Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch review | Outdoor Solar Powered Smartwatch Price

Unique featured multisport watch with great battery life at an affordable price


Rating: 4/5

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch review

The Garmin Instinct Solar was launched on September 25th, 2020. The watch comes out with many unique features. You can go for a hunt by using the hunting activity or go fishing. With the blood-oxygen sensors, different power-saving modes, and an incredible battery life that can last up to 24 days, and other unique features, the device is a good purchase. The Garmin Instinct Solar is available at an affordable price.

Key features 

  • 10 ATM
  • 24 days battery life 
  • Inset screen
  • Always-on display

  • Solar charging
  • Always-on display
  • Sunlight visibility s
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Good Battery life
  • Not a touch screen display
  • Black and White screen

Screen & Design 

Garmin Instinct Solar Smart Watch

The Garmin Instinct Solar brings out the same analog watch design features from its predecessors. It comes with a physical size of 45 x 45 x 15.3 mm, and a dial circumference of 132-224 mm. Garmin Instinct Solar uses a TFT sunlight visible screen display, which has a longer life span, unlike devices with AMOLED. The lens of the watch is made of power glass, which converts solar energy to battery power. Garmin Instinct Solar comes with 128 x 128 pixels screen resolution. The bezel and case of the watch come in fiber-reinforced polymer material. The Garmin Instinct Solar weighs around 53g that is lighter than Garmin Fenix 6.

Garmin Instinct Solar is 10 ATM water-resistant that is perfectly capable of swimming or sailing whilst wearing it. Instinct Solar has Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled. Garmin Instinct Solar is equipped with 32 MB memory. When it comes to battery life, it can last up to 24 days in smartwatch mode. It can survive up to 54 days with solar charging. In GPS mode, the watch runs up to 30 hours and 38 hours with solar, up to 70 hours in ultra-tech mode and 145 hrs with solar, 28 days in expedition GPS Activity, and 68 days with solar. In Battery saver watch mode, the watch runs for 56 days and the battery never dies in solar mode.

Garmin instinct solar special edition

Garmin Instinct Solar is compatible with iPhone and Android devices. The watch has 5 buttons. The 1st button is for screen activation – Press to turn the backlight on and off. You have to press to turn the device on hold to view the controls menu. The 2nd button is to check the activity list and to start or stop the activity and choose options in the menu to view GPS and save your locations when you long press. The 3rd button is for the backset and view clock menu, while the 4th is for the press to scroll through the widget loop and hold this button to view the altimeter, barometer, and compass. You can press the 5th button to scroll through the widget loop and press and hold it to view the menu.

Garmin Instinct Solar will charge faster in sunlight because the solar charging lens is optimized for the spectrum of sunlight. It has GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellites that determine your location, speed, and route more accurately.


Fish tracker :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

Garmin Instinct Solar comes with a unique fish tracking feature. When you are using this feature, you should acquire GPS to run this feature. After the GPS acquisition is complete, you can start your fish tracking activity. Log catch feature helps track and mark locations for catching the fishes. You can log the locations and save the fishing activity to go back to the same location when you are going fishing. You can view it on your phone connected to the smartwatch. With this information, the smartwatch shows the fish count on the screen.

It is the digital way of exploring fish tracking activity near ponds or lakes. is a feature also saves your location and tracks the number of fishes you caught during the fishing activity. If you trigger a catch, you can mark your catching history along with location information. You can also set fish timers and at the end time settings such that it gives alerts to return to the dock when sunrise or sunset comes at a specific time. 

 Swimming :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

The Garmin Instinct Solar has some advanced swim tracking techniques. It can track strokes. SWOLF length is when you take one trip around the pool. Stroke is calculated whenever your arm of the smartwatch completes a complete cycle. SWOLF is nothing but the sum of the time for one pool length and the number of strokes per length. It also displays time and distance for the previous interval. This drill log feature is only available in pool swimming, where it manually records kick sets, one arm swimming, etc. Stroke type identification is available only for pool swimming which is identified at the end of a length. 

The device is also compatible with the HRM-Pro accessory and the HRM-Swim accessory that measures your heart rate underwater. The auto rest feature is available for pool swimming. If you rest for more than 15 seconds, the device automatically creates a rest interval. When you resume swimming, the device automatically starts a new swim interval. You can turn on the auto rest feature in the activity options.

