Garmin Instinct Crossover In-Depth Review: More Than Just Hands!
That are super interesting, and some of them are really important. Now the instant crossover is basically based on the Garmin Instinct 2 Series, this one you see over here on the left now in the middle here I have the Garmin instant crossover, solar, thats, the one that well has solar panels on it, so you can charge it For theoretically forever or basically run it forever and on the right hand, side Ive got the base Edition here without the solar panels. Now, in this review, Im going to walk through all the newness on the watch first, and I want to show you the hands on how they work, because its really really fascinating its one of those things thats like geeky kind of cool, then from there Ill talk About sport, modes and widgets, and eventually GPS accuracy and heart rate accuracy, and finally, all that kind of recommendations and thoughts on where this all fits in now. The very first thing to know is the price, the price of the instant crossover the base model. This one right here is 499 dollars. The instant crossover solar is 549 and then theres also a tactical Edition, thats above that thats 5.99. This is more pricey than the Instinct 2 in Instinct 2. Solar editions now lets just go straight into whats, unique and different about this uh. The first one obviously is it has hands. You can see these hands right. There theyre analog hands, they do move around uh.
The watch as you expect, but they also move out of the way Im gon na, show you that in just a second here, the next thing you probably cant see right now, because the lights are on is there is a glow coating. Basically, this little dots all the way around here – and this is on both units and thats. Technically, its called super luminova, its actually like a branded thing, uh its something that other watch manufacturers use as well and its whats shown here, heres what it looks like at night, just recording my phone, so nothing super fancy. Basically, you charge this up just like any other glowing thing with light. It could be like your phone flashlight, it could be sunlight, Etc, and then it glows for it seems like a couple hours it you know, kind of a decaying intensity. It is not Radioactive by the way it used to be this technology. Not this exact one, but very similar Technologies used in other watches, was radioactive. If you want to go down an entire fun internet rabble hole, you can do that starting with Wikipedia and then about five hours later, youll probably be finished now, heres a still picture. What this looks like, which, by the way, came out way better than what my eyes actually see that, like the phone camera, is incredible sometimes but uh. This is a still picture. What this looks like at night, uh two in the morning and then heres what it looks like when you turn the back light on just so, the backlight is still there, its super visible uh, so that doesnt go away at all here.
Okay, just a quick note: if youre finding this video, interesting or useful, just simply whack that, like button the bottom there, it really does help out this video in the channel quite a bit. The next thing you might have noticed is the little circle is gone on. These watches right: this is the typical Instinct Circle scene up there different data fields going there uh now its basically just a square uh, its kind of behind the screen. You can see, as I tip this way in that way, so that gives you actually more kind of real estate to work with from a display standpoint, but some people would have liked that from like a stylistic standpoint to each their own. The next change you probably didnt notice in this upper camera, but once I tilt it, you will is that the glass is a little bit higher up now. So on the Instinct 2 Series, the glass. Basically, the screen was down for further like down in a in a bit of a I dont know you call it like. It was just down further and then here its raised up a little bit more, its still well protected with this bezel around it. But I just think the higher glass looks nicer. It feels nicer theyve, gotten rid of this fabric grabbing material that was like in the Instinct 2 right there uh and its just a much cleaner look across the board here. So the next item is a bit of a big one, but its not one that you probably would have noticed at first, which is that theyve changed the GPS chipset inside of this its now the same chips that theyre, using on the Phoenix 7 Series, the epics, Etc, uh its not the Sony chipset in the past, but its also not multi band its like the next best thing and, in some cases its beating multi band, watches from other companies.
