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Garmin Instinct Analysis

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We have before us the Garmin instinct analysis, a new multi-function watch that comes to stand up to its older brothers in the Phoenix series. Its main credentials are its price, the low weight and that it shares part of the hardware of the Fenix ​​5. An ideal watch for the mountain or other activities that is stomping with a somewhat retro image, at Casio from the eighties.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

Garmin Instinct Analysis - An ideal watch for the mountain

We have been trying the new one Garmin Instinct for about a month. Comparing it with other watches in the Fenix ​​range and even with handheld GPS such as the magnificent GPSMAP 66s. It is probably the best mountain GPS today. A watch that at first I did not like its aesthetics and finally I loved it. Its low weight means that we practically do not notice the watch on the wrist and its numerous functions make many athletes opt for this watch instead of the acclaimed Fenix ​​3 and 5 series.

Main features of Garmin Instinct

Let's start with the basics, with the main features of the watch whose details are always the first thing we look at.

CharacteristicDescription
Storage16Mb Being unable to deploy applications on this watch is not a low value. In the end it is mainly used to store tracks, waypoints, training plans, ..., etc.
BluetoothIt works correctly and best of all, Garmin Connect allows the pairing of several bluetooth watches on the same mobile device.
ANT +It allows the pairing of external devices such as cardio tapes, speed sensor, cadence sensor,
WirelessNo
Drumsa duration of 14 days is expected in intelligent mode (in practice somewhat less), 16 hours in GPS mode (precise value) and in UltraTrac mode about 40 hours.
GPSboth for tracking and recording tracks, waypoints, ..., etc.
GlonassIf the Americans and their GPS system dislike you, we can opt for Glonass, the Russian alternative.
GalileoIt is also compatible with the European GPS.
Vibration alertYes and by multiple parameters such as time, height changes, unevenness, pulsations, ..., etc.
Electronic compassYes
Cardio sensorBuilt-in watch It is possible to pair external tapes via ANT + and Bluetooth.
Barometric altimeterYes
AccelerometerYes
ThermometerYes
Add-on applicationsNo
NotificationsYes. Receive emails, whatsapp, appointments, calendar, ..., etc.
Customizable screens and functionsYes
Autonomy14 days in smart watch mode but in practice it has been somewhat less. GPS mode about 16 hours (more or less accurate).
Weight52g So light that it doesn't show on the wrist.
screen128 × 128 monochrome. It is not high resolution but it is more than enough for most options. Perhaps in the map function it is where it suffers most.
MaterialSilicone strap, reinforced glass screen and fiber reinforced polymer housing.
Size45 x 45 x 15.3 mm. Ideal for not very thick dolls.
Waterproof10 ATM The watch includes functions for swimming
Training plansYes
Customizable screenYes
Activity controlYes

Browsing the Garmin Instinct menus

The Garmin Instinct consists of 5 buttons to manage the different functions of the watch. Large buttons and a pleasant touch to the touch, both with bare hands and gloves.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

These buttons are made of plastic and with a rough touch, therefore in hot conditions and with sweating fingers they will not be a problem. Its functions are as follows and will depend on whether we press the button quickly or keep it pressed for a second:

  1. CTRL: with a quick press it illuminates the clock screen. If we press it for 1 second, we will see quick access functions of the type:
    1. Search for the phone we have synchronized with Garmin Connect,
    2. Turn off clock.
    3. Change lighting level.
    4. Do not disturb. Useful when we are in full activity.
    5. Lock keys
    6. Dusk: info about when it gets dark, dawn, daylight hours, ..., etc.
    7. Change time zone. Useful in travel
    8. Music controls Great to change songs instead of going to the smartphone
  2. MENU: move the widgets configured (height, cardio average, day summary, notifications, weather, atmospheric pressure, moon phases, ...). Keeping the button pressed we enter the clock setup menu:
    1. Clock screen settings.
    2. Activity history (records, totals, ...).
    3. Settings (Activities, connectivity, Widgets, map, navigation, ...).
  3. ABC: Scroll down the configured widgets. If we keep the button pressed it shows us pure mountain options such as the electronic compass, altimeter and barometer.
  4. GPS: select the activity to be performed (swimming, hiking, cycling, ...). If we keep the button pressed, it searches for GPS satellites and synchronizes it with the clock, changing Height parameters if necessary,
  5. SET: mainly used to adjust parameters when we use other options. If we keep the button pressed it sets alarms and alerts of the storm, dusk, ..., etc.

