Garmin Instinct Review – Is it Worth The Money 2024

If you are wondering the Garmin Instinct is all hype in 2024 then we answer all your questions in this exclusive review.

Garmin is one of the top digital watchmakers and leading consumer GPS providers of outdoor in the US.

They have a wide range of products designed for people in the automotive, marine, and sports industries.

One of the company’s most prominent creations is the Garmin Instinct.

With its numerous features, sporty design, durable build, and affordable price, it’s sure to attract buyers looking for an entry-level outdoor watch.

Why the Garmin Fenix is special?

Garmin Fenix is a top-of-the-line adventure watch.

But not everyone has $600 to shell out for a watch, so the company decided to create a basic version of the coveted smartwatch.

Enter the Garmin Instinct – an affordable outdoor watch that’s a toned-down version of the Fenix.

It maintains the same bulky but lightweight build and sporty appeal designed for rugged use.

You can say that this smartwatch is a ‘lighter’ version of the Garmin Fenix.

Aside from the Instinct’s features, its look is another highlight that attracts users.

It somehow resembles a Casio watch but with a sleeker and more compact style.

It has a simple and modern look perfect for its function as an outdoor watch.


The Garmin Instinct has a monochrome 128 x 128-pixel display that measures 45mm wide.

It’s bigger than most traditional watches but it allows better readability even under low-light or extremely bright conditions.

It doesn’t have a touchscreen display but has a five-button layout instead of for navigating menus.

The Garmin Instinct’s scratch-resistant case is made of a fiber-reinforced polymer which is not only durable but also lightweight.

The chemically strengthened glass and rubberized bezel further improve screen protection from scratches.

It has a two-window display.

A small circular window on the upper right corner displays the date by default, while the large main display shows the various functions of the watch.

The watch features 12 display designs to choose from with miniature icons for the most-used apps and widgets.

The Garmin Instinct took cues from the Garmin Fenix regarding the use of robust navigation features.

Some of them include a magnetic compass, storm alerts, UltraTrac, GPS display, 3D speed and distance, sunrise and sunset, elevation profile, and area calculation.

Its GPS tracking feature supports GLONASS and Galileo systems.

Image of the Garmin Instinct on the wrist

The digital watch is an excellent activity tracker too.

It can monitor your heart rate, the distance you’ve paced, and the steps you’ve made throughout the day.

It has special workout features for running, hiking, swimming, cycling, and other sports activities.

The watch is water-resistant up to a depth of a hundred meters.

It passes the specifications for US military use, so you can rest assured that the Garmin Instinct can withstand the most common water activities.

The Garmin Instinct has up to 14 days of battery life, excluding Sleep Mode.

The Garmin Instinct is priced around $200.

The tactical build is more expensive at $300 because of its more advanced features.


Here are some points to consider that will help you decide whether you should buy the Garmin Instinct or not.


The Garmin Instinct is packed with countless features for measuring depth, temperature, distance, and location.

It can track over 25 different sports activities like running, swimming, and hiking.

It can also handle downloaded maps that can guide you through forest tracks.

Simply put, it’s one of the most advanced and reliable smartwatches in the market.

Learning Curve

The Garmin Instinct may not have a touchscreen display, but the five-button layout makes it easy to navigate through the several features of the smartwatch.

All buttons are clearly labeled, so you won’t get confused with which one to press to get to a specific function.

The overall learning curve is short, and you’ll quickly be able to navigate through each screen in no time.

Health and Wellness

The watch has sensors for heart rate monitoring, step counting, calorie-burning, stair climbing, and sleep tracking.

It also features a mode where you’ll be reminded to stand up and walk around if you’ve been sitting for too long.

However, users say that the sleep tracking feature of the Instinct isn’t that reliable as it tends to overestimate calculations.

But if you plan to buy this watch to aid in outdoor activities, this slight disadvantage won’t matter.

Image of the Garmin Instinct from the rear showing the sensor

FAQs – Garmin Instinct

How do I know that the watch is fully charged?

You can toggle the display to show the remaining charge on the battery.

Fewer bars mean lesser power is stored on the battery.
With the standard smartwatch mode, the Garmin Instinct can last up to 14 days of use.

But in GPS mode, the Garmin Instinct can last up to 16 hours.

Can I read texts on the Garmin Instinct?

You can synchronize your smartphone with the watch through Bluetooth connection.

Whenever a message is sent to your phone, you’ll see a notification and read the text on the watch.

Why am I not getting an accurate heart rate reading?

The Garmin Instinct is equipped with quality mechanisms that provide accurate readings.

However, factors like weather conditions and other environmental situations can result in inaccurate readings.

A very hairy arm, for instance, can slightly affect the accuracy of the heart rate monitor compared when the watch is worn by someone with a smoother arm.

How can I get a more accurate temperature reading?

Your internal body temperature can influence the temperature sensor of the watch and produce inaccurate readings.

For a more accurate result, remove the watch from your wrist for about 20 to 30 minutes before measuring the temperature.

Does the watch have a touchscreen display?

The Garmin Instinct doesn’t have a touchscreen display.

You have several buttons instead that will help you navigate menus and perform specific functions on the watch.

Can the watch be connected to my iPhone?

The watch supports wireless synchronization with both iPhone and Android devices.


The Garmin Instinct is the more affordable version of Garmin Fenix which is hailed as one of the best adventure watches in the market.

By retaining numerous essential features that customers often look for in an outdoor smartwatch, the Garmin Instinct is considered a very competitive option at the sub-$500 price point.
If you’re looking for an entry-level outdoor watch, the Garmin Instinct is a strong candidate to consider.

It’s highly affordable and carries a lot of features that even exceed those found on more expensive smartwatches.