Garmin Instinct is Garmins’ answer to the Casio protrek and entry level Suuntos. The American based Garmin know how to make an attractive popular watch and I think they’ve done a great job with their latest outdoor watch. The watch has a black and white screen, but despite this it is a very fully fledged outdoor ABC GPS watch.
I’ve purchased it to track my expedition across the Arctic Tundra in Spitsbergen. I have an Apple Watch series 4 that’s is absolutely brilliant. Brilliant it is, however the battery will not last me as I’m trekking(neither will the Garmin watch, but it is more rugged, and no colour screen means battery charging, so recharging on the go with solar power/powerbanks will be quicker and trouble free.)
I’ve owned a Fenix 5x,the ultimate outdoor watch, that was great, but lots of money, heavy and too big for my little wrists. In my opinion the Instinct is a fenix5 without big heavy metal casing, without heavy crystal glass, without the colour screen-but it has everything (except maps) that I need, and it now can choose the Galileo system, not just GPS and Glonass.
After a month.
Ive had the watch for a few weeks now and have putting it through its paces. Ive used it for walks, football, strength training, cross trainer use, and various other bits.
I really like it, I really do. I thought I would get rid of it as soon as my expedition is over, and yet I am now favouring over my Apple Watch. The fit is good and comfy, the screen is clear and very unobtrusive. It’s a watch that looks like a watch, it looks a lot like a G-shock-which I love. For a short time I was a G-shock dealer, and have owned many of their incredible watches, but I think perhaps Garmin has stolen the crown.
The watch is very similar to the Fenix 5 in button control etc . It took me a couple of days to get my head around it after the superb Apple Watch, but I have to say its good.
I like the orange crown and strap, and that the display is customisable. There is a ring on the screen that I always have my HR in, so I can see what’s happening. You can also have the barometric pressure displayed on a graph. This I like as I can predict weather, in the vaguest forms.
Due to Scandinavian Airlines’ Pilot strikes I never made it to Svalbard and my expedition. This makes me ever so sad, and means this watch wont be tested as in the field as I intended. None the less I will update you on the watch, it’s usefulness and worth…
Gym. I use this watch quite often in the gym and will spend sometime rowing/cycling of cross training. This is fine as the watch has these profiles and therefore it is easy to use and easy to record what you are doing. I spen a lot of time strength training, and for this I just set it to strength. I don’t really understand this profile as it never really records what you do, simply what your hearts doing and for so long. None the less it records it. You have to create a Garmin account and the watch connects with the Garmin connect app. I use Iphone and it seems spot on. Lots of information available, however there is less than the Fenix offered.
Using the stopwatch and normal watch features will take you a while to work out how, but its there, 2 button presses away.
There is a ‘broadcast’ feature you can use in the gym to send your HR to the gym machine-that’s great.
Conclusion. The watch is good. Discreet, clever, loaded with tech and cheap. Less than £200 and it has everything one could want. GPS with ABC. Bluetooth and smart notifications. It looks like a normal watch too, so you don’t wear a massive shiny Garmin watch that shouts “I do exercise, I run marathons, I do triathlons” This is a digital watch. It does it all, but doesn’t shout. ⚙️⚙️⚙️⚙️⚙️