Now, following that, as I mentioned earlier, garment pay is on all of the uh instant crossover Series, so you have that there if your bank supports that and then last but not least, theyve changed the battery specs a bit. In some cases the battery goes down slightly, but in other cases it goes a lot higher. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that the battery specs from the Instinct 2 Series to the crossover series change in terms of the definition of the GPS modes. So, with the Instinct 2 Series, the GPS definition, there was GPS plus gloss, but in the case of the instant crossover, its all systems, which means you have five different gnss systems, so youve got way better accuracy, even if some of those numbers are going down a Little bit, however, other numbers, for example, the longer battery life modes, go way up, because that chipset is just simply more efficient. So with that, let me just show you all the cool stuff on this watch, starting with the hands so watch this as I go down right there youll see that it changes the hand position so back up to the watch face its showing the current time. It is currently blocking my intensity minutes or calories over the left hand side, but I havent found out that big a deal. I think for the first couple of hours I was wearing. I was like yeah Im, not so sure about this, but after like again in like two minutes, I can see that or I can simply tap down and I go see that same information in the widgets and youll see that hands are always like sweeping to get Out of the way, but it varies depending on which thing youre in so, for example, if I go down here to weather, I tap this open watch this now still horizontal, but as I go down again as I look at the weather for the next few hours, It goes vertical kind of cool right and if I go down again still vertical and then now heres the 12 hours Trend and a horizontal.
Now I go back here to the widgets and well go down to find my steps its still early in the morning. So there we go Ill tap this, and this becomes a gauge that goes around. If you look at a little bit of a video or picture or something from yesterday, you can see here at the end of the day. It goes towards the right hand side because its using those hands as a gauge on this entire kind of progress bar around the screen. In fact, the same is true in workout mode. If youre, using as a heart rate, gauge itll, actually show you as a little Gauger and as you can see its virtually instant, I mean its basically like one second to go ahead and move wherever it needs to now. You may be wondering what happens if these get out of alignment and dont worry theres, actually a solution for that too. We go into the settings menu right here. We go all the way down to hands, well, find it eventually down here system and hands and theres a misstep calibration and theres set alignment so set alignment. You can go ahead and basically do the calibration of the hands it does this little loopy loop and you can manually do this if you need to to fix it all up or if we went back to this misstep calibration right there. This is something that garment has actually named from a marketing standpoint.
Its called Revo Drive, which sounds like a blend between something Ill put like to clean my toilets out and like some sort of car oil or something I dont really know. But basically, what it does is it automatically does a whole swirly thing if it gets a hard impact and you can see theres two options here, General use enduring activity and it basically takes one second to do this little like loop de loop right there and it Just does it on a fly, so if I do a calibrate right now, you can see that little Loop and done thats as simple as it is and Garmin says, itll happen behind the scenes if it gets a hard impact now this seemed like something Id wanted To test so Ive been whacking the crap out of this watch, with all sorts of things that dont like break the glass, though Im, probably pretty close Ive, been like using kitchen spatulas, the soup ladle all sorts of stuff to like try to make an impact on This thatll trigger that calibration and I havent been able to yet, and so I fully believe that Garmin does this behind the scenes with the right impact, but given how hard Ive been hitting this watch and not triggering that impact, if you get hit by that impact, The watch hands are the least of your issues. You should be checking whether or not you even have a hand anymore now, Im not sure it needed, like a cool mark.
Getting codename, though I do appreciate that Revo Drive is something that is there. If I guess I need it now Beyond this in terms of basic usage, its this as an instinct 2 Series. So if we just go back right here, these are all the widget glances. You can go into them and before uh, so again, heart rate – and you know sleep. For example, I didnt didnt see very much last night. If I go down here to my training status, for example, I can crack that open Ill, see my training status there. My HRV status, it does have full HRV status because thats, something that came to the Instinct 2 Series uh this past summer, do keep in mind. Well take 19 nights of sleeping before you get your HRV status Trends, but you will see the individual night HRV details. Uh, basically, as soon as you sleep going on down, you can see my cute load. For example, I can crack that open right here, thats my load for the last seven days, using kind of the new training status, 2.0 features and if I go down, I can see the exercise. Load and theyll show me sort of what types and categories that load fits into. I can also see my VO2 max in here and again theres my HRV status over the last seven days, uh 50 milliseconds and Recovery about seven hours of recovery left since my last workout until my next hard workout.
