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The Garmin Fenix ​​​​7 is designed for anyone who feels the rush of competition and wants to push themselves to a new height, whether it's sport cycling, a half marathon, an Ironman or the grueling sweat of a CrossFit competition. The Fenix ​​7 doesn't assume you've already mapped out a complete training plan and know exactly how to balance work and recovery, but it does give you tools to help you understand your current fitness level, set a realistic goal, and train. in a way that will help you achieve it.

It includes the same advanced training and training tracking tools that made the Garmin Fenix ​​​​6 the best multisport watch in 2019, but it also introduces new features that make it more accessible for new users.

The most obvious upgrade here is the introduction of a touch screen. The watch still has the five physical buttons of previous Fenix ​​watches (including a recently beefed up home button), but it's a great help for navigating maps. However, it was carefully implemented; the screen is locked by default during workouts to prevent accidental button presses, and Fenix ​​purists can choose to disable touch entirely if they prefer.

The display is still pixel-based instead of AMOLED like the Garmin Epix (Gen 2) or Garmin Venu 2. It's easy to read in most lights but lacks contrast, and the use of a blue backlight instead of white means that its colors are sometimes cloudy. However, that's part of what makes the Fenix ​​7 so frugal with its power consumption. It's a watch that can run for weeks under the right conditions, and even the non-solar versions offer impressive longevity.

The Garmin Fenix ​​​​7 comes in three sizes and comes in standard, Solar and Sapphire Solar editions (Image credit: Future)

  • Garmin Fenix ​​7 on Amazon for €599.99 (opens in a new tab)

On the software side, there's a new real-time resistance meter that shows how your energy drops during a workout so you can adjust your effort accordingly. This is the first time that it is possible to see resistance changes on a chart that you can read at a glance.

There's also a new on-screen race predictor that estimates how your current training regimen will affect your 5k, 10k and half marathon race times. This data was already available in the Garmin Connect app, but the new graph on your wrist lets you see how your times are changing, and hopefully decreasing, thanks to your efforts.

If you're already happy with your Fenix ​​6, we don't recommend rushing to upgrade right away, but the Fenix ​​7 is packed with carefully designed new features and enhancements that make a real difference to your everyday life. training.

Garmin Fenix ​​​​7: price and release date

  • Available to order now
  • Cost 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 / AU$949 when it launched in 2019. However, that's significantly less than the premium Garmin Epix daily watch, which is launched the same day, for €899.99 / €799.99. / AU€1399.

Garmin Phoenix 7

The Garmin Fenix ​​7 has a slimmer bezel than previous models (Image credit: Future)

Garmin Fenix ​​7: Design

  • Touch screen and physical buttons
  • no weight gain
  • Quality materials

Design Score: 5/5

The Fenix ​​7 is available in three sizes (42mm, 47mm, and 51mm), with Standard, Solar, and Sapphire Solar variants:

Slide to scroll horizontallyGarmin Fenix ​​7 Models42mm Case47mm Case52mm CaseFenix ​​7SFenix ​​7Fenix ​​7XFenix ​​7S SolarFenix ​​7 SolarFenix ​​7X SolarFenix ​​7S Solar SapphireFenix ​​7 Solar SapphireFenix ​​​​7S Solar Sapphire

We tested the standard 47mm Sapphire Solar Edition, which is the first watch to combine the benefits of its sunlight-harvesting Power Glass with strong crystal.

Our review watch had a graphite gray titanium case and a black silicone strap, but there are several other color combinations available. The silicone strap is a good choice for sports and is easy to clean, but you can also choose a watch that comes with an additional leather or fabric strap for everyday wear.

The watch uses Garmin's QuickFit bands, which are released from the case by pressing a plastic clip. They're extremely easy to change, but they're not interchangeable with the old-school quick-release bands, which are removed by pressing a pin into the side. 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 in at 72g with its strap and 49g without. It's impressive that Garmin has managed to keep the weight constant while drastically increasing battery life and improving display technology.

Garmin Phoenix 7

The watch has the same five-button setup as the Fenix ​​6, but adds a touchscreen (Image credit: Future)

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.

It's easy to read in most lighting conditions, but we found it lacked contrast a bit compared to watches like the Garmin Instinct Solar (pictured below left) and often needed to use light background. The fact that this light is blue instead of white means that the colors on the screen can sometimes appear confusing; particularly red and purple tones.

Garmin Phoenix 7

The Garmin Fenix ​​7 (right) has a significantly lower screen contrast than the Instinct Solar (left) (Image credit: Future)

When it comes to charging, 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 hoping for 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 like kayaking, windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding (all with their own profiles), but For diving you'll want a specialized swimming watch like the Garmin Descent Mk2.

Garmin Phoenix 7

(Image credit: future)

Garmin Fenix ​​7: Battery life

  • The largest model lasts up to five weeks.
  • Customizable battery saving settings
  • Solar and Sapphire Solar versions available

Battery Life Rating: 5/5

Battery life has always been one of the selling points of Garmin sports watches, and the Fenix ​​7 range definitely delivers. First, though, it's important to note that the lifespan of each watch in the range will depend on the size of its battery, whether or not it has a solar cell, and the size of that cell.

The Fenix ​​7 Sapphire Solar we tested features Garmin's Power Glass, which collects power throughout the day to keep the watch battery topped up. You'll still need to plug in the watch from time to time, but the solar cell extends battery life considerably.

To clarify, you can't charge the watch with solar charging alone; it just reduces battery consumption. You can't just leave your watch out in the sun all day and expect it to be fully charged by the time you pick it up in the evening. The exact frequency at which you need to recharge will depend on how you use it and which sensors you choose to activate. These are the figures that Garmin itself gives for this specific model:

Swipe to scroll Garmin Fenix ​​​​7 Sapphire Solar Battery Life EstimatesModeBattery Life (Solar powered)SmartwatchUp to 22 daysBattery Saver Watch ModeUp to 173 daysAll Satellite SystemsUp to 48 hoursAll Satellite & Multiband SystemsUp to 26 hoursAll Systems satellites and musicUp to 10 hoursMaximum GPS batteryUp to 289 hoursExpedition GPSUp to 74 days

All of these numbers are a vast improvement over the equivalent Fenix ​​​​6 Solar, and actual performance turned out to be even better. Although we regularly used the backlight, tracked an average of one workout per day using GPS, and kept nightly SpO2 monitoring on, the watch continued to run for three weeks before needing a charge boost from its charging cable.

We also got to test the non-solar Garmin Fenix ​​7S, and despite having the smallest battery capacity in the range, it held 56% of its charge after a week of use. This far exceeds Garmin's suggested battery life of 11 days in smartwatch mode alone.

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.

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.

Garmin Phoenix 7

You can adjust the battery settings on the watch or in the Garmin Connect app (Image credit: Future)

Garmin Fenix ​​​​7: smartwatch features

  • Excellent GPS navigation tools
  • Built-in music storage and Garmin Pay
  • No microphone for hands-free calls

Smartwatch Feature Score: 4/5

The Garmin Fenix ​​7 has all the sensors you'd expect from a premium smartwatch, including the next-generation Elevate 4 optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, SpO2 (blood oxygen), and temperature sensor.

SpO2 monitoring can run continuously, overnight, or only on demand during spot checks. The…

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