A tactical watch is not for everyone. But for someone like a Navy Seal, first responder, outdoor adventurer, or extreme sports enthusiast—a military-grade tactical watch is a tool that can help with survival in harsh or dangerous conditions. It’s also a health and fitness smartwatch that can keep you on schedule, aligned with workout goals, and aware of your body’s wellness.
That’s asking a lot of a watch, and the Garmin tactix 7 series is up for the challenge. There are currently several models—including the standard edition, the tactix 7 Pro, and the tactix 7 Pro Ballistics editions.
And on September 19, 2023, Garmin released the Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED Edition, adding a stunning display that can be viewed in any lighting (and dimmable for when you need to go undetected).
But there are just a few trade-offs involved when an AMOLED screen is added to the mix. In this article, we go over those fine points. If you find that the minor compromises for the benefit of a really cool, brighter display are no big deal, then you’ll know this new Garmin watch is likely your speed.
If the trade-offs are significant to your use case—no big deal. You can still get one of the other tactix 7 GPS watches if you prefer.
Fortunately, Garmin likes to give their users options. And that’s what we’re here to help you understand in this article. Let’s get on with it!
Benefits of the 2023 Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED Tactical GPS Watch
The number one standout benefit of the Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED edition is the lusciously bright display. After your need for a high-quality, purpose-built, military-grade tactical watch, this will be your reason for buying this watch. You’ll get it because you want the best color touchscreen on a giant 1.4” display. It also features traditional 5-button operation for those critical moments when you need to implement tactical features, as in harsh weather conditions. You can disable the touchscreen when necessary.
Another new option with this Garmin tactical watch is that it comes pre-installed with the Applied Ballistics® solver that is activated with the download of the AB Synapse™ – Garmin smart-device app (unlock fee required). (This a calculator for long range rifle shooting accuracy.)
The tactix 7 AMOLED also features a new Red Shift mode that changes the display to shades of red to help you better acclimate to darker conditions and reduce sleep-cycle disturbance.
You’ll get all of the tactical features that come in the Garmin tactix 7 series outdoor GPS watches, which are:
- Night Vision
- Preloaded Tactical Activity
- Aviation Features—NexRadar & Fly Activity
- Dual-position GPS formatting
- Jumpmaster Mode
- Projected Waypoints
- Stealth Mode—turns off all comms & won't store GPS data
- Kill Switch—a super quick factory reset to wipe out watch data
- Dimmable white or green LED flashlight
As with the other tactix 7 watches, you also get all the premium features that come with Garmin’s top tier of GPS multisport watches, including:
- Get advanced training tools and performance tracking right on your wrist, such as endurance and real-time stamina, HIIT and Strength activity profiles, along with the most running, marathon, and triathlon-specific training tools available on a Garmin watch. New to the AMOLED edition: Hill Score, Endurance Score, and wrist-based running power!
Multi-frequency GPS positioning, extensive navigation features, and loads of maps including full-color topographical.
- This new tactix 7 is packed with comprehensive health and wellness monitoring with Garmin's latest, highly-accurate optical heart rate sensor, Body Battery™ energy monitor, Pulse Ox for altitude acclimation, and advanced sleep monitoring, and more.
- Garmin Pay™ contactless payments, smartwatch notifications, safety tracking, and on-watch music storage add to the 24/7 wearability that gives this tactical watch a smart edge.
Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED vs tactix 7 Standard Edition
For $300 more than the original standard tactix 7 model, this new Garmin tactix 7 puts an irresistible AMOLED display on your wrist. It also adds a couple of more highly useful features for the right user: It comes pre-installed with an Applied Ballistics solver that is activated with a download of the AB Synapse™ – Garmin smart-device app (unlock fee required). This feature allows you to calculate accurate fire control solutions for long range rifle shooting.
This 2023 Garmin tactical watch also features Red Shift mode, which changes your display to shades of red to help you better acclimate to darker conditions and reduce sleep-cycle disturbance.
However, you lose a few things with the AMOLED edition of the tactix 7.
For the price, battery life is not improved. That is sometimes the cost of a brighter screen. Neither the standard edition or this new tactix 7 GPS watch offers solar-charging.
But in the grand scheme of things—they both still offer amazing battery life. Only when compared to the tactix 7 Pro and Pro Ballistics models with solar-charging technology, are they substantially less in this category (see Battery Life section below). It will depend on the types of missions you need your tactical watch for.
