Display turning completely off in Always On mode

I'm on 7.2 and after a period of not moving my wrist, the display turns completely off (this is after the expected dimming) even though I have Always On selected. I hope this is a bug and not one of the ways it gets the 6 days of battery life.

  • I gotta admit this is a pretty big “whoopsie” on garmins part. It seems trivial but when watching TV it turns out my left arm stays very still and the watch face is almost always off. Yes, the slightest twitch turns it back on, but that’s the same with every other amoled watch and the main reason they’re all annoying.  They either have trash battery life or the screen turns off. I guess I had hoped with garmins OS and SOC behind this thing they found some power savings nobody else every could.  Sounds like that is only kind of true. Out of the box, with a full charge, my EPIX was saying 4 days without having done any gps stuff.  Would that have adjusted to 6 or so?  I don’t know. BUT, if they needed to implement this time out to meet that 6 day promise, then I am annoyed. If this timeout makes it 8-10 days, then I don’t mind it. But give me a setting to choose to disable the timeout.  Most of the time I would probably leave it off as I am always close to a charger and don’t mind topping it up from time to time.  On vacation, though, this kind of almost always on setting would be great.

    Quick note on burn-in; I don’t think that’s why they implemented this.  When the AOD goes from bright to dark you can see the pixels shift very slightly, which would avoid burnin. I’m sure it happens more often then that too, so I think it’s a battery life thing. 

  • This is exactly the situation that worries me. I'm also sitting really still when watching TV or watching a movie and this flickering on and off would drive me crazy. And we've already heard from several people that this is an actual problem, and considering that only a fraction of the buyers have gotten their watches yet (whole countries haven't still had a single watch delivered) this might turn out to be a much bigger problem than anyone thought...

    And it would be so easily remedied by giving us the option to set to like 1 minute, 10, 60 , off.  

  • Hi everyone,

    It might just be me, but I am having some difficulty understanding what some posts mean when they refer to the state of the watch screen so I thought I would add my experience with pictures.  As background, for the last few years I have had the latest Apple Watch on my left wrist and the latest Garmin Fenix on my right wrist.  For my use case, the Apple Watch is an awesome personal gatekeeper; I look at my iPhone far less because of the Apple Watch.  The Garmin Fenix (now Epix 2) is the best sports watch there is, and it has gotten me out a jam several times.

    The Apple Watch 7 alternates between two states (apologies for the dust in the pictures). This is the awake state:


    And this is the awake-dimmed state:

    The Apple Watch 7 only alternates between these two states.  It is always in one of these two states so I thought when Garmin says AOD it would map to the Apple Watch's awake-dimmed state, but that is not the case in non-activity use.  In my general use, my watch moves between three states.  This is the awake state:

    This is the awake-dimmed state, but it only stays in the following state for a split second as it transitions to the third state:

    And this is the third state, the Garmn-AOD state:

    If I am doing an exercise activity, the Garmin only alternates between the awake and awake-dimmed states.  This is the awake state:

    And this is the awake-dimmed state:

    For all the reasons articulated in this thread above my post, I don't understand why Garmin has chosen to not mimic the behavior of the Apple Watch (5, 6, and 7) and simply alternate between awake and awake-dimmed at all times.  Or at least give the user the option to do this, wilth full understanding that this would severely cut battery life.  In my opinion, that decreased battery life is totally worth it given the tradeoff of the screen; if I did not want that tradeoff I would have bought a Fenix 7X.

    I have been using the Epix 2 since Friday and I have not had the screen turn off, but I might have tweaked some settings or simply don't encounter this in my use case.  

    As a final comment, I will say this current screen switching annoys me like the screen change on earlier Apple Watches (like the 4 or maybe earlier) did, but the Epix 2 screen itself is a huge step up coming from the Fenix 6X Pro Solar.  Two days ago I was trail running after a fresh snow. Due to the conditions, I cut my run short through an area I know but am not super familiar with.  And when at this point in the trail I was unsure which fork to take:

    I should have taken a picture of the watch and not the place (but I wanted to tag it so I could go back and look at a map of where I was).  With the Epix 2 while I was running I could glance at my watch and immediately understand which way to go at the fork.  If I had the Fenix 6X Pro Solar I would have had to stop to make certain I was going the right way.  I would have figured it out from the Fenix 6X Pro Solar, but the level of detail and screen image of the Epix 2 is so good that I could go without stopping (and because while running it was only alternative between awake and awake-dimmed states I never need to stop or doing anything unnatural with my arms while running; I could just glance at the watch to get the information I needed).  

    I hope in a firmware update Garmin can fix this to make their AOD state the awake-dimmed state like the Apple Watch 7 (and 5 and 6).


  • You've installed a 3rd party watchface. It will need to be updated by the developer to support the new AOD modes. Try a built in watchface. 

  • Maybe I'm confused. Is there no option for the display to turn off completely during exercise like my fenix 5x does?  I don't need the watch face on at all while I'm running, unless I turn my wrist to look at it. 

  • Thank you.  I can replicate this behavior on the built-in watch face as well: that in general use the watch face alternates between three states and the Garmin AOD state is less detailed than the awake and awake-dimmed state.  

    In my original post I should have referenced a discussion exchange I had with the developer (who is totally awesome) and that discussion is here.  To summarize that discussion, the developer is only allowed to use 10% of the pixels on the screen so the developer can not alternate between awake and awake-dimmed (and the Garmin built-in watches can't alternate between awake and awake-dimmed either).  So I think my point is still valid that the Garmin AOD behavior is different than the AOD definition employed by the last three generations of Apple Watch, but perhaps my point should have been in a different thread.


  • If you use the native garmin watch faces the watch face turns off completely in the third state.  I try and use their native watch faces as they're generally easier on the watch performance wise.  I noticed pretty significant lag using gearmin or datalover when trying to go to widgets on my fenix 6x (and every watch prior).

  • Ah, that explains it.  Thank you.  I have not tested that.  In retrospect, I should have probably created a different thread.


  • It only turns off completely if you keep your watch still for 60 seconds. Otherwise it stays on (if you have the AOD display setting on that is.) 

  • Yes, I think what a lot of users are realizing is how still their watch arms get pretty often.  I am noticing it black all the time now after 7.20.