Is Fenix 7 Solar worth it?

Fenix 7 Solar is one of the six solar variants of the Fenix 7 smartwatches. One of the most common queries that we receive ask us about Fenix 7 solar edition. Is it worth spending an extra $100 on Fenix 7 Solar edition watch instead of the Fenix 7 standard edition? Fenix 7 Solar edition watch is the basic solar smartwatch in the Fenix 7 series. So, it is worth investing on Fenix 7 Solar? What are the additional features of Fenix 7 Solar over the Fenix 7 standard edition?

Power Glass Lens on Fenix 7 Solar

Fenix 7 Solar makes use of Power Glass for solar charging. Fenix 7 standard edition has a lens that is made of the normal Corning Gorilla Glass. The solar variant of Fenix 7 Solar comes with Power Glass lens material. Power Glass, as the name suggests, helps in powering your smartwatch through solar charging.

Garmin solar watches use either Power Glass or Power Sapphire watch lenses to convert sunlight into battery power, extending your time between charges.

from Garmin website

Fenix 7 Solar uses Power Glass. The higher or premium variants of Fenix 7X Solar Sapphire watches make use of the Power Sapphire lens material for solar charging. At the same time, Garmin clearly states that solar charging is not to be used as the primary source of charging the Fenix 7 Solar smartwatch.

On a similar note, Garmin states the following for ‘Power Glass’ on its website:

Corning Gorilla Glass DX is used for the Power Glass lens and is designed to be scratch-resistant, but it is not as durable as the sapphire crystal lens. The Power Glass watch lens is used to convert sunlight into battery power, extending your time between charges.

from Garmin website

Power Glass is DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass for wearables. The DX coating is an anti-reflective coating that enhances clarity and readability in sunlight. It improves overall experience in direct sunlight. However, the DX coated Power Glass is not as scratch resistant as the Power Sapphire glass.

Battery of Fenix 7 Solar

The battery life of Fenix 7 Solar is marginally higher, almost 25 percent over the Fenix 7 standard edition.

  • Fenix 7 Solar can last for up to 22 days on the smartwatch mode with solar charging. Fenix 7 standard edition lasts for up to 18 days.
  • Fenix 7 Solar can last for up to 73 hours on GPS mode and Fenix 7 standard edition can last for up to 57 hours.
  • Fenix 7 Solar can last for 74 days with solar charging and Fenix 7 Standard edition can last for up to 40 days.

The life of battery extends with activities that see you spending time in outdoor.

Solar Charging on Fenix 7 Solar

One of the biggest points about solar charged Garmin watches has to be the time you need to spend outdoor to make the most of solar charging. So, in checking the Garmin website, we find that Garmin has stated the following:

Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions.

from Garmin website

If you tend to spend most part of the day indoors, a solar watch may not add much in terms of battery life to your smartwatch. Therefore, a Fenix 7 Solar is an ideal fit for someone who is outdoors for a major part of the day. And, on top of that, your place needs to have higher number of bright sunny days with at least 50,000 lumens of sunshine. Unless the Fenix 7 Solar gets adequate solar exposure, solar charging may not add much in terms of battery life.

Cost difference between Fenix 7 Solar and Fenix 7 Standard edition

Fenix 7 Solar comes with a list price of $799.99 and Fenix 7 Standard Edition will cost you $699.99. The price difference between the base solar edition watch and the standard edition watch is $100. If you do spend a fair amount of time in sunlight, a Fenix 7 Solar justifies the incremental expense of the watch for ability to use solar charging for building up the battery life of the watch.

Over and above this, the Power Glass lens material is a few generations ahead of the Corning Gorilla Glass. The DX coated Power Glass is a premium lens material when you compare it against the regular Corning Gorilla Glass lens material.

Summary

If I were to choose between the Fenix 7 Standard Edition or the Fenix 7 Solar Edition watch, I would pick the Solar edition watch for the DX coated lens material. For a few days in the month, I do spend time outdoor. On such days, solar charging of Fenix 7 Solar smartwatch adds to the battery life and lends a premium experience.

You may like to read more about Fenix 7 smartwatches below: