Garmin Instinct Solar first look review: Rugged outdoor GPS sports watch powered by the sun

Nancy J. Delong


For many several years I have been using Garmin wearables to monitor my running, biking, climbing, and other outdoor routines, but I have in no way tried out a single of the Intuition types. That modified a few of weeks back when Garmin sent out the new Garmin Intuition Solar, with beta computer software, for evaluation.

Whilst my key sort of exercise is running, I also trip my bike, hike, get on the elliptical, and play other sports activities. In addition, I get pleasure from fly fishing on the rivers of Washington Point out. In the previous, my Garmin item use involved Forerunner, Fenix, and Edge products so I was curious about the Intuition as it took a bit of a diverse technique in regards to the view style and concentrate.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 critique: Music, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

Just after far more than a week with the Intuition Solar, I honestly may possibly be a transform to the Intuition line for many motives. These include:

  • Long battery existence: Just after several years of using wearables, I have occur to the realization that extended battery existence assures a machine stays mounted on my wrist for the extended time period. One or two working day battery existence on a wearable is now unacceptable for my desires. The Intuition Solar features battery existence ranging from xx hours in GPS monitoring method to far more than fifty times, even providing endless in Battery Saver method with photo voltaic exposure.
  • Rugged style: 100 meter drinking water resistance and MIL-STD-810G shock ratings assure the Intuition is designed to acquire on just about anything. It has a fiber bolstered polymer situation and a scratch-resistant display that is established down from the front facial area.
  • Exceptional outdoor routines: In addition to a myriad of standard routines like running, biking, climbing, kayaking, yoga, and many far more the Garmin Intuition supports fishing, tactical, boating, looking, place calculation, and far more outdoor-concentrated adventures. The expedition method supports a multi-working day action with reduced require to demand with monitor points recorded after an hour by default.
  • Practical display style: A major rationale the Garmin Intuition has wonderful battery existence is the monochrome display. I have occur to like the top rated correct circle, two-window style, that gives critical details at a glance. For instance, when fishing it confirmed my fish count, in coronary heart fee method it reveals you existing coronary heart fee, and in compass method it reveals the course in angles.
  • Sensible price: The Garmin Intuition Solar begins at $399.ninety nine. Contemplating all that this GPS sports activities view has to provide, that is a truthful price.

See also: Garmin Vivoactive 4 critique: Touchscreen, state-of-the-art overall health monitoring, golf, songs, and far more


  • Exhibit: 23mm diameter 128 x 128 pixels resolution monochrome, daylight-noticeable
  • Look at materials: Fiber-bolstered polymer with silicone band
  • Drinking water resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters)
  • Bands: Supports Quickfit 22mm bands.
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth, ANT+, GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO, Garmin Elevate optical HR, pulse Ox, barometric altimeter, a few-axis compass, accelerometer, thermometer
  • Battery: Rated for 30 hours in GPS instruction method or 38 hours when using photo voltaic charging. 24 times in smartwatch method, and fifty four times with adequate photo voltaic exposure. In Battery Saver method with adequate photo voltaic exposure Garmin states the Intuition can obtain endless battery existence.
  • Dimensions: forty five x forty five x fifteen.three mm and fifty three grams


The Garmin Intuition Solar is not a trim and modern GPS sports activities view as it is concentrated on furnishing a rugged machine that excels in several environmental conditions for times and weeks. I am individually a supporter of major watches and locate that the Intuition Solar operates well on my wrist.

To be honest, I barely noticed that the Garmin Intuition Solar will not have a colour display. I have in no way located colour shows to be an critical factor of a GPS sports activities view. I just require a display that is quick to read through outside the house with a backlight out there when required and the Intuition Solar gives exactly that.

The part of the display that has swayed me in direction of favoring the Garmin Intuition Solar is the smaller circle “second” display. I locate this highlighted place to be practical for furnishing vital details and earning it very clear what a single push of the GPS button will present.

There are 5 buttons on the Intuition Solar, just like most Garmin GPS sports activities watches. The top rated remaining button toggles the backlight with a push and keep launching the controls display. The center remaining button moves up when the bottom remaining moves down. A push and keep of the center remaining button takes you into the several configurations. You can also personalize the incredibly hot keys in the configurations to make the machine optimized for your usage.

The top rated correct button, GPS, will acquire you to your preferred activites with another push launching that action. Whilst scrolling via widgets you can also push this button to pick out that widget and see far more comprehensive info. The bottom correct button, Established, serves generally as the again button. Again, this can also be custom-made with the incredibly hot keys environment.

A Garmin Elevate coronary heart fee monitor is centered on the again. The traditional 4 pin Garmin connector is also located on the again for charging the view.

A silicone view band, matching the colour of the view, is presented. Two loops are present on the bitter close of the band to preserve it securely on your wrist. Like the Garmin Intuition, Garmin’s 22mm Quickfit bands are also supported with this view.

