Garmin’s Fenix line of smartwatches has always represented basically the best models it offers (outside of truly luxury options like its Marq watches), and things recently got even more complicated thanks to the launch of “Pro” models of the Fenix 7.
This means that as well as the Fenix 7, 7X and 7S, there are now also Fenix 7 Pro, 7X Pro and 7S Pro, along with a few extra versions offering Sapphire glass finishes. What are the differences between the standard and Pro models, though? Read on to find out.
Pricing and availability
Pricing is a pretty complicated matter when it comes to a lineup of watches this wide, but we’ll try to keep things simple – the cheapest model of the standard Garmin Fenix 7 starts at $700 for the Fenix 7S, although you’ll often find it for less than that.
Turning to the Fenix 7 Pro lineup, that takes a $100 bump up to $800 for the Fenix 7S Pro, which is pretty much reflective of the price jump for every model at around $100 more expensive.
All models of each watch lineup are now available to order, since the Fenix 7 Pro lineup is now fully launched.
While we’ll explore the differences in design and features in more detail as we go on, as the reality is that it’s the features that really distinguish between these two generations of watch – they’ll do a lot of the same things, after all. This was also the case for the differences between the Fenix 7 and Fenix 6, too.
Garmin Fenix 7 Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Heart Rate Monitor Yes Yes Battery Life Up to 22 days (Solar model) Up to 37 days (Solar model) Onboard GPS Yes Yes Sizes 42mm, 47mm, 51mm 42mm, 47mm, 51mm
Garmin Fenix 7 vs Garmin Fenix 7 Pro
If you’re looking to directly compare the Garmin Fenix 7 series and Fenix 7 Pro series, you’ll quickly notice (not just from the table above) that a lot is pretty similar between them.
The hardware is almost identical, but there are some welcome upgrades and improvements on the features side, so we’ll break those down section by section.
The Garmin Fenix 7 already had three major editions – the 7S, 7 and 7X, each a little bigger than the last but offering largely the same design other than this shifting size.
That’s the case again for the Fenix 7 Pro lineup, with the same three sizes offered by the 7S Pro, 7 Pro and 7X Pro – 42mm, 47mm and 51mm cases respectively.
Once again you get a watch that is sturdily built, with a lovely metallic case that can take some real punishment when you’re out and about, plus a display that is bright enough to read outdoors without any issue.
You can grab the 7 and 7 Pro versions of the watches in both Solar and standard variants, and Sapphire Glass versions are also available to get an even more durable display, so the full run-down of all versions are available for both the newer and older watches, depending on your tastes.
While the watches look very similar, it’s worth noting that Garmin has actually redesigned some elements of its display for the Fenix 7 Pro series, which means that you can expect better performance and readability in bright sunshine and outdoors.
This isn’t something that presents a major issue on the standard models, which have good outdoor performance already, but it’s always nice to get an improvement regardless.
Features and functions
While the watches largely look pretty similar, the real differences between the Garmin Fenix 7 and 7 Pro lineup come when you start comparing their features.
Both sets of watches have excellent GPS tracking and heart-rate monitoring, but the latter has been upgraded in the Pro watches for even better accuracy, according to Garmin, so the latest tech is in the newest models.
While certain versions of the standard Fenix 7 have an LED flashlight feature included, every Pro model now has this as standard, to ensure that you have something to rely on, with both red and white LED strobes available to grab attention if you’re in need or to help you navigate.
The Pro watches also have some upgraded software capabilities thanks to their newer sensors, including the ability to give you an Endurance Score to add to your body battery, letting you know how long you’ll be able to sustain your workouts roughly, as well as a Hill Score that will grade your uphill abilities.
Maps displayed on your Fenix 7 Pro’s screen should also be easier to read with better overlays and shading, although we wouldn’t be hugely surprised if this came to the older watches in a software update as well at some point.
Finally, the Pro models come with more pre-loaded activities to use in your workouts, including niche pursuits like white-water rafting, so you’ll have more options to fall back on.
Which is right for you?
We haven’t yet had a chance to fully review the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro lineup, but the case it lays out is a compelling one – all the same benefits as the baseline Fenix 7 models, but with some minor and welcome upgrades.
This makes the 7 Pro the default choice if you’re looking for a brand-new Garmin at the very top end of its lineup right now.
However, with almost all the same features and its only real shortcomings by comparison, being a slightly less bright screen and slightly shorter battery life, the Fenix 7 models that have been out for a while now still represent stunning smartwatches that will excel at almost any use-case. Even better, as older models, they’re more regularly to be found discounted and therefore definitely offer better value if you’re canny.
Garmin Fenix 7
Garmin’s “basic” Fenix 7 models are anything but, with beautiful designs and features that barely lag behind their newer siblings.