Image source: Garmin

Garmin Fenix 7: tech specs, design, features we’d like to see, when to expect it

The Garmin Fenix line has become a preference for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. This is a great smartwatch which packs a whole lot of of fitness, sports tracking and outdoor navigation features. A wearable for those who are into multi-sports and want to be able to track pretty much anything.

Garmin is doing a splendid job at churning out new products on a regular basis. And not only for the Fenix range. Just in the last month we saw the launch of the Forerunner 745 and Venu Sq.

And yes we know the Fenix 6 lunched only about a year ago. But that doesn’t stop us from looking forward to what comes next.

Some have opted to skip the sixth generation so may wondering what Fenix 7 will bring and if there will be an interim device. We’ve already had one of two leaks and rumors. But not much.

So we’ve combined that with a list of features that would represent a logical progression, and threw in some of what we would like to see. Competition is stiff, so you can bet the company will set its aims high once again.

Garmin Fenix 7: Design expectations

garmin fenix 7 specs design features we’d like to see release date - Garmin Fenix 7: tech specs, design, features we’d like to see, when to expect it
Image source: Garmin

The overall look of Fenix watches has remained fairly consistent over the years. But there has been tweaks along the way.

With the Fenix 5 line Garmin has managed to slim down the body a bit. This version also brought in three different sized options for the first time including the S variant – a slimmed down Garmin Fenix designed with the female sports enthusiast in mind.

The latest Fenix 6 range brought in some more changes on the design front. Most notable is the larger display, something that was done by reducing the bezel size. Now there’s no rim separating the screen from the edge which allows for more room for customisable data fields (six data for Fenix 6/6S and eight on the 6X). Whats more, Garmin has managed to shave off another millimetre from the back of the watch and a few grams of weight.

Despite these changes most people would agree the watch is not really stylish. It not exactly as if it has been hit with an ugly stick, but this is clearly a sports watch designed as a rugged all-rounder. And this shows. Plus, despite Garmin’s efforts, the wearable is still bulky and heavy.

It’s logical to expect a further slimming down of the form fact. Exactly how much really depends on the effect on battery life. The same consideration applies to the possible introduction of a high-res, AMOLED similar in quality to the one found on Garmin Venu.

While a better display is a possibility, the company will be careful not to compromise battery life. The decision to opt for physical buttons for navigation is practical because athletes would find a touchscreen difficult to use in mid-exercise or wet-weather. The current configuration works well so why change something that works.

The mid-sized Fenix 6 runs an impressive 2 weeks in smartwatch mode and 36 hours with “normal” GPS switched on. Garmin knows the awesome battery life an important selling point.

On this topic, the solar feature is one of the most exciting things to come out of the Fenix 6. The range has a variant with a transparent solar charging lens that sits on top of the watch face. Garmin calls the tech Power Glass. It adds a bit more juice in all battery modes by converting the sun’s rays into energy. This is a nifty add-on which we are sure will filter down to other iterations in the coming years. It might come as standard on Fenix 7.

In addition to this, the latest Fenix brings customisable power-management modes. This allows users to actually see how various settings and sensors impact battery life. Very useful when you are trying to figure out when you’ll need to reach for the charger.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Garmin appears to be adapting a similar design across its latest crop of sports watches so it’s unlikely it will stray very much from that. We, therefore, don’t expect to see any drastic changes on that front with the Fenix 7. It might be limited to reducing the thickness and weight, and perhaps improving screen quality. Of course, surprises are always possible as Garmin has demonstrated with the Solar variant.

As always, expect to see the three different sized models, including some more premium editions. And lots of options in straps, colours and watch faces.

Garmin Fenix 7: Features we’d like to see

garmin fenix 7 specs design features we’d like to see release date 1 - Garmin Fenix 7: tech specs, design, features we’d like to see, when to expect it
Image source: Garmin

Garmin Fenix is one of the best multi-sport GPS watches around. You can use it for cycling, open water swimming, cross country skiing, climbing, indoor run/bike/swim, hiking and much more. The watch provides advanced running metrics and outdoor navigation in addition to everything you need for monitoring fitness. And finally, while not the most user friendly, the Garmin Connect software is top notch whether you are utilising the smartphone app or the even more comprehensive web dashboard.

All Fenix watches come equipped with ABC sensors to provide relevant real-time information. The built-in altimeter provides elevation data, while the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. The electronic compass keeps your bearing whether you’re moving or not.

While impressive in its specs, the device is by no means perfect. Improvements in GPS and the ANT+ antenna are always welcome. Fenix 6 benefits from the new ELEVATE heart rate sensor, but further upgrades on this front are likely. Heart rate sensors that work from the wrist still have some catching up to do compared to chest straps.

More training metrics

The watch also has lots of features which tell you about your form and fitness including a bunch of Firstbeat metrics. VO2 max, lactate threshold, recovery advisor, training effect, real-time performance condition and much more are on this list. The stats are now adjusted for heat and altitude acclimation status. Your performance metrics are no longer be influenced by environmental factors.

