As you know, Garmin’s range of rugged smartwatches was limited to flagship models Fenix and Tactix. The manufacturer decided to release new outdoor smartwatch. Garmin Instinct is one of the most durable Garmin watches made to the military standard. It has support of GPS / GLONASS, the most imporant sensors, and all the features of smartwatch from 2018.
The market is an excellent filter for the design of any devices and gadgets. Unsuccessful decisions are swept aside by buyers. The successful ones gain the title of the standard, as happened with the category of rugged shock-resistant watches.
Garmin Instinct has pretty standard design for outdoor smartwatch, so it doesn’t look like something special. From other side, it really looks very reliable and powerful. In other words, new Garmin smartwatch inspire confidence.
So, let’s make review of Garmin Instinct and find out its main functions.
Garmin Instinct: Design
In my opinion, Garmin Instinct doesn’t look brutal. The diagonal of the dial frame is 45 mm, while the thickness is 15 mm in the thickest part. In combination with a weight of 53 grams, the watch is convenient to wear them all day, or even several days, without removing them from your hand.
The smartwatch is conservative in style, so it is not suitable for shirts and other business clothes. However, it looks great with sweatshirts, jumpers and professional outfit.
Garmin Instinct smartwatch is available in three color options: Flame Red, Thundra and Monterra Gray.
The round tempered glass of the display is not blocked by anything. The division of the screen into zones is done under glass with a neat black backing. Along the frame, the functions of the side keys on hold are marked. The short pressure indicator is located along the edge of the glass.
The particular attention is attracted by two massive buttons on the right side of the case. They allow to quickly start training and find out GPS location by satellite signals.
Three buttons on the left go around the frame of the dial, and used to navigate the menu. There is no touch and gestures on the screen, only buttons. The movement of the buttons is quite long, with a pleasant elastic click, which allows you to feel the pressure when using in gloves.
The replaceable strap is equipped with classic watch mounts. If necessary, the strap can be changed to any other, but the brand strap looks very good. The holes from the watch to the very edge allow you to wear a watch on the wrist of a child and an adult man.
On the back of the watch is a brand Elevate heart rate monitor and a standard magnetic connector for charging new smartwatch from Garmin. Also, here you can find a lot of service information about the device.
Garmin Instinct: Display
To the best match the style of shock-proof watch, Garmin Instinct is equipped with a monochrome TFT-MIP display with a reflective substrate and a resolution of 128×128 pixels. Unlike classic LCD screens, Memory In Display technology provides very good visibility, just like e-paper. Also, it has almost the same battery consumption, as electronic books.
The panel itself is visually divided into the main field and an additional circle where the individual elements are inscribed. Among the shortcomings can be noted only the purple hue of the picture.
The backlighting is turned on with the side key and turned off after eight seconds of inactivity. The display is covered with a chemically enhanced mineral glass without touch control.
Garmin Instinct: Protection
Garmin Instinct smartwatch stand out from other Garmin products in full compliance with the American military standard MIL-STD-810G. Behind this abbreviation hides the readiness of the watch to withstand falling onto stones from a height of several meters and an extended range of operating temperatures.
Also, the watch was tested in salt fog, freezing and thawing. The water resistance to 10 atmospheres can be found in other products of the company, but looking at Garmin Instinct, you feel safety.
The body of watch consists of a fiber-reinforced polymer frame and a polymeric external exoskeleton. Joints of the panels are barely visible to the naked eye.
Garmin Instinct: Using
The initial activation of Garmin Instinct can be done from the watch itself. Also, you can do this via Garmin Connect mobile app on your smartphone. The process will take a couple of minutes. After that the time and date will appear on the screen.
There will be a heartbeat graph in the upper left corner. The sunrise / sunset indicator and battery level is displayed below.
This is a home screen, which can be returned to the bottom key on the right side. Instead of a menu, Garmin Instinct has a menu of widgets, like other Garmin wearable devices.
If you want to switch between widgets, you need to press the central and lower keys on the left side. The top key activates the backlight. By default, the vertical list of active widgets is rather modest. However, in the settings you can not only remove unnecessary widgets and change their location, but also add a few others.
