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Fitness Trackers, Sports Watches - News & Reviews 2023

Garmin Instinct 2X / 2X Solar – Garmin’s next rugged outdoor watch?

Documents recently surfaced at the FCC, indicating that Garmin is currently working on a new addition to their rugged outdoor series Instinct. It appears to be either the Garmin Instinct 2X or Instinct 2X Solar. In the following paragraphs, I will elaborate on the reasons that support this assumption.

Garmin’s commitment to enhancing its products and introducing new sports watches and smartwatches to the market is commendable and not surprising.

However, the intervals and order in which new products see the light of day are often a secret, if it were not for the different certification authorities that must give their approval to the products in advance.

New Garmin Instinct model with bigger display

Documents and test reports for a new wearable have been published at two of these certification authorities, namely the FCC (US) and the TLS (Singapore). The documents listed by the FCC clearly show the distinctive screen design of the Instinct series.

The documents also reveal that the watch measures 245 x 57 x 13 mm. Since the Garmin Instinct 2 has only been offered in the variants of 40 mm (Garmin Instinct 2S) and 45 mm (Garmin Instinct 2) so far, it is likely that the new model is an Instinct 2X or 2X Solar.

In line with existing models, the new watch supports Bluetooth LE, ANT+, and NFC, but does not support Wi-Fi.

The case diameter seems to be quite large at 57 mm – other X models usually measure 51 mm – but it isn’t the FCC’s primary task to provide exact product measurements. I consider these sizes a tendency rather than an exact measurement.

However, the potential larger display of the Instinct 2X could be a significant improvement, which would be particularly beneficial for hikers and trail runners who, among other things, rely on it for navigation tasks.

If Garmin plans a solar model, the solar surface area would also increase with a larger case, resulting in even better battery life.

The fact that only one model has appeared at the FCC and TLS speaks against a new generation of Instinct watches, i.e. a Garmin Instinct 3. For a future Instinct 3, I would expect at least two, if not three, models to be tested.

SatIQ and Multi-Band

Although it may be too early for speculation about new features, I see SatIQ and Multi-Band support as a given. These features are a better fit for the Instinct series than for many other watches.

  • SatIQ provides better battery life

    Garmin first introduced SatIQ on the wrist with the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965. The technology allows devices to dynamically decide which GNSS should be used for positioning. In open terrain, multiple GNSS can be dispensed with without sacrificing accuracy. In challenging environments, additional GNSS are added to maintain the quality of the results. The battery life benefits from this.

  • Multi-Band for higher accuracy in challenging environments

    Garmin has supported Multi-Band for a while now, but the products in the Instinct series have not yet benefited from it.

    When using Multi-Band support, the watch evaluates not just one but two GPS frequency bands. This allows for eliminating runtime errors caused by signal reflections from mountains, trees, or walls.

When can we expect the Instinct 2X?

It is not really worth talking about a release date for the Instinct 2X yet, as the documents have only just surfaced at the FCC. Even though Q1 has only just begun, I can imagine that the new model will not be released until late summer, i.e., in the third quarter.

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