Does Fenix 7 have multiband?

Multiband frequency brings in more precision and accurate GPS readings for a smartwatch. Fenix 7 has multiple variants. Infact, there are 8 variants of Fenix 7. Not all Fenix 7 smartwatches do not have the multiband frequency. But, there are a few variants that do offer multiband frequency. We look at the multiband frequency options for Garmin Fenix 7 smartwatch below.

Which Fenix 7 watch has multiband frequency?

Fenix 7 offers multiband frequency on the following variants of smartwatch:

  • Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar
  • Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar
  • Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar

There are 8 variants of Garmin Fenix 7 smartwatches. So, this means that the following models of Garmin Fenix 7 do not offer multiband frequency:

  • Fenix 7
  • Fenix 7S
  • Fenix 7 Solar
  • Fenix 7S Solar
  • Fenix 7X Solar

How does Fenix 7 offer multiband frequency?

Fenix 7 offers multiband frequency through a multi-frequency positioning sensor. This sensor is a part of the Sapphire editions of Fenix 7 smartwatch.

Generally speaking, all Fenix watches offer multi-constellation frequency for smartwatches. This means that you can use GPS+Galileo or GPS+GLONASS to arrive at a single frequency for the GPS positioning. With multiband frequency, we are augmenting the multi-constellation with multi-frequency. The smartwatch with multi-positioning sensor will take multiple frequencies for the same constellation. So, you would have multiple frequency data for GPS satellite systems. This should provide you higher precision of GPS data for the Fenix 7 devices that have multi-frequency positioning sensor.

The keyword for multi-band frequency is getting frequency data for GPS satellite system from multiple satellites. With Fenix 7 Sapphire editions, you get dual frequency readings for the same satellite system. If you use GPS, you get more than one frequency reading. Similarly, if you use GLONASS you will get multiple readings from the satellites. This improves the accuracy of GPS data. Especially, if you are in remote areas. Or, when you are in an area with skyscrapers.

  • All Fenix 7 smartwatches have multi-GNSS. This means you can use multiple satellite systems like GPS+GLONASS or GPS+Galileo on all the Fenix 7 smartwatch models.
  • All Fenix 7 Sapphire smartwatches have multi-frequency over and above the multi-GNSS functionality.
  • Fenix 7 Sapphire is as good as Forerunner 955 when it comes to offering accurate GPS data for runners and triathletes.

On a more technical side, multi-frequency implies you are receiving frequency data on L1 band and L5 band for more accurate and precise GPS readings. The frequency data from L5 complements the data received on the L1 band. For extremely poor satellite coverage areas, the frequency data from L5 can help in filtering out a lot of noise on GPS signals. L5 GPS Signals together with L1 GPS signals can improve the reliability of GPS readings.

Which GPS chipset is used on Fenix 7 Sapphire editions for multi-frequency positioning?

Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watches come with a chip that is also called a multi-frequency positioning sensor. Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watches use the Airoha AG3335M chipset for getting multiband frequency data for improved GPS accuracy.

How can I enable multiband frequencies on Fenix 7 smartwatch?

Before giving you the steps to activate multiband frequency on Fenix 7 edition watches, we will like to reiterate that not all Fenix 7 smartwatches support multiband frequency. Only the Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watches come with the multiband GPS chipset. So, the following Fenix 7 smartwatch models will work on multiband frequencies:

  • Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar
  • Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar
  • Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar

You can enable multiband and multi-GNSS through the ‘Satellites’ option on your Fenix 7.

  • On your Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watch, hold down the MENU.
  • Select Activities & Apps
  • Select Satellites
  • Scroll down to the option that states ‘All + Multi band‘.
  • Select ‘All + Multi band‘ from the selection menu.

This is what Garmin states on its website in respect of ‘All + Multi band’ option:

Enables multiple satellite systems on multiple frequency bands. Multi-band systems use multiple frequency bands and allow for more consistent track logs, improved positioning, improved multi-path errors, and fewer atmospheric errors when using the watch in challenging environments.

from Garmin Fenix 7 website

What are the benefits of multiband frequencies?

GPS precision, accuracy and reliability are the main benefits associated with multiband frequencies. Here is what Garmin states on its website for the multiband frequency benefits:

The main benefit of using a handheld with multi-band frequency is in areas where GPS signals can be received but are severely degraded. In these cases, the receiver has to sort out what are reflections and what are direct line-of-sight signals. In positioning, reflected signals lead to inaccurate distances to the satellite. When these inaccurate distances are used, the position can jump, veer off course or just not make any sense because they don’t agree with each other. In these cases, L5 will provide more continuity and accuracy than with a traditional L1 device. Of course, there are no silver bullets with GPS, and the signal won’t always work in any environment, but in general this will be a welcome improvement. 

from Garmin website

Summary

Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watches come with multi-frequency positioning sensor. The sensor allows you to take multiple GPS signals from the same satellite system. You will need to enable the multiband frequency on Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watches as per the instructions shared above.

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