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. The most recent addition to its stable of watches is the Garmin Enduro – a non-pro version of the Fenix 6X Solar.

Some have opted to skip the sixth generation so are wondering what Fenix 7 will bring. We’ve already had one of two leaks and rumors. But not really that 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 have been a few 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 smaller 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 that stylish. Sure, it’s 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.

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 an interesting feature 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 as evidenced by Enduro. 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 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.

Other improvements

Improvements to GPS and sensors are always to be expected. There’s also talk of a new Sony chipset. The other possibility is running power from the wrist, similar to the high-end Polar range. This shows athletes how hard they are working — a nice addition to standard heart rate tracking.


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 2017 and rolled out a few months after. The company usually only has major updates every other year so Garmin Fenix 7 won’t likely arrive until mid-2021. We think it’s more likely we might see it in the Autumn. Now that Enduro is out it wouldn’t make sense releasing the watch before then.

Here are the release dates of the recent Fenix line:

  • Fenix 5 – March 23, 2017
  • Fenix 5 Plus – June 18, 2018
  • Fenix 6 – August 29, 2019
  • Fenix 6 Pro Solar (6/6s) – July 6, 2020

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

  • Running Power workouts

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

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

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  • 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.

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    • OLED is total Killer, you Will get 2 days of watch mode, 8 hours of sport with GPS.

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    • forget AMOLEd… nice for you if you can live with 48h batterielife, just buy apple watch but not Garmin!!!!! should stay longer.. 1-2 weeks or even more batterielife make fenix my best watch and the only choice…

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  • Garmin Tag – Fenix 7

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

    Not all of our days are spent in the wilderness.

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  • Built in InReach Functions!

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

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  • 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.

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    • 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?!?
      DEFFINITELY NOT AN AMOLED

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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  • If i put all ideas above together its an apple watch

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    • “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.

      Reply
  • Fenix 7 Comes in Oktober 2021.

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    • I heard that too.

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    • How do you know that?

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  • Love to see Incident detection integrated with inreach mini

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

      Reply
  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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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  • This is a great column with lots of good ideas. My 2 cents worth- drop the gimmicks : pulse ox, solar panel. ekg etc. They add nothing relevant , take up space, increase cost, add weight, and shorten battery life. Strike 5 if I count correctly. Cordless charging would be awesome. Also might make for a more robust watch body with one less opening. More analytics and better connectivity including GPS and it’s foreign counterparts to increase accuracy. With the new bluetooth should be able to connect to both a sensor and my phone simultaneously . An alternative may be using a cell signal for data downloads and even real time tracking by support team competitors etc. if that is not energy prohibitive. Still not very happy with changing the app settings on my fenix 5 but that very well may reflect my age. Speaking of which better screen visibility is always good.

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  • Replaceable battery.
    A touch-screen (that could be switched off?).
    Wireless charging. USB C port otherwise.
    Cycling power meter support.
    Basic diving mode.
    Ant+ EKG band?

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  • For me

    Seamless Concept2 integration as profiles
    Better screen res without battery sacrifice
    VO2 calcs from not just running (not all of us are runners!)
    Better HR readings so you don’t need to wear a strap for accurate readings
    If I got those I’d be happy

    Reply
  • They must improve a lot, or I would say too much in the weight training monitoring part, it only shows you with gifts some pre-established workouts, but when you develop your own routine you have no way of knowing what exercise they refer to since the exercises do not have GIF images to indicate what type of exercise you are selecting from the list of exercises that have been loaded, so if you want it for weight exercise it will not serve you practically at all. In the Garmin Connect section, the way to prepare weight training is not very friendly either.

    On the other hand, the customer service is extremely deplorable, I have been reviewing this weight training issue for 8 months and I have not yet had a favorable response, plus it takes weeks or months to reply to an email, even on the phone. They lack a lot to have good customer service. Due to the quality of the watch material it is excellent.

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  • The elephant in the room is the way the Fenix series charges. The charging port is the weakest link in the design. This does not appear to have been improved in the F7. The new Enduro also uses the same type of charging port. A charging port on a FITNESS WATCH than can be corroded and made inoperable by SWEAT?? Really??
    Even with the most care, those little gold bumps corrode and the watch will no longer charge.
    One should not have to rely on a third party rubber port cover to protect a $$$ watch.

