Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar vs Fenix 7 Pro Solar

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro series smartwatches were released in the last week of May 2023. These watches succeed the Fenix 7 series smartwatches released in the year 2022.

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar are the Pro series solar watches. Both watches use solar energy to build the charge on the battery.

Let us look at the two Fenix 7 Pro solar watches and compare them in a quick side-by-side comparison.

Main differences

  • Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar uses Power Sapphire glass while the Fenix 7 Pro Solar uses Power Glass. The inherent difference between the two glasses is explained below.
  • Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar uses titanium in the bezel and rear cover. Fenix 7 Pro Solar uses stainless steel in the bezel and back cover.
  • Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar is costlier than Fenix 7 Pro Solar by $100.

There are no other differences between the Fenix 7 Sapphire Pro Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar.

We touch upon the characteristics of both watches below.

Garmin 7 Pro Sapphire Solar

Display

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar use a similar set of display configurations. The difference lies in the type of display lens of both watches.

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar uses a Power Sapphire Solar glass.

Power Sapphire Solar glass contains a layer of Photovoltaic cells on top of the Sapphire glass. These Photovoltaic cells (PV cells) capture sunlight and process it to build the charge on the battery of the watch.

Sapphire crystal is considered the second hardest naturally available mineral in the world. It is second to diamond in terms of hardness.

Watches made of Sapphire glass are known to be scratch resistant. These watches handle day-to-day wear and tear very efficiently. And, sapphire glass watches are considered durable for longer periods of ownership/

Fenix 7 Pro Solar uses Power Glass for solar charging.

Power Glass is a layer of Photovoltaic cells on top of the Corning Gorilla Glass. In other words, the Corning Gorilla Glass is superimposed with a layer of PV cells to help in solar charging.

It may be pertinent to mention here that there is no difference in the performance of solar charging done by a Sapphire Solar glass or the Power glass.

For matters of reference, all the display specifications of Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar are shared below for quick consideration.

Display specificationsFenix 7 Pro Sapphire SolarFenix 7 Pro Solar
Display lensPower SapphirePower Glass
Display size33 mm or 1.3″33 mm or 1.3″
Display typeMIP (Memory in pixel)MIP (Memory in pixel)
Display resolution260 x 260 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Display shapeRoundRound
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
LED FlashlightYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesYes

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar uses a Power Sapphire display glass and Fenix 7 Pro Solar uses a Power glass. Other display parameters of both watches are same.

AMOLED display remains elusive on the Fenix 7 Pro series. The AMOLED display drains the battery faster than the MIP display screen. This could, possibly, explain the missing AMOLED and Always-on-display in the Fenix 7 Pro series solar watches.

Physical specifications

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar uses titanium in the bezel and rear cover of the watch. Fenix 7 Pro Solar uses stainless steel bezel and rear cover.

Apart from these differences in the body material, there is no difference in the hardware configuration of Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar smartwatches.

For a quick side-by-side comparison of the physical specifications of both watches, use the table below.

SpecificationsFenix 7 Pro Sapphire SolarFenix 7 Pro Solar
Watch size47 x 47 x 14.5 mm47 x 47 x 14.5 mm
Thickness14.5 mm14.5 mm
Watch weight73 g79 g
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymer with titanium rear coverFiber-enforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover
BezelTitaniumStainless steel
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Band size22 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference125-208 mm125-208 mm
Band material optionsSilicone, metal, fabric, leatherSilicone, metal, fabric, leather
iOS compatibleYesYes
Android compatibleYesYes
Device storage32 GB32 GB
Water rating10 ATM (100 meters)10 ATM (100 meters)
Swimming profilePool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/RunningPool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/Running
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth and Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
AccelerometerYesYes
CompassYesYes
GyroscopeYesYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
Pulse Ox SpO2 sensorYesYes
ThermometerYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
ChargerPrimary charger is Garmin wire chargerPrimary charger is Garmin wire charger

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar uses a titanium bezel while the Fenix 7 Pro Solar has a stainless steel bezel. From the appearance point of view, you may pick either material of your personal liking.

Other physical attributes of both watches are same.

GPS

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo GPS networks.

Both watches can work on the multi-band GPS mode.

Multi-band GPS mode has been made possible by the addition of the multi-frequency positioning sensor in these Fenix 7 Pro smartwatches.

Multi-band GPS or dual frequency GPS allows you to get GPS data from multiple satellites at any given point in time.

Multi-band GPS improves GPS accuracy and reliability. However, multi-band GPS drains your battery charge very quickly.

To offset the high battery usage in the multi-band GPS mode, both watches come with SatIQ technology.

SatIQ technology involves a sensor. It is a thinking technology or an intelligent technology.

SatIQ manages the multi-band GPS mode. If the GPS signal is weak, SatIQ will automatically toggle on the multi-band GPS mode.

If the GPS signal is of decent quality, SatIQ technology will toggle off the multi-band GPS mode and use the simple GPS mode for fetching GPS data.

SatIQ technology, therefore, helps in optimizing the battery usage on the Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Soalr and Fenix 7 Pro Solar smartwatches.

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar watches come with multi-band GPS support and SatIQ technology.

Garmin ECG

The Garmin ECG app was not a part of the Fenix 7 Pro series smartwatches during the launch.

In October 2023, support for the Garmin ECG app was enabled on the Fenix 7 Pro series smartwatches. So, as of updating this in November 2023, we can confirm that the Garmin ECG app is supported on the Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar smartwatches.

The Garmin ECG app received FDA approval in January 2023. It was rolled out to the Venu 2 Plus series smartwatches before any other Garmin watch.

Subsequently, the Venu 3 series, Fenix 7 Pro series, and the Epix 2 Pro series smartwatches were upgraded in October 2023 to include the support for the Garmin ECG app.

The Garmin ECG app is very useful in detecting conditions of Atrial Fibrillation or irregular heart rhythm conditions.

It may be pertinent to mention that the Garmin ECG app may not be used for use as a medical device. The ECG app is an indicator of potential heart conditions. A final decision concerning heart health has to be taken by a heart specialist.

Music

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar smartwatches provide full music functionality. This includes the following music features:

  • You can store audio content on the watch’s internal storage. Both watches have a storage of 32 GB.
  • You can manage the smartwatch music directly from the watch.
  • You can also control and play music from the paired smartphone.

Solar charging

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar make use of sunlight for charging the smartwatch battery.

However, solar charging is considered the secondary battery charging method. The primary method for charging the battery on both watches is the Garmin wire charger.

The wire charger is shipped with the smartwatch.

For solar charging to be successful or for it to make a meaningful impact, you need to ensure that the following conditions are adhered to:

  • You must expose the smartwatch to sunlight for at least 3 hours every day.
  • There must be ample sunlight or brightness. Your watch must be exposed to sunlight with a luminosity of 50000 lux or more.

Unless you spend considerable time outdoors, solar charging may not make any noticeable impact on the battery life.

Battery

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar use the same size battery and offer similar backups.

The amount of battery backup on each watch in different watch modes is shared below.

Watch modeFenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar backupFenix 7 Pro Solar backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 18 days/22 days with solarUp to 18 days/22 days with solar
GPS modeUp to 57 hours/73 hours with solarUp to 57 hours/73 hours with solar
All Satellite Systems Up to 40 hours/48 hours with solarUp to 40 hours/48 hours with solar
All Satellite Systems + MusicUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hours
All Satellite Systems + Multi-bandUp to 23 hours/26 hours with solarUp to 23 hours/26 hours with solar
Max Battery GPSUp to 136 hours/289 hours with solarUp to 136 hours/289 hours with solar
Expedition GPSUp to 40 days/74 days with solarUp to 40 days/74 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch ModeUp to 57 days/173 days with solarUp to 57 days/173 days with solar

There is no difference in the battery backup of Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar.

Costs

Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar comes at a list price of $899.99 and the Fenix 7 Pro Solar has a list price of $799.99. The difference in cost is of $100 only.

The difference in costs can be attributed to the cost of Sapphire glass.

Final verdict

The core functionality and features of Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar and Fenix 7 Pro Solar are the same.

Essentially, picking one of these models would depend upon your liking for the Sapphire glass. If you are looking for Sapphire glass for its scratch-resistance, Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar watch will tick all the boxes.

For folks who are fine with Power glass, Fenix 7 Pro Solar offers everything that Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire can offer for $100 less.

Suggested reading

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