Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Review: Unlimited Battery Life?

Earlier this year in March, Garmin launched the Instinct 2 line of smartwatches in India. Among the latest models in the Instinct 2 series, the company has launched two solar-charged variants. Yes, Instinct Solar has solar charging support and Garmin offers unlimited battery power considering you keep the device outdoors for at least 3 hours each day. We used the Instinct 2 Solar edition for two weeks and decided to test the company’s claims. Here’s what we think of Garmin’s latest rugged GPS smartwatch. Read our full review of the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar to find out if it’s worth the money.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Review (2022)

There are two solar variants in the Garmin Instinct 2 series – Instinct 2 Solar and Instinct 2S Solar. 2S Solar is the diluted version of 2 Solar. Apart from these, Garmin also sells a tactical version of the 2 Solar with night vision compatibility and stealth mode. In this review, I reviewed the Instinct 2 Solar edition. It costs Rs. 46,990 in india.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar vs 2S Solar: Features

Before we start the review, here’s a quick look at the features of the Instinct 2 Solar and how it compares to the Instinct 2S Solar:

Garmin 2 Sun Garmin 2S Solar
Dimension 45mm 40mm
view 0.9 inch monochrome, 176 x 176 pixels 0.79 inch monochrome, 156 x 156 pixels
Dimensions 45 x 45 x 14.5mm 40 x 40 x 13.3mm
Weight 53g 43g
battery life Up to 28 days / unlimited with at least 3 hours of sun exposure per day at 50,000 lux Up to 21 days / 51 days with at least 3 hours of sun exposure per day at 50,000 lux
Colors Graphite, Fog Grey, Tide Blue Neo Tropic, Graphite, Fog Gray
Price Rs. 46,990 Rs. 43,990

Design and Display

Design-wise, Garmin opted for the classic Casio G-Shock-esque aesthetic in the Instinct 2. Unlike other smartwatches in its price segment, here you don’t have a touchscreen with a bright display. Instead, what you get is a monochrome display with physical buttons on both sides. On the left you will find three buttons for light and up/down actions. On the right are two buttons to select and go back.

  • belt insertion instinct 2
  • buttons on the left
  • buttons on the right

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this The monochrome display on the Instinct 2 Solar is bright enough outdoorand you can read it easily even if you are exposed to direct sunlight. However, viewing angles are below average indoors, and you’ll often find yourself pressing the light switch to check the time in low to dark lighting conditions. The photovoltaic module for solar charging is placed right around the screen to provide sufficient exposure for the watch to charge.

In terms of customization, the options are limited due to the monochrome display. However, you can change your watch face and default widget set from the menu. That way, you can choose to see the data points and controls you value most on the home screen.

Build Quality

One of the highlights of the Instinct 2 Solar is its build quality. The smartwatch is unapologetically tough and guaranteed to be durable. Garmin says the Instinct 2 has been tested against U.S. Military Standard 810 for high-altitude operation, shock resistance, and more. take it too 10ATM (100 meters) waterproofmakes it ideal for swimming and other water-related activities. However, as when I got this review unit, the outer cover is prone to scratches.

Akshay from our team conducted the extreme endurance test of Instinct 2 Solar and smartwatch He even managed to survive after being run over by a car.. You can watch the endurance test video below:

Health and Fitness Features

Instinct 2 packs more than 30 sports modes in various activitiesincludes running, golf, skiing, swimming, cycling, strength training and more. you can check this page For all supported mods you come here. During this review, I tested the smartwatch’s running and cycling capabilities. As expected, Instinct 2 managed to meet expectations during these sessions and was reliable.

instinct 2 fitness mode

this GPS accuracy was outstanding, with minimum time to lock in position. Starting an activity felt flawless on the Garmin smartwatch, and step tracking and heart rate accuracy were pretty good in my experience.

After your training sessions, you can view detailed information on various data points in the app. You also get graphical representations of speed, heart rate, performance status, training effect, cadence, altitude, temperature and duration in heart rate zones. To sum it up, if you’re a data geek, you’ll love the attention to detail Garmin has put in here.

view detailed statistics

Specifically, the Instinct 2 series is now Supports VO2 Max (maximum oxygen absorption). It is an estimate of the amount of oxygen your body uses during a workout. You also get all the other standard health monitoring features like 24/7 heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, menstrual cycle monitoring, pregnancy monitoring, and sleep monitoring. That said, I he tried to sleep while wearing the watch and got a little uncomfortable with a sense of solidity in my wrist. That said, the tracking data was pretty spot on, as one would expect from a brand like Garmin.

