New Garmin smartwatches take on Apple Watch Ultra


Garmin unveiled its the fēnix 7 Pro Series multisport GPS smartwatches.
Garmin unveiled its the fēnix 7 Pro Series multisport GPS smartwatches.
Photo: Garmin

Garmin unveiled three rugged new fēnix 7 Pro Series smartwatches Wednesday, giving Apple Watch Ultra a run for its money. The new multisport GPS watches have a lot in common with Ultra, including similar pricing depending on which features you select.

But the Garmin watches also offer a built-in LED flashlight and solar charging that helps provide 37 days of battery life in “smartwatch mode” and 139 days in “expedition mode,” according to the company.

Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Series smartwatches

Garmin’s new smartwatch models include “innovative performance features and mapping upgrades to help athletes and adventurers train for life” plus “around-the-clock health and wellness tracking,” the company said.

Watches in the Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Series — 7 Pro (47mm), 7S Pro (42mm) and 7X Pro (51mm) —  include a solar-charged display, touchscreen, buttons and fiber-reinforced polymer case with a steel bezel and rear cover with thermal, shock and water resistance.

“For more than a decade, many have relied on Garmin’s premium fēnix line for all their adventures, and we are thrilled to bring training and mapping advancements to the new fēnix 7 Pro Series,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin VP of Global Consumer Sales.

“Whether hitting dusty trails or scaling snowy summits, the fēnix 7 Pro Series is the ultimate companion—no matter where the path leads,” he added.

New  fēnix 7 Pro Series features

Here’s how Garmin described the new features in the series:

Built-in LED flashlight: Available on all size options, variable intensities, a red safety light and strobe mode help provide greater awareness while training in the dark.

MIP display: Redesigned pixels, backlight and solar panel improve indoor readability, providing increased brightness, power efficiency and adaptability to different lighting conditions.

Heart rate sensor: Enhanced optical sensors and sport-specific algorithms offer improved performance tracking for a wider variety of activities.

Endurance score: Measure how easy it is to sustain prolonged efforts while also taking into account training data like VO2 max, short and long-term training loads and more.

Hill score: Gauge how easy it is to run uphill by measuring running strength on steep climbs and running endurance on long ascents while evaluating progress over time based on VO2 max and training history.

Up Ahead feature: View certain running POI (point of interest) checkpoints, like aid stations, on a map.

Weather map overlays: More easily view upcoming weather conditions.

Relief shading: Quickly read topographic maps.

Additional preloaded activities: Whitewater rafting, motocross, overlanding and dozens of other new activities help users stay active.

Built-in sports apps

The watches include dozens of built-in sports apps based on activities plus other training tools.

Here’s how Garmin described them:

Every morning, athletes can receive a training readiness score to determine if it’s a good day to go hard or take it easy. Advanced training metrics like hill score, endurance score, VO2 max, training status and more will help gauge overall performance.

While out for a run or bike ride, PacePro provides GPS-based pace guidance for selected courses or distances, while ClimbPro displays real-time information on current and upcoming climbs.

The grade-adjusted pace feature provides an equivalent running pace at the same effort on flat ground or while ascending. Plus, to avoid burnout, stamina insights and wrist-based running power track exertion levels and power output in real-time.

The race widget provides training tips, personalized daily suggested workouts and completion time predictions for an upcoming event based on course details, weather and performance.

Personalized daily suggested workouts that adapt after every run or ride to match performance and recovery while also accounting for upcoming races that are added to the Garmin Connect calendar.

Mapping features

The watches’ advanced mapping features include SatIQ technology and multi-band signal reception along with multi-GNSS accurate positioning in different environments, Garmin said.

Here are some more map notes the company noted:

Preloaded TopoActive maps provide multi-continent mapping from around the world2.

Outdoor Maps+3 lets explorers receive premium mapping content, like satellite imagery, public land maps, enhanced TOPO maps and more right on the watch.

SkiView Maps allow skiers to view run names and difficulty ratings for more than 2,000 preloaded ski resorts worldwide while CourseView Maps let golfers access preloaded full-color maps for more than 43,000 golf courses around the world.

While out exploring, create round-trip routes from the wrist using Trendline popularity routing to find the best local paths.

Health tracking

The wearables’ health and wellness insights include wrist-based Pulse Ox4, Body Battery energy monitoring, advanced sleep monitoring and sleep score and more, Garmin said.

A Jet Lag Adviser feature lets you “enter trip details in the Garmin Connect calendar and receive guidance on light exposure, sleep schedule and exercise to help minimize the effects of jet lag.”

Paired with a compatible smartphone, the watches show smart notifications and allow Garmin Pay contactless payments.

Available models include: fēnix 7S Pro – 42mm, fēnix 7 Pro – 47mm and fēnix 7X Pro – 51mm, with options for standard and Sapphire Editions. Pricing range from $499.99 to $999.99.

Where to buy: Garmin

Source: Garmin


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