Thanks to my role here at ZDNET, I have the opportunity to evaluate an extensive number of wearables, from ones made for outdoor adventures to ones for golfing. Naturally, it’s always tough to figure out — with a new watch on my wrist every other week — which is my go-to wearable.
That changed with the Garmin Enduro 2, which was released last summer and continues to be one of the very rare devices that I have used daily for an entire year.
Garmin Enduro 2
Garmin’s flagship watch of 2022 remains a worthy competitor in 2023 with its solar display, LED flashlight, superb battery life, and software updates that keep it updated with the newest watches.
A year later, the Enduro 2 still squeezes out longer-rated battery life than most competitors, thanks to its GPS mode, getting roughly 110 hours per charge, sometimes more. It remains the battery champ for Garmin and I truly love looking at the estimated battery remaining and seeing weeks available while only charging the watch about once a month.
If you spend time running stadium stairs or hiking mountains, then you may also be interested in earning Expedition badges with the Enduro 2. I can even earn badges by skipping the elevator in favor of the stairs at the office. There are badges for elevation changes and step count, but you can only work towards earning badges with one hike or climb at a time.
The vibrant lime green start/stop button and green bezel highlights on the hour markers appeal to me and I would honestly pay the extra $100 price of the Enduro 2 over the more recent Fenix 7X Pro Sapphire Solar for the color scheme alone. I purchased a green and gray elastic loop band to accompany the Enduro 2 and it looks fantastic.
Keep in mind that the Garmin Enduro 2 is a very large watch, but with the elastic loop band and my wrist size, I barely feel it attached to my wrist. I’m sure I might have felt it in the beginning but after a year of wearing it daily. it has become a part of my body.
Many new Garmin high-end watches have vibrant AMOLED displays, but by choosing this display technology you have to compromise with battery life and solar charging. As much as I love the bright screens, the big numbers on the Enduro 2 look just fine on the memory-in-pixel display. And when participating in outdoor activities, this display gets plenty bright.
The LED flashlight on the Enduro 2 set the standard last year and continues to be one of the best in 2023. I use the flashlight daily and haven’t been able to go back to using a watch without the feature.
I’ve had the opportunity to test out a Garmin GPS sports watch with the best of both worlds, an LED flashlight and an AMOLED display, but still find the Enduro 2 a slightly better fit for my lifestyle. The only thing I can think of that Garmin could add to the Enduro 2 is integrated cellular support for emergencies and sharing my location with family members as I participate in wilderness activities.
We saw such a feature come to the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE and I honestly can’t think of anything else that would make the Enduro any better.
ZDNET’s buying advice
Garmin released a few new watches in 2023 with LED flashlights and excellent battery life, like the Epix Pro and Fenix 7X Pro. Both offer a similar experience to the Garmin Enduro 2 and for new buyers, one of these two is likely the better choice thanks to the lower price tags.
Still, the Enduro 2 squeaks out a bit more endurance, enough to warrant a spot on my wrist every day. If you already own an Enduro 2, enjoy it and keep using it for years to come. Garmin has been actively updating its watches for the past couple of years and the Enduro 2 has the capability to keep you moving forward for a while.