Garmin Instinct Features & Review

Garmin Instinct smartwatches

The Garmin Instinct is a rugged outdoor sports smartwatch that has similar features as Garmin’s Fenix range but at a fraction of the cost. The original basic Instinct retailed for only $299.

Features you’ll love
• Very light
• Fast GPS lock
• Long battery life

Packed with outdoor activities and GPS features, the watch is ultra-light, weighing at 52 grams. Even though the casing measures at 45mm and fairly thick, the watch doesn’t look big on the wrist. One of the things you’ll notice or rather not notice is this watch on your wrist. You won’t feel its weight at all.

The Casio-esque monochrome display gives you a no frills, information providing experience. At just 128×128 pixels, it does the job. The limited screen resolution and color options is what gives the Garmin Instinct long battery life. That’s important if you’re out in the woods or on a hike and need a few days of battery life to power your activity tracking watch.

Like other rugged watches, the Instinct bears a Military Standard 810 rating for hostile environments, which means it can withstand extreme environments and temperatures, and can be submerged in water to 328 feet (10 ATM).

The Garmin Connect mobile app is needed to change your profile settings and keep a history of your activities. Once signed in, it connects to the watch easily. Its interface is simple and intuitive.

For health tracking, other than standard steps, heart rate monitoring and GPS run activities, one of the better features is stress score and automatic sleep tracking. Stress calculations are scored between 0 to 100 with 50-75 being medium and above 75 considered high stress. It uses an algorithm based on your HRV (Heart rate variability) and which is more than your hear rate numbers. The sleep tracking is about 75% accurate according to some people and that is pretty decent. In our testing, it’s good at detecting falling to sleep and being awake while depending on the night, REM sleep time is probably not very accurate.

Battery life is very good. You can easily get more than 2 weeks on one charge with no GPS and normal notifications usage with heart-rate tracking constantly running.

Take a look at how you can customize Instinct settings. It’ll give you an idea of how the watch operates.
How to change watchface

How to adjust data screen / data fields in activities

How to add widgets and adjust the widget wheel

Setting your favorite app/activity