix if you have favored smartwatches like the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch because they have AMOLED screens but have felt that’s a bit of a compromise due to the lack of multisport functionality.