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Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Review: Unlimited Battery Life?


Everyone knows about Garmin's smartwatches. Among them, the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is one of the most loved. It's a perfect, sturdy, rugged smartwatch made especially for fitness lovers. This smartwatch simply tracks anyone's whole day, and even at night, it keeps a record of heart rate. When you are outdoors for a long time or even a short time, it always keeps working as it takes power from the solar lights and UV rays. There are various other improvements, but this one is the main one as it now has a better battery life along with better design and software. It also has a monochrome display which is legible and can be read even if you are in direct sunlight. But still, the quality level somewhere is not as good as the other smartwatches of the brand Garmin.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Review: Unlimited Battery Life

In this review, we will be telling you about a product that is not useless or very worthlessly expensive. It is a fitness smartwatch that is a perfect product for those who love to face real adventures and stay outside most of the time.

Although Gramin has a collection of different smartwatches with different specializations, this time, they bought something different and fantastic. The sturdy and unique design of the smartwatch makes it a better choice than other smartwatches.


This amazing Garmin Instinct 2 Solar doesn't only work for people who walk, run, or do a lot of exercises, but it is a perfect choice for even the people who enjoy wandering or working on the field for a long time. No matter how tough a situation or terrain you are in, this smartwatch will not let you down for whatever reason (even for hiking). It has some significant features like-

1. The Design or Display of Garmin Instinct 2 Solar

You will find this smartwatch a bit more bulky than the other watches of Garmin's Forerunner series or Instinct series. It also has a translucent power glass outer covering around the corners of the display, covering the main screen and all other panels that help in collecting the sunlight and charging the battery every time you stay in the sunlight for three hours or more.

Although the touch display of the watch is no different from other smartwatches of Garmin, the touch button it offers is really charming and amazing. The watch can be accessed by five buttons, and if you are already a Garmin user, in no time, you can be comfortable with the watch buttons. For first-time users, it may take a bit of time to get comfortable with them as they are physical buttons, but once you are, then you will not go back.

The resin band it offers is extremely comforting and can weigh only around 52 grams which makes it easy to carry. Even if you fall asleep while using the watch, you will still not feel uncomfortable or uneasy. The watch also has sensors on the bottom side of the watch.

One thing which Garmin always lets down its customers is the monochrome display, and so in the Garmin Instinct 2, even after having all other specifications, the display of the watch seems very dull and unattractive to the users. The clarification of this con is that this kind of display uses less power consumption, and this is the reason behind the claim of the endless battery life of the watch.

For keeping the solar charging properly and giving it correct exposure, the photovoltaic module is all around the display. Although the display is clearly visible in the sunlight, and thus you can read most of the information even in the sun, sometimes reading maps or notifications can be a hard task. The watch also offers backlight options in the dark room or at night.

A bad fact about this watch is that even if you try to customize the watch with different watch faces or other accessories, still the monochrome screen makes it look boring, and thus you don't want to spend on that. You have to keep in mind that this is not a very fancy watch, and you should be much more focused on using it for the extraordinary features it offers you.

This watch is really tough, and this is why it is perfect for those who want to track all their physical activities like cycling, tracking, etc., with no trouble. It also provides you with up to 100 meters of water resistance, and this is the reason why you can, even while going swimming, use it well.

2. Battery Life

The actual battery life is not the same as the company offers, as Garmin says that the battery life works up to 28 days after charging once, and if you are in sunlight, it will work endlessly, but in many cases, we found out if someone is using instinct 2 solars for GPS or for activity training, regular activities, it will drain a lot of battery and you need to charge your smartwatch for mostly within 8-10 days again. Especially the feature of GPS consumes a lot of power and makes the battery last for less than any other normal smartwatch.

