Garmin Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X: Which to Buy?

Garmin Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X

Today, we have two Garmin smartwatches – the Instinct 2X and the Fenix 7X. Both share many similarities in terms of features; yet the Fenix 7X is $450 more expensive, which is a significant difference. In this comparison, we’ll explore what makes the Fenix 7X worth the extra cost and whether the more affordable Instinct 2X can compete with it.

Fenix 7XInstinct 2X
Finex 7XInstinct 2X
Buy NowBuy Now
Superior build quality.
Color display.
Additional Features.
Higher storage capacity.
Rugged look.
Outstanding battery life.
Lower Price.
Comprehensive Tracker
Pricey option.
Little heavy.
less attractive monochrome. display.
limited additional Features.


Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Instinct 2X Solar
Size 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm50 x 50 x 14.5 mm
Weight 89 g67 g
Build materialtitanium bezels and rear cover with fiber-reinforced polymerfiber-reinforced polymer
Display type memory-in-pixel (MIP)monochrome memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Display size and resolution 1.4 inch (280 x 280 pixels)1.1 x 1.1 inch (176 x 176 pixels)
Lens material Power SapphirePower Glass
Touchscreen YesNo
Color displayYesNo
LED FlashlightYes Yes
Water rating10 ATM10 ATM
Memory 32GB64MB


There are different sizes and editions available of both watches, with slight differences in build and features, which can result in variations in their prices.

The Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar edition will cost you $899, while the Instinct 2X Solar is available for $449.99. So, in terms of price, the Instinct 2X is definitely a better option.


Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X Design

The look of both watches is quite rugged. The Instinct 2X has a traditional sports watch appearance, while the Fenix 7X looks more like a modern sports watch, mainly due to its titanium bezels.

Both have large case sizes, which would be more suitable for larger wrists. The Instinct 2X is relatively lighter due to its full plastic body, while the Fenix 7X feels more robust and heavier because of its metal material.

Regarding sports, the buttons are essential, and both watches come with five buttons that allow you to control all the watch’s features. But only the Fenix 7X has a touchscreen, which can be quite convenient for regular use.

They also come with a 10 ATM Water Resistance Rating, which allows them to go underwater up to 100 meters. This is quite beneficial for swimmers who spend much time in the water.


Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X Display

The Instinct 2X features a monochrome MIP display with a two-window design, lacking colors. On the other hand, the Fenix 7X has a color MIP display, giving it a visually appealing quality, along with higher resolution and a larger display, making it superior in this regard.

Both of these watches have tough display protection. The Instinct 2X uses Power Glass, while the Fenix 7X features even stronger Power Sapphire.

Regarding readability, due to their MIP displays, both of them perform well in outdoor and bright environments, but the Instinct 2X is slightly more readable because of its single-color display.

Smart Features 

Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X Smart features

Both watches have the same smart features that are useful in daily life, including Garmin Pay, viewing phone notifications, call rejection, quick response (only for Android), morning reports, calendars, weather forecasts, and more.

You can control your phone’s music with both watches, but streaming music directly from the watch is only available in the Fenix 7X; for this, you can use apps like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Deezer. It also has 32GB of storage for storing many songs.

Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X Flashlight

Both of them have a built-in LED flashlight, which is very bright. It is useful for enhancing visibility in dark or foggy areas when you are running. You can also adjust their brightness, and they come with different strobe options for signaling.

Health & Fitness Tracking

Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X  Health tracking

Both of these watches constantly measure heart rate, and they also come with features like monitoring blood oxygen saturation, respiration rate, calculating fitness age, stress levels, and sleep tracking.

They accurately monitor the body, which allows them to provide better guidance for your fitness goals.

But if we focus on their training feedback, there are numerous exceptional metrics here. Both watches offer features like HRV (Heart Rate Variability), recovery time, training status, training readiness, training load, training effect, race predictor, and Pace Pro, which are truly remarkable.

Both of them also provide Running and Cycling VO2 Max, so if you’re an athlete preparing for competition, these metrics will not only track your training progress but also provide guidance to enhance your performance.

The Fenix 7X has some additional training metrics that include features like real-time stamina, Training Load Focus, Live Segments, Endurance Score, and Hill Score. These features will help you understand your training in even greater depth.

