Garmin Intuition 2 Photo voltaic overview

(Pocket-lint) – Garmin goals to stretch the bounds of battery life and make charging a factor of the previous with the Intuition 2 Photo voltaic. 

Usually, if an organization claims its smartwatch has the potential for limitless battery life, it might be honest to strategy it with an excellent serving to of scepticism. With Garmin so usually capable of pull off what different wearable corporations cannot, although, it makes the Photo voltaic version of this primary, rugged GPS watch an intriguing case.

After all, the battery life is not the one factor that makes it interesting, both. In contrast to the extra feature-packed GPS sports activities watches from Garmin, that is out there at a reasonably affordable price ticket.

The query, then, is whether or not the Intuition 2 Photo voltaic can stand as much as the rigours of day by day monitoring and avoid charging cables.

Is that this extra of a gimmick than a game-changer? This is our verdict.

Our fast take

The place the Garmin Intuition 2 Photo voltaic will get it proper is within the battery life division, and that is essential. As we have discovered with different Garmin units, as properly, this solely improves additional for those who go together with the bigger mannequin.

So, to reply the query posed within the intro: sure, it succeeds. For many who care about battery life greater than anything, the Intuition 2 Photo voltaic is good – much more so for those who spend lots of time exterior or dwell someplace with good ranges of sunshine. 

We predict it’s going to be a watch that appeals to those that crave the look of a traditional digital watch but additionally desire a system that acts like an activity-focused smartwatch.

With the bonus of all of the superior metrics and health monitoring capabilities of a contemporary Garmin tracker, it is a superb choice to think about – even when the design, small show and lack of touchscreen will not be to all people’s liking.

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  • Excellent battery life
  • Glorious health monitoring capabilities
  • Sturdy construct
  • Garmin Pay help

  • Show is kind of small
  • No touchscreen
  • Lacks some correct smartwatch options


  • 45 x 45 x 14.5 mm
  • 53g
  • Fibre-inforced polymer case and bezel
  • 10ATM/100m waterproofing

There is a sure appeal to the Garmin Intuition 2’s design, if solely as a result of it ditches the everyday smartwatch search for extra of a traditional digital watch vibe.

It has a little bit of a Casio G-Shock really feel to it, we predict, with the case constructed from a chunky fibre-reinforced polymer (fancy plastic) and designed to take a beating and survive water to 100-metre depths. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 7

It is also out there in an excellent array of colors. Whereas the usual Photo voltaic unit we examined solely is available in black, gentle gray or blue, there are others out there for those who go for the non-solar mannequin. You will discover a luminous Electrical Lime, a teal Neo Tropic and an orange/pink Poppy colourway.

By default, they arrive with a colour-matched silicone strap. Nonetheless, for those who use the customisation device on Garmin’s retailer, you possibly can combine and select from a couple of completely different case colors after which select a strap design and materials your self. 

Whereas chunky, the watch is comparatively light-weight and really comfy to put on. A part of that’s right down to the standard Garmin strategy to silicone strap design. In addition to being very versatile and a bit stretchy, there are strap holes operating up the complete size, making it infinitely adjustable. 

You additionally get the standard button structure. So, three pushers on the left, two on the fitting. And, on this case, they’re comparatively low profile, whereas nonetheless being textured to make them straightforward to search out and press even when it is moist and chilly. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 14

These buttons carry out the identical features as you’d discover on most different five-button Garmin fashions, too. The highest-right begins an exercise, the underside proper is a again button (or might be programmed to launch a selected perform with a protracted press). On the left – from prime to backside – there’s the sunshine activation button, then the up and down buttons for scrolling by way of screens and lists on the watch’s interface. 

It is a simple system to get used to upon getting the fundamentals, and there is not any fiddly touchscreen right here working alongside it, both. Simply good old style button presses. Whether or not you like that, after all, is down to non-public choice. 


  • Monochrome/black and white show
  • MIP (Reminiscence In Pixel) panel
  • Two window design, 176 x 176 pixel decision

In terms of the show, it is about as primary as one may probably be whereas nonetheless being appropriate with the wide-ranging crop of Garmin options. So, it is a comparatively small monochrome transflective MIP panel, which has a tiny, round window show reduce into the highest proper. 

Being transflective, and being a Reminiscence-in-Pixel (MIP) show, means it has a few key traits. It is all the time on, for starters, as a result of it does not want a backlight or entrance gentle to be seen. It displays the sunshine round it and reveals black and white characters in the identical manner traditional digital watches do, however, after all, it is barely extra superior when it comes to knowledge and graphical capabilities. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 8

As a result of it does not want a backlight, meaning it’s extremely battery environment friendly, and that is an enormous a part of why this watch can go so lengthy between expenses. 

The one draw back of this reflective display is that, if it is darkish, it is not seen with out the backlight activated. On this case, identical to these traditional digital watches of outdated, it is fairly a faint blue backlight. It is probably not the brightest, however it’s sufficient which you can see what’s on the display when there’s little or no ambient gentle. 

Whereas it has benefits, there are disadvantages to this panel in comparison with the categories used on lots of different smartwatches. Other than not being vivid, it is small, as properly, and that signifies that it is not all the time straightforward to search out the information level you are searching for throughout exercise monitoring.

Whether or not it is distance, tempo or coronary heart fee, it usually takes a bit extra trying and concentrating than we’re used to from the watches with greater, brighter and extra vibrant shows. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 3

Being smaller additionally means it might probably’t match as a lot of the information on view without delay, so you find yourself scrolling by way of the completely different knowledge screens throughout actions greater than, for instance, the Vivoactive, Venu or Fenix watches. It is undoubtedly a ache level. Nonetheless, it’s one that you simply ultimately get accustomed to after dwelling with it for some time. 

