Garmin Instinct Smartwatch Review

Garmin Instinct Smartwatch Review

Cleverly making some last-minute releases before Christmas, Garmin are making there way onto everyone’s lists for Santa with their new Garmin Instinct Smartwatch. This striking outdoors watch is basically a combination of their Vivoactive 3 range with some of the Fenix features added in, becoming a great new choice for those looking for a timepiece that can join them on all their hiking and mountaineering adventures.

The key selling point to the Garmin Instinct Smartwatch is its reliability. The fibre-reinforced polymer case and scratch resistant display has been chemically strengthened to add extra strength and durability while it’s thermal, shock and water resistance of 100 metres has been built to the U.S. military standard 810G. For those who aren’t aware – and in all honestly, we weren’t sure before this review – to be built to military standard 810G, the watch must go through an astonishing long list of tests. These include tests against temperature, humidity, freezing rain, ballistic shock, acceleration, contamination, vibration and loads more.

Moving onto the aesthetics of the Garmin Instinct, there are three colour choices currently available: Graphite black, Tundra grey and Flame Red orange. The all-black was instantly a favourite for its sleek and easily adaptable design while the bright orange model offers something a little different to what we’ve seen before in other Garmin smartwatch collections. Each variation comes with a matching silicone strap which claims to be fully vented and includes two independent, removable loops that ensure the band stays into place and avoids getting caught on things during whatever escapade you might be on.

We could talk forever about the different specifications the Garmin Instinct Smartwatch has, so to save some time we have included a detailed list at the bottom of this post. In summary, it has a lot of the features included in the Vivoactive 3 minus the Garmin Pay support, WiFi ability, VO2Max metrics and golf mode. It still boasts a built-in compass and barometric altimeter, multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo), heart rate monitor, preloaded activity profiles, smart notifications and TracBack which allows you to navigate the same route back to your starting point.

All in all, we are highly impressed with the new Garmin Instinct Smartwatch collection. For a reasonable price of £269, you are getting a lot of the same functions you can find in other Garmin ranges that cost a lot more. Unless you’re willing to pay an extra £700 for some onboard maps, PulseOx SpO2 measurements and a slightly more visually appealing design, then we highly recommend getting yourself one of the Garmin Instinct wearables. For more information about these watches and wear to order your own, click here.

Specifications: Garmin Instinct Smartwatch (010-02064-00, 010-02064-01, 010-02064-02)

  • Case Size: 45mm
  • Case Material: Fibre-reinforced polymer
  • Display: 128×128 pivels, monochrome with sunlight visible and transflective glass
  • Strap: Rubber and QuickFit watch band compatible
  • Weight: 52g
  • Battery Life: Up to 14 days on smartwatch mode, Up to 16 hours on GPS mode
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Memory: 16MB

Clock Features:

  • Time/Date: Yes
  • GPS Time Sync: Yes
  • Automatic Daylight Saving Time: Yes
  • Alarm Clock: Yes
  • Timer: Yes
  • Stopwatch: Yes
  • Sunrise/Sunset times: Yes


  • GPS: Yes
  • GLONASS: Yes
  • Galileo: Yes
  • Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor: Yes
  • Barometric altimeter: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Accelerometer: Yes
  • Thermometer: Yes
  • Gyroscope: No

Smart Features:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+
  • Smart notifications: Yes
  • Text response: Yes
  • Calendar: Yes
  • Weather: Yes
  • Smartphone compatibility: iPhone and Android
  • Compatible with Garmin Connect Mobile: Yes
  • Live Track: Yes
  • WiFi enabled: No
  • Connect IQ: No
  • Plays and controls watch music: No
  • Garmin Pay: No
  • Group LiveTrack: No

Activity Tracking:

  • Step Counter: Yes
  • Move bar: Yes
  • Auto Goal: Yes
  • Sleep monitoring: Yes
  • Calories burned: Yes
  • Floors climbed: Yes
  • Distance travelled: Yes
  • Intensity minutes: Yes
  • True Up: Yes
  • Move IQ: Yes
  • Stress tracking: Yes
  • Fitness age: No

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