Advanced training features also now include something called Dynamic PacePro. This is “grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your activity”. It coaches you in real time so you can slow and speed up a run depending on your goal and race plan.

Then there’s the Body Battery feature we’ve seen on all recent Garmin watches. This lets you know when you are good to train by using a combination of stress, heart rate variability (HRV), sleep and activity data. But there’s still lots of room for improvement. Letting the user see raw HRV data would be a good start.

The latest additions are Daily Workout Suggestions and improved Recovery time (that takes into consideration rest). This will be slapped on soon following its debut on the Forerunner 745.

There are also other Firstbeat metrics which could find their way to the Fenix 7. Particularly as the Finish outfit is under Garmin’s wing now. This includes, for example, a physical activity score and sleep quality assessment.

As mentioned, the Fenix line of watches is not just for running. There are special features to help with swim training, cycling, golfing and skiing too. To list them all would simply take too long. But Garmin will continue to build on these which means we will see more niche sports and additional metrics tracked.

New sensors

The Fenix 6 watch didn’t really bring anything new in terms of sensors. The only real change is that the PulseOx is now available across the entire range. The watches gauge your oxygen saturation levels at night, allowing you to better understand your sleep quality. You can also take readings on demand during the day.

ECG sensors have been making all the headlines this year. It’s more a health than a fitness feature but why not add ECG functionality to a Garmin watch? The tech seems to be here. Does it really belong on a sports watch? Maybe not.

Other sensors are always a distinct possibility. This could include a blood-pressure sensor. Samsung has demonstrated that it is possible to take such a measurement by using the optical heart rate sensor. Other possibilities include sweat analysis, glucose, hydration and more. Any of these would be nice but they might be a few years down the line. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something truly revolutionary on the sensor front.

A cellular model?

A cellular model next time around? Who knows, its always a possibility. Albeit on unlikely one due to huge battery drain and demographic of the typical Fenix watch user. After all, you’re not going to try and call your office while on a run…. Perhaps a model with cellular, and one without. It is more likely we will see this on the Forerunner 955.

The Connect IQ platform has already seen improvements this year, but expect more work on improving the user experience and an array of 3rd party apps on board. At the moment, Garmin wearables come nowhere near the range of apps that are available for the Apple Watch.

Garmin Fenix 7: Expected release date

garmin fenix 7 specs design features we’d like to see release date 2 - Garmin Fenix 7: tech specs, design, features we’d like to see, when to expect it
Image source: Garmin

Fenix 5 was announced at CES two years ago and rolled out a few months after. The company usually only has major updates every other year so Garmin 7 won’t likely arrive until mid-2021.

Having said that, there has been a leak last year that points to an interim Fenix 6 Sport version. This could possibly slightly earlier. Garmin did something similar with the Fenix 5 Plus. It upgraded the original device with music storage, Garmin Pay, Galileo, pre-loaded topographical maps and oxygen saturation, so was a significant upgrade.

Garmin Fenix 7: Expected price

If you decided to skip Fenix 6 because it was too pricey, don’t get your hopes up that things will change. This will remain a high-end watch.

Is a budget edition possible? Probably not. In a sense the Forerunner 945 is the budget version of the Fenix 6 so the 955 will the the less expensive iteration of Fenix 7.

We should once again see different price points for different sizes. Including much more expensive premium and limited editions.

Whatever the final price, the Fenix 7 will be a great choice as it will still be one of the best smartwatches for fitness fanatics. And we suspect, the legion of existing Fenix users will remain loyal to the wearable which has already proven its worth.

So what do you think? What would you like to see on the Fenix 7?

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22 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix 7: tech specs, design, features we’d like to see, when to expect it

  • October 5, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Running Power workouts

  • October 9, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Isn’t the “fenix 6 Sport” actually the fenix 6 non-Pro?

    • October 9, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      Have never heard of it referred to as Fenix 6 Sport by Garmin.

  • October 9, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I’d like to see a premium AMOLED screen on one version. Accept it would kill battery life, but for the full feature set of the fenix with a bright vibrant premium screen I’d live with it. Ideally I’d like 48 hrs. Alternatively, do it on the Marq Athlete. I want a Tag Heuer killer. Oh, and lose the fugly bezel on the venu.

  • October 15, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Garmin Tag – Fenix 7

    That’s what we need – Tag aesthetics with Garmin tec.

    Not all of our days are spent in the wilderness.

  • October 16, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Built in InReach Functions!

    I don’t want to carry multiple devices anymore! Phone and Watch would be great!

  • October 16, 2020 at 6:55 am

    We need a UV sensor on the watch face, which tells you what your sun exposure is, how long you have been in the sun and whether you need to be wearing sunscreen / seek shade. Could prevent a lot of skin cancers for all of the users hiking / doing activities outdoors.

