Garmin Instinct Watch Review

Garmin Instinct Watch Review Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Written by zeeshan

Hey folks it’s ray DC murica calm here and today I’ve got nine new things to know about the brand new garment instinct solar now for this video I’m going to focus mainly on the new things in the instinct solar as opposed to the older things about the entire garment instinct lineup but in like one sentence or less the garment instinct series is essentially like a garment Phoenix light it’s got a lot of the navigation and kind of hiking and sport functions of a Garmin Phoenix but not all the advanced functions like full-on color maps and music and all that kind of fun stuff isn’t there but a lot of the basics are here and so it makes still kind of an overall good outdoor hiking watch as well as sport watch now diving straight into the first item on the list and keep in mind you can use the youtubes chapter functionality to skip ahead and find which new thing you want to hear more about now it starts at 399 bucks and that’s for the baseline version there all the colors you see on the screen right now but there’s also a camel version which is 449 same exact functionality as the base except just simply a camo look to it in that also at 449 is a tactical and surf options those have additional features that will dive into later on in the video now moving on to number 2 and list is unboxing I’m gonna do some under 60 seconds putting the timer on the clock right now this is the garment interesting solar this is the base Edition.


Garmin Instinct Watch

I think it’s technically the graphite version is the color that I have right here you can see on the back the battery stats are we’re gonna talk all about the battery in a second it’s got now similar in size it’s got a compass inside GPS navigation all the same stuff from the government instinct in the past is in this one as well including my inability to open the box correctly so here we go on top right there slide it this way you can see the watch chilling out right there bring this out pull out the watch from the inside there got a foam piece there we go and then inside that we have a standard Garmin charging cable a manual you’re never going to read and then a warranty type guide safety product information guide that as usual says that if you kill yourself using this watch it most definitely is to your fault flatten this out of the way this is the same charging cable as in the past so it just bring us down there same charging cable used on the forerunner series on the Fenix series on most other watches that garm makes today goes into that port right there and then you also have the brand-new operate sensor which we will talk about in just a sec there we go in maybe under 60 seconds a complete boxing of the garment instinct solar oh and just a quick note before I forget if you find this review interesting or useful or something like that simply whack that like button down below there it really helps up this video and the channel quite a bit next up on the list of course is the biggie which is a solar panel itself now I’m gonna put this one off the side for now into the magic of television bring out the line been using for a couple weeks which is this camo edition now functionality speaking these are identical in terms of what they have in them it’s only the tactical and the surf ones that have additional features so when it comes to that solar panel there’s actually two parts to it and you gotta turn a bit of an edge to see where those two parts on are if I get just right letter light there you can see the light reflection so this part here around the outside edge that reflects that brighter edge that is it a 100% photovoltaic level which means that it is tack capturing 100% of the sun’s energy and sticking into this watch at again 100% rate there versus underneath the entire under part of display is a 10% photovoltaic level which means it’s only capturing ten percent of the sun’s goodness into the washing of storing in this battery this is a substantially bigger solar area than on the Phoenix six pro solar series watches so on that one they have a small one millimeter kind of outside edge that’s solar at 100 verses this is that entire flashy area when I just kind of move it just like that that is at 100% so that there’s right into the next item which is how to see all the solar information on the wash itself now keeping a mind I’m indoors right now you’re not gonna see a ton of information so I’ll throw some b-roll here and there but the first thing on the watch itself is this upper portion that’s that Sun icon right there and then at the right is a line showing the last six hours of solar intensity from 0 to 200 percent so it’s always going to show you in a percentage range and then if I click down once here I go down to the solar intensity graph again inside not much there but if I show you some outside video footage you can go ahead and see that solar intensity graph much better over the last six hours and in the upper right hand corner where that little circle is shows you the percentage of incoming solar intensity so that’s divided up into ten little blocks and then the Sun itself will illuminate once the tenth block fills up so it shows you kind of that relative intensity over the course of the day now in addition to all that you can see this information on a Garmin Connect mobile so on your phone app and seeing the intensity levels for any given day in history now we’re going to talk about the battery life in just a second cuz that’s kind of important but before that I want to talk about the power manager feature so one of the next new features I’m gonna dive into so if we go back here into settings so hold down this menu button right there for a second and go down to settings there is a new power manager option so down the bottom right there power manager and you’re within that you have two kind of core areas you can go into one is battery saver and then two is power modes so within battery saver this is effectively the nuclear option this is the one that basically were Garmin threw down the gauntlet and said we give you unlimited power and when you do that when you select this go ahead and toggle it on right there it goes from my battery life lasting 12 days up to 59 days without any additional solar input and it’s once you layer that’s solar input in from these huge solar panels there that Garmin says you can get to unlimited battery now the conditions would that require three hours a day if 50,000 Lux which is a relatively sunny day and not like complete Arizona Sun all day long for 10 hours but it’s a pretty strong sunny day now a battery saver does have a couple of downsides one it’s gonna turn off pretty much everything so it’s gonna turn off all of your Bluetooth communications with their phone it’s gonna turn off the optical heart rate sensor on the back it’s gonna turn off some of the sleep tracking and it’s going to reduce the display up atrophy frequency so if I go back here right now this is what it shows in battery saver mode you see the time the date and how much battery life you have left if I go down right here you’ll still see solar intensity and when I was outside because it’s still gonna take that solar intensity levels in or sort of solar energy in the batteries table is just enabled which means that pulse ox is disabled myopic heart rates disabled it does show my day so I can see steps in walking distance and stuff