In a move that’s less James Bond and more Tony Stark, Garmin has stealthily rolled out its Tactix 7 AMOLED Edition. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill smartwatch update; it’s a tactical tool that’s decided to dress up for the gala. With a vibrant AMOLED display and few other upgrades, this new edition is turning heads and, quite possibly, saving the day.
The AMOLED advantage
The most eye-catching feature—literally—is the AMOLED display. Unlike the Standard Edition’s transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) screen, the AMOLED version offers a more colorful and higher-resolution readout. It’s not just about looking good; this display is designed to be easily visible in sunlight and can dim down to a single nit for those stealthy night ops.
And if you are worried about burn in with an always on display? Garmin uses pixel-shifting tech and it avoids staying on the same lit pixels. This helps to avoid any burn in.
Garmin is clearly on a mission to shift all their watch ranges to AMOLED. Not everyone is a fan of this, and those who prefer MIP screens will be disappointed if the tech is ultimately dropped.
A matter of weight
The AMOLED Edition weighs 96 grams, which is slightly heavier than the Standard Edition’s 89 grams. It is also a bit thicker. In the realm of tactical smartwatches, these differences are a straightforward specification to consider. The variance is minimal but could be a deciding factor for those who prioritize a lighter and thinner device for extended wear or specific activities.
When it comes to battery life, both the AMOLED and Standard Editions conjure up to 89 hours in GPS mode. However, the AMOLED Edition provides up to 31 days in smartwatch mode with 11 days in always-on mode, while the Standard Edition offers up to 28 days in smartwatch mode. The battery performance is quite comparable, but the AMOLED Edition edges out slightly in smartwatch mode.
Red Shift Mode: A visionary feature
The AMOLED Edition introduces a unique Red Shift mode, which alters the entire interface to shades of red. This innovative feature minimizes the constriction of pupils caused by other colors of light, allowing for better night vision. A quick glance at the watch in this mode won’t compromise your ability to see in low-light conditions, making it a valuable addition for nocturnal activities or operations. Feel free to combine this with the built-in white and green flashlight which illuminate the dark.
As far as functionality differences between the MIP and AMOLED editions, there is little to write about. Both editions are brimming with features, but the AMOLED Edition takes it up a notch. It offers phone-free text messaging and connected GPS—features absent in the Standard Edition. And for the gamers out there, the AMOLED Edition is GameOn app compatible. And that’s about it.
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Here’s a tech specs comparison on the differences between the Tactic 7 AMOLED and Standard editions. You can check out both watches on Garmin’s website. At $1,399.99, the AMOLED version will cost you an extra $200.
Tactix 7 AMOLED Edition
Tactix 7 Standard Edition
Nylon and Silicone
51 x 51 x 16.4 mm
51 x 51 x 14.9 mm
Display size & type
1.4 inch AMOLED
1.4 inch Transflective MIP
454 x 454 pixels
280 x 280 pixels
Battery Life (Smartwatch Mode)
Up to 31 days (11 days always-on)
Up to 28 days
Battery Life (GPS Mode)
Up to 89 hours (58 hours always-on)
Up to 89 hours
Ambient Light Sensor
Red Shift Mode
Phone-Free Text Messaging
Yes (unlock required)
Wind Meter Compatible
Heart rate sensor
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