Hands-on with the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro Watch

Hands-on with the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro Watch

With the success of the Garmin Fenix 7 earlier this year, the smartwatch brand unveiled some of their most innovative technologies to date. One of which was a unique multi-LED flashlight feature seamlessly integrated into the side of the case. Now many of the same tools used in the latest Fenix make their way to the brand’s popular tactical training smartwatch, the Tactix, which as it launches into its seventh generation is suitably named the Garmin Tactix 7.

The Garmin Tactix was first launched in 2013 aiming its sights on a military crowd looking for a stealthy and durable tactical ops watch. It delivered much of the same specs as the original Fenix with several extra military-esque features that true outdoorsman, military men and James Bond wannabes could really appreciate. Some of these included non-reflective surfaces and curved glass for the elimination of light reflection, a night-vision goggle friendly backlight and a Jumpmaster mode designed to assist you while jumping out of aircrafts at high altitudes. Over the last decade, the Garmin Tactix has continued to evolve, constantly improving on both its military-grade design and vast list of smartwatch features. Now for 2022, Garmin announce their latest tactical training smartwatch with the Garmin Tactix 7.

There are currently three different editions to choose from in the new Garmin Tactix 7 collection. The entire trio deliver much of the same functionality and design spec differing only in their display, battery life and ballistic features. The Garmin Tactix 7 Standard Edition comes with a typical sapphire crystal touchscreen display and a battery life of 28 days while the Pro Edition and Ballistic Editions opt for solar-powered displays with a significantly improved battery life (more on that later). The Garmin Tactix 7 Ballistics Edition then differs from the Pro Edition for its built-in Applied Ballistics calculator. For the sake of today’s review, we will be looking solely at the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro watch. So, with that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about the new Garmin Tactix 7 Pro…

Case & Strap

An important advantage of the Garmin Tactix range is its durable case design, a must for military personnel. With that in mind, the collection is built to the military standards of MIL-STD-810 which in short means that each Garmin Tactix 7 watch has undergone several extensive tests to ensure its reliability in some of the most extreme environments. Assisting in its strength is a large fibre-reinforced polymer case coated with a black DLC treatment and topped by a scratch resistant and lightweight titanium bezel. The bezel is nicely engraved with a 24 hour scale which pairs with several of the watch faces available to deliver a second time zone function. A matching titanium rear cover assists in a 100 metre water resistance.

In weight, the case sits on the wrist at 89 grams, and that includes the addition of the black nylon strap with black DLC pin buckle. The case of the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro is not small, boasting a diameter of 51mm and a height of 14.9mm. Its imposing size is essential however, allowing for a huge touchscreen display and allowing for easy manipulation of the button controls. The combination of traditional buttons and a touchscreen interface is also a nice touch, allowing for quick access to a huge range of selections and functions.

Display & Battery Life

At a whopping 1.4 inches in size, the display of the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro is one of the largest in Garmin’s entire portfolio. It is sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel with a resolution of 280×280 pixels and is both touchscreen and full-colour. More importantly, the display features Garmin’s coveted Sapphire Solar technology which is ultimately a scratch resistant sapphire crystal protected solar-powered screen. By harnessing the powers of both natural and artificial light, the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro boasts a battery life of up to 37 days in smartwatch mode, over 1 year in battery saver mode, 122 hours in GPS only and 139 days in Expedition GPS mode. On top, the watch also features a Power Manager so you can view how various settings and sensors are impacting your smartwatch’s battery life and as such make battery-extending changes to prolong it.

Flashlight Feature

Another major upgrade for the Garmin Tactix Pro watch is the addition of the integrated flashlight feature, a tool which first debuted on the Fenix 7 earlier this year. The flashlight is cleverly integrated into the case behind a diffused transparent lens so its barely noticeable when its not in use. When you do want to use it, you simply double tap the light button and a bright beam will extend from your wrist. The light is available in either green or white and comes with several different modes for different uses. The SOS mode is particularly suited to tactical operations as it flashes to signal for help and also displays information about the user and/or their emergency contact on the watch display.

Tactical Training Features

As you’d expect, the Garmin Tactix 7 watch comes with a huge list of tactical training features. The classic night vision capability of previous models remains which allows you to switch between daytime view and night-time view so you can read the screen by night vision goggles. For moments when your security might be at risk, there’s a stealth mode which stops storing and sharing your GPS position and disables wireless connectivity and communication and a kill switch which instantly wipes all user memory from the device. The Jumpmaster mode continues to assist in high-altitude jumps by calculating release points according to military guidelines and navigates you to your objective once you’ve jumped.

The Garmin Tactix 7 Pro also impresses with a wide range of navigational tools designed especially with military operations in mind. Like the Fenix 7, it comes with multi-band GNSS support with access to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo for improved position accuracy in areas where GNSS signals are reflected, weak or typically don’t penetrate. There’s also ABC sensors of altimeter, barometer and compass and preloaded TopoActive maps available to download onto the device. Unlike previous Tactix models, the new Garmin Tactix 7 Pro allows you to download additional maps using the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity rather than having to plug the device into a computer.

A new feature for the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro smartwatch is a public land boundaries tool. This allows you to display public land boundaries on topographical maps so you know if you’re venturing where you’re supposed to be. Other tactical training features include dual-position formatting so you can sync your location with others and view both the universal transverse mercator and military grid reference system on the same screen, a projected waypoints feature for setting and saving remote geo positions for navigation and a direct-to navigation tool which works alongside a worldwide aeronautical database to get you a flight path straight to a location or waypoint.

Additional Features

On top of all this, the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro can be used as a high-performance fitness watch with built-in sports apps for trail running, swimming, running, biking, hiking, rowing, skiing, golfing, surfing, indoor climbing and more. There’s also Garmin’s innovative Body Battery Energy monitor, Pulse Ox sensor, wrist based heart rate monitor, daily workout suggestions, PacePro technology, ClimbPro feature and a recovery time advisor. New to the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro is a HIIT workout profile which tracks high-intensity interval training workouts, including AMRAP, EMOM and Tabata, a visual race predictor which uses your running history and overall fitness level to provide you with an estimate of what your pace could be for the distance you want to run and a real-time stamina function which tracks and manages your exertion to help you get to the finish line.

The Garmin Tactix 7 Pro also offers all the same everyday-tools as before including smart notifications for your emails, texts and calls, a hydration and sleep tracker, music apps for Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music as well as storage for up to 2,000 songs and Garmin Pay so you can make contactless payments at checkout. There’s also safety and tracking features with built-in incident detection and access to the Connect IQ store where you can download custom watch faces, apps and widgets.

Price & Availability

The Garmin Tactix 7 Pro watch is available to order now on the Jura Watches website here for a retail price of £1,099. If you’d like to learn more about the watch and order one for yourself, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at help@jurawatches.co.uk.

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