Garmin Fēnix 2 adds multisport options

New features include power-data integration and VO2 Max estimations

Garmin's new Fēnix 2 combines the outdoor navigation and tracking features of the original Fēnix with a host of new cycling, running, swimming and other sport elements along with boosted smartphone connectivity.

When on the bike, Fēnix 2 offers metrics on things like speed, power (if a meter is present), heart rate and more. While running, users can get many of the high-end features from the Garmin Forerunner 620 watch when using the Run heart-rate strap, including cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Also, the watch plus the Run HR strap calculates a VO2 max estimation and a suggested recovery time after a workout, plus gives recovery checks during and after intense workouts. As with the 620, users can set time, distance or speed goals, then compete against a Virtual Partner.

With Bluetooth Smart, Fēnix 2 users can send their live or post-event data to Garmin Connect via their smartphone. Also, users can pair their iPhone (4S or later) with the watch to get email, call and text notifications on the watch. 

Recovery time is estimated based on workout intensity

Besides sport categories like cycling and running, the Fenix 2 has activity profiles for Ski-Board, XC Ski and Swim. Ski-Board measures and records skiing or snowboarding activities, pausing the time and distance tracking when standing still or, Garmin claims, when going up a ski lift. This mode can also detect individual runs for separate analysis. The watch comes with a strap extender for wearing over the sleeve of a jacket. In Swim mode, the Fēnix 2 can record stroke count, interval distance, pace and time. When in the pool, it can count lengths and give a SWOLF efficiency score.

The core functionality of the Fēnix 2 is navigation, and the GPS receiver is complemented by a barometric altimeter and a three-axis compass. Users can create routes, record waypoints and make GPS breadcrumb trails. Garmin's 'TracBack', as it sounds, leads users back to their starting point.

Garmin fenix 2 also has a variety of other sport modes, including cycling, skiing and swimming: garmin fenix 2 also has a variety of other sport modes, including cycling, skiing and swimming
Garmin fenix 2 also has a variety of other sport modes, including cycling, skiing and swimming: garmin fenix 2 also has a variety of other sport modes, including cycling, skiing and swimming

The watch has distinct modes for a number of sports

With a steel-reinforced body and a mineral-glass lens, Garmin hopes the watch will work as a daily watch as well as sports equipment. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 50 hours in GPS mode or up to five weeks as a watch, Garmin claims.

Finally, the Fēnix 2 control Garmin's Virb and Virb Elite video cameras with start/stop recording and photo stills.

The Fēnix 2 is available this month for £359/US$399 and will also be sold as a 'Performer Bundle' with the Run HR strap for £389/US$449.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA
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