Fenix 7S vs Fenix 7S Solar smartwatch

Fenix 7S and Fenix 7S Solar are almost identical, in all respects. There is a price difference of $100 between the two watch models. Fenix 7S costs $699.99 and the Fenix 7S Solar costs $799.99. The underlying difference between the two watch models is the added ability to use sunlight for charging the Fenix 7S Solar watch. We look at how the Fenix 7S Solar offers you a better battery backup and what makes it possible for the Fenix 7S Solar to charge the watch battery in sunlight.

Fenix 7S Solar Smartwatch in Rose Gold

Battery Backup – Fenix 7S vs Fenix 7S Solar

The solar model of Fenix 7S Solar uses sunlight to charge the smartwatch battery. Due to solar charging, the overall battery backup on the Fenix 7S Solar watch is better. We look at the stated difference in battery backup times on a Fenix 7S and Fenix 7S Solar below.

  • Smartwatch mode – Fenix 7S offers 11 days backup; Fenix 7S Solar offers up to 14 days backup on solar charging.
  • Battery Saver mode – Fenix 7S offers 38 days backup; Fenix 7S Solar can go up to 87 days with solar charging.
  • GPS mode – Fenix 7S offers 37 hours coverage; Fenix 7S Solar can remain connected for up to 46 hours with supporting solar charging.
  • All Satellite Systems GPS – Fenix 7S can offer up to 26 hours backup; Fenix 7S Solar can offer up to 30 hours with solar charging.
  • GPS with max battery mode – Fenix 7S can offer up to 90 hours; Fenix 7S Solar can offer up to 162 hours.
  • Expedition GPS – Fenix 7S offers 26 days and Fenix 7S Solar can go up to 43 days.

The Fenix 7S Solar offers incremental battery backup over the Fenix 7S watch. However, you ought to understand that the stated battery backup can be achieved when the wearer of the Fenix 7S Solar satisfies a few supporting conditions to facilitate solar charging.

Corning Gorilla Glass DX on Fenix 7S vs Power Glass on Fenix 7S Solar

Fenix 7S uses Corning Gorilla glass DX for the watch screen. The Fenix 7S Solar uses a Power Glass in the watch screen. Power glass allows the watch to be charged in ample sunlight. We look at both glasses in detail so that you can understand the difference between the two watch models – Fenix 7S and Fenix 7S Solar.

Fenix 7S Smartwatch with 42 mm watch screen.

Corning Gorilla Glass DX is a special type of glass that is tough, scratch resistant, and anti-reflective. This glass is designed to offer better readability in sunlight. The chief characteristics of the Corning Glass DX are:

  • it enhances display readability
  • 75% improvement in front surface reflection
  • improves display contrast ratio by 50% over a similar brightless level.

You can read more about the Corning Gorilla Glass DX on the website of Corning.

Power glass is a feature of the Fenix 7S Solar watch model. Power glass allows using sunlight to charge the battery. This assumes that your watch faces sunlight or is exposed to at least 50000 lux for 3 hours a day. For the record, direct sunlight offers 32,000-130,000 lux of sunlight. To be effective in charging the battery using sunlight, the Fenix 7S Solar needs to be out in the sunlight for at least 3 hours a day. If you tend to sit within a room and have a limited scope for outdoor activity during the day, Fenix 7S Solar will not get exposed to the requisite lux of sunlight for solar charging to have a meaningful impact in charging your smartwatch. This will imply that the battery on Fenix 7S Solar will not charge with the solar energy offered in sunlight.

Also, to make solar charging effective, your Fenix 7S Solar screen should not be protected with a watch screen protector. The screen protector on the watch screen reduces the intensity of the solar energy received. This degrades the quality of solar charging. This is also the reason that Garmin advises against using a screen protector on the Power Glass watch screen.

Who should buy a Fenix 7S Solar watch?

Fenix 7S Solar can use sunlight to supplement charging on your watch. It is suitable:

  • For people who are outdoors for the most part of the day,
  • and, you get direct sunlight on most days through the year.

When the sun is shining bright, the Fenix 7S Solar will get charged through direct sunlight. Consequent to proper solar charging intensity and availability, the battery backup on the Fenix 7S Solar will improve. For people who engage in hiking tours, expedition tours, or any other outdoor activity, a Fenix 7S Solar will be a good watch to have over the Fenix 7S.

Do remember the 3 hours and 50000 lux rule for the Fenix 7S Solar watch.

At the same time, if solar charging works for you, it may be worth considering a Sapphire glass for the watch. Between PowerGlass and Sapphire glass based solar watches, the Sapphire glass Garmin Fenix 7 watch models have definite improvements. The glass is harder, scratch resistant and the watch’s titanium bezel is sturdy. We will discuss the differences between the Fenix 7S Solar and the Fenix 7S Sapphire in a different study. Personally speaking, for the incremental cost difference of $100, the Saphhire glass model of Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar is the top-notch smartwatch to have.


Fenix 7S and Fenix 7S Solar differ in:

  • increased battery backup times on Fenix 7S Solar.
  • Fenix 7S Solar watch screen is made of Power Glass; Fenix 7S watch screen is made of the Corning Gorilla Glass DX.
  • For the solar charging to be effective on Fenix 7S Solar, you need to wear the watch for at least 3 hours in sunlight conditions of 50,000 lux or more. In lay terms, that means you ought to wear the Fenix 7S Solar for a minimum of 3 hours in direct sunlight.

You may also like to read the following content related to the Fenix smartwatches from Garmin:

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Helen Kurt - Contributor on TECHEPAGES.COM. Reach me on email.

Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].