Garmin Instinct Solar first look review: Rugged outdoor GPS sports watch powered by the sun


For quite a few years I have been utilizing Garmin wearables to track my managing, biking, hiking, and other outside functions, but I’ve in no way tried using out 1 of the Intuition versions. That changed a couple of months ago when Garmin despatched out the new Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic, with beta program, for evaluation.

While my major kind of training is managing, I also journey my bicycle, hike, get on the elliptical, and perform other sports. In addition, I delight in fly fishing on the rivers of Washington Condition. In the past, my Garmin products use involved Forerunner, Fenix, and Edge equipment, so I was curious about the Intuition as it took a bit of a distinctive tactic in regards to the view structure and target.

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Following extra than a week with the Intuition Photo voltaic, I truthfully may well be a change to the Intuition line for several explanations. These include things like:

  • Extended battery lifestyle: Following years of utilizing wearables, I’ve understood that extensive battery lifestyle makes certain a unit stays mounted on my wrist for the extensive term. One particular or two-day battery lifestyle on a wearable is now unacceptable for my wants. The Intuition Photo voltaic offers battery lifestyle in GPS tracking manner goes up to extra than 50 times, even presenting unrestricted in Battery Saver manner with photo voltaic publicity.
  • Rugged structure: a hundred-meter h2o resistance and MIL-STD-810G shock scores ensure the Intuition is built to consider on anything. It has a fiber-bolstered polymer circumstance and a scratch-resistant display screen that is established down from the front encounter.
  • Distinctive outside functions: In addition to a myriad of typical functions like managing, biking, hiking, kayaking, yoga, and quite a few extra the Garmin Intuition supports fishing, tactical, boating, looking, spot calculation, and extra outside-concentrated adventures. The expedition manner supports a multi-day action with lowered have to have to demand with track details recorded at the time an hour by default.
  • Sensible display screen structure: A main rationale the Garmin Intuition has a fantastic battery lifestyle is the monochrome display screen. I’ve arrive to love the major right circle, two-window structure, that gives necessary details at a glance. For example, while fishing it confirmed my fish count, in heart rate manner, it demonstrates your existing heart rate, and in compass manner, it demonstrates the course in angles.
  • Affordable price: The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic begins at $399.99. Contemplating all that this GPS sports view has to supply, that is a honest price.

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Technical specs

  • Display screen: 23mm diameter 128 x 128 pixels resolution monochrome, daylight-seen
  • Watch products: Fiber-bolstered polymer with silicone band
  • Drinking water resistance: ten ATM (a hundred meters)
  • Bands: Supports Quickfit 22mm bands.
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth, ANT+, GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO, Garmin Elevate optical HR, pulse Ox, barometric altimeter, a few-axis compass, accelerometer, thermometer
  • Battery: Rated for 30 several hours in GPS instruction manner or 38 several hours when utilizing photo voltaic charging. 24 times in smartwatch manner, and fifty four times with ample photo voltaic publicity. In Battery Saver manner with ample photo voltaic publicity, Garmin states the Intuition can obtain unrestricted battery lifestyle.
  • Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 15.three mm and fifty three grams


The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic is not a slender and smooth GPS sports view, as it is concentrated on delivering a rugged unit that excels in various environmental situations for times and months. I’m individually a supporter of big watches and uncover that the Intuition Photo voltaic works well on my wrist.

To be honest, I barely noticed that the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic will not have a colour display screen. I’ve in no way found colour displays to be an necessary factor of a GPS sports view. I just have to have a display screen that is straightforward to read through exterior with a backlight out there when wanted and the Intuition Photo voltaic gives precisely that.

The component of the display screen that has swayed me toward favoring the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic is the compact circle “2nd” display screen. I uncover this highlighted spot to be beneficial for delivering important details and producing it apparent what a solitary push of the GPS button will offer.

There are 5 buttons on the Intuition Photo voltaic, just like most Garmin GPS sports watches. The major-still left button toggles the backlight with a push and hold launching the controls display screen. The center still left button moves up while the base still left moves down. A push and hold of the center still left button will take you into the various options. You can also customize the hotkeys in the options to make the unit optimized for your use.

The major right button, GPS, will consider you to your beloved activites with one more push launching that action. While scrolling by widgets you can also push this button to find that widget and see extra comprehensive info. The base right button, Established, serves generally as the back button. Once more, this can also be personalized with the very hot keys placing.

A Garmin Elevate heart rate watch is centered on the back. The traditional four-pin Garmin connector is also found on the back for charging the view.

A silicone view band, matching the colour of the view, is furnished. Two loops are existing on the bitter finish of the band to maintain it securely on your wrist. Like the Garmin Intuition, Garmin’s 22mm Quickfit bands are also supported with this view.

