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Garmin Announce fenix a mountaineering GPS Watch

Article by: Mike Barrett
Date: 10 Jul 2012

Any hill walkers out there know the revolution that GPS devices made to the art of navigating in the outdoors. Starting off with small screens and minimal functionality gradually the functionality increased and the screen got bigger and more informational was available. This is great if you can sit down and pull the GPS from your backpack and determine where you are and where you need to get to, but what if you are half way up a steep gully filled with scree and you want to see where you are?

This is where the new Garmin fēnix GPS watch comes to the fore. The fēnix is designed for serious scramblers and mountaineers who cannot afford to use both hands to check their position. The fēnix comes with not just a GPS, but also includes Altimeter, Barometer and an Electronic Compass.

Built in the manner you would expect from Garmin this little watch is not only tough it is waterproof down to 50 meters. That is 10 meters lower than the maximum for recreational diving. With the GPS enabled the battery life quoted as up to 16 hours, adequate for a days outing, but not sufficient for a long weekend. There is an UltraTrac mode that extends this up to 50 hours making the long weekend without recharging feasible.

Continue reading for the full Garmin fēnix Press release:

Garmin® presents fēnix™ - the game changing outdoor GPS watch for mountaineers

Garmin, the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced fēnix, its first GPS wrist watch for serious mountaineers and outdoor discoverers. The watch, which provides comprehensive navigation capabilities in trusted Garmin-GPS quality, was developed together with professional mountain guides, and sets new standards for outdoor watches with optimised ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) sensors. Its built-in sensors provide information on heading, elevation and weather changes.

Utilising Garmin’s leading GPS technology, this hands-free navigator gives mountaineers the confidence needed when navigating through demanding mountain environments making their own way to the summit and back to the safety of a mountain shelter. Sporting a classic round watch design in high-strength housing with a scratch-resisting display, it is built to endure the toughest outdoor conditions and also makes a stylish day-to-day timepiece. Garmin will present fēnix for the very first time to the international trade and media at the Outdoor exhibition in Friedrichshafen (Germany) from July 12th to July 15th at Hall B1, booth 402.

“We are working hard with professional mountain guides from all over Europe to ensure that fēnix sets a new benchmark for mountaineers. It packs Garmin’s leading and trusted outdoor technology into a robust, wrist-worn GPS watch that ambitious mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts can 100% rely upon,” says Martin Resch, Garmin’s EMEA Product Manager, Outdoor. “Being able to hike, climb or walk “hands- free” whilst still having access to precise information on elevation, position and weather change forecasts will be a game changing asset for any adventurer. For the first time, all essential information you need in order to navigate to your destination and back home safely are available right from your wrist with the new Garmin fēnix.”

Plan, Navigate and Track: fēnix includes a comprehensive navigational toolset that allows users to plan trips, create routes and record waypoints. Outdoor enthusiasts can navigate to GPS coordinates along a track or route, towards waypoints or along any other selected bearing. A navigation arrow provides clear directional guidance and Garmin’s pioneering TracBack® function can guide one safely back to base camp along a good visible and easy to follow track line displayed on the device. This provides mountaineers with the confidence and peace of mind to guide them to their ambitious targets.

Using the BaseCampTM desktop application, fēnix users will be able to easily plan trips and share their adventures with friends and family. Also included is a worldwide basemap displaying cities nearby. fēnix is equipped with both ANT+ capabilities and Bluetooth® to wirelessly share tracks, waypoints, routes and geocaches with other compatible Garmin devices. A Basecamp mobile app allows users to easily transfer waypoints and tracklogs to view them on the go on a more detailed map and larger screen of select smartphones.

Altimeter, Barometer and Compass:
fēnix is equipped with ABC sensors to provide explorers relevant real-time information. The built-in altimeter shows elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent, the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure and a 3-axis electronic compass keeps the user’s exact bearing whether they are moving or not. Utilising its high sensitivity GPS receiver, fēnix can auto-calibrate its ABC sensors and also auto sets the time based on location. Paired with tempeTM, Garmin’s new external temperature sensor, fēnix is the first outdoor watch that provides an accurate ambient temperature reading.

Measure Performance:
Similar to Garmin’s world leading GPS running watches, fēnix provides comprehensive real-time performance monitoring for athletes such as trail runners and ski mountaineers. With lap and autolap function and important performance data e.g. distance, vertical speed and pace, ambitious mountaineers can keep track of their progress during their outdoor training or other fitness activities. fēnix is also compatible with Garmin’s premium heart rate monitor for heart rate information or with a speed/cadence sensor for distance, (speed and cadence while on a bike). All displayed data fields are fully customisable from the wrist.

Built to Endure the Toughest Conditions:
fēnix is built to endure the most demanding of outdoor environments, combining a high-strength housing to survive shocks with a protected mineral glass lens to resist scratching. It boasts a large LCD display with LED backlight and a robust polyurethane wristband. Garmin’s outdoor watch is waterproof to 50 meters. In GPS mode the watch battery life is up to 16 hrs and for even more freedom the new UltraTrac® mode extends GPS up to 50 hrs (depending on settings). In watch mode, fēnix battery life lasts up to 6 weeks, and basic watch functions include alarms, tones, vibration alerts, timer, stopwatch and world clock with the ability to display several times zones at once.

Garmin fēnix is expected to be available in the Autumn 2012 and will have a suggested retail price of £349.99. tempeTM is an optional accessory and has a suggested retail price of £24.99.

The polyurethane wristband is available in olive or orange and an optional leather wristband can be added. fēnix is the latest solution from Garmin’s growing outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ outdoor experiences. Whether it’s Golfing, Mountaineering, Hiking, Back Country Skiing, Hunting or Geocaching.

Garmin outdoor devices are becoming essential tools for outdoor enthusiast of all levels. For more information on fēnix visit: garmin.com/fenix. For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, go to garmin.co.uk. To keep up to date with the latest Garmin news go to garmin.blogs.com/uk/, twitter.com/garminuk and facebook.com/garmin.uk The availability of Garmin’s Basecamp app may differ from the market availability of the fēnix.

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Posted by MarGos on Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:38 am Reply with quote

If the watch says waterproof to 50m it's probably only safe to be worn near water, but not really in it.


I'm would be surprised if the manufacturer actually states it could be used for Scuba Diving?



Posted by W90BHP on Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:37 pm Reply with quote

£349.99?! I'll stick with running Viewranger on my smartphone...

LG G4: Android 6 : Viewranger : CoPilot : Waze
TomTom Go 730T : Traffic subscription long expired
Nokia E61 : Nokia GPS : TomTom Navigator 6 : Retired from duty
iPAQ 3970 : Navman Sleeve : CoPilot 4 : Somewhere in the loft

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