May 26, 2022

Herald of Fashion

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Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Test: The best game for all temperament

Settled somewhere between the Phoenix and its predecessors, the Garmin Instinct range is ideal for versatile and outdoor games. With this, Garmin aims to deliver complete gaming watches that are highly autonomous and have a design reminiscent of Casio’s G-Shock.

For this second edition of Instinct, the American manufacturer introduces the blood oxygen sensor, the NFC chip for the Garmin pack and the screen that offers better resolution. Above all, it exemplifies an advancement in its solar charging technology for its Instinct 2 solar versions, which goes to the extent of guaranteeing unlimited autonomy when used with adequate amounts of sunlight outside (50,000 lux per day for 3 hours).

The 2S version of the Instinct opens up to smaller wrists with its 40mm case, which is 45mm on the standard model. Thanks to the new software features sleep monitoring, VO2 Max calculation and new game profiles.

45mm case for Garmin Instinct 2 Solar.

Author Rating: 5 out of 5

Ergonomics and design

Instinct 2 Solar is a watch designed to withstand elements. Its case is MIL-STD-810 certified. So it is resistant to shocks, extreme heat, cold or dust. Waterproof up to a depth of 100 m clockwise. So you can swim with it, but you can also browse, for example.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Side Buttons.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Side Buttons.

For this new generation, Garmin has changed its formula very little. The case, made of fiber-reinforced polymer, is 0.8 mm thin, but thick (45 x 45 x 14.5 mm). When you put on a push watch, this gain, even if small, is still felt. Very slim, this new repeat is a bit sweet to wear despite the consistent weight (53g). There is no rise on the side of the silicone bar.

The back of the Garmin Instinct 2 solar case.

The back of the Garmin Instinct 2 solar case.

The transflexive and monochrome screen won some pixels and now displays at 176 x 176 pixels against the previous model 128 x 128 pixels. The small diagonal of 0.9 inches remains the same. In fact, this gain in resolution is an event. The strength of this screen was not its visual quality, but its readability. In this case, he is infallible.

Author Rating: 3 out of 5

Interface

Right now, the interface of this Instinct 2 Solar is a way to performance. Everything is thought out for a physical activity workout. Others seem coincidental. Here, therefore, there is no display of transitions, colors or fantasies. Instead, the user faces a monochrome screen, large written information and maximum readability. This rendering, light years away a Garmin Venu Or a Apple Watch, Restricting the daily use of Tokante. This dependence manifests its full potential only during physical activity. Because throughout the session, this Instinct 2 competes in Solar’s screen comfort.

Game view of Garmin Instinct 2 Solar.

Game view of Garmin Instinct 2 Solar.

Once activated, the watch interface changes, showing speed, distance traveled, heart rate or time taken. Four or five additional screens are available, revealing the essential information needed during the release. Each screen is customizable, allowing the user to select the data that seems most relevant to him.

List of games available

List of games available

Instinct 2 Solar helps to track complex exercises right from the wrist. To take advantage of it, you need to create your session with the Garmin Connect application and sync it with your watch. Warm-up, Cool-Down, Step Cadence Exercise, Speed ​​Target, Time Target or both … The options are varied and complete. You do not have to learn your session by heart before wearing your clothes. Each step begins with a small screen that summarizes what needs to be done and for how long. Small problem, the instructions are clear, but for a long time, almost 20 seconds will be displayed. Pressing the left button under the token will make them disappear, but you still need to know this manipulation which is not mentioned anywhere. In the same way, it is necessary to distinguish the different vibrations that the case presents. It is not uncommon to believe that you are at the end of a phase when the instinct simply vibrates to declare your average speed. But, beyond these few little hiccups here and there, the Instinct 2 Solar is a well-thought-out watch that you need to learn to suppress, with many relevant options, most essential to provide the potential to deactivate reception. Announcements during his session.

In addition to swimming, cycling and jogging, the Instinct 2 Solar offers a wide panorama of physical activity – available on the Garmin site. Those of you who are more adventurous can go hiking with it. The clock does not show maps, but provides turn-by-turn guidance via Komoot, Garmin Connect or Strava. Convenient to follow a route or find your starting point if you get lost.

Display of announcements about Garmin Instinct 2 Solar.

Display of announcements about Garmin Instinct 2 Solar.

