The Garmin Fenix 7 has been atop the food chain of rugged sports wearables for a while now. Still, while it has been crowned as the premium king of wearable in many quarters, there is an undeniable contender for that title on the horizon: the new Apple Watch Ultra.
The watches are so far, yet so near in their features and for you to make your choice as to which one you would like to wear, it is advised you know a little background story on both watches.
In Apple's "far out" event a couple of weeks ago, we witnessed Apple roll out a new slew of watches. There were three new models, and in the trio, the Apple Watch Ultra was tagged as "the new kid on the block," following the duo of Apple watch series 8 and Apple Watch SE closely. But this "new kid" has a unique duty of serving as Apple's intelligent answer to the questions posed by brands such as Garmin and Polar, who are keen on dominating the rugged smartwatch and wearable industry for the foreseeable future.
Waterproof to the teeth to about 100 meters, the Apple Watch Pro is forged out of titanium. It is so much for a watch designed to be a companion for the most rugged activities such as hiking and rock climbing. When you wear the watch to navigate remote locations, be assured the multiband GPS with trackback will help guide your return steps.
Highly rated, and rightly so, Garmin Fenix 7 is specially built for those with a competitive spirit. The Fenix 7 stands as Garmin's golden goose and is the brand's most advanced multi-sports watch to date, impressively bettering the Fenix 6, which was voted the best multi-sports watch back in 2019.
Its array of features, such as the introduction of a touchscreen, real-time stamina tracking, on screen race predictor, amongst others, shows you how modern but equally rugged the Garmin Fenix 7 is. The Garmin Fenix 7 comes in three sizes, namely the 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm cases, with standard, solar, and sapphire solar variants. This watch is built to last, but how best can it answer the question of how well it will stack up to the Apple Watch Ultra? Come with me and find out.
Garmin Fenix 7 is one of the best advanced GPS running watch, view watch bands
We will compare both watches using the following parameters.
In this regard, the dimension of one counters the other. The Apple Watch Ultra comes in at 61g(without a strap), a weight lighter than most of the Fenix 7 variants. It also has a titanium shell with a ceramic back making it extremely durable. The Apple Watch Ultra stands at a height of 49mm, and its width is a complementary 44mm.
With the Fenix 7, you have a classic sports watch outlook. The standard stainless steel Fenix 7 tips the scale at 56g, with the titanium version 6g lighter. Its water resistance score of 10ATM makes it prime for swimming, and depending on your dimension; you could have either 47mm or 51mm worth of width on your wrist.
The Apple Watch Ultra packs a punch with its 1.92in OLED panel, making it twice as bright as any of its Apple Watch counterparts. This feature of it amongst others enhances its rugged features, and at 2000 nits, you get a timepiece built for all conditions, be it high up in the hills or deep down below the sea. To optimize visibility in the dark, Apple Watch Ultra added a red interface by turning the Digital Crown.
Apple Watch Ultra display twice as bright as its old models and
the new red interface optimizes the visibility in the dark
Garmin Fenix 7s comes in with a 1.2in touchscreen
The Garmin Fenix 7s comes in with a 1.2in touchscreen, constituting half of the Ultra's resolution. It is important to note that the Fenix models aren't the sharpest, with a 1.4in, 280*280 pixels watch being the largest the brand offers in terms of its panels. The Ultra wins this category for me.
Apple demonstrated finesse at their "far out" event by unveiling a third-party App that transforms the watch into a dive computer with a click. With it being powered by the IOS 9, the Ultra is equipped with Apple trademarked features and Apps that constitute its overall function. Workout, Apple Health, and Oceanic+, Siri and Apple Pay are all installed on it to give you the Apple Experience while retaining optimal functionality. You also get a customizable orange action side button that helps to navigate your way through waypoints, short cuts e.t.c
Apple Watch Ultra customizable orange action button helps to navigate your way through waypoints
Garmin Fenix 7X is the first smartwatch with a built-in LED flashlight; you can set different flashing modes for each activity, and the flashlight can improve your safety during exercise.
Garmin Fenix 7 has its proprietary share of smarts. With its connect IQ store, you can perform functions such as setting up your workout playlist with Spotify, carrying out transactions using Garmin Pay, and accessing and interpreting a wide range of data using the Garmin connect App. This feature makes it a perfect companion when going out in the wild.
A built-in flashlight improves safety during exercise, making the Garmin Fenix 7 one of the most impressive GPS watches
Last on the comparison chart but certainly not the least. The Apple Watch Ultra has gotten its fair share of dig for its battery life, but a watch rated for up to 36 hours during normal use is quite decent. Additionally, you can manage to get 60 hours of battery life when the low-power feature is enabled, but as many know, it is no mate to the Garmin Fenix 7
The Garnim Fenix 7 can last for up to 18 days as a smartwatch on a full charge and potentially 57 days in the battery saver setting. If you thought this was night and day compared to the Ultra, then it would interest you to know that the solar sapphire can last for up to a year! Indeed, an impressive show of class and longevity by the Garmin watches.
The Apple Watch Ultra enters the market at a simple pricing range - a flat $799. The Garmin Fenix 7 price (s) depends on which variant you choose to wear. The Fenix 7s and 7 cost a healthy $700, with the prices going up to a thousand dollars for the sapphire solar version.
We believe these are two interesting watches, and we are glad to have some solid and healthy competition in the sports wearables industry. We expect Apple to take into consideration the feedback on the display and battery life and step it up when they release a new slew of watches. With Garmin Fenix, we expect them to bask in the euphoria of their current supremacy and continue to hold up better for many people, thanks to its ultra-long battery life. They are definitely without any blemishes as we expect them to step up their performance underwater as they are currently behind the Apple watch in that. In conclusion, both brands stepping up the quality of subsequent releases would leave the watch-making industry better for it, and we are here for it all.
Written by Victor, images by Toni and others as noted
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December 23, 2020 8 min readRead More
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