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Garmin Fenix 7 Review (2022): Keeping Up With Flagship Adventure Watches

The arrival of the Fenix 7 marks the latest update to Garmin’s most advanced multi-sport adventure watch. Like previous Fenix lineups, the Garmin Fenix 7 includes several sizes and editions. Although there are enough differences among the watch models, they unanimously boast considerable upgrades over the Fenix 6 lineup in terms of hardware and software. However, if you’re not big on checking out different editions, there’s no harm in sticking with the standard version. To know more, check our review below.

Garmin Watch Fenix 7 Key Features

ModelGarmin Fenix 7
 
PriceCheck Price at Amazon
Size47mm
LensCorning Gorilla Glass DX
BezelStainless steel
CaseFiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover
StrapSilicone
Display1.3″ touchscreen color display, 260 x 260p resolution
SensorsGPS, GLONASS, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, pulse ox monitor
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT+
Water RatingUp to 10 ATM
Always-On DisplayYes
SpO2 MonitoringYes
Heart Rate MonitoringYes
Sleep MonitoringYes
Activity TrackingYes, with multiple profiles
Garmin PayYes
Battery LifeUp to 18 days (smartwatch mode); up to 57 days (battery saver watch mode)

Design

The Garmin Fenix 7’s biggest design upgrade is the introduction of a touch screen display.

Garmin Fenix 7 Design Review
Thick bezels and durable screws lend the latest Garmin watch a rugged yet sleek aesthetic.

Garmin’s Fenix lineup is best known for its sleek yet rugged design. It’s no different with the latest iteration. On the Fenix 7, you’re getting a stainless steel bezel to match the fiber-polymer reinforced case. The watch’s rear cover is also crafted from metal, while its lens is Corning Gorilla Glass DX. If you want a tough wearable, this is it.

The Fenix 7 is big and brawny at 47mm. For comparison, the larger Apple Watch Series 7 model comes in at 45mm. However, Garmin’s adventure watch sports a more traditional round case with physical buttons on both sides. Like its predecessors, the Fenix 7 also comes with swappable bands. However, you can only get it in one colorway, Silver with Graphite Band.

The biggest upgrade of the Fenix 7 from previous Fenix devices is its touchscreen. Garmin has always relied on physical buttons for navigating the Fenix. It comes in handy in situations and environments that are not conducive for touch navigation, like sweaty hands or winter weather.

But adding a touch display means the Fenix 7 is less clunky where touch navigation works best, like moving across maps or swiping between apps. Here, you’re getting the best of both worlds.

Garmin Fenix 7 Models

Garmin’s Fenix 7 comes in different sizes and editions.

From left to right: the Fenix 7S, 7, 7 Solar, 7 Sapphire Solar, and 7X.

Like the Garmin Fenix 6, the Garmin Fenix 7 comes in different sizes and editions, too. They have plenty in common in terms of smart features and activity tracking but mostly differ in their design and use of material.

The Garmin Fenix 7 Solar and Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar editions, for instance, use different lenses. As their names imply, the 7 Solar and Sapphire Solar can convert sunlight into battery power using their lenses. However, instead of using Power Glass like the Solar, the Sapphire Solar comes with a Power Sapphire lens that’s more scratch-resistant. Both models come in 47mm sizes.

For those who like big watches, the Garmin Fenix 7X is top of the lineup. It comes in a massive 51mm case and is available only in Solar or Sapphire Solar options. The 7X differentiates itself from the rest thanks to its built-in LED flashlight and support for multi-frequency positioning. It also boasts the largest display and the longest battery life among the Fenix 7 watches.

If you’re not a fan of big wearables, then the Garmin Fenix 7S might appeal to you. It’s the smallest model in the series at 42mm. Like the standard edition Fenix 7, the Fenix 7S is also available in Solar and Sapphire models.

Fitness and Activity Tracking

The Garmin Fenix 7 includes new training tools and outdoor profiles to track.

Garmin Fenix 7 Activity Tracking
Here’s a look at the training tools and metrics interface of the Garmin Fenix 7.

Like most Garmin devices, the Fenix 7 tracks calories burned, distance traveled, and steps. You can also get data on floors climbed and intensity minutes. As expected, the biometric and fitness metrics on the Fenix 7 remain strong. Some of the insights you get include VO2 Max, training load, training effect, and respiration rate during exercises.

