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Julia

Julia

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro review: Is it worth it? 8 functions I no longer want to do without (+ 2 hacks)

Shit. I take a deep breath. I can no longer see the trail, the fog embraces me. Markings are few and far between and the trail descends steeply beside my feet. Where do we go from here? 

This was just one of the many situations last year in which I was glad to have my little “Swiss army knife” on my wrist: The Garmin Fenix 7s Pro Saphhire Solar. Now it’s time for a recap – with my top 8 most used functionalities plus two somewhat hidden features you should definitely know about!

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Functional and beautiful - the Garmin Fenix 7s Pro Sapphire Solar has been with me for almost a year now. Before that, I used the 6s for a long time.

1. That's the way - routing, maps and turn-off information

Let’s start with the obvious – the sports functions. Hiking, running, trail running, climbing/bouldering (indoor) and ski touring are my most frequently used activities. I love one function for all outdoor activities: routing. Whether I suddenly can’t see the route in the fog on a ski tour or miss the turn-off when trail running because of all the flow – my wrist vibrates and I’m kindly reminded that I’ve strayed too far off course. And where the next turn-off is. Everything on a map on my wrist – my cell phone can stay in my pocket.

And the cool thing (hidden function 1): I can now use Swisstopo to send my mapped route directly to my Garmin Fenix 7s while I’m on the move. To do this, I simply click on “Export” in Swisstopo and then select Garmin Connect in the list of apps. There I select the activity, save it and send it to the watch. Voila! That’s what I wanted the watch to do, and it does it brilliantly. But that’s not all.

2. Get up and out - the training plan for today

Garmin also offers a variety of training plans – predefined or customizable – that are geared towards individual goals. Whether it’s running for time, distance or bodyweight exercises – the library is huge. I have put together my own training for my running days, in which I run according to heart rate zones and thus train my nasal breathing. Every day I can see what training I have to do and whether I have achieved my weekly activity goals. This motivates me to be active on a regular basis.

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3. Better safe than sorry - accident notification and SOS button

A feature that I only discovered when I looked into the subject of safety in depth on my three-week hike around the Glarus region. Garmin has an integrated incident detection function which, in the event of an accident, contacts stored personal emergency contacts and sends my exact position. My watch has already recognized a (supposed) accident twice: once I had come too close to an electric fence, another time I had jumped down a rock somewhat violently. Both times, the watch started to vibrate and displayed a countdown with the option to cancel the accident report manually. This gives me confidence that in the event of a real accident, it will be recognized and my loved ones will be notified. Important: This feature is not available for all sports (see list here) and requires both a watch-to-mobile connection and a cellular connection.

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Especially in remote regions without reception, the Garmin 7s Pro in combination with the inReach Messenger is worth its weight in gold.

A Garmin InReach makes sense for anyone traveling in remote areas without mobile phone coverage. It works via satellite and enables communication wherever a clear view of the sky is possible. This is where a mostly unknown function (and therefore tip no. 2) of the Fenix 7s Pro comes into play: the two “talk” to each other. Once they are paired, a satellite SOS can also be triggered via the watch. I’m thinking primarily of scenarios in which you can’t reach your cell phone or messenger due to an injury, or can only do so very painfully. An absolute plus for me!

Small watch, big functionality: 5 other functions that I use every day

Okay, the sports theme is clear. But the watch has a lot more to offer. I use five functions of the watch more or less every day – and it all starts with the alarm. Anyone who sleeps in a cabin or next to their partner knows that nothing is more annoying than waking up to someone else’s alarm clock when you could be sleeping in. The Garmin Fenix 7s Pro wakes me up every morning with a silent vibration on my wrist – so it’s really just me. I love it! My first glance then goes to the morning report: here I have my sleep score in view (getting enough sleep is important!) and see information about my heart rate variability, my training today and the weather. The view can be customized.

Sleep is not always good in the mountains – I can now read that in black and white in the morning…

The sun on your wrist and the sound in your ear

I continue with a short training session – my watch can recharge its batteries via solar charging in good weather, while mine tend to run down when I’m running. To keep me in the flow, I can save my music once on my watch via Wi-Fi and then listen to it as often as I like via Bluetooth – my phone stays at home for my training sessions in the forest. The solar function is particularly helpful on long hikes – I could clearly see the difference on my five-day tour from the Oberalp Pass through the Greina plain, as my girlfriend was out and about with the Fenix 6s Pro – without the solar function.

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In full sunlight, the performance of the watch is noticeably extended.

Small but useful: flashlight in mini format

How often do you lie snuggled up in your sleeping bag in the dark, only to realize that you’ve forgotten your Oropax? Or have to go to the toilet at night? In all these cases, the mini lamp in the new Fenix 7s Pro is simply worth its weight in gold. At first I thought: Do I need this? Last year I realized: Yes! I’ve used it so often to quickly check something or light the way. Another favorite function!

Conclusion on the Garmin Fenix 7s Pro Sapphire Solar

After using Garmin Fenix watches since 2019, my conclusion after almost a year with the Fenix 7s Pro is clear: this is the best Garmin I’ve ever had. It continues to perform as well as ever, withstanding every rock contact unscathed and supporting me on all my sporting adventures. If you want to see all the details about the watch, you can find all the information on the Garmin website:

Disclaimer: This article was written in cooperation with Garmin Germany. The descriptions are based on my own experiences.

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