Garmin Instinct 2X Vs. Fenix 7X

Garmin Instinct 2X Vs. Fenix 7X: Which is Better?

The Instinct 2x, the latest release from Garmin, boasts a larger size than its predecessors and incorporates advanced features from the Fenix 7X, such as a dedicated LED flashlight and training readiness feedback.

Additionally, the watch offers an extensive list of sport profiles, a durable design, and impressive battery life. At a significantly lower price point than the Fenix 7X, the Instinct 2x delivers comparable functionality, making it a highly capable option for those seeking advanced performance features at a more accessible price point. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.

Although the Fenix 7X is double the price of the Instinct 2X, there are several reasons why one may prefer the Instinct 2X over the Fenix 7X solar. In this review, we will dive deeper and explore the differences between the two watches.

In this Garmin Instinct 2X vs Fenix 7X comparison, We’ll discuss the additional features offered by the Fenix 7X that are not available on the Instinct 2X, as well as a couple of unique features that are exclusive to the Instinct 2X.

By examining these distinctions, we hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of both watches and help you make an informed decision. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 2X here.

The Price Of The Garmin Instinct 2X vs Fenix 7X

The price point of the Instinct 2X is $449, while the Fenix 7X solar is priced at double that amount, at $899. It’s important to note that we are specifically comparing the Fenix 7X solar to the Instinct 2X, as they are the most similar in terms of size, flashlight features, and solar charging capabilities.

However, it’s worth mentioning that there are several other options available within both the Instinct 2 and Fenix 7 ranges. These options include different sizes, solar and non-solar options, and the availability of a sapphire lens on the Fenix 7 range. But in this Comparison, we’ll focus on the Garmin Instinct 2X vs Fenix 7X.


Both the Instinct 2X and the Fenix 7X have similar dimensions, with the Instinct 2X featuring a 50mm case that is 14mm thick (without the heart rate sensor) and the Fenix 7X featuring a 51mm case that is 14.9mm thick (without the heart rate sensor).

However, there is a significant difference in weight between the two watches, with the Instinct 2X weighing 67 grams and the Fenix 7X weighing 96 grams. This difference in weight can be attributed to the materials used in their construction.

The Instinct 2X uses a plastic polymer, which makes it lightweight, while the Fenix 7X integrates metal into its construction, including a stainless steel bezel and back, which adds weight but also provides added durability.

Both the Instinct 2X and the Fenix 7X are highly durable watches, tested to military-grade standards and with a 10 ATM water resistance rating. The Instinct 2X has some distinct design elements that contribute to its durability, such as the bezel which provides a good amount of distance above the display, offering added protection.

On the other hand, while the Fenix 7X does have a slight lip that sits above the display, it’s not quite as drastic as the Instinct 2X. However, the Fenix 7X makes up for this with a metal bezel that extends to protect the lugs on the watch case.


Indeed, the weight of a watch can make a big difference in terms of wearability and comfort, and the Instinct 2X’s lower weight compared to the Fenix 7X is certainly noticeable.

The Fenix 7X’s metal construction does give it a more premium look, but ultimately style is subjective and one may prefer the look of the Instinct 2X over the Fenix 7X, which is great as both options are available.

That’s a great point, the design of the strap can also make a difference in wearability and comfort. The Instinct 2X’s integrated strap design is curved and wraps around the wrist, which helps it stay secure and get more accurate heart rate readings by preventing the watch from moving around on the wrist.

The Fenix 7X, on the other hand, uses a more traditional strap design that comes with a quick-fit strap. However, it’s worth noting that although the Instinct 2X comes with integrated straps, it is also compatible with the same 26-millimeter quick-fit straps as the Fenix 7X, providing users with even more options to customize the watch to their liking.

The Instinct 2X may have an advantage in wearability and comfort due to its lighter weight and integrated strap design, while the Fenix 7X has a more premium look and feel with its metal construction and quick-fit strap. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what features are most important to the individual. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 2X here.


  • The Instant 2X: has a 1.1-inch Memory pixel or transflective monochrome display, a resolution of 176 by 176 pixels.
  • Fenix 7x: has a full-color 1.4-inch Memory pixel or transflective display, with 280 by 280 pixels.

The larger display with higher resolution on the Fenix 7X makes a significant difference in terms of visual clarity and detail compared to the smaller monochrome display on the Instinct 2X. Additionally, the full-color display on the Fenix 7X allows for more customization and personalization of the watch face and widgets.

However, it’s worth noting that the Instinct 2X’s monochrome display has the advantage of being more battery-efficient, especially in outdoor environments where the watch is exposed to direct sunlight, which is where the solar charging feature comes in handy.

The difference in display between the Instinct 2X and the Fenix 7X can be significant in terms of data field display during an activity, with the Fenix 7X allowing up to eight data fields compared to the five on the Instinct 2X.

Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.

While the Fenix 7X’s full-color display with more pixels might seem superior on paper, there is one scenario where the Instinct 2X is slightly better: readability outside, especially in bright conditions. The monochrome display of the Instinct 2X, although not full color, allows for high contrast, making it easier to see in certain situations, despite its smaller size compared to the Fenix 7X.

It is worth noting that the Power Glass Technology, which integrates the solar panel on top of the display, can impact brightness slightly on both watches, with non-solar versions being a bit clearer and brighter. However, this difference seems to be more noticeable on the Fenix 7X, which has a display with less contrast.

Additionally, the smaller display on the Instinct 2X allows for more room around the display for the 100 efficient solar panels, giving it a more solar farm-like appearance. This design difference contributes to the difference in battery life between the two watches, which we will discuss shortly.

However, there is a significant difference in the displays between the Fenix 7X and the Instinct 2X. The Fenix 7X features a touch screen, while the Instinct 2X utilizes an all-button interface.

Despite this, the Fenix 7X still incorporates the same exact five-button configuration as the Instinct 2X. The touchscreen simply provides an additional means of navigating the device when it is most convenient. So, there’s no need to worry about the lack of buttons on the Fenix 7X. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.

Battery Life:

Regarding battery life, both the Fenix 7X and the Instinct 2X offer impressive battery performance. However, there are some notable differences between them. In terms of daily use as a smartwatch, without any outdoor activities being recorded, the Fenix 7X can potentially last up to 28 days, whereas the Instinct 2X can last up to 40 days, without utilizing solar charging. Therefore, both watches have excellent battery life, but the Instinct 2X outperforms the Fenix 7X in this aspect.

Indeed, the display is a significant factor in the difference in battery life between the two watches, as the Instinct 2X display requires less energy. However, the most significant difference in battery life between the two watches is their solar charging capabilities.

The Instinct 2X has the potential for unlimited battery life with enough solar exposure, while the Fenix 7X can only extend the total time before recharge, as it cannot potentially run forever.

This is because the Fenix 7X display consumes a lot more power, and the solar panels on the Instinct 2X are much larger. Interestingly, though, the Fenix 7X can actually get more battery life for recording outdoor activities, with or without solar charging.

Keen observers may have already noticed that the Instinct 2X has a battery life specification that is not available on the Fenix 7X. One of the most surprising differences between these two watches is that the Instinct 2X is equipped with a multi-band or dual-band satellite chipset, while the Fenix 7X is not. However, it’s worth noting that the Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Edition does come with the multi-band satellite chipset, while the non-sapphire edition of the 7X Solar does not.


Outdoor Features: Returning to a feature that both of these have in common, they both come equipped with a dedicated LED flashlight. This has quickly become one of my favorite features to come out recently, and I use the flashlight on a daily basis. In fact, it’s the main reason why I prefer larger Garmin watches over the mid-sized versions, even though the latter fits my wrist better.

I did notice some differences between these flashlights. Firstly, the Fenix 7x refers to it as a flashlight while the Instinct 2x calls it a torch, which is quite interesting. Additionally, the white LEDs on the Fenix 7x are spaced farther apart from each other compared to the Instinct 2x, resulting in a wider beam pattern on the former and a slightly narrower one on the latter.

