Image source: Garmin

Firmware update means Garmin Epix 2 now really has an always-on display

A firmware update rolling out now states “Epix display will now never turn off when on wrist”. That statement might be confusing to some considering the Epix 2 is advertised as a watch that has an always-on display. What’s going on?

The problem is, over the past month users have been reporting that the display on their watch would sometimes completely switch off when on their wrist (this is after the expected dimming). Here’s a thread on Garmin forums discussing the issue.

The thing is, this was not a problem with the firmware that was installed on the first batch of Epix 2 watches (version 6.57). The screen really did not switch itself off. The controversy arose with firmware update 7.2.

Part of the problem was that the release notes made no mention of a new feature that turned off the watch when you were not actively interacting with it for 60 seconds. The diea here is to keep the battery life going for longer or perhaps the display burning in. We’re not sure of the reasoning.


Garmin Epix 2
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Garmin Epix 2

That resulted in lots of confusion and a 14 page thread on Garmin’s support forums. Users suspected their watches were faulty or that there was a bug – where in fact that was the intended behavior of the watch. Garmin’s definition of “always-on” did not match with user’s expectations. Users were under the expectation that a complete shutting down of the display is not intended in always on display mode, only gesture mode.

Essential reading: Garmin Fenix 7 vs Epix 2: what’s the difference?

The good news is that firmware update 7.24 rectivies this. The display really will not turn off now when on the wrist. Always-on really is always on. The only condition is that you are using a Garmin watch-face and tnot a 3rd party one.

Other software updates that come as part of this version are as follows (many of these are currently rolling out to Fenix 7, as well – firmware version 7.24).

  • Added the ability to tap the left side of an item in the alarm list to edit that alarm. Right side of the item still toggles on/off, and press and hold anywhere still opens edit as well.
  • Fixed potential shutdown when using Wifi.
  • Fixed issue where user could get stuck in saving spinner in Health Snapshot.
  • Fixed Satellites setting for ‘Max Accuracy’ power mode (multi-band models).
  • Fixed potential shutdown in indoor climb activities.
  • Fixed potential issue with post activity summary for pool swim activities.
  • Fixed issue with Race Predictor watch face Pace and Time.
  • Fixed issue with button operation in Wallet pin entry.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improved vehicle position on map.
  • Improved Wifi for some network types that previously had issues.
  • Set display on/off as a default power control and added to the existing power controls if necessary.

The AMOLED display is the highlight of the Epix 2 timepiece. So it is good that Garmin definition of “always on” now tallies with user expectations! Let’s hope this doesn’t change.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

One thought on “Firmware update means Garmin Epix 2 now really has an always-on display

  • My complaint about this watch on release day (I purchased and returned it) was not about the screen going blank, but about the fact that Garmin removed the user’s option to prevent the display from employing auto brightness. In other words, I want the screen to stay at max brightness whenever it is illuminated, rather than automatically adjusting the brightness in response to ambient light. This is something that my Garmin Venu 2 has always done perfectly, but the Epix would not allow me to do. Can you confirm whether this has changed with the update to the Epix?


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