Apple watch Ultra v Garmin Epix Pro.

Apple watch Ultra Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 Sapphire 51mm

A Comparison of Garmin’s Epix Pro 51mm and Apple’s Ultra.

Apple watch Ultra Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 Sapphire 51mm
Apple watch Ultra Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 Sapphire 51mm

Hiking in the mountains demands the very best, this review of the APPLE WATCH ULTRA and GARMIN EPIX pro will give you an insight into my thoughts on these watches. The weather can change in minutes, the temperature can plummet and the winds can howl. Knowing exactly where you are at all times is paramount to the safety of yourself, and those that you’re with. 


For years I have been struggling between the Apple Watch and Garmin wearables. Years and years ago I had the original Fenix , then the 5X Sapphire, the Epix gen 2 and now the Epix pro sapphire 51mm. Apple watches wise, I’ve had the Mk1, the 2, the iv and now the Ultra.

Apples’ Ultra is a watch I quickly came to love. Like the Apple watch, but faster, brighter, bigger and louder. The Ultra has incredible build quality, my watch has taken a kicking and yet still the screen and the case are scratch free-like it has just been taken out of the box. My previous Apple watched all had Apples ION-X toughened perspex screens, but they scratched incredibly easily. Apples’ titanium Ultra does not scratch It simply doesn’t. I haven’t tried to scratch it, but through DIY, gardening, cycling, hiking, coasteering, cooking, scrambling it has taken a beating. Often I hear the dreaded clink as the screen catches a nail, a bolt, a slate window sill, I look to my watch expecting the worse-and there is nothing to show. No marks. The Ultra, heavy, solid and reliable.

Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 51mm REAR
Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 51mm REAR

The Epix Pro Gen 2 sapphire 51mm-my that’s a mouth full-is a brilliant watch. The AMOLED screen is clear and concise, the tough screen is responsive and revolutionises the usage experience. The display is crisp and bright. Once you know how the watch works, and you set it up the way you want it is a doddle to use. However it does take a little time to learn how it works. The Epix metrics are phenomenal.

The sleep tracking shows way more than Apple\. Once out hiking the data screens can be modified which is brilliant. You can see exactly what you want to see. I’ve recently returned from North wales, and the Epix lets you check the barometer so easily that it is definitely ahead of the Apple watch.

Apple Watch Ultra2 rear case
Apple Watch Ultra 2 rear case

Using the watches.

Apple Watch Ultra.

The Apple watch-as ever-is so easy to use. Anyone can put it on, and begin to use it, and its features. The Ultra has an extra button known as the “Action button”. This can be customised, I have mine set to workout. 

Apple’s Ultra watch is still in the running in this comparison because of its applications. It’s definitely  the only watch one needs. Doing long DAY hikes, then this is the watch for you, it does everything for you, it has SIRI, it has a calendar and a diary, it has an alarm-all that can be set with nothing more than your voice. You are able to receive calls, make calls and read and reply to texts. The Ultra works incredibly well with an iPhone and is a joy to use, and it is by far my favourite watch…the downside, there is only one really, and it is a big one…. It is the battery.

The battery on the Ultra is far better than previous Apple watches, the Ultra still needs a lot of charging. For multi day hikes where GPS is on and the route being recorded -the Ultra will need to be charged daily. The Apple watch measures all sorts of health features and walking metrics, these however, are generally found in the Health app on your Iphone, not on your watch. I presume making your iPhone the health hub 

apple watch ultra 2 torch
Apple watch Ultra , although no LED torch, the screen is seriously bright enough!

Garmin Epix Pro 51mm.

The only reason I bought a Garmin was for the battery. The watch has been with me for 14 days and it has only been charged once and then only to 95% as time was short. It currently is showing that I have 12 days battery life remaining. Thats right, Garmin display battery remaining in days. Over those two weeks I have completed 45 activities, be it hiking up Snowdon, cycling to the shop, or hitting the gym. 45.

This battery life is quite incredible. My battery life included an 8 hour hike up and down Snowdon. During the hike I was constantly checking barometric pressure and our elevation . This is quite simply staggering. The Epix allows you to access other sensors-even when in an activity. Its graphical interfaces are easy to read and interpret. It is a delight to use. The Garmin Epix pro 51mm also features a flashlight LED on the top, that can be turned to red-light. This is a great useful feature, one I have used several times already. I was helping to rig audio on a gig, and its always on you-a small flashlight. 

Garmin Epix Pro 51mm torch
Garmin Epix Pro 51mm torch


This is hard, they do very different things. Both of the watches are brilliant but they are quite different indeed. If you are out going on a daily hike, then the Apple watch Ultra is the king. Apple pay, Siri, messages, it makes sense. Its alarms and tones are crisp and clear and the Haptic feedback is brilliant. I love the Ultra, I really do. However, if you’re going to be away from home for days or weeks hiking -or whatever is your bag-where charging regularly is not an option then it’s the Garmin. The Garmin is a great tool, and is absolutely an outdoor watch. It’s great to use, and great to look at.

Will I return to the ultra after my hike? Yes, definitely. Day to day use-this is the boss!

What do you think? A Comparison of Garmin’s Epix Pro 51mm and Apple’s Ultra-what would you choose?

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