Garmin Instinct smartwatch arrives with rugged build and 14 day battery life

Garmin Instinct Smartwatch

This morning, Garmin unveiled its new Instinct GPS-enabled smartwatch. Designed for the outdoors, this rugged-built wearable takes many of Garmin’s Fenix 5X features but wraps them in a more robust casing. At $300, it’s made to be an entry-level price point for what can be a very expensive sub-set of smartwatches made for adventurous lifestyles. Garmin Instinct arrives on the scene with GPS, GLONASS and Galileo support, making it ideal for hikers and climbers. Head below for more.

Garmin Instinct GPS Smartwatch Announced

Garmin Instinct was announced today, October 11th, as the latest entry into the brand’s ever-expanding lineup of smartwatches. The $300 wearable features a bold design that appears ready for any outdoor adventure you might throw at it. In fact, it weighs nearly 90g, which is almost double the weight of an Apple Watch. Garmin makes the trade-off there for a host of outdoor friendly features.

Water resistance to 100 meters and protection from shock highlight a list of design specs that are made to meet MIL-STD-810G military standards. Garmin Instinct sports a ‘chemically reinforced’ display made to be scratch-resistant, which is perfect for outdoor activities.

The watch sports an internal battery that can last up to 14 days in ‘smartwatch’ mode. That is, when connected to your iPhone or Android device and relaying notifications. When full GPS tracking is activated, that number takes a significant dip to just 16 hours.

Garmin Instinct Alternatives

If you’re not ready to shell out $300 for the new Garmin Instinct, there are a few alternatives out there. The list starts with the new $150 Fitbit Charge 3. Recently announced, it features full heart rate tracking and up to seven days of battery life. You won’t get the rough and tumble design of the Garmin Instinct, but Fitbit has stood the test of time as one of the best fitness trackers out there.

Garmin’s own vívoactive HR delivers GPS and more for around $190. Skipping the rugged outer shell allows you to save even further but still maintain phone-free activity tracking. The vívoactive HR sports 8 days of battery life and full smartphone connectivity so you don’t miss any notifications.

Garmin Instinct Price, Release Date, more

The new Garmin Instinct is available for purchase today direct from Garmin. It ships in three different colors and is expected to begin hitting customers’ wrists by the end of the week. Amazon has yet to put up its own listings, but you can expect to see it there shortly.


Meet the Garmin® Instinct®: a GPS watch built tough for the outdoors

OLATHE, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced Instinct, a strong and durable GPS watch with built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) support and wrist-based heart rate. In addition to key GPS data, ABC and heart rate sensors, Instinct includes built-in sports apps, smart connectivity and wellness data.

“We are thrilled to add Instinct to our adventure watch lineup, an approachable smartwatch that is rugged and reliable,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Instinct is perfect for those who spend their time outdoors and demand a device built tough to stand up in the elements.”

The Instinct is a reliable tool built to endure challenging environments. The Instinct is constructed to military standards (MIL-STD-810G) for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters) with a fiber reinforced polymer case. It’s built with a chemically strengthed and scratch-resistant display that’s easy-to-read, especially in direct sunlight. Plus, the fully vented silicone bands include two independent, removable keeper loops to ensure a secure fit.

While in the field, feel confident exploring off the beaten path thanks to the Instinct, which features multiple GNSS satellite networks to help track a users location in more challenging environments than with just GPS alone. Before venturing out, use the Garmin Explore™ app to plan the trip in advance and when it’s time to head back to camp, the TracBack® feature on the watch can navigate the same route back to the original starting point.

With built-in wrist based heart rate, users can monitor daily activity, stress, sleep and other wellness data1. Whether camping, on a training run or going through day-to-day activities, Instinct keeps track of heart rate, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and more. Hiking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking and skiing are just a few of the activities supported on the device. Through heart rate variability, the Instinct can track stress levels, allowing the user to be more aware of when physical or emotional sources may cause stress levels to rise.

When paired with a compatible smartphone, Instinct users can leave their phone packed away and protected while they receive smart notifications like texts, emails and other alerts right on the wrist. Instinct is compatible with Garmin Connect™, an online fitness community where users can track workouts, sleep patterns such as how much time spent in light, deep and REM cycles, and even compete in virtual fitness challenges. The Instinct will also be compatible with other Garmin devices including inReach Mini, VIRB action cameras and dog tracking devices. Send and receive inReach Mini satellite communication messages2, declare an SOS, control the VIRB start and stop function and get dog status updates and alerts for viewing at a glance on the watch.

Instinct features a battery life of up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac™ battery saver mode. It is available in Graphite, Tundra and Flame Red for a suggested retail price of $299.99.

Instinct is the latest solution from Garmin’s expanding outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ outdoor experiences. Whether hiking, hunting, trail running, mountain biking, golfing, diving or using satellite communication, Garmin outdoor devices are essential tools for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, go to, and

For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at,, or


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