Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar review: The ultimate adventure sports watch – Mark Kavanagh

Garmin’s flagship Fenix 7 track-everything journey smartwatch has higher GPS, longer battery life, a brand new touchscreen and improved health tech in comparison with its already unimaginable predecessor.

The Fenix 7 is available in a variety of sizes and supplies (a few of which are available in solar-charging choices), all of which have top-of-the-range navigation with free maps obtainable for each area on the planet.

The 7S is the smallest system with a 42mm case and 1.2in display, though it’s nonetheless clearly a sports activities watch.

The Fenix 7 has a 47mm case and 1.3in display and the supersized 7X has a 51mm case and 1.4in display.

Read extra: Garmin Instinct Solar evaluate: Mid-price health watch

I’ve been testing the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar version for quite a lot of months. It has 32GB of onboard storage so you may retailer as much as 2,000 songs if you want.

However, there’s offline music streaming for subscribers of Deezer, Amazon Music and Spotify.

Fenix 7
The Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar field

Sapphire fashions come preloaded with TopoActive Maps for Europe and all fashions now embrace Skiing and Golf Course Maps preloaded too.

There is a useful new Map Manager characteristic for managing and downloading maps out of your wrist.

The Sapphire Solar mannequin additionally comes with Sapphire glass and a titanium bezel, together with the photo voltaic charging items.

Battery life

Battery life is unimaginable. Garmin guarantees as much as 57 hours of GPS use and as much as 18 days of smartwatch use on the usual Fenix 7.

The Solar editions can last as long as 73 hours of GPS use and 22 days of smartwatch use.

Solar charging will get a lift over the Fenix 6 collection as a result of the brand new watch has two bigger photo voltaic panels.


The new touchscreen is a superb addition. It means you may swiftly swipe via menus and screens and it makes an immensely constructive distinction to how you utilize mapping.

For every day smartwatch capabilities it additionally improves ease of use. You can faucet and maintain on widgets on the watch face to leap straight to issues corresponding to a graph of your coronary heart price, battery energy settings or notifications.

Fenix 7
Fenix 7 fashions have a touchscreen which is an enormous increase in on a regular basis use

The agency’s glorious five-button management system stays and every little thing might be managed utilizing both methodology or each on the identical time. It is price noting you will need to use the buttons for beginning and stopping an exercise or urgent the lap button.

By default, the Fenix 7 disables contact if you begin most actions, to forestall unintended pauses of runs or related. You may also disable contact throughout your sleeping time intervals utilizing the Sleep Mode supervisor interface.

Fenix 7 is evident and simple to learn in direct daylight, with a backlight for lowlight circumstances. But it’s not as brilliant or crisp because the OLED display on Garmin’s Epix Gen 2 – which I might be reviewing quickly.

Fitness and well being monitoring

Fitness monitoring is second to none, with greater than 60 actions and sports activities preloaded and extra obtainable from Garmin’s Connect IQ retailer. No different watch packs as many sport parts in and does it so nicely.

New options embrace a real-time stamina measurement for working and bike-based actions, which is a stay estimate of how a lot power your physique has left as a share, primarily based in your health, sleep, exercise, restoration and different elements the watch tracks throughout your day.

You additionally get 24/7 coronary heart price monitoring, coronary heart price variability, excessive or low coronary heart price alerts, sleep monitoring, feminine well being, hydration reminders and stress degree monitoring.

For the impressively correct coronary heart price monitoring, the system makes use of the optical coronary heart price sensor on the rear of the watch. The sensor additionally tracks your blood oxygen ranges.

Fenix 7
Fenix 7 additionally has the standard Garmin 5 bodily buttons for controlling the system

I like the brand new Health Snapshot characteristic. You sit nonetheless for 2 minutes and the Fenix 7 will measure your coronary heart price, coronary heart price variability (HRV), blood oxygen degree, respiration price and stress. These core metrics are already tracked by Garmin however the thought is that in the event you do that on the identical time daily, you’ll begin to develop an image, or snapshot, of your traits.

Sleep monitoring is great on Fenix 7. You get detailed evaluation of the standard of your sleep and it’s an space the corporate has clearly labored on.

You can set the Pulse Ox (blood oxygen) monitoring to be off, on throughout sleep solely or on 24/7.

I wish to have it on throughout sleep (because it’s a very good early indicator of points corresponding to sleep apnea) and it’s helpful to have on in case you are out in excessive altitude environments.

It attracts a little bit of battery energy so it’s most likely finest to not have it on 24/7. When finishing up occasional readings, be sure that to take a seat nonetheless.

One metric that’s lacking is working energy, which is the measurement of how a lot work you might be placing in whilst you run. This is calculated from the wrist on each Polar’s Vantage V2 and Coros’ Vertix 2 however not on Fenix 7.

Navigation and mapping

There is dual-band GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) on the Sapphire Solar which locks on to satellites faster than the Fenix 6 Pro Solar and is theoretically extra correct as your watch can now see as much as 60 satellites. It’s additionally known as dual-band GPS however GNSS not GPS is the technically right title. This characteristic has been always enhancing with software program updates because the watch was launched.

Coros Vertix 2 was the primary multisport watch to introduce this characteristic and it has extra not too long ago been launched on Huawei’s Watch 3 GT and Huawei Watch GT Runner wearables.

Mapping and navigation options on Fenix 7 embrace the brand new Up Ahead operate, ClimbPro, map supervisor, following routes and creating one-off routes.

As talked about above, the Sapphire fashions of Fenix 7 have 32GB of built-in storage and international maps are pre-loaded. On different fashions you get 16GB of storage and that you must obtain the maps utilizing map supervisor.

Customising and settings

You can customise the watch face to your liking, whether or not you might be utilizing the built-in watch faces or one of many 1000’s you may obtain from the Connect IQ app retailer. You can now set up Connect IQ apps instantly from the watch, by the way, however don’t get too excited as this new characteristic continues to be on the primary stage.

You can tweak virtually each setting on Fenix 7 out of your cellphone: sport and exercise profiles, knowledge fields and widgets. You may also tweak these settings on the watch too. One factor you will need to do from the watch itself is obtain maps.

The widget glances are an important characteristic that show summaries of knowledge corresponding to steps, the climate, your sleep and coaching standing. You can faucet on any widget for a deeper dive into your knowledge.

All of the info out of your Fenix 7 is synced to the superb Garmin Connect app which supplies unimaginable insights into your exercises and actions. The knowledge might be simply transmitted to any third celebration apps you will have authorised corresponding to Strava.

Other options

Recharging is with a proprietary Garmin cable. The interchangeable straps are fast launch.

Fenix 7 additionally has Bluetooth, ANT+ and WiFi connectivity.


Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar is the last word journey sports activities watch.

Pricing and availability

Garmin Fenix 7 prices from €699.99. Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar prices from €899.99.

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