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Garmin Fenix 7 Pro review: This top outdoor watch gets the Pro treatment
2:30 pm | July 29, 2023

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Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: One-minute review

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro is a new version of the Fenix 7, which launched in early 2022. This isn’t the first time Garmin has launched a Pro version of its feature-packed watch aimed at lovers of the great outdoors and is likely to fill the void before we see the Fenix 8.

For the Fenix 7 Pro, the headline news is that one of the best Garmin watches is seeking to improve things even further in the display and heart rate tracking departments and now wants to help you better understand how well-equipped you are at tackling hills and endurance events.

The Fenix 7 was an impressive watch and it’s more of the same with the Pro, offering a rich array of sports profiles, metrics, training and analysis insights and the kind of battery life that can keep you away from a charger for weeks.

The problem that the Pro has is that many of the big software features have headed to the older Fenix 7 series, making the Pro version more of a sell for older Fenix owners and those that really want the newest outdoor features that Garmin has to offer.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Specifications

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Price and availability

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • $799 in the US
  • £749.99 in the UK
  • $1,349 in Australia

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro is available to buy now directly from Garmin and from a host of other retailers including Amazon. It has a current RRP of £749.99 in the UK, $799 in the US and $1,349 in Australia.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Design and screen

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • New, clearer screen
  • Same rugged form factor
  • New flashlight added

The Fenix 7 Pro like the standard 7 is all about being a watch that’s built for some serious rough and tumble, so unlike Garmin’s Forerunner watches such as the Garmin Forerunner 265, you can expect a thicker case design, more tougher metal and generally a stronger level of protection against water.

Like the 7, the 7 Pro comes in three case sizes. I had the 47mm version, which is very similar to the 47mm Fenix 7 in terms of how it feels to wear and what you can expect in terms of weight and the space it soaks up on your wrist.

It’s a polymer case with steel around the back and a bezel built from stainless steel, which helps this watch to weigh in at 79g. Garmin pairs that with 22mm QuickFit straps, so you’re just a simple button press away from removing it and putting on a new one. As a package, it’s waterproof up to 100 metres making it safe for pool and open water swimming time.

Front and centre is a 1.3-inch, 260 x 260 resolution transflective memory-in-pixel display, which Garmin says is an improved one on the display included on the non-Pro 7. I’d say it’s a touch clearer, but there’s not a massive amount in it. It’s still a display technology that offers good visibility indoors, outside and the responsiveness of the touchscreen support is as good as you’ll find on a sports watch right now. It’s never going to be as bright as the Epix’ series AMOLED display, but is excellent for battery conservation. 

On top of that screen lies Garmin’s PowerGlass, which does mean you get solar charging powers here to boost the already big battery numbers Garmin promises, as long as you’re spending enough time out in the sun to enjoy the benefits.

The 47mm and 42mm Fenix 7 Pro now also grab the LED flashlight from the Fenix 7X, so you now have an extra source of light that can be enabled from the quick settings and can be configured to light up when you’re in tracking mode and is actually a useful extra to have if you don’t want to grab your smartphone.

Garmin uses the same charging cable to power it up as the one provided with the Fenix 7 and as a package you’re getting a lovely, well-built watch that doesn’t weigh too heavy or too light and has a screen that’s big enough to make sure you can absorb your real-time stats and view onboard maps.

  • Design score: 5/5

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Features

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • New weather overlays for maps
  • Endurance and Hill Scores now added
  • Heart rate sensor promises improved workout HR accuracy

The Fenix 7 Pro is a watch for the outdoors and doesn’t disappoint with the level of features on offer here for those who like to spend more time outside than inside. 

Along with core running, golfing (there's a reason Garmin fills out a lot of our best golf watches entries), swimming and cycling modes, there are the usual outdoor profiles aplenty covering everything from hiking to surfing, skiing and you're getting activity-specific metrics for most of those profiles as well.

On the navigation front, you’ve got preloaded topographic maps, road and trail maps and ski resort maps, with touchscreen support to navigate around those maps. Garmin has enhanced that mapping mode with Relief Shading to offer more detailed maps, the ability to see a split of your metrics and map on one screen and view weather information like temperature, although that isn’t available during the tracking mode screen. Up Ahead also offers trail runners and cyclists the location of Points of Interest nearby.

