For numerous years I have been making use of Garmin wearables to track my jogging, biking, climbing, and other out of doors functions, but I have never ever tried out out a person of the Instinct products. That changed a couple of weeks back when Garmin sent out the new Garmin Instinct Solar, with beta software program, for analysis.

When my main type of exercising is jogging, I also trip my bike, hike, get on the elliptical, and engage in other athletics. In addition, I appreciate fly fishing on the rivers of Washington State. In the past, my Garmin product use provided Forerunner, Fenix, and Edge equipment, so I was curious about the Instinct as it took a bit of a various technique in regards to the look at design and aim.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 assessment: Tunes, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

After far more than a week with the Instinct Solar, I truthfully may be a transform to the Instinct line for a number of motives. These involve:

  • Long battery lifestyle: After years of making use of wearables, I have recognized that very long battery lifestyle ensures a gadget stays mounted on my wrist for the very long term. One or two-working day battery lifestyle on a wearable is now unacceptable for my demands. The Instinct Solar boasts battery lifestyle in GPS monitoring mode goes up to far more than 50 days, even supplying limitless in Battery Saver mode with solar publicity.
  • Rugged design: a hundred-meter water resistance and MIL-STD-810G shock ratings be certain the Instinct is built to acquire on anything. It has a fiber-bolstered polymer situation and a scratch-resistant display screen that is set down from the entrance encounter.
  • One of a kind out of doors functions: In addition to a plethora of standard functions like jogging, biking, climbing, kayaking, yoga, and numerous far more the Garmin Instinct supports fishing, tactical, boating, searching, area calculation, and far more out of doors-focused adventures. The expedition mode supports a multi-working day action with diminished require to demand with track factors recorded when an hour by default.
  • Realistic display screen design: A key explanation the Garmin Instinct has a excellent battery lifestyle is the monochrome display screen. I have come to enjoy the top rated suitable circle, two-window design, that supplies vital information and facts at a glance. For example, whilst fishing it confirmed my fish rely, in coronary heart price mode, it shows your latest coronary heart price, and in compass mode, it shows the course in angles.
  • Reasonable cost: The Garmin Instinct Solar starts off at $399.ninety nine. Taking into consideration all that this GPS athletics look at has to supply, that is a reasonable cost.

See also: Garmin Vivoactive 4 assessment: Touchscreen, advanced well being-monitoring, golf, tunes, and far more


  • Show: 23mm diameter 128 x 128 pixels resolution monochrome, sunlight-obvious
  • Watch supplies: Fiber-bolstered polymer with silicone band
  • Drinking water resistance: ten ATM (a hundred meters)
  • Bands: Supports Quickfit 22mm bands.
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth, ANT+, GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO, Garmin Elevate optical HR, pulse Ox, barometric altimeter, three-axis compass, accelerometer, thermometer
  • Battery: Rated for thirty hours in GPS teaching mode or 38 hours when making use of solar charging. 24 days in smartwatch mode, and fifty four days with sufficient solar publicity. In Battery Saver mode with sufficient solar publicity, Garmin states the Instinct can realize limitless battery lifestyle.
  • Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 15.3 mm and 53 grams


The Garmin Instinct Solar is not a slim and sleek GPS athletics look at, as it is focused on giving a rugged gadget that excels in various environmental problems for days and weeks. I’m individually a lover of major watches and find that the Instinct Solar works properly on my wrist.

To be genuine, I hardly recognized that the Garmin Instinct Solar would not have a color display screen. I have never ever observed color shows to be an vital component of a GPS athletics look at. I just require a display screen that is uncomplicated to study outside the house with a backlight obtainable when needed and the Instinct Solar supplies precisely that.

The section of the display screen that has swayed me in the direction of favoring the Garmin Instinct Solar is the little circle “next” display screen. I find this highlighted area to be valuable for giving critical information and facts and producing it distinct what a one press of the GPS button will present.

There are 5 buttons on the Instinct Solar, just like most Garmin GPS athletics watches. The top rated-remaining button toggles the backlight with a press and maintain launching the controls display screen. The middle remaining button moves up whilst the bottom remaining moves down. A press and maintain of the middle remaining button requires you into the various options. You can also customise the hotkeys in the options to make the gadget optimized for your use.

The top rated suitable button, GPS, will acquire you to your preferred activites with a different press launching that action. When scrolling as a result of widgets you can also press this button to find that widget and see far more in-depth knowledge. The bottom suitable button, Set, serves principally as the back button. Once more, this can also be tailored with the incredibly hot keys environment.

A Garmin Elevate coronary heart price monitor is centered on the back. The conventional four-pin Garmin connector is also observed on the back for charging the look at.

A silicone look at band, matching the color of the look at, is provided. Two loops are present on the bitter end of the band to retain it securely on your wrist. Like the Garmin Instinct, Garmin’s 22mm Quickfit bands are also supported with this look at.

There are four versions of the Instinct Solar, with various color solutions. These involve:

  • Instinct Solar: Graphite, Tidal Blue, Orchid, Sunburst, Flame Pink
  • Instinct Solar – Camo: Graphite Camo and Lichen Camo
  • Instinct Solar – Tactical Version: Black and Moss
  • Instinct Solar – Surf Version: Pipeline and Cloudbreak

Watch software program

To navigate the gadget, you press the 5 buttons. Moving up and down from the look at encounter will scroll you as a result of various widgets obtainable (solar intensity, coronary heart price, My Day, notifications, temperature, pressure, ABC, past run, Overall body Battery, and far more). The widgets are selected in the options suitable on the look at.

