Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix buyer’s guide

Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar on wrist

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin has announced a major update to some of its most popular devices. The Garmin Fenix 7 series is here, bringing more solar-powered models, touchscreen displays, and even built-in flashlights to the high-end GPS watch line. The company has also announced a (mostly) new series of fitness watches, called the Garmin Epix, which adds an AMOLED display to the Fenix 7 line.

There’s a lot to talk about with these devices, and we have all the details on the new features. Here’s everything you need to know about the Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix series.

Don’t miss: The complete Garmin wearables buyer’s guide

Garmin Fenix 7 series: What’s new?

Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar display watch face

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Big changes are coming to the Fenix 7 series. But first, we should talk about all the models Garmin is offering this year.

The Garmin Fenix 7 line will still be available in three sizes: Garmin Fenix 7S (small), Garmin Fenix 7 (medium), and Garmin Fenix 7X (large). The Fenix 7S and Fenix 7 are offered in standard models, solar models, and solar models with sapphire displays. There is no base model Fenix 7X — only a solar model and a solar model with a sapphire display.

The entire Fenix 7 line still has transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) displays, which offer fantastic outdoor visibility compared to higher-res OLED panels. The big change, though, is that they’re now touchscreens. Unlike the Coros Vertix 2, the Fenix 7 series’ touchscreens can be used throughout all parts of the operating system, whether you’re in an activity, scrolling around a map, or swiping through your widgets.

Thankfully, you can still control the entire device with the five physical buttons as well, but the touchscreen is available if you want to use it. You can also disable the touchscreen at any time by long-pressing the top-right and bottom-left buttons.

Each Fenix 7 size is available with solar-charging capabilities if you want to pay for it. Garmin increased the surface area of the solar-charging panel on the Fenix 7 line, making it more efficient than the solar panels on the Fenix 6 line. The Fenix 7’s solar panels are ~54% larger than the Fenix 6X Pro Solar panels, essentially doubling the solar gains when outdoors in direct sunlight. Battery stats for each model can be found in the specs table below.

Elsewhere, the Fenix 7 line now features reinforced lugs and metal button guards, which should help cut down accidental button presses.

If you spring for the Fenix 7X, you’ll get one of the coolest new features available on the lineup. Both 7X models have a dimmable, multi-LED flashlight built into the top edge of the watch case. A quick double-tap on the display turns on the flashlight. You can use this to see where you’re going at night, stay visible while on the road, or as a replacement for your phone’s flashlight whenever you need it. The flashlight can be set to red or a dimmable white mode. Garmin also developed a strobe mode that matches your running cadence with each arm swing. It’s pretty cool, though I wish it were available on all Fenix 7 models.

GPS and navigation have also been improved on the Fenix 7 line. All Fenix 7 series devices support the L5 frequency range for improved accuracy in areas that are usually challenging for GPS connectivity. All Fenix 7 devices now support Beidou, as well.

Sapphire Solar Fenix 7 devices come pre-loaded with Garmin’s TopoActive maps. You’ll automatically have access to the region of maps where you purchased your device. You can also download global TopoActive maps via Wi-Fi if you plan to take an excursion to another country. Standard and Solar Fenix 7 devices have access to TopoActive maps, but you’ll need to download them manually. All base model Fenix 7s have 16GB of storage, while Solar and Sapphire Solar models have 32GB.

All Fenix 7s are also pre-loaded with SkiView maps and 42,000 golf courses.

Springing for the Sapphire Solar models will get you even more benefits. These higher-end watches come with support for multi-band GNSS, allowing them to receive signals from GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS systems at the same time. This should result in better overall navigational accuracy.

Also read: How do GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou work in wearables?

That’s about it for hardware — let’s move on to the new software. The Fenix 7 series has two new training features: real-time stamina and visual race predictor.

Real-time stamina is exactly what it sounds like. During a run or a bike ride, you can monitor your exertion levels in real-time. This data is presented in two tiers: potential stamina and current stamina. Potential stamina estimates your overall stamina and will deplete slowly throughout your activity. It will also require a fair amount of recovery afterward. Current stamina estimates how long you can keep running or biking at your current intensity level.

The new visual race predictor feature builds on the race predictor that’s already available on most high-end Garmin watches. Usually, you navigate to a data page that gives you time estimates for certain races like 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathons. The visual race predictor is simply a visual representation of this data, displayed in a graph to help you understand what time you’re trending towards for each race type.

Once you’re running or biking in a race, the new Up Ahead feature will hopefully help make the experience go more smoothly. Your Garmin watch will notify you of upcoming aid stations, trails, and next turns during a race. You can also set certain information to show on your Fenix 7 at a pre-defined checkpoint to help you manage your race. For instance, if you’d like to know your last split or upcoming elevation at a certain point in your race, you can set this ahead of time, and your Fenix 7 will notify you once you reach that distance. It’s like a temporary data page to help you plan things out.

