Image source: Garmin

Fenix 8: Will Garmin stick with MIP, or is AMOLED on the horizon?

The Garmin Fenix line is renowned for its ruggedness, impressive battery life, and sunlight-readable displays. However,as we anticipate the release of the Fenix 8, a question emerges: will Garmin stick with their tried-and-true MIP display technology, or will they embrace the vibrant AMOLED displays that are becoming increasingly popular in smartwatches?

First a caveat. This is an opinion piece. There have been no leaks on the Garmin Fenix 8 so far. If that’s what you are after – look elsewhere. But you won’t find any credible info. At least not for now.

MIP vs AMOLED technology

With that in mind let’s talk briefly about MIP technology.

Known for its ultra-low power consumption and excellent readability even under intense sunlight, MIP displays are perfect for outdoor sports watches. The Fenix series has famously employed this technology as has much of the Forerunner series, favouring function and battery efficiency crucial for long, demanding outdoor activities.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

On the other hand, the Garmin Epix 2 line uses AMOLED displays. While visually appealing, this type of display consumes more power, which can be a trade-off for users needing prolonged battery life during extensive outdoor use. Given this clear distinction, Garmin has effectively segmented its offerings to cater to different user preferences—MIP for endurance and functionality, and AMOLED for vibrant display quality.

Its possible but not very likely Garmin will make the Fenix switch

There is little incentive for Garmin to shift the Fenix series from MIP to AMOLED. The Fenix line’s core users typically prioritize battery life and visibility in various lighting conditions over display color richness. Therefore, incorporating AMOLED into the Fenix series will overlap with what the Epix already offers, diluting the distinct value each line brings to the market.

Moreover, considering the robust community of Fenix users, there is a strong preference for maintaining the MIP displays that have historically served them well. Any shift towards AMOLED in the Fenix line would need to address not just aesthetic improvements but also how it could possibly enhance the user’s experience without compromising the watch’s fundamental endurance capabilities.

But surprises can always happen. To remind, the distinction between the Vivoactive and Venu range was the type of display. Until Garmin transitioned the Vivoactive line last year to AMOLED with the launch of the Vivoactive 5. So anything is possible.

If a switch were to happen with the Fenix – our feeling is the company might merge it with the Epix line. And if that happened – the Enduro would be there take the mantle as the option that maintains the MIP screen. So our expectation is that there will be an MIP model – the only question is whether it will be called Fenix or Enduro.

Of course, all of this is speculation – our opinion. Garmin has not said anything yet about a forthcoming Fenix 8, although it is widely expected to arrive in the latter part of this year or in early 2025. When it does arrive, the likelihood of the Fenix 8 featuring an AMOLED display seems minimal.

Stay tuned for updates. In the months ahead the first leaks about the Fenix 8 should start to come through. And when they do we will be sure to report on them.

Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.