Garmin Fenix multisport watches are among the best - and the latest version adds new features

Latest edition brings all the brains and power of the Fenix 7 and some new features as well

Garmin smartwatch
Garmin Fenix 7S Pro
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Price: €850
Where To Buy: Garmin

When it comes to running watches, Garmin Fenix multisport watches are up there with the best.

Not only are they tough enough to survive some of the toughest environments you can put a watch through, they also track statistics for a dizzying array of sports while they are at it. If you want to know the minute detail of how you are performing, the Fenix series will bring as much as you need – and probably a bit more, while also providing the standard smartwatch features.

The latest addition to the line-up is the Fenix 7 Pro. It brings all the brains and power of the Fenix 7 and throws some new features in there too.

The Fenix 7 Pro comes in a couple of different models. There is the standard 7 Pro, the 42mm 7S Pro, which is the version reviewed here, and the 7X Pro, a 51mm version for those who prefer a bigger smartwatch. All three come in either standard or sapphire options, and solar glass is now standard, so you can top up the battery when you manage to get enough sunshine outdoors to power up the watch.


So what exactly is new in the Fenix 7 Pro, and why is it worth choosing over the Fenix 7? The Pro is the latest version of the watch, but it is also more expensive. While the standard Fenix 7S costs from €650, the Fenix 7 Pro starts at €850, a significant price difference.

So what do you get for that extra cash? A newer heart rate sensor for a start. The Fenix 7 Pro comes with what Garmin described as more spatially diverse optical sensors, and sport-specific algorithms offer enhanced performance tracking for a wider variety of activities, making it easier to gain a better understanding of how the body is responding to exercise.

Endurance score: measure how easy it is to sustain prolonged efforts while also taking into account training data such as VO2 max to measure your fitness, short and long-term training loads and more from other athletic pursuits.

And while the Pro series sticks with the Memory in Pixel (MIP) touchscreen display, Garmin has also improved it a little, redesigning the pixels and backlight to make it brighter and easier to read indoors.

The debate over the MIP versus AMOLED won’t be solved by the improvements, but if you are a regular outdoor exerciser, the scales are more tipped in MIP’s favour. It is more power efficient, too, and with some tweaking to the solar panel on the watch, you should get a little more time out of your battery between charges.

Garmin already did quite a bit of work with the solar panel on the Fenix 7, making it a bit bigger – so you won’t see a huge amount of improvement with the 7 Pro, particularly on the 7S model.

The Pro also brings an LED torch, with a red safety light that will help you see your way on night runs. That may not be an essential for everyone, but it is certainly something that is nice to have on the few occasions you may need it

But as it is, you don’t have to charge the Garmin watch every night, which is a real bonus. It’s not even every other day, and if you mess about with settings, you can get more than a week out of the watch without sacrificing too many features. Solar charging isn’t intended to replace your cable for the Fenix 7, but it will help you out if you need to eke out some extra hours.

The Pro also brings an LED torch, with a red safety light that will help you see your way on night runs. That may not be an essential for everyone, but it is certainly something that is nice to have on the few occasions you may need it.

That LED torch is integrated into the top of the watch case, so you can use it instead of having to fumble for your smartphone, or match it to your running pace to make sure that you can be seen. It’s a small but important safety feature that could make a difference to your outdoor exercise – especially as the evenings get darker.

Garmin has always done well on the statistics side of things. Despite using a Garmin watch for running for several years, I still find new things that I’ve never paid much attention to.

The Pro brings new hill and endurance scores, using training loads, history and VO2 Max to tell you how easy it is for you to run up a hill, or sustain prolonged efforts. However, these are based on software and analytics, so aren’t limited exclusively to the Pro model.


The Fenix 7S Pro brings some new features that will add to your running and training, from the new hill and endurance scores to the improved heart rate sensor. A more accurate heart rate sensor is welcome, as are the tweaks to the display and power efficiency. The crispness of the display is great, and there is an improvement on readability indoors.


Are those extra features worth the additional cash? Unless you are a committed sports enthusiast – and an outdoor one at that – it might be hard to make the argument. The Fenix watches aren’t cheap as it is; the premium for the Pro version may be out of reach of many people.

The watch also lacks a couple of smartwatch features that you may have become used to – a voice assistant, the ability to take a call on your wrist rather than just push a button to answer it on your phone and apps that more closely mirror your phone, for example.

Everything else

Battery life is more or less the same for the 7S Pro as it was for its predecessor, but if you go for the larger model, you should see a noticeable improvement.

Those new training statistics are also available to the older Fenix 7 models, so wouldn’t provide a compelling reason to buy.


If you are serious about sports and due a watch upgrade, the Fenix 7 Pro has a lot going for it – if you can afford it.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist