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


For lots of decades I have been working with Garmin wearables to monitor my running, cycling, hiking, and other outdoor things to do, but I’ve never ever tried out just one of the Intuition versions. That improved a pair of weeks in the past when Garmin sent out the new Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic, with beta software package, for evaluation.

When my main form of training is running, I also trip my bicycle, hike, get on the elliptical, and perform other sporting activities. In addition, I take pleasure in fly fishing on the rivers of Washington Condition. In the past, my Garmin product or service use bundled Forerunner, Fenix, and Edge products, so I was curious about the Intuition as it took a bit of a diverse approach in regards to the watch style and design and target.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 overview: Songs, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

Right after additional than a week with the Intuition Photo voltaic, I honestly might be a change to the Intuition line for several reasons. These incorporate:

  • Prolonged battery daily life: Right after decades of working with wearables, I’ve understood that very long battery daily life makes sure a device stays mounted on my wrist for the very long expression. 1 or two-day battery daily life on a wearable is now unacceptable for my needs. The Intuition Photo voltaic offers battery daily life in GPS monitoring method goes up to additional than 50 times, even offering unrestricted in Battery Saver method with photo voltaic publicity.
  • Rugged style and design: one hundred-meter drinking water resistance and MIL-STD-810G shock rankings make sure the Intuition is crafted to take on anything at all. It has a fiber-strengthened polymer circumstance and a scratch-resistant exhibit that is set down from the front encounter.
  • Distinctive outdoor things to do: In addition to a plethora of usual things to do like running, cycling, hiking, kayaking, yoga, and lots of additional the Garmin Intuition supports fishing, tactical, boating, hunting, area calculation, and additional outdoor-targeted adventures. The expedition method supports a multi-day exercise with minimized will need to cost with monitor details recorded the moment an hour by default.
  • Simple exhibit style and design: A main cause the Garmin Intuition has a excellent battery daily life is the monochrome exhibit. I’ve occur to adore the leading right circle, two-window style and design, that supplies necessary information and facts at a look. For instance, when fishing it confirmed my fish count, in heart fee method, it reveals your existing heart fee, and in compass method, it reveals the way in angles.
  • Affordable cost: The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic starts at $399.ninety nine. Looking at all that this GPS sporting activities watch has to offer, that is a reasonable cost.

See also: Garmin Vivoactive four overview: Touchscreen, state-of-the-art health-monitoring, golf, tunes, and additional

Technical specs

  • Show: 23mm diameter 128 x 128 pixels resolution monochrome, daylight-obvious
  • Observe components: Fiber-strengthened polymer with silicone band
  • Drinking water resistance: ten ATM (one hundred meters)
  • Bands: Supports Quickfit 22mm bands.
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth, ANT+, GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO, Garmin Elevate optical HR, pulse Ox, barometric altimeter, 3-axis compass, accelerometer, thermometer
  • Battery: Rated for 30 several hours in GPS training method or 38 several hours when working with photo voltaic charging. 24 times in smartwatch method, and 54 times with sufficient photo voltaic publicity. In Battery Saver method with sufficient photo voltaic publicity, Garmin states the Intuition can achieve unrestricted battery daily life.
  • Dimensions: forty five x forty five x fifteen.3 mm and fifty three grams


The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic is not a slender and modern GPS sporting activities watch, as it is targeted on furnishing a rugged device that excels in many environmental ailments for times and weeks. I’m personally a lover of huge watches and discover that the Intuition Photo voltaic works nicely on my wrist.

To be honest, I hardly discovered that the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic would not have a colour exhibit. I’ve never ever located colour displays to be an necessary component of a GPS sporting activities watch. I just will need a exhibit that is simple to go through outside the house with a backlight available when necessary and the Intuition Photo voltaic supplies accurately that.

The section of the exhibit that has swayed me toward favoring the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic is the compact circle “second” exhibit. I discover this highlighted area to be valuable for furnishing crucial information and facts and generating it crystal clear what a one press of the GPS button will offer.

There are five buttons on the Intuition Photo voltaic, just like most Garmin GPS sporting activities watches. The leading-still left button toggles the backlight with a press and maintain launching the controls exhibit. The middle still left button moves up when the bottom still left moves down. A press and maintain of the middle still left button will take you into the many configurations. You can also customize the hotkeys in the configurations to make the device optimized for your usage.

The leading right button, GPS, will take you to your beloved activites with a different press launching that exercise. When scrolling by way of widgets you can also press this button to decide on that widget and see additional thorough info. The bottom right button, Set, serves mainly as the back again button. Again, this can also be personalized with the scorching keys location.

A Garmin Elevate heart fee monitor is centered on the back again. The regular 4-pin Garmin connector is also located on the back again for charging the watch.

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

There are 4 variations of the Intuition Photo voltaic, with many colour possibilities. These incorporate:

  • Intuition Photo voltaic: Graphite, Tidal Blue, Orchid, Sunburst, Flame Pink
  • 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

Observe software package

To navigate the device, you press the five buttons. Moving up and down from the watch encounter will scroll you by way of many widgets available (photo voltaic intensity, heart fee, My Day, notifications, weather conditions, pressure, ABC, final run, Entire body Battery, and additional). The widgets are picked in the configurations right on the watch.