The watch has more than two dozen widgets. In addition to the step and weather counters, there are notifications from a smartphone, an altimeter, a barometer, a compass, a temperature widget, extra hours, and numerous widgets for specific activities.
From the innovations of Garmin, we note widgets for certified devices for tracking pets and Xero. The latter displays data from Xero A1 brand laser rangefinder, designed for archery enthusiasts.
In addition to the list of widgets, the watch has a quick-access carousel menu. To call it, you must hold the backlight key for a couple of seconds. Here you can quickly adjust the brightness, lock the keys and send an audio alert to search for the phone. In addition, there is music control and a number of other functions.
The third menu is activated by long pressing the return key – the bottom one on the right side. Here are following functions: stopwatch, alarm clock and timer, GPS time corrector and setting up alerts for sunrises / sunsets. You can additionally enable emergency alerts from your smartphone and activate the sound indication after every hour.
If you hold the central menu key on the left side, you’ll get into the general settings of Garmin Instinct. The first tab “Dial” allows you to choose one of a dozen options for displaying time in classic and inversion colors. Next comes the archive of trainings and exercises, and below are the device parameters themselves.
The separate tabs in the settings can be used to configure the display of targets for occupations and the layout of the grid by satellites. You can also change the profile of the watch owner and customize the interaction with external sensors.
An additional column is the system parameters. Here you can change the interface language and other settings of this kind, including pairing with a smartphone and reset to factory settings.
Garmin Instinct: Training
The list of various menus and submenus of Garmin Instinct makes the watch very impressive. However, the main feature of Garmin watches is different training monitoring scenarios.
Garmin Instinct has nearly three dozen modes, starting from swimming, to climbing to the mountain tops, and skiing. The workout is started by short pressing the top key on the right side. Press it again to pause or complete.
When measuring data on training sessions, Garmin Instinct uses many sensors on board: a barometer, an altimeter, a thermometer, a compass with a gyroscope, navigation on GPS satellites, GLONASS and European Galileo.
Of course, one of the main role in measuring accuracy is played by Elevate heart rate monitor. In the settings you can activate heart rate monitoring every second.
The training is stored in the memory device of 16 MB. The results can be viewed at any time using the menu.
Garmin Instinct: Battery
The combination of a capacious battery, energy-efficient monochrome display and a good operating system provide about two weeks of battery life. Even in the most energy-intensive training mode with navigation enabled, the watch is ready to work for about 16 hours. The full battery charge takes only a little over an hour.
Garmin Instinct: App
Garmin Connect is main app for any Garmin smartwatch. Here you can analyze sports results and exercises with the display of routes on Google maps. Also, you can check your daily activity, competition with other users of Garmin products and synchronization of all notifications.
In addition to analyzing data, Garmin Connect allows you to compare your achievements with other users of Garmin devices. You can enter the competition on the number of climbs on the stairs.
The last thing we should note in notifications. All Push messages from social networks are displayed on the screen of the watch. You immediately get calls and SMS with vibro-impact in the wrist.
While listening to music from the watch, you can switch the track, or put it on an endless replay. In terms of notifications, the owner of Garmin Instinct receives all the features of its competitors’ smartwatches. But at the same time, it’s not necessary to think about daily charging and scratching the fragile case.
From the dial to the strap, Garmin Instinct smartwatch is absolutely rugged and shock-proof. They are not afraid of external adversity due to the moisture-proof shock-resistant case and sensors.
The watch has built-in flagship activity trackers. The navigation is performed on three types of satellites, and the heart rate is measured continuously 24/7. Smartwatch is designed to capture the smallest details of your sporting achievements.
Thanks to the TrackBack function, even in the most insidious forest you can easily go back to the beginning of the route.
As for the shortcomings, they are insignificant: a monochrome screen, control only by buttons and the lack of Garmin Pay. However, given the fact that Garmin watches are mostly used during training, you shouldn’t worry much for the lack of payment.