The new AMOLED model gets a few more days in smartwatch mode (when not in always-on mode), but after that, it gets less in every other battery life mode compared to the standard edition. Something to consider if you'll be off the grid for long periods of time.
This new version is also several grams heavier — 96 g vs 89 g.
If you need to push your military GPS watch to the ultimate limits, you may want to check out the Garmin tactix 7 Pro or tactix 7 Pro Ballistics instead.
Garmin tactix 7 Pro Solar vs the new tactix 7 AMOLED
When it comes to the new AMOLED version and the tactix 7 Pro, the new tactical watch in this series is going to cost you $200 more—and that's going to get you the vibrant display, the Red Shift mode which helps you acclimate to your screen better in the dark, and pre-installed with an Applied Ballistics solver (which you activate with app download and an activation fee).
But the major difference here is the solar-charging technology on the tactix 7 Pro tactical smartwatch. In battery saver mode, the Pro can get up to a year with solar. A year!
If battery life beats out an AMOLED display and the Applied Ballistics solver (for more accurate long range shooting)—then you might want the Garmin tactix 7 Pro.
This tactix 7 AMOLED also weighs a bit more than the tactix 7 Pro.
Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED vs tactix 7 Pro Ballistics
But you might ask: What if I want solar power AND the Applied Ballistics solver?
Then you're looking at the Garmin tactix 7 Pro Ballistics. It's $200 more than the new Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED Edition, but it's got solar-charging technology for ridiculously long battery life between charging—plus the ballistics calculator all ready to go!
Garmin tactix 7 Series Battery Life
Even though every watch in the tactix 7 lineup has impressive battery life compared to other brands—and even other Garmin watches—they are three different power experiences.
But the kind of people who purchase a military-grade GPS tactical watch often find themselves in extreme situations—and they may need extreme battery life on their wrist.
Your tactical watch battery life with come down to your specific use cases and how often you will be able to charge. Here's what each tactix 7 model offers:
New tactix 7 AMOLED Edition Battery Life:
- Smartwatch: Up to 31 days (11 days always-on)
- Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 41 days
- GPS Only: Up to 82 hours (58 hours always-on)
- All Satellite Systems: Up to 62 hours (48 hours always-on)
- All Satellite Systems + Multi-band: Up to 38 hours (30 hours always-on)
- All Satellite Systems + Music: Up to 17 hours
- Max Battery GPS: Up to 145 hours
- Expedition GPS: Up to 27 days
tactix 7 Standard Edition Battery Life:
- Smartwatch: Up to 28 days
- Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 90 days
- GPS Only: Up to 89 hours
- All Satelilte Systems: Up to 63 hours
- All Satellite Systems + Music: Up to 16 hours
- Max Battery GPS: Up to 213 hours
- Expedition GPS: Up to 62 days
Garmin tactix 7 Pro & Pro Ballistics Battery Life:
- Smartwatch: Up to 28 days/37 days with solar
- Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 90 days/1+ year with solar
- GPS Only: Up to 89 hours/122 hours with solar
- All Satellte 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
Understanding Garmin tactix 7 Series Pricing
These are not cheap watches. But if you're in the market for a tactical military GPS watch, you probably already know that.
All current tactix 7 models have the same tactical features, training tools, health and wellness monitoring, and smart features.
The differences, as we discussed above, are in battery life, solar-charging, materials, lens material—and, of course, the display. And they are priced accordingly, as follows:
- Garmin tactix 7 Standard Edition Price: $1,099.99
- Garmin tactix 7 Pro Edition Price: $1,299.99
- Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED Edition Price: $1,399.99
- Garmin tactix 7 Pro Ballistics Edition Price: $1,599.99
Is the Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED the Tactical Watch for You?
If you want that stunningly bright display (that is dimmable), the Garmin tactix 7 AMOLED Edition might be for you.
If you require excellent battery life, but not the extreme of solar-charging, it might be for you.
If at some point in time, you'll want to activate that ballistics calculator, this is one of two options for you (and $200 cheaper than the tactix 7 Pro Ballistics until you decide).
Aside from these fine points, all of the tactix 7 Series tactical watches are topped of with scratch-resistant Sapphire lenses, decked out with Garmin's best training tools and workout activities, maps and navigation, superior GPS positioning technology, top health and wellness monitoring and feedback, and smart features.
Hopefully this article has helped you find the right Garmin tactical watch that makes the most sense for you!