Garmin watches are well known for their impressive sports tracking abilities, and the Instinct certainly doesn’t disappoint in this respect. With its wealth of customisation options and its rugged appearance, it’s a great choice for anyone who loves the outdoor lifestyle. It has no shortage of features, but is this the right smartwatch for you? We take a closer look at what the Garmin Instinct has to offer.
The Instinct follows on from Garmin’s earlier Vivoactive and Fenix ranges combining the former’s lightweight design and the analytical advanced features of the latter.
The Instinct is a very functional smartwatch, although its five-button control system isn’t very user-friendly. One of the top features of this watch is its customisation abilities. From its 12 pre-loaded watch faces to its customisable data, you can really get a lot out of this watch – once you’ve mastered the learning curve of its controls.
The Instinct doesn’t have the most stylish design but it does come in a choice of three appealing colors – graphite, tundra and flame red. There’s also the possibility of a little extra customisation thanks to the Quickfit straps.
The Instinct weighs 52g and has a 45mm casing. This makes it less chunky than many of its rivals, including the Fenix. The strap is made from comfortable silicone which makes it easy to wear anywhere.
The monochrome screen is a bit of a let-down when compared with other watches. Its 128 x 128 pixel display offers a no frills experience, even though it provides you with all the information you need to see. However, if you’re serious about an outdoor lifestyle, the simple display could be one of this device’s greatest benefits.
The Fitness Tracking
As you’d expect from a Garmin device, the Instinct has its focus firmly on outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a quick and simple way to view their vital stats. Hikers, trail runners and climbers will appreciate the effective tracking on this device, although those who participate primarily in a sport which isn’t mentioned above will find that there are better alternatives out there. The activity interface isn’t the most informative or detailed, but it should be sufficient to accommodate most requirements. The strength and gym activity option is difficult to use and, due to its manual management, it makes it just too challenging to be worthwhile.
What Are The Main Advantages?
- Water resistant to 100 meters
- Slim design which isn’t too bulky for slim wrists
- Excellent for outdoor activity tracking
- Longer battery life
- Easy to read screen, even in low lighting conditions
What Are The Main Disadvantages?
- No color screen
- Limited features and statistics
- Best suited to outdoor sports
If you find the sports tracking of this smartwatch appealing but want a more stylish option with higher-end look and feel, the Garmin Fenix range could be a better option. It offers many of the same features as the Instinct but looks more appealing.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for wider range of features, such as the ability to make contactless payments, receive your notifications on the go or play your music as you jog, there are better alternatives. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a good choice for Android smartphone users, while it’s hard to beat the Apple Watch Series 4 if you’re an iPhone user who wants maximum functionality on the move. However, both of these come with higher price tags.
How Do We Test Smartwatches?
We know that not everyone wants the same thing from their devices, so we make sure to look at all the different aspects of each model before bringing you the details you need to know.
First, we look at the design aspects of the watch. We see how comfortable it feels to wear, how attractive it looks and how user-friendly the controls are. Is it a watch that can take you from day to night effortlessly? Will it work on slim or chunky wrists? Does it feel secure?
Next, we look at the various features of each watch. Can it play music? Take calls on the go? Push your notifications? Does it have GPS tracking? What are its fitness tracking capabilities? We put all of these factors to the test, and work out just how much effect each has on the device’s processing power, memory and battery life. Will the battery last as long as the manufacturer suggests? Will the tracking stats stand up to expectations? Does it let you do everything you need it to?
Finally, we collate all of this information and put it all together in a review for you so that you can make a well informed decision about which is the right smartwatch to suit your needs.
If you’re an outdoors enthusiast who is looking for a durable, robust and rugged smartwatch to show your vital stats while hiking, mountain climbing or trail running, you’ve found it in the Garmin Instinct. It isn’t the most beautiful watch, and it certainly isn’t the most advanced in terms of its display or functions, but it does the job that it was designed to do – to give serious outdoor sports enthusiasts an efficient way to track their activities – and it does it well.
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