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Garmin Instinct

Jonathan Tayag
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Garmin Instinct

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The Garmin Instinct is a different kind of everyday carry smartwatch. Unlike the competition, it's built to be rugged and waterproof right out of the box, and it doesn't need to be handled with kid gloves every time you take it out of the changing cradle. It's made for outdoors EDC, and its latest iterations offer equal value for those in the line of duty as well as laid-back surfers who need a watch that won't corrode away in the harsh salt water. But even if your use case for a smartwatch isn't at either extreme, the sheer durability of the Instinct matched with its superior GPS performance and practical convenience makes it a great choice for your own EDC watch.

Unlike other smart watches, the Garmin Instinct is built tougher, with a fiber-reinforced polymer shell that's both lightweight and rated up to Military Standard 810 for thermal, shock, and water resistance. You can submerge this watch down to 100 meters, and its chemically-strengthened glass crystal is built to last. All this means that the Garmin Impact is more than up to the task of dealing with the day-to-day bumps and scrapes of a commute, and it's good enough for serious outdoors and even tactical use as well. In its Tactical model, the design of the watch is blacked-out and subdued for discretion in the field. The Camo edition allows it to blend in with standard military uniforms. And the Surf edition spices things up with special features like tide data information and surf fitness activity tracking as well.

This brings us to another way that the Garmin Instinct sets itself apart. The Instinct leverages Garmin’s unique technical prowess in making reliable and compact GPS navigation devices. So where other smart watches have to rely on a paired cell phone for data and location information, the Instinct can stand on its own. Out there in the wilderness, where your cell phone won't work reliably, the Instinct is able to communicate with a worldwide coverage of GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo system of positioning satellites, so that you can know where you are, and more importantly, where you should be going with a glance at your wrist. That location data is then used to provide you useful information, such as the surf-specific data mentioned above. Another benefit is that the watch automatically updates the precise time at your current location, without losing minutes or seconds compared to a traditional watch. And if you're a user of Garmin's InReach personal locator beacon technology, you can send messages from anywhere in the world as well as trigger an SOS in an emergency situation.

While the ability to read the time is still probably the most important function that any device on your wrist performs, the Garmin Instinct is a fully-featured smartwatch too. It pairs to your Android or Apple smartphone to give you smart notifications about your emails, texts, and other alerts. It keeps track of your appointments with calendar synchronization. The sports and outdoors modes allow you to keep track of how well you are performing in activities as varied as cycling, running, and swimming, as well as how your workout at the gym is going, too. And with its heart rate and pulse oximeter sensor built into select models, you can keep track of your body stats on a day-to-day basis. All of this is powered by an internal battery that can last up to 54 days augmented with solar charging thanks to hidden panels in the watch face.

With its 45mm bezel, comfortable silicone strap, and 53 grams weight, the Garmin Instinct is able to pack in a lot of features in a compact yet rugged form. Whether you choose from the standard model or the more specialized tactical, camo, or surfer models, the Garmin Instinct deserves a place in your tech EDC. Check it out at the link below.

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Torrance Amie ·
This watch is a great all in one!