Like most of its watches, Garmin chooses five buttons here: one to activate the backlight of the screen, one to check the actions, the other to go back and forth on the last two displays, and scroll. The regulars of the brand will find their scores quickly, while the neophytes will pass a short adaptation period. Fortunately, the whole thing is consistent. With always the Garmin interface, you can start your favorite physical activity in three clicks. Convenient and fast!

By scrolling the widgets from the home screen, a lot of information can be accessed. In turn, the number of steps, last physical activity, weather of the day, sleep monitoring, heart rate or even notifications can be accessed. Despite the monochrome display, the watch still displays maximum information and offers complete panoramas on every subject. Curves, weather, calendar thus available from Tokonde. The only downside when reading notifications: the number of symptoms displayed is low, and you have to scroll through the text to read your messages. Also, the usage in the origin of the message is rarely mentioned. So sometimes you have to guess from the context.

Author Rating: 5 out of 5

Applications and Accuracy

This Instinct 2 is devoid of solar sensors. In its box you will find a GPS chip, a heart rate monitor, a pulse oximeter, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometric altimeter, a compass and a thermometer. Many tools that allow for accurate and complete follow-up of physical activity.

GPS sometimes allows artifacts.

GPS sometimes allows artifacts.

Let’s start with GPS. It usually turns out to be accurate, but there are differences here and there in its readings. Whether in the middle of nature or between buildings, noise can blur the path and occasionally give unreal curves. These artifacts unfortunately spoil the good setting of the watch and artificially extend the mileage of the trip.

Carmine Instinct 2 monitors the heart rate while running relaxed on the Solar (yellow) and Polar H10 chest (in blue).

Carmine Instinct 2 monitors the heart rate while running relaxed on the Solar (yellow) and Polar H10 chest (in blue).

For its part, the heart rate monitor competes precisely. Despite the linear output, the clock is realistic and precise, with no sudden variations in heart rate or when the rhythm changes are intense during interval exercise. A real asset for those who want to rely on their watch to follow their heart progress. In fact, compared to the Polar H10 chest strap we use as a reference material, the margin of error is no more than 3%. Instinct 2 Solar is very close to reality in any situation.

Heart rate monitoring at running intervals on Garmin Instinct 2 Solar (green) and Polar H10 chest (yellow).

Heart rate monitoring at running intervals on Garmin Instinct 2 Solar (green) and Polar H10 chest (yellow).

Finally, Instinct 2 Solar provides monitoring of blood oxygenation and sleep. Two data that could not be evaluated due to lack of protocol in our laboratories. We can only provide you with our records. Thus, blood oxygenation and sleep monitoring show consistent results.

Author Rating: 5 out of 5

Autonomy

This is undoubtedly the strong point of this Garmin Instinct 2 Solar. With the economical interface, this model will last for two weeks without any problems. This, despite the serious use in receiving messages, monitoring heart rate, sleep and regular physical activity. For at least two weeks, some greedy activities can be easily inactivated. Of course, the physical activity tracker quickly consumes battery at a rate of just 6% per hour. 8 hours of monitoring requires 50% autonomy.

Note that solar charging is disappointing according to our tests. Like the first generation, it actually only gives a few extra percent without any change, and above all helps to reduce the discharge speed. During a month-long experiment, we noted almost identical autonomy when we were under cloudy weather in the north of France. At the same time we rested under a bright sun in a region with bad weather for two weeks. The difference between the two conditions caused a difference of a few hours in battery life. “Unlimited autonomy“Presented by Carmine, in particular, since it is intended to be used only in Instinct 2 Solar Connected Watch mode, without gaming activities using GPS.

It takes about two hours to fully charge the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar with the proprietary cable provided.

Strong points

  • Two-week autonomy.

  • Strong case.

  • Immaculate heart monitoring.

Weak points

  • Monochrome screen.

  • Improved interface.

  • Cabbage sometimes has GPS.

  • Solar charging is still unreliable.

Conclusion

We tested what we wanted
Global marker

Author Rating: 4 out of 5

How does standardization work?

Supported by a comfortable autonomous and highly accurate heart watch, the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is undoubtedly an attractive sports watch. More complete than its predecessor, but with less technology than its Phoenix cousins, it offers a perfect compromise for athletes who want to follow rigorous training.

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