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


For numerous many years I have been using Garmin wearables to monitor my functioning, biking, hiking, and other outside pursuits, but I have by no means tried out one of the Intuition versions. That transformed a couple of weeks back when Garmin sent out the new Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic, with beta application, for evaluation.

Though my most important form of exercise is functioning, I also ride my bike, hike, get on the elliptical, and perform other sports. In addition, I get pleasure from fly fishing on the rivers of Washington Point out. In the previous, my Garmin item use incorporated Forerunner, Fenix, and Edge units, so I was curious about the Intuition as it took a little bit of a distinctive tactic in regards to the enjoy layout and aim.

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Right after much more than a week with the Intuition Photo voltaic, I honestly might be a convert to the Intuition line for quite a few motives. These include things like:

  • Extended battery existence: Right after many years of using wearables, I have recognized that very long battery existence guarantees a system stays mounted on my wrist for the very long time period. Just one or two-day battery existence on a wearable is now unacceptable for my wants. The Intuition Photo voltaic boasts battery existence in GPS monitoring method goes up to much more than 50 times, even presenting limitless in Battery Saver method with solar exposure.
  • Rugged layout: one hundred-meter water resistance and MIL-STD-810G shock scores be certain the Intuition is built to get on something. It has a fiber-reinforced polymer circumstance and a scratch-resistant screen that is established down from the front encounter.
  • Special outside pursuits: In addition to a myriad of regular pursuits like functioning, biking, hiking, kayaking, yoga, and numerous much more the Garmin Intuition supports fishing, tactical, boating, looking, region calculation, and much more outside-focused adventures. The expedition method supports a multi-day exercise with diminished will need to cost with monitor factors recorded at the time an hour by default.
  • Realistic screen layout: A main explanation the Garmin Intuition has a excellent battery existence is the monochrome screen. I have arrive to enjoy the major correct circle, two-window layout, that presents necessary data at a look. For case in point, when fishing it confirmed my fish count, in heart amount method, it displays your existing heart amount, and in compass method, it displays the route in angles.
  • Sensible selling price: The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic commences at $399.ninety nine. Looking at all that this GPS sports enjoy has to present, that is a reasonable selling price.

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  • Display: 23mm diameter 128 x 128 pixels resolution monochrome, sunlight-visible
  • Enjoy resources: Fiber-reinforced polymer with silicone band
  • H2o resistance: 10 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, three-axis compass, accelerometer, thermometer
  • Battery: Rated for thirty several hours in GPS training method or 38 several hours when using solar charging. 24 times in smartwatch method, and fifty four times with sufficient solar exposure. In Battery Saver method with sufficient solar exposure, Garmin states the Intuition can accomplish limitless battery existence.
  • Dimensions: forty five x forty five x 15.three mm and 53 grams


The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic is not a slender and modern GPS sports enjoy, as it is focused on delivering a rugged system that excels in numerous environmental circumstances for times and weeks. I’m personally a fan of huge watches and find that the Intuition Photo voltaic is effective properly on my wrist.

To be trustworthy, I barely found that the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic isn’t going to have a colour screen. I have by no means located colour displays to be an necessary factor of a GPS sports enjoy. I just will need a screen that is uncomplicated to go through outside the house with a backlight accessible when required and the Intuition Photo voltaic presents accurately that.

The section of the screen that has swayed me towards favoring the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic is the tiny circle “second” screen. I find this highlighted region to be helpful for delivering important data and generating it obvious what a one push of the GPS button will supply.

There are 5 buttons on the Intuition Photo voltaic, just like most Garmin GPS sports watches. The major-left button toggles the backlight with a push and maintain launching the controls screen. The center left button moves up when the base left moves down. A push and maintain of the center left button usually takes you into the numerous options. You can also customise the hotkeys in the options to make the system optimized for your use.

The major correct button, GPS, will get you to your preferred activites with another push launching that exercise. Though scrolling by means of widgets you can also push this button to pick that widget and see much more thorough info. The base correct button, Set, serves primarily as the back button. Yet again, this can also be personalized with the sizzling keys setting.

A Garmin Elevate heart amount check is centered on the back. The conventional 4-pin Garmin connector is also located on the back for charging the enjoy.

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

There are 4 variations of the Intuition Photo voltaic, with numerous colour possibilities. These include things like:

  • 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

Enjoy application

To navigate the system, you push the 5 buttons. Transferring up and down from the enjoy encounter will scroll you by means of numerous widgets accessible (solar depth, heart amount, My Working day, notifications, temperature, worry, ABC, final operate, Body Battery, and much more). The widgets are selected in the options correct on the enjoy.

