[Update 18/12/21] Added new images that are reportedly the Garmin Fenix 7.
[Updated 07/01/22] More Fenix 7 specs revealed including likely ECG and longer battery life
The Fenix 5 was launched in 2017, and this too received an upgrade a year later with the Fenix 5 Plus, which added mapping, music, and Garmin Pay.
Based on previous timelines, you may be wondering why hasn’t the Garmin Fenix 7 been launched yet.
When will the Garmin Fenix 7 be released?
TLDR – We don’t know, but 2022 is pretty much guaranteed. An announcement in January at CES 2022 is a possibility.
FCC filings were made at the start of this year for a device that could likely be the Fenix 7.
More recently, FCC listings have been updated, confirming the name of Fenix 7X. Apart from the name, it doesn’t really confirm much, the testing includes WiFi 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth, Ant and NFC, which are all features in the current generation of watches.
Reddit users also believe that FCC ID’s A04111 and A04110 are the Fenix 7 and Fenix 7S.
The general belief is that Garmin planned to launch the Fenix 7 series this year, following previous launch cycles, but have delayed it for whatever reason.
Considering all the shipping/logistics and chip shortages companies have faced this year, it is perhaps not surprising that Garmin delayed the launch, so they could ensure stock could be supplied.
The sceptic in me also thinks that Garmin has seen an increase in demand for their devices (like most fitness equipment and technology), so why launch something new when something old is selling well?
So overall, we don’t know. It seems likely that it will launch relatively soon, so Q1 2022 is possible. The Fenix 5 series launched in January 2017 during CES, and it is quite possible that the Fenix 7 could be announced during CES 2022.
Garmin Fenix 7 Design
New leaked images of the Garmin Fenix 7 have been posted by winfuture.de. They are normally a reliable source for leaks so I would class these as having a high chance of being accurate.
Garmin Fenix 7 – Features
If the above wasn’t accurate enough for you, then you will be disappointed with this section. Nothing is confirmed but the leaked images do reveal a few things.
The two common features people expect will come are an AMOLED display and LTE mobile data connectivity.
LTE / Mobile Data – Unlikely
The FCC filings don’t list LTE, so I wouldn’t get too hopeful about this feature. Cellular connectivity does appear to be in high demand from many Garmin users, and it would offer a good functionality improvement. Specifically, it would be useful for incident detection avoiding the reliance of a connection with your phone.
Transflective Memory-in-Pixel (MIP) Display for the Fenix 7, AMOLED for the Epix 2
While the Venu 2 has an AMOLED display with good battery life, the Fenix range is very much a multisport watch, and I don’t think Garmin will sacrifice functionality for the sake of a pretty display.
We now know that the Fenix 7 will almost certainly have a Transflective MIP display, it will be the same size and resolution as the Fenix 6. However, it will now be a touchscreen.
Battery Life & Solar
[Update 07/01/22] Some new important batter and solar information has been revealed.
The none-solar Fenix 7 can do 18 days in smartwatch mode with 57 hours GPS use. That’s an impressive 28.5% and 58% improvement compared to the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.
For solar, the Fenix 6 Pro Solar could do 16 days with solar and 40 hours GPS with solar. The Fenix 7 solar increases that to 22 days and 73 hours which is a 37.5% and 82% improvement. It had previously been rumoured the solar panel strip was bigger, and this appears to confirm it.
Improved battery and solar performance would make a lot of sense. The Fenix 5 and 6 had the same smartwatch battery life, but the GPS battery life increased 50% going up from 24 hours to 35 hours. The Solar charging appears to have been a popular addition for the Fenix 6 range, so I’d expect to see that included, and it is quite likely Garmin will also improve the performance with a larger solar rim.
If we look at the leaked image compared with the Fenix 6 Pro Solar, it does indeed appear to have a larger solar rim.
There will not be wireless QI charging
I noticed multiple comments suggesting QI wireless charging would be a good feature, and I 100% agree. It would save me having to remember to take a proprietary charger anytime I am on holiday. Almost all other smartwatch brands use wireless charging, so it seems a bit ridiculous that Garmin (and Suunto) still require proprietary chargers.
Sadly, the leaked images reveal that the Fenix 7 will be using the same charger as the previous generation.
Garmin Elevate V4 Sensor
Upgrading to the Garmin Elevate V4 sensor is very likely, or perhaps something even newer (less likely). The leaked images appear to indicate the Elevate V4 sensor.
The Venu 2 launched back in April 2021 with the new Garmin Elevate V4 sensor, and it makes sense that the Fenix 7 will get it. It is possible they will extend the functionality to include ECG/EFib.
A new Sony dual-frequency GNSS receiver seems likely. Sony launched a new chip in the past year, and we have already seen other wearables such as the Huawei Watch GT3 integrate dual-frequency GNSS. This will theoretically offer improved performance with faster lock-on times.
A lot of people seem to think the new watch may be slimmer, allowing it to appeal to a wider audience. Again, I feel like Garmin wouldn’t sacrifice functionality over form and slimming things down significantly will likely have a detrimental impact elsewhere.
Firstbeat Health / Training Features
It is quite likely that there will be significant software upgrades that will extend the overall analytics and health features that are on offer. Garmin has already acquired Firstbeat
There are 29 Firstbeat features currently, covering everyday life, mid-exercise data and training management. I would expect new features to be added and existing features to be improved. A complete guess on my part, but with the increased popularity of running power, it could be that Garmin might introduce this
At the moment, the information available is very thin on the ground. All the features are just rumours and speculation.
It does appear that the watch is nearly ready to be launched, it was quite likely delayed, but specifics on when it will launch remain unknown. I am hoping for some CES announcements.