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Garmin fēnix 7 Pro vs fēnix 7 Series | What’s the Difference?

Garmin fēnix 7 Pro vs fēnix 7 Series | What’s the Difference?

Here’s everything you need to know about the fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro & the previous fēnix lineup. We go over every new feature and upgrade in detail on this premium 2023 Garmin watch!

Does the new Garmin fēnix 7 Pro have many new features and upgrades?


Are they enough to warrant an upgrade if you already have a previous fēnix 7?

That depends.

Should you consider this watch if you are in the market for a premium multisport GPS watch?

Most definitely.

In this article, we go over all of the differences between this new Garmin fēnix series and the last one. Some buzz about the new fēnix 7 Pro suggests it’s not that different. We beg to differ a bit. Check out why below!

The Quick and Dirty on the New fēnix 7 Pro Series

  • A built-in LED flashlight now on every fēnix 7 Pro size and model.
  • Now, every watch in the fēnix 7 Pro family of advanced multisport GPS watches features solar-charging technology.
  • To enhance your training, this running watch includes the new Hill Score feature.
  • Includes Garmin’s new Endurance Score feature.
  • Next-generation MIP display for improved indoor readability, increased brightness, power efficiency and adaptability to different lighting conditions.
  • Garmin’s next-gen heart rate sensor.
  • An enhanced Up Ahead navigation feature.
  • Improved weather map overlays.
  • New relief shading on maps.
  • Additional preloaded activities.

Garmin fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar with several watch band options sitting on a rock

Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Solar Series vs fēnix 7 Models & Sizes

Like the previous fēnix 7 lineup of GPS watches, the fēnix 7 Pro Solar & Sapphire Solar series is created for every wrist.  

But because all of the models are solar GPS watches, there’s no standard model for each size, thus a few less models.

The previous Garmin fēnix family had 16 models to choose from, with a lot of little differences in each size.

In the 2023 fēnix 7 Pro multisport GPS watch family, there are 9 watches—and the options are easy to understand: Each size has one Pro Solar model and two Pro Sapphire Solar models. Simple and straightforward shopping folks!

What’s the Difference Between the fēnix 7 Pro Solar and fēnix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar?

  • Solar models are topped with a Power Glass™ lens, while the fēnix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar watches feature a scratch-resistant Power Sapphire™ lens for longer-lasting durability.
  • The Sapphire Solar options have durable and lightweight titanium bezels and rear covers, whereas the Solar editions feature stainless steel bezels and rear covers.
  • The Sapphire Solar fēnix 7 Pro watches are about 5 grams lighter on the wrist.
  • Unlike with the previous fēnix 7 series, all  fēnix 7 Pro models and sizes come out of box with preloaded topo maps and multi-frequency positioning. Before, you could only get these on the Sapphire models. 

Garmin fenix 7S Pro Sapphire Solar multisport watch with several watch bands options on a rock

New Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Training Features

Get a better understanding of fitness levels with advanced training features such as Hill Score and Endurance Score.

Hills are a natural place to focus when planning a course or strategizing for a race. Uphill battles are where memories are made—where your courage and abilities are put to the test. The Hill Score feature on the new fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro can help you understand and improve your own uphill running abilities. Gain insight into how the hills you run in training enhance your performance and monitor progress over time.

Endurance Score is a feature on this Garmin watch designed to connect the dots between fitness, training, and your ability to sustain performances over long periods. Your endurance score is a dynamic number that increases and decreases to reflect changes in your endurance. Higher scores reflect more capacity for longer performances.

Built from the ground up to deliver a true multisport perspective, every activity you record with heart rate contributes and enhances understanding of your endurance. A flexible approach allows you to benefit from new insight while enjoying whatever activities keep you going and going.

New Built-In Flashlight on the 2023 Garmin fēnix Watches

 Two hikers getting in the trunk of a car at night wearing Garmin fenix 7 Pro multisport GPS watches with the LED flashlights glowing

We’re excited to announce that each fēnix 7 Pro features a built-in LED flashlight with variable intensities and strobe mode.

Variable light intensities and a red safety light give you greater awareness while you train in the dark and can provide convenient illumination when you need it. Strobe mode can even match your running cadence.

Whether you are out on a long backcountry weekend or looking for kids' toys on the floor of your car, it’s a super-handy tool when you need it.

Once you have one on your wrist, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

New Red Shift Mode

This new Garmin watch feature changes display colors to shades of red to help users better acclimate to darker conditions and reduce sleep cycle disturbance. 

