April 19, 2021


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Garmin instinct solar GPS outdoor watch experience: you should always believe in light

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With the development of science and technology, battery technology’s development speed is far behind electronic equipment development. The upgrade and optimization of battery life have become an important research topic for the entire industry. In improving battery life, major brands have their own “curious tricks,” such as using different batteries or increasing the number of batteries to increase battery life. Garmin has integrated solar charging technology on the Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch, which can be effectively used by relying on solar charging technology. Solar energy improves battery life to a whole new level.

It is understood that in 2019 Garmin acquired the French company Sunpartner, which focuses on solar technology. The company’s patent named “Display device with photovoltaic cells integrated into the screen and improved screen luminosity and reflectivity” became the foundation for supporting Garmin Power Glass. Following the successful launch of Garmin’s first solar-powered smartwatch, Fēnix 6X Pro, Garmin subsequently expanded its solar charging technology to four outdoor watch series, Instinct, Fēnix6, Fēnix6S, and Tactix Delta.

The Instinct Solar GPS wristwatch is equipped with a Power Glass solar charging mirror. Investigating its technical principles, Garmin has successfully integrated a miniature solar conductive battery into a glass panel with a thickness of less than half a millimeter and boldly placed it above the LCD screen. After the device incorporates the Pixel Storage (MIP) display technology, it can capture photoelectric more effectively and obtain a clear and transparent screen look and feel. High definition and high conversion are both right.

Under sunlight, the Power Glass solar charging mirror can convert solar energy into electrical energy during use, maximizing the watch’s battery life, thereby enhancing its endurance performance. According to the official announcement, the original smart mode can last up to 24 days. In the solar charging mode, the intelligent mode can last up to 54 days under sufficient sunlight. The Instinct solar power-saving mode can provide unlimited battery life.

At the same time, because solar panels are very fragile, in order to take into account light transmittance, cost, and durability against scratches, Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watches use chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass as the watch glass cover, which can effectively Collision and rubbing in various outdoor sports. In order to obtain better protection, the bezel and case of this product are made of fiber-reinforced polymer and passed the MIL-STD-810G U.S. military reliability testing standard test for heat resistance, impact resistance, and water resistance of 100 meters, Through high-altitude drops, freezing, and thawing, smoke corrosion resistance, waterproofing, and other rigorous test items, whether it is rock climbing or skiing, any challenging environment can be easily dealt with freely.

The real-time light intensity can be viewed under the default dial, and the sunrise and sunset times can also be displayed at the bottom of the dial. Adjusted to the widget interface can display the light intensity curve of the past 6 hours. The upper circular secondary screen can also display the solar charging efficiency. The transflective black and white screen can also provide a clear display in the sun.


“Conservatives” in the touch screen Era

I am wearing a solar camouflage version of camouflage gray, which uses a large area of ​​camouflage elements from the watch body to the strap, which is particularly tough. Also, Garmin provides a solar wave version with wave white color, a solar tactical version with jungle green color, and a solar sports version with four shades of Graphite Gray, Roland Purple, Flame Red, and Sunburst Yellow.

Different versions have different features in terms of focus. The wave version is specially designed for surfing sports. Tide data and surfing activities help surfing enthusiasts fully grasp the timing and chase the waves. The tactical version is presented in a classic military style and provides special tactical functions such as night vision mode (compatible with night vision goggles) and concealed mode. In terms of color matching, the Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch provides a wealth of color matching for users to choose from. You can also select the corresponding style according to your own sports preferences.

Due to the Power Glass solar charging mirror’s addition, this product cannot achieve touch-screen control. If you are used to touch-screen smart watches, you need to adapt a little when you first get started with the Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch. Garmin designed 5 buttons for it. On the right are the LIGHT CTRL key, UP MENU key, and DOWN ABC key, and from top to bottom on the left are the GPS key and BACK-SET key. The specific operations are as follows:

Light CTRL: Short press to turn on or off the backlight, long press to view the control menu, and press the key to start the machine in the off state;

Up menu: Short press page turning to browse gadgets and menu items, long press to view menu;

Down ABC key: Short press page turning to browse small tools and menu items, long press to view height, air pressure and compass tools;

GPS key: Short press to view activity list and start or pause activity timing, short press to select an option, long press to view GPS coordinates and save location;

Back-set: Short press to return to the previous interface, long press to view the alarm menu.


In daily use, use the UP MENU button and DOWN ABC button to switch the widgets up and down to switch to the functions we often use. If you want to exercise, select the GPS button to view the sports items and enter the corresponding exercise. Suppose you need to use more complex functions, long-press the corresponding button, and select the desired function. You can quickly get started after a few operations.

