Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Review: Top Hiking Smartwatch?

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more about us.

OK, it’s true – no matter where I go hiking, I’ll always take my phone. But it can be a pain carrying it and worrying about it in my pocket, or digging it out from my backpack every time I need some info.

Which is why a decent hiking watch can be so helpful. And true to its bulky appearance, the Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar is a rugged smartwatch that goes far beyond tracking your steps and heart rate.

Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Review
While it’s on the bigger side, this GPS smartwatch helps me stay on the trail and monitor my health.

I was thoroughly impressed with the Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar – it craves adventure as much as me and my fellow hikers, bringing with it an impressive array of features backed up with solar charging capabilities. I trial a lot of the top hiking watches, and after using this one I just had to give it the #1 spot on my hiking watch roundup.

This watch has a crisp 1.4-inch touchscreen display, which is super helpful when you’re in extreme or challenging conditions – come heavy rain or glaring sun, you can still see the stats and info you’re after.

It also has a powerful, long-lasting battery life – up to 22 days when it’s in smartwatch mode, with solar charging of 3 hours of direct sunlight per day. Even when it’s in full GPS mode, this watch will keep operating for an enduring 73 hours with solar charging.

The fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar sure is fired up to keep pace.

garmin fenix 7x pro sapphire solar review

Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Smartwatch

Besides its solar charging prowess, this watch is a hub of wellness features, and even boasts advanced multi-band GNSS support for highly accurate positioning. No matter your challenge or location, the preloaded TopoActive maps will guide you effortlessly.

But it’s not all about serious stats with the fenix 7X Sapphire Solar. It also ensures you stay connected with smart notifications, has a Garmin Pay contactless payments feature, and even holds music storage – an understated benefit when your adventure becomes a little too quiet…

👉 Bottom Line: Top Hiking Smartwatch

The Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar is an elite adventure smartwatch that guides you with accurate navigation, reliable health monitoring, and long-lasting battery with solar charging capabilities, on a clear, crisp and robust screen.

Features Fenix 7x solar review features:

Watch FeaturesYes/No
GPS EnabledYes
Battery Life122 hours solar
Water Depth Resistance100 meters
Display Size1.4 inches

Pros and Cons

  • Durability: The sapphire lens is highly durable and scratch-resistant, ensuring longevity and clear visibility.
  • Solar Charging: Solar charging capabilities extend battery life, making it ideal for long expeditions.
  • Multisport GPS: Features support a wide range of activities, providing versatility for different sports enthusiasts.
  • Advanced Training Metrics: Great for athletes looking to monitor and improve their performance.
  • Large Display: The 1.4-inch display offers easy readability in various lighting conditions.
  • Price: The premium features and materials may come with a higher price point compared to other models.
  • Size: The watch's size and robust build might feel bulky on smaller wrists.
  • Complexity: The complexity of features may require a learning curve for new users to fully utilize the device's capabilities.
  • Solar Efficiency: Charging efficiency can vary based on exposure to sunlight, which may be inconsistent in certain environments or weather conditions.

The best adventurers combine exploring the unknown with knowledge. Ready to upgrade your wearable game? Click here to purchase the Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar Smartwatch and ramp your adventures up a gear!

🧭 Read until the end for my insider travel tips from a physical therapist hiking & travel addict.

You will also like:
🗻 Read my ➡️ List of the Best Hikes in Austria
➡️ Read my review of the best portable power banks for hiking.

✨Unlock Europe’s best-kept secrets with our free bi-weekly newsletter.

The Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Review

When you’re armed with a Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar on your wrist, you’ve got a GPS smartwatch that’s designed for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Its reliability is powered with its solar charging capabilities. Its scratch-resistant Power Sapphire lens protects it from any damage. It vows to withstand long adventures, and provide all the info, guidance, and connectivity you need, plus more.

