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Garmin Instinct 2S Solar review: An impressive device with a never-dying battery

Neha Saini / Gadgets Now / Updated: Apr 4, 2022, 01:31PM IST
Garmin Instinct 2S Solar review An impressive device with a never-dying battery
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Top Features

Rugged design

Solar charging

Long battery

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar
Garmin Instinct 2S Solar
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Garmin has debuted its Instinct 2 series smartwatches in India. The new outdoor smartwatches range includes five different devices -- Instinct 2, Instinct 2S, Instinct 2S Solar, Instinct 2 Solar, Instinct 2 Camo edition and Instinct 2 Solar Tactical Edition. The new range boasts features like VO2 Max and Sleep Score, along with multi GNSS support, ABC sensor and more. We used the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar smartwatch and here’s our review

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar:

Design and display

What sets Garmin Instinct 2S Solar apart from other smartwatches in the market is its rugged, outdoorsy design. The smartwatch is aimed at the all-adventure crowd and the design speaks a lot for itself. The device has a circular dial made of a Power Glass lens. Bezels on the sides along with the watch case are built of fibre-reinforced polymer. It is offered in Graphite, Mist Gray and Neo Tropic colour models. Our review unit was the Graphite one.

With Garmin Instinct 2S Solar, you do not get a touch screen. Instead, there are physical controls that help you navigate through the menus on the screen. On the right bezel are two physical buttons labelled as GPS and SET. Buttons on the left bezels are labelled CTRL, Menu and ABC. These buttons can also be used to navigate up, down or back to the previous menus. For example, the SET button on the right doubles as a back button, while the Menu button on the left helps you scroll up.

On the backside of the smartwatch, you will see a couple of sensors and a charging pin. The straps are made of silicon and are comfortable on the skin to wear all day long. The smartwatch weighs 43 grams and does not feel heavy at all on your wrist.

The display of the smartwatch is a monochrome one with transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP). It's always-on display and shows time, day, date, remaining battery life and estimated sunrise and sunrise time. It is sunlight-visible as well. For night and dark areas, users can switch on the light of the display which essentially brightens the screen to some extent. The smartwatch’s screen has a resolution of 156 x 156 pixels. The screen is readable and does not require one to strain his/her eyes to read the text on the screen. Now, we all have been used to the touch displays getting things done for us. With Garmin Instinct 2S Solar, one may require a few days and more to get used to the device. The device has a learning curve and once you do that, the user journey becomes smooth and easier. Garmin Instinct 2S Solar also comes with customizable watch faces to choose from.

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar:


Garmin Instinct 2S Solar is an outdoor watch. It is equipped with built-in sports apps for running, cycling, swimming, strength training and more. What makes it a more serious sports device are features like recovery time, VO2 Max, Intensity minutes and Training effect. VO2 Max is defined as an indicator of how a user may perform during an activity. It factors in changes like altitude and heat. With the recovery time, the user is given an idea of when he/she will be prepared for another workout after each activity. Intensity minutes, on the other hand, allow users to know how many minutes of vigorous activity they are getting and during what activity. All this data will be available in the Garmin Connect app and will be helpful for runners and cyclists. GPS accuracy on Garmin Instinct 2S Solar is excellent. The device comes with multi-channel GNSS support.

The smartwatch is 10ATM water-resistant and can also be used to track features like distance, calories, stroke count, pace and more during swimming. There are two swimming profiles offered on the device- Pool swimming and open water swimming. Garmin says that the smartwatch can detect stroke types – freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.

Coming to the health features, Garmin Instinct 2S Solar offers to track vitals like heart rate (24x7 bpm and resting heart rate), respiration rate, and blood oxygen saturation. The metrics were accurate most of the time and we did not face any major deviation in the tracking during our usage. Now, the smartwatch also offers a body battery feature which essentially is an estimate of the user’s energy reserve depending on heart rate, activity throughout the day and stress levels. While it is one of the interesting features but needs more insight to make it more useful. There is stress monitoring on the smartwatch that scores you out of 100. The number was random and erratic most of the time and left us clueless about what to do with it. Another health feature offered by the device is sleep tracking. First of all, the device can easily be worn while sleeping without impacting your sleep or comfort. Coming to the tracking, sleep was usually marked as average in our case with a score of around 50 and more. You can opt to turn on the DND mode during your sleep window with the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar

Smartwatch features available on the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar are calls, texts and app alerts. You can now answer or reply back, but only get notified. Also, users can toggle on/off the alerts for either of these three- calls, texts and apps. They can also select whether to turn on the notification tone or not. The smartwatch also offers music control of the phone. You can play, pause, and play previous or next songs with the Garmin Instinct 2S Solar. It offers volume control as well.

Coming to the battery performance, it is one of the major highlights of the smartwatch. Garmin claims that the device can last up to 21 days on a single charge. During our review, we found that the smartwatch can easily last the promised days. Along with cable charging, the device also offers solar charging for which you have to ensure that the watch is exposed to 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions. Frankly speaking, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Keeping your device outdoors for three hours may seem tricky for a general user. Having said that, it surely is a handy feature for those all-adventure users, but not so much for a general user.


Garmin Instinct 2S Solar is a complete sports device. The design is both rugged and sturdy. The battery life of the smartwatch is another key point of the device. Priced at Rs 43,990, the smartwatch has a lot to offer and can truly be a fitness companion.

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Garmin Instinct 2S Solar
Screen size2.0 Inch
Price in india43990
see full specifications
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