Garmin Instinct 2 Review

The Garmin Instinct 2 is the second generation of a robust fitness watch that is suitable for a wide range of activities. Due to its resistant properties, it is also recommended as a companion for outdoor athletes. The collection is divided into different versions. Basically, there is a choice between the two case sizes of 40 and 45 millimeters. There are special variants for surfers and all those for whom tactical functions are important. In addition, there is a companion designed for long-distance drivers.

Models with the suffix “Solar” use solar energy and thus extend the battery life. Ideally, the watch no longer needs to be powered by a cable. The Garmin Instinct 2 impresses with its versatile functions, which are aimed at athletes and at the same time give the necessary attention to health.

The technical details

Screen size0,79 Inches
Wrist materialSilicon / Rubber, Synthetic Materials
Size watch case40 x 40 x 13,3 mm
ConnectivityBluetooth, Ant+, NFC
Battery lifeup to 21 days
Supported systemsAndroid, iOS
Water resistance10 ATM
SensorsAccelerometer, GPS, Pulse monitor, Pulse monitor without chest strap, Sleep monitoring, Ambient light sensor
Microphone includedNo
Speaker includedNo

Rugged, distinctive and versatile

With the Instinct series, Garmin has created fitness watches that clearly stand out from other models from the manufacturer with their rugged look. Instead of a color display, they use only a monochrome screen, which is thus more energy-efficient. The distinctive bezel increases shock resistance and helps the Garmin Instinct 2 achieve its distinctive look. The fitness watch is operated via five buttons. Three of them are positioned on the left edge and the remaining two on the right.

The collection holds – unlike the first generation – two different case sizes. The Garmin Instinct 2s is the smaller option with a diagonal of 40 millimeters. It has been given a 0.79-inch display with a resolution of 156 x 156 pixels. Its weight is 43 grams. The Garmin Instinct 2 is larger at 45 millimeters. Its display amounts to 0.90 inches. The associated resolution is 176 x 176 pixels, while it weighs 53 grams.

The entire collection is waterproof up to a pressure of ten atmospheres. Thus, it masters a swimming training without any problems whatsoever. It also shows its best side during various outdoor activities, as it has been certified according to military standards. Shocks, extreme temperatures or dirt have nothing to do with it.

Garmin Instinct 2
The Garmin Instinct 2 features different sensors on the backside.

Great design concepts with lots of color options

In terms of design, prospective buyers enjoy a lot of choice. The Garmin Instinct 2 is available in a wide variety of colors. Tones like pastel green, orange red, purple, dark blue or neon yellow are among the palette. The camo editions also set a special accent. As their name suggests, they are characterized by a camouflage pattern. The surfer versions are even more striking. However, they have not only been given a catchy design, but also come up with special functions for this water sport.
An outdoor watch: inside and out

It’s not just the exterior that lets you know that the Garmin Instinct 2 is made for outdoor adventures. The functions are, as expected, designed with this in mind. Various sensors like an altimeter, a barometer or a three-axis compass are part of the equipment. GPS, GLONASS and Galileo are supported to track routes outdoors. To facilitate orientation, the fitness watch also navigates its wearers back to their starting point if desired.

Emergency help for fast response times

Should there ever be an emergency, the Garmin Instinct 2 promises help in connection with the smartphone. Via Bluetooth connection, it automatically fetches support during certain activities when it detects a fall. Alternatively, the owner can also notify relatives himself at the touch of a button. The contacts only need to be saved in advance for this. They receive a message including the current location of the person concerned.

The Garmin Instinct 2 can record a wide range of sports. Besides mountain biking, running, trail running and the like, training in the gym is also included. Furthermore, HIIT units can be planned and specifically tracked.

Even golfers can expect added value from this versatile companion. Among other things, the watch shows them the distances on the green and measures their driving range.

The Garmin Instinct 2 offers daily training suggestions that take into account factors like current performance level and regeneration, with those factors depending on age, weight or if you’re a man or a women. At the end of each workout, it also estimates how long the recovery time should be. With the maximum oxygen capacity (VO2max), the sports watch determines an important indicator of fitness.

Garmin Instinct 2
The Garmin Instinct 2 has lots of useful features for everyday life.

Health functions and remarkable performance of the Solar models

Sports is just one focus that Garmin’s Instinct 2 is dedicated to. It analyzes sleep, measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and tracks stress. If it detects too much stress, it recommends breathing exercises for its wearer to relax. Women can record their periods on request and benefit from pregnancy tracking.

With the help of the so-called Health Snapshot, the parameters pulse, respiratory rate, heart rate variability (HRV), stress and blood oxygen are determined within two minutes and can then be retrieved collectively.

All models inform the user as soon as a call or message is received on the paired smartphone. Contactless payments can be made via Garmin Pay. However, only the solar-powered models support this feature. Speaking of which, these variants are capable of using sunlight to extend the battery life. They achieve around 21 days without this extra. However, if they are exposed to 50,000 lux for at least three hours a day, there is no need for additional charging at the wall socket. For comparison, on a bright summer day, the value is twice as high at 100,000 lux.

Garmin Instinct 2 Dezl Edition

The Garmin Instinct 2 Dezl Edition is aimed specifically at long-distance drivers. It offers them special trucker workouts on demand to keep moving during break times. To ensure that these are not forgotten, the fitness watch facilitates break planning with user-friendly timers. Furthermore, it can be synchronized with the manufacturer’s truck navigation systems.

Garmin Instinct 2 Tactical Edition

As with the first generation, the Garmin Instinct 2 also comes with a Tactical Edition. It contains the typical functions of a tactical watch, such as a camouflage and night vision mode. The Kill Switch feature is designed to erase the entire memory with just one press of a button in dangerous situations. There is also a dual position format and a jumpmaster mode.

Garmin Instinct 2 Surf Edition

A Surf Edition was also part of the debut model and therefore must not be missing from the Garmin Instinct 2. It includes a special surf app to specifically record activity on the water. This includes data like the number of waves surfed or the longest wave as well as the maximum speed. Furthermore, the fitness watch provides tide data and other parameters like wave height as well as wind and surf ratings for the five nearest spots.


Author: Smartwatch Fans