(Pocket-lint) - If you've ever eyed up an outdoor fitness tracking watch then chances are you'll have heard of Garmin's Fenix range, which sits towards the top of its product range. For 2022 it's been refreshed in the form of the Garmin Fenix 7, so what's new and exciting about this watch series?
We've long been fans of the Fenix range - the 6 Pro and 6 Pro Solar were top-mark products in our reviews - and the Fenix 7 takes all that was good about that and builds upon its feature set. There are a heap of options to cater for all specifics, too, with the Fenix 7S, Fenix 7, Fenix 7X all available in 'standard', Solar, and Sapphire Solar editions - the last two adding solar-power and Power Sapphire glass in addition.
Principal to the Fenix 7's new features is a touchscreen, which lacked in predecessors. It can be switched off if it's not to your taste, or you just wouldn't use it when out in the field, but we could see it being useful for specific tasks - perhaps when you're at home scrolling through data detail, for example.
There's also dual-band GPS on the Sapphire Solar Edition (including the L5 band) which is particularly useful for an outdoorsy watch where signal can be more challenging to acquire. Even a built-in torch features (on the 7X model only) to help illuminate your way - although use it sparingly if you want to save battery life.
All Fenix 7 watches come preloaded with SkiView to visualise run names and difficulty ratings for 2000+ ski resorts across the globe. The Solar and Solar Sapphire models come with TopoActive maps downloadable worldwide (not just region specific, as has been the case in previous watches). That latter point will be a big draw for world adventurers looking for topographic maps.
Garmin has long been developing tools for assessing energy, such as BodyBattery in its running watches (which is also included here, used in sync with the Pulse Ox bloody oxygen monitor and 24/7 heart-rate tracking).
The Fenix 7 also offers Real-Time Stamina, which is designed to track exertion levels during running or cycling. There's also a Visual Race Predictor feature to help assess your overall running training. Then Recovery Time Advisor can take into account training intensity across any discipline and advise on rest required.
Sounds like an all-around big update to the Fenix series then. Garmin will also introduce an Epix 'Gen 2' model, complete with an AMOLED display, skewed towards a more lifestyle customer - an outdoorsy alternative to, say, the Apple Watch Series 7, if you will.
The Garmin Fenix 7 series will go on sale from £599.99, with the Solar and Sapphire Solar models inevitably costing more.
If you love tracking stats and crunching the numbers on your latest outdoor activity, you'll love The Gear Loop. Our new sister site is here to bring you the freshest news, the most honest reviews, informative guides and inspirational travel features that cover all outdoor active lifestyle pursuits, from sea to summit. Whether that's running or cycling, winter sports or water sports, The Gear Loop has got it covered.