According to the “2020 Smart Life Year-end Keyword Inventory” released by CBNData, more and more users will use professional, smart wearable products to monitor sports and customize professional sports programs to achieve better sports effects. As a professional sports watch, Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch has built-in more than 30 sports modes, including swimming, running, cycling, hiking, boating, aerobics, strength training, fishing, hunting, etc. covering the user’s daily needs.

Take the example of riding behavior. During riding, the dial can display information such as pace, heart rate, distance, etc. After riding, you can review the information during exercise on the watch, and you can also view more detailed data and charts on the App. As shown in the figure, the heart rate, pace, altitude, and other data during riding are visually displayed in graphs. Simultaneously, different colors are used on the map to show the speed during cycling, which is convenient for us to adjust the training plan according to the data after training.

Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch supports multiple global satellite positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS). In some more challenging environments, it is more conducive to track than a single GPS. You can see the route with very accurate positioning on the generated sports map, and if you are cycling in a circle, you will not confuse the path. The watch includes an altimeter that can measure altitude, a barometer that monitors changes in air pressure, and a three-axis electronic compass that indicates the direction. Multiple data is combined to make motion monitoring more accurate.

You can check the current status of the watch on Connect App. During my day, I can display data such as heart rate data, body battery details, stress, intensity training minutes, steps, number of stairs climbed, calories, breathing, etc. You can visually see your physical state when you open the App. At the same time, the data of yesterday and the last seven days will be summarized. In the calendar, you can see the data generated by your body every day so that users can understand the changes in their bodies.

You can also send professional training courses to the Good Speed App device, and users can perform low-to-high promotion training according to related courses to get a better sports experience. And App is also a large user community and training camp. You can also publish your training plan and training results, communicate with others, avoid detours, and make progress together.

Smart wearable products have advanced to become “health stewards”. The functions of heart rate monitoring, step counting, sleep, blood oxygen, heart, and other aspects have attracted more users’ attention. Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch can realize 7×24 hours all-day heart rate monitoring. In Connect, you can also turn on abnormal heart rate reminders and set the heart rate threshold. When the heart rate exceeds the point, the watch will sound an alarm. During exercise, the wrist optical heart rate can also track dynamic heart rate, even while swimming.

The Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch is also equipped with a Pulse Ox3 sensor, the principle of measuring your blood oxygen saturation by irradiating the skin of the wrist with light. When you see a red light on your wrist, it means that the watch monitors your blood oxygen saturation. In Connect, PULSE OX blood oxygen saturation monitoring can be turned on throughout the day, and sleep blood oxygen monitoring can be turned on simultaneously.

If you are sleeping and snore, users should need this function because snoring may cause respiratory arrest, blood oxygen saturation monitoring will be able to monitor the physical state to a certain extent and seek medical attention in time. Advanced sleep tracking can also monitor and record the complete sleep cycle, including waking, light sleep, deep sleep time, and REM sleep stage, as well as turning over motion recognition. It should be noted that after turning on the all-day monitoring of blood oxygen saturation, the battery life of the watch will be greatly reduced, but after actual use, it can be maintained for about 11 days under full power.

For workers like me, work pressure and irregular work and rest can lead to a sub-healthy state of the body, and the Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch estimates its stress level by analyzing the heart rate variability (HRV), and knows that the body is in a calm state. Relaxation is still a more tense state. It can be seen that 88 points are a very stressful state. When in a state of tension, I can use breathing gadgets to adjust my condition to relieve stress.

The watch also integrates various data such as heart rate variability, stress, sleep, activity and comprehensively obtains the body’s energy reserve. With this data’s help, you can understand your physical state and choose a reasonable plan based on the state. After each exercise, the data will be reduced to a certain extent. If the score is too low, a good night’s sleep can significantly increase the score.

In Connect, you can set the watch, turn on/off the button sound and button vibration, set the watch’s smart notification status, set the daily target number of steps, weekly intensity training minutes, and the number of foot steps. And after the Move IQ function is turned on in the App, the watch will automatically recognize sports such as cycling, running, and elliptical machine and display them in the timeline. Every time I open Connect, I find some small surprises from time to time!



In general, the Instinct Solar GPS outdoor watch is suitable for some explorers who love sports at ordinary times and will explore outdoors when they are resting. And in terms of functionality, this watch is specially built for sports enthusiasts. The support for more than 30 sports modes, heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep monitoring, and solar charging can guarantee the user’s experience, Let the exercise become more at ease.

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