Garmin Fenix 7 Review (EVERYTHING You Need To Know!) - Exquisite Timepieces
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Garmin Fenix 7 review

Garmin Fenix 7 Review (EVERYTHING You Need To Know!)

Are you an outdoorsy and active person? Do you like to run, bike, hike and swim? Are you someone who’s concerned with maintaining and improving health? Are you an athlete, or do you want people to think you’re more athletic?

Heck, even if you’ve never done yoga but wear the pants to walk around Target and eat popcorn while shopping, you might benefit from a smartwatch. Smartwatches have increased in popularity in recent years, and they’re not just for nerds anymore. Long gone are the days when the digital watch’s biggest feature was a wrist calculator. 

But which smartwatch is the right one for you? There are many options out there, including headliners like Apple and Samsung. However, kidding aside, if you really are serious about fitness and tracking your runs, bikes, climbs, and swims (and making sure you find your way home from your off-the-beaten-path adventures), you might consider a Garmin and especially the Fenix 7.

If you’re unfamiliar with Garmin watches, you might know the name as a satellite GSP provider from back in the day, an important feature they continue with their watch lines. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of the Garmin Fenix 7. We’ll examine the various versions of this watch that are available to compare and contrast.

We’ll also consider the standout features, performance, smartphone/app connection, and real-world applications of this smartwatch, exploring all it has to offer. Wearable tech is where it’s at these days, and Garmin is a leader in that space. Is the Garmin Fenix 7 right for you? Let’s find out!

History of Garmin Watches

Founded by a group of engineers, Garmin’s humble beginnings were in Lenexa, Kansas. They would grow to become a leader in handheld GPS navigation, initially for pilots, boaters, and outdoor enthusiasts, eventually moving into automobile navigation and wearables for the broader public.

Today Garmin is a multi-billion dollar public company headquartered in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. In the early 2000s, Garmin introduced its first wearable product, the Forerunner 101, which became the first fitness-centric GPS watch.

The product grew in popularity among athletes and runners for its accuracy and reliability in tracking, timing, and pacing workouts. This was Garmin’s first step in bringing their GPS expertise to a wearable product, and it would open the doors to more product lines. 

Garmin has managed to stand out among competitors like Fitbit, Apple, and Activity Tracker in the wearable fitness space. Of course, the Garmin Fenix 7 is their flagship smartwatch, but there are other notable collections to consider from them, including:

Forerunner Series: This aforementioned series is what started it all for Garmin in watches. They have specific models made especially for runners and those athletes needing to track workouts and train. They’re far less expensive, in contrast to the Fenix 7 and some of Garmin’s other collections, like the MARQ collection.

But if you don’t need all the features of the Fenix and you’re primarily a runner, this is an excellent model to consider. 

Venu Series: These are some of the most stylish smartwatches Garmin offers, with their eye-catching AMOLED displays. Perfect for those looking for health and lifestyle features from their watch without sacrificing their fashion sense. The AMOLED displays a big, bright, and high resolution. Even higher resolution than the Fenix. They even have a similar style to the Apple watch in the shape of the case and the digital “analog” display of watch hands and markers, which one would find on more traditional timepieces. 

Approach Series: These are targeted at golfers who want to improve their game with shot tracking features, golf course mapping, and analysis. These also include the AMOLED displays, which are great for displaying golf course maps and helping golfers do things like measure distances, keep track of strokes, and even provide animations and analysis of one’s game to help one improve. Of course, like the Forerunner, this smartwatch is very specific in what it offers and doesn’t have the versatility of the Fenix. 

Instinct Series: This collection is primarily focused on meeting the needs and providing valuable tools to runners and athletes. The smartwatch offers sports apps for everything from American football to soccer. It also includes some of the primary health-tracking tools to keep one in shape and aware of potential heart issues. It further provides a solar-powered option to keep the watch changed indefinitely. It doesn’t offer the full multisport options of the Fenix, nor does it have the versatility in style and color combinations, but it offers all the basics at a lower price point than the Fenix. 

