Garmin Instinct Smartwatch Review: The Rugged Battery King!
So i began the search for a new smart watch and uh. I found one i settled on this guy here it’s the garmin instinct and i went through actually a few other watches before stopping on this one. I eventually got to garmin and the first garmin watch. I tried was the vivo active 3 and that had a lot of things i didn’t like about it so i’m, just going to break down everything that went into me, finding my new favorite smart watch and why this one specifically, i think, is the best smart watch When looking for a smart watch, i personally am looking for a couple of things one i actually don’t want my smart watch to be tied to a phone, because i do switch phones relatively frequently, and i don’t want it to be not its full functional self. If i decide to leave the phone elsewhere two, i need my smart watch to be able to track distance like how far i’ve gone, because i use mine specifically for running a lot and i need to know all right. How far did i run, whether that be an indoor track or outdoors somewhere? Third thing, i’m looking for is a long battery life. I don’t want to have to charge this every day. In fact, i don’t even want to have to charge it every week. I need a watch that’s going to last, quite a while um for when i travel, i don’t want to bring a second charger or another charging device and to my knowledge, no smart watches out there have a usb type c or lightning connector on them.
So i need to have a long battery life, so it brings me to the garmin instinct. Uh first thing i want to talk about is comfort. This thing is a pretty darn comfortable watch. It would be on par with any, like g shock style watch. Any big rugged watch just as comfortable the band is a very similar style. Now i will say: it’s not quite as comfy as the apple watch, with all the silicone bands they have and just the way they’ve really meticulously, designed that thing to be comfortable, yeah it’s, a real comfy thing. If you have an iphone and you’re comfortable in the apple ecosystem, and you don’t mind charging your watch every night, i’m still gon na say apple watch is probably the most. It makes the most sense to have if you have an iphone, but barring that super comfortable. The next thing i want to talk about is design uh, it’s it’s, a rugged looking watch, i personally, like the g shock, watch aesthetic, the more tough kind of outdoorsy military looking watches i i’m a fan of that i, like the look, i like the fact that They’Re gon na be more rugged and durable, so the garmin instinct specifically makes a lot of sense. The vivo active 3 is like attempting to be like an apple watch or like a galaxy wearable where it’s it’s, just not quite what i put this it’s, just not it’s, not good. Honestly, i didn’t like the vivoactive 3 at all, and now that brings me to probably the most controversial point of the the garmin watch.
Is the ui um it’s not a touch screen right, which i prefer i like to be able to clean the screen off and get the dirt off of it or sweat or whatever? It is and not be accidentally activating things you use the five buttons on board as a ui, while it’s, not i wouldn’t, say intuitive. I was able to figure it out without instruction. It just takes trial and error, which is kind of annoying. But one thing i do like is when i you have it on the fitness setting that you’re gon na use the most you hit the button once to go to the next setting, which is fitness. You hit it again to get into that specific track menu, and then you hit one more time to begin your workout. So when i want to start a running workout, i literally just go: click click, click and i’m i’m go, i run. I don’t have to even think about it. I don’t have to look at the damn watch. If i don’t want to. This is something i like something i i really enjoy now being a garmin watch. It has a built in gps, which so far i’ve only used to set the time on it. Uh it took a while to acquire the satellites and actually, when you’re, trying to use the gps this at the time. It asks that you step outside or away from buildings and trees to try and get a you know, a direct line of sight connection to the sky, where you know the satellites are going to be well, that is a bit hinky and a bit annoying.
I don’t pay for that gps service at all, so you buy the watch and you kind of have that unlimited for free all the time when you need that, so, if you’re, the outdoorsy type or the the kind of person that would benefit from that at all, Uh yeah, i would say, get this type of thing for that, specifically, this is the adventure watch. This is you take this and you go on a multiple week month, long adventure for a while, which actually leads me into my next point, which is battery life. Now the the packaging will say 14 days worth of battery life and, yes, i believe, that’s accurate. I think they’re underselling it. I think they don’t want to have liability for it being slightly lower, so they just they set it at the absolute minimum. You’Ll get at least 14 days. I’Ve had this going for 11 days now, i’m at three out of four battery bars, there’s, not a percentage. It just shows you the little battery indicators, three out of four after 11 days, which indicates to me this is going to last at least a month and that’s, while using the fitness running feature, i’ve used the fitness tracking five out of the 11 days each time To run about three miles – and it is still like i said at what it seems to be estimating 60 to 80 percent battery life still that’s a huge thing for me on a watch.
A watch should not be another phone right if it’s a phone. I i have my phone to do that. That leads me into the final thing that makes the garmin watch. In my opinion, the best smart watch, and that is that it can pair to a phone if you wanted to for notifications and and all that stuff. But you don’t have to while setting up the watch it goes. Do you want to pay with a phone, and you can just say no, and it goes on to the rest of the watch and it can just be its own self sufficient device. That way, as i rotate through phones and whatnot and switch devices, i get the opportunity to say. Okay, i i don’t have to worry about setting the watch up every time. I love that i think that’s one of the best features i think every smartwatch should have a standalone feature available to it. Apple’S never going to do that because they really want you in the ecosystem um. I don’t think samsung ever will either, but for me it’s a must have feature you need your watch to beat just its own device. If you want it to be now a couple other things just like little tidbits, i noticed um. The heart rate, monitor is almost immediate. It seems to be able to get your heart rate in one second. That being said, i think it may be inaccurate, sometimes or maybe it double reads so sometimes my heart rate would either seem like it was twice as high as like realistic, like when i’m just doing the dishes it was at like 130, when 65 was maybe a More normal heart rate for me doing something more calm like that, or at other times when i was like moving around a bit, it would be low like at like 65, when i’m, like i’ve, been walking and moving quite a bit.
I feel like it should be closer to 120 or 130, so um more to come right now, it’s saying my heart rate is 75, which which is about right that’s about the energy level i’d say i have when making these videos i’m, not crazy, active but i’m. Not at my resting heart rate, which is a lot closer to 60 65 beats per minute, i’ve been using it for running on an indoor track and actually the distance that it counts. While i’m running on that indoor track seems to be way more accurate than the apple watch was, i was running for time and our track, i know at my gym – is one tenth of a mile and the apple watch was clocking. That at about point, eight point nine miles so to get my watch to register a three mile run, i would have to run a few extra laps. This i tested it the first time it got to three miles at exactly 30 laps, so it seems to be more accurate to me at tracking distance running other tidbits uh it’s waterproof. You can take it under. You know you i take it in the shower or if you had to go swimming with it i’m sure you’d be fine. With that, too, the only thing i don’t, like there’s, only one single thing. I don’t like about this watch and that’s that it has a proprietary charger. It has its own garmin charger, which i get it it’s a watch, a usb type c doesn’t really make sense, especially if you’re looking for like waterproofing and things like that.
But it is the one thing i would change. If there was a way to change, i would give it a universal charger either a usb type c connection or somehow qi charge compatible. Also, i bought this watch at best buy on sale for 180 us dollars. If you go to their website it’s like twice as much as that, so just do the bargain hunting find the garmin instinct if you’re going to get one find it for way cheaper. If you can all right as far as the watch goes that’s all i got um but yeah i’d love to hear your thoughts on smart watches in the comments below uh.