Ski Runs :

Your device records the details of each downhill skiing or snowboarding run using the autorun feature. This feature is turned on by default for downhill skiing and snowboarding. It automatically records new ski runs based on your movement. The timer pauses when you stop moving downhill and when you are on a chairlift. The timer remains paused during the chairlift ride. You can start moving downhill to restart the timer. You can view run details from the paused screen or while the timer is running.

Body battery :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

This feature provides a detailed analysis of your energy levels in the form of points rated up to 1-100. Generally, the score of your body battery should be high. It is something like the higher the number, the more the energy, while a lower the number indicates that your energy levels are low. The Body Battery level range is from 0 to 100, where 0 to 25 is low reserve energy, 26 to 50 is medium reserve energy, 51 to 75 is high reserve energy, and 76 to 100 is very high reserve energy. 

Usually, the body battery shows you a higher score in the morning, at the times when you wake up from your bed, then starts draining gradually by the work you do throughout the day. This body battery is also a great combination with features like heart rate, stress tracker, and other activities. Body battery provides points in the ratio of the number of battery points recharged versus battery points drained. When you do not wear your watch for a prolonged period, the smartwatch will reset its body battery score and start measuring your body battery right from the moment you start wearing the watch.

Navigation :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

You can customize the map features and appearance when navigating to a destination. Using GPS and another satellite system together offers increased performance in a challenging environment. Your device can also use these Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). You can save your current location to navigate back to it later. Also, can delete the saved locations, edit their name, elevation, and position information. You can navigate back to the starting point from your current activity or along the path you traveled. This feature is available only for activities that use GPS.  Garmin has released software updates that allow a variety of compatible devices to use custom mapping. Before creating or transferring maps, ensure the device software is updated. Map images can be found in different file types like pdf, png, or gif. You need to convert these file formats to the JPEG format before they can be used to create custom maps for a compatible device.

Heart rate :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

It is automatically enabled and monitors every second, records and plot all your data. You can have some watch faces which can display your HR constantly as well.  If you tap into the heart rate widget, you’ll get a graph of the last 4 hours and also the resting HR for the previous 7 days. You can also broadcast your heart rate data from your Instinct Solar device and view it on paired Garmin devices. This feature can also alert you when your heart rate exceeds or drops below a certain number of beats per minute, as selected and saved data by the user.  This feature does not notify you of any potential heart condition and is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical condition or disease. By default, the heart rate setting is auto. Disabling the heart rate monitor also disables the wrist pulse oximeter sensor.  

Hiking :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

It supports you in improving your hiking activities like walking or mountaineering performance. It tracks the most important parameters like distance, speed, pace, time, heart rate, and calories with high sensitivity GPS. You can follow the course on the Instinct’s screen using the compass, and the inset screen will show you the upcoming turn direction, like trekking. The watch will count down to turns too, giving you notice of a change in direction. It shows the elevation screen that shows your progress.

Pulse oximeter :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

The Instinct Solar device has a wrist-based pulse oximeter to measure the saturation of oxygen in your blood. Knowing your oxygen saturation can help you determine how your body is adapting to exercises and stress. Your device measures your blood oxygen level by light into the skin and checking how much light is absorbed. It is referred to as SpO2. On the device, your pulse oximeter readings appear as a SpO2 percentage. On your Garmin Connect account, you can view additional details about your pulse oximeter readings.

Hunting :

Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch

It is the unique feature available in The Garmin Instinct Solar. Yes, we can go on a hunt wearing this watch. Firstly, while using this feature, ensure that it should have GPS switched on. After the GPS has been switched on, we can start our hunting activity. You can track the locations and mark them for retracing later. The Garmin Instinct Solar allows you to customize your hunting map and mark locations such as the location of your camp, your ATV, a deer, animal tracks, lodge, and more. If you save the hunt, you can go back to it the next time you go for the hunt and find the locations marked on the map. You can also mark and save the GPS location too to view it later. 

Final verdict :

The Garmin Instinct Solar is mainly designed to be a multisport tracker, with a lot of unique features packed in it as we can go on a hunt, we can fish, it guides us during hiking, and many more other features. Battery life is also one of the most upgradable features over other watches. Garmin Instinct Solar offers these many adorable features available at an affordable price which sounds pretty good. But coming to design, it follows the same analog watch design. This multisport watch doesn’t provide an LTE connection, and it is not a touch screen display, no ECG. But it has many other attractive features inside the smartwatch than what you see from the outside. Get your watch and start exploring these adorable features today! I would check out Garmin Forerunner 645 Music before going for Garmin Instinct Solar Watch. 

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