Garmin has come a long way since Kansas, literally and figuratively, and they’re one to seriously consider in the wearable smartwatch game.

Garmin Fenix 7: In-Depth Review

The Fenix 7 is Garmin’s flagship smartwatch, and its sheer volume of features alone is impressive. If you’re an active person, you’re going to find this smartwatch to be incredibly useful whether you’re a runner, golfer, traveler, or you’re health conscious, as there are useful tools for all the major outdoorsy sports, health tracking, and other practical life uses.  


The smartwatch offers a sleek design with a steel bezel, a black resin case, and a black strap. There are other bands that can be purchased and easily switched out, including bands of leather, fabric, and metal. The bright, beautiful color screen display comes in different size options to display turn-by-turn directions on the road and off the road. The watch is perfect for outdoor use and everyday wear.

Build Quality & Durability

This timepiece is made to withstand practically everything nature and an active lifestyle can throw at it. The bezel is made of stainless steel and the case of a fiber-reinforced polymer (resin) with a steel caseback. The strap is made of silicone with a steel tang buckle. The watch is water resistant to 100 meters. The case measures 47mm x 47mm x 14.5mm. 


The color display is 1.3”, which offers enough screen real estate to appreciate maps and practical intel, allowing for far more than a simple time-telling function. This is a touchscreen that is pretty responsive even when wet or with gloves on. However, the touchscreen can also be disabled for times when you don’t want to accidentally activate something, like when one is sleeping, for example. 

Smartwatch Features

The timepiece includes the following features: time/date, GSP time sync, automatic daylight, alarm, timer, stopwatch, sunrise/sunset times, heart rate, abnormal heart rate alerts, respiration rate, pulse/ox, fitness age, body energy monitor, stress monitor, relaxation breathing timer, breathwork, sleep score and insights, hydration, women’s/men’s health, jet lag adviser, GPS, compass, thermometer and accelerometer, weather, music among many others. 

It’s also a smartwatch, which means it connects with your smartphone and app. The time can be adjusted from the smartphone app, as well. 

Sports & Activity Features

This watch has the ability to track miles run or biked, floors climbed, calories burned, and distance traveled. It also offers training features like pacing, cardio/strength/yoga/pilates workouts. There are even muscle maps displayed and on-screen workout animations. Basically, this watch can act like a digital trainer. 

Health & Wellness Tracking

This smartwatch comes with sensors that can measure heart rate, including resting and your heart’s activity, as one goes about their daily routine. It will also measure blood oxygen levels. If you wear the watch overnight, it can track your sleep patterns. The Fenix will not only track these things and store the data in the app but will provide feedback and analysis to help one improve their health scores.

GPS & Navigation

Of course, Garmin has always been known for its excellent GPS navigation, but now one has the power of that on their wrist. The Fenix can help one on the road when traveling by car and not only give turn-by-turn directions but alert one about food and coffee spots, rest stops, gas stations, etc. These GPS functions are not only useful when traveling by car but also walking in the city or off the beaten path. Further, one can even download golf course maps and other useful maps and intel for an active life, like hiking and mountain climbing maps. 

Battery Life

This smartwatch only needs to be charged every 18 days, with normal daily use. In battery save mode or GPS-only mode, it can last for up to 57 days. When operating all satellite functions while listening to music, it can last for up to 10 hours—plenty of time for all your outdoor adventures and exercise routines. 

The Garmin Fenix 7 is designed to help one get better at just about everything in their daily and weekly routine. Whether one is trying to improve their health, fitness training, listen to music, get text messages on the go, or explore our world with confidence that you can always find your way back on the paved roads and the unpaved ones. 

Garmin Fenix 7 Models Comparison

The Garmin Fenix 7 comes in different sizes, including 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm. There are various versions of the Fenix 7 besides the Standard. They include: Solar, Sapphire Solar, Pro/Solar, and Pro/Sapphire Solar. 


The Standard is priced at $649.99 for the 42mm and 47mm and $899.99 for the 51mm. The Standard only comes in one size, 47mm, and one configuration, a silver bezel and a graphite band color. It also comes with 16GB of storage. There are also the 7S and 7X editions of the Standard that come in different sizes and color combinations. 

