The king of fitness wearables is back with a line of all-new Instinct 2 smartwatches. These new watches, billed for customers with “robust lifestyles,” pack in a ton of unique and powerful features, including something a bit unbelievable—an unlimited battery life.
Garmin says that “Solar” models of the Instinct 2 smartwatch get an unlimited battery life thanks to improved solar power technology. Other non-solar models last for four weeks on a charge, which is also quite impressive.
Unfortunately, these claims are a bit skewed. Garmin advertises its unlimited and four-week battery life for “continuous use in smartwatch mode,” meaning that these claims are useless if you use your smartwatch to track exercises (which is sort of the point in a Garmin watch, if I’m not mistaken).
Additionally, the company says that “all battery life numbers assume 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions.” That’s a realistic amount of sun exposure for outdoorsy people, truckers, and young people at an army boot camp, but not for the average person.
Unless you spend a ton of time outdoors, the benefits of Garmin’s solar-powered Instinct 2 smartwatch may be marginal. But that doesn’t mean that the solar models of Instinct 2 are worthless; even if you just spend a few hours outside or near a window, you may experience an extended battery life. (I should also clarify that Garmin isn’t advertising this watch to pale dorks like me. It’s aiming for customers who get a lot of sun exposure, and even has ads specifically for surfers, truckers, and servicepeople.)
And even if you don’t reap the benefits of a solar-powered smartwatch, the Instinct 2 is a beast (and it’s available without solar charging). All models are made to military standards for thermal and shock resistance, plus they’re water-resistant up to 100 meters and can track health metrics like your heart rate, periods, sleep, blood oxygen saturation, and more. There’s also a ton of small quality-of-life features, like contactless payments, emergency contacts, workout suggestions, and fitness recovery data.
You can order the Garmin instinct 2 now at the company’s website. The smartwatch starts at $350 and comes in a variety of configurations, including a few models that are specially made for surfers, truckers (“dēzl Edition”), and members of the armed forces.
Garmin Instinct 2
The Garmin Instinct 2 is a rugged smartwatch with tons of great features, including exercise tracking, health and sleep metrics, and contactless payments.