Review of Garmin Instinct Solar – Smartwatch Battery Life

Review of Garmin Instinct Solar – Smartwatch Battery Life

Garmin Instinct Solar Outdoor

Main Features


Garmin Instinct Solar is an upgrade with more modern features for running tracks on this brand’s smartwatches. Garmin Instinct Solar offers many outdoor activity-tracking features, quite similar to those on their Fenix smartwatches, such as long battery life and multiple activity tracking modes. But at a much more affordable price.

The solar-powered version of the Fenix 6 adds only a few hours of extra battery life, but the Garmin Instinct Solar has significantly increased battery life, providing users with extremely good battery life. Overall, this is a very comprehensive improvement that Garmin has given the Instinct Solar.

I have been using this smartwatch for a while and here are my reviews about it for your reference.

Garmin Instinct Solar Outdoor

Battery Life

Unlike the Fenix 6 Solar, the Instinct Solar’s battery life improvements are much more robust. Not only that, but Garmin Instinct Solar also adds the ability to control battery life with power-saving modes similar to those on Garmin Fenix smartwatches.

Here are the Garmin Instinct Solar battery-specific upgrades:

  • In smartwatch mode: Up to 24 days/54 days battery life with the solar-powered version
  • Battery saver view: Up to 56 days/Unlimited with Solar powered version
  • Using GPS: Up to 30 hours/38 hours with the solar-powered version
  • Maximum battery GPS mode: Up to 70 hours/145 hours with solar-powered version
  • Exploratory GPS operation mode: Up to 28 days/68 days with solar-powered version

However, if you go with the solar version, you will need to use it for 3 hours in 50,000 lux sunlight to achieve the maximum number above. As you know, 50,000 lux is sunlight, which is a pretty strong light, so you’ll need to be out longer if it’s cloudy.

Watch Battery Saving Modes

Smartwatch Mode

This mode will usually allow the watch to be used, with notifications and heart rate measured all day long.

Battery Saver Mode

This new model gives precise control over all battery charging features. To get unlimited battery life, you’ll need to turn off activity tracking, heart rate, connect your phone and leave the screen on low power mode, meaning it’s only used to show how long it is.

That gave users about 66 days of use, but its battery life can last indefinitely if you use 3 hours a day in sunlight. That means you can use it forever without ever running out of battery.

Exercises tracked by GPS

If you use this mode continuously, it will be reduced battery life quite quickly. However, you can extend the battery life by 8 hours if you use it in sunlight. I am sure that there is no smartwatch when using the GPS feature that has as good battery life as the Garmin Instinct Solar.

Battery Saving mode when using GPS

It is the new name for UltraTrac mode. When in this mode, the watch will ping satellites much less, but this will affect the accuracy of GPS. That means you’ll have to trade off accuracy in activity tracking for better battery life. Seventy hours of battery life is the base and can go up to 145 hours if you use it in sunlight to charge it.

Operation mode GPS Explorer

This mode will only ping the GPS once an hour, so it will only provide landmarks and locations where you have been but not update your exact location like the rest of the GPS modes. Using this mode, the watch should give you about a couple of months of battery life, with all watch features turned off and the display set to its optimal setting. It is helpful for hikers and possibly travelers of continents.

Overall, this is a smartwatch with impressive battery life. If you are looking for a product to use suitable for your long trips, the Garmin Instinct Solar will, and it is an option that you cannot ignore.

The Price of the Models

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Garmin Instinct Solar Design

In terms of design, almost nothing has changed compared to the original Garmin Instinct on this smartwatch. It is still an oversized, aggressive watch with a 45mm case designed with lots of small details, giving it a more aggressive look. I like this smartwatch because it possesses impressive water resistance up to 10ATM and military-standard durability.

