Like Apple, Garmin isn’t new to smartwatches. But unlike Apple, Garmin is less focused on connectivity and a network of products (phone, computer, tablet, watch) that work together as they are on fitness, health, and wellness. Today, we’ll compare the Apple Watch 7 vs Fenix 7 to help you make the right choice for you.
Apple & Garmin Watches: An Introduction
Apple Watch Series
While Apple may be one of the biggest players in the tech industry, there is one thing that makes them stand out among all other smartwatch makers: the exclusivity of their products (Apple Watch 7 included). Apple users typically use all Apple tech: for their TV, their computers, their phones, tablet, and their watch. We know people do this because the brand is reliable, innovative, intuitive to use, and responsive to changes in tech trends.
Apple has managed to stay on top of trends with their smartwatches, too, and continue to release new models with improvements as they did with iPods, and now do with iPhones. The Apple Watch Series 7 comes after quite a few models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and the Apple Watch SE. Alongside the 7, Apple still offers the 3 and SE Watches in their online store.
Apple Watches continue to follow the business model of keeping everything within the realm of Apple: for example, you can only access Apple watch faces on your smartwatch, and having an iPhone makes the watch setups far smoother. And unlike Garmin, Apple doesn’t always make fitness and health their focus. These watches are focused on keeping you connected, with fitness features as a bonus.
Garmin Fenix Series
Unlike Apple, the Garmin brand does not have to fit into a design aesthetic or follow in the footsteps of a lineaged line of products. Garmin offers a much wider inventory of smartwatches than Apple does, and for all types of people and interests, including multisport watches, watersport watches, running watches, and smartwatches focused on style and fashion.
The compatibility of Garmin watches might seem more attractive to some users, as they don’t require a specific type of phone or OS, and work with most Android or Apple phones. Many watch and smartwatch enthusiasts appreciate the Garmin brand’s long history and background in watch making. The Fenix 7 is part of a long line of exceptional sport and performance smartwatches from Garmin. The Fenix 7 comes behind the Fenix 6, 5, Chronos, 3, 2, and 1.
Series 7 Vs Fenix 7 Smartwatch Features
Fitness Tracking Features
All Apple Watches from the Series 3 and newer can now run on Apple Watch OS8. This means that to run many of the cool new fitness and sport features from Apple, you don’t necessarily need the new Series 7 watch, as cool as it is. One of the newest improvements from OS8 is the Automatic Cycling Detection, meaning you don’t have to do anything for your watch to track your bike ride other than start biking.
But when compared side-by-side, the number of activities you can track with either watch are similar, with neither watch standing out. Both have also added Pilates to their lineup of tracking profiles.
Fenix 7 vs. Series 7: Health Monitoring Features
The health monitoring capabilities are some of the most similar things about these two premium smartwatches. Both Apple and Fenix watch models offer a blood oxygen sensor, heart rate monitor sleep tracking, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope.
One of the coolest stand-out features on the Apple Watch 7 is their ECG app, which you won’t find on Garmin watches.
Fenix 7 vs. Series 7: Safety Features
Garmin has a host of features to keep you safe on workouts and make sure you’re always connected to loved ones. Garmin’s safety features work through your smartphone and Connect App. The app stores emergency contact information which will be used in certain situations:
- LiveTrack: Contacts can track your activities virtually, including your exact location.
- Group LiveTrack: Contacts can track you while you track them; can also be used just for fun!
- Live Event Sharing: Allows you to share your activities with your contacts; can be useful in emergencies, or when you hit big milestones in your workouts.
- Garmin Incident Detection during select activities: Great for people who work out alone, or for seniors, as your Fenix 7 will detect sudden impacts and stoppages in activities, then notify your contacts of your location.
- Assistance: Works similar to Incident Detection, but requires you to prompt the emergency message, rather than detecting and sending a message automatically.
You can also disable these features on your Fenix 7 if you don’t feel they’re needed.
Apple isn’t completely short on the safety features, but doesn’t offer quite as comprehensive safety assistance as Garmin does on the Fenix 7 or their other smartwatches. Apple does offer Emergency International Calling, Emergency SOS, and Fall Detection, which are all helpful for travelers, athletes, and active people alike.
Garmin Vs Fenix Design Comparison
Apple Watch 7 Vs Fenix 7 Overall Design and Options
The Apple Watch Series 7, and its predecessors, are–perhaps unsurprisingly, given Apple’s world-famous design aesthetic–the more fashion-forward choice. While the Fenix 7 is much cleaner looking than other Garmin multisport watches, it does not hold a candle to Apple’s full watch face design, sleek straight edges, and more compact nature.