like that and then text message disabled calendar disabled so whether disabled and so on so all those features that depend on more connectivity are disabled in order to save battery life but if we go back into the settings there into power manager there we go we’ll turn this off and then we go down one into power modes these are the new customizable power modes these were introduced on the government Fenix series last year and what allow you to do is to basically decide which features of the watch you want in order to get the battery life that you need so if you’re halfway through how you can you realize you never charged your battery before starting the hike you can kind of go through these different options to hey I’m gonna turn off the golf put a heart rate sensor I’m going to turn off something else and see if they got see nothing battery life to finish the run so by default there’s two stock options there’s max battery and there’s jacket mode so in max battery here it turns on ultra traffic GPS recording which means that it reduces the update frequency to go ahead and save battery life and jacket mode it turns off the golf but the heart rate sensor so that way if you have outside of a jacket you go ahead and you wouldn’t be burning up a heart rate there but you can also go down and create your own so I created one called DCR if I go into that I can see the different options there for example GPS I can change the modes I can be ultra track with GLONASS with Galileo I can go down to phone and say turn off the phone and then for some of these I’ll tell you exactly how much it’ll save so if I turn off the optical heart rate sensor that will save me four hours if I go down and turn off the map which is more of a breadcrumb trail map than a real map it’ll save me some unknown amount of time if I put this play into a timeout it’ll save me two hours and each time it’s gonna change up here how much battery life I have left in that full GPS on mode which makes this now a fine time to talk about battery life in general so I’m gonna throw up on the screen right now a battery chart because I can’t remember all these numbers showing you the government instinct the original version versus the instinct solar and you can see it’s a pretty dramatic difference and now when it says plus something that means additional time using the solar features so for the SmartWatch mode it’s 24 days at a baseline plus 30 days if you have the solar enabled which of course you would with the solar and if you have at least three hours per day of 50,000 Lux conditions of course if you have more than that you’ll get more time than that and the same is true for everything else you see on the screen there maybe say to yourself how is it this unit has so much power than this one here the original Garmin angsting and the answer is a bunch of other changes than just this it’s not just the solar panels it’s beyond that and I gets to our next one which is the optical heart rate sensor if you flip it over on the back you’ll see the optical heart rate sensor looks different of course this one just turned on but if I like this you’ll see the both turn on here in a second and or not this one Gorman’s newer elevate optical heart rate sensor the same when used in the Phoenix six the four ermine 45 and virtually every other watch announced or released in 2019 or 2020 uses a sensor versus the instinct from 2018 had an older sensor that was less power efficient and also less feature capable this new sensors here in the instinct solar can do pulse ox or pulse oximetry so if I go back here all the way back to the beginning and then go down once there we go this is pulse ox here I’m just going to put up my wrist here and make a little bit easier for this to find that data and if we were to sneak a peek under here this really quick you can see there’s a red light that’s coming in there measuring the pulse ox I probably did ort it up here and there we go at the value at 95% right there then records that as well as a smartphone app and I can see that later on this is also something you can able for sleeping so it tracks at a night keeping in mind that the pulse ox feature on all garment watches is a battery blowtorch it will blow through your battery so do keep in mind that will significantly reduce your battery life and so you gotta really make sure you actually have a use case for enabling it as opposed to just enabling it to see the red light as cool as the red light may be now the next item on the list here that goes ahead and increases the battery life significantly is a new GPS chipset it’s not something of course you can see externally but you can see in those power numbers on the GPS modes a big jump of over doubling of the power of this one here is entirely because of the Sony GPS chipset the government has used and there are other wearables over the last year and a half from an accuracy standpoint I’m seeing actually pen rockers see with the solar instinct and I have with original one the newer one the instinct solar has been pretty good for me lately you can see my full GPS accuracy charts on my review of this on a site where I’d dive into all the accuracy of will heart rate and GPS and you can see that right now on the screen link is down the description there now last on the list is the new surf and tactical variants so those are the models that cost 449 for the surf edition two different colors or 449 for the tactical edition and those have additional features that these ones do not on the surf side there it includes tie data showing the oceanic conditions of nearby use so the tides nearby you then – it will track surfing using a new surf mode that same surf mode by the way it came to the Garmin Phoenix six series in a firmware update in beta over the last couple weeks and should show production probably in the next couple of days on all Phoenix six series watches so if you got a Phoenix six series you get that you’ll see each individual wave served you’ll see the distance that you traveled as well as the maximum speed meanwhile on a tactical version it’s the exact same tactical features from the previous Garmin instinct tactical which gives you four core things from I list here one is night vision goggle compatibility stealth mode which means it disables recording of data to this as well as communications off this so it becomes like a little island unto itself three is dual position format so you can see both UTM and M GRS and then a number four is jump master where you can jump out of perfectly good airplanes if you choose to do that but again you you do you now the question may be is it worth the upgrade price well if you’re coming from the original instinct the answer is maybe you know right now the original instinct is retail at 250 real Soviets on sale off like $1.99 I’m gonna 199 to 399 for just solar aspect so long yeah that’s probably a tough push but if you’re looking at some of the other features like the increased battery life so if you just ignore the solar side of it like if you live in a dark cold place and just want the battery life then that probably is worth a bump there I’m again a my testing I’m seeing significantly more battery life here in real life testing than I am with the older instinct so that by itself might be worth it and then perhaps may want something like swimming heart rate or a pulse ox but again it all depends on what you want and what features you value the most.

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