Any other common smartwatch lasts for mostly 12-15 days or sometimes even more. But as Instinct 2 is a solar watch, you can rely on sunlight, but only after keeping this fact in your head that you have to stay in sunlight for more than 3-4 hours. Else, the charging will not even be noticeable. Also, if you think that if you stay outside for many hours doing something and the battery will jump to 100 % or increase, then no, you are wrong; that's not what solar charging means. Simply, the solar charging features enable a little amount of charging with sunlight that simply helps your battery stay at the same percentage or very little used and can help your smartwatch to stay a bit longer than any other common smartwatch. So you should not keep your expectations too high but know that this is one of the best key features of the watch, and if you fall into any kind of problem, this watch is going to stay charged and help. It is going to be helpful while tracking or bike riding, hiking, etc., as the watch will get enough charging from the sun.

3. Performance

This is something that is fascinating about this watch. It is amazing in performance. It has almost 30 sports modes which have different modes for running, swimming, cycling, and many more physical activities.

Also, the people who do a lot of gym or cardio training, are fitness freaks, or even run for a particular time and purpose need to track all their activities, and this watch is a perfect item for them.

Records of physical data such as heart ratings and step counting are available on most smartwatches, but getting an accurate record is a real task. The watch offers you the same, along with tracking of reading too. The watch is connected with Garmin Connect, and you can get a lot of details there too.

For people who want to check their cadence or the movements of their Heart rate or want to check elevation and any other interval data before going for a walk or any adventure, this watch is perfect. You can as well check if your V02 is on the correct point or not, which shows the amount of oxygen that your body utilizes while doing any sort of exercise or physical activity.

It also has a feature of sleep tracking which is quite amazing as it helps you in tracking for how many hours you were in a deep sleep and when you were in light sleep, and also, most importantly, how many hours you spent sleeping. This all is important for maintaining good sleep quality and staying fit. So all these features are necessary and useful for everyone as sleep is one of the most important features that one should keep in preference and can save oneself from getting ill or facing any health issues due to it. So overall this feature makes it very useful for people who care about staying healthy.

It is also not easy to educate people about how essential these day stress tracking is as in our busy schedules, we forget to take care of it, but it is necessary while working out. For example, when you are walking for more than 20k steps a day, this stress data helps.

The smartwatch also offers you a lot of sensors that can be used when someone is going on a trip on the hills or really tough areas, as that is something that proves the real worth of the watch. After putting the smartwatch to all those tests, it is proven as a worthwhile watch but not a perfect one for people who focus much on looks or style. Also, if you do not go to tracking or adventures, we doubt that this is an item for you.

Most Important Features

  • Records Heart rate
  • Supports solar charging
  • Garmin pay
  • Provides Compass
  • Have alarms
  • Various different profiles of activities
  • Records footsteps and amount of calories burned
  • Provides Barometer
  • Can measure altitude
  • Keeps all the details regarding sunrise and sunset
  • Can track the current location
  • Analysis and Evaluations

    Although smartwatches keep improving and becoming more advanced, this smartwatch seems to not give preference to quantity and keeps its entire focus on things for which it actually was created and can help you in living an easier life daily as it has a tactical design and very good internals which are perfect for getting everything you actually need without any sort of showoff.

    If someone is planning an adventure trip in the night for more than 30 hours, then obviously there are better options in the market, but also focusing on the price, this is the best option which helps you in your day-to-day activities and is durable.

    In this watch, you get health metrics, all types of navigation, location, music control (not offline), and many other GPS features needed for someone in the field or adventure, like a perfect Garmin product. Most importantly, it has a really sturdy design, but for only those who love simple and reliable products, look-wise, it is less beautiful than costly watches.


    The Garmin Instinct 2 solar watches are mostly known for two types of sizes and various kinds of models starting from only 299.99 dollars, and for the standard version, you have to spend around 389.99 dollars with the feature of solar charging.

    For example, you can take Garmin Forerunner 55, for which you have to pay almost 150 dollars, and Venu 2, which starts from almost 350 dollars. Another amazing smartwatch like, Fenix 7, is 599.99, and you can buy Epic for 799.99. hence in contrast to all these premium watches, Garmin Instinct 2 solar seems to be a cost-effective and better option.

    What is Good?