You can use the Garmin Instinct Solar look at to track jogging, biking, elliptical, open up water or pool swimming, fishing, searching, MTB, snowboarding, snowboarding, yoga, rowing, and numerous far more focused exercises. The a person sport missing that I would have favored to have viewed is golf.

There are a large quantity of options and customization solutions obtainable for each individual form of action. For example, in the jogging application, you can customise up to four knowledge screens in a layout from a person to four fields with timer, distance, speed, speed, coronary heart price, cadence, temperature, elevation, compass, navigation, and other fields. I advise you devote some excellent time customizing anything precisely how you want it and then be completely ready to tweak things as you perform your action and find you want to check out your knowledge in another way.

In addition to personalized knowledge fields for each individual action, you can handle alerts, car-pause, laps, car-scroll, and substantially far more. The knowledge can be speedy and uncomplicated making use of the defaults or as unique as you motivation with a bit of time expended customizing the look at knowledge fields and options.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 assessment: Tunes, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

To get started on a run, lift up your arm, press the upper suitable button, find Operate, and then press the button all over again following GPS is connected. Push the button all over again to pause. If you want to carry on, press the button all over again.

There are a number of unique functions you can track with the Garmin Instinct Solar, and I experienced a excellent time making use of the Fish selection. After launching this action, you find to start off fishing and the look at will track your GPS site. You can manually mark spots, set fishing timers, navigate to spots, and far more. Since I was fly fishing on a little river whilst wading into the river, I started the working day, and then as I caught each individual fish I pressed the GPS button 2 times to log the catch. After the working day was carried out, I was in a position to see precisely the place each individual fish was caught on a map. That certain working day I landed 19 rainbow trout so completely enjoyed making use of the Garmin Instinct Solar to track the working day. I are not able to hold out to go fly fishing all over again and develop a background of my catches to system upcoming trips.

Lots of other functions are supported, together with navigation, and I system to devote numerous far more hours getting all of the capabilities of the look at.

Smartphone software program and web page

Collecting the knowledge is vital, but making use of that knowledge for monitoring tendencies, enhancing overall performance, complicated friends, and identifying issue spots is also extremely vital. Garmin features the Garmin Hook up application for iOS and Android.

When you first start the smartphone application, you will see the My Day display screen that shows your most latest exercise, coronary heart price, pressure degree, entire body battery, hydration, measures, floors, rest, calories in/out, pounds, yesterday’s stats, stats for past 7 days, and far more. Options are obtainable to select what is exhibited and in what purchase.

Other tabs involve difficulties, calendar, news feed, and notifications. Tapping on the gadget itself offers you solutions for tunes, Garmin Pay back, textual content responses (Android only), functions, physical appearance, appears & alerts, action monitoring, and substantially far more.

Also: Garmin Edge 530 and Varia RTL510 assessment: Holding your bike commute safe and improving your out of doors exciting

On an Android smartphone, you can also fine-tune your sensible notifications by picking the unique applications that will be allowed to send notifications to your Garmin Instinct Solar. On iOS, you get whatsoever notifications you have enabled in the iOS options so I individually choose the Android smartphone knowledge.

The Garmin Hook up web page knowledge is extremely equivalent to what you see in the smartphone application, with even far more functionality to deliver reports, import or export knowledge, set up connections to other programs (this kind of as Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and far more. Identical to the snapshots interface on the telephone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Hook up that you can customise.

I produced dashboard tabs for everyday action, jogging, biking, and climbing due to the fact those people are my main functions. Now with the Instinct, I am also operating on a fishing dashboard to goal my upcoming fly fishing outings. You can then customise the check out that appears in your dashboard or select to soar to a total web site check out of the selected knowledge.

Also: Garmin Venu assessment: Vibrant AMOLED display screen makes this a person of the most effective GPS athletics watches for the masses

Day by day use activities

When compared to the other Garmin wearables I have examined about the past couple of years, the Garmin Instinct Solar does not assist onboard tunes, Garmin Pay back, or Hook up IQ applications, look at faces, or knowledge fields. For my use, this would not seriously matter, as I use my telephone for tunes and Garmin Pay back nevertheless would not assist my bank. Having said that, these may be restrictions for other folks so be aware of what is missing on the Instinct Solar.

The new Garmin Instinct Solar supports some of the most up-to-date Garmin functions that I find useful to being familiar with my well being and properly-currently being. These functions involve Overall body Battery, pressure monitoring, rest monitoring with REM facts, smartphone notifications with textual content reaction from an Android telephone, and far more.

A wearable I almost never have to believe of charging that captures all of my everyday action, together with rest, and focused GPS events is refreshing and critical to remaining on my wrist. When that wearable also supports my area of interest functions, this kind of as fly fishing, it is tough to conquer. The Garmin Instinct Solar also can continue to be topped off with the sunshine, producing this a person of the most effective wearables for adventurists and athletes focused on out of doors functions.