Garmin has released an updated version of its fēnix smartwatch. As well as retaining the navigation functionality of its predecessor, and being positioned at the advanced end of the market, a variety of fitness tracking features have been added to the the fēnix 2.

When the original fēnix was released, it was pushed as a hands-free navigation solution aimed at individuals who were serious about outdoor activities, with an altimeter, barometer and compass all featured. It included a worldwide base map and the ability for users to set waypoints so that walking routes could be retraced. Distance, time and pace and were also monitored and the device could be paired with a Garmin heart monitor or bicycle cadence sensor for extra information.

The fēnix 2 provides much of the same functionality, but with an added focus on fitness. The device has been designed to pair with the company's HRM-Run monitor that measures heart rate, cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time, factors that help to inform how efficient a user's running style is. It will also estimate a user's maximum oxygen consumption to evaluate fitness level and calculate the recovery time required after workouts.

Specific training modes have been included for skiing and swimming. The ski-board mode tracks speed, distance and vertical drop, as well as automatically logging each run. For swimmers, the fēnix 2 monitors stroke count, interval distance, pace and time. Lengths are also automatically tracked.

Among its outdoor credentials, the fēnix 2 is scratch- and water-resistant, withstanding pressure up to a depth of 50 meters (164 ft). Its battery will last for 50 hours in GPS mode or 5 weeks in watch mode.

Greater device connectivity is offered than with the original fēnix. The device will connect to ANT+ accessories such as the Tempe temperature sensor, speed/cadence sensor, and the Vector power meter. It also pairs with a smartphone app that allows users to track their fitness over time and share workout data online and compare it with others.

The fēnix 2 will be available from March, retailing at US$399.99 (or $449.99 with the HRM-Run bundled).

Product page: Garmin