    Reply
  • Before any new features they need to fix the Wifi feature on the Fenix 6 Pro.
    Then custom alerts during coached sessions should work by default or at least be togeled on/off. e.g. Run Walk Run alerts while using coached sessions with Jeff dont work currently which makes the need to using a secondary device.

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  • I just returned my Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar the other week.

    I purchased it for for its rich feature set and loved all or most of the features it has. The ability to load music and pair it to wireless earbuds while skiing, hiking, golfing etc was great. So with the current ongoing pandemic, I was unable to use the swim app due to pool closures, cycling or golf features are out of season. As you may have guessed by now I am in Canada, winter here still, trying to change to spring.
    What I didn’t like was the ability for the Solar not to fully charge the watch. A fairly expensive gimmick, in my opinion. It may be worth it if it could at least extend the use by 50% or fully charge it. but to add 2 to 3 days at best, not a feature worth the effort. Now if Garmin could somehow make it fully charge the unit or use a combination of solutions that would be a game changer and put everyone else to shame. So in a nutshell, a better reliable charging system that can actually fully charge the unit, maybe a small nuclear battery! I do not want to be tied to a charge port, maybe a wireless charging pad that you can have on your desk and charge as you work or type… humm! Until that nuclear or 10 year plus battery is available, it could be the new feature we need.

    Zoom was the other really annoying feature, not the video app but the zoom feature in the hike or trails app. Using the Up/Down buttons was soo bad and slow…it made me crindge. Maybe a rotating outer bezel with a faster/zipper processor configured to do just that would be the right solution. The touch screen would also work and probably be better, especially if it had a lock feature for those activities that demanded it.

    The other issue I found was the screen resolution. I did pick the 6X Pro Solar for its size and was not overwhelmed by its size or weight. But I thought the screen was washed out and could use a refresh. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reflective nature of the screen technology and its ability to use minimal power and that is what attracted me to the Fenix 6X in the first place. But it seemed so bland compared to all the other smart watches out there. The screen type and resolution are certainly a tricky combination to pick and find a sweet spot. Battery life, easy charging, being quick and responsive to inputs and the best screen resolution in high or low light conditions are probably more important than a lot of the other options. But being able to keep these with a higher priority than others is what I want in a smart watch.

    So until the next break thru, I will have to dig out my old Timex… oh would you look at that! It’s still ticking and hasn’t been worn in 3 years… 🙂
    Cheers 🙂

    Reply
  • Fenix 7 – Oktober 2021.

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  • Hi All,

    I am in a bit of a dilemma right now and would love your opinion on it. Question is – Wait for Fenix 7, or go for Fenix 6X now.

    I had the fenix 5. Lost it in Thailand while jumping off of a boat, back in 2018. Had a fenix 3 before that.

    Been using an apple watch since then. But i really miss the fenix watches, their versatility, their sturdiness and sports fitness capabilities.

    I am into Crossfit primarily and additionally do 10k m runs. I do hikes and bicycling and other sports stuff for fun.

    Do i wait for the fenix 7 series, or do I buy the Fenix 6X Sapphire now? (Because that is a nearly 2 year old watch now)

    Reply
    • Fenix 7 is about 6 months away. Forerunner 955 probably a few months off.

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  • Imagine Kenetic charging along with solar. Now that would increase battery life.

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  • Fenix 7 comes in Feb./2022!

    Reply
  • Inväntar 7an med stor förväntan.
    Min Fenix3a har varit helt fantastisk på alla sätt. Den har gjort sitt jobb med beröm. Är väl nu på sista tiden den börjat dumma sig.

    Önskemål…
    USB-C,,,,, eller varför då.. funkar ju bra med laddhållaren som är till Fenix3an
    512Gb Ram. För go music/talböcker/banor
    Sviiinlång batteri tid 😉 typ någon månad eller så.
    Kenetic laddning.
    INGA GOLF BANOR eller andra inlagda banor…. sånt extra kan var och en ladda hem när man så vill nyttja dessa.
    Pekskärm som man kan stänga av vid behov.

    Shapphire glas med SOLCELL. För utan detta så är klockan helt värdelös. Tänker på alla tokiga cykel vurpor som min Fenix3a har varit med. Inte en repa på alla dessa år. Imponerade.

    Reply
  • +++WIRELESS CHARGING – PLS

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  • Wireless charging is a must. I will not upgrade my Fenix 5X without wireless charging, regardless of any other features added.

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  • Make it attractive as a $1000.00 watch should be. Better screen without sacrificing to much battery life. Vo2 max for all activities.

    Reply

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