I never thought I’d like a big fitness tracker but here’s 5 reasons why I love wearing the Garmin Fenix 7S

a photo of the Garmin Fenix 7S Solar
(Image credit: Future)

Growing up, the only way I had any idea of how fast I could run or get an idea of my pacing was from my athletic coach's stopwatch. After quitting athletics I started to use the Strava app on my phone to keep tabs on my timings. Then I borrowed my boyfriend’s Garmin Forerunner when I started entering running events again and that's when I realized just how beneficial it is to get in-depth and realtime insights into my training and performance. Eventually, I graduated on to the Garmin Fenix 7S Solar and I can’t imagine wearing any other watch on my wrist.

Among all the best Garmin watches, I never expected to be drawn to one that dominates my wrist so prominently and quite clearly doesn't try and disguise itself as anything but a reliable fitness tracker. The Fenix 7S is the smallest of the Fenix 7 lineup at 42mm, but I have small wrists so any watch bigger than 40mm looks big. Plus, it weighs in at 63g (2.2 ounces), which is significantly heavier than any of the Forerunner series. However, after two 10K races, one half marathon race, and numerous ParkRuns, I find myself about to explain why I can't imagine running with any watch but the Garmin Fenix 7S. Here's why.

5 reasons why I love wearing the Garmin Fenix 7S

It has better battery than any other gadget I own

The Fenix 7S has been designed with a solar charging battery and provides up to 28 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, an extra 9 days when solar charging, and up to 89 hours in GPS mode with an additional 33 hours when solar charging. Garmin has managed to achieve such powerful battery life by using solar harvesting Power Glass and raising the glass more to improve its solar harvesting capability. 

You just need to take a look at the extension cable in my bedroom to see the number of devices I find myself needing to charge on the regular. This includes and is not limited to my work laptop, my personal MacBook, iPhone, LED light-up makeup mirror, wireless speaker and electric toothbrush. But the one cable I have to fish out the least is the one for my Garmin Fenix.

The Fenix charging cable is also pretty much identical to other more recent Garmin models like the Forerunner and Vivo/Venu series. So if you have more than one Garmin watch or share a house with another Garmin user, you don't have to fork out money on a cable if your Fenix one goes walkabout.

It syncs with third party training plans

I made the decision earlier this year to invest in one of the best running apps called Runna to support my training instead of going down the more expensive route of paying for a real life running coach. 

As Runna does come at a cost ($17.99/month), I was worried it wouldn't be compatible with my watch and I'd have to resort to writing my training sessions and paces on my hand. Thankfully, we aren't living in the dark ages.

I was able to easily sync up the Runna app with the Garmin Connect app, enabling me to download each of my workouts to my watch and view step-by-step details of my run. I was able to gain feedback on whether or not my pace or efforts were compatible with my plan and use my watch in conjunction with the running app to support my 12-week training for a half marathon this year.

If you're looking for a training platform, I recommend reading our Runna app review to find out why our team is such fans of the app. Alternatively, with most Garmin running watches you can access in depth training plans in the Garmin Connect app for free. Read our guide on how to use Garmin Connect for more information.

a photo showing screenshots of Jessica's Runna training plan and stats as displayed in the compatible Garmin Connect app

(Image credit: Jessica Downey)

The activity tracking options are endless

I wouldn't be a little bit surprised if Garmin is in the process of adding more extreme sport tracking options to the Fenix series like Zorbing or Parkour. The multi-sport activity tracking features really are endless with the Fenix 7S. While my most frequently tracked activity is running, I have tracked some more adventurous activities where possible and loved viewing the stats afterward. 

The Fenix 7S has recorded various hikes I have taken up Scottish mountains and even helped my sister and I retrace our steps back down Perthshire's Ben Chonzie mountain after getting lost on our snowy descent using the Back to Start function. I've tracked some very amateur ski runs with the Fenix as well as various open water swims in both the sea and some rivers. 

I'll be honest and say I don't get too hung up on the stats or feedback provided for the multisport activities as I more do these for fun. However, when you are paying hundreds of dollars for a watch that you are going to wear every day, you want to be able to track as much as you can with it. Plus, the more it can track the more accurate your overall health and fitness metrics become with an advanced tracker like the Fenix 7S.

It keeps me in touch with my body's needs

a photo of the Garmin Fenix 7S suggesting a short recovery run

(Image credit: Future)

If training for distances like a half marathon or full marathon will teach you anything, it's that it's so much more than just the running that gets you over the finish line. Your overall health status contributes to your training experience, as does how well you take care of your body during periods when rest is essential over training.

I'm a big fan of the Body Battery energy gauge featured on the Garmin Fenix 7S. This function uses a combination of heart rate variability, stress, and activity to estimate your energy reserves throughout the day. The watch provides recommendations on how ready your body is for an activity. Whether you choose to follow the guidance is your choice, but from my experience, the Fenix 7S is there to help you rather than hinder you in your training.

I also appreciate the menstrual health tracking capabilities of the watch. Despite using the Garmin Fenix 7S for over a year now, I still find it surprising every month when the calendar in the Garmin Connect app accurately predicts when I will get my period. It makes it easy for me to plan my exercise around that, offering useful exercise and nutrition recommendations tailored to the stage of the cycle I am in.

It picks up GPS quicker than I can warm up

For those of us who are impatient, waiting for your GPS to pick up can be frustrating, especially when running with others whose watches connect instantly. I have been highly impressed with how quickly GPS is acquired on the Fenix 7S, eliminating any unnecessary delays. This rapid GPS pick up is down to the multi-band positioning technology of the Fenix 7S.

Multi-band positioning uses multiple satellite systems, such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, to enhance location accuracy and speed up the time it takes for the watch to lock onto satellites. This feature not only benefits impatient people like me but also ensures a more reliable and accurate GPS tracking experience, which is crucial for activities like running, hiking, and navigation.

Bottom line

The Garmin Fenix 7S is a fabulous fitness tracker out there that is so much more than your average running watch. It makes tracking activities easy and reliable and truly supports your training with advanced health tracking and recommendations. It also feels like there is always more to explore and experience with the Fenix 7's capabilities. Training for and participating in an Ultramarathon is on my bucket list, and without a doubt, the Garmin Fenix 7S is the watch I would choose to wear for the journey.

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.