Garmin Fenix 7 Watch Review: Standard, Solar, Sapphire Editions

By mattv

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The Garmin Fenix 7 Solar watch has changed my life quickly.

In the past three months, I hiked and ran 350 miles, got stronger, and lost more than 15 pounds. These are thrilling results that I did not expect to happen. I love to track my activities, analyze the data, and improve my fitness.

This GPS watch is amazing and worth every penny spent. I wear the watch all the time.

There are so many reasons to love the Garmin Fenix 7 if you are a hiker, climber, trail runner, biker, or skier.

Let’s get into the details about this amazing GPS watch and why every hiker should own it.

Garmin Fenix 7 Solar GPS Watch

The Garmin Fenix 7 Solar GPS Watch is worth the money. Check price at: REI | Amazon | Backcountry | Moosejaw

Where to buy the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar

Hiking Daily Verdict

The Garmin Fenix 7 Solar is the most advanced GPS watch. The upgrades from the previous version are significant and noticeable. If you hike often, you will benefit from buying this watch. It’s totally worth the money. Let’s dive into the many reasons why the Garmin Fenix 7 is a great buy for serious hikers.

Pros

Long battery life

Touchscreen

Improved screen resolution

Tough, rugged design

Built-in sports apps

Advanced performance metrics

Superior navigation apps

Cons

High price, but totally worth it

Don’t notice solar charging

Top reasons to buy the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar

The benefits keep revealing themselves the more I wear the watch. It’s like unwrapping a gift every day.

Tracking hikes, bike rides, trail runs, ski days, and other activities is a huge asset. I can review all the key metrics to analyze my health and fitness in various analytics apps. I use Garmin Connect, Garmin Explore, and Strava. The data syncs automatically and gives me some valuable perspective.

Taking action to improve your health and fitness is the number one reason to buy the Garmin Fenix 7 GPS watch.

Wearing this watch has helped me get in shape fast. I became more active. Immediately, from the first day! I hit the trails more often, and I set higher goals as I become fitter. The Garmin Fenix 7 watch gamified my outdoor activities.

In three months, I lost 15 pounds of weight which slowed me down. In the first year of owning a Garmin watch, I decreased my weight from 205 pounds to 175 pounds. The impact was substantial since I gained muscle.

Another health benefit: My resting heart rate has fallen by 10 percent in six months. A healthy heart will add years to your lifespan.

I love being stronger and more capable. Knowing the data of my activities propels me to work hard and make improvements each time I go out.

I started trail running because I wanted to go faster and further! For me, this is a shocker. I didn’t see myself as a trail runner. But once I got in better shape, I just started running.

The Garmin Fenix 7 will guide you to becoming a better version of yourself. For me, it has been pure magic.

What else do I love about this watch?

The touchscreen is a fabulous update. The new touchscreen capability makes it easy to navigate all the watch features. You can get to what you need faster. Also, compared to the Garmin 6 Pro series, the screen resolution of the Fenix 7 took a massive leap. It is brilliant. You don’t see the individual pixels. This means you get a variety of beautiful watch faces. And the maps look tight. You can also use the watch face as a flashlight by double pressing the top left button. This is a great feature for those moments when you do not have your phone nearby. Excellent display!

At a glance, the watch shows my hiking distance, altitude, pace, location, heart rate, and time of day. These are crucial data points to follow when out in the backcountry. I love the easy access to the data. Now, I don’t have to search pockets for my phone while doing an intense workout.

The watch keeps me up to date with mobile notifications when my phone is not in my hands. No more digging my phone out of a pocket, bag, or jacket!

Basic weather updates and daily sunrise/sunset times on the watch face are super handy.

Sleep tracking is cool. The watch tracks how much time you spend in each sleep stage. Every morning you get a report on your deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, or time awake. Plus, your total sleep time. Getting enough sleep is important to me, so I like this feature. It helps me understand when I need more or less sleep to maximize my overall time.

I am also finding the Garmin Pay feature convenient.

Okay, now you know why I am happy that I bought the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar GPS watch.

If you have been thinking about getting one, go for it. You will get your money’s worth. You will not be disappointed.


Garmin fēnix 7: Standout features and benefits

Here is a quick review of the top features and how they are helpful:

  • Built-in sports apps allow me to track my activities (hike, run, bike, ski, and more)
  • Follow distance and altitude metrics at a glance
  • Optimize my pace based on heart rate monitor data
  • Pulse OX sensor for altitude acclimation data
  • ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer, compass) help to track the weather, my location and navigate
  • Sunrise and sunset times help me plan my day
  • Track and maximize performance metrics over time to improve health and fitness
  • Check training and recovery status and follow recommendations
  • Sleep tracking helps optimize rest and recovery
  • Mobile phone notifications help me stay in touch
  • Watch sends workout data to Strava and other apps
  • Long battery life (18-57 days, depending on battery mode)
  • The touchscreen makes watch navigation super easy
  • Garmin pay allows you to make purchases with the watch
  • Easily manage Spotify or Amazon Music
  • Power Manager allows you to change how settings and sensors are used to extend battery life

Buyer’s Guide: Which Garmin Fenix 7 watch is right for you?