I was particularly impressed with the 1.4-inch, always-on display – it provides crisp visuals, which is a big deal in hiking conditions. The built-in LED flashlight is a brilliant practical addition too, for those darker environments and low-lit adventures.

This watch is more than just a timepiece – it’s a training companion, offering endurance and real-time stamina tracking, as well as advanced performance metrics and over 30 sports apps.

This gem of a hiking watch tracks your 24/7 health and wellness with its wrist-based heart rate, Pulse Ox (where available), stress, and sleep monitoring.

The Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar provides reliable navigation with multi-band frequency and GNSS network support, ensuring you stay on track even in challenging environments.

The watch even comes with preloaded TopoActive maps, as well as maps for golf courses and ski resorts across the globe (because us hikers can’t seem to sit still!).

You can also sync your compatible smartphone to receive smart notifications and enjoy Garmin Pay for contactless payments. These features alone can make a huge difference to your hike, and there are many more from the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar. If you’re a hiker who wants the best hiking watch, this is it.

Quick Verdict

Best Overall
Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar

What we like: Pinnacle of outdoor tech with the Garmin Fenix 7x Sapphire Solar, boasting a scratch-resistant sapphire lens, advanced GPS and multisport features, and a long-lasting battery life that keeps you exploring longer and with more precision, making it the ultimate investment for any adventurer looking to elevate their performance.

  • Pros: Battery life, style, GPS features
  • Cons: Large, pricey

Note: This watch is top of the line for going into the backcountry hiking, hunting or mountaineering.

Pros and Cons Detailed Review


As a larger-sized adventure smartwatch, the Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar offers a lot of benefits for hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. The biggest feature here (amongst many great ones) is perhaps its solar charging capabilities, which can extend the battery life up to 37 days when exposed to direct sunlight for 3 hours daily. So if you’re a long-haul adventurer looking for a watch that will endure long expeditions and adventures, this is it.

The watch also provides 30+ built-in sports apps, endurance and real-time stamina tracking, and advanced performance metrics for all levels of exercisers. For outdoor navigation, its built-in 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter equips the fenix 7X Sapphire Solar with multi-band frequency and GNSS network support .

Its preloaded TopoActive map provides you with premium-level navigation and guidance, and even offers maps for thousands of golf courses and ski resorts worldwide. What I really loved was this watch’s ability to connect to Wi-Fi! With this in your toolkit, you can download maps for any continent without the need of a computer.

You’ve also got the all-important health and wellness monitoring, which operates 24/7 – you’ve got wrist-based heart rate, PulseOx (availability may vary by country), stress tracking, and enhanced sleep tracking. If you can’t tell what’s going on in your body during and in between adventures, your fenix will.

And let’s not push aside the importance of music, money, and staying in the loop… this watch provides smart notifications, music storage, and Garmin Pay (supported in specific countries and payment networks).


Let’s be clear – the Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar’s positives list sure does outweigh the negatives. But it’s important to know the drawbacks too.

Firstly, this watch has a learning curve. If you’re new to the Garmin ecosystem or technology in general, you may need to spend some time on YouTube tutorials to get acquainted with the device. However, this will be time well invested to get the most out of your new hiking ‘assistant’.

Another point is that although the battery life can be extended with solar charging, it might still be insufficient if you require even more power for those super challenges or unexpectedly increased ETAs.

Scratch-resistant Power Sapphire Lens and Always-on Display

Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Review

The Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar offers a top-notch scratch-resistant Power Sapphire lens that protects the watch from everyday wear and tear. I really do love this feature. Its always-on 1.4-inch display is both practical and reliable – you can easily monitor your statistics while on the go.

The clear visuals are courtesy of its high-resolution (280 x 280) touchscreen, which is both user-friendly and responsive (nobody likes those dull screens that you have to tap at frantically for it to do anything!). And as back-up, you’ve got the added benefit of button controls to navigate.

This innovative hikers watch and its cutting-edge technology makes it hugely reliable, durable, and convenient.

