REVIEWED: Garmin fēnix outdoor GPS watch

A 50-hour battery and a great BaseCamp app impress, but this hiking watch does take a bit of getting to know

Price at time of review: £299.99

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This is a watch for the outdoors. With a compass, altimeter and barometer inside, the readout is complex yet very simply laid-out as it records routes and whereabouts using the 32 GPS satellites orbiting Earth.

Versatile

With hiking, mountaineering, running, sailing, geocaching and fishing modes, it’s pretty versatile, too; it can show speed as well as temperature, while your exact route can be recorded and uploaded via Bluetooth to the free BaseCamp app on a phone or computer, then shared with the world. Although there are very basic maps on the watch, it’s on BaseCamp that adventures come alive, though you do need to purchase maps.

GPS tools

Useful GPS tools include the self-explanatory TracBac, and Sight ‘N Go; point fēnix at something in the distance and it will guide you there. Stargazers will love the Sun & Moon screen that gives rise and set times. It works with iPhone 4S/5/5S & Android, Windows & Mac.

Up to 50 hours battery

Though the battery lasts for about 16 hours and must be recharged via a large USB cradle, it’s possible eek out as much as 50 hours by setting it to find satellites just once per minute. The breadth of the pricey fēnix outstrips the other watches here, but it won’t appeal to all, and the interface is rudimentary – it does take a bit of getting to know.

 

Buy the Garmin fēnix outdoor GPS watch