More: The best Garmin watch faces for your Fenix, Venu, and more

And finally, Garmin is making it easier to find and download apps and watch faces suited for your device. Previously, downloading things from Connect IQ could only be done through the smartphone app or web interface. But now, Connect IQ On Device lets you see recommended apps right on your watch and download them over Wi-Fi — even if your phone isn’t connected over Bluetooth.

Of course, there are many other features on the Fenix 7 line that were already available for older Garmin watches. These include popular training features like PacePro and Garmin Coach, as well as Garmin’s fourth-generation Elevate heart rate sensor, pulse oximeter, advanced sleep monitoring, Body Battery, Health Snapshot, Garmin Pay, and onboard music storage.

Garmin Epix (Gen 2) series: What you need to know

Garmin Epix Gen 2 smartwatch

Ever since the original Garmin Venu, many have been asking for a truly high-end Garmin watch with an AMOLED display. The Garmin Epix is precisely that. Technically, this is the second Garmin Epix, though it’s completely different from the original that launched in 2015. Garmin told Android Authority it just really liked the name.

Think of the Garmin Epix as a Fenix 7, but with a touchscreen AMOLED instead of a more traditional MIP display. It has all the latest and greatest features available on the Fenix 7 line, including the new real-time stamina and visual race predictor features, Up Ahead, and Connect IQ On Device.

The Epix comes in two models: a base model made of stainless steel, and a Sapphire edition that has a sapphire display (duh) and is made of titanium.

Like the Fenix 7 line, the Sapphire model costs more but also comes with more features. You get increased onboard storage (32GB vs the base model’s 16GB) as well as pre-loaded TopoActive maps. The Sapphire model also has multi-band GNSS support, while the base model does not.

The display is a 1.3-inch AMOLED panel, not unlike the one you’d find on the Garmin Venu series. There are also five physical buttons around the case to control the device without using the touchscreen.

That higher-resolution display does mean the Epix won’t last as long as a Fenix device. Additionally, there’s no solar-powered Epix device. Battery life can last up to 16 days on a single charge in smartwatch mode, or up to 42 hours in GPS mode. Turning the always-on display on drastically reduces battery life down to six days in smartwatch mode and 30 hours in GPS mode.

Although the Epix resembles more of a traditional smartwatch, this is no Venu 2 Plus. There’s no speaker or microphone built into the watch, so it’s incompatible with voice assistants and does not support on-wrist phone calling.

Garmin Fenix 7 series and Epix specs

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7XGarmin Epix (Gen 2)

Display

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Fenix 7S:
1.2-inch MIP LCD
240 x 240 resolution

Fenix 7:
1.3-inch MIP LCD
260 x 260 resolution

Fenix 7X:
1.4-inch MIP LCD
280 x 280 resolution

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

1.3-inch touchscreen AMOLED
454 x 454 resolution

Input

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Five face buttons
Touchscreen

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Five face buttons
Touchscreen

Lens material

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Base model: Corning Gorilla Glass DX
Solar model: Power Glass
Sapphire Solar model: Power Sapphire

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Base model: Corning Gorilla Glass DX
Sapphire model: Sapphire crystal

Dimensions and weight

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Fenix 7S:
42 x 42 x 14.2mm
Base and Solar models: 63g (with band)
Sapphire Solar model: 58g (with band)

Fenix 7:
47 x 47 x 14.5mm
Base and Solar models: 79g (with band)
Sapphire Solar model: 73g (with band)

Fenix 7X:
51 x 51 x 14.9mm
Base and Solar models: 96g (with band)
Sapphire Solar model: 89g (with band)

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

47 x 47 x 14.5mm

Base model: 76g (with band)
Sapphire model: 70g (with band)

Build materials

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Bezel
Base and Solar models: Stainless steel
Sapphire Solar model: Titanium

Case
Base model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover
Solar model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with steel rear cover
Sapphire Solar model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with titanium rear cover

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Bezel
Base model: Stainless steel
Sapphire model: Titanium

Case
Base model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with steel rear cover
Sapphire model: Fiber-reinforced polymer with titanium rear cover

Battery

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Fenix 7S
Smartwatch mode: Up to 11 days / 14 days with solar
Smartwatch mode (w/ battery saver): Up to 38 days / 87 days with solar
GPS only: Up to 37 hours / 46 hours with solar
All satellite systems: Up to 26 hours / 30 hours with solar
All satellite systems + music: Up to 7 hours
Max battery GPS: Up to 90 hours / 162 hours with solar
Expedition GPS: Up to 26 days / 43 days with solar

Fenix 7
Smartwatch mode: Up to 18 days / 22 days with solar
Smartwatch mode (w/ battery saver): Up to 57 days / 173 days with solar
GPS only: Up to 57 hours / 73 hours with solar
All satellite systems: Up to 40 hours / 48 hours with solar
All satellite systems + music: Up to 10 hours
Max battery GPS: Up to 136 hours / 289 hours with solar
Expedition GPS: Up to 40 days / 74 days with solar