Along with the rich training analysis and metrics you already get on the Fenix 7, Garmin has introduced new Endurance Scores and Hill Scores metrics to help you better understand whether you have put in the right amount of training to handle a hilly route or really go long in training or an endurance event. It analyses hilly workout history and VO2 Max estimates to score your endurance and ability to tackle hills and make it easy to understand whether it’s good or bad.

Many of the Fenix 7 Pro’s training and analysis features are driven by good heart rate data and Garmin has sought to improve things on that front with a new optical heart rate sensor onboard and new algorithms to deliver improved accuracy, particularly when you’re exercising. 

You do still have the ability to pair up external sensors and while the accuracy during workouts has been solid overall, I don’t think you should be ditching that dedicated heart rate monitor just yet.

  •  Features score: 4.5/5 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Performance

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Great multi-band mode
  • Endurance and Hill Scores are nicely presented
  • Same great battery life

All of the good traits from the Fenix 7 are retained for the Pro. Garmin’s great multi-frequency positioning GNSS mode, which improves tracking accuracy in return for sucking up more battery life than other GPS modes, performs really well and Garmin’s mapping support remains the best you’ll find on a watch right now. The mix of touchscreen and button interaction makes it easy to navigate the now more detailed presentation of those maps as well.

The new Endurance and Hill scores are interesting additions to the already rich array of metrics Garmin offers, but how reliable and useful they are going to be for most Fenix 7 Pro users is certainly up for debate. You need a few weeks of data to kick things off and while there’s some useful advice offered around those scores they weren’t scores that drastically changed the experience of using the 7 Pro over the regular 7. Plus, those features are coming to the older Fenix as well.

Something that thankfully hasn’t changed with the new hardware and software features on board is the kind of battery life you’ll enjoy on the Fenix 7 Pro. Garmin promises the same numbers with up to 22 days in smartwatch mode, which can be boosted by solar charging. If you’re planning to spend multiple days out on your feet, you can sacrifice the best GPS accuracy and opt for the Expedition mode to get you 40 days of watch time and potentially more again if you can expose the watch to enough sunlight to boost battery.

If you want to use the Fenix 7 Pro as a smartwatch, it has the same features as the baseline Fenix 7. The notification support is the strongest of those smartwatch features and you do have good music player and controls features as well. You do have Garmin Pay and access to Garmin’s Connect IQ Store, though don’t expect to pile on loads of big-name apps here. Some changes have been made to the user interface, mainly in the workout mode, but if you were hoping for more smartwatch skills than before, that’s not the case here.

Ultimately, this is a watch that can last for weeks, even with regular use of workout tracking, mapping and smartwatch features. Make use of the onboard power manager features and turning off features you don’t use and that will make things go further.

  • Performance score: 4.5/5 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Should I buy?

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Garmin Fenix 7 Pro review: More of the same, but that’s no bad thing
3:40 pm | May 31, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

This is a hands-on review to bring you our early impressions of the new Garmin Fenix &S Pro. Stay tuned, as we'll be expanding and updating this article with more info soon.

Garmin has unveiled its Garmin Fenix 7 Pro and Garmin Epix Pro watches. These updated versions of the Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin Epix (Gen 2) retain everything that makes them some of the best Garmin watches, namely by changing only a few things and adding a handful of useful new features. 

We’ll dive into exactly what’s new about the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro below – and those hoping for a fully-fledged redesign a la the Garmin Forerunner 265 and 965 might come away disappointed. Those of you who already own a Fenix 7 are unlikely to feel strongly moved to buy another watch. 

But as a premium outdoors watch in its own right, the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro looks set to excel as a wonderful example of outdoor smart tech, and in our brief time with the wearable, I’ve found nothing to disprove that so far.  

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Price and availability

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro and Garmin Epix Pro side-by-side

(Image credit: Future)

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro comes in three sizes, like the original Garmin Fenix 7 range; a 42mm Garmin Fenix 7S Pro, in which the S denotes it being ‘small’; a 47mm Garmin Fenix 7 Pro with no size denomination,; and a 51mm 7X Pro. We tested the smaller 7S Pro. 

The Fenix 7 Pro range starts at $799.99 / £749.99 / AU$1,349.00 for the 42mm and the 47mm models, rising to $899.99 / £829.99 / AU$1,529.00 for the 51mm model. 

