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Garmin Fenix 7 Pro – All solar, new metrics and a new PPG sensor

In addition to the Epix Pro, the release of the Fenix 7 Pro is imminent. Not only the name scheme shows that it is not a complete version jump, but rather product maintenance. All important information about the new models Fenix 7S Pro, Fenix 7 Pro and Fenix 7X Pro can be found here.

Fenix 7 Pro – Models at a glance

With Garmin likely to raise the curtain as early as next week, few will be surprised to learn that the new Pro generation will be launched in three sizes.

 Fenix 7S Pro SolarFenix 7 Pro SolarFenix 7X Pro Solar
Display1.2"1.3"1.4"
Resolution240 x 240 pixel260 x 260 pixel280 x 280 pixel
Dimension42 x 42 mm47 x 47 mm51 x 51 mm
Storage32 GB32 GB32 GB
Water resistance10 ATM10 ATM10 ATM

With a 42mm case and a 1.2-inch display, the Fenix 7S Pro represents the smallest model. Between the Fenix 7X Pro, which has a 51mm case and a 1.4-inch display, and the Fenix 7 Pro, which has a 47mm case and a 1.3-inch display, the Fenix 7 Pro finds its place.

In comparison to the non-Pro series, there are consequently no changes here. Even in terms of dimensions and weights, they are on par.

When it comes to the display, Garmin continues to maintain the distinction between Gorilla Glass and the even more resistant Sapphire Glass.

Features – New and noteworthy

Garmin always positions the Fenix series at the top end of its product portfolio, and not without reason. These watches are packed with features for sports, activities, and everyday use. Let’s focus on the new features first:

  • LED flashlight

    The introduction of the LED flashlight with the Fenix 7X was a bit surprising. The small LED light source located at the top of the watch case has gained great popularity among many users. This is not only due to the four brightness levels and the option to switch to red-colored light, but also because of the mode that allows the LED to blink rhythmically, providing increased safety in road traffic during dark conditions.

    What was previously exclusive to the Fenix 7X and the Enduro 2 is now making its way to all models with the Pro series.

  • Hill Score

    With the Hill Score, Garmin introduces a new metric designed to assess strength and endurance during runs that involve uphill climbs away from horizontal terrain and mountains.

    In addition to the numerical value (“Score”), Garmin categorizes the performance into the following levels:

    • Recreational
    • Challenger
    • Trained
    • Skilled
    • Expert
    • Elite

    Garmin provides an initial assessment based on two weeks of outdoor running training. Within the Hill Score framework, Garmin distinguishes between “Strength on Hills” and “Endurance on Hills”.

  • Endurance Score

    The Endurance Score also represents a new metric. In contrast to the Hill Score, it aims to provide insights into the change in endurance through training. To achieve this, Garmin evaluates all recorded training activities and gives higher weightage to the three most significant ones.

  • Multi-Band GPS and SatIQ

    The support for Multi-Band GPS is not entirely new. The Fenix 7 series already had the ability to utilize the L1 and L5 frequency bands for accurate positioning in challenging situations.

    However, what is new is the support for SatIQ, which allows for the use of multiple GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) when necessary and the exclusion of additional GNSS when accurate positioning is possible based on the environment (such as open areas with unobstructed views of the sky). For example, SatIQ may utilize multiple GNSS in mountainous regions, canyons, forests, or densely built urban areas, while relying on a single GNSS in environments that allow for precise positioning.

    The goal of SatIQ is to extend battery life without compromising accuracy in determining the location.

  • Elevate Gen 5 Sensor

    Garmin has incorporated the latest version of its PPG (photoplethysmography) sensor, called Elevate Gen 5, on the back of the watch. Compared to its predecessor, the number of green LEDs has increased from 2 to 6. Additionally, the sensor uses two orange LEDs to enhance measurement accuracy for individuals with darker skin tones.