Outstanding Battery Performance

‘Solar’ is in the name, and so it should be – this watch’s outstanding battery performance is a huge attribute to its suitability for explorers. Its integrated solar charging capabilities enable the battery life of this smartwatch to last some serious adventures.

Think the GPS being used will sap the energy in no time? Not with the Garmin fenix. Even when using GPS, you can expect the watch to last for hours without needing a recharge. It’ll carry on guiding you for those long hikes, runs, or cycling trips. Better still, this watch has multiple power management options, so that you get the most out of its battery.

Not What You Need? Read my ➡️ Full Roundup of the Best Hiking Watches

Advanced Navigation Capabilities

The Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar truly gets the importance of navigation when you’re hiking. The built-in GPS accurately pinpoints and tracks your location as you explore, and with the ClimbPro feature you can tackle even the steepest ascents confidently thanks to its route ascent planning capabilities.

You also have its PacePro™ Technology, which helps you optimize pacing based on the terrain. Even if you’re into water sports or mountain biking, you’ll find the surf-ready features and MTB Dynamics highly useful.

The Backcountry ski and XC ski dynamics also work to keep you in the know and in control during your winter escapades so that you never have a fear of getting lost in the wilderness.

Preloaded TopoActive, Golf Courses and Ski Resorts Maps

The Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar smartwatch isn’t all about facts and survival – it also likes to make your outdoor life more exciting.

You’ve got TopoActive maps, which will help you make the most of your surroundings wherever you are. Switching up to a very different attire, this watch comes with maps for thousands of golf courses worldwide, making it easy to plan your next game.

Not into golf? More of an adrenaline junkie? Maps for ski resorts all over the globe are all in this watch – you’ll be dropping location pins to your next ski fix in no time.

Maps are crucial for most of us when we’re away from home, and especially so when you’re in unfamiliar territory, away from help and support. This Garmin smartwatch fills that void and reduces risk, by providing accurate locations and information on your surroundings.

With built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to hand, you’re connected, confident, and knowledgeable throughout your adventure, thanks to your Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar smartwatch. The whole time I had this watch, I never, ever felt lost.

Pooling Customer Reviews

I thought I’d check out some customer reviews on the Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar, for a broader picture on its performance. It didn’t take long to see that many users also appreciated the features this reliable adventure smartwatch offers.

One of the main highlights noted by customers is its solar charging capabilities – it really has made a difference to many in their ability to access this watch’s features for the duration of their hikes and adventures.

Fitness and wellness features also resonated with a vast majority of buyers, making a difference to their performance, decisions, and even achievements in their sports, hikes and challenges.

There were some mentions on how technical the watch can seem, especially to those who don’t particularly love tech, or expect much of it from a watch. The thing is, this is no ordinary watch, so it’s going to take a little more understanding and playing around with. It sure is worth it, though – I learned a lot through YouTube tutorials if there was anything I couldn’t quite figure out myself.

When it comes to battery performance and the solar cell, many users praise the watch for its endurance during multi-day hiking trips, maintaining its continuous recording with no data loss. Overall, there were many comments most notably from long-time Garmin users, stating that the fenix 7X Solar Sapphire is unmatched compared to other smartwatches in the market.


In conclusion, the Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar smartwatch is a reliable and feature-packed choice for your adventures and challenges. The solar charging capabilities and long-lasting battery life set it apart from other watches, helping you stay connected during extended adventures. You’ll love the extensive fitness and wellness features, which provide valuable insights into your performance, recovery and ability.

Although there might be a learning curve if you’re new to Garmin smartwatches, the touchscreen interface and button controls make navigation a breeze. On top of that, the watch offers preloaded maps and multi-band GNSS technology for precise navigation even in challenging environments.

Final Verdict

Best Overall
Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar

What we like: Pinnacle of outdoor tech with the Garmin Fenix 7x Sapphire Solar, boasting a scratch-resistant sapphire lens, advanced GPS and multisport features, and a long-lasting battery life that keeps you exploring longer and with more precision, making it the ultimate investment for any adventurer looking to elevate their performance.

