Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch Review

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If you’ve been following the news in the world of wearable tech, then you know that solar charging is one of the hottest new features. And what better way to test out this new technology than with a watch? That’s why we’re taking a look at the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch.

This watch is designed for those who want reliable performance without all the bells and whistles.

It’s a rugged watch that can take a beating, and it’s packed with features that will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. But how does it perform in real-world use? Read on to find out.


Quick Overview Garmin Instinct 2S Solar smartwatch:

Specs Garmin Instinct 2S Solar smartwatch
OS Android and iOS
Shape & surface Circular, flat
Weight 43 grams
Memory 32MB
Strap material Silicone
Screen size 2.0-inch
Display Type LCD
Battery lithium-ion
Battery life 21 days
Bluetooth available
Charging cable/solar power

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Detailed Guide on Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch:

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch Review

1) Design:

The Garmin Instinct 2S Solar smartwatch’s design and purpose are synonymous with those who enjoy adventure and the great outdoors. The watch has a tough appearance thanks to its Power Glass lens-covered circular dial. The watch has thick fiber-reinforced polymer bezels.

The watch is available in three colorways: Neo Tropic, Mist Grey, and Graphite. Mist Grey is the one we have, and it looks okay.

Like most modern smartwatches, the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar lacks a touchscreen. It has physical buttons that make it easier to use the menu.

While the left bezel has physical CTRL, Menu, and ABC buttons, the right side of the display has physical GPS and SET buttons. The buttons make it easier to move up, down, and other ways while navigating the menus.

Similar to how the MENU button aids in scrolling up, the SET button is used to return to the previous menu. 

This solar-powered smartwatch has some sensors and a charging pin on the back. It’s made of strong materials and feels reasonably light at just 43 grams. The strap is made of silicone which is comfortable to wear throughout the day without sweating.

2) Display:

This Instinct 2S Solar is equipped with a monochrome display that is always on and constantly informs you of the time, day, date, battery life, and times of sunrise and sunset.

With this information readily at your fingertips, you’re able to plan the rest of your day with ease. Plus if the sun goes down or it becomes dark outside so you can’t see the screen anymore, the watch has a backlight to make the display easy to see.

Our screen has been designed with a resolution of 156×156 pixels for an easy-to-read display. It is not touch-sensitive, which might take some time to get used to at first.

However, once you get the hang of it, navigating the watch will become much easier. The watch includes customizable settings so you can change the look of your display in a quick fashion.

3) Features of the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch:

The Instinct 2S Solar shares the same core fitness tracking capabilities as its bigger sibling, including heart rate, maximum oxygen consumption, steps taken, and SpO2 measurements. Additionally, you receive a barometric altimeter, a compass, a thermometer, a sensor, and an antenna for GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. 

You also get features like training, running, biking, and swimming. However, the watch doesn’t come with tactical features like Stealth mode that let you stop the watch’s wireless communications completely. Additionally, the Jumpmaster mode that allows you to track skydiving data is absent here.

One thing that we really love about the Garmin Instinct is its accuracy. It’s just as accurate as any other dedicated fitness tracker. Activity tracking is also spot on. The watch displays all your workout and data in an OCD-level detail, down to the molecular level.

SpO2 readings are just as accurate as standalone pulse oximeters, although it does take about 20 seconds for the information to stabilize.

Other activities like step counting and floor counting are the same – they’re pretty accurate, but they take time. For example, the watch nearly always produced results that were identical when we manually counted 100 steps three times, but there was a small lag of ten to fifteen seconds before the data appeared on the watch.

Because we didn’t travel much, we couldn’t take the watch on a hike or to a high elevation that’s why we can’t get any altitude tracking results.

You can also combine sleep and daily activity data to estimate your body’s current level of fatigue. With this info, you’ll be able to take a day off work without worrying about losing your job. Just don’t show it to your boss unless you want to get in trouble.

This watch can give you notifications, but you can’t respond to text messages with pre-made responses. Even though the watch struggles to display all the contents of a message, even those with AMOLED displays struggle to do so.

The watch attempts to replicate vibrant emojis and app icons into matrix smileys and logos. Besides that, notifications were delayed on this watch; they were nearly instantaneous on the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar TE and they always appeared on the watch before they showed up on our phone.

The device has a navigation system, but it’s not the turn-by-turn kind you would find through Google Maps. It’s for outdoor activities, like hiking.

You can log in to your start and end coordinates, then it will guide you back to where you came from using your GPS coordinates.

4) Battery Life:

The Garmin Instinct 2S Solar can last approximately two weeks with no sunlight exposure, but it will last longer if you leave it in the sun.

However, the power meter barely drops even with SpO2 monitoring and active use of GPS. And at the time of writing, we haven’t needed to charge it again.

The Garmin Instinct 2 and 2S both use the same proprietary USB cable as Garmin’s other watches, which plug securely into the back of the case.

5) Price:

It will cost $499.99 in the US and 429.99 in the UK pounds. For this solar-powered device, £429.99 may seem pricey, but when you compare it to other watches that are $700/£700+, you get your money’s worth.

Pros and Cons of the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch:


Military standard toughness
Health and fitness tracking at an OCD level
Solar charging Battery life of two weeks
Expensive Complexities in controls
Tiny screen



1. Is the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch worth the money?

There is no simple answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors. The Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch is a high-end watch with a number of features that make it worth the money for some people. However, others may find that the watch is not worth the price tag. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch is worth the money.

2. What are the features of the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch?

The Garmin Instinct 2S Solar Watch is a GPS watch with solar charging capabilities. It has a color display and a variety of features that make it a great choice for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.


The Garmin Instinct is a perfect watch for outdoorsy exercisers and passionate sportspeople. It’s an expensive watch, but it doesn’t skimp on features like accuracy or reliability.

This watch is ready to take on any challenge, such as operating in harsh weather conditions or enduring an occasional knock or drop.

The best part about this durable watch is that it will last for years without needing replacement. It also has a few features that could be better, such as the ability to make and receive calls and access offline music.

The battery life is fantastic and it takes a long time to drain. You’ll be able to track many activities with the Instinct 2S, which offers a lot of features.

The watch can act like a coach on your wrist, advising you on when and how hard to train and offering advice on how much to rest. It also monitors your overall health to provide an accurate picture of your health.

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