Garmin’s new GPS and smartwatch update has some interesting new performance features

Edge 1040 Solar
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has released a major new update that adds a bunch of new and interesting features to its most recently released devices. The free update adds some substantial new features that GPS and Smartwatch users could find very useful.

Garmin makes some of the best MTB GPS computers and smartwatches. This new update not only boosts their functionality but could also increase battery life, as well as your own sporting performance. 

For watch users, there are a host of new features, most of which revolve around the ability to better measure Heart Rate Variability (HRV) status which can now be tracked while sleeping. Not only does this give a better idea of recovery it also feeds into your Training Status feature to give better insights into the effectiveness of training.

It is also used in the Race Widget which can be setup to give you race prep information in the run-up to an event. This Race Widget not only provides a training countdown and weather reports but claims to also offer a race day-specific performance prediction – a useful feature if you are targeting goals.

Finally, Garmin's SatIQ feature should help improve battery life by automatically turning on multi-band GPS when needed. If you're riding in a dense forest or deep valley then multi-band GPS turns on; stray out into the open, however, and it turns off to conserve power.

Garmin Instinct 2

The Instinct 2 series is one one of the watches that gets the new update (Image credit: Garmin)

The recently released Garmin 1040 head unit also gets some neat new features. Music controls and full e-bike support give handy upfront controls and data with compatible devices and motors. If you also have a compatible Garmin smartwatch, the 1040 computer will be able to use the new heart rate variability data to add to your training status.

The update is only available for a few specific devices, though. If you are a Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix7, Epix 2, or Edge 1040 user then you are in luck and get access to some or all (depending on your device) of these features.

Garmin says the update is available to download now. Smartwatches or cycling computers can be updated by enabling automatic updates from the device or by using Garmin Express.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg