Garmin Launches Solar-Powered Smartwatches

When Garmin launched the fēnix 6X Pro Solar last year, it was a portent of things to come. Garmin has just launched an entire range of smartwatches that take advantage of its patented solar charging technology called Power Glass™.

The Instinct and fēnix series get the solar treatment first with the Instinct Solar and Instinct Solar – Camo, and fēnix 6 Pro Solar and fēnix 6S Pro Solar.

Unlike other solar-powered watches that use converted solar energy for single functions such as time, Garmin is the only watch to use solar energy to power its various sports activity modes, sensors and health monitoring features. The conversion rate from solar to electrical energy is up to five times the industry standard. Garmin’s solar panel design also works even in partially shaded or covered situations (such as when clothing or dirt blocks the light). The Instinct Solar in Battery Saver mode can even go on indefinitely without needing to be charged from a wall socket at all! This is good news for environmentally-minded people because Garmin’s solar charging tech reduces carbon emissions by up to 59 percent compared to other smartwatches.

Instinct Solar series

The Instinct Solar and Instinct Solar – Camo can go up to 24 days in smartwatch mode indoors, and over 54 days with sufficient solar exposure. They also now have Body Battery and Pulse Ox features so you can track energy levels, recovery, and blood oxygen saturation levels.

Battery lifeModeInstinct SolarInstinct Solar – Camo Edition
SmartwatchUp to 24 days + 30 days *
GPSUp to 30 hours + 8 hours **
Max Battery GPS Mode70 hours + 75 hours**
Expedition GPS Activity28 days + 40 days*
Battery Saver Watch Mode56 days + unlimited*

*Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions
**Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions

Fashion and lifestyle blogger David Guison has an active urban lifestyle, which is why he sports the Instinct Solar that complements his constant wardrobe changes. He says, “I have so many gadgets with me all the time, my Garmin solar-powered watch allows me to save time and energy. I also love that I can pair the watch with my phone for fun, seamless usage! I don’t have to worry about its toughness in any kind of sports activities. Plus, it has smart notifications that makes it convenient for me to get messages any time.”

Fashion and lifestyle blogger David Guison

Instinct Solar is available in Graphite and Flame Red and the Instinct Solar – Camo Edition is available in Graphite Camo. Suggested retail prices are Php24,995 for Instinct Solar and Php27,995 for Instinct Solar Camo Edition.

fēnix series

For the fēnix 6S Pro Solar and 6 Pro Solar, Garmin has introduced new activity profiles.

  • Surf: Using a Surf Activity profile, fēnix surfers can track total waves, surf time, total time, max speed and their longest wave. When surfing in front of a Surfline® camera, users wearing fēnix 6 Solar Series can upload their surf data to their Surfline account and later view video of that surfing activity through Surfline Sessions™.
  • Mountain Bike: Track the details of every ride with mountain biking metrics plus specialized grit and flow measurements that rate trail difficulty and how smoothly a user descends, giving a score to beat next time.
  • Indoor Climb: The indoor climb activity profile allows climbers to track their sessions at indoor facilities. Metrics include the number of routes, vertical distance climbed, climbing time, difficultly of each route and more.

The fēnix 6S Pro Solar battery performance in smartwatch mode is up to 9 days indoors and up to 10.5 days with sufficient solar exposure, while battery performance for the fēnix 6 Pro Solar in smartwatch mode is up to 14 days indoors and up to 16 days with sufficient solar exposure.

Battery lifeModefēnix 6S Pro Solarfēnix 6 Pro Solar
SmartwatchUp to 9 days plus 1.5 days*Up to 14 days plus 2 days*
GPSUp to 25 hours plus

3 hours**

Up to 36 hours plus

4 hours**

GPS and MusicUp to 6 hoursUp to 10 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode50 hours plus 14 hours**72 hours plus 21 hours**
Expedition GPS Activity20 days plus 6 days*28 days plus 8 days*
Battery Saver Watch Mode34 days plus 25 days*48 days plus 32 days*

*Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions
**Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions

Showbiz news anchor Gretchen Fullido sports the fēnix 6S Pro Solar. A former champion collegiate swimmer who has adopted triathlon training to keep herself fit, she says the solar-powered functions have saved her outdoor workouts many times since she frequently forgets to charge her smartwatch. She admits the fēnix also comes in handy during this pandemic due to its Pulse Ox measurements (low blood oxygen saturation is a symptom of COVID-19 infection). Gretchen shares, “Even the sleep tracker and the steps tracker features help me stay active and aligned with my goals.”

Showbiz news anchor Gretchen Fullido

Two-time SEA Games gold medalist in triathlon Nikko Huelgas is a longtime Garmin user and also wears a fēnix Solar. (Multisport functions aren’t supported by the Instinct series, so for triathletes who want to go solar, the fēnix is your go-to.) The current chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee Athlete’s Commission, Nikko says, “Staying active during the pandemic is my utmost priority… I love the extra battery life.”

Elite triathlete Nikko Huelgas

The fēnix 6 Pro Solar is available in Black with Slate Gray Band and Mineral Blue with Whitestone Band and the fēnix 6S Pro Solar is available in Light Gold with Shale Gray Band and Amethyst Steel with Shale Gray Band.

The new Instinct and fēnix series are now available at Kinetic.com.ph, Lazada, Shopee, Garmin Brand Stores and all authorized retailers. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom or follow Garmin Philippines on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube.

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About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in wellness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

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