Garmin fēnix 7 vs fēnix 7 Pro Preloaded Activities

This Garmin multisport GPS watch can help you stay active with dozens of new, preloaded activities including soccer, basketball, racquet sports, horseback riding, and more.

Packed with built-in sports apps—including new team sport activities like football, baseball, softball and more—the fēnix 7 Pro Series provides data and insights for any passion. 

Whether working out at a gym or in the comfort of one’s home, this sport watch tracks activities like strength, cardio, indoor rowing, stair stepping, yoga, and HIIT. Users can also follow animated cardio, strength, yoga and Pilates workouts right on their watch screen. 

If you’re exploring the great outdoors, you can keep track of adventures like hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, whitewater rafting, and more.

Enhanced Up Ahead Navigation Feature

On the previous Garmin fēnix 7, the Up Ahead feature allowed you to enter in certain POI (point of interest) checkpoints, like aid stations, to get a better understanding of what’s ahead.

The navigation feature would then give you a rolling list of these waypoints, showing you the distance to each. 

With the new fēnix 7 Pro, the icons for your selected points of interest show up right on the map view of your pre-designed course. 

“Honestly, this is something I always wanted Garmin to do, and now seeing those icons on the map is really useful.” —Dave from Chase the Summit fēnix 7 Pro review.

Improved Garmin Heart Rate Sensor

“This is pretty exciting,” was what our go-to running watch expert, Dave at Chase the Summit had to say about the new Garmin optical heart rate sensors on the 2023 epix Pro and fēnix 7 Pro series.

The new optical heart rate sensor is a bit larger with a diamond-shaped appearance—they have more LEDs (6 instead of 2!) that illuminate your skin when you are wearing the watch. Translation: better accuracy. 

Dave says that while Garmin’s previous heart rate sensor does a great job, he did notice that with the bigger watches—like the Enduro 2 or the previou fēnix 7X—they would move around a bit on his wrist and have some minor deviations in the heart rate data. 

However, with the new heart rate sensor, even on the larger models—51 mm epix Pro and fēnix 7X Pro—he experienced “a lot less” deviation in feedback.

New Weather Map Overlays on the 2023 fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro

New weather map overlays on the Garmin fēnix 7 Pro multisport GPS watch make it easier to view upcoming weather conditions. 

You’ll see things like precipitation, cloud coverage, temperature, and wind speed that you can view on a map display while you’re out in the wild. This is a map within the weather widget, not the map for the activity that you’ve created, i.e., the two are separate.

Keep in mind, you do need to be able to pair this feature with your phone or it will not update.

Garmin fēnix 7 Pro vs fenix 7 Series Topo Maps 

The Garmin fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar multisport GPS watch with topo maps on the display

Both the previous fēnix 7 and 2023 fēnix 7 Pro offer access to full-color TopoActive maps. But the new fēnix 7 Pro series takes it to the next level with the new relief shading feature, which makes topographic maps more quickly readable for glanceable awareness.

Garmin fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro vs fēnix 7 Series Price

So, here’s what’s so cool about Garmin: just because they put out a new watch with many updated and new bells and whistles, they don’t always increase the price.

We’re happy to report that you will pay the same for the new fēnix 7 Pro series as you would have for the original fēnix 7 Solar or Solar Sapphire, which looks like this:

 Garmin fēnix 7S Pro (42 mm) Price:

  • Solar Standard — $799.99
  • Solar Sapphire — $899.99

Garmin fēnix 7 Pro (47 mm) Price:

  • Solar Standard — $799.99
  • Solar Sapphire — $899.99

Garmin fēnix 7X Pro (51 mm) Price:

  • Solar Standard — $899.99
  • Solar Sapphire — $999.99

Of course, now you can get a discount on the previous fēnix 7 series of watches, usually about $50 off until they’re gone.

The Wrap on This Premium Garmin Watch Comparison

Garmin fenix 7 Pro multisport GPS watch on a wrist of a hand tucked into a coat

Should you buy a new fēnix 7 Pro?

If you’re in the market for a new premium multisport GPS watch that takes “premium” to the next level—and you have the budget—then you should definitely consider this Garmin watch.

If you already own a previous fēnix 7 or even a Garmin epix (Gen 2) multisport watch, you might wait for successive firmware updates to see if you can get any of the new features.

If you want basically the same watch with an eye-catching AMOLED and don’t mind giving up the solar-charging technology, you might want to take a look at the 2023 epix Pro (Gen 2).

However, if you really want to charge as little as possible or spend a lot of time out in the wild—you may prefer the solar-charging power and ruggedness of a fēnix 7 Pro model!
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