The Garmin Fenix 8 is likely to be a long way off. After all, the long-awaited Garmin Fenix 7 only made its debut in January 2022, and Garmin usually waits for at least two to three years before introducing new iterations in any given range. The Fenix 6, for example, arrived in 2019.
However, if you're wondering what the next-gen sports watch might have in store, we can already make some educated predictions based on leaks and popular rumors. We'll be keeping this article updated over the coming months whenever new hints emerge. Stay tuned!
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A premium multi-sports watch
- When is it out? Possibly early 2024
- How much will it cost? Prices will likely start around $750 / £699 / AU$1,000
What we want to see
The Garmin Fenix 6 launched in April 2019, and the Fenix 7 series followed in January 2022. We're therefore not expecting the Fenix 8 to land until early 2025 – though the company doesn't always leave a full three-year gap between launches, so a 2024 release is a possibility.
A lot could happen in that time, but these are some of the features we'd like to see when the new watch arrives (some more likely than others).
Lots of size options
Garmin has made big strides in inclusivity, and we're expecting to see that continue with the Fenix 8. The Fenix 7 was available in three different sizes at launch, and we'd be surprised if the Fenix 8 isn't released with just as many options. In fact, there might even be a super compact version with a case measuring 40mm in diameter or less, like that of the Vivoactive 4S.
We wouldn't expect to see a watch quite as compact as the diminutive Garmin Lily, but the rapid march of technology may means it's possible to pack a powerful multi-sports watch into a new, more compact package.
An AMOLED display
The Fenix 7 made a splash in 2022 as the first Garmin Fenix watch with a touchscreen. We're expecting the Fenix 8 to be touch-sensitive too, and we've got our fingers crossed that improvements in battery technology will allow for the addition of an AMOLED display without the need for more frequent charges.
The Fenix 7 is a superb watch, but when we reviewed it, we found that its display was somewhat lacking in contrast, even when compared to older watches like the 2018 Garmin Instinct. An AMOLED display wouldn't just look sharper (as we've seen with the Garmin Epix and Venu 2), it would also allow Garmin the include on-screen animated workouts, and make the watch's maps much easier to read.
In January 2022, Garmin revealed the Venu 2 Plus: a new edition of the Venu 2 with a microphone, which allows you to access your phone's voice assistant or receive calls without taking your phone out of your pocket. It might seem like a small upgrade, but in our tests it was extremely useful, and we found ourselves calling on Google Assistant far more often than we would normally.
Although Garmin may release a Fenix 7 Plus with a microphone at some stage during the coming months, it's something we'd like to see as standard on the Fenix 8.
Lots of pre-loaded maps
We're reasonably confident that the Fenix 8 will offer more storage than existing Garmin watches, and we'd like to see plenty of that space dedicated to maps. Garmin released a set of free map packs with the Fenix 7, and added a new map manager to make it easier to access and download them from your wrist, but only the Sapphire Solar model came with TopoActive maps pre-loaded.
The Fenix series excels at navigation and mapping, and extra on-board storage would allow Garmin to equip the whole Fenix 8 series with a full set of maps ready to use right out of the box.
An ECG sensor
Although ECG sensors are starting to become mainstream in smartwatches and fitness watches, at the time of writing, no Garmin device is equipped with one, but leaks from The5KRunner (opens in new tab) suggest the ECG is on the way, and Garmin has taken its time to get the feature right. If it's at this advanced stage, the Fenix 8 is unlikely to be the first watch to monitor your heart for signs of atrial fibrillation, although the feature will certainly be included.
For the time being we can only speculate about what the Fenix 8 might bring to the table, but we're keeping an ear to the ground for news (whether it's a leak, a patent registration, or anything else) and will update this article as soon as we have some hints about what's on the way.
Variations: S, X, Solar and... Crossover?
We'll see several different iterations of the Fenix 8. Like the Fenix 7 before it, the smaller S series, the larger X series, and another model incorporating Garmin's Power Glass solar battery-extending technology is likely to pop up. However, one thing we're unlikely to see is a Crossover model, with analog hands: the topographical maps functionality of the Fenix is too valuable to sacrifice for a gimmick. Unless the Instinct Crossover proves super popular.
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