Well being and health 

  • Galileo, Glonass and GPS satellite tv for pc help
  • Accelerometer, thermometer and barometric altimeter
  • Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturation and heart-rate

In terms of health monitoring, the enjoyment of the Intuition 2 is that it does just about all the pieces we have come to count on from a Garmin. It does it properly, too, and includes a comparable array of sensors to the Fenix 7 constructed into the underside. It is probably not lacking something right here. 

No matter your exercise, then, it might probably observe your coronary heart fee precisely, in addition to your location, altitude and temperature. It then collates this knowledge into an in depth view of your exercise in Garmin Join. 

Greater than this, although, it additionally makes use of the information to provide you a greater image of your general well being and power ranges – identical to the dearer fashions. Garmin’s Physique Battery is a core a part of this, utilizing your relaxation and restoration knowledge, alongside your effort put into actions, to foretell how a lot power you’ve gotten within the tank. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 16

We primarily examined the Intuition 2 Photo voltaic’s monitoring capabilities when operating, and it is a extremely achieved tracker in that regard. You’ll be able to, after all, simply begin a run on the watch and observe it as you go about your regular routes, and it’ll observe your steps, cadence, tempo, coronary heart fee, effort and distance all with very stable accuracy.

Nonetheless, Garmin’s energy can be in suggesting exercises so that you can do, in addition to providing up teaching plans on Garmin Join. 

With a Garmin Coach coaching plan enabled, it masses your scheduled exercises straight onto your wrist. So, when it is a coaching day, you can begin your run and it will ask if you wish to try this day’s exercise.

The plan is constructed based mostly in your capability, as properly. Whether or not you wish to get to a 5k distance for the primary time or go for a 10k in underneath an hour, it’s going to enable you obtain your targets with a mixture of lengthy straightforward runs and varied drills. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 10

For essentially the most half, we discovered the information it tracked matched the opposite Garmin and Huawei watches we have been sporting alongside it. When beginning a run, it did really feel a tiny bit slower at locking onto our location, however we weren’t ready lengthy. Possibly simply 10-15 seconds or so. 

It isn’t only a operating watch, after all. It might observe any variety of actions, together with mountaineering, MTB (with devoted metrics), energy coaching and HIIT, amongst many others. And, as soon as you’ve got completed your exercise, it’s going to understand how onerous the session was based mostly in your coronary heart fee and length of the exercise, then counsel a restoration time for you.

Plus, if it detects you are having a extremely chill day and recovering quicker, it’s going to replace that point. You can even have all this knowledge synced with Strava and MyFitnessPal, so it may be seen within the context of your meals monitoring. It is complete stuff.

Battery and photo voltaic recharging

  • 28 days (or limitless with photo voltaic) – 45mm 
  • 21 days (51 days with photo voltaic) – 40mm

After all, when Garmin claims this battery can final perpetually, that comes with a little bit of an asterisk – as you’ll count on.

Photo voltaic recharging wants the fitting circumstances to hit the limitless mark, however it was doable in our expertise. When you dwell someplace that will get a lot of sturdy daylight all 12 months spherical, and spend a few hours or extra per day outside, it’s possible you’ll discover you not often, if ever, must cost it.

Naturally, we nonetheless assume it’s going to be tough for most individuals to attain this, and, sadly, those that go for the smaller 40mm mannequin will likely be restricted to a 51-day most. 

Pocket-lintGarmin Instinct 2 photo 5

We examined our unit over a couple of weeks in spring, with a type of weeks being uncharacteristically heat and sunny. On a type of days, we spent two or three hours out on the native mountainside in vivid daylight within the afternoon. In that point, the battery regained the facility it had misplaced the day earlier than. 

No day is strictly the identical, after all, however, in a hypothetical world the place most days are like this, the watch may final perpetually without having to be plugged in to cost. And for those who’re ever unsure about how good the degrees of daylight are at any explicit time, there is a ‘Photo voltaic Depth’ card that reveals you the way a lot daylight the watch has been ready to attract in. 

Even with out sturdy daylight and the advantages of its photo voltaic charging capabilities, you get very stable battery life ranges. So, even within the darker months of winter, when the alternatives for good daylight ranges are slim, the watch can go as much as 28 days on a full cost. 

In actual life, then, presuming you get exterior throughout daylight at some factors throughout most weeks, it is best to get greater than a month on a full cost. And definitely greater than that in the summertime.

Way of life smarts

  • Calendar and climate
  • Smartphone notifications with fast replies
  • Garmin Pay for contactless funds
  • Suitable with iPhone and Android

So far as the extra lifestyle-centric components of a smartwatch expertise, Garmin has the fundamentals coated. The watch will mirror your smartphone notifications on each iPhone and Android, and can even provide up a couple of fast reply choices to shortly hearth off a solution. You aren’t getting Apple Watch ranges of interplay and message creation, after all, however it’s sufficient to get by. 

You additionally get climate updates, based mostly in your location, and calendar entry so you possibly can see your subsequent appointments in your wrist. Plus, there’s Garmin Pay help for wrist-based contactless funds.

Sadly, there is not any offline music help for widespread streaming providers like Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music. That is in all probability the one large factor lacking on this mannequin in comparison with a few of Garmin’s different units. 

To recap

In case your important need when taking a look at health watches is to get one you by no means have to consider charging, the Intuition 2 Photo voltaic is the one for you. Its battery life is ridiculously good, and it has a correct array of health monitoring sensors.

Writing by Cam Bunton.