The Solar is priced at $699.99 for the 42mm and 47mm and $799.99 for the 51mm. To clarify, the basic Solar only comes in one size, 47mm, and one configuration, which is a slate gray bezel and a black band. There are others, like the 7S Solar Edition, that is 42mm and comes with a rose gold bezel and light sand band, among other configurations. 

The Sapphire Solar is $100 more in each size category (42/47mm and 51mm). The Sapphire Solar comes in 42mm and two configurations, either a carbon gray titanium bezel with a black bland or a dark bronze titanium bezel and shale gray band. Other editions with 47mm and 51mm cases have different titanium bezels and strap color options. 

The Pro Solar and Sapphire Solar are the same price. The difference is that the Pro Solar has a slate gray stainless steel bezel and a black band, in contrast to the Sapphire Solar, which has a titanium bezel. The other difference is in screen protection, the Pro Solar is glass, and the Sapphire Solar is, as the name implies, sapphire crystal. Both come in at $899.99.

The Pro Sapphire Solar starts at $899.99 and goes up to $999.99. The Pro Sapphire Solar, at the lowest price, offers a 42mm case with a titanium bezel in carbon gray with a black band or a soft gold bezel with a light sand band. 

At $899.99, it can be had with a 47mm case with a carbon gray titanium bezel and black band or a titanium fog gray bezel and ember orange band. At $999.99, it can be had in a 51mm case with either a carbon gray titanium bezel and black band or a fog gray bezel with the ember orange band. Of course, all the versions of the Pro Sapphire Solar include solar, titanium bezels, and sapphire screens.  


As the names imply, Solar is a solar-powered watch. This is convenient if one wants the freedom to be untethered. 

The Sapphire model has a sapphire crystal protecting the dial, which is superior to the Standard’s gorilla glass, against scratches and cracks. 

The Pro Solar will last 37 days on a single charge. The watch offers a built-in flashlight. Of course, the Pro/Sapphire Solar offers that plus sapphire crystal. 


The Standard, as previously explored, offers a steel bezel, black resin case, and a black silicone strap with a tang buckle or it can be had with a white silicone strap. 

The Solar comes in all black with red accents or a rose gold-tone bezel with a light gray silicone strap. 

Sapphire Solar can be had with a titanium bezel in all black or brown with a medium gray strap. 

Pro Solar looks like the Standard. 

Pro Sapphire Solar comes in all black (or what Garmin calls carbon gray) with a steel or titanium bezel or a silver-colored bezel with a light gray strap. 

Should You Buy A Garmin Fenix 7? 

Some people favor an analog or hybrid timepiece. If that’s you, Garmin has some hybrids to offer. But, if you’re looking for traditional, analog watches with automatic movements, Garmin can’t help you, and the Fenix 7, specifically, won’t be the right watch for you. However, if you’re looking for a smartwatch and are active, outdoorsy, health-conscious, and reasonably tech-savvy, the Fenix 7 should be on your list of smartwatches to consider. 

There are other great smartwatches out there. If you’re committed to the Apple or Android ecosystems, you might want to find a smartwatch designed to work with all those products. There are also brands like Fitbit, Suunto, and Polar, but the Garmin 7 is pretty unique.

Garmin Fenix 7 Alternatives

The Garmin Fenix 7 is a great all-rounder, but there are a few competitors to consider. Coros Vertix 2 is a solid choice with double the standard storage of the Fenix 7 for the same price. However, it does require a larger wrist. 

The Polar Vantage V2 is Polar’s top smartwatch. The Vantage V2 offers fewer features than the Fenix 7 but still offers many of the basic must-have features of the Garmin for half the price. Some feel the Fenix 7 is overkill, and a more budget-friendly option might be a great alternative. 

The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is another budget-friendlier option if one wants to stay with the Garmin brand and can sacrifice some of the bells and whistles.

However, staying with Garmin, let’s dive deeper into some of their alternative models. 

