Garmin just announced its new Fenix 7 smartwatch series after weeks of speculation and teasers on social media. But what does the new family brings to the market? More importantly, what are the main changes when compared to the Fenix 6 models? NextPit guides you through the differences in Garmin’s smartwatch lines.
Not competing directly with Apple’s juggernaut smartwatch, Garmin models are not pressured to be updated yearly like the Apple Watch or Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lines. Even so, the rumor pages leading up to the Fenix 7 line were some of the most accessed in NextPit, leading us to show you the differences between the Fenix lines from 2019 (Fenix 6) and 2022 (7).
Garmin Fenix 7 vs. Fenix 6 in a nutshell
Garmin Fenix 7 vs 6: Hardware and sensors
Although rumors indicated the new Fenix 7 smartwatch would bring an ECG sensor, the feature is not available in the new generation. Instead, the Fenix 7 brings some new software features, including real-time sync with the Garmin Connect Mobile app (Android | iOS).
In terms of hardware and specifications, the most welcome change is the longer battery run times in all models, reaching an estimated “1 year+” for the 7X Solar model using the battery saver mode.
One downgrade in the Fenix 7 is the reduction of the base storage option. While all Fenix 6 models had 32 GB of storage space, the Fenix 7 line starts with 16 GB in the regular models, only offering 32 GB in the Sapphire Solar versions.
Garmin Fenix 7 vs. Fenix 6: Models and prices
Garmin Fenix 7 vs. Fenix 6: Design and display
The Fenix 7 is available in the same overall dimensions — 42, 47, and 51 mm (1.65”, 1.85”, and 2”) — with slight changes to the thickness in the two smaller versions. Likewise, screen sizes are the same, with 1.2”, 1.3”, and 1.4” options, using the same resolutions as in the Fenix 6 series: 240 x 240, 260 x 260, and 280 x 280 pixels, respectively, for the MIP transflective LCD screen.
Garmin highlighted the new touchscreen interface in the Fenix 7. The feature is integrated into the various maps features, allowing users to move and enlarge maps, for example, as well as interacting with other features on the screen.
In terms of materials, Garmin simplified (even if just a little bit) the different material combinations for the Fenix 7 range, making Titanium available only on the Sapphire solar model, as well as removing the carbon-coated steel option for the bezel, and the Titanium strap and bands in the Fenix 7 line, in short:
- Gorilla glass + stainless steel bezel
- “Power glass” + stainless steel bezel (Solar models)
- Sapphire crystal lens + titanium bezel (Sapphire solar models)
Outside of the touchscreen, the interface and usage are largely the same in the Fenix 6 and 7 models, with five main buttons around the bezel:
- Start / Stop
- Back / Lap
- Up / Menu
In general, current Fenix owners will feel at home with the new model, with a similar button arrangement that is basically the same since the first generation.
Garmin Fenix 7 Features
Besides the longer battery life, the Fenix 7 brings even more features, including:
- The Connect IQ store is now browsed in the Fenix 7 smartwatch, offering watch faces, apps, and widgets without using the phone.
- HIIT Workouts – new activity profile.
- Real-time Stamina – to avoid overexerting during runs and cycling.
- Recovery Time Advisor – estimates when the owner will be recovered for the next activity.
- Up Ahead – display performance metrics, split times, and checkpoints ahead.
- Visual Race Predictor – estimate your pace during runs and shows a trend over time.
- LED flashlight (7X-only) – the bigger model also includes a multi-LED flash, that can help activities in the dark.
- Multi-band GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO support (Sapphire-only) – improved position accuracy from navigation satellites.
At first glance, the Fenix 7 is another discreet evolution of Garmin’s multisport smartwatch. But changes like the in-watch app store make the model even more independent. Besides that, the battery life improvements and touchscreen alone make it an interesting upgrade, especially for owners of previous generations’ models.
Now it’s your turn, in this comparison what is your favorite smartwatch? Garmin Fenix 7? Garmin Fenix 6? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.