Garmin has long been known for its impressive lineup of GPS watches, catering to a diverse range of adventurers and athletes alike. With the introduction of the Garmin Instinct Solar, the company has once again upped the ante, offering a watch with unique solar-charging capabilities that expands battery life significantly. In this review, we’ll explore the features and performance of the Garmin Instinct Solar to see if it truly lives up to the hype.

Design and Build

At first glance, the Instinct Solar resembles a rugged, outdoorsy timepiece. With its fiber-reinforced polymer case and chemically-strengthened glass, it’s evident that this watch is built to endure extreme conditions. The silicone straps are comfortable and flexible, ensuring a snug fit during all types of activities.

One of the standout features of the Instinct Solar is the incorporation of Garmin’s Power Glass™, a solar-charging lens that enables the watch to harvest energy from the sun. This innovative technology helps extend the battery life, making it a reliable companion for long outdoor adventures.

Display and Interface

The Garmin Instinct Solar features a monochrome, always-on display with 128 x 128-pixel resolution. While it doesn’t offer the same vibrancy and crispness as some high-end smartwatches, it serves its purpose well, providing excellent readability under various lighting conditions.

Navigating the watch is relatively simple, with five tactile buttons on the sides that allow you to access the different menus and functions. Although there is a slight learning curve to master the button layout, the intuitive interface will have you up and running in no time.

Features and Performance

The Instinct Solar comes loaded with an impressive array of features that cater to a wide range of activities, including:

  1. GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo support for precise location tracking
  2. ABC sensors: Altimeter for elevation data, barometer for weather predictions, and compass for navigation
  3. Heart rate monitoring and Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturation measurement
  4. Advanced sleep tracking
  5. Stress tracking and relaxation reminders
  6. Multi-sport profiles: Running, swimming, cycling, hiking, and more
  7. Smart notifications for phone calls, texts, and app alerts
  8. Garmin Connect compatibility for syncing data and personalizing watch settings

The GPS performance of the Instinct Solar is commendable, with accurate location tracking even in challenging environments. Additionally, the watch’s extensive fitness tracking capabilities, coupled with the Garmin Connect app, make it an excellent choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Battery Life

Arguably the most significant selling point of the Garmin Instinct Solar is its exceptional battery life. With the help of the solar-charging capabilities, the watch can last up to 54 days in smartwatch mode or up to 38 hours in GPS mode. This extended battery life is a game-changer for individuals who love long outdoor adventures or simply want a watch that requires minimal charging.


The Garmin Instinct Solar is a solid option for adventurers, athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to its rugged design, solar-charging capabilities, and extensive feature set. While it may not boast the most vibrant display or a touch interface, it excels where it matters most: providing a reliable, long-lasting, and versatile tool for exploring the great outdoors. With its remarkable battery life and host of features, the Instinct Solar proves to be a worthy investment for those who demand the best from their outdoor gear.