The Fenix 7 Standard sets the standard for Multisport GPS Watches
The Garmin Fenix 7 is a top-of-the-line multisport GPS watch designed for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Built with a durable titanium case and sapphire glass lens, this watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters and can withstand even the toughest conditions. Its 1.4-inch display is easy to read in any lighting condition, and it is designed with customizable watch faces and widgets to suit your style and needs.
- GPS and GLONASS satellite reception for accurate tracking of your location and distance
- Advanced running dynamics including stride length, ground contact time, and vertical ratio
- Multiple sports modes including running, cycling, swimming, skiing, and more
- Performance metrics for training and recovery, including VO2 max, training load, and recovery time
- Contactless payments with Garmin Pay
- Music storage and playback for up to 2,000 songs
- Smart notifications for calls, texts, and other app alerts
Absolutely zero regrets with the F7x. Wanted to get a few activities completed and waited until I had to charge it before posting this review. Once I saw the Fenix 7x Sapphire was announced, immediately purchased on the same day. Waited only 2 days before selling the 6x Sapphire on an online auction site because the new one checked all the boxes and fit my wrist better.Started my Garmin wearable relationship with the Forerunner 405CX. That was touch enabled and challenging to use with sweat or rain. Stopped using it because it was clunky looking, very slow gps lock, and the battery life was abysmal. Went to the Fenix 3 HR in March 2016 which served me well. Then in September 2019, purchased on of the first 6x Sapphire which totally improved my life and fitness. So much that I shared my positive experience with friends and family that 5 of them purchased Fenix watches. One of them was an Apple Watch users tired of their battery always needing to be charged.Favorite new features: The biggest selling point for me of the F7x was the improved battery life. The F7x does not disappoint with battery… until I saw the Instinct 2 Solar specs. I pulled it out of the box on 1/26 at 80% charge and only charged it on 2/10 when it reached 20%. With it fully charged and all sensors on, it said 20-day battery life. Simply amazing. My F6x on a full charge said it would last 10 days but it worked out to be only 5. The big dip came when Sleep Score was introduced but it could have been the battery was on its way out. However, was bummed seeing with the Instinct 2 Solar, it is effectively unlimited battery using three hours of charging. More on the Instinct 2 below in “Asks” and “Shortcomings.” During my testing with the solar of the F7x, left it outside for an hour hoping it would be a 1 hour : 1% ratio of battery but that was not the case. Understood within Garmin documentation it says for the F7x not to rely on solar as primary charging.The other favorite feature is within Indoor Cycle, it can be set that the activity automatically broadcasts heart rate to my Peloton. Before it took quite a few clicks. I checked the F6x once it received the v20 update that included HIIT, but it still did not get the ability to set an activity to broadcast HR. To me, that should just be a software change.The other reason I purchased the F7x was for stamina score. It works well and I believe what it says. Tested it on a 5-mile treadmill stint that started at 79% and ended at Actual 7% / Potential 17%. Went out to dinner, had two beers, and then did a 4-mile treadmill run about 3 hours later. Wondered what it would read and it started at Actual 40% / Potential 40% and by the time I was done it was 0/0%. I was exhausted good to see that it measured the same.I have also noticed Sleep Score is calculated quicker. With the F6x, it would be a while since I have gotten out of bed that the score was calculated. With the F7x, if I awake but hanging out in bed, it knows the difference and calculates Sleep Score once I am awake.Tested the new heart rate sensor against my LifeFitness 9700 treadmill, Precor AMT 100, and a random LifeFitness commercial treadmill at the gym. All of them showed the same heart rate as the F7x. I have not tried my HRM-Pro with it yet.The GPS lock on the F7x is amazing. If I hit “Walk” inside the house and start the activity inside the house, it will pick up near instantly once I open the front door. Before with the F6x, it would take a few steps to lock out in the open.Out of the box, my F7x was on the 7.20 firmware. Earlier this week while sitting at my desk, I received a vibrate alert and the message onscreen said it was upgrading to new 7.24 firmware. It took only a few seconds and it rebooted the watch. This is a great improvement over the old models. With the F6x, it seemed to wait for charging cycles.Asks: Garmin must have read my F6x review on Amazon in 2019 because two of the issues I pointed out have been addressed. The 7x Sapphire is now offered in three colors including my requested black bezel. The second was the band that ships with the F7x is the exact replacement that is available without the notches. Combined with improved geometry of the F7x, the band fit exactly the same on the 7th hole with six holes showing. My ask of Garmin this time around is to have a power profile named “Instinct 2 Solar Smartwatch” that effectively turns the F7x into an Instinct 2 Solar with 28-day battery life / unlimited with solar even to the point of turning off color screen.Shortcomings of the F7x: Price is the first with it costing considerably more than the F6x. Part of that is it includes touchscreen and a feature I did not want or like on the 405CX. If I wanted touchscreen, would have just purchased an Apple Watch. Turned off touchscreen after pressing the face and seeing it turned on the watch light. The second price aspect is comparing the Instinct 2 versus the F7x since they are very similar other than looks. Do I regret buying the F7x at launch only to see the Instinct 2 Solar came out two weeks later at half price? No. It actually is going to make me use the features that the F7x has and the Instinct 2 Solar doesn’t. The only gap is battery / solar and I mentioned that in the above asks which could be addressed in a power profile.Odd things: My F7x is from the first batch. Sometimes the buttons are a bit squishy and it feels like there are sharp edges where the band attaches. Haven’t cut myself but on the F6x, that area is beveled and not sharp.
