Two of Garmin’s biggest releases of the last two years was launched recently: the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin EPIX. The Fenix has been a highly anticipated release while the second-generation EPIX was a surprise to everyone. Both designs look incredibly similar and within, they host almost exactly the same luxury smartwatch features. And yet there are definitely some significant differences between the Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin EPIX. Here’s everything you need to know….
Choice of Case Size
At a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin EPIX were in the same collection. Both are strong, sturdy looking smartwatches engineered with titanium bezels, screwed lugs and chunky fibre-reinforced polymer cases with the classic five-button interface. The main distinction in design however comes from multitude of choice. The Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar watch comes in fifteen variations with several colourways, straps and sizes to choose from while the Garmin EPIX comes in one size and only three colourways.
The Garmin Fenix 7 is split into three categories, the Fenix 7S which is the smallest 42mm model, the Fenix 7 at 47mm and the largest Fenix 7X which sits on the wrist at 51mm. Each of the three sizes then comes in five different designs with options of coloured DLC coatings and choices of rubber, leather or metal straps. For the Garmin EPIX 2 watch, there’s no debate on sizing as the case comes at the standard 47mm in three colourways fitted on a choice of rubber or leather straps.
Solar vs AMOLED Display
Without a doubt, the biggest difference between the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin EPIX watches is their displays. This is where the preference between the two will lie for most of you; it’s ultimately whether you’d prefer the solar-powered sapphire crystal display of the Garmin Fenix 7 or the high-resolution AMOLED display of the EPIX. To help you make your decision, here’s some of the advantages of both display options.
On the Garmin Fenix 7, the solar display is going to be a great choice for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors and values extended battery life over a crisper resolution. The solar-powered lens also benefits from protection by sapphire crystal glass, one of the best material in the luxury watchmaking industry for scratch resistance. The display itself measures to 1.30 inches on the middle-range 47mm Fenix 7 with a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels.
In contrast, the Garmin EPIX has no solar harvesting capabilities so would need to be charged like any regular smartwatch but its AMOLED display is undeniably brighter and more vibrant compared to the Fenix 7. It lends itself incredibly well to tools like the preloaded mapping and animated workouts as does its responsiveness and always-on option. The Garmin EPIX’s display is also protected by sapphire crystal glass and has a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels.
Another significant difference between the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin EPIX is the battery life. As you can imagine, since the Fenix 7 watches boast solar-powered displays their battery life is superior (this excludes the smaller Fenix 7S). For the Garmin Fenix 7S, we’re promised a battery life of 14 days in smartwatch mode with solar while for the 47mm Fenix 7, the power reserve goes up to an impressive 22 days in smartwatch mode with solar. The Garmin Fenix 7X on the other hand trumps all with a battery life of up to 37 days in smartwatch mode with solar. For comparison, the entire range of Garmin EPIX watches come with a battery life of 16 days in smartwatch mode. Despite it not meeting that of the solar Fenix 7, this is still a notable power reserve for a smartwatch with a power-hungry AMOLED display.
Other than what has already been mentioned above, the Garmin Fenix 7 and EPIX watches have all the same functionality within including matching sports, health, wellbeing and navigational features. There’s a wrist based heart rate monitor, Pulse Ox sensor, Garmin Pay, music storage, the new real-time stamina function, visual race predictor, multi-band GPS, on-screen workouts and much more. (For the full info on the features included on the Garmin EPIX read our review here and for the Fenix 7 models, click here).
However, one feature not found on the Garmin EPIX is the flashlight feature. This special function is also not equipped on the smaller Fenix 7S and Fenix 7 models and is entirely exclusive to the Garmin Fenix 7X. The flashlight is cleverly integrated into the case of the Garmin Fenix 7X behind a diffused transparent lens and comes to life with a simple double tap the light button. The multi-LED light is incredibly bright and comes with several modes and customisable options for you to play with. This includes a SOS mode where the light flashes to signal for help and a running mode so that when you swing your arm forward it glows white and when your arm swings back it shines red allowing you to run safely in the dark.
Finally, there is a slight difference in price between the Garmin EPIX and the Fenix 7. As you’d expect, the smaller Fenix 7S and Fenix 7 come in at the bottom starting from £779 while the Garmin Fenix 7X retails from £859. The Garmin EPIX on the other hand comes in a little higher with its RRP starting at £899. You can view the full product ranges of both these collection on the Jura Watches website here for a better comparison of prices and availability.
|Garmin EPIX 2||Garmin Fenix 7S Solar||Garmin Fenix 7 Solar||Garmin Fenix 7X Solar|
|Case Size & Material||47mm, fibre-reinforced polymer and titanium||42mm, fibre-reinforced polymer and titanium||47mm, fibre-reinforced polymer and titanium||51mm, fibre-reinforced polymer and titanium|
|Strap||Silicone or leather||Silicone or nylon||Silicone, leather or metal||Silicone, leather or metal|
|Lens Material||Sapphire crystal with AMOLED display||Sapphire with Power Lens||Sapphire with Power Lens||Sapphire with Power Lens|
|Battery Life||Up to 16 days||Up to 11 days + 3 days with solar||Up to 18 days + 4 days with solar||Up to 28 days + 9 days with solar|
|Water Resistance||100 metres||100 metres||100 metres||100 metres|
|Screen resolution||416 x 416 pixels||240 x 240 pixels||260 x 260 pixels||280 x 280 pixels|
|Wrist heart rate monitor||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Women’s Health Tracking||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|GPS, GLONASS & Galileo||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Battery Saver Mode||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|HIIT Workout Profile||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Pace Pro Technology||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Daily Workout Suggestions||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Visual Race Predictor||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Real Time Stamina||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Recovery Time Advisor||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Multi-Contintent TopoActive Maps||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Body Battery Energy Monitor||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|