Garmin Instinct 2X Solar watch on desk

When it comes to smartwatches with the best battery life, Garmin tops the list. For years, the company has made fitness trackers with smartwatch features that last for weeks without needing to be charged. It’s just introduced the latest addition to its Instinct series with the Instinct 2X Solar and Instinct 2X Solar Tactical Edition. 

On the surface, they look similar to the Garmin Instinct 2, released last year, Garmin’s added several new features. The Instinct 2X Solar is available starting right now, with a retail price of $450. The Tactical Edition will run an extra $50, making it $500. 

So, what does the Instinct 2X Solar do that last year’s Instinct 2 couldn’t? The big addition here to the hardware is that the Instinct 2X Solar now comes with a multi-LED flashlight, similar to the one found on the Enduro 2, which can light in both white and a green to help avoid from the overly bright light messing with your vision at night. It has a larger bezel, uses Garmin’s Power Glass solar charging lens on the display to maximize battery life and comes preloaded with a ton of new obstacle course activities, including running, skiing and more.

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar flashlight


The Instinct 2X Solar also adds several of the best fitness-related features from other recent Garmin models, including Training Readiness, Morning Report and more. It’s the first in the Instinct line to have Obstacle Course Racing as an activity and also has TracBack routing, more sport-specific apps and heart-rate variability tracking.

In smartwatch mode, which offers notifications for both Android and iOS users, you can now get “unlimited battery life.” Garmin makes this claim based on all-day wear usage with an average of three hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions. In areas that are very sunny, it may take less than three hours to reach that, while other areas may require additional light to meet the 50,000 lux conditions. That does mean that you may notice the battery drop at times, but if you spend enough time outside you’ll never really have to worry about charging the watch or disabling features to get longer battery life. 


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