There are 4 variants of the Intuition Solar, with several colour selections. These include:

  • Intuition Solar: Graphite, Tidal Blue, Orchid, Sunburst, Flame Pink
  • Intuition Solar – Camo: Graphite Camo and Lichen Camo
  • Intuition Solar – Tactical Edition: Black and Moss
  • Intuition Solar – Surf Edition: Pipeline and Cloudbreak

Look at computer software

To navigate the machine, you push the 5 buttons. Moving up and down from the view facial area will scroll you via several widgets out there (photo voltaic intensity, coronary heart fee, My Working day, notifications, climate, anxiety, ABC, final run, Physique Battery, and far more). The widgets are picked in the configurations correct on the view.

You can use the Garmin Intuition Solar view to monitor running, biking, elliptical, open up drinking water or pool swimming, fishing, looking, MTB, snowboarding, snowboarding, yoga, rowing, and many far more concentrated exercise routines. The a single sport missing that I would have preferred to have noticed is golf.

There are a large number of configurations and customization selections out there for every sort of action. For instance, in the running app you can personalize up to 4 info screens in a layout from a single to 4 fields with timer, length, pace, velocity, coronary heart fee, cadence, temperature, elevation, compass, navigation and other fields. I advise you devote some high quality time customizing almost everything exactly how you want it and then be prepared to tweak matters as you conduct your action and locate you want to view your info otherwise.

In addition to tailor made info fields for every action, you can management alerts, auto-pause, laps, auto scroll, and much far more. The knowledge can be fast and basic using the defaults or as certain as you drive with a bit of time expended customizing the view info fields and configurations.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 critique: Music, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

To get started on a run, elevate up your arm, push the higher correct button, pick out run, and then push the button yet again after GPS is related. Press the button yet again to pause. If you want to carry on, push the button yet again.

There are a number of exceptional routines you can monitor with the Garmin Intuition Solar and I had a wonderful time using the Fish option. Just after launching this action you pick out to start out fishing and the view will monitor your GPS area. You can manually mark areas, established fishing timers, navigate to areas, and far more. Since I was fly fishing on a smaller river when wading into the river, I started the working day and then as I caught every fish I pressed the GPS button 2 times to log the catch. Just after the working day was done I was equipped to see exactly the place every fish was caught on a map. That certain working day I landed 19 rainbow trout so totally liked using the Garmin Intuition Solar to monitor the working day. I won’t be able to hold out to go fly fishing yet again and build a historical past of my catches to program upcoming outings.

There are many other routines that are supported, which include navigation and I program to devote many far more hours discovering all of the abilities of the view.

Smartphone computer software and internet site

Gathering the info is significant, but using that info for monitoring trends, improving upon functionality, hard pals, and identifying trouble parts is also pretty significant. Garmin offers the Garmin Hook up app for iOS and Android.

When you initially start the smartphone app you will see the My Working day display that reveals your most recent exercise routine, coronary heart fee, anxiety degree, physique battery, hydration, actions, flooring, snooze, energy in/out, excess weight, yesterday’s stats, stats for final 7 times, and far more. Possibilities are out there to pick out what is exhibited and in what get.

Other tabs include worries, calendar, information feed, and notifications. Tapping on the machine by itself offers you selections for songs, Garmin Shell out, textual content responses (Android only), routines, appearance, sounds & alerts, action monitoring, and much far more.

Also: Garmin Edge 530 and Varia RTL510 critique: Trying to keep your bike commute secure and enhancing your outdoor enjoyable

On an Android smartphone you can also fine tune your sensible notifications by choosing the certain apps that will be permitted to send out notifications to your Garmin Intuition Solar. On iOS, you get what ever notifications you have enabled in the iOS configurations so I individually prefer the Android smartphone knowledge.

The Garmin Hook up internet site knowledge is pretty very similar to what you see in the smartphone application, with even far more capacity to produce experiences, import or export info, setup connections to other apps (this sort of as Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and far more. Similar to the snapshots interface on the cellphone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Hook up that you can personalize.

I produced dashboard tabs for everyday action, running, biking, and climbing due to the fact those people are my key routines. Now with the Intuition I am also performing on a fishing dashboard to goal my upcoming fly fishing outings. You can then personalize the view that appears in your dashboard or pick out to soar to a total web site view of the picked info.

Also: Garmin Venu critique: Lively AMOLED display helps make this a single of the ideal GPS sports activities watches for the masses

Everyday usage experiences

When compared to the other Garmin wearables I have examined about the previous few of several years, the Garmin Intuition Solar does not support onboard songs, Garmin Shell out, or Hook up IQ apps, view faces, or info fields. For my usage, this will not seriously make a difference as I use my cellphone for songs and Garmin Shell out continue to will not support my lender. Even so, these may possibly be constraints for others so be mindful of what is missing on the Intuition Solar.

The new Garmin Intuition Solar supports some of the hottest Garmin features that I locate beneficial to comprehension my overall health and well-becoming. These features include Physique Battery, anxiety monitoring, snooze monitoring with REM information, smartphone notifications with textual content reaction from an Android cellphone, and far more.

A wearable I rarely have to think of charging that captures all of my everyday action, which include snooze, and concentrated GPS events is refreshing and vital to remaining on my wrist. When that wearable also supports my market routines, this sort of as fly fishing, it is tough to beat. The Garmin Intuition Solar also has the skill to continue to be topped off with the sunlight, earning this a single of the ideal wearables for adventurists and athletes concentrated on outdoor routines.

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