Instinct Solar still possesses the typical large sinewy lines like the previous version, similar to Casio’s G-Shock line, so that it will be very suitable for dynamic and personality young people. I don’t know about you, but I like its design. However, the watch face size up to 45mm combined with the outer case will make those with small wrists look not very nice. Instinct Solar is very light, weighing only 53g, about 30% lighter than Fenix 6, providing quite a comfortable wearing feeling.

This watch does not use a touch screen. Instead, all interior features will be manipulated by hard buttons on the two sides. The left edge will have three hard buttons, including Ctrl, Menu, and ABC, corresponding to the accompanying extra features are Light, Up, and Down, respectively. There will be two more GPS buttons on the right side of the watch, and the second feature is Back.

Garmin Instinct Solar Outdoor Sports - Desgin

Garmin Instinct Solar Monitor

Garmin Instinct Solar uses a monochrome screen, so its display quality will not be excellent. Its screen has a size of 0.9″ (23 x 23mm) with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels displayed in black and white. This is to increase the advantage of the battery thanks to the solar battery system placed around its LCD screen.

The entire screen is protected by a special chemically reinforced tempered glass for better scratch resistance, protecting your smartwatch from external impacts. It has a secondary, circular display on the right side of the watch, a small sub-display, using MIP (memory-in-pixel) display technology, used to add information to what’s on display. You are viewing on the main screen.

Sports Tracking Mode

The Garmin Instinct Solar is a watch focused on outdoor activity tracking. Suitable for tracking hiking, trekking, endurance activities. It also has swimming, MTB, cardio, yoga modes. But these are just general tracking modes, not for in-depth data like Forerunner 245. 

In addition, Garmin also integrates a lot of sports for Instinct Solar, such as walking, climbing, jogging, machine. Jogging in the gym, racing in the stadium, cycling, indoor cycling, swimming, skiing, skateboarding, kayaking, SUP rowing, rowing, weightlifting, yoga…

Walking Tracking Mode

Review Garmin-Instinct Solar

As a smartwatch born to track running activities, the Garmin Instinct Solar’s walking ability stands out from others on the market. First, we must mention the UltraTrac mode to save and charge the solar battery very well.

In terms of data, it tracks speed, time, distance, altitude. Of course, both heart rate and calories (if you don’t use the battery saver modes, skip these features). There is no TOPO map that you will find on the Fenix ​​6, but you can track your walking path, and you can return to where you started if you get lost. There will be a compass system on its secondary screen and its widget to help you locate your location better.

You can track your path on the Garmin Instinct Solar’s screen using the compass, and the built-in display will show you the direction of your upcoming turn. The clock will also count down to let you know about the change of direction. In general, it is pretty similar to the Map application on smartphones, straightforward to use, so you do not have to worry!

Running Tracking

No device tracks the details like the Fenix 6 or the highest-end Forerunners when it comes to track running. But Instinct Solar is not inferior either! You get the usual baseline stats on standard runs, with elevation and heart rate zones. However, it does not have VO2max, does not announce the Training Effect or the Lactate Threshold threshold. This is a limitation of Instinct Solar for professional runners.

Heart Rate Monitoring

No device tracks the details like the Fenix 6 or the highest-end Forerunners when it comes to track running. But Instinct Solar is not inferior either! You get the usual baseline stats on standard runs, with elevation and heart rate zones. However, it does not have VO2max, does not announce the Training Effect or the Lactate Threshold threshold. This is a limitation of Instinct Solar for professional runners.


  • Impressive solar battery.
  • Multiple battery-saving modes.
  • Very suitable for monitoring outdoor activities.


  • Design is not suitable for everyone.
  • The workout data is not detailed.

Final Thoughts

Garmin Instinct Solar is an improved version that is much better than the original version. Battery life and power modes are upgraded extremely well, GPS navigation and hiking tracks are also more accurate. The Instinct Solar is entirely worthy of a smart sports watch for you to own for your outdoor training needs.

Hello, I’m Jomy George. I always discover something sweet and attractive to fill my life in my free time. The purpose of this website is to help develop the racing sports drone, and beautiful photos taken from drones.

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