However, the Fenix 7 also gets upgraded training tools, including a Real-Time Stamina feature. This gives users a live picture of how much energy they exert in an activity. While it makes the Fenix 7 even more tailored for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, Garmin has made the interface simple to use and easy to understand.

When it comes to outdoor recreation, the Fenix 7 brings a couple of new activities, too. The multi-sport watch now supports Hunting, Kiteboard, Windsurf, and Snow Shoe. For gymgoers, the new Fenix introduces HIIT workouts. On the other hand, the golfing features include touch-targeting from the Fenix 6 Pro Solar edition. Aside from these updates, the rest of the sports profiles largely remain the same.

Health and Safety Features

Garmin takes its cue from other smartwatches and introduced a pulse ox monitor on the Fenix 7.

Garmin Fenix 7 Health and Safety Features
Hydration reminders and blood oxygen monitoring on the Fenix 7.

Garmin markets the Fenix as an adventure watch. However, that doesn’t stop the company from adding health features on the Fenix 7. The most noteworthy change is the addition of a Pulse Ox monitor — a staple feature on flagship smartwatches. Garmin also equips the Fenix 7 with Health Snapshot, a feature that logs a user’s health stats in just two minutes.

The rest of the health tools are holdovers from previous Fenix devices. For instance, you get wrist-based heart rate monitoring that provides high and low heart rate alerts. There’s also 24×7 respiration rate tracking, sleep tracking, women’s health, and stress management features. Garmin’s Fitness Age and Body Battery Monitor tools are available on the Fenix 7 as well.

In terms of safety, you’re still getting the same tracking capabilities. The Garmin Fenix 7 comes with LiveTrack, Group LiveTrack, and Incident Detection, among others.

Smart Features and Battery Life

Garmin’s Fenix 7 comes with a few new smart features as well as improved battery life.

Garmin Fenix 7 Battery Life and Smart Features
Save battery using the different power modes on the Fenix 7 (left); stream music courtesy of the Spotify app (right).

Despite its focus on sports and fitness, the Garmin Fenix 7 is just as much a smartwatch. Like many of today’s wearables, you get smart notifications. You can also text responses or reject phone calls via text when it’s connected to your smartphone. However, you can’t take or make calls directly as the watch doesn’t come with a built-in microphone.

Unlike its predecessors, the Fenix 7 has an on-device Connect IQ store. To personalize it, you can download watch faces, widgets, and apps from Connect IQ. With 32 GB of storage, the watch can also store up to 2,000 songs. But if you want to save on storage, you can still stream from the dedicated Spotify app. There’s also Garmin Pay for contactless and convenient payments.

In terms of battery life, Garmin has augmented the capacity of the Fenix 7 standard edition. The Pro, Sapphire, and Pro Solar models of the Fenix 6 were rated to last 14 days on smartwatch mode. On the Fenix 7 standard edition, you’re getting up to 18 days of battery life. Its battery saver watch mode can effectively last 57 days, too, compared to the 48 days on previous Fenix models.

Verdict

The Garmin Fenix 7 is the best Fenix watch you can get — and one of the strongest fitness and sports-focused wearables in the market.

With its rugged design and powerful activity-tracking features, the Garmin Fenix 7 is a worthy follow-up to the successful Fenix 6 series. It also comes in different sizes and models, including the Fenix 7S, Fenix 7 Solar, Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, and the massive Fenix 7X. However, among the upgrades on the Fenix 7, there are three that stand out the most.

The touch screen display is arguably the biggest draw of the new wearable. Combined with the Fenix’s penchant for physical buttons, navigating the watch is so much easier. Next, the introduction of Real-Time Stamina makes the Fenix 7 an even more capable fitness and workout companion. Garmin has also made the insight simpler to use and easier to understand.

Lastly, the addition of a Pulse Ox monitor helps the Fenix 7 keep pace with other flagship wearables, whether they’re full-feature smartwatches or fitness-focused devices.

FAQs

📌 When is the Garmin Fenix 7 release date?

The Garmin Fenix 7 was launched on January 18, 2022.

📌 How long is the battery life of the Garmin Fenix 7 with GPS turned on?

Garmin shares that with GPS turned on the Fenix 7 can still last up to 57 hours.

📌 What smartphones are compatible with the Fenix 7?

The Garmin Fenix 7 is compatible with both Android phones and Apple iPhones.

📌 Is the Garmin Fenix 7 compatible with QuickFit bands?

Yes, the Garmin Fenix 7 is compatible with QuickFit bands. In fact, a silicone band is included out of the box.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.