Garmin Instinct Smartwatch Review

By Anuj Sharma - June 10, 2019
The Garmin Instinct is a GPS enabled smartwatch that’s durable enough for outdoor activities like running and mountain biking. The smartwatch offers various modes to achieve your fitness goals.

The new Garmin Instinct is the latest offering from the Garmin’s Outdoor division. For uninitiated, Garmin’s Outdoor division also owns the Fenix lineup along with other outdoor focused smartwatches. The Instinct is a GPS-enabled smartwatch with a built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter. It supports multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) and has a wrist-based heart rate monitor.

With support for multiple navigation systems, the Instinct can track your location even in remote environments. The watch uses Garmin’s TracBack feature to navigate you back to your starting point. Let’s take a closer look at the watch. 

Price Rs 26,990

Design and features

The design and appearance of the Instinct is such that some will love it, while others will not. If you are fond of the design of watches like the Casio G-shock, you’re most likely to like this smartwatch. On the other hand, if you have a more of classic smartwatch aficionado, this watch is unlikely to impress you.

According to Garmin, the Instinct complies with the US military standard 810G in terms of its thermal, shock and water resistance. The water resistance is rated to 100 metres. The watch is made from fibre-reinforced polymer case, adding strength and durability to its overall build, and features a chemically-strengthened, scratch-resistant display.

The Instinct comes with heart rate sensors and can monitor your daily activity, calories burned, sleep and stress, which is measured through heart rate variability. The Garmin Instinct is available in graphite, tundra and flame red colours.

Weighing 52 grams and featuring a 45mm casing, the Instinct is light on the wrist. The large silicone strap isn’t inconvenient, even if you wear the watch for extended periods.


Whether you are out camping or on a training run or juggling through day-to-day activities, the Instinct keeps track of heart rate, steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned and more. Hiking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking and skiing are some of the additional activities supported by the device. Through heart rate variability, the Instinct can track stress levels, allowing the user to be more aware of the cause of the rise of their stress levels.

And like every other smartwatch, users can also track their steps, sleep and stairs. The information for stairs and steps can be seen in a number of ways on the watch itself. You can also see the information on the watch face itself or in ‘My Day’ summary widget or even individually as widgets.

The watch offers 12 watch faces to choose from. And what’s interesting here is that every element shown in most watch faces is customisable. Thus, if you want to show steps instead of heart rate on the little graph on the left, you can.  And if you want the battery life to appear in the bubble, well, you can. The display offers high-contrast levels, which is enough to read display information in bright sunlight.


Garmin Instinct Smartwatch Review 

The heart rate sensor constantly monitors and records your heart rate, 24×7 at 1-second intervals.

The watch easily lasts for up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac mode, which periodically turns off GPS to save battery power.

The watch can be easily connected to a smartphone through the Garmin Connect app. The heart rate sensor constantly monitors and records your heart rate, 24×7 at 1-second intervals and transmits all the information to the Garmin Connect mobile app, which can also be used to view daily trends.  The heart rate data is also utilised in the Garmin's stress tracking modules.


While the watch’s plastic design might not please everyone, the Garmin Instinct is a watch that packs features that are rarely seen on smartwatches at this price.


Battery life, rugged, plenty of features


Plastic design

8/ 10
  • Design 7
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8
  • Tags
  • Rugged smartwatch