Now again, everything here is the same as the instant in 2 Series, with the exception the fact that theres all these new features that Garmin has added, since the Instinct 2 release this past February until now, weve seen a ton of features, for example, come from the Grammar 400, 255 and 955, and even from like the Phoenix 7 Series, so theres more sport modes in here, all of like the windsurfing and surfing modes are all in here and in fact, if I go to sport modes, I can crack those open by pressing this Button right there and you can go down into the sport modes that Ive added for this watch button go down below here, keep on going going, click on ADD and if the whole point of each one of these sport modes is one to be able to customize The data for that sport mode so, for example, in cycling, youve, got cycling power, meter, support versus embolding, the different metrics for that Winter, Ski Sports, like ski and snowboard, you get downhill, metrics uh, you know max speed per run, automatic run, calculation Etc, and there we Go back to golf pick, a ball et cetera, so there is more sport modes here than there has been in the past, and the fact that those surfing and water sport modes are now built into this by default is pretty handy. So if I were to start a sport mode, I would just tap this up right hand corner right there you can see again.
The arms are always moving out of the way, its so much fun to watch that it has no like technical benefit to me. Its just entertaining to watch us see like where they move and different things like. So, if I click on run right there, I crack this open uh here its giving me a suggested Run for the day, uh very, very short, run because I didnt have much sleep. Last night Ill just dismiss that for right now these are the data Pages Ive set up now, keep in mind, because there is no little circle anymore. You can have up to four data Pages, just normal, like a quadrants. If you will heres a picture of that right there, with the four data Pages there using mapping heres the gauge page, no heart rate right now, obviously because its not on my wrist and then going on down here, uh theres a time, and of course these are All customizable using the Garmin Connect app or on the watch itself, and you can add and connect IQ Data Fields as well. If you want to follow course, middle left hand button right there go down to navigation, thats, training, navigation, and then you can add a course. There and then once I load that up Ill go ahead, and I can see the map right there of this particular course. You can see theres the map kind of moving around if I press plus there and I can change – I can move this over here, like this Etc.
Now there is no maps on this, its just a breadcrumb trail, but it will give you turn by turn direction. So, unlike some other map based watches that released recently, those dont have turn by turn directions. This will so itll tell you to turn left as youre upcoming onto a churn and then Ill. Let you know if youre off course and so on it doesnt have those Maps underneath it now. I dont want to reiterate, like every single Instinct 2 Series, feature again, my entire reviews in the corner there, and also my entire Instinct 2 Series beginners guide, because all that applies here as well, and that beginners guide is like 40 minutes long. It takes you through every feature, slowly but surely, and again its all the same minus the fact that this has hands swinging around all over the place, but the underlying software features are the same. Now before we dive into the GPS. Chipset pieces lets talk about where thats different here so Im gon na go back into the settings for this Im just going back back. This is the settings for the Run hold on this. There we go run settings and this is available both on a person, sport mode basis, as well as across the watch. So Im going to go down here. Until I find the satellite options there, we go satellites tap that and youll see theres all systems thats different than something like the Instinct 2, because it chipset is different.
So now this all systems has all the satellite systems you see on the bottom of screen. Right now versus the Instinct 2 does not have all those systems. It is not multi band. So if I were to look at something like the 955 or even this – 400 255 right there, this is actually cheaper than this. By about 150 bucks now this does have multi band, and that is one weird Gap here. I would have thought when Garmin released to 255 this past summer, past June, that would be coming the Baseline for multi band GPS or dual frequency, GPS, which is kind of considered like the Holy Grail of GPS accuracy, its able to handle buildings and mountains and stuff. Like that, a little bit better, I would have thought thatd be like the Baseline for more expensive watches like this 550 one or the 600 tactical edition of this, but unfortunately its. Not the good news, though, is that that same chipset is here, just minus the multi band portion. So, looking at that GPS accuracy, I decided to go straight into like the hardest test possible, which is the city building test with these 30 story buildings, and then I compared in particular to the Instinct 2 Series, as well as a bunch of other watches at this Price point to see how the differences looked now in this first section here: the crossovers in green and the Instinct 2 solar is in blue and you can see the crossover easily beats.
