New Garmin Instinct 2 smartwatch offers improved battery life and a smaller design

The Instinct 2 and 2S are the latest in Garmin's smartwatch series

Garmin Instinct 2 worn on wrist

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Fenix 7, Garmin has launched its new Instinct 2 and Instinct 2S smartwatches.

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The new Instinct offers up to four weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode, according to Garmin, while the Solar models are claimed to offer unlimited battery life in certain conditions.

The updated line-up also includes smart features from the brand’s existing watches, such as integration with the Connect IQ store and a host of wellness and fitness features.

This is the first generation of the Instinct to be offered in two models – the 2 and the 2S. The 2 sports a traditional 45mm bezel, while the new 2S has a smaller 40mm bezel, said to offer a more comfortable fit for individuals with smaller wrists.

Prices for the new Instinct watches start from £299.99 / €349.99 / $349 / AU$549.

Garmin Instinct 2 battery life

The Garmin Instinct 2 series is designed for adventures.

The headline feature of the new Instinct models is their enduring battery life. Garmin claims the Instinct 2 provides up to four weeks of continuous use in smartwatch mode, longer than many of the best cycling watches.

The Instinct 2 Solar offers a claimed unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode, setting a new benchmark for the brand. However, it’s important to note that this metric is based on assuming you are outside for three hours a day in 50,000 lux conditions.

Both 2 and 2S models have a claimed battery life of up to 72 hours in GPS mode.

Garmin Instinct 2 hardware details

The watch is available in a number of colour options.

Garmin says the Instinct series is a range of purpose-built smartwatches designed with “rugged individualists” in mind.

The Instinct 2 and Instinct 2S are offered in standard and Solar editions, as well as Surf, Tactical and Camo options, which offer additional features for their respective uses.

The watches are said to be built to military standard 810 for thermal and shock resistance, and are rated to a depth of 100 metres in water.

Slimmer in profile than its predecessor, the new high-resolution and easy-to-read display’s hardware is claimed to sit behind a chemically strengthened and scratch-resistant glass face.

Garmin Instinct 2 features

The Instinct 2 and 2S smartwatches are compatible with the Garmin Connect IQ store, so you can customise your watch with free downloads of apps or widgets. You can also customise watch faces and data fields.

Health and wellness features such as hydration tracking, and menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking, are also available through the IQ store.

Built-in features outside of the IQ store include ‘Advanced Sleep Monitoring’ and the resulting ‘Sleep Score’. Garmin’s ‘Body Battery’, stress and heart rate features are also included on this model.

The Garmin Instinct 2 features a ‘Sleep Score’ metric that rates how well-rested you are.

In addition, the Instinct 2 Series now includes VO2 max estimates, your ‘Fitness Age’, training status/load/effect, recovery time, HIIT workouts, and daily suggested workouts.

Typical Garmin smartwatch features such as receiving text messages, the ability to use Garmin Pay and ‘Incident Detection’ also feature on these new models.

If bright green isn’t for you, the watch is also available in a more subdued graphite option.

For cyclists who own one of the brand’s Garmin Edge bike computers, the Instinct’s ‘always-on’ features would be beneficial for monitoring performance off the bike.

The Instinct could alternatively act as a one-stop training solution because it features built-in activity apps to record and analyse rides.

‘Incident Detection’ is a particularly useful feature for the adventure angle the smartwatches are designed for, and can send a message to an emergency contact when the watch is paired to Garmin Connect and detects an incident.

Garmin Instinct 2 range options

The smartwatches are offered in a range of colours, from Graphite, Mist Grey and Tidal Blue to brighter options such as Electric Lime, Poppy and Neo-Tropic.

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Should you want to customise your own Instinct, Garmin offers the watch via its ‘Your Watch, Your Way’ programme. This offers more than 240 possible design combinations.