don’t ❌ upgrade, Garmin Fenix 7 PRO adds very little – an ‘anti’ review but it’s still good

Garmin Fenix 7 PRO upgrade – an anti review

Don’t upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 7 PRO, there is very little to justify a move from the Fenix 7. Indeed with sales of the older Fenix 7 slowing and Garmin allowing discounting, there are some good deals on slightly older models.

That said, don’t underestimate Garmin’s best outdoor watch to date. Fenix 7 PRO is an excellent watch and there is no need to be concerned about getting one.


TL;DR - Garmin's best ever outdoor watch but not enough added to justify an upgrade from the Fenix 7 (2022)

Garmin Fenix 7 PRO anti review: Overflowing with athletic and outdoor features. Some are useful, many are not. It’s simply that there aren’t enough new ones to justify an expensive upgrade.

The Important truly new Stuff

These are ALL very nice features for outdoor adventurers and athletes, if you want to read more about each feature click on the link.

These features have very specific appeals. If you plan to run hills then the Hill Score is useful if not then…less so.

Similarly, I love what Garmin has done with the map overlays and split screen but I only occasionally have mini adventures and I know I have little use for them. If you are out every weekend somewhere near striving through the wilds then you could well use the features all the time.

Finally, the endurance Score seems to appeal to ultra athletes and triathletes training for longer distances but we’ve all managed perfectly well without this kind of information to date so we can easily survive a few more years without it.

The New Tweaks

Expanded Features

These are pre-existing capabilities that are now enjoyed by all Fenix 7 PRO models not just the 7X or sapphire versions. Solar benefits are very much over-rated unless you really need it for extremely long, multi-day adventures. Then there are the super-accurate GNSS chips that I love but do you really need that level of accuracy? Garmin has had excellent feedback and requests for the LED flashlights to be on all models; I mean, it’s handy but is it worth an upgrade just for a light?

Basic Rationale NOT to upgrade

All the new software features are also being added to the older Fenix 7. So if you ‘upgrade’ from one Fenix 7 model to the comparable PRO model all you add to the mix is a new optical HR sensor and maybe a flashlight or solar depending on what model you already have.

Just to be clear, Hill Score, all the map stuff, and the Endurance Score will all go to the existing Fenix 7 watches.

Honestly. It’s not worth it! Even the battery life is unchanged

If you have a Fenix 5 Plus or earlier the 7 PRO, the latter is a significantly better piece of kit. Similarly, an upgrade from the Fenix 6 makes sense as you now get a wholly new generation of hardware that has many new higher-spec components.

Where to buy a Garmin Fenix 7 PRO now:

I’ll update these as they become listed in the online stores

Base Model (w/Solar)

Sapphire Model (w/Solar)


TL;DR - Garmin's best ever outdoor watch but not enough added to justify an upgrade from the Fenix 7 (2022)

Garmin Fenix 7 PRO anti review: Overflowing with athletic and outdoor features. Some are useful, many are not. It’s simply that there aren’t enough new ones to justify an expensive upgrade.







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17 thoughts on “don’t ❌ upgrade, Garmin Fenix 7 PRO adds very little – an ‘anti’ review but it’s still good

  1. Imu using an F7X sapphire solar. The only advantage the pro series would have would be

    – display is better
    – I could move to non-sapphire, which AFAIK has better readability (less reflections)
    – new HR sensor

    So two improvements to the display, and the sensor. Oh, and faster charging.

    Seems indeed optimizing the last 2%…

  2. Especially don’t upgrade from a 7X to a 7X pro. You are just paying to beta test the optical module for the next generation of Garmin devices.

    The fenix 7X Sapphire Solar is virtually identical in feature set to the fenix 7X pro and now sells at a $200 discount. Or the enduro 2 has 23% more battery ra ge for the just about the same feature set and price when you factor in the cost of the bands.

    I don’t understand the positioning of the 7X Pro. The enduro 2 was a 7X with more range at a price premium. The 7X pro is just a 7X at a price premium without the extra range.

    It’s bizarre to have the 7X, enduro 2, and 7X Pro all in production at the same time with tiny differences in the bill of materials between them.

  3. I’m glad I waited on the Epix 2 as the Epix 2 Pro 47 or possibly the 51 looks enticing now with the flashlight and ECG capable sensor. I could see myself using the red led light and red display at night.

  4. The big draw for new customers will be the ECG sensors (apparently the fear of not being able to detect afib keeps many people clinging to their Apple Watch).

    Agreed that the 7Pro is a bit of a nothing-burger for the rest of us with Fenix 6/7.

  5. Also, for those not understanding why the 7 Pro exists given the few additions over the 7 (many of which will make it over to the 7 in time), it’s there solely to stay competitive against the Apple Watch Ultra and attract new customers over to the brand. I don’t think it’s really meant to entice Fenix 7 owners to upgrade.

  6. One could even argue, that F6 owners should grab the heavy discounted Epix 2 or F7 and get all the software features in a coming update. I’m certainly thinking about it.

    The price tag for Epix Pro and Fenix Pro are just insane, if you ask me.

  7. I use the Fenix 6X primarily in nature with maps. At rarely used intersections where the vegetation has grown the map is very important if you’ve never been to the location before. Weather forecast is crucial in the Mountain, it may be raining at the base, but the clouds could be at the top, freezing you, or below the peak, where the sun can burn you. The Fenix 6X map rotation is slow and the GPS is not always precise, but those are extremely important to determine the direction to follow on trails. On parallel trails even when the GPS signal is strong, it can show you at 5 meters away from the actual location, leading you onto a completely different trail. Additionally, on many mountain trails, there is no possibility of ascending further after descending. Given that, GPS accuracy, new map functions, and a screen with a higher refresh rate were exactly what I needed.

    1. yes, F7 and 7PRO will both give more precision and speed. the new map layers should give you the environmental info needed, though I’m guessing when out of cell range and in rapidly changing weather environments the forecast wont be too trustworthy

      1. But note the new overlays other than topo shadong anre only as new pages in the Weather widget and not the actual activity.

      2. yes, i need to clarify that somewhere, ty for reminding me.
        it’s a bit rubbish tho and I’m pretty sure garmin will change it unless there is some resource implication (which you’ll now tell me there is !!! 😉 )

  8. I don’t understand the ECG capable feature. Has an AF monitor been implemented, or is that expected to be added? How will it work to detect AF, and will you be able to look at your sign wave, save it, and send it to your doctor. Will it give an alarm sound and/or vibration in the event of AF occurring? Will it be an approved by FDA version (ie an accurate medical device) or just a amatuer health monitor?

  9. Thanks for the review – I have a Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar and don’t see it worth upgrading to the Pro. When do you expect the Fenix 8?

  10. As for performance, it’s astonishing: all the latest 2022/2023 models – F7 /E2 / Pro and FRx55 / FRx65 – have the same engine. Only the Instinct 2 / 2S / 2X / Crossover is anemic.—fenix-6-enduro-tactix-delta-quatix-6-marq—connect-iq-benchmark


    We’ll wait for a Teardown to realize the differences.

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