But if a more classic watch look is what you are after, the Fenix 7 could be a good way to go. The Fenix 7 is not a bulky watch by any means, considering the features and solar charging it offers, but does have the traditional look, with a round face, bezel, and visible side button.
Both smartwatches offer a variety of customization options and color options, and neither are limiting in their styles. For both models, your design options will depend on which case size you choose. Apple has just introduced portrait faces, allowing you to create photo watch faces of family, friends, or pets.
However, Apple delivers seemingly unlimited design choices with their band selection, Nike and Hermes editions of the Series 7, and the price variety these choices provide.
Fenix 7 Vs. Series 7: Display and Screens
Both newer smartwatches offer bright, colorful, and easy-to-read screens. However, the Apple Watch 7 does have slightly better resolution than Garmin’s Fenix, no matter which size you get of either brand.
With the Series 7 screen taking up the entire watch face and eliminating the bezel completely, the Apple Watch 7 has a more modern feel to it than the Fenix 7. Garmin’s model resembles the traditional watch design with its slightly chunky case and bezel.
Apple Watch Series 7 Vs Fenix 7: Connectivity
If you want a smartwatch that can do it all and act as your phone, then your choice might be easier. With its LTE capabilities, the Apple Watch 7 acts as your phone when you don’t want to be weighed down, say on a workout. The Fenix 7 does not offer LTE, though it can still give you smart notifications when you get a text, email, or call on your phone.
Garmin does have an LTE smartwatch in their newest Garmin Forerunner 945. It is an exceptionally versatile sports watch that connects to Android or Apple and lets you make calls straight from your watch.
You can also use both smartwatches as a “wallet,” with Garmin Pay and Apple Pay.
Fenix 7 vs. Series 7: Battery Life
The Fenix 7 stands out in many ways when it comes to smartwatch batteries. First, the Fenix 7 watch comes in a Solar model, which allows you to charge it any time you’re in sunlight. Second, its life lasts a maximum of 28 days in smartwatch mode or 90 days in Battery Saver mode. The Battery Saver Mode can even be customized, so you can keep the features you need and boot the ones you don’t for the sake of your battery. This makes the Fenix 7 a great choice for those spending lots of time outdoors, including campers.
In contrast, the Apple 7 only lasts up to 18 hours, with no customizable power-saving modes like the Fenix 7.
Apple Watch 7 Vs Fenix 7: Smartwatch Specs
Garmin Fenix 7
|Case Sizes||51mm (7X); 47mm (7); 42mm (7S)|
|Color options||Silver/Graphite, Silver/Whitestone, Slate Grey/Black, Black Titanium/Black, Mineral Blue Titanium/Whitestone, Carbon Gray Titanium/Black|
|Upgrade options||Solar, or Sapphire Solar|
|Price range||$899.99 to $1299.99|
|Screen size/resolution||1.4” / 280×280 pixels|
Apple Watch Series 7
|Case Sizes||45mm or 41mm|
|Color options||Aluminum/Midnight, Aluminum/Starlight, Aluminum/Green, Aluminum/Blue, Aluminum/RED, Stainless Steel/ Graphite, Stainless Steel/Silver, Stainless Steel/Gold, Titanium/Space black, Titanium/Titanium|
|Upgrade options||Nike ($529), or Hermès ($1569-$2249) editions|
|Screen size/resolution||45mm – 1.7” / 396×484 pixels; 41mm – 1.6” / 352×430 pixels|
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant to buy the Apple Watch 7
|Apple Watch 7||Amazon||View offer|
|Apple Watch 7||eBay||View offer|
|Apple Watch 7||Apple||View offer|
|Apple Watch 7||Target||View offer|
Apple Vs Garmin: Who Wins?
Garmin has come a long way over the course of their smartwatch history. They now offer a large variety of sports watches and have made continuous innovations in the world of fitness tracking, health monitoring, and GPS capabilities. If you are an avid sports enthusiast and athlete and enjoy camping, hiking, cycling, swimming, or a little bit of everything, the Fenix 7 is a worthy investment. This is a smartwatch known best for its GPS accuracy and tracking abilities, as well as durability (and if you’re interested in comparing the Fenix 7 and 6, we got you).
Apple did make a number of design and feature improvements in their Series 7, but we do see this as more of an everyday smartwatch, rather than a fitness-focused gadget. The Series 7 isn’t necessarily for less active people, but it does come with a smaller price tag, which reflects its lack of solar charging and a smaller number of niche features. For avid Apple buyers, this is simply the next Apple gadget that won’t let you down.
Bernadette has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (where she lives). She has a passion for writing and we like her contribution and style to our blog. Bernadette loves the outdoors and things like hiking, camping, and biking. Wishing she could travel more.
Bernadette is an editor, writer and proofreader for Superwatches. Currently lives in Alberta Canada.