Both watches also offer features for golf enthusiasts, but the Fenix 7X includes exclusive golfing features that you would typically expect from an external golf device.

Activity Profiles

Both watches have a wide variety of activity profiles, providing you with many options to analyze your performance using training metrics alongside your favorite activities.

In the case of the Fenix 7X, there are only two additional running profiles: Virtual Running and Ultra Running. Apart from these, all other profiles are quite similar.

I have listed the activity profiles available in both watches below for your detailed understanding. It’s important to note that these profiles are current, and there might be additional activity profiles added in the future through software updates.

GYM ACTIVITY PROFILESStrength, HIIT, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Pilates, Yoga
RUNNING PROFILESRunning, Outdoor Track Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, (Virtual Running, Ultra Running)
OUTDOOR RECREATION PROFILESHiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, Backcountry Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Backcountry Skiing, Water Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Surfing, Wakeboarding, Wakesurfing, Tubing, Hunting, Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, Snowshoeing, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Motorcycling, Overlanding, Motocrossing, ATVing, Snowmobile, Ice Skating, Boating, Sailing, Sail Racing, Jumpmaster, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis, Archery, Whitewater, Tactical, Disc Golf, Sailing Expedition
SPORT PROFILESAmerican Football, Field Hockey, Ice Hockey, Soccer/Football, Lacrosse, Rugby, Ultimate Disc, Cricket, Softball, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball
CYCLING PROFILESBiking, Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Gravel Biking, Bike Commuting, Bike Touring, eBiking, eMountain Biking, Indoor Biking, Cyclocross, Triathlon
SWIM PROFILESPool Swimming, Open Water Swimming

Outdoor Activity Tracking

Fenix 7X vs Instinct 2X GPS

Both watches can access 5 different satellites and multiple frequencies, which is why they provide very accurate results in challenging environments such as dense forests or in areas with high, rugged terrain where signal interference may occur.

The Fenix 7X features SatIQ technology, which automatically adjusts satellite signals based on the environment, leading to reduced battery consumption.

Maps and Navigation

Fenix 7X map

Maps are only available in the Fenix 7X, and it provides detailed information about roads, streets, landmarks, and points of interest. If you use maps extensively, you’ll likely appreciate this watch.

Both watches have a traditional Breadcrumb Style navigation, which displays route as a line on the screen. While it doesn’t provide the level of detail found in the Fenix 7X’s maps.

They also have a backtrack option that guides you back to the starting point.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, both Garmin watches easily last a long time. I have mentioned below in which mode you can expect how much battery life for both of them so that you can better understand their battery life.

Instinct 2X Battery Life: –

Modes / Usage Without Solar Capabilities With Solar Capabilities 
Smartwatch40 daysunlimited 
GPS60 hours145 hours
All Satellite Systems40 hours65 hours
All Satellite Systems + multi-band27 hours36 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode150 hoursunlimited 
Expedition GPS Activity60 daysunlimited 
Battery Saver Watch Mode100 daysunlimited 

Fenix 7X Battery Life: – 

Modes / Usage Without Solar Capabilities With Solar Capabilities 
Smartwatch28 days37 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode90 days 1+ year 
GPS Only 89 hours122 hours 
All Satellite Systems63 hours77 hours
All Satellite Systems + multi-band36 hours41 hours
All Satellite Systems + Music 16 hours16 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode213 hours578 hours
Expedition GPS62 days139 days

No doubt, Instinct 2X is better in this perspective, and the biggest reason for its unlimited battery life is its large solar panels on the screen.

But the Fenix 7X is also offering a very good battery life, along with its solar capability, so it can’t be ignored either.

Which watch should you buy?

The answer depends on your budget. If your budget allows it, the Fenix 7X is a great choice because it offers a premium build, a color display, topographical maps, better battery life for outdoor activity tracking, and additional smartwatch and training feedback features.

But if your budget doesn’t allow for it, the Instinct 2X is also a good option, especially if you don’t have a problem with a monochrome display or if you don’t need additional tracking metrics. It also offers many similar features with the same level of accuracy.

And if you want all the features of the Fenix 7X with an AMOLED display, you can also check out our Garmin Epix Pro vs Fenix 7 Pro comparison.

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