Another observation I made was that the lens on the Instinct 2x seems to be slightly clearer than that of the Fenix 7x, although not as clear as that of the Enduro 2. This is because the lens on the Enduro 2 is more translucent, resulting in a brighter flashlight.

It also appears that the Instinct 2x flashlight may be marginally brighter than that of the Fenix 7x, but this could be due to the beam spread causing an optical illusion. Nonetheless, the flashlight is an impressive feature.

Furthermore, both the Fenix 7x and the Instinct 2×2 offer a red LED light option in the flashlight settings. However, the Tactic 7, which is the special tactical version of the Fenix 7x, has the option for a green LED, which is more suitable for tactical situations. Similarly, the Instinct 2x Tactical Edition also comes with a green LED.


Both of these watches are equipped with Garmin’s fourth-generation elevated heart rate sensor. However, I have noticed a slight difference in accuracy, which is largely due to the weight difference between the two watches. I have obtained highly accurate results from the Instinct 2X, whereas the Phoenix 7x has been slightly less accurate.

The reason for this difference is that, although both watches have the same heart rate sensor, larger watches tend to bounce or move around on the wrist due to their increased weight, leading to decreased accuracy. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.

In addition to the heart rate sensor, both watches can also track blood oxygen saturation levels, stress levels, respiration rate, and sleep patterns, as well as HRV or heart rate variability. They also come equipped with Garmin’s Morning Report feature, which provides users with important information upon waking up in the morning, such as Sleep Quality, HRV status, weather information, and events from their calendar.

Furthermore, both watches offer performance and training feedback, which includes features such as training load balance, training status, and training effect. These features can provide valuable insights into your training progress and help you adjust your workouts accordingly.

Both watches are capable of tracking your performance in terms of VO2 max for running and cycling. They can also estimate your lactate threshold and include a race predictor for common running events.

Additionally, both watches have a training status feature, which assesses how your past training is affecting your performance. This feature looks at trends in your VO2 max, HRV status, training load, and other metrics to provide an indication of how your training is progressing.

The Instinct 2x features a new addition, the Training Readiness feature, which is also found in the Fenix 7 and some of Garmin’s other high-end watches. This feature takes into account various factors such as sleep, recovery time, HRV status, and exercise load to generate a Readiness score, indicating how prepared you are for your next training session.

This was a surprise addition to the Instinct 2x, as this feature is typically reserved for Garmin’s more expensive models, and it was similarly surprising when it was added to the Forerunner 265.

SmartWatch Features: Furthermore, both the Garmin Instinct 2x and Fenix 7x offer music controls, and both can store and play music directly from the watch, although the Instinct 2x has a slightly smaller storage capacity. Additionally, both watches support Garmin Pay, which allows you to make contactless payments using your watch.

It’s worth noting that the Instinct 2x has a longer battery life in smartwatch mode, lasting up to 24 days compared to the Fenix 7x’s 18 days. However, when using GPS, the Fenix 7x has a longer battery life, lasting up to 24 hours compared to the Instinct 2x’s 20 hours.

Overall, both watches offer a wide range of smartwatch features that make them useful in everyday life, although the Instinct 2x may have a slight advantage in terms of battery life in smartwatch mode. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.

Both of these models offer Garmin Pay for contactless payments. However, the Fenix 7X stands out from the Instinct 2X in terms of smartwatch features as it allows you to store music offline from popular streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer. In contrast, the Instinct 2X lacks this capability but you can still control the music playback on your phone as long as you are within range, which is also possible on the Fenix 7X.

Regarding activity tracking, both models can track your steps and floors climbed throughout the day thanks to their built-in altimeters. They can also monitor your intensity minutes, which measures the time you spend doing vigorous exercise, as well as track your calories and Garmin’s body battery feature.

Additionally, both watches feature Garmin’s multi-GNSS chipset, which allows them to access five different satellite systems for outdoor activity tracking. However, the Instinct 2X has a slight advantage in this area over the Fenix 7X Solar because it has a Dual Band Satellite chipset, while the Fenix 7X Solar does not.