You can use the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic watch to monitor running, biking, elliptical, open up drinking water or pool swimming, fishing, hunting, MTB, snowboarding, snowboarding, yoga, rowing, and lots of additional targeted physical exercises. The just one activity lacking that I would have appreciated to have viewed is golf.

There are a large quantity of configurations and customization possibilities available for each variety of exercise. For instance, in the running app, you can customize up to 4 info screens in a format from just one to 4 fields with timer, distance, rate, velocity, heart fee, cadence, temperature, elevation, compass, navigation, and other fields. I recommend you invest some top quality time customizing every little thing accurately how you want it and then be ready to tweak matters as you carry out your exercise and discover you want to look at your info otherwise.

In addition to custom info fields for each exercise, you can handle alerts, automobile-pause, laps, automobile-scroll, and substantially additional. The working experience can be rapid and simple working with the defaults or as specific as you want with a bit of time expended customizing the watch info fields and configurations.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 overview: Songs, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

To get commenced on a run, elevate up your arm, press the upper right button, decide on Operate, and then press the button once more immediately after GPS is related. Press the button once more to pause. If you want to continue on, press the button once more.

There are several one of a kind things to do you can monitor with the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic, and I experienced a excellent time working with the Fish possibility. Right after launching this exercise, you decide on to start fishing and the watch will monitor your GPS area. You can manually mark spots, set fishing timers, navigate to spots, and additional. Because I was fly fishing on a compact river when wading into the river, I commenced the day, and then as I caught each fish I pressed the GPS button twice to log the catch. Right after the day was done, I was ready to see accurately exactly where each fish was caught on a map. That specific day I landed 19 rainbow trout so comprehensively enjoyed working with the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic to monitor the day. I are not able to hold out to go fly fishing once more and acquire a history of my catches to plan potential excursions.

Numerous other things to do are supported, which includes navigation, and I plan to invest lots of additional several hours discovering all of the capabilities of the watch.

Smartphone software package and web-site

Collecting the info is vital, but working with that info for monitoring traits, improving performance, complicated close friends, and pinpointing dilemma locations is also extremely vital. Garmin presents the Garmin Join app for iOS and Android.

When you to start with launch the smartphone app, you will see the My Day display screen that reveals your most recent work out, heart fee, pressure degree, system battery, hydration, techniques, floors, snooze, calories in/out, weight, yesterday’s stats, stats for final 7 times, and additional. Alternatives are available to select what is shown and in what purchase.

Other tabs incorporate issues, calendar, news feed, and notifications. Tapping on the device alone gives you possibilities for tunes, Garmin Pay out, text responses (Android only), things to do, visual appearance, appears & alerts, exercise monitoring, and substantially additional.

Also: Garmin Edge 530 and Varia RTL510 overview: Preserving your bicycle commute safe and improving your outdoor exciting

On an Android smartphone, you can also fantastic-tune your good notifications by picking the specific applications that will be authorized to send out notifications to your Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic. On iOS, you get whichever notifications you have enabled in the iOS configurations so I personally desire the Android smartphone working experience.

The Garmin Join web-site working experience is extremely equivalent to what you see in the smartphone software, with even additional capacity to make experiences, import or export info, set up connections to other apps (this sort of as Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and additional. Comparable to the snapshots interface on the cellular phone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Join that you can customize.

I designed dashboard tabs for daily exercise, running, cycling, and hiking due to the fact those are my main things to do. Now with the Intuition, I am also working on a fishing dashboard to concentrate on my potential fly fishing outings. You can then customize the look at that appears in your dashboard or select to jump to a comprehensive web site look at of the picked info.

Also: Garmin Venu overview: Lively AMOLED exhibit will make this just one of the ideal GPS sporting activities watches for the masses

Each day usage activities

In comparison to the other Garmin wearables I’ve examined about the past pair of decades, the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic does not aid onboard tunes, Garmin Pay out, or Join IQ applications, watch faces, or info fields. For my usage, this would not definitely matter, as I use my cellular phone for tunes and Garmin Pay out nevertheless would not aid my financial institution. On the other hand, these might be constraints for others so be informed of what is lacking on the Intuition Photo voltaic.

The new Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic supports some of the most current Garmin capabilities that I discover useful to knowing my health and nicely-becoming. These capabilities incorporate Entire body Battery, pressure monitoring, snooze checking with REM aspects, smartphone notifications with text reaction from an Android cellular phone, and additional.

A wearable I seldom have to think of charging that captures all of my daily exercise, which includes snooze, and targeted GPS gatherings is refreshing and crucial to remaining on my wrist. When that wearable also supports my market things to do, this sort of as fly fishing, it is difficult to beat. The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic also can keep topped off with the solar, generating this just one of the ideal wearables for adventurists and athletes targeted on outdoor things to do.

Maria J. Danford

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