    • October 29, 2020 at 11:58 am

      you can find that information (how much sunlight you got) on the solar models
      as for what I’d like to see, a reduction in size and better solar charging/ battery are enough at this point for me to upgrade my Fenix 5 – could we even ask for wireless charging?!?

  • October 29, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    What about a built-in QI charger so you do not worry about your cable all the time?
    That is a gamechanger even for me with a 5x on my wrist.

  • November 3, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    celluar is a most useful and wanted feature . Then I can leave my phone at home and if i crash or need help I can turn on cell and ask for help. Or as an extra alternate when I have crashed on my bike and the phone is smashed.

    • November 5, 2020 at 5:40 am

      cellular would be great. Not only for emergency situations but also for streaming audio while on the run

  • November 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    If i put all ideas above together its an apple watch

    • January 5, 2021 at 2:52 am

      “If i put all ideas above together its an apple watch”

      No and Yes…. Mostly No. I just got an Apple Watch for my Heart. Its a family thing. Anyway, I wear both (Fenix6 & AW). I use my Fenix for my workouts and Golf (is golf a workout?). Anyway, I prefer my F6, as it does a better job with most physical activities and way better with golf. Also, I can edit any of my F6 activities. Apple won’t let you edit. I still use the AW during workouts as well (Apple Health App ties everything together with all my medical charts). The F6 has a better battery life (until the last firmware update), but still better.

      What the AW does for me besides ECG. Answer phone calls without phone and reply to some texts (I’ll wait to use my phone for long winded texts). Oh and Apple Pay. My bank is not setup for Garmin Pay.

      So No, not an Apple Watch if ideas added. Just a few things that would save me from having watches on each wrist.

  • November 23, 2020 at 12:30 am

    Fenix 7 Comes in Oktober 2021.

    • November 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      I heard that too.

  • December 7, 2020 at 12:01 am

    Love to see Incident detection integrated with inreach mini

  • December 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I second better integration with the inReach Mini. Not just Incident Detection but the Live Tracking, too. (No, not trying to fit an inReach on my wrist. The antenna size alone would probably make that impossible.)

    As for the ECG, while it can be put on a wrist sensor, wouldn’t it be far more accurate on the chest strap? I’d like to see an updated chest strap that adds better heart health sensors, and the watch being able to view the new data and warnings. (Heck, maybe tie it into the Incident Detection: “Heart attack in progress at X.XXXXX N X.XXXXXX W”.)

    As for cellular, no thanks. It would add to the weight and kill battery life. If I’m running less than an hour, a small waist belt holds my phone in the small of my back. If I’m running more than an hour I’ve got a hydration belt or pack that also holds my phone and my gels. And if I’m running on a trail, I don’t have cell reception much of the time.

    • December 26, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      I understand the issue of battery life when it comes to cellular options, but how about the ability to just turn it off or sell a model that doesn’t have it? I loved my Fenix 5 but I just cant live without the convenience and safety that my Apple Watch offers. If Garmin would offer the Fenix with a cellular version, I would come back, however, I am more willing to give up some of the training metrics for all of the other positives that the Apple product currently offers.

  • December 25, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    I’d actually like to see improved lap detection in the pool. Unless you pause your Fenix 6 at every interval it counts non-existent laps during rest periods. Way too sensitive – I hate to say it but my older Apple Watch is so much better in this regard.
    Improved outdoor swim tracking would also be great. My 6 started out great but began losing accuracy after a few months. No idea why – I’ve heard others say the same.

    Let’s get these things right before we start adding more features

  • January 12, 2021 at 3:44 am

    I would really love in Fenix 7 a good and more powerful solar panel, that can really make a substantial difference. Something that can power the watch from 0% to 10% in one day of solar exposure for example

  • January 17, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    I have the 5x currently and it’s possible I’ll go for the 6x later this year, main features on that one is bigger text (eyes starting to go bad…) and longer battery life. It’s pretty much all I care about for next iterations as well.
    I hope screen technology doesn’t change to make battery time lower. I don’t care about size either, as long as it’s not bulkier than 5x it’s fine. I’m not ashamed for wearing a sports watch.
    I find solar feature quite lame. Looks good in an article (probably why they added it), doubt it really has any actual benefit, I mean imagine you’re running an ultra, during the day you need to make sure you keep the watch towards the sun (if it’s out at all) to ensure it gets back a little bit of energy. How realistic is that? Can’t imagine being useful enough to make a difference. No offense to the earlier commenter but keeping the watch out in the sun for a day to get 10%, it helps if you’re stranded on Mars with nothing to do and you really want your watch to work.
    Good resistance to weather conditions and water, good batter, good readable screen (perhaps well configurable data screens to ensure people with not so good eyes can use it during races)… if I would add one thing, replaceable batteries, I mean throw out something because battery went dead seems like a waste financially and environmentally. I should be able to get a battery (with a seal replacement if needed) for like 30$-50$ and do it myself or get it done by a watch service. These watches should have longer than 2-3 years life.


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