Garmin has released its new Instinct 2 series of rugged, alternative smartwatches with a new slimmer design, now available in multiple sizes to cover those with smaller wrists. The solar model also boasts 'unlimited battery life' in certain conditions, as well as supporting payments on the go.
The new Instinct 2 Series has been designed for adventures, and is available in bold bright new colours and two sizes: 2 and 2S. Alongside the traditional 45mm bezel option on the Instinct 2, the new Instinct 2S has been introduced with a smaller 40mm bezel for a more comfortable fit for those with smaller wrists.
Garmin says that the new high-resolution, easy-to-read display is protected by chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant glass.
The watches are waterproof to 100 metres and built to military standard 810 (MIL-STD-810), a standard originally developed for the US military that determines a product's ruggedness by testing the shock resistance, performance in humid conditions and an 'explosive atmosphere' and more. There is a specific military spec version and if you're using the watch for sport, hopefully most of these features won't be put to the test in the real world; but even so, it's good to know it will be fine if exposed to heavy gunfire...
The Instinct 2 is compatible with Garmin’s Connect IQ store, giving free access to a collection of apps, widgets, watch faces, data fields and more.
Health and wellness features like Hydration Tracking, Connect Leaderboard, Menstrual Cycle and Pregnancy Tracking are also available to Instinct 2 Series owners through the Garmin store.
Garmin has significantly upped the battery life, with the 45mm Instinct 2 Solar model claimed to offer an unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode thanks to the advancements in solar technology.
The non-solar Instinct 2 versions offer up to four weeks of continuous use while in smartwatch mode.
All battery life numbers are based on being outside for three hours per day in 50,000 lux conditions, which means a day that is mostly overcast with not too much sunshine in plain speak.
The Instinct 2 includes Garmin’s full suite of wellness features including Sleep Score and Advanced Sleep Monitoring, as well a new Health Monitoring activity feature which allows you to record key health metrics, such as Body Battery, stress and heart rate.
Advanced metrics for those using the smartwatch for fitness purposes include VO2 Max, Fitness Age, Training Status/Load/Effect, Recovery Time, HIIT Workouts and Daily Suggested Workout.
Family and friends can follow along with the user’s activities through text messaging, and can also be notified in the event of an emergency thanks to the Incident Detection feature that’s included in the Instinct 2.
When the Instinct 2 is paired to the Garmin Connect mobile app and an incident is detected, the app can send a message with the user’s name and location (if available) to their emergency contacts.
To further cover emergency on adventures and also for convenient daily use, the Instinct 2 Solar models now include Garmin Pay for payments on the go. It's something you've long been able to do on the Apple Watch, and it looks like Garmin is rolling it out across more watches in its range too.
"With a tap of their watch to compatible payment systems, users can check out quickly and move on to their next adventure," Garmin says.
The Instinct 2 Series is available in the bright shades of Electric Lime, Poppy and Neo-Tropic.
Garmin also has its Your Watch, Your Way program which allows you to further customise the watch through the variety of bezel and band choices, with more than 240 different design combinations available.
The Instinct 2 Series starts at £299.99.
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