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

The Vivoactive 4 comes in two case sizes, 40mm and 45mm. It also comes in four color options: A steel bezel with a medium gray band with a tang buckle. Note this is the only one that comes in 45mm, and that’s the only size option for this color; all the other colors are 40mm. The second color is a rose gold tone steel bezel with a pink strap.

The third is a rose gold tone steel bezel with a white strap. The fourth is a steel bezel with a light gray strap. This model has a stainless steel bezel and a polymer (resin) case. The face of the watch is protected by gorilla glass and is water resistant up to 50 meters.

This model weighs 50.5 grams. The straps are all made of silicone, and all of them offer a quick-release system that calls the bands to be easily switched out for other colors and styles. In smartwatch mode, the battery will last for about 8 days. It offers 18 hours of GPS usable and about 6 hours of GPS and music usage. 

While this model doesn’t offer quite the exhaustive list of features the Fenix 7 does, it has all the basics and then some. Regardless of size and color selection, this model is priced at $329.99

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2)

The Epix Pro is another top-of-the-line multisport watch from Garmin. If you want the Pro version, it only comes in one size, 47mm. Some of the alternative Epix versions come in 42mm and 51mm. It comes in slate gray with a black band. The bezel material is stainless steel, and the case is a resin. 

It’s protected by gorilla glass and is water resistant to 100 meters. It has a 1.3” diameter color screen and 32GB of storage. Like the Fenix, it has a touchscreen, which can be disabled. It also comes with many of the same features offered by the Fenix 7, but where it really stands out from the Fenix 7 is with its AMOLED screen, which is brighter and higher resolution. 

The battery life can last 16 days (21 in power save mode). The Epix is fairly similar in specs to the Fenix in all other battery categories. Overall, it’s a nice-looking, sleek watch, but it doesn’t offer the various style and color combinations that the Fenix does. 

Price: $899.99

Garmin MARQ Athlete (Gen 2)

Garmin MARQ Athlete (Gen 2)

Billed as a modern tool watch, the MARQ Athlete Gen 2 is impressive. In a head-to-head comparison with the Fenix 7, both models offer many of the same features. The MARQ Athlete is more of a “hybrid” smartwatch.

It offers an analog-looking display option (though it’s an entirely digital dial) with watch hands, indices, and registers, which might make it a bit more versatile in that it can be dressed up. The smartwatch is all black, from the bezel and case to the silicone strap. The watch bezel and case are made of grade 5 titanium.

That’s one of the biggest areas where the MARQ Athlete is superior to the Fenix. Grade 5 titanium is light but quite rugged and designed to take a beating. Therefore, this timepiece is likely to last considerably longer than the Fenix. It’s also fitted with an AMOLED screen, like the Epix Pro, for a higher resolution. 

The display is 1.2mm in diameter and is protected by a domed sapphire crystal. The timepiece is water-resistant to 100 meters and comes with 32GB of storage. The battery life is similar to the Fenix but slightly stronger. 

The Fenix and the MARQ Athlete offer many of the same features. The real differences are in the quality of the build materials, the screen, and the price. The Fenix also has more ways to customize it, with different case and screen sizes, colors, solar options, etc. The Fenix simply has more ways to customize and therefore raise or lower the price, in contrast to the MARQ Athlete. 

Price: $1,900.00

Closing Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a smartwatch, there are a lot of options out there. In fact, a lot are less expensive than the Garmin Fenix 7. The titanium Apple watch Ultra (Apple’s top-of-the-line) is roughly as expensive as the Standard Fenix and about half the price of a Garmin model like the MARQ Athlete. 

There are other smartwatches that can count steps and miles and even check one’s heart rate. Some think the Fenix smartwatch is overkill in all its features, and for most people, that might be true. 

Where Garmin really stands out and specifically the Fenix 7, is for those who need a true multisport smartwatch with off-the-beaten-path GPS guidance and tracking. If you’re someone that doesn’t just run but also cycle, hike, and swim, plus you like to golf on the weekends, then it’s hard to beat the Fenix 7. 

About Exquisite Timepieces

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