We’ve just checked out the Garmin Fenix 7S and this is what we think of this new running watch
Garmin has just released its hotly anticipated Fenix 7 and we’ve literally just opened the box, so we wanted to share our thoughts about this latest running watch, and figure out how it can benefit our running. If you’re looking to upgrade your smart watch, this is a great place to start. (And if you basically just use your smart watch as a watch, here are all the ways you can be using it better.)
Yesterday Garmin launched two new smart watches into its canon, and we’ve been eager to get our hands on them for ages. The two new watches are the Fenix 7 and the Epix (you can see our thoughts on the Fenix 6 here). We’ll be looking at the Epix in detail once we’ve had a chance to run in it, so for now here are our thoughts on the Fenix 7.
First of all, let’s hear from Garmin. What’s new about this spangly Fenix 7, and how is it good for runners?
First off the 7 series gives you the choice between touchscreen and buttons. This is GREAT. Touchscreen for when you’re home and after the stats; buttons when you’re out on a run with wet and cold fingers. Ideal.
The second big thing is that the Fenix 7 boasts up to 263 hours battery life in max battery mode – that’s 10 days – and up to 41 days in smartwatch mode – that’s over 5 weeks! – using a mixture of mains rechargeable battery and solar power. This is another big leap in battery life from Garmin, and one that’s very welcome.
And the third big thing is Garmin’s new Real-Time Stamina. This learns from you as you use it, giving you a live estimate of how you’re exerting energy during an activity, so you can push harder knowing you’ll cross the finish line with nothing left in the tank.
Ooh, and there’s a built-in torch! Not just a light – a torch!
There are so many things to get excited about here. The battery life basically had us at “hello”. But then the Stamina addition, which will be enormously beneficial in interval and threshold sessions, and there’s also a Visual Race Predictor. This takes into account running history and overall fitness to provide race estimates and insights into how your training is progressing. I mean, that really is like having a running coach, isn’t it?
Looks-wise, I’m used to wearing my 245, and this is a chunkier watch than that, but only in depth – the circumference is exactly the same. And happily the familiar buttons are all still there, so I feel like I know my way around it – to a degree – already. The titanium bevel is lush, and the screen is incredibly clear comparatively speaking.
One thing that had begun to irritate slightly with the 245 that I have (now a good two years old) is that it wasn’t clear to see or operate in low light conditions, while the Fenix 7 is just awesome. As with previous Garmins, you can adjust the face so that it shows all the bits you’re interested in, and none of the stuff you aren’t – for me, I like the screen to be as simple as possible, and then deep dive into stats when I have the time.
And the list of sports it will help you monitor is incredible – Stand up paddleboarding is on there! And even breathwork! That’s just amazing.
In usage, it feels very familiar if you’re used to wearing Garmins – everything is where you expect and the buttons and touchscreen work together intuitively. One lovely point is that the touchscreen automatically turns off when you’re on a run, so you won’t accidentally turn it off at a crucial point.
The stats it gives you access to are gargantuan. So for now, this is a preview of this brand new running watch, and as I become more familiar with it, I’ll update this review here and let you know. So come back for more in a week or so and I’ll let you know how I get on.
How much is it?
Right, here’s what you’ve been searching for: The Fenix is available in three models; the 7S, the 7 and the 7X – the S refers to solar power, and the X is its Sapphire Solar model, which refers to the super strength glass (something to think about if your running is of the more adventurous kind). The starting price is £599.99.