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Garmin Instinct Solar video review: More than a month of battery life. What?

By Zachary Chan - 27 Dec 2020
Launch SRP:

Garmin Instinct Solar

Note: This article was first published on 21 Dec 2020.

How to successfully design a solar-powered "smart" watch

The Garmin Instinct Solar is an update to the original Instinct GPS outdoor adventure watch that was released back in 2018. However, the Instinct Solar isn't just the Instinct with a solar charging panel. It's actually so much more. In order to improve battery life and efficiency. the Instinct Solar features the newer generation Garmin Elevate heart rate monitor, which also features Pulse Ox readings and underwater/swimming heart rate monitoring. It also features a new Sony GPS chipset as well which boasts significantly improved battery performance when using GPS tracking modes.

I've used it for over a month to stress test Garmin's battery-life claims and in that period, I honestly didn't even miss not wearing a "proper" smartwatch. But it doesn't come cheap. Check out my video review below for the rest of my thoughts.

You can buy the Garmin Instinct Solar from these Garmin official stores: ConvergentShopeeLazada as well as all your favourite online tech retailers: KrisShop, Harvey Norman, Gain City, Courts, Hachi.tech, Best

  • Design 8.5
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 8
  • Performance 9
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Battery life measured in months not days
Improved GPS
Improved HRM with Pulse Ox and swimming heart rate
Smart notifications and music controls
The Bad
No Garmin Connect IQ apps
No V02 Max