    • The watch offers you a battery that is endless due to the solar recharge feature.
    • It offers you an amazing and very bright MIP display which is much upgraded than the old version.
    • The watch comes in two different sizes, along with various specific editions.
    • It works perfectly with Garmin pay
    • Connect IQ is supported
    • You get various options for smaller sizes
    • It keeps a health snapshot to track your health.

    What are the Cons?

    • It has limited kinds of sports types.
    • Slightly costly for solar smartwatches.
    • Do not support calling systems.
    • No offline music system or maps are available.
    • In contrast to other expensive watches like Apple or Samsung, features are very few.
    • Very basic screen in comparison to other such watches by Garmin.


    To understand the watches, we compared the Garmin Instinct 2 with the Garmin Instinct 2s and found out that they both were different in weight, size, and, most importantly, battery life.

    1. Size

    We found out that the weight of the Instinct 2S is less and smaller than the Instinct 2, and if someone with a smaller wrist is trying to find a perfect watch for themselves, they should go for "2S". Even if someone has a wrist of 166 mm, Instinct 2 is not going to fit as it is too large, and the same is with the face of the watch. And wearing a bigger watch on a small wrist may create an issue with wearing a jacket pulling on and off. And even can create other issues which will not be the same with Instinct 2S. But if you prefer wearing bigger watches, then Instinct 2 is better for you.

    2. Weight

    The Instinct 2S is a bit much lighter than the Instinct 2. Although while picking it up, you will not notice much as soon as you will wear it, it will feel less readable and keep shifting, so it also makes you feel like Instinct 2S is a better choice.

    3. Battery Life

    No doubt, for maximum battery life, Instinct 2 Solar is a better choice as it is designed for this service only, and even in some cases, it is much more than excellent for example if you are at hiking and using GPS, it gives you a battery life of almost 70 hours whereas instinct 2s only gives you a battery life of 54 hours. So this extra battery life is a perfect option for people who love adventures or a sports person ready for ultra marathons.

    4. Price

    Unfortunately, there is no specific price difference both Instinct 2 and 2s. Although 2 s and 2 have different battery life and sizes, the price stays the same for both, which slightly surprises everyone.


    Overall, if you are looking for a smartwatch that can be sturdy and offers you better battery life, you might find Garmin Instinct 2 Solar a good option. But the smartwatch lacks in the number of premium factors which are offered by other watches and can make you feel cheated as at the same or even less price you can get other options which are perfect in looks from both inner and outer ends as also seem really glorious and beautiful. Although the watch is really strong and the feature of taking charging from the sunlight can make your watch stay without charging for a very good amount of time. The Navigation feature and mapping offered by the watch are really impressive, and only by adding routes and telling the territories can you easily get correct navigation. No doubt, you do really miss the topographic maps, music storage, and a beautiful coloured screen, but we don't think that this was even part of the concern for which the watch was offered. With this smartwatch, maybe Garmin was trying to show that the functions are far more important than any other look or style of any updated smartwatch, and even the buyers of the watch proved that there are a number of users who honestly wish for the functions over any other thing in their smartwatch.

    For anyone who cares about money, obviously, Garmin Instinct 2 solar is a really costly deal of 47 k but as it is not for regular people and isn't preferred by everyone, and can not be replaced by ordinary watches. The services it offers and the environment it is designed somehow justify the money.

    Although this smartwatch is capable of doing every ordinary task like step counting, general health tracks, location detection, etc., like any other common smartwatch, it is also capable of doing what others can not. Practically speaking, it is not used every day as in the life of the city, where you go to work or do daily work, you can't stay outside for such a long time period, and this is where the solar charging feature of the watch fails even after trying hard. So this makes the watch less appealing for us.

    But if you are someone who isn't much into city life and spends most of the time working, this watch may be very helpful to you as it is really durable, can work even when you are in water and most importantly it will not damage so easily, but you need to keep it in constant sunlight to keep its charge, so if you are someone who wants a watch which can survive in such hard times and can give you a lot of battery life only then you should go for this watch, or else you can found it useless for yourself.

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