    Furthermore, the sensor is equipped with red LEDs, which are used to measure blood oxygen saturation.

    Notably, there are four metallic areas surrounding the optical sensor. Initial information suggests that the Elevate Gen 5 sensor is capable of EKG (electrocardiogram) functionality, although it may not be enabled at the launch of the Fenix 7 Pro due to regulatory approvals such as FDA or European authorities.

    Whether this assessment is accurate and the device is awaiting regulatory clearance remains to be seen. However, the fact that Garmin has already enabled EKG functionality on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus raises hopes for potential future activation on the Fenix 7 Pro.

Battery life

Thanks to the transflective MIP (Memory-In-Pixel) display, all Fenix models operate efficiently without the need to deactivate the display. The Pro series models are no exception, and they achieve fantastic battery life, especially when the small solar panels can be utilized to charge the battery during use.

 Fenix 7S Pro / SolarFenix 7 Pro / SolarFenix 7X Pro / Solar
Smartwatch mode11 / 1418 / 2228 / 37
Battery Saver Watch Mode28 / 8757 / 17390 / 365+
GPS37 / 4657 / 7389 / 122
GPS (Max Battery)90 / 162136 / 289213 / 578
GPS (Expedition)26 / 4340 / 7462 / 139
All GNSS26 / 3040 / 4863 / 77
All GNSS + Multiband15 / 1623 / 2638 / 41
All GNSS + Music71016

Prices and availability

The Fenix 7 Pro has been appearing on various online retailers’ websites, only to be taken offline shortly afterward. It seems that Garmin’s legal department is ensuring that existing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are not violated.

The official product launch could take place as early as next week, on May 31st. However, last-minute changes cannot be ruled out, even if this date has already been circulated by some retailers.

 Fenix 7S ProFenix 7 ProFenix 7X Pro
Solar€849.99€849.99€949.99
Solar Sapphire / Titanium€949.99€949.99€1,049.99
Solar Sapphire / Titan
(+ leather wristband)
€1,049.99€1,049.99 €
Solar Sapphire / Titanium
(+ titanium wristband)
€1,249.99

The prices of the Pro models bring few surprises. The most affordable options are the 7S Pro Solar and 7 Pro Solar models with Gorilla Glass, priced at €849.99 each.

It seems that there are no Pro series models without solar technology.

As before, Garmin adds an additional €100 for the Sapphire models with sapphire glass, making the Fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar priced at €949.99.

The larger Fenix 7X Pro Solar model starts at €949.99, while the Sapphire version with scratch-resistant watch glass is priced at €1,049.99. The premium Fenix 7X Pro Sapphire Solar model, with a titanium case and bracelet, costs €1,249.99.

Upon launch, numerous color variations are expected to provide a touch of individuality. The following colors have been revealed for the Fenix 7 Pro models:

  • Titanium/White-Orange
  • Slate Gray/Black
  • Slate Gray DLC Titanium/Black
  • Soft Golden Titanium/Light Sand

Opinion

The Fenix 7 Pro is primarily a product update rather than a generational shift. The new features are interesting but may not be equally appealing to every athlete, e.g. those living in flat areas may not benefit from the Hill Score feature.

Essentially, Garmin is making features available on the smaller-sized Fenix 7S Pro and Fenix 7 Pro models that were previously exclusive to the larger Fenix 7X.

Regarding software features (such as Hill Score and Endurance Score), it remains to be seen if Garmin will make them available to existing models as well. These features would also be well-suited for recently released sports watches like the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965.

The Pro series would offer greater appeal if the Elevate Gen 5 sensor indeed possesses ECG capabilities and Garmin activates them, preferably incorporating them into existing metrics.

Until then, the models in the Fenix 7 series remain a good and sometimes significantly cheaper alternative. Models of the Fenix 7 without solar technology can be found for around €500, while models with solar technology are available for approximately €580.

Garmin Fenix 7
Garmin Fenix 7 Solar

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