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Garmin Fenix 7: what we want to see

Garmin Fenix 6
The Garmin Fenix 6 (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Garmin Fenix 7 probably won’t land before around August 2021, so unsurprisingly we haven’t heard much about it yet, but it’s almost certainly coming and we certainly have ideas of what we want from it.

Below you’ll find information on the likely release date and price, plus speculation on the features and improvements that will be offered, and below that a list of the things we really want to see from it.

And make sure to check back regularly, as we’ll be updating this article with all the news, leaks and rumors until the Garmin Fenix 7 range is released.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The successor to the Garmin Fenix 6
  • When is it out? Possibly around August 2021
  • What will it cost? It's sure to have a top-end price

Garmin Fenix 7 release date and price

Early in 2020 we hypothesised that Garmin would release either the Fenix 7 or an updated Fenix 6 later that year. It turned out to be the latter, and in July 2020, Garmin released new solar versions of both the Fenix 6 Pro and 6 S Pro, with photovoltaic glass to keep the batteries topped up throughout the day.

We're expecting Garmin to stick with its usual mid-year release slot, and therefore wouldn't be surprised if the Fenix 7 lands in July or August 2021.

Garmin Fenix 6

The Garmin Fenix 6 launched in August 2019 (Image credit: TechRadar)

As for what the watch will cost, at launch the Garmin Fenix 6 started at £529.99 / $599.99 / AU$949. That’s for the standard Fenix 6, but there are a number of other models in the range, such as the Fenix 6S, Fenix 6X Pro, and Fenix 6X Pro Solar, topping out at £999 / $1,149.99 / AU$1,549.

While there aren’t any pricing rumors for the Garmin Fenix 7 range yet, it’s likely to cost a similar amount.

That said, Garmin does tweak the prices for new models and it has been known to go up as well as down, so the Fenix 7 might be a little more or a little less. However, as we're expecting this to be a 'stable' launch, we'd expect parity - the older models tend to be the cheaper options for those that don't want the newest models.

Garmin Fenix 7 leaks and news

There aren’t really any Garmin Fenix 7 rumors yet, but we can guess at some possible features and changes.

For example, it’s possible that the solar charging tech used on top-end models of the Garmin Fenix 6 will be made available across the range.

It’s also likely that Garmin will do what it can to reduce the size and weight of the watch, without compromising its outdoor credentials.

General improvements to the specs and screen are likely too, and we’ll probably see some new features. Exactly what isn’t clear yet, but we’ve listed some ideas of what we’d like to see below.

What we want to see in the Garmin Fenix 7

As great as the Garmin Fenix 6 is there’s certainly room for improvement, so here’s what we want from the Garmin Fenix 7.

1. A new look

Garmin Fenix 6

The Fenix 6 is a bulky device (Image credit: TechRadar)

No one would accuse the Garmin Fenix 6 of being stylish. That’s mostly okay, after all, it’s an outdoor watch and is appropriately rugged, but it’s also expensive, and having an expensive watch that isn’t smart or sleek enough for all situations isn’t ideal.

Plus, that bulky build also impacts its fitness credentials, as in our review we found it was too chunky to comfortably wear for yoga, for instance.

As such we’d like to see the Fenix 7 slimmed down, and ideally given a stylish makeover too. How viable that would be we’re not sure, given that we don’t want it to compromise on its core features and durability, but we’d like Garmin to try.

2. Make it more affordable

There’s no escaping that the Garmin Fenix 6 range is very expensive, even costing more than the Apple Watch 5. Now, this is a top-end range so it’s always going to be expensive, but if Garmin could shave a little off the price it should make the Fenix 7 a lot more appealing to a wider range of people.

3. Add a touchscreen

Garmin Fenix 6

The Fenix 6 has handy buttons but no touchscreen (Image credit: TechRadar)

For a high-end wearable the Garmin Fenix 6 is distinctly lacking some smart features, perhaps most notably a touchscreen.

Now, there’s a good reason for having buttons – whether you’re jogging or swimming a screen isn’t always the ideal method of interaction, particularly on a sports-focused wearable, and accidentally cancelling activity tracking mid-run with an errant brush of your hand would be a disaster.

So we don’t want the buttons to go anywhere (even though that probably would help with slimming the watch down) but we would like a touchscreen added as an option for when you're using it as a regular smartwatch. Just as long as we can lock it when we want to.

4. Solar charging across the range

Garmin added solar charging to its range with the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar, but the bulk of the Fenix 6 models don’t include it, so we’d like to see this become a standard feature for the Fenix 7 range.

That said, if it does we’d also like to see it improved, as in our review we didn’t find that it did much to improve the battery life. With its recently launched Quatix 6X Solar, Garmin proved solar can make a real difference, enabling the watch to last up to 24 days between charges, so we're cautiously optimistic.

5. Add an ECG…

Apple Watch 5

The Apple Watch 5 has an ECG, so why not the Fenix 7? (Image credit: Future)

While the Garmin Fenix range is more focused on fitness than general health, there’s no reason it can’t do both, and the addition of an ECG (electrocardiogram) would help with that.

We’ve already seen these on the Apple Watch, and it’s a potentially life-saving feature that can detect irregular heart activity.

6. …and a noise monitor

Another feature already found on the Apple Watch is a noise-level monitor, which will notify you when the decibel level around you reaches a level that could damage your hearing.

It’s a small feature but a potentially helpful one that would be a nice addition to the Fenix range. However, this is far from a dealbreaker; we understand that the Fenix line are primarily multi-sports watches designed with athletes in mind, so we don't anticipate them matching an all-purpose smartwatch's features like-for-like.

7. Make the screen sharper

The Garmin Fenix 6 has a 260 x 260 display, which isn’t terrible but pales in comparison to some smartwatches, so we’d like to see a crisper display on the Garmin Fenix 7.

That said, upping the pixels could also mean a hit on the battery life, so what would be even better is the option to choose what resolution to output the display at, much like some of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones can do.

8. Add fuelling guidance

The recently launched Polar Grit X is designed for serious endurance athletes, and one of its standout features is something we'd love to see in the next Garmin Fenix 7: fuelling advice. This helps ensure you stay hydrated and avoid hitting the wall by prompting you to take water and carbs on board at regular intervals, based on your physiology and planned activity. You often don't realise you're getting dehydrated or running low oh glycogen until it's too late, so it could save you a lot of pain on long runs and rides.

James Rogerson
James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps.