Garmin Instinct Review

Rugged and durable with pinpoint accurate GPS and outstanding battery life, the Garmin Instinct is the perfect choice for lovers of the Great Outdoors.


Built to withstand the test of time and extreme elements, the Garmin Instinct is an exceptionally hard-wearing smartwatch.  On top of which, it’s comfortable, lightweight and impressively slim considering the amount of gadgetry on board.  The screen is crystal clear and easy to read, even in direct sunlight, making it a must for any would-be adventurer.

Available in a wide variety of attractive colours and with 12 different faces to choose from, you can tailor your timepiece to your unique style and taste, particularly if you add some of our stylish Garmin Instinct Straps to the equation.  We have lots of durable, breathable straps to choose from, to help you look and feel good while facing the elements and, as this is a smartwatch which wouldn’t look out of place on a night out, we also have some stunning fashion straps in a range of colours and materials…So, get shopping!   

In addition to the standard version, you can opt to pay a premium for the Garmin Instinct Solar model.  Whilst the increase in price is fairly hefty, the Solar model harnesses the sun’s rays to give you up to 54 days of extra battery life.  So, it’s definitely worth the extra spend if your idea of a good time is a long hiking expedition or mountain trek.

Both versions use side buttons to navigate, rather than a touchscreen.  But I found that ease of navigation is none the worse for that, once I got used to the transition.


Phew, where do I start?!  This powerful smartwatch is packed full of useful techy bits, including GPS mapping, a heart rate sensor, a Body Battery feature to gauge overall energy levels, water resistancy, an onboard compass, a waypoint tracker for easy navigation, TracBack to enable you to retrace your steps and the capability to track around 30 different activities, to name but a few. It even has a military standard 810 rating, by way of guarantee that it can withstand extreme environments and temperatures - Peace of mind for any Bear Grylls wannabes.

The Garmin Instinct also has lots to offer when it comes to general features, including sleep tracking, smartphone notifications and a pretty decent app library. 


There are certainly lots to choose from.  A key plus point for me was the extensive battery life (up to 2 weeks), with the added benefit of being able to extend this by up to 40 hours in GPS mode with the aid of UltraTrack.  I loved all the tracking features, although admittedly not being much of an adventurer, I probably didn’t do them all justice.  In particular, I found the GPS and sports tracking to be pinpoint accurate and I especially liked the Body Battery function which was very insightful when it came to working out when it was (legitimately) time to take a rest.

I was a big fan of the range of colours and the crispness of the display, which I found to be a notch above most other smartwatches.


Not much to grumble about as far as I’m concerned.  However, whilst all other functions were impressively precise, I did find the sleep tracking to be an exception to this rule, there being times when a significant disruption to my sleep went unrecorded.

There are also a few features missing which in a perfect world, would have been included, such as music storage, Garmin Pay (although this isn’t exactly essential if you’re hiking in the wilderness) and phone call / text messaging capabilities.

These blips aside, I’m a happy bunny as far as this smartwatch is concerned.  And it’s worth bearing in mind that the few features the Garmin Instinct lacks are accounted for in the price (it being significantly more affordable than the premium tech-heavy Garmin Fenix 6, for example). 


One of the best adventure sports watches out there within its price range, the Garmin Instinct is the perfect accessory for fans of the Great Outdoors.  A reliable and trustworthy companion, whether you’re on a hiking trip, or just doing a spot of yoga.