The Fenix 7 Sapphire Photo voltaic watch is the highest mannequin within the new vary from Garmin, providing touch-screen choices and solar-charging energy. Different generational enhancements embrace wider mapping assist, longer battery life and an improved coronary heart charge sensor. Principally, Garmin has taken all the very best bits of the Fenix 6 and improved them, however not made dramatic adjustments like including an ECG coronary heart charge reader or radically altering the look of the interface.
After spending a few month with the mannequin, we’re assured that it is finest working watch cash should purchase for some individuals, and the most effective health trackers accessible at current. This could shock few who’ve used a Fenix watch earlier than.
Upgrading from an older high-end Garmin watch to the Fenix 7 ought to appear a easy transition. And we expect the Fenix 7 works higher as a passive 24/7 health tracker than its predecessors.
There are simply two notable points right here. The Garmin Fenix 7 is available in three sizes, and the bigger two could also be a bit chunky and heavy for twenty-four/7 put on. A lighter Garmin just like the Venu 2 could also be a greater match for some, and has equally robust sleep monitoring.
The Fenix 7 sequence can be dear. It begins at $699/£599 for the smaller 7S and heads to nicely over $1000 for the highest mannequin. Have a take into consideration whether or not you’ll really recognize among the high-end options earlier than shopping for, as a result of a lower-end Garmin watch could also be simply nearly as good to your wants.
The Garmin Fenix 7 value ranges from £599 ($814) to £1049 ($1425) relying on the mannequin you select. Our model is the Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Photo voltaic, which prices $899/£859. Most of our observations on this evaluate will apply to all variations, however not all. Right here’s the complete value listing:
Garmin Fenix 7S: $699/£599
Garmin Fenix 7S Photo voltaic: $779/£689
Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Photo voltaic: $899/£859
Garmin Fenix 7: $699/£599
Garmin Fenix 7 Photo voltaic: $779/£689
Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Photo voltaic: $899/£859
Garmin Fenix 7X Photo voltaic: $899/£779
Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Photo voltaic: $999/£1049
Design and show
- Chunky, daring design
- Contact delicate, transflective display that adapts to gentle ranges
- Photo voltaic-power choices accessible
Garmin makes three sizes of Fenix 7: the 7S, the 7X, and the lavatory commonplace 7. The Fenix 7S has a comparatively petite 42mm watch face, whereas the Fenix 7X is the basic big wrist-hugger with a large 51mm face. And the model we’re reviewing is the center little one, the Fenix 7. Whereas Garmin affords cream gold and rose gold finishes within the smaller Fenix 7S to melt its look, a Fenix 7 sequence watch just isn’t the apparent alternative if you would like one thing dainty and unassuming.
We’ve worn the Fenix 7 persistently for simply over a month now. It’s snug to put on all day, day by day, however typically we’ve discovered ourselves taking it off in mattress in a half-conscious daze, most likely as a result of it’s a bit clunky. It really weighs 73g, which is much more than the 38g of the smallest Venu 2 or the 46g Fitbit Sense.
Nonetheless set on a top-end Garmin? You’ve one other resolution to make, as the corporate affords three variants (commonplace, photo voltaic and sapphire photo voltaic) throughout the three totally different sizes, so there’s a grand whole of 9 totally different watches to select from.
The ‘Sapphire Photo voltaic’ mannequin that we’re testing has ultra-tough Sapphire show safety somewhat than Gorilla Glass, and solar-charging display tech.
You possibly can see the principle photo voltaic panel across the perimeter of the display, which is a bit reddish band. The show glass itself additionally sucks in vitality from the solar, at a decrease charge.
How helpful the solar-charging tech is relies upon largely on the place you reside. We examined the Fenix 7 in Thailand for a few weeks, then in London for an extra few weeks. As you may think, it proved way more efficient in sunny Thailand. January in London? It is fairly ineffective there. Wherever you’re utilizing it although, you’re more likely to have to cost it on an everyday schedule if you happen to’re utilizing the GPS monitoring.
The Fenix 7 sequence makes use of Garmin’s staple display tech. This isn’t a smartwatch-style show with daring coloration and searing brightness. It’s a transflective display that turns into clearer because the ambient gentle stage will increase.
