Garmin has finally launched the new Fenix 7 sports watch, alongside a supercharged new Garmin Epix.
The launch of the Fenix 7 comes two-and-a-half years after the Fenix 6. It's been a poorly kept secret, with images of the Fenix 7 leaked in December, and Garmin itself teased the launch last week.
The Fenix 7 is a slightly incremental update, and Garmin has kept with the winning formula that has kept the Fenix our top pick sports and outdoor watch since Fenix 3. However, there are still some significant changes here.
But the all-new Epix (Gen 2) takes the Fenix 7 in a new direction, with a full AMOLED display for those hungry for a more modern, smartwatch-esque experience.
Read on for everything you need to know:
- Fenix 7 launches with touchscreen and button control
- New TopoActive mapping and GNSS support for more accurate GPS
- Stamina tracking live during workouts
- Solar twice as effective and now available in durable Sapphire versions
- Fenix 7/7S/7X models
- New Garmin Epix (Gen 2) is Fenix 7X with 1.3-inch AMOLED display
Garmin Fenix 7 launches with touchscreen
The introduction of a touchscreen display is the biggest change, although the screen itself hasn’t changed – and predictions of a full AMOLED Fenix were somewhat wide of the mark. However, the new Garmin Epix 2 fulfils that brief (see below).
Solar charging has been improved and expanded, doubling efficiency so you get more juice – and the 7X Solar will last 5 weeks as a smartwatch. Solar editions are now available with the stronger, scratch resistant Sapphire lens, so there’s no trade-off between extra battery life and durability.
Staying with the Fenix, all models support multi-band GNSS tracking that boosts GPS accuracy over previous models. This optional extra does suck extra battery life, but provided a noticeable boost in GPS accuracy in built up areas in our Fenix 7 review.
Staying with the navigation theme, Fenix 7 gets TopoActive maps, which are richer than the TOPO ones found on previous Fenix devices, and can be swiped using the touchscreen, which makes them far easier to use.
And there’s a new UpHead feature that shows the exact location of user defined points such as aid stations in endurance races, or turns in the trail.
We’ve always loved the Fenix because of the breadth of biometric and fitness insights – such as VO2 Max, recovery advisor, Training Load and Training Effect. And Garmin has added new metrics to the Fenix 7.
Stamina tracking is the biggest addition, which attempts to analyse how much fuel you have in the tank during a workout. You can watch as your stamina level drops from a widget amongst other live metrics, and the Fenix 7 shows your stamina levels at current pace and as a total – helping you understand if you need to slow the pace to make your target. You can read our testing of stamina in the full review.
The race predictor – which historically hasn’t been the most accurate – has also been given a boost, and it now visually shows whether your predicted finishing times are improving or declining.
Finally, an interesting new feature for Fenix 7X (the biggest 52mm and most expensive version) is a built-in LED flashlight to light your way, which will also strobe red and white in time to your cadence, as a visual safety aid when running at night.
The Fenix 7 range will still include the Fenix 7 (47mm), Fenix 7S (42mm) and Fenix 7X (52mm) with each version having its own Solar and Sapphire editions, making for a mind-boggling array of options to choose from.
Fenix 7 options and pricing
- Fenix 7S: $699/£599
- Fenix 7S Solar: $799/£689
- Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar: $899/£779
- Fenix 7: $699/£599
- Fenix 7 Solar: $799/£689
- Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar: $899/£779
- Fenix 7X Solar: $899/£799
- Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar: $999 and £1,049
Garmin is also launching a partner to the Fenix 7 series – the Garmin Epix.
If Garmin Epix sounds familiar, it’s because it was already a niche sports watch in the Garmin line-up back in 2015. But that Epix has been erased from history, with this all-new version.
Think of it as the Fenix 7X with a full AMOLED display, something we’ve long dreamed of.
The Epix includes all of the improvements above, with the same navigation features, stamina tracking, visual race predictor, all encases in a touchscreen 1.3-inch AMOLED display.
However, there's no solar Epix version.
It looks glorious, and the battery numbers stand up, too. It lasts up to 16 days in smartwatch mode and up to 42 hours in GPS mode – which isn’t too shabby.
The Garmin Epix comes in a single 52mm case size – in slate steel, black titanium sapphire and white titanium sapphire, and starts at $899.
How we test