Garmin’s wearables aren’t usually noticed by first-time buyers who are just thinking about wearing wearables. They target hardcore users who know exactly what they want. The Garmin Phoenix 7X Solar follows that trend in T. For starters, it’s priced at Rs 98,990, which means it’s definitely not aimed at your general buyers. So, who is the ideal user of Garmin Phoenix 7X Solar, and is it worth asking the huge price? Find out!
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar: Construction and Design
Let’s face it, the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar is huge and heavy. If the Apple Watch Series 7 is a smooth and smooth sports car, then the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar is a bulldozer. It’s big, heavy, and butch. But that doesn’t mean it’s ugly. It has its own charm and generous use of brushed metal oozes maximo. In many ways, it reminds me of the CAT S60 (Revaluation) I reviewed many years ago. Its beauty lies in its effectiveness.
The wearable case is made of fiber-reinforced polymer with a metal back panel. The bezel itself is made of titanium and DLC (diamond-like carbon coated in titanium). The strap is made from silicone. It should be noted that the classic lace style features for strap fastening.
On the right, you’ll find two buttons, one used to start / stop an activity, the other used to mark a lap or return to the menu. Three buttons on the left. The bottom part is used for scrolling down, while the middle part is used for scrolling up and accessing menus. One of the top can also be used to turn on the backlight and turn on the flashlight.
Flashlights offer multiple levels of brightness and red light. This light can be tweaked in strobe, pulse or blitz. It can also be used to signal for help and will illuminate the SOS signal in Morse code. While in strobe mode, the light can be set to sync with the cadence. So when the arm is in the forward stroke, it will be illuminated in which and in the backstroke it will be illuminated in red. This can be quite helpful for those who are going to run at night.
With a build like this, you’ll expect the wearable to rub and the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar looks like it can absorb components. In a non-covid world, I would love to take it on a trip. But alas, I could not test the device to its limits. So I had to work by dipping the device in a bucket of water. Needless to say, it’s cut. It should also be noted that while most wearables are rated at 5 ATMs for water resistance, Garmin Fenix 7X Solar is rated at 10 ATMs.
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar: Display and UI
The Garmin Fenix 7X Solar packs a 1.4-inch trans-reflective memory-in-panel display. It is very similar to what we see on some Huami watches and provides quite good clarity in bright outdoor situations. Although the display is OK, I really wish I could have something like an OLED display, especially considering that the display is not so bright indoors, even with the backlight on.
Of course, the Garmin Phoenix 7X lives up to its name by offering solar charging. Just around the outside bezel, one can see the solar charger. I will give details about the wearable solar charging capability in the ‘Battery’ section of the review.
As far as the UI goes, Garmin has adopted its traditional UI and integrated touch controls. This makes it easier to use and makes scrolling through menus easier. However it can still be operated by buttons which means users can still access all the wearable features, even if they are wearing gloves. A neat touch.
The downside is that the UI is stuck in the middle. Using physical buttons is almost not as intuitive as Samsung’s rolling bezel or Apple’s digital crown. Fortunately, users have almost complete control over menus. So they can choose to show their most used apps and features. This helps to deny the problem of long and arduous scrolling.
As far as smart features are concerned, the Garmin is not a full-fledged smartwatch, but you will find some basic features. This includes the ability to send notifications, caller IDs and some limited responses to messages.
Garmin Phoenix 7X Solar: Fitness
The Fenix 7X is a multi-fitness device and Garmin takes that claim very seriously. The watch can track everything from walking to running, cycling, workouts and more. It can even track cycling, bouldering, skiing, surfing, rowing, racquet sports and much more. In fact, you can download different golf courses. The app can search nearby golf courses and gives you the option to download them But we are moving forward on our own.
I tried my 7-minute workout using the watch and it gives you all the basic information you will need such as workout length, calorie burning and average heart rate. But you can always dig into the app to get detailed information like the basic benefits of your workout, exercise load, intensity and much more. You can also access charts that track your heart rate. As far as heart rate tracking goes, the device seemed pretty accurate and I noticed a spike towards the cardio-heavy part of the workout.