  • Pros: Battery life, style, GPS features
  • Cons: Large, pricey

Note: This watch is top of the line for going into the backcountry hiking, hunting or mountaineering.

Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire FAQs

Is the fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar waterproof?

Yes, the fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar is water-resistant and suitable for various water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. It can also withstand heavy rainfall and splashes without any issues.

What was the release date of Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar?

The Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar was first available on January 18, 2022.

How much does the Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar cost?

The price of the Garmin fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar may vary, but as a general guideline, it is considered to be in the premium range for smartwatches. You can check the most recent price from major retailers like Amazon, Garmin’s official website, or authorized resellers.

What are the main features of the fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar?

The fēnix 7X Sapphire Solar is equipped with various features to support your athletic and outdoor challenges. Some of its main features include:

  • Solar-powered with an always-on 1.4-inch display
  • Long battery life in different modes (with solar charging indoors and outdoors)
  • Advanced performance metrics and built-in sports apps
  • 24/7 health and wellness monitoring (wrist-based heart rate, Pulse Ox, stress, and sleep tracking)
  • Multi-band GPS and outdoor navigation sensors (compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter)
  • Preloaded TopoActive maps and maps for golf courses and ski resorts
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for downloading maps
  • Connectivity features like smartphone notifications, music storage, and Garmin Pay contactless payments (in supported countries and payment networks)

What are the differences between the Fenix 7 and 7X?

The main differences between the Fenix 7 and 7X are the display size, solar charging capabilities, and the built-in LED flashlight.

The 7X has a larger 1.4-inch display compared to the 1.3-inch display on the 7, along with solar charging capabilities and a built-in LED flashlight. This makes the 7X more suitable for extended outdoor adventures and professional athletes who require optimal visibility and extended battery life.

Which is better – Fenix 7 Solar or Sapphire?

Choosing between the Fenix 7 Solar and Sapphire depends on your priorities and preferences. The Fenix 7 Solar has solar charging capabilities, allowing for longer battery life, especially when exposed to sunlight.

On the other hand, the Fenix 7 Sapphire features a scratch-resistant Power Sapphire lens for added durability. If you prioritize battery life, the Fenix 7 Solar might be a better choice; but if durability is more important, then the Sapphire model is the way to go.


Craving a Hut to Hut Hiking Adventure?

Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites Free Course

Curious about hut-to-hut hiking in the Dolomites, but not sure where to start or what to expect? Sign up for our newsletter that simplifies and educates so you can focus on the views and vino. Get curious, get ready, and let’s get started! Sign up here👇🏼

More Hiking Resources

Here’s more awesome gear to empower your journey.

Physical Therapist Curated Gear Guides for Hikers

If you’re looking for a relatable and honest take on outdoor gear, you’re in the right place.

Why Trust? Our Review Process

  • We own and field test every product in real-life outdoor situations.
  • No sponsored reviews or payment for reviews.
  • We constantly update our guides when new products launch.
  • Hiked and skied on 3 continents x 30 years.

We know finding trustworthy advice can be tough. As a physical therapist, avid hut-to-hut hiker, skier, and mother, I’m always on the lookout for gear that enhances comfort and enjoyment in the great outdoors, all while grounded in scientific principles. That’s the inspiration behind Crave the Planet.

I’ll be real with you, I’m not an expert in every outdoor activity. But, who is? I’m just a regular person who loves exploring the planet and our growing team lives for the Outdoors.

We value continuous learning and welcome your constructive feedback. If you spot a missed product or an error, please let us know.

This watch is a big investment, so it’s essential you get a true and honest account of what it’s like in a real hiking environment. I hope this comprehensive and authentic Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Review has helped you decide if it’s the best hiking watch for you!

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.