Fans of Garmin watches will love the company’s latest smartwatch entry, the Instinct, and not just for its relatively affordable price. “Built to withstand the toughest environments,” the watch features thermal, shock and water resistance capabilities (up to 100 meters) that align with military standards. The rugged device is protected with a fibre-reinforced polymer case and chemically strengthened scratch-resistant display, which is easy to read in bright sunlight.
Don’t be afraid to wear it in bad weather or when you’re battling a fire or using a chainsaw (as a commercial for the watch depicts).
Hikers and avid outdoorsman will benefit from the Instinct’s GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite network support, which enable the user to be confident in locations in which GPS alone may not be sufficient (and if you get lost). The watch also features a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter as well as the TracBack feature, which allows the wearer to follow the same route back to the beginning. Used in correlation with Garmin Explore, you can plan trips through its app or website.
The Instinct features smart notifications and monitors daily heart rate, calories burned, stress levels and sleep patterns. It includes preloaded training apps for activities such as swimming, biking, running and skiing. It’s optional to connect to Garmin’s online fitness community.
When paired with a smartphone, the Instinct receives text and email alerts, allowing you to keep your phone tucked away while you embark on your adventure—be it firefighting or completing a triathlon.
The battery life is impressive. It lasts 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode.
The phone retails for US$300, a good alternative to Garmin’s Fenix5 rugged smartwatch, which costs more than twice as much.