As far as GPS tracking goes, I went for a walk around my community and it tracked my walk quite accurately. It even tracks the moment where I cut an angle. The only problem I mentioned is that the GPS doesn’t seem to work very well inside the house.
As far as slip tracking goes, the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar can track sleep quite well. The device can track sleep duration and identify stages like deep sleep, light sleep, REM and waking time. It will also take SpO2 readings and measure breathing as well as movement during sleep. It is very effective for people suffering from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. The only problem is that the huge size of the Garmin Phoenix 7X Solar makes it very uncomfortable to sleep. Not often, I open it before I go to sleep.
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar: App
Pair the Phoenix 7X Solar with the smartphone via the Garmin Connect app. It’s easy to pair with the app, simply log in to Garmin and then the app will start looking for nearby devices. Then just follow the on-screen instructions to pair.
The app is rich in information provided to the user. The main page provides brief information on the card. Detailed information is available by tapping on any card. Speaking of detailed information. While the sheer amount of information presented may seem overwhelming, Garmin has done a fine job of explaining each metric and how it affects you. Tap on any metrics to find out.
The app also has challenges that can help motivate users. In fact, users can create their own challenges and share them with the Garmin community. Speaking of the community, the News Feed section is a kind of social platform for Garmin users where they can add friends and share their workouts. Finally, there is a calendar section where users can select any day and see all their activity for that day. Of course, like everything else, users can go to the drop-down menu and edit them,
However, the app has a lot more to offer! Go to the drop-down menu and you’ll see more options to help you customize your experience. From here, you can download a plethora of different workouts that you can later access via wearables. These include HIIT workouts, yoga and more. If you continue to play golf, there is a separate option from which you can download the course.
Although the Garmin Connect app is very detailed, many times I feel overwhelmed with a lot of information. I hope Garmin is able to find a better way to present information without removing any features.
There is another app called Garmin Connect IQ. This application gives users customization options for their wearables. Users will not only be able to install apps like Amazon Music, Spotify or Dizar in addition to the watch face. The app can also be used to create your own watch faces through the ‘Face It’ section.
Garmin Phoenix 7X Solar: Battery
The Fenix 7X Solar will easily offer you week-long battery life. In fact, at the time of writing this review, the wearable has not been charged in just over a week, and the device, by itself, still has nine days of battery life left. But it should be noted that this is a condition of continuous heartbeat and SpO2 monitoring. A little more rational use can be further enhanced.
Battery life could have been extended if I had stayed longer. Solar panels on the outside bezel help increase battery life. Who else would not say? However, it should be noted that the watch cannot run on solar energy alone, it has to be charged via cable and this is where things get a bit frustrating. The Fenix 7X Solar is charged by a proprietary cable that is stuck in a slot at the bottom of the device. Ideally, I would prefer wireless charging or at least a magnet-based charger. At the moment it seems too old, especially considering the cost of the device.
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar: Judgment
The Garmin Fenix 7X is probably the best multi-sport watch you can buy now. It can do a lot and track. And on top of that, it’s very accurate and the Garmin Connect app gives very detailed information. It has a solid build, excellent accuracy and a host of activity tracking options. Additional features like solar panels and built-in flashlights can be really useful. But, in a million years, this is not something that most of us can afford. However, if you want the best, without the money, and with limited smart features, then the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar is the wearable for you.
If you want something more affordable, and just want to ride or bike, you may want to consider the Garmin Forerunner 55. It provides you with excellent accuracy and all the succulent statistics through the Garmin Connect app. However, you don’t have to say goodbye to a number of features, including a touchscreen. If you’re looking for a multi-sport watch with a nice design, the Fitbit Sense might fit the bill. It is quite beautiful and also offers a nice color touchscreen.
If you still want something that can handle great outdoors but want better smart features, the Suunto 7 Black (Revaluation) And if you just want a smartwatch with decent activity tracking, then an Apple Watch Series 7 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic might be for you.