Last Updated on September 21, 2020 by Jude Simeone
The Garmin Instinct series are a collection of GPS smartwatches designed and equipped to holistically track outdoor activities. And the Tactical edition is one smartwatch I really admire for its rugged design, fitness tracking features, and impressively long battery life. The Instinct Series are a lower-end version of the Garmin Fenix 6 series, these smartwatches lack preloaded maps, Garmin pay, music storage, but still decent alternatives for 1/3 of the price. In this post, I take a look at what the Instinct Tactical Solar edition from Garmin has to offer.
List of Garmin Instinct Series Smartwatches
Garmin Instinct Series consists of 6 members;
- Garmin Instinct Edition
- Garmin Instinct Solar Edition
- Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition
- Garmin Instinct Solar Camo Edition
- Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition
- Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition
Basically all 6 editions have the same design and features except that the solar editions have longer battery life and feature blood oxygen monitoring and underwater heart rate tracking.
Beyond that, the Surf edition features Surfline Sessions that allow you to record every wave you ride, while the Tactical edition features jumpmaster, night vision mode, and stealth mode.
The Tactical edition has security features such as jumpmaster, night vision mode that switches the display from daytime to nighttime vision, and stealth mode that stops sharing your GPS location when activated.
Garmin Instinct Tactical vs Instinct Solar Tactical
Like mentioned earlier, all editions of the Instinct smartwatches basically have the same features, but the Tactical solar edition features blood oxygen monitoring and underwater heart rate tracking and as well as a longer battery life than the Tactical edition without solar charging.
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition Features Review
- Design and Build
- Waterproof Rating and Durability Test
- Display and Controls
The Instinct Tactical Solar edition comes in a durable build that makes it a perfect fit for the great outdoors. The case is made of a fiber-reinforced polymer which is tough and durable, while the straps are made of silicone. The same materials used for most smartwatches and this is soft, doesn’t irritate the skin, and comfortable to wear.
This Watch is a bit bulky at 15.3mm, but still lightweight at 53 grams when compared to Garmin Fenix 6 series. You can get the Instinct Tactical Solar edition in black and moss colors.
With a waterproof rating of 10ATM, the Instinct Tactical Solar is fully swim-proof, it makes an ideal choice for anyone keen on exploring deepwater activities. And with MIL-STD-810G, it can withstand harsh weather conditions. This adds to making it a very rugged smartwatch.
Like every other member of the Instinct Series, the Tactical Solar edition has a 1.27 inches display size which is powered by MIP transflective LCD. The display is very bright and can easily be read even under bright sunlight, this is one of the advantages of transflective display technologies. Without touchscreen supported, this Watch is still easy to navigate with 5 physical buttons.
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition Fitness Tracking Features Review
The fitness tracking features built into the Tactical Solar edition makes it a comprehensive fitness tracker that can help you reach more fitness goals.
Starting with the basics, it tracks your heart rate, stress, body battery energy monitor gauges how fit you’re for the next task, menstrual cycle tracking allows women log and monitor period cycle and hydration tracking helps you manage your water intake.
- Activity Tracking Features
- Training Planning and Analysis Features
- Heart Rate tracking
- Tactical Features
- Swimming Features
The basic fitness features are activity tracking features which include counting your steps, calories, floors climbed, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and move bar that reminds you to move when you remain idle for long.
Instinct Tactical solar houses lots of training planning and analysis features. This includes creating customizable activity profiles, course guidance, setting up custom alerts, ability to show GPS speed and distance, and a host of other tools that can help you plan for the great outdoors.
Although the Tactical Solar doesn’t have preloaded maps like Fenix 6 series, you can create a route from the Garmin Connect app and sync it to the Tactical Solar. This comes handy in helping find the best possible route to follow.
Like many other smartwatches on the market, the Instinct Tactical Solar tracks your heart rate continuously. It has features such as HR zones that show your heart rate range, it will also alert you when your heart rate gets to a certain level.
The difference between the Tactical edition and other members of the Instinct series is the presence of tactical features such as stealth mode that allows you to stop sharing your GPS location and the night vision mode that switches the display from daytime to nighttime which can be viewed with a night vision goggle. There is also jumpmaster in the list of recreational outdoor profiles, this feature calculates release points according to military guidelines while navigating to your objective as you jump.
With a waterproof rating of 10ATM, the Tactical solar also makes a decent choice for tracking your swimming activities thanks to the in-depth swim-tracking features. Swim profiles include a pool and open water swimming, it also detects your stroke type and as well as tracks metrics such as swim efficiency (SWOLF), distance, distance, calories, pace, and more.
- 14 Days Long Battery Life
Apart from being a comprehensive fitness tracker, the Instinct Tactical Solar edition is also a decent personal assistant that keeps you connected with important updates. It vibrates every time you receive a notification on your phone. This includes SMS, calls, emails, and otherwise. You can set up which apps you want to receive notifications from.
There is also the find my phone features that ring your phone when you may have misplaced it, and as well the find my watch feature that will vibrate the watch. You can also respond to calls and messages with custom replies which you can set up from the Garmin Connect app. This is a similar feature to the Samsung Galaxy Fit.
One of the highpoints of the Instinct Solar series is the unlimited long battery life thanks to its solar charging feature. With regular usage on smartwatch mode, you can get up to 24 days and about 54 days with solar charging. That’s a whole lot of battery life that sure makes it ideal for any hiking and other related activities. If you turn of smartwatch mode, it’s about 56 days and unlimited battery life with solar charging. Continuous GPS tracking will get you up to 30 hours and 38 hours of battery life with solar charging.
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Editon Full Specifications
|Garmin Instinct Tactical Solar|
WHERE TO BUY
|Device name||Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical|
|Device type||Fitness/GPS smartwatch|
|Predessesor||Garmin Instinct 2018|
|Released date||July, 2020|
|Display type||Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)
|Display size||1.2 inch|
|Display resolution||128 x 128 pixels|
|Input type||5 buttons, (not touchscreen)|
|Dimension||45 x 45 x 15.3 mm|
|Casing material||Fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Bezel Material||Fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Screen protection||Power Glass|
|Water resistant/Protection||Yes, 10ATM|
|Memory card slot||No|
|Bluetooth||Yes, and ANT+|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes|
|Menstrual cycle tracking||Yes|
|Under-water heart rate tracking||Yes|
|On-screen workout modes||Yes|
|Preloaded sport modes||Yes|
|Heart rate monitor (HRM)||Yes|
|Operating system (OS)||Proprietary OS|
|Type of battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery|
|Battery life||Smartwatch: 24 days/54 days with solar
Battery Saver Mode: 56 days/Unlimited with solar
GPS: Up to 30 hours/38 hours with solar
Max. Battery GPS Mode: 70 hours/145 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Mode: 28 days/68 days with solar
|Charging type||Charging Dock|
|Charging time||About 1-2 hours|
|Battery saver mode||Yes|
|Compatibility||Android and iOS
Check if your device is compatible
|Companion app||Garmin connect IQ store|
|Customizable watch face||Yes|
|Interchangeable band||Yes, 22mm|
|Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical|
|USB charging cable|
|Quick start guide|
|NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.|
Garmin Instinct Detailed Review (Video)
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Editon Features List
I think the Instinct Tactical solar edition is an outstanding smartwatch, no doubt. It has a very long battery life and the design is rugged and very durable, and as per fitness tracking, it does a pretty nice job in that department.