The Instinct too slow were just a lot cleaner and straighter line. Also note Ive linked to all these sets Down Below in the description, so you can look at them yourself if you want to now, as I traversed again across the city, you can see that the crossover had a little bit of issues on the second pass. If you will uh, the 955 255 did better there, but all the units kind of struggled on this pass, but then for the third pass, the Instinct 2 crossover was pretty good. In fact, it actually ended up being the best it made. The final churn out of the downtown area, the most correct out of all the watches uh, but even like the 255 and the 955 nailed the roadway up until that point very closely and for the rest of the areas: multiband GPS, isnt as important, but even checking This little area right there right across the street that yellow line is the exact crosswalk that I crossed and you can see there. The the chorus Apex 2 went too early along with the garma Instinct 2 solar. But this watch as well as the other Garmin multi band ones, went directly on the crosswalk uh like it was very, very good like Kudos again. This is like minor nitpicking stuff, but I think in general, when you look at GPS accuracy, its all about nitpicking things and the more things you get right, the more accurate your tracks are, the more accurate your data is and thats pretty useful to people like me.
Now, in the vein of doing things that are difficult from a GPS standpoint, I went for an Open Water Swim yesterday. Super super cold. The water temperature is 13 degrees Celsius about 55 degrees, Fahrenheit all without a wetsuit uh, and so out on that I had on a swim buoy with me. Another GPS thats, basically a reference for that, so it stays above the water and in the Open Water Swim mode. Here you can see very clearly that the GPS track was virtually identical to the reference coming from the instant crossover so Kudos there. Next, its looking at some quick screenshots of like bike commuting around the city here, theres no comparative data here, but there isnt really a need for it. You just look where the bike path is as long as Im on the bike path. Im where I should be. If it says Im somewhere else, then its not where I should be – and you can see that almost every scenario across the city riding along relatively fast and a handful of scenarios, that may be like one to two meters away from the bike path. But I mean thats, pretty darn good uh, given Im moving pretty quickly in the city next to buildings. Looking at the heart rate, side of things, Ive been throwing an interval workout after interval workout after I have a workout on this and, as you can see from every one of these charts right down below there, its spot on which it makes sense.
This is the same Optical heart rate sensor on the back there that weve seen from the last 18 or so months worth of Garmin wearable devices and its no surprise that this lighter watch will handle pretty well. So where do we stand overall? Well, ultimately, like most Instinct models, its going to come down to like style preferences, some people will like the Instinct style or the Casio style. If you will, others will just simply hate it. I find this is probably the best stylistic look of the instinct to date. For all the reasons I mentioned earlier on and while the hands took like, I would say one evening to get used to from a style standpoint, I kind of like it now Im, not sure if I want to make this my like daily watch, but I do Like this more than the other ones – and I think it just feels a little bit classier now, especially with this like a little bit of a metal uh polished, look inset around the bezel. There Im not sure if its actually metal but looks like it on that kind of inner side there. It just looks, like I said, a little bit classier still. I do wish that Garmin had put a multi band GPS, given that it is on a watch. Thats 200 bucks cheaper in these units, but I dont really care at the end of the day how they achieve accurate GPS as long as its accurate in this case, its clearly a step up over the uh Instinct 2 solar series and its equal, if not better Than their competitors multi band options, so I guess theres that for you, but still like, I would have thought at this point: thatd be standard, given what grammar did earlier this year, but apparently not so with that.
Hopefully, you found this instrument useful, got plenty more Sports technology stuff coming the new watches, theres theres more to come here folks, so you do not want to miss out on that.