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How to Get Longer Battery life on Garmin Fenix

Posted on: 13 May, 2013

Garmin gives you two jumping-off points for the cycle rate: Normal and UltraTrac.


GPS cycle rate is the Fenix’s main selling point. The Fenix is Garmin’s first GPS watch with options for different cycle rates, meaning you can change how frequently your watch communicates with satellites. The more frequently your watch pings the satellites (a high cycle rate) the more quickly you’ll drain your battery.

Garmin gives you two jumping-off points for the cycle rate: Normal and UltraTrac. In normal mode, the Fenix will hit the satellites once per second. This is the standard for fitness watches. A rate of once-per-second will drain your battery the fastest, but it will also give you the most accurate speed and distance data. It’s a tradeoff: Do you want more battery life or more accurate data? Garmin recommends leaving the Fenix in normal mode if your activity is shorter than 8 hours. For activities lasting more than 8 hours — or if you get lost — you can switch to UltraTrac.

UltraTrac is a GPS mode that decreases the update rate of GPS data to provide increased battery life. This setting, which by default decreases the update rate to once a minute, is perfect for an ultramarathon (ultra distance) or for a long hike as the battery life of the device can last up to 50 hours in ideal conditions.

The default rate is once per minute, but a recent firmware update will allow you to set the UltraTrac cycle rates at one every 15 seconds (estimated 20 hours of battery) or once every 20 seconds (estimated 24 hours of battery). And if you find that you’re still in danger of running out of battery — if you’re in the middle of a 100-miler and not feeling so awesome — you can change the rate to once a minute while you stumble down the trail.

To enable the GPS mode, UltraTrac:

  1. Press Orange button
  2. Select Setup
  3. Select System
  4. Select GPS Mode
  5. Select Ultratrac

To maximize track detail for your activity:

  • If activity is around 8 hours, leave GPS Mode as Normal
  • If activity is greater than 8 hours, adjust track update as desired:
    1. Press Orange button
    2. Select Setup
    3. Select Tracks
    4. Select Interval
    5. Adjust Time*
    6. Select Done

Using Bluetooth, the watch will sync your tracks and waypoints via the Garmin BaseCamp app (only iOS) directly to your phone. You can then upload your data to Garmin Connect to view and edit on your computer. Plus you can share tracks, waypoints, routes, etc. with other compatible devices or your friends.


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