Garmin Instinct customization

This Garmin model may not have a color display with overwhelming resolution. Nor does it allow the installation of applications that change the appearance or add additional features. However, in many situations we do not need it if the watch comes with a very complete set of functions.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

The clock screen is divided into 5 sections, The main one gives the time of day which we cannot change the aspect unless we change the screen profile. The other 4 options are completely customizable. There are many skins available but from my point of view the one that comes by default is the most complete and pleasant.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

With regard to the activities to be configured we have practically any type and each one is customizable separately. Options for hiking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, golf, yoga, rowing, climbing, trail running, ..., etc. At the level of customization we can change the data screens, the accuracy and type of GPS used (GPS, Glonass, Galileo), turns, pauses, ..., etc. Very similar to the level of the range Phoenix.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

As in other Garmin watches, we can create our training plans since Garmin connect in your web version and upload them to the clock.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

Example during a physical activity

We have performed the Garmin Instinct analysis with different types of activities and comparing it with other Garmin devices in order to contrast their metrics. Mountain activities, mountain biking, running and swimming are part of what we have tried and we believe that we can draw some conclusion.

In all cases the clock was with the battery fully and with the following options activated

  • Glonass OFF. GPS and Galileo activated.
  • Altimeter with automatic calibration.
  • GPS in normal mode and in a single case in Smart mode (Battery Saver).
  • 100% battery.
  • Bluetooth ON.
  • Daily activity ON.
  • Heart rate monitor activated.

Test in mountain activity

We start with a mountain route of medium / high difficulty, with a distance greater than 20 kilometers and a slope greater than 1000 meters. Part of the road was marked trails and other parts by cross country overcoming unevenness of a high percentage and where the hands had to be used from time to time.


Mountain test

In the test we use three devices. A garmin Instinct, a Fenix ​​3 and a GPSMAP 66s. The top graphic shows the tracks achieved in 3 different colors, one per device. In this view you can hardly see any differences but the moment we zoom in, things will change noticeably.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

Next we have the data of the 3 devices where you begin to see the differences. For example the distance is more or less similar and the time varies since I did not stop the track at the same time. However, at the average speed and the average rate varies significantly, all due to the calculation of moving time it's very different.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

From my point of view, the most accurate is the GPSMAP 66S, the two watches being quite comparable between them, especially the Garmin Instinct since I was almost not far 2 hours stopped.


Mountain test

The height in none of the three is exact given that the peak measured 2426m, instead the one that comes closest is the GPSMAP 66s followed by the Instinct. The funny thing is that the GPS values ​​of the Fenix ​​3 and the Instinct are more even than with the GPSMAP 66s.


Mountain test

Now let's look at the accuracy of the track, especially in a very rocky area and where the slope sometimes exceeds 45 degrees. We see very red and yellow lines, however the green It does not follow the same path on some occasions.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

He Green is the Phoenix 3, a clock that is already years old and as you can see less accurate. This means that the Instinct points good manners.

Mountain bike activity test

The next test is with a mountain bike. A journey of approximately 1h and about 23km / 150 meters of unevenness. To this comment that I put the GPS in extended mode in the Instinct and the mode with less recording in the GPSMAP 66s. Both options with the objective of consume less battery.


MTB test

As it happens in the previous example, the general view of the track is very similar but at the moment we start comparing details, the thing as is logical changes. The difference in gain in height and height lost in the Instinct is very surprising, since it is a completely circular route. On the other hand, in GPSMAP the values ​​are more precise.


