Garmin has made a bit of a blunder and leaked info on Instinct 2 on its own website. It seems the next version of the popular smartwatch will come with solar charging and PulseOx.
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A Reddit user has spotted new firmware on Garmin servers which references a device called Instinct Solar. The software version of the GUPDATE.GCD file is 0.31 which could be an indication that this is an early Beta intended for internal testers. The file is still there although we are guessing it will be removed soon.
A bit of info on the upcoming device can be gleaned from the firmware changelog. This mentions a Solar Intensity widget for Instinct, a PulseOx widget and Body Battery widget. The watch will also have the ability to track heart rate under water.
To remind, so far the only Garmin device with solar charging are certain iterations of the Fenix 6. The technology works via a transparent solar charging lens that sits on top of the watch face. Garmin calls this Power Glass. Solar adds more juice (about 10%) in all battery modes by converting the sun’s rays into energy.
Here’s a link to the Reddit post.
The original Garmin Instinct was released back in October 2018. This is a rugged watch for the outdoorsy types. It comes with navigation features and advanced satellite positioning, mapping features, barometric altimeter and the usual fitness tracking sensors including heart rate.
It certainly makes sense for solar to be added to a watch meant for more challenging environments. The current edition can keep going up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, around 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode. Solar should help to extend this.
Considering the leaked firmware is still an early Beta it may be a while before Instinct 2 lands. Perhaps in the summer or autumn of 2020.
Garmin looks to be preparing for a busy year. An earlier leak references a whole lot of devices set to land in the near future. This includes the Forerunner 955 LTE, Forerunner 945, Fenix 6 Sport and more. We can now add Instinct 2 Solar to this list.
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