Garmin Fenix 7S Pro review repetitive

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro review repetitive

The Baffling Existence of the Garmin Fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar Edition

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar Edition

I’ve been wearing the $899.99 Fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar Edition for the past month, and I have to say, it’s an excellent multisport watch. However, I’m still baffled as to why it exists. Let me explain.

To put it simply, the Fenix 7S Pro is essentially the same as the $999.99 Garmin Epix Pro Sapphire Edition. The only difference between the two is that the Epix Pro has an OLED screen, while the Fenix 7S Pro has better battery life. So, it feels like I’ve been wearing the same watch for two whole months.

This similarity between the two watches raises the question of why Garmin has so many versions of their high-end multisport watches. If you count all the various models and options, there are a total of 34 watches that are only slightly different from each other. It can be overwhelming and confusing for consumers, and sometimes, having too much choice is not necessarily a good thing.

In terms of design, features, and performance, the Fenix 7S Pro and the Epix Pro are nearly identical. They both come in the same three sizes, have Garmin’s upgraded heart rate sensor, and offer smart features like alarms, notifications, and Garmin Pay. They even have the option of sapphire crystal and titanium for extra durability.

When it comes to accuracy, wearability, and fitness tracking, the experience on both watches is virtually the same. The GPS and heart rate accuracy are comparable to the Apple Watch Ultra. And the Garmin Connect app provides a plethora of metrics and features to analyze your workouts and progress.

So, what sets these watches apart? The main difference lies in the display technology. The Epix Pro’s OLED screen offers better readability in all lighting conditions, making notifications, menus, and widgets easier to see. On the other hand, the Fenix 7S Pro features a memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, which has improved since the standard 7S. While it’s slightly more readable in low-light conditions, it still falls short of the Epix Pro’s OLED, especially in dim lighting. However, the Fenix 7S Pro’s MIP display performs better in direct sunlight.

Another significant difference is the battery life. The Fenix 7S Pro’s battery outlasts the Epix Pro’s because of its improved efficiency and solar charging capability. During a weeklong trip with ample sunlight exposure, the Fenix 7S Pro’s battery lasted around 9-11 days on a single charge. However, in everyday indoor use, solar charging has minimal impact on battery life. On the other hand, the Epix Pro’s OLED display offers impressive battery life as well, lasting approximately 3.5 days with always-on display (AOD) enabled and 8-9 days without it.

Considering these factors, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you prioritize better readability and a modern display, the Epix Pro with its OLED screen is the way to go. However, if you value longer battery life and readability under direct sunlight, the Fenix 7S Pro is the better choice.

Moving on to the flashlight feature, this is where the Pro models shine. Every Pro model, including the Fenix 7S Pro, comes with a built-in LED flashlight, which is incredibly useful. Its maximum brightness matches that of an iPhone’s flashlight and can be activated with a double tap of a button. Unlike other smartwatches with flashlight apps, the Pro watches allow you to access other menus and apps while using the light. It’s highly adaptable with adjustable brightness, programmable strobe patterns, and even a red light option for night use. The flashlight proves to be more practical and powerful than the white screen found on most smartwatches. It comes in handy in various situations, from searching through a car trunk or a dark closet, to acting as a nightlight without disturbing others.

Beyond these differences, the Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro watches offer similar features and performance. The Pro models are also more future-proof, with newer sensors and the potential for EKG support in the future. The standard Fenix 7 watches, while not as feature-rich, still provide a fantastic experience, especially considering the savings of $100-$150 compared to the Pro models.

However, the ever-expanding lineup of Garmin watches, with multiple versions and slight variations, raises questions about the necessity for so many choices. It’s overwhelming for consumers, and it’s challenging to differentiate between them. Garmin would benefit from streamlining their options, perhaps by consolidating the Fenix and Epix lineups into one OLED-centric lineup and having a separate higher-end Forerunner watch with solar charging and long-lasting battery life.

In conclusion, the Garmin Fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar Edition is an excellent multisport watch, but its existence alongside similar models is puzzling. While it offers better battery life and a few unique features, such as solar charging and the flashlight, it’s difficult to justify having so many variations of what is essentially the same watch. Garmin should consider simplifying their product lineup to provide clarity and a more straightforward choice for consumers.

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar Edition

All images are courtesy of Garmin.


Agree to continue: Garmin Fenix 7S Pro

To use the Garmin Fenix 7S Pro, you must agree to a series of terms and conditions, including Garmin’s End User License Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Security Policy. These policies, along with any other permissions required by your smartphone’s terms of service and privacy policy, must be accepted when setting up the watch and the Garmin Connect app. Additional agreements may be necessary for features like Garmin Pay and integration with other services like Strava, Spotify, or Apple HealthKit.

The complexity of these agreements highlights the importance of understanding the terms and policies associated with the devices we use, even though they are often overlooked or skipped.