Hands-on with the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar
Tuesday - 25 January 2022
Before last week, the Garmin Fenix 6 was one of our all-time favourite smartwatches. It looks great and has features for pretty much any occasion or activity; we honestly weren’t sure how Garmin were going to outdo themselves. Then came the Garmin Fenix 7 collection and leading the line, the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar watch.
Kitted with an extraordinary flashlight feature, a sapphire crystal-protected solar-powered display and several new sports apps, we can now safely say the Garmin Fenix 7X trumps its predecessor significantly as the best multisport GPS watch on the market. Here’s everything you need to know about the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar…
Case & Strap
The overall look of the Garmin Fenix 7X isn’t too different from previous Fenix series but it’s ruggedness and durability is in fact miles different. For additional resilience, the cases are equipped with protective button guards and metal-reinforced lugs and the wrist based heart rate monitor and other sensors on the case back are now kept within radially sealed glass and protected by the metal case for even better accuracy. The case still measures in at 51mm so sits largely on the wrist and is engineered from a combination of fibre-reinforced polymer and lightweight titanium.
At the moment there are five Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar watches to choose from. The first two come dressed in a carbon grey DLC coating and are fitted with a choice of a Black Rubber strap or a matching Carbon Grey DLC Titanium bracelet. The third reference stands out with a Mineral Blue DLC case and a White Rubber band while the fourth exudes the most sophistication with a non-coated Titanium case and a Chestnut Brown Leather strap. Lastly, there’s a classic Black DLC Titanium model with a matching Black Rubber strap.
Display & Battery Life
Unlike the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar which came equipped with Corning Gorilla glass, the new Fenix 7X opts for more durable and scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass. The sapphire crystal protects what Garmin calls their Power Lens which is ultimately a solar-powered display promising a rather extensive battery life. The display is still sunlight-visible, translative memory-in-pixel, full-colour with a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels and a diameter of 35.56mm. For the first time in Fenix history however, the Garmin Fenix 7X’s display is touchscreen which is super responsive and works nicely alongside the touch buttons.
As for the battery life of the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar, you won’t be disappointed. Possibly one of the best power reserves on a smartwatch, the Fenix 7X promises over 300% solar harvesting capability compared to the Fenix 6 Solar and consequently up to 37 days battery life in smartwatch mode with solar. In battery saver watch mode, the Garmin Fenix 7X also assures over one year over power with solar alongside 122 hours in GPS only mode, 587 hours in Max Battery GPS mode and 139 days in Expedition GPS mode.
Other than the case size and the choices of cases and strap colourways, the only real difference between the Garmin Fenix 7X and the smaller Fenix 7 and 7S models is the flashlight feature. Although this feature may seem like just a small add-on, once you’ve used it, you’ll struggle to live without it, trust us! The flashlight is cleverly integrated into the case behind a diffused transparent lens so when it’s not in use, you can barely see it. Too bring it to life, you simply long-press the light button at the top left and select the flashlight option or just double-press the same button quickly.
The light of the Garmin Fenix 7X’s flashlight is incredibly bright and comes with several customisable options including four brightness settings and a red light option. There’s also an SOS mode that will flash to signal for help and display information about the user and/or their emergency contact on the watch display as well as a clever running mode set to match your cadence, flashing white when you arm swings forward and red when it swings back. It’s the perfect function for late-night runners who need another layer of visibility.
Alongside some new apps and technologies, the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar watch comes with all the same specification as the Fenix 6 (for the full list features, visit the individual product pages for the Fenix 7 watches). As for what’s new, there’s a fantastic new app that Garmin calls Real-Time Stamina which tracks and helps users manage their physical exertion throughout a run. It’s ultimately a “what do I have left in the tank” visual, giving you awareness of how fast you’re burning through energy allowing you to optimise your level of effort and complete a set distance or course.
Similarly, the Garmin Fenix 7X watches come with a new Visual Race Predictor tool which uses your running history and overall fitness level to give you an estimate of what your pace might be for the distance you want to run. This feature also works alongside the Race Predictor Trend feature which shows changes in your predicted race times over time and displays these changes so you can see your performance development over time in a graph. Also for athletes, there’s a new Up Ahead feature which provides information about upcoming map and course points of interest such as aid stations, food stations or rest stops and the HIIT activity profile which recently debuted on the Garmin Venu 2.
The Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar also showcases some new navigation tools including multiband support. This works alongside the classic GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite systems by providing additional access to multiple frequencies sent by navigation satellites so that accuracy is majorly increased in areas where GNSS signals are reflected, weak or typically don’t penetrate. Alongside this, there’s new multi-continent TopoActive maps already preloaded onto the Garmin Fenix 7X and more available to download over Wi-Fi rather than having to plug your device into the computer like before.
Price & Availability
The Garmin Fenix 7X watch collection is available to order now on the Jura Watches website with prices starting from £859. For more information on the Garmin Fenix 7 series and for advice on the interest free finance and free next day delivery available, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.