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Big Garmin update adds jet lag feature to help you recover from long flights

Some of Garmin’s most popular adventure watches are getting a major software update that delivers a wide range of new features – including a ‘Jet Lag Advisor’ that’ll help you reduce the physical effects of long-haul flights.

The free February 2023 software updates, which have started to roll out, will be available for some of Garmin’s best smartwatches, including the Garmin Fenix 7, Garmin Enduro 2, and Garmin Epix

But only those models, along with the Garmin Tactix 7 and Quatix 7, will be getting the Jet Lag Adviser feature, which was previously exclusive to the Marq (Gen 2 ) watch. Garmin’s other watches, most notably the Forerunner series, miss out on that upgrade, but they do gain others including the useful ‘Morning Report‘ and ‘Daily Suggested Workout Enhancements’. You can see the full list in the table below.

Of all of the new upgrades, Garmin’s jet lag feature is the most useful for regular travelers. After you’ve entered your trip details into the Garmin Connect app’s calendar on iOS or Android, it’ll create a sleep schedule for you along with info on exercise and light exposure to minimize the effects of a red-eye flight hangover.

(Image credit: Garmin)

The only downside is that this jet lag feature isn’t on watches like the Garmin Forerunner 945, although Garmin has previously said that it will ultimately land on Forerunner and Venu devices. 

In the meantime, Forerunner 945 LTE and 955 owners get ‘Physio TrueUp’ upgrade, which means they can sync more physio data (like training loads and load focus) between several Garmin devices. 

The 945 LTE also gets ‘Grade Adjusted Pace’ (which gives you an equivalent running pace using the same effort if you’re running through hills or at high altitude) and ‘Wrist Based Running Power’. The latter means you don’t need an additional sensor to get the useful ‘running power’ metric, which gives you a gauge of how much effort you’re expending in different situations.

But for this update, it’s the adventurous watches like the  Fenix 7, Enduro 2, Epix, Tactix 7, Marq (Gen 2), and Quatix 7 that get the most upgrades. All of those watches also get upgraded tracking for backcountry skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, and wake surfing.

The cheaper Vivomove Sport, Style, and Luxe models do, though, at least get the handy addition of a ‘Sleep Score’, which will rate your sleep on a scale from 0-100.

Analysis: A mixed bag of Garmin treats

Screenshots showing new Garmin features in the February 2023 software update

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin’s fresh range of February 2023 updates – including its Jet Lag Advisor – will either be good news or frustrating, depending on which watch you own. 

It’s a shame that the Forerunner series misses out on the travel-friendly upgrade, but Garmin has previously stated that Jet Lag Advisor is coming to its GPS-running watches. There are also some anomalies like the Instinct 2 series and older Fenix 6 not getting the handy Morning Report feature.

We’ve previously raved about how useful Morning Report can be, particularly when you have a race day approaching. But it is at least now available on most of Garmin’s current Forerunner and Fenix watches, including the Forerunner 255, Forerunner 955, and Fenix 7.

The Instinct 2, Instinct Crossover, and Forerunner 945 LTE also finally get ‘Wrist Based Running Power’. This has become an increasingly popular feature that’s popped up on rival watches from Polar and even the Apple Watch, which got the feature as part of watchOS9 last year. 

While there’s no agreed standard for ‘running power’ (usually measured in watts), it’s a broad guide to how much work you’re putting into a run, which is particularly handy if you’re in hilly territory. Hopefully, it’s something that older Fenix watches might receive in a future update – along with that potentially trip-boosting Jet Lag Advisor.

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