MTB test

In any case, the rest of the values ​​are almost traced or barely or with not very appreciable differences. Then on the track, giving it a little more zoom, the differences are not very large either, only on small occasions we detect incorrect traces on both devices. Yellow (GPSMAP66s), Red (Instinct).


MTB test

Running activity test

In this activity we have used the pulsometer which is incorporated in the Instinct. We also had a chest connected to a garmin Phoenix 3 To check the differences. As the distance has been relatively short, about 4.5km, almost all values ​​have been very similar, without major differences.


Race test

Heart rate values ​​have varied somewhat, with the maximum being 163 / 160ppm and the minimum average being 150 / 148ppm, the first being the first Instinct. For example, with the tape I am surprised by the high in the first seconds when the wrist heart rate monitor has done it in a more staggered way. Subsequently the tape has behaved somewhat better, without sudden data. In any case, the experience with the integrated heart rate monitor has been good.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

Daily activity

For daily activity the Garmin Instinct contains the classic functions of an activity bracelet with the advantage that it is monitoring our heart rate at all times. He tells us the steps, the calories consumed, if we have slept well or badly, as we walk from stress and with all this we can set some goals. From the same clock we can see the statistics or use the most visual interface of Garmin Connect on our mobile phone.


Daily activity

Sensors and adapters

I have tried several sensors like the cardio one that comes on the bottom of the watch, a cardio tape and a cadence sensor.

  • Built-in cardio sensor: comfortable and we have it on all the time without just consuming battery.
  • Tape cardio sensor: if we want something more precision we can opt for this sensor. For those of us who are not so sybarites, what is incorporated is more than enough.
  • Cadence: Easy to install, it measures the power of pedaling on the bike, something like human RPM.
  • Speed ​​sensor: used on bicycles if you don't use GPS.
  • Bicycle adapter: completely optional but fits like a glove on it.

Garmin Instinct Analysis

Notifications

All good smartwatch notifications we could not leave them apart. Phone calls, SMS, emails, WhatsApp, calendar alarms, Facebook, etc., in short any type of smartphone application that we need to receive a notification directly on the phone will be available in our Garmin.


Notifications

I particularly find phone calls and phone calls very useful. Whatsapp, especially when we carry the phone in our pocket or in a backpack. To this we can send a predefined message in case you don't want to answer the call.

Garmin connect

This application available for IOS, Android and Windows and is used in our day to day with the Garmin Instinct. All our activity will be displayed in this application as well as being able to change clock parameters.


Garmin Instinct Analysis

The activities are stored in the cloud Garmin and we can access them at any time without spending the precious space of the clock of only 16Mb.


Garmin connect

It also allows us to have several Garmin devices synchronized at the same time. In our case we have a Fenix ​​3, an Instinct and a GPSMAP66S.

Garmin express

We can transfer information, updates and certain configurations from our computer with the software Garmin express, available for Windows and MAC. From our point of view it is correct and receives constant updates in order to refine the software as well as possible.


Garmin express

This software is the same for all Garmin.

How much does Garmin Instinct cost?

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Garmin Instinct Yellow Smart Watch GPS (satellite) -…
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Garmin Instinct Smart Watch Blue GPS (satellite) -…
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Summary

As a summary, Garmin Instinct is a watch that has given me good feelings. A very comfortable watch, with all the functionalities that one desires and with a contained price. Certainly his retro air can take back the most geeks, but his appearance makes many people ask about him. A recommended product.

The clock has been assigned for analysis. In any case the entire test has been carried out under a strict completely personal point of view.

Additional links

Garmin Instinct
Construction and quality
Weight
Functionalities
Connectivity
Navigation
Drums
screen
GPS
Pulsometer
Ease of handling
Summary A good multi-function watch with an adjusted price. Ideal for mountain activities where robustness, lightness and, above all, simplicity in handling are sought.
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