Software and Utility

The company offers a companion app called Garmin Connect to pair your smartwatch and view all your data and settings. On the app’s home screen, you’ll see a dashboard highlighting your training status, heart rate, and heart rate. body battery, stress step count and more. There’s also dedicated sections for challenges, a calendar view, and a feed that shows your workouts in reverse chronological order.

connect garmin home screen

From the main page of the application, you can access a section dedicated to your smartwatch and change the settings. For example, you can check sun intensity division Knowing sun exposure when outside. The smartwatch also supports: Garmin Payment for contactless payments, but support site notesnot available here in india.

check sun intensity garmin

A software-specific improvement in the new Instinct 2 series, Support for the Connect IQ store. This way, you can easily download and use third-party apps, watch faces and more from the Connect IQ collection. That said, bear in mind You cannot listen to music offline with this smart watch. You will need to use your smartphone separately to play music.

While we appreciate the extensive information Garmin has to offer in terms of your health data, parts of the app look straight from the Android Jelly bean era. But thanks to Garmin’s strategic partnerships with leading workout apps, you’ll have no trouble connecting your Garmin account to popular apps to sync data seamlessly. For example, if you’re not a big fan of the Garmin Connect app’s user interface, you can always Link your Garmin Connect account to Strava and instead use Strava to check all your training data.

battery life

Where the Instinct 2 Solar really shines is in the battery section. Garmin states that you have up to 28 days of battery life on a single charge, and unlimited battery life with solar charging. On closer inspection, The claimed unlimited battery life estimate is assuming at least 3 hours a day outdoors with a solar intensity of 50,000 lux..

While I don’t spend hours outside every day, I had a pleasant experience with the battery life of this smartwatch. Unlike other smartwatches where you need to keep it constantly charged, Garmin’s products provided a stress-free wearing experience. Whenever I go grocery shopping or go for an early morning jog, I make sure to strap the Instinct 2 to my wrist for a free natural charge. In the 2 weeks I spent with this smart watch, even though I used it regularly for activity tracking and sleep tracking, it did not run out of water even once.

Also, Garmin says you can expect up to 30 hours of GPS use on battery and 48 hours on solar power. Expedition GPS activity is rated for up to 32 days on battery and unlimited on solar power. With maximum battery in GPS mode, Garmin says you can get up to 70 hours on battery and 370 hours on solar power.

As long as the watch is exposed to plenty of sunlight, you won’t have any battery concerns here. Those who don’t like to charge their smartwatches every other day will probably appreciate the presence of solar charging in the Instinct 2. Since the smartwatch does not have battery-intensive features such as music playback and a color AMOLED display, the smartwatch’s battery lasts even when doing GPS-focused activities and workouts.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • solar charge
  • Durable rugged design
  • Advanced fitness tracking features

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • No music support
  • No touch control
  • It lacks the smart features found in other smartwatches in its price segment

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Review: Should I Buy It?

With the Instinct 2 Solar, Garmin caters to a niche within a niche. If you’re looking for a smartwatch that likes classic durable watches with a monochrome display and physical buttons, don’t mind the lack of music playback, and offers long battery life and solar charging, you won’t go wrong. Instinct 2 Sun. But remember, it’s not the most value for money and feature-rich offering in the smartwatch market.

Even if you’re a hardcore fitness enthusiast who couldn’t care less about the smart features offered in other leading smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 7 (Starting at Rs 41,900) and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (Starting at Rs 17,499), the lack of music support means you’ll have to carry your phone with you to get your dose of workout music.

On the other hand, if you’re not totally picky about the classic look, there are better options out there. in Garmin, Fenix ​​7/7X series absolutely without compromising the high end. You can also have a look here Venu 2 Plus with similar pricing, color AMOLED display, and offline music storage, but missing solar-powered charging.

Check out the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar on Amazon: Rs. 46,990

VIEW OVERVIEW
Design and Display
7
Build Quality
8.5
Health and Fitness Features
9
Software and Utility
6
battery life
9
Value for Your Money
6.5