There are four versions of the Intuition Photo voltaic, with various colour alternatives. These include things like:

  • Intuition Photo voltaic: Graphite, Tidal Blue, Orchid, Sunburst, Flame Crimson
  • Intuition Photo voltaic – Camo: Graphite Camo and Lichen Camo
  • Intuition Photo voltaic – Tactical Version: Black and Moss
  • Intuition Photo voltaic – Surf Version: Pipeline and Cloudbreak

Watch program

To navigate the unit, you push the 5 buttons. Shifting up and down from the view encounter will scroll you by various widgets out there (photo voltaic intensity, heart rate, My Working day, notifications, temperature, anxiety, ABC, last operate, Overall body Battery, and extra). The widgets are selected in the options right on the view.

You can use the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic view to track managing, biking, elliptical, open up h2o or pool swimming, fishing, looking, MTB, skiing, snowboarding, yoga, rowing, and quite a few extra concentrated workouts. The 1 activity lacking that I would have appreciated to have viewed is golfing.

There are a massive number of options and customization alternatives out there for each type of action. For example, in the managing app, you can customize up to four info screens in a structure from 1 to four fields with timer, length, pace, speed, heart rate, cadence, temperature, elevation, compass, navigation, and other fields. I advise you invest some excellent time customizing all the things precisely how you want it and then be all set to tweak points as you conduct your action and uncover you want to check out your info otherwise.

In addition to custom made info fields for each action, you can manage alerts, car-pause, laps, car-scroll, and substantially extra. The knowledge can be brief and basic utilizing the defaults or as specific as you want with a bit of time expended customizing the view info fields and options.

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To get began on a operate, raise up your arm, push the upper right button, find Run, and then push the button once again following GPS is related. Press the button once again to pause. If you want to continue on, push the button once again.

There are several special functions you can track with the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic, and I experienced a fantastic time utilizing the Fish solution. Following launching this action, you find to start off fishing and the view will track your GPS locale. You can manually mark places, established fishing timers, navigate to places, and extra. Since I was fly fishing on a compact river while wading into the river, I began the day, and then as I caught each fish I pressed the GPS button 2 times to log the capture. Following the day was carried out, I was ready to see precisely the place each fish was caught on a map. That certain day I landed 19 rainbow trout so completely liked utilizing the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic to track the day. I can’t wait to go fly fishing once again and acquire a heritage of my catches to system long term trips.

Lots of other functions are supported, together with navigation, and I system to invest quite a few extra several hours discovering all of the capabilities of the view.

Smartphone program and site

Amassing the info is vital, but utilizing that info for tracking tendencies, improving upon general performance, complicated friends, and identifying challenge parts is also pretty vital. Garmin delivers the Garmin Hook up app for iOS and Android.

When you initially launch the smartphone app, you will see the My Working day screen that demonstrates your most new exercise, heart rate, anxiety degree, entire body battery, hydration, actions, floors, snooze, energy in/out, excess weight, yesterday’s stats, stats for last 7 times, and extra. Selections are out there to select what is displayed and in what get.

Other tabs include things like challenges, calendar, news feed, and notifications. Tapping on the unit alone provides you alternatives for new music, Garmin Fork out, textual content responses (Android only), functions, physical appearance, seems & alerts, action tracking, and substantially extra.

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On an Android smartphone, you can also great-tune your wise notifications by selecting the specific applications that will be allowed to mail notifications to your Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic. On iOS, you get regardless of what notifications you have enabled in the iOS options so I individually prefer the Android smartphone knowledge.

The Garmin Hook up site knowledge is pretty identical to what you see in the smartphone application, with even extra capability to crank out experiences, import or export info, established up connections to other programs (this kind of as Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and extra. Related to the snapshots interface on the cellphone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Hook up that you can customize.

I designed dashboard tabs for every day action, managing, biking, and hiking considering the fact that individuals are my major functions. Now with the Intuition, I am also functioning on a fishing dashboard to focus on my long term fly fishing outings. You can then customize the check out that seems in your dashboard or select to jump to a comprehensive web page check out of the selected info.

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Day by day use experiences

As opposed to the other Garmin wearables I’ve tested around the past couple of years, the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic does not guidance onboard new music, Garmin Fork out, or Hook up IQ applications, view faces, or info fields. For my use, this will not really matter, as I use my cellphone for new music and Garmin Fork out even now will not guidance my bank. Even so, these may well be constraints for others so be mindful of what is lacking on the Intuition Photo voltaic.

The new Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic supports some of the latest Garmin attributes that I uncover important to knowledge my health and well-getting. These attributes include things like Overall body Battery, anxiety tracking, snooze checking with REM facts, smartphone notifications with textual content reaction from an Android cellphone, and extra.

A wearable I not often have to feel of charging that captures all of my every day action, together with snooze, and concentrated GPS gatherings is refreshing and important to remaining on my wrist. When that wearable also supports my specialized niche functions, this kind of as fly fishing, it is really tricky to conquer. The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic also can continue to be topped off with the sun, producing this 1 of the most effective wearables for adventurists and athletes concentrated on outside functions.