If you’re a runner, cyclist, swimmer, or all three, is the Garmin Fenix 7 the best smartwatch for you right now? Let’s find out…
If you run or cycle, even casually, you’ll know all about Garmin. It makes some of the best fitness tracking watches on the planet. They’re pretty pricey but if you’re a data addict and you demand the best possible metrics from your running sessions, you need a watch that can do that – and this is where Garmin comes in.
Garmin makes a bunch of watches – we highlighted the best Garmin watches for runners previously – but its current flagship device is the Garmin Fenix 7, a chunky, durable, ultra-smart fitness tracker that looks the business and delivers market-leading battery performance. You will pay a hefty price tag for access to all these features, though – the Garmin Fenix 7 makes the Apple Watch look cheap.
But if you’re a serious runner and/or athlete and you want reliable, accurate metrics from your workouts, as well as access to free training programs, and a raft of other innovative features, you can’t really go wrong with a Garmin watch – although you might be better off with one of its cheaper models. Me? I like the Forerunner 745; it’s what I’ve been using for the past 12 months and it is great.
Garmin says the Fenix 7 is its most accurate watch to date. But is the Garmin Fenix 7 worth buying? Let’s take a look at some Garmin Fenix 7 reviews to find out…
Garmin Fenix 7 Reviews
Garmin Fenix 7 Specs
|Specifications||Rating and/or Type|
|LENS MATERIAL||Corning® Gorilla® Glass|
|BEZEL MATERIAL||Stainless steel|
|CASE MATERIAL||Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover|
|QUICKFIT™ WATCH BAND COMPATIBLE||Included (22 mm)|
|PHYSICAL SIZE||47 x 47 x 14.5 mm|
Fits wrists with the following circumference:
Silicone band: 125-208 mm
Leather band: 132-210 mm
Fabric band: 132-210 mm
Metal band: 132-215 mm
|DISPLAY SIZE||1.30″ (33.02 mm) diameter|
|DISPLAY RESOLUTION||260 x 260 pixels|
|DISPLAY TYPE||Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)|
|WEIGHT||79 g (case only: 56 g)|
|BATTERY LIFE||Smartwatch: Up to 18 days|
Battery saver watch mode: Up to 57 days
GPS Only: Up to 57 hours
All Satellite Systems: Up to 40 hours
All Satellite Systems and Music: Up to 10 hours
Max Battery GPS: Up to 136 hours
Expedition GPS: Up to 40 days
|WATER RATING||10 ATM|
Garmin Fenix 7 Features – What’s New?
The main thing about the Fenix 7, meaning the reason you’d buy this watch over the cheaper Fenix 6, is that it is significantly better than its predecessor in nearly every way. The Fenix 6 was a great watch, so the fact that Garmin managed to pull this off is no mean feat. But it has and the proof is very much in the pudding. The Fenix 6 is now the class leader with respect to overall performance and features.
Here’s a breakdown of ALL the new Garmin Fenix 7 features (compared to the outgoing Fenix 6):
- The Garmin Fenix 7 is the first Fenix series watch to feature a touchscreen. This is perhaps one of its most useful features; messing around with buttons mid-way through a long run when you’re drenched in sweat and traversing bump terrain is not ideal. Having a touchscreen makes interacting with your Fenix 7 while on the move a lot easier.
- Garmin has improved the battery life on the Fenix 7 too, and its solar-charging capabilities and performance (if you go with the Solar model). You will now easily get a week’s worth of workouts under your belt before the Fenix 7 needs a recharge. That brings it well back inline with some of the best fitness trackers on the market. But what makes it so special here is that Garmin has improved its performance WHILE adding in a boat-load of new features.
- If you opt for one of Garmin’s Solar Fenix 7 models, either the Fenix 7 Solar or the Fenix 7X, you’re looking at 73 hours and 122 hours of battery life respectively. Those numbers dwarf what you get on cheaper models in the range like the Fenix 7S and the Fenix 6 and Fenix 6X. If you want outstanding battery life, go with the Fenix 7 Solar.
- The Fenix 7 gets a host of new tracking modes as standard. These are as follows: Adventure Race, Wind Surfing, Kite Surfing, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Snowshoe, eBike, eMTB, Road, Mountain, Indoor, Gravel, Cyclocross, Commute, and Tour.
- The Fenix 7 also comes with two new features called Stamina and Up Ahead. Stamina tracks and gives you real-time feedback on your performance over longer runs, so you can effectively track your exertion as you’re moving. Up Ahead is designed for ultra runners and shows upcoming course points, so you don’t get lost while out on the trail.
- Free Maps – yes, you read that correctly: all of the maps on the Fenix 7 are now free. On the Fenix 6, you had to buy additional maps at a cost of $20-$30, so this is a welcome addition to the Fenix 7 series of watches. If you like to go on long runs in places you aren’t familiar with, having a map on your wrist is a literal lifesaver.
- The Fenix 7 has the most accurate heart-rate sensor ever fitted to a Garmin watch. If you’re big on monitoring your heart before, during, and after a run, the Fenix 7 is just about the best in the business right now. Even the GPS has been improved; the Fenix 7, thanks to its multi-band GPS, now connects faster than ever and is significantly more accurate than what you got on the Fenix 6.
Is The Garmin Fenix 7 Worth It?
For serious runners, cyclists, and swimmers, the Garmin Fenix 7 is perhaps the best sports tracking watch on the market right now. It has outstanding GPS connectivity, market-leading accuracy, a much improved heart-rate sensor, reams of different tracking modes, and best-in-class battery life. For this reason, the Fenix 7 is well worth the asking price.
Sure, the Fenix 7 is expensive. If it is too expensive, maybe look at some cheaper – less professional – Garmin watches. I really love the Forerunner 745 – it’s like half the price of the Fenix 7 too. For those that need the best and most accurate data, however, the Fenix 7 is well worth the asking price. If you’re a serious competitor that likes data and metrics, the Fenix 7 is all the watch you’re ever going to need.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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