Garmin reportedly believes that the updated solar charging capability within their range of sports watches is a technological feat. With their new watches, Instinct Solar, Fenix 6 Pro Solar and the Fenix 6S Pro Solar, which offer unlimited battery life, Garmin is yet another step closer to being the best provider of wearable tech and have cleverly harnessed the power of solar within the new models. Garmin’s new solar watches are coming to the market with a bang after the difficult lockdown times we have been experiencing.
Unlimited outdoor exercise? A camping trip? No problem. Not only is it possible again after lockdown rules have been lifted, Garmin has decided it would be a good time to launch their three new sport watches to the market – all solar powered models. The price points are not too far out of reach for the average interested consumer; £350 for the Instinct Solar model, bringing with it unlimited battery life (in battery saver mode). This is particularly excellent news for outdoor enthusiasts.
The solar aspect of Garmin’s new watches has now been made into a major feature and the company has made major investment into this tech. What they want to showcase to the customer is just how long it is possible to go between charges. Since releasing their Fenix 6 Solar model last year, the tech teams at Garmin have been focusing on bettering the tech and bringing these three new models to the product range to further delight their sport-loving customers. The watch will need to be taken off the wrist in order to charge it if the numerous sports features are used regularly, but this will be needed much less often than with previous models. This capability is what Garmin feels is an upsell – a premium one. It is considering adding the feature to more of its ranges. It will be akin to the option of paying extra for titanium or upgraded watch face glass, for example.
But what does “unlimited” actually mean when it comes to the watches’ battery life? Well, we do not have the answer to that quite yet as some of the test models are still not depleted! This is a major positive and gives potential customers a good idea of just how long they will be able to wear their new watch without it needing to be charged. Garmin’s goal for future watches is to create a sports watch that never needs to be charged. It sounds like they may be close to reaching that goal. Full power autonomy and a sports watch that never needs to be taken off the wrist to be charged is on the horizon…
The Instinct Solar watch, which includes a rest and recovery feature as well as pulse ox, is able to be charged almost sufficiently if the user is exposed to at least 50,000 lux sunlight during the day. This exposure is required for three hours per day. For avid outdoor sports enthusiasts it’s a possibility, however in some countries or areas of the world that don’t see the levels of sunlight each day that say, countries in the southern hemisphere might see, the watch may not quite reach the charges that it is capable of in full sunlight.
Let’s take a look at some stats:
The Instinct Solar model can maintain its battery life for between 30 and 38 hours in GPS mode, between 70 and 145 hours in max battