The Quatix 7, Garmin’s latest sailing smartwatch includes an array of small visible tweeks and some extra wizardry with digital interfaces on boating devices.
Garmin Quatix 7
The Garmin Quatix 7 smartwatch, the latest version of this popular sailors watch includes improvements to strengthen integration with onboard boating electronics.
It’s now been equipped with a touchscreen that can, for instance, be used to control multifunction digital displays or Fusion audio systems, as well as Garmin autopilots.
But as a Quatix 6 user and someone with touchscreen fatigue, the first thing I did was turn off the touch screen function. It’s pretty quick to toggle between it being on or off, but it’s been off now for a few months. A quick squeeze of the start and back button though and the touchscreen is back on again should I ever get my hands on the fancy bit of kit it interfaces with.
So let’s address the major change for the Quatix 7 over the Quatix 6, and that’s the display. Plenty of folks complained about the darkness or difficulty seeing the Quatix 6 screen, so they’ve addressed that with a much brighter lit up style of screen. Whilst this might appease a large number of wearers, I have found it a bit garish and a major battery suck. It is very bright even when turned to its dimmest setting. To save the battery from being drained unnecessarily at night, there’s a night time version of the watch screen where you can view it as a digital numeric mono display, on demand, otherwise the screen is completely blank.
This bright screen comes at a cost to the battery life. Whereas the Quatix 6 could last a whole 10 days, the Quatix 7 barely makes 6 days before I need to plug it in to charge.
Another tweek to the Garmin Quatix 7 smartwatch is the raised housing either side of the MOB button. Some people with bigger wrists than mine noted that it was too easy to accidentally trigger the MOB button just by articulating their wrist.
Although both the Quatix 6 and the Quatix 7 have the same overall size dimensions, the screen on the Quatix 7 is bigger due to the thinner bezel.
As for the functionality of the watch, very little has changed to my own user experience other than the menus being moved around and a few user interface design tweeks. I still track my cycle rides, coastal rowing and some of my sailing, plus I track my sleep and overall health monitor. The Quatix 7 has integrated more functionality into the Garmin app on the phone, so it’s easier to make changes to the user functionality of various apps within the watch, rather than having to fiddle about doing them on screen as with the earlier Quatix watches.
Would I tell someone with a Quatix 6 to upgrade to a 7? Probably not, you could wait for the next one, unless the dark screen has you cursing, then sure, do it. But if you don’t have a Quatix watch yet, or yours is an older version, then I would say absolutely yes! This is a brilliant watch with a huge amount of functionality for anyone whose life revolves around being in, on and around water. I feel utterly undressed without my Quatix these days.
I’ve docked the watch half a star for the reduction in battery life over the Quatix 6. Other than that, this is an utterly brilliant piece of kit.
Also, if you love to change the look of your watch, the straps are quick release so you can swap them out within seconds.
In the pictures you’ll see two other strap options other than the standard Blue as supplied with the Quatix out of the box.
To buy the metal strap or the yellow strap you get get those via the links below. There’s loads of colours and styles to choose from, so if these don’t float your boat, there’s probably something else that does.
High end Sapphire models add a new ultra-clear AMOLED touchscreen.
Price: £599.99 to £1,049.99