Using the Garmin Instinct Solar as my everyday fitness tracker for hiking in the Limassol mountains, I really can’t fault this fantastic and very tough smartwatch.
It has one of the biggest and best always on displays of any smartwatch on the market today, getting the data I need at a glance during high intensity workouts and without having to touch the screen is for me, the most important feature of any fitness smartwatch.
The Garmin Instinct Solar has an incredible battery life boosted by a solar charging lens. I typically use my Garmin Instinct Solar in GPS mode for several hours per day, 7 days per week. I have all the battery killing apps running like pulse ox, heart rate monitor, GPS and I wear the watch at night for sleep tracking and I still get 7 to 10 days before having to charge the watch.
It feels light and comfortable on the wrist and the long strap allows the space I need for various sports clothing.
The watch is built to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and 100m water resistance, and the fibre-reinforced polymer can take quite a beating. I've bashed the watch many times on hard rock surfaces and still not a dent on scratch to be seen. I also fitted an aftermarket 9H screen protector which I’ve been really pleased with, it had no negative effect on the solar charging lens.
The large always-on 23mm x 23mm monochrome memory-in-pixel display has been a pleasure to use during intense outdoor workouts under bright sunlight. Yes AMOLED touch screens do look really cool, like on the new Venu 2 which is around the same price as the Garmin Instinct Solar, but when I’m working out under intense sunlight with sunglasses on, sweat in my eyes and constantly moving with an elevated heart rate, I really don’t want is to be trying to focus and deal with a touch screen display.
Garmin Instinct Solar for me has the best always on display with no fiddly touchscreen, just 5 large buttons that are intuitive to use. And let’s not forget this fantastic 32mm wide PowerGlass is covered with advanced solar charging technology giving the watch an incredible battery life. When I have busy days with client training sessions, I can easily rack up 7 hours plus of constant GPS usage and still I’m getting 7 days plus before having to charge the watch.
And with its fibre-reinforced polymer case built to military standard 810, 100m water resistance and super light at only 53g. I think the Garmin Instinct Solar offers the best screen display and best rugged build quality of any fitness tracking smartwatch at the mid level price range. Amazon link to where I purchased mine from at the lowest price.
Another great feature with the Garmin Instinct Solar lens is there are now many 3rd party sellers of screen protectors which I highly recommend you get, the last thing you want is to scratch the glass and ruin the look of your watch. The one I’m using is a 9H tempered glass and fits beautifully, it completely disappears once fitted and has no negative effect on the solar charging.
Founder of Rejuvenation Hiking, Limassol
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