In total, there are eight different Garmin Fenix 7 watches that you can buy. There are three sizes. Each has a different price.

How do they differ?

The differences are pretty straightforward.

The larger the watch case size (Garmin Fenix 7X Solar), the larger the battery and display size/resolution. A larger battery provides a longer battery life.

You can choose either a standard edition, a solar edition, or a solar sapphire edition. The latter two offer solar charging on the go. Each of these three editions has a different watch lens, bezel, and case material. A variety of colors are available.

These are the main differences that you need to know about.

The rest of the features are pretty much the same for all watches. The software and apps are the same for each Fenix 7 edition.

Garmin Fenix 7 Standard Edition

Both sizes of the Garmin Fenix 7 Standard have 16GB of memory, Corning Gorilla Glass lens material, a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a metal rear cover, and a stainless steel bezel.

fēnix 7S Standard

Battery life is 11-38 days

240×240 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 42 x 42 x 14.1 mm

63 grams in weight

More specs

fēnix 7 Standard

Battery life is 11-38 days

260×260 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm

79 grams in weight

More specs

Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Edition

All sizes of the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar have 16GB of memory, Power Glass lens material, a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a metal rear cover, and a stainless steel bezel.

Essentially, you are paying more for the solar charging capability.

fēnix 7S Solar

Battery life is 11-87 days

240×240 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 42 x 42 x 14.1 mm

63 grams in weight

More specs

fēnix 7 Solar

Battery life is 18-173 days

260×260 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm

79 grams in weight

More specs

fēnix 7X Solar

Battery life is 28-365 days

280×280 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm

96 grams in weight

More specs

Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar Edition

All sizes of the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar have 32GB of memory, Power Sapphire lens material, a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a titanium rear cover, and a titanium steel bezel. The titanium features make the watch a bit lighter.

Essentially, you are paying more for the Sapphire lens, more storage space (memory), and solar charging capability.

fēnix 7S Sapphire

Battery life is 11-87 days

240×240 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 42 x 42 x 14.1 mm

58 grams in weight

More specs

fēnix 7 Sapphire

Battery life is 18-173 days

260×260 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm

73 grams in weight

More specs

fēnix 7X Sapphire

Battery life is 28-365 days

280×280 pixel screen resolution

Physical size is 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm

89 grams in weight

More specs

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions asked about the Garmin Fenix 7 watch, and our answers.

Is the Garmin Fenix 7 worth it?

When I bought my first Garmin watch, the Fenix 6X Pro, I wondered if it was worth the high price. It was, indeed. I loved it from day one. I traded it in a year later for the Fenix 7 Solar. The upgrades made to the Fenix 7 editions are massive. The most notable changes include a touchscreen, way better screen resolution (crisp watch face and graphics), new sports apps, and increased battery life, to name a few.

Where can I buy Garmin Fenix 7?

The best retailers to buy the Fenix 7 include REI, Backcountry, Amazon, and Moosejaw.

Does the Garmin Fenix 7 watch have a touchscreen?

Yes. Everything about his new display, including the touchscreen, is incredible.

If you are debating buying the Garmin Fenix 6 vs the Garmin Fenix 7, I can tell you from owning both watches the Garmin Fenix 7 display is so much better. I could not go backward and use an outdated screen. As mentioned, the new screen alone makes the Garmin Fenix 7 watch worth the additional cost. There are even more reasons why the Fenix 7 is worth it.

Is Garmin Fenix 7 waterproof?

Yes. The Garmin Fenix 7 has a water rating of 10 ATM. This means that it withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 100 meters.

How to download maps on the Garmin Fenix 7 watch

Click and hold the button at 9 o’clock. Next, scroll down to settings and select Map. Then select Map Manager. Scroll and select the category of maps (for example, TopoActive Maps) you are interested in downloading. Finally, select the map you want to download. Your map will then be downloaded over a WiFi connection while the watch is plugged into your charger.

How to restart your Garmin Fenix 7

Press and hold the top left button. Use the touchscreen to select Power Off. After the watch turns off, press and hold the top left button again.

How to use maps on the Garmin Fenix 7

There are a few ways to do this.

The easiest and quickest way to use maps is to press the top right button once. Scroll down with the bottom left button to Navigate. Select Navigate with the top right button. Scroll down using the bottom left button and select any way to use maps in this menu. Use Map is the most obvious and direct easy use of maps.

You can start an activity by pressing the top right button, and your favorites (such as Hike) will display first. Select Hike (or your activity of choice), and press the top right button again to show the activity tracking screen. Press the top right button again to start tracking. While tracking, scroll down with the bottom left button until you get to your map. Use your two bottom left buttons to zoom in and out.

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