It’s worth noting that the Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar model does come with a Dual Band Satellite chipset, but in most situations, both the Instinct 2X and the non-Sapphire Fenix 7X Solar should perform adequately in terms of accuracy.

In challenging environments with limited satellite signal availability, such as areas with tall rock faces, heavy tree cover, or tall buildings, the Dual Band technology in the Instinct 2X can access two different satellite frequencies simultaneously, leading to better accuracy. While not everyone may require such high accuracy, the Instinct 2X does have a slight advantage over the non-Sapphire Fenix 7X Solar in this regard.

Both the Instinct 2X and the Fenix 7X offer a wide variety of activity profiles for different sports and activities, including running, cycling, pool and open water swimming, triathlon, gym workouts, and various outdoor recreational activities.

However, there are some differences in the available activity profiles between the two models. It’s not simply a matter of the Fenix 7X having more profiles than the Instinct 2X; in fact, that is not the case currently.

It’s worth noting that the Instinct 2X offers some activity profiles that are currently not available on the Fenix 7X, such as boxing, MMA, soccer, American football, basketball, and others. Additionally, the new obstacle course racing profile has not yet been added to the Fenix 7X but is confirmed to be included in a future update.

While some of the new profiles introduced with the Instinct 2X are not yet available on the Fenix 7X, it’s possible that they will be added in a future update. However, there are also activity profiles on the Fenix 7X that are not likely to be included on the Instinct 2X, such as sailing, which are generally reserved for higher-end watches.

The Fenix 7X also offers a sailing race profile and a sailing expedition profile, as well as a jump master profile for jumping out of airplanes, which is not available on the standard Instinct 2X model.

The Instinct 2X Tactical Edition does include the jump master profile. Overall, based on the features discussed, the Instinct 2X is able to keep up with the Fenix 7X in many areas, despite some differences in display and other features.

On the other hand, the Fenix 7X has full topographic and landscape maps built in, providing a more detailed and immersive navigation experience. This allows you to see terrain features, trails, and points of interest directly on your watch.

Additionally, the Fenix 7X has the ability to create round-trip routes based on a desired distance or location, as well as offer turn-by-turn directions during activities. These features make the Fenix 7X a more powerful tool for outdoor navigation compared to the Instinct 2X’s breadcrumb-style navigation.

The Fenix 7X also has the ability to create routes right on the device so you don’t need to load them in ahead of time and you can also do things like search for nearby points of interest or search for a specific address or location. Additionally, the Fenix 7X has what’s called “round trip routing” where you can input a distance or time and the device will create a looped route for you based on the maps and trails in the area.

Overall, while the Instinct 2X can still get you from point A to point B with breadcrumb-style navigation and loaded routes, the Fenix 7X’s full-blown maps and additional features make it a more powerful navigation tool. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.

Furthermore, the Fenix 7x boasts a touchscreen, enhancing the usability of its maps. Navigating the map is made effortless, whether you’re exploring or seeking a specific location.

Coupled with its color display, premium build, and music storage and playback, these features contribute to the watch’s steep price point. Nonetheless, the Instinct 2x is a capable watch in its own right. In fact, it has been an exceptional device for me, owing to two key features: a flashlight and a training readiness feature. These features were the main drivers behind my decision to switch from the Fenix 7X to the Instinct 2X.

In conclusion

The Garmin Instinct 2X and Fenix 7X are both excellent smartwatches that offer unique features and benefits to users. The Fenix 7X is undoubtedly the more premium option, with its touchscreen, color display, music storage, and playback.

These features come at a higher price point, but they deliver unparalleled convenience and performance. On the other hand, the Instinct 2X is a more affordable option that still delivers impressive functionality, particularly for those who value a flashlight and training readiness feature.

Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Regardless of which watch you choose, Garmin’s commitment to quality and innovation ensures that you’ll be investing in a reliable and durable device that will serve you well for years to come. Check out the Garmin Instinct 2X latest Price here, or Fenix 7X here.


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Simon is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the FCB. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or reading political news.