There’s a digital watch-style entrance gentle to make the show seen in darker rooms. If the Garmin Fenix 7 can be your first runner’s watch and also you’ve tried a smartwatch earlier than, it’ll look boring. Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless an exceptionally good kind of show for health use.
You successfully get an “all the time on” display with no sacrifice to battery life, and it seems splendidly clear whenever you go outdoor on a sunny day to trace a run or hike. The Fenix 7 has a 1.3-inch display of 260 x 260 pixel decision. Sizes and resolutions scale up and down simply barely between the Fenix 7S, 7 and 7X.
This display type is what makes the Fenix 7 appear identical to its predecessors. Nevertheless, whenever you begin utilizing the factor you’ll discover considered one of this technology’s massive adjustments.
The Fenix 7 has a touchscreen, not like all the older “critical” Garmin watches. Earlier generations have been button operated solely, to keep away from a complete sequence of potential complications. The old-style interface wouldn’t go haywire when the display was moist, and there was little or no likelihood of you unintentionally stopping or pausing a exercise mid-session.
Garmin avoids the latter challenge by disabling contact as quickly as you begin a exercise, though you possibly can swap it again on if you happen to’d a lot somewhat swipe your display somewhat than utilizing the buttons.
And like all top-end Garmins, the Fenix 7 is a watch you possibly can put on nearly anyplace. It has excellent 10ATM water resistance, double that of most nice smartwatches.
- Wonderful sleep monitoring and ‘physique battery’ options
- VO2 max stats accessible
- Downloadable maps, entry to music and Garmin Pay accessible
The large change within the Fenix 7 is its adoption of the touch-led interface type of the Venu 2 watches. Flick up from the watch face and also you’ll see a abstract of all of the Fenix 7’s lately recorded information. There are entries to your coronary heart charge, the day’s dawn/sundown occasions, your steps, coaching standing, sleep, physique battery and extra. These are referred to as widget glances, and have been launched within the Garmin Fenix 6.
Different standout options embrace sleep monitoring and physique battery. This watch’s sleep monitoring is superb, and this energy is as a lot all the way down to the presentation of knowledge as its accuracy. You get a bit graph of your sleep phases by the night time, the numbers on how lengthy you slept and spent in every stage and a two-sentence abstract on how good your final night time’s sleep was.
It’s an important, digestible option to present sleep information from a sequence not all the time identified for its user-friendliness. The one points are that the Fenix 7 generally takes a short time to finalize its sleep report: rise up ultra-early and it might present the mistaken figures till later within the morning.
The Fenix 7’s sleep information feeds into Physique Battery. This spits out a rating of 100 based mostly on how run down it thinks you might be. Train and stress deplete this rating, as does merely being awake. It is a made up Garmin metric, in fact, based mostly on the information it collates. However Physique Battery is an effective option to relay that you simply won’t be getting sufficient sleep.
In contrast to among the lower-end Garmin watches, the Fenix 7 has a giant deal with stats like VO2 Max and your coaching standing. These are helpful watch-based metrics to observe when on the lookout for progress in your basic health.
All watches on this sequence additionally embrace entry to detailed Garmin TopoMaps. You obtain these to the watch, roughly by continent, and so they include an enormous quantity of knowledge. Europe is 10.8GB, for instance. These maps can be utilized for on-watch turn-by-turn navigation, or simply that will help you out whereas on a hike. However navigating round them is nowhere close to as easy as, say, on an Apple Watch 6.
The Fenix 7 tries to negate the necessity for a telephone 99% of the time, an idea that is seen in its music assist. You possibly can switch information on to the watch from a Mac or PC utilizing a cable, or hook as much as Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music and obtain tracks from their libraries.
Music could be a little bit of a battery hog although. Garmin says the Fenix 7 lasts as much as 10 hours when location monitoring with all supported satellite tv for pc methods and taking part in music. This determine rises to 57 hours when simply monitoring train utilizing GPS, or as much as three weeks within the watch’s primary smartwatch mode. When testing, we discovered that the Fenix 7 lasted round two weeks, if we have been largely utilizing it to trace 45 minute runs each different day.
