There are Smartwatches with fitness tracking capabilities and then there are tried and tested Fitness watches, built to give athletes real user-generated data on their performance. If you fit into the latter, then chances are you have heard of the Garmin Instinct, a robust fitness watch that delivers many high-end features for a fraction of the price of other high-end models. Garmin has again struck gold by tweaking their award-winning formula and equipping the Instinct with the ability to charge through solar energy.
The Instinct has always been a fitness watch loved by running enthusiasts and sweat hounds with its Casio G-Shock-inspired design that is incredibly tough thanks to a fiber-reinforced polymer build paired with a high contrast 45mm monochrome screen and very comfortable silicone strap. It is so tough, the watch is U.S. military standard 810 certified for thermal, shock, and water resistance (rated to 100 meters). Made to be a versatile companion, the Instinct has a ridiculously long battery life and 10ATM water resistance which means it is perfect for running, cycling, and hiking off the beaten path. This is an adventure-ready watch that can take you anywhere you want to go.
Speaking of battery, this year, Garmin has equipped the Instinct watch face with photovoltaic “Power Glass”, which translates to two separate solar panels under and around the display that converts the sun’s energy into battery life. In theory, this essentially could mean that Garmin has made a fitness watch that will never run of power but in real-world use, we found it essentially doubled battery life to nearly 60 days when used in smartwatch mode or 38 hours straight if you were to use the watch constantly with GPS turned on, tracking your every move and that is very impressive and Iron-Man status ready.
The Instinct is designed to be used outdoors and as a result, there is a wealth of activity tracking options (including some unexpected ones like stand-up paddleboarding and hunting), but the running features are where the Instinct Solar shines, with profiles for outdoor running, treadmill running, strength training, yoga and even trail running. There are also some excellent navigation options through the access to GPS/Galileo/GLONASS satellites which means it can accurately track your adventures wherever you may travel. Not to forget to mention one of our favorites – the always-on heart rate monitor which is very accurate and there is even a thermometer, altimeter, and compass. While Garmin has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into the Instinct, this year you also get the inclusion of a Pulse Ox2 sensor that uses light beams at your wrist to gauge how well your body is absorbing oxygen, new power management modes, and even an upgraded heart rate sensor which can be used to track swimming workouts which most fitness watches struggle with.
Finally, is the Garmin Connect App, which continues to be the gold standard when it comes to providing a clean user interface for consumers to access all the most important metrics like heart rate, steps, calories, cadence, and GPS tracked activities gathered from your workouts. With the Instinct Solar, you also now get data on how much sunlight your watch has been catching recently. It is that good!
To conclude, the Garmin Instinct Solar is a fitness watch that is not trying to be anything it’s not. It is a simple, robust, and comprehensive fitness tool that provides accurate records on your workouts and health helped along with excellent battery life thanks to the ability to power up from the sun.