Fenix 7X
Smartwatch mode: Up to 28 days / 37 days with solar
Smartwatch mode (w/ battery saver): Up to 90 days / 1+ year with solar
GPS only: Up to 89 hours / 122 hours with solar
All satellite systems: Up to 63 hours / 77 hours with solar
All satellite systems + music: Up to 16 hours
Max battery GPS: Up to 213 hours / 578 hours with solar
Expedition GPS: Up to 62 days / 139 days with solar

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Smartwatch mode: Up to 16 days (6 days always-on)
Smartwatch mode (w/ battery saver): Up to 21 days
GPS only: Up to 42 hours (30 hours always-on)
All satellite systems: Up to 32 hours (24 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + multi-band: Up to 20 hours (15 hours always-on)
All satellite systems + music: Up to 10 hours (9 hours always-on)
Max battery GPS: Up to 75 hours
Expedition GPS: Up to 14 days

IP rating

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

10ATM

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

10ATM

Sensors

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor (Gen 4)
GPS
QZSS
GLONASS
Galileo
Beidou
Multi-band GNSS (Sapphire Solar model only)
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor (Gen 4)
GPS
QZSS
GLONASS
Galileo
Beidou
Multi-band GNSS (Sapphire model only)
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor

Connectivity

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Bluetooth Smart
ANT+
Wi-Fi

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Bluetooth Smart
ANT+
Wi-Fi

Storage

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Base model: 16GB
Solar and Sapphire Solar models: 32GB

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Base model: 16GB
Sapphire model: 32GB

Compatibility

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Android, iOS

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Android, iOS

Garmin Pay

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Yes

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Yes

Smartwatch features

Garmin Fenix 7, 7S, and 7X

Connect IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Plays and controls smartwatch music
Find my phone/find my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Connect IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Plays and controls smartwatch music
Find my phone/find my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack

Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix alternatives

garmin fenix 6 pro last activity health stats heart rate compass on wrist

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

  • Garmin Fenix 6 series: Buying last-gen tech is a good way to save some cash and still get most of the features you want. The Garmin Fenix 6 series can often be found on sale for hundreds of dollars less than its launch price.
  • Coros Vertix 2: If battery life and GPS accuracy are most important to you, check out the Coros Vertix 2. Coros’ latest outdoor watch isn’t perfect, though it does offer unique features like multi-band GNSS and a battery that can last up to 60 days on a charge.
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The Garmin Venu 2 Plus has an AMOLED display, as well as support for your smartphone’s voice assistant and on-wrist phone calls. Though we found it to be an overall solid multisport watch, it’s not as technically capable as the Fenix 7 or Epix.
  • Apple Watch Series 7: The Apple Watch Series 7 and Garmin Fenix 7 were made for different users. Still, it’s hard not to recommend Apple’s latest, as it is an all-around good smartwatch for sports tracking.
  • Suunto 9 Peak and Baro: The Suunto 9 Peak and Baro are the best of what Suunto has to offer. They don’t have offline mapping, though they have better-than-average battery life and support for onboard music.

Where to buy the Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin Epix

The Garmin Fenix 7 line pricing starts at $699 and goes all the way up to $999, depending on the size and model you choose. Pricing for each variant is as follows:

  • Garmin Fenix 7S: $699
  • Garmin Fenix 7S Solar: $799
  • Garmin Fenix 7S Solar Sapphire edition: $899
  • Garmin Fenix 7: $699
  • Garmin Fenix 7 Solar: $799
  • Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Sapphire edition: $899
  • Garmin Fenix 7X Solar: $899
  • Garmin Fenix 7X Solar Sapphire edition: $999

You can purchase the Fenix 7 series now from Garmin.com.

Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar

Garmin Fenix 7 series

More solar models and a touchscreen display

The Garmin Fenix 7 series is a big upgrade from the Fenix 6 line. It’s offered in more solar-charging models, each of which has a touchscreen display for easier device navigation. The new real-time stamina and visual race predictor features should prove useful for anyone training for their next big race. If you opt for the Fenix 7X, you’ll even get an on-wrist flashlight for when you’re exercising in dark environments.

Like the Fenix line, the Epix series costs a pretty penny. See pricing below:

  • Garmin Epix (Gen 2): $899
  • Garmin Epix (Gen 2) Sapphire edition: $999

The base model Epix is available in Slate Steel, while the Sapphire model is available in Black Titanium and White Titanium colorways. All models are available now from Garmin.com.

Garmin Epix

Garmin Epix

The Fenix 7, but with a touchscreen AMOLED display

Garmin usually reserves its AMOLED-touting watches for the mid-range, but no more. The Garmin Epix is a full-fledged outdoor and fitness watch with a bright AMOLED touchscreen and 16 days of battery life.

Top Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix questions and answers

Q: Do the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix have LTE?
A: No, neither the Garmin Fenix 7 nor Garmin Epix have LTE capabilities.

Q: Do the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix have ECG?
A: No, neither the Garmin Fenix 7 nor Garmin Epix have an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor.

Q: Do the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix support voice assistants or on-wrist calling?
A: No. The Fenix 7 and Epix series do not have built-in microphones or speakers, so they’re unable to support Bluetooth calling and voice assistants.

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