This watch is outstanding!I killed a deer about 2 miles from my truck 10 minutes before last light. I reached into my pack and found that my main flashlight was gone. (Wife, kids lost tablet under seat) No problem. Reach into the side pocket for my trusty Olight… Gone. (Daughter, who knows.)So 2 miles from the truck I double click the ole Fenix and I tracked this deer about 65 yards. Did what hunters do after that. Which was interesting. Then drug it out with the Fenix lighting the way. I have checked readings on this watch with the GPS I’ve carried for 4 years more than 50 times. These readings need to be precise. If you’ve ever been in the woods far enough that you can’t see or hear civilization you know that these two trees look exactly like those last 4000 trees you just passed. If these readings aren’t precise I lose a camera that cost money. Or a deer that feeds us for months. I have searched for a camera for 45 minutes in the middle of August in a swamp. The mosquitos sucked more life out of me in 45 minutes than my ex-wife did in three years.The GPS I was using at the time was off by about 30 feet. That can be an enternity in some woods. Usually that camera is gone. Precise!!! I placed a camera in a public land spot a little over 2 miles off vehicle traffic. I clicked the location hot key. Saved it and walked away. Two weeks later I took that walk again. This watch took me directly to it. Amazing reliability. THE GPS IS TREMENDOUS!! I have had this watch bring me with in 5 to 10 feet every time. Unbelievable.A couple weeks after buying this watch I sprained my back. 4 weeks of hell. But 4 weeks of doctor visits. Everytime the nurses check my vital I compared them with this beheamouth of a watch. (It did take about 3 weeks to get used the the size and weight of the Fenix.) Never once in 10 visits not including an ER visit did this watch fail to produce. Every vital was with in 1% of the Office’s readings. The medical stats are why I was originally in the market for a watch. I’m 47 about to be 48 and not as active as I was in my 30’s. So keeping an eye on some of my vitals sounded alluring.I run a mechanic shop for a living. Unfortunatley watches don’t really last in my line of work. Take it off at work you say. Another reason I bought the Fenix is to get notifications quickly. If I’m under a car and my phone goes off I have to stop, reach into my pocket and pull out my phone. I have to see if this is something that needs to be addressed now or can it wait. The interuption is so irritating. Not any more. A twist of the wrist and there it is in half a second. Back to work.But also the durability.Watches just don’t last in my line of work. Whether it’s clanging off a lift as you squeeze through. Or forgetting you have it on as you shove you’re hand behind the radiator to check the lower hose and smack it against a clamp. I’ve been through more than a few watches. Now I have, of course, been more careful with the Fenix but so far it has a been great.(Oh it will also connect to the Garmin bow scope. You take a shot and it will mark a waypoint where the arrow was supposed to strike. That’s freaking cool.)Really the only thing I don’t like about this watch is the price. I don’t buy $1000 watches. I can easily see this being a ten year watch. That’s a long time. And well worth the price. And like I said it took me a minute to get used to the size and weight. Three or four weeks for sure. Now its nothing.Love the watch. A little lite in the back pocket but definitely don’t feel cheated either.
John Fowler Jr. –
Got this to replace an apple watch. Outstanding features, easy to use, beautiful well made watch. Awesome customer support. Haven’t had it long enough to see if battery life is as long as predicted. So many features I doubt I will use them all but has everything I want: exercise metrics, sunrise/sunset, HRV, weather, ABC, in addition to maps, breadcrumb options, VO2, etc. You can change the face metrics colors etc. It’s expensive but so far appears to be a winner in everything I’ve done. Website give assistance/ chat responses are quick and to the point. I guess my only complaint is it doesn’t come with a plug for the charging cable (minor issue). If you think about this- BUY IT. You wont be disappointed
Tim L –
The Fenix 7 is packed with features, and you can really make use of them to get better insight into your fitness & health. The watch is quite large, and that was a kind of an issue for me – but not a deal breaker. However, I just realized after owning this that I just don’t really care for the smart watch tech, and Amazon was very gracious to allow me to return it.They also required a passcode for delivery, which I thought was great because of the value of the item.
Kevin Eakins –
I am very pleased with my new watch thus far. I had a Garmin Fenix 5X previously but it wore out after about 4 and a half years. I chose to get another Fenix since I was hoping the Fenix 7X would operate the same. It’s a bit different but I’m getting familiar with it. It’s definitely a good idea to look at the manual. The touch screen feature is nice. I’m also very pleased with the solar charging feature. I will now be able to go much longer without plugging this watch in. While far from cheap I consider this money well spent.
John Fowler Jr. –
Lots of features. Great for working out; biking, running,treadmill.