You can use the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic enjoy to monitor functioning, biking, elliptical, open water or pool swimming, fishing, looking, MTB, snowboarding, snowboarding, yoga, rowing, and numerous much more focused physical exercises. The one sport missing that I would have liked to have found is golf.

There are a big amount of options and customization possibilities accessible for each style of exercise. For case in point, in the functioning app, you can customise up to 4 info screens in a layout from one to 4 fields with timer, distance, rate, pace, heart amount, cadence, temperature, elevation, compass, navigation, and other fields. I suggest you commit some high-quality time customizing almost everything accurately how you want it and then be prepared to tweak items as you perform your exercise and find you want to view your info otherwise.

In addition to custom made info fields for each exercise, you can management alerts, vehicle-pause, laps, vehicle-scroll, and much much more. The working experience can be quick and basic using the defaults or as distinct as you wish with a little bit of time expended customizing the enjoy info fields and options.

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To get started out on a operate, lift up your arm, push the upper correct button, pick Operate, and then push the button once again soon after GPS is linked. Press the button once again to pause. If you want to continue, push the button once again.

There are quite a few one of a kind pursuits you can monitor with the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic, and I experienced a excellent time using the Fish possibility. Right after launching this exercise, you pick to get started fishing and the enjoy will monitor your GPS area. You can manually mark places, established fishing timers, navigate to places, and much more. Because I was fly fishing on a tiny river when wading into the river, I started out the day, and then as I caught each fish I pressed the GPS button 2 times to log the catch. Right after the day was done, I was in a position to see accurately in which each fish was caught on a map. That specific day I landed 19 rainbow trout so thoroughly liked using the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic to monitor the day. I can not hold out to go fly fishing once again and develop a record of my catches to program long run trips.

Numerous other pursuits are supported, like navigation, and I program to commit numerous much more several hours discovering all of the capabilities of the enjoy.

Smartphone application and site

Amassing the info is crucial, but using that info for monitoring developments, improving effectiveness, difficult good friends, and determining trouble parts is also very crucial. Garmin features the Garmin Hook up app for iOS and Android.

When you to start with start the smartphone app, you will see the My Working day screen that displays your most the latest exercise, heart amount, worry level, physique battery, hydration, ways, flooring, snooze, energy in/out, bodyweight, yesterday’s stats, stats for final 7 times, and much more. Options are accessible to pick what is displayed and in what buy.

Other tabs include things like troubles, calendar, news feed, and notifications. Tapping on the system by itself offers you possibilities for new music, Garmin Fork out, textual content responses (Android only), pursuits, visual appearance, sounds & alerts, exercise monitoring, and much much more.

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On an Android smartphone, you can also great-tune your sensible notifications by selecting the distinct 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 personally want the Android smartphone working experience.

The Garmin Hook up site working experience is very very similar to what you see in the smartphone software, with even much more capacity to crank out stories, import or export info, established up connections to other applications (these kinds of as Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and much more. Comparable to the snapshots interface on the cellphone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Hook up that you can customise.

I developed dashboard tabs for day by day exercise, functioning, biking, and hiking due to the fact individuals are my most important pursuits. Now with the Intuition, I am also functioning on a fishing dashboard to concentrate on my long run fly fishing outings. You can then customise the view that seems in your dashboard or pick to jump to a whole webpage view of the selected info.

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Every day use activities

When compared to the other Garmin wearables I have analyzed over the previous couple of many years, the Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic does not support onboard new music, Garmin Fork out, or Hook up IQ applications, enjoy faces, or info fields. For my use, this isn’t going to truly issue, as I use my cellphone for new music and Garmin Fork out continue to isn’t going to support my bank. On the other hand, these might be limitations for other folks so be knowledgeable of what is missing on the Intuition Photo voltaic.

The new Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic supports some of the hottest Garmin functions that I find important to comprehension my well being and properly-remaining. These functions include things like Body Battery, worry monitoring, snooze monitoring with REM facts, smartphone notifications with textual content reaction from an Android cellphone, and much more.

A wearable I rarely have to assume of charging that captures all of my day by day exercise, like snooze, and focused GPS gatherings is refreshing and important to remaining on my wrist. When that wearable also supports my area of interest pursuits, these kinds of as fly fishing, it is really hard to defeat. The Garmin Intuition Photo voltaic also can keep topped off with the sun, generating this one of the best wearables for adventurists and athletes focused on outside pursuits.