On prime of all this, you may get wi-fi funds by Garmin Pay, entry to the Join IQ app retailer and assist for added sensors utilizing ANT+. For instance, the watch can hook up with and management a sensible turbo coach, or you possibly can hook as much as an HR chest strap for even higher coronary heart charge reliability.
Nevertheless, it’s additionally necessary to notice what Garmin has overlooked. You don’t get ECG readings, as in an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. There aren’t any blood strain readings both.
- Wonderful pulse monitoring and dependable GPS
- SpO2 function generally inaccurate
SpO2 is without doubt one of the extra health-leaning stats that the Garmin Fenix 7 can report. That is your blood oxygenation. Garmin calls it Pulse Ox, a function that has been a part of the Garmin roster since earlier than SpO2 readings turned fashionable.
Nevertheless, it’s additionally the one Fenix 7 sensor we’ve had some points with. It has recorded some readings at 90% — abnormally low — which weren’t repeated elsewhere. As ever, if you happen to’re anxious about blood oxygenation you should purchase a devoted pulse oximeter somewhat than counting on a wearable. Our dodgy readings may have been brought on by motion throughout recording, or carrying the watch on a too-bony a part of the wrist, however that it’s going to fortunately produce these outcomes in any respect just isn’t nice.
The Fenix 7’s Pulse Ox function makes use of purple/infrared LEDs constructed into the optical coronary heart charge array to take these readings, however fortunately the watch’s optical coronary heart charge outcomes are significantly better. Its outcomes monitor intently with these of our benchmark chest HR strap, with typical discrepancies of simply a few bpm, whose impact is near nil over the course of a exercise. In contrast to among the Garmin watches we utilized in 2020 and 2021, the Fenix 7 doesn’t report too-high readings in the beginning of a exercise both.
The watch’s GPS is dependable too. You will notice some route smoothing within the map of your runs, post-workout, however it’s constant sufficient that in our run route we may time nearly to the second when the Fenix 7 would hit every new km. It’s fast to lock onto a GPS sign and we skilled no drop-outs in any respect throughout testing.
The guts charge sensor’s resting readings are additionally largely dependable. They’re freed from the overshooting spikes that may occur whenever you rise up out of your work desk when carrying a watch that depends on flaky predictive algorithms.
The Fenix 7 has a distinct optical coronary heart charge array to the Fenix 6, one that appears identical to that of the Garmin Venu 2. It has extra light-analyzing sensors, which lets the watch error-correct extra successfully.
Garmin’s Fenix 7 is a superb health and working watch that has extra options than most will ever uncover, and lengthy battery life. It provides contact assist and loads of technical tweaks to the Fenix 6 blueprint, with out seeming to water down its enchantment.
The primary factor to take care of is whether or not a Fenix 7 can be overkill to your wants. Its base mannequin is way from low cost, and solar-charging Sapphire ones are a serious funding. We additionally favor a few of Garmin’s smaller watches for all-day put on. That is one thing to contemplate if you happen to care as a lot about sleep monitoring as preserving a report of your 5K run occasions.
If this is not for you
Price and basic chunkiness are the 2 causes to be delay a Garmin Fenix 7. It’s in any other case a stellar health watch. Garmin has just a few options if both of those components is an issue.
The Garmin Venu 2 is thinner, lighter and cheaper, and can nonetheless be simply as efficient for a lot of of you. It doesn’t have on-watch maps, the battery life is shorter and its strategy to information evaluation is a bit lighter.
Not bothered by the value however don’t just like the Fenix 7 design? The Suunto 9 Peak may swimsuit. It’s Suunto’s top-end watch and made, partially, for hikers. Nevertheless, its mapping assist is way extra restricted than Garmin’s. You create routes in your telephone and a primary hint line is distributed to the look ahead to reference. It’s fairly a distinct proposition to the complete map information accessible with a Fenix 7.
If it’s simply the sensible however dull-looking display that doesn’t do it for you, think about the Garmin Epix. This was introduced alongside the Fenix 7, and is much like the usual Fenix however has a colourful Sapphire-protected OLED display, however no photo voltaic charging.
Lastly, if you happen to’re actually on the lookout for the most cost effective mannequin accessible, go for one thing like an Amazfit GTR 3, which has in-built GPS and an honest battery life for its value.