Image source: Garmin

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar is official: larger and rugged

The smartwatch market has just received a hefty new addition. Garmin has released the Instinct 2X. The rugged outdoor smartwatch boasts a 50 millimetre diameter, making it the largest offering in the Instinct range. This super-sized, feature-rich device is designed specifically for those who love the great outdoors, catering to trail runners, trekkers, and adventurers alike.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

We knew the watch was coming because it received the stamp of approval from the FCC a few weeks ago. There were also a few retailer leaks. It is becoming more and more difficult to keep things under wraps before official launches.

The two versions that have been announced today include the Instinct 2X Solar and a Tactical Edition of the same. The first is priced at $449.99 on Garmin’s website, while the Instinct 2X Solar-Tactical Edition I can be picked up for $499.99.

Black Garmin Instinct 2X Solar: A first look

Both iterations are housed in a 50mm fiber-reinforced polymer case, built to MIL-STD-810 U.S. military standards for water and shock resistance. With 10 ATM water resistance (100m) and a chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant screen, this watch is designed to withstand the elements.

Garmin has, once again, opted for a monochrome display encircled by a wide bezel. The front cover is fastened in place by prominent screws.

The Instinct 2X’s button layout and design mark a slight departure from the previous model. Like before, the smartwatch operates via hardware buttons situated around the casing.

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar

The watch’s solar panel has an improved Power Glass panel. It offers unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode with just three hours of sunlight exposure per day. The panel is apparently 50% more efficient than the standard Instinct 2 solar watch which is quite an impressive feat. Solar has definitely become more than a gimmick on smartwatches!

A flashlight has made the cut

A key innovation keen be seen at the top of the smartwatch. It is the inclusion of a flashlight, that comes in the guise of bright LEDs to aid users in dark environments. This is similar to the functionality that is already available on Fenix 7 and Enduro 2.

Garmin Flashlight
Garmin Enduro 2 | Image source: Garmin

Which means the LED colours are adjustable to enhance visibility during emergency situations, allowing wearers to be more easily spotted by rescuers. You are able to pick from different colours and flashing patterns. For runners, for example, the light matches your cadence and alternate between white and red.

As expected, the Instinct 2X watches also boast multi-band GNSS monitoring for better accuracy, particularly useful when trekking in mountainous or tree-covered areas. This is important to hikers and extreme athletes.

Also on-board is comprehensive health and fitness tracking. Nothing really new there but you do get the lot. This includes features such as stress tracking, Body Battery, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sports profiles for running, biking, swimming, strength training, and more. Advanced analytics like VO2 max, Training Status/Load stats, and the Training Readiness HRV analysis is also there.

There is one addition that comes in the form of an Obstacle Course Racing activity. It allows athletes to manually record obstacle splits and track metrics like run times, number of obstacles, time spent on each obstacle, and more. No doubt, this will be coming to other Garmin watches via firmware updates.

With Garmin’s TracBack routing, users can retrace their trails, making it easy to find their way back to the starting point. The watch also supports point marks to help locate known spots relative to the user’s location.

Instinct 2X Solar Tactical Edition

For those seeking an even feature packed option, Garmin offers the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical Edition. One of the additions that come with this model is Stealth Mode. It prevents sharing of GPS position and disables wireless communication.

Garmin Instinct 2X Tactical

The other additions include Night Vision Mode and Kill Switch. The first allows you to switch between daytime view and nighttime view with a screen designed to be read by night vision goggles. If security becomes an issue, the Kill Switch is there to wipe the device of all user memory.

Garmin EMS Instinct 2

A new Garmin EMS Instinct 2 smartwatch, designed specifically for emergency responders and medical personnel, is also expected in the near future. This watch, part of a new series, will probably be based on the Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition for military personnel and include an LED flashlight. Pricing for the EMS Instinct 2 is expected to be on par with other Instinct 2 versions.

Currently many EMS professionals currently wear Apple Watches. But the superior battery life and durability of the Instinct 2 could make it an attractive alternative for those working in challenging outdoor or emergency conditions.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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