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two minute review
The Garmin Fenix 7 is designed for anyone who loves competition and wants to push themselves to a new height, whether it's sporty cycling, a half marathon, an Ironman, or the grueling sweat of a CrossFit competition. The Fenix 7 does not assume that you have already established a comprehensive training plan and know exactly how to balance work and recovery. It gives you tools to help you understand your current fitness level, set a realistic goal, and train. in a way that will help you get there.
It includes the same advanced training and training tracking tools that made the Fenix 6 the best multisport watch in 2019, but it also introduces new features that make it more accessible to new users.
These include a new real-time resistance meter that shows how your energy drops during a workout so you can adjust your effort accordingly, plus an on-screen race predictor that estimates how your current training regimen will affect your 5k marathon, 10k and a half. race times.
The Garmin Fenix 7 comes in three sizes and comes in standard, Solar, and Sapphire Solar editions.
The Fenix 7 has a similar rugged design to its predecessor, but the case now has a slimmer bezel and while the watch still has a transflective pixel memory display (which consumes less power than AMOLED), it's now responsive. to the touch when you're not actively following a workout.
A watch like the Garmin Fenix 7 takes time to thoroughly test: is packed with training tools that must be used over an extended period of time to fully evaluate them.
Price and release date
- Available to order now.
- It costs more than Fenix 6.
The Garmin Fenix 7 series was released on January 18, 2022 and can be purchased directly from Garmin. Prices start at €699.99 / €599.99 / AU$1,049 for the standard version. The top-tier Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar is $999.99 / £859.99 / AU$1,499.
That's a significant step up from the Fenix 6 which started at €599.99 / €529.99 / €949AU when it launched in 2019. However, that's significantly less than the premium Garmin Epix daily watch, which launched on same day from €899.99 / €799.99.
The Garmin Fenix 7 has a slimmer bezel than previous models (Image credit: Future)
- Touch screen and physical buttons
- no weight gain
- Quality materials
The Fenix 7 is available in three sizes (42mm, 47mm and 51mm) with standard, solar and solar sapphire variants. We tested the Sapphire Solar edition, which is the first watch to combine the benefits of its Power Glass that captures sunlight with a resistant glass.
Our review watch has a graphite gray titanium case and black silicone strap, but there are several other color combinations available with different options available for the different sizes. The silicone strap is a good option for sports and is easy to clean, but you can also get a package that contains an additional leather or fabric strap for everyday use.
The Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar weighs 73g with the silicone strap on and 50g without it.. It's almost exactly the same as the Fenix 6 Solar, weighing 72g with its strap and 49g without it. It's impressive that Garmin has managed to keep the weight constant while dramatically increasing battery life and improving display technology.
The watch has the same five-button setup as the Fenix 6, but adds a touchscreen
The Fenix 7 interface will be immediately familiar to Fenix 6 users and consists of five physical buttons as well as a touch screen that automatically locks during activity tracking to prevent pausing or canceling activities. accidental. If you prefer to stick to buttons, you can choose to disable the touch screen altogether. It's also possible to turn it off during sleep to prevent accidental touches at night, but we didn't find that to be a problem.
Instead of equipping the Fenix 7 with an AMOLED display like the one on the Venu 2 and Epix watches, Garmin opted for a transflective display with pixel memory. It's a smart choice that helps save battery life, although it's not as bright as we would have liked.
The display is easy to read in most lighting conditions, but we found it lacked a bit of contrast compared to watches like the Garmin Instinct Solar and often had to use the backlight. This is probably because the Instinct has a monochrome screen, while the Fenix 7 is in colour.
The Garmin Fenix 7 (right) has a significantly lower screen contrast than the Instinct Solar (left) (Image credit: Future)
The Fenix 7 uses the same proprietary USB cable as every other Garmin watch released in the last two years. It might be a bummer for anyone expecting contactless charging this time around, but the cable is easy to use and plugs securely into the back of the watch.
The Fenix 7 is waterproof to depths of 100m, making it suitable for pool and open water swimming, as well as activities such as kayaking, windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding (all with their own profiles), but To dive you will need a specialized swim watch like the Garmin Descent Mk2.
- The largest model lasts up to five weeks.
- Customizable battery saving settings
- Solar and Sapphire Solar versions available
Many of Garmin's higher-end sports watches also come in solar-enhanced editions, and the Fenix 7 is no different. The model we tested was equipped with the company's Power Glass, which collects energy throughout the day to keep the watch's battery topped up. You'll still need to plug the watch in from time to time, but the solar glass extends battery life considerably.
Garmin estimates that the Fenix 7X Solar can last up to five days in smartwatch mode and up to five weeks in GPS mode. That's assuming at least three hours a day of decent sun exposure, but since we tested the watch in January in the UK it's often received significantly less.
You can adjust the battery settings on the watch or in the Garmin Connect app
After a week of regular use, with an average of one GPS-tracked activity per day, nightly SpO2 monitoring enabled, and regular use of the watch backlight, the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar still had 10 days of battery life leftand enabling the watch in battery saver mode bumped it up to over a month, which is very generous.
You can enable and disable general battery saving mode through the watch itself, or make more specific changes through the Garmin Connect smartphone app by disabling certain tracking metrics.
It is now easier to see the remaining charge level; One of our main complaints with the Fenix 6 Solar was that you could only see the remaining power measured in days, but the Fenix 7 also gives you the option to see the percentage. It's a small but welcome touch.
Smart watch features
- Excellent GPS navigation tools
- Built-in music storage and Garmin Pay
- No microphone for hands-free calls
The Garmin Fenix 7 has all the sensors you'd expect from a premium smartwatch, including the company's latest Elevate 4 optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, SpO2 and temperature sensor.
SpO2 monitoring can run continuously, overnight, or only on demand during spot checks. The Garmin Fenix 6 recently received a firmware update that alerts you if you move your wrist too much while the watch is taking an SpO2 reading, and it's a feature you'll see here with the Fenix 7 too.
The Fenix 7 has impressive mapping tools, ideal for daily navigation and during training.
When it comes to travel, the Fenix 7's GPS and multi-band mapping are excellent. The watch recorded our pre-measured 5km test route to within 50 metres, which is a margin of error easily explained by the use of public roads rather than a track. You can also use the watch for everyday navigation, eliminating the need to have your phone out and clearly visible in an unknown location where it could easily be stolen. The Fenix 7 can even highlight points of interest for you, such as shops and cafes. It's well thought out and really improves the Fenix 7 as an everyday watch rather than a sports one.
If you're tired of your usual running, biking, or walking routes, you can use the Garmin Connect route builder to create a new one; simply select a starting point, distance and general heading (north, south, east or west) and the app will generate a suitable route in seconds. You can then pair it with your Fenix 7, which will give you turn-by-turn instructions as you go.
The Garmin Connect route plotter can create a measured route which you can follow with turn-by-turn directions on the Fenix 7
Also Garmin's extremely useful TracBack feature, which allows you to mark your starting point and then return to it once you're ready to end your walk, bike, or run. It's great for those times when you want to go on an adventure, but if you're hiking or orienteering, you should always have a paper map and compass to be on the safe side; The Fenix 7's multi-band GPS is excellent, but no device is foolproof.
There's storage for music, or you can use the Fenix 7 to listen to songs, podcasts and audiobooks through your phone's default media player.
When you're on the go, you can use Garmin Pay to make contactless payments in stores and pay for public transportation in many places. Unfortunately our UK based bank is not one of the supported ones so we couldn't test it, but it is valid on Transport for London services so we will test it.