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Garmin Instinct 2 gets ’unlimited battery life‘

The latest Gamin wearable is smaller, not over-the-top expensive, and promises heroic battery reserve.

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Just weeks after Garmin officially launched the latest update to the Fenix line of wearables and reintroduced the Epix 2, the Kansas-based company that’s nearly synonymous with consumer GPS devices and wrist-based performance-monitoring devices rolled out another update an existing product line – and threw down the gauntlet to its competitors with regards to battery life.

The Garmin Instinct 2 Series not only promises to add some color to your wrist-based GPS and activity monitor but also makes a bold claim of unlimited battery life for some models in the lineup.

“Instinct 2 provides up to four weeks of continuous use while in smartwatch mode, and …select Instinct 2 Solar models offer unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode,” Garmin said in an announcement Wednesday.

Also read: Garmin Fenix 7 gets a touchscreen and a massive battery life bump

But to achieve the unlimited battery life status, there’s a bit of a catch. The Instinct 2 Solar needs to be exposed to 50,000 lux — direct sunlight — for a minimum of three hours per day to achieve the unlimited battery claim. But even if one cannot get this amount of sun exposure, the one month between charges (claimed) in smartwatch mode, used in optimal conditions, is still impressive.

The recently announced Fenix 7 Solar Sapphire — which has a larger enclosure, bigger display, and weighs nearly twice as much as the diminutive Instinct 2 — may get up to 5 days between charges with GPS enabled, and five weeks between charges in smartwatch mode. But the Fenix 7 series does not promise unlimited battery life.

The Instinct 2 Solar weighs 53g for the 45mm display and 42g for the 40mm display. Compare that to the Fenix 7X, which weighs as little as 63g for the 7s, and as much as 96g for the 51mm Sapphire Solar model.

Garmin says that there are more than 240 different combinations of bezel and band colors and materials available, with color and feature-focused options like eSports, Camo, and Tactical, the Instinct 2 also comes in Electric Lime, Poppy, and Neo-Tropic editions.

Not only is the Garmin Instinct 2S available in fun colors, but it has a claimed battery lift unmatched by its competitors
Not only is the Garmin Instinct 2S available in fun colors, but it has a claimed unlimited battery life unmatched by its competitors. (Photo: Garmin)

Have you ever noticed that some of the top ‘cross racers don’t have a computer on their bikes’ cockpits? Check their wrists and you’ll see they are tracking effort, expenditure, and other metrics that can be used post-race to analyze how hard they went and also where they went easy.

The all-new and completely redesigned wrist-based optical sensors provide improved accuracy from the previous models and measure SpO2 as well as heart rate. The always-on wearable records and analyzes activities, offers Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Recovery Advisor, Fitness Age, Training Effect, and other features which monitor your recovery, and suggest workouts for improving fitness.

The Instinct 2 pairs with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors like chest strap heart rate monitors and power meters to offer training and racing data. The charging port on the wrist-side surface of the Instinct 2 is the same as the other, latest Garmin wearables. The display on both the Solar and standard models of the Instinct 2 has a segmented display; the data presented in the upper right, circular area is user-customizable.

Like other, recent Garmin wearables, both models in the Instinct 2 Series have built-in default apps for incident detection, as well as indoor cycling, road, MTB with grit and flow dynamics, trails, as well as other activities like running, weightlifting, and more. And pushing data to Strava is super-easy and can be automated when linked to a smartphone with Garmin Connect Mobile enabled.

Pricing for the Garmin Instinct 2 Series starts at $399 and is available from the Garmin website.