You’re effectively paying for more screen real estate and more impressive battery life as you go up the sizes. Whether these are worth the premium remains to be seen, and really depends on whether you’re going to get the most of the middling 47mm Fenix 7 Pro’s battery life or the Fenix 7X Pro’s enormous capacity during multi-day wilderness and trail excursions. However, if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t mind dropping a grand on an outdoors watch, you’re probably someone who’s looking to get the most out of what they buy. 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Specs

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Design

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro looks very, very similar to the original Fenix 7, with no deviation from its classic five-button configuration. The 7S Pro that I tried was missing the visible screws attaching the bezel to the case from the regular Fenix 7 range on account of its smaller size, and comes in an attractive gold-white colorway rather than the more tactical-looking black or grey of larger watches. It looked good on my wrist, reminding me of my old Moto 360, and more elegant than a typical outdoor watch. 

However, it shares the same hardy titanium bezel and dull but economical memory-in-pixel touchscreen rather than the Epix’s gorgeous AMOLED one. For an additional fee, you can get a model with sapphire glass to ensure the screen is tough enough to withstand your outdoor adventures. Even the smaller 7S Pro now has an MIP screen equipped with Power Glass solar charging, a feature usually reserved for larger watches.  

That’s not the only hardware change. The older Fenix 7X’s LED flashlight feature has made its way onto the other sizes of the 7 Pro as well. The flashlight is operated by the top-left ‘light’ button, which is usually used to illuminate the screen, or you can access it by calling up the widget menu and using the touchscreen to select it. The light has six settings: a solid white light of four different intensities, a stroble function, or a night vision-saving red light that’s perfect for alerting passing drivers during runs, for example. 

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro

(Image credit: Future)

During my initial tests, I found the light perfectly satisfactory. I tested it in a dark room and, er, under my desk, eliciting a few weird looks from my colleagues. The light will clearly illuminate maybe five feet directly in front of you on its brightest setting, enough to look for a dropped phone by, and could serve as an adequate signalling tool in the dark. How much of a drain the light is on the battery is unclear.

New on the design front is also the “spacially diverse optical sensors” which now make up the Fenix 7 Pro range’s rear sensor array. Together with “sport-specific algorithms”, the watch is said to offer better tracking across different workouts, so all those different workout profiles become more meaningful, not just different labels for heart rate and calories burned. 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Features

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Both the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro and Epix Pro series offer two new Garmin training metrics: Endurance Score and Hill Score. Endurance Score is a numerical value calculated using consistent V02 max measurements, initially over a period of two weeks, which tells you how well your body responds to endurance training. The higher your Endurance Score, which measures how efficient you are at getting oxygen into your muscles, the longer you should be able to keep going at a particular activity. 

Hill Score is a little bit different. This is a numerical value representing your power output, or how effective your legs are at propelling you up hills. It's unclear at this stage whether this is purely for runners, or if cyclists can benefit from Hill Score too, or what existing metrics it's keyed onto. I've reached out to Garmin for more info, and I’ll update this section for my full review. Both features require data from two weeks of workouts in order to calculate your score, so having only spent an afternoon with both watches I was unable to test them. 

Elsewhere, topographical maps get a few great new upgrades, including weather services. You'll be able to tell exactly when the storm clouds are about to hit at a glance with Relief Shading, which highlights areas in different colors based on precipitation. Another cool new feature is Up Ahead, which offers trail runners and cyclists the location of Points of Interest nearby. The example Garmin gives is aid stations during a race, but we're yet to know if local landmarks can appear on this, which would make the feature useful for explorers as well as for competitors. 

A bevy of new workout profiles are also included, such as whitewater rafting, motocross, overlanding and, Garmin says, dozens more. Again, these should gain new relevance beyond labels thanks to the improved sensors and new sports-specific algorithms, but I don't know any specifics just yet – I’m looking forward to digging into some of the workout profiles to see exactly what sports-specific metrics are on offer. The standard workout screen and widget layout looks and acts the same as before: anyone who’s used a Fenix before, or any Garmin watch for that matter, will feel at home here. 

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Early verdict

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro

(Image credit: Garmin)

 The Garmin Fenix 7 is already one of the best running watches and overall best smartwatches you can buy, and based on our early examinations, the Fenix 7 Pro range only improves on it.  We’ll be spending more time testing the 7S Pro in depth for our full review – time will tell if the new features are enough to merit another elusive five-star score.