The Fenix 7 looks similar to the Fenix 7 Pro, but doesn’t have the new heart rate sensor on the Pro, and the smaller models of the Fenix 7 don’t have a flashlight. Everything else is pretty much just as good as on the older watch, with top-notch maps and navigation features, insightful training analysis and accurate GPS. However, you do need a sapphire model to get multi-band GPS on the Fenix 7.
- Cheaper than Fenix 7 Pro
- Non-solar models available
- Same software as Fenix 7 Pro
- No flashlight on Fenix 7S and 7
- Less accurate HR tracking than 7 Pro
- Multi-band GPS only on sapphire models
All the watches in the Fenix 7 Pro range have built-in flashlights and Garmin’s upgraded heart rate sensor, and have multi-band GPS tracking. You pay more for a 7 Pro watch, though, and there’s no cheaper non-solar option available in the range.
- Flashlights for all
- More accurate HR
- Multi-band GPS as standard
- More expensive than Fenix 7
Garmin opted for an incremental update to the Fenix 7 with the Fenix 7 Pro range, which has new hardware features and software updates that will be rolled back to the Fenix 7. It’s a better watch, but is it enough to make it worth spending more on the Fenix 7 Pro—especially as the 7 is still one of the best sports watches available? This guide will help you decide.
Garmin Fenix 7 vs Garmin Fenix 7 Pro: Price And Availability
There are a lot of watches in the Fenix 7 and Fenix 7 Pro ranges, and the prices vary based on size and materials used. There are three sizes, with the 7S being the smallest, the 7 in the middle, and the 7X being the largest, and you can opt for steel or titanium, the latter of which is lighter and more expensive. The Fenix 7 range launched in January 2022, and the Fenix 7 Pro range came out in May 2023.
The steel Fenix 7S and Fenix 7 watches cost $699.99 in the US and £559.99 in the UK, while the Fenix 7X is $899.99/£739.99 and has solar panels—there is no non-solar version of the 7X. The steel Fenix 7S Pro and Fenix 7 Pro watches are $799.99/£749.99, and the Fenix 7X Pro is $899.99/£829.99.
If you opt for a titanium watch it also has a sapphire screen and solar panels, whether you opt for a Pro watch or not, and the price of both ranges is the same in the US, but the older models are cheaper in the UK.
The Fenix 7S and 7 sapphire solar watches cost $899.99/£779.99, and the Fenix 7X sapphire solar is $999.99/£829.99. The Fenix 7S Pro and 7 Pro sapphire watches are $899.99/£829.99 and the Fenix 7X Pro sapphire is $999.99/£929.99.
Garmin devices regularly feature in sales events, especially as devices get older and new generations are released. It’s worth checking Amazon’s Prime Day Garmin deals in July and October, and for Black Friday Garmin deals in November.
How I Tested These Watches
I tested the 7X sapphire solar versions of both watches and used them for several weeks for our reviews on Coach. I’ve done a couple of runs using both the Fenix 7X and Fenix 7X Pro at the same time. To check heart rate accuracy, I compared the watch’s readings to a chest strap, and pored over the GPS tracks from each to hunt for errors.
The Fenix 7 Pro range introduced new software features, like hill score and endurance score, but they are all rolling back to the Fenix 7 watches, so the key differences between the generations are all in the hardware. There are clear differences on this front. The Fenix 7 Pro watches have Garmin’s new heart rate sensor and built-in flashlights, whereas only the Fenix 7X had a built-in flashlight in the older range.
Garmin has made multi-band GPS a standard feature on the Fenix 7 Pro range, while only the sapphire models in the Fenix 7 range have it, and the transflective memory-in-pixel displays on the Pro watches are meant to be brighter and clearer in low-light conditions. One smaller update is that all Pro watches have 32GB of storage, the same as the sapphire Fenix 7 watches, whereas the non-sapphire Fenix 7 watches had only 16GB.
The flashlight is a clear upgrade, since it’s useful to have it on your watch at times and then completely unobtrusive when you don’t need it. The improved screen, however, disappointed me. I didn’t notice any upgrade on the Fenix 7 Pro, which looks the same as the Fenix 7 to me. It’s a perfectly good screen, clear enough to read in all conditions, but I didn’t see a difference between the 7 and 7 Pro. Otherwise, the design of the two watches is identical, just with more colors currently available in the Fenix 7 range.
GPS And HR Accuracy
Garmin’s multi-band GPS is the most accurate I’ve come across on sports watches and it is a shame it’s not a standard feature across the Fenix 7 range. The GPS on the non-sapphire watches in the range is still good, but not on the same level as multi-band, and this is something that makes the price difference between the 7 and 7 Pro watches less of a concern. If you want the best GPS, you have to fork out for a sapphire model of the older watch anyway.
The new Pro watches also offer an upgrade in heart rate tracking accuracy. Throughout my testing of the Fenix 7X Pro it matched up well to the reading from a chest strap, with only the occasional big error. It still lags behind the reading of a chest strap, but for an optical heart rate monitor it’s impressively accurate, though I did test the watch during the summer and warmer conditions are helpful for optical HR accuracy.
I initially tested the Fenix 7 in the winter but have used it in warm conditions since, and while its heart rate tracking isn’t terrible it’s noticeably less accurate than the Fenix 7 Pro. It makes more mistakes and the reading errors last longer, which can skew the training analysis the watch does from a run. It also makes it harder to gauge your effort during runs using heart rate.
However, despite the Fenix 7 Pro being more accurate on heart rate, I’d still pair a chest strap to it with a view to avoiding even the occasional error, especially when doing heart rate-based training. So it’s not necessarily a big reason to upgrade to the newer watch unless you only use optical heart rate.
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See how the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro stacks up against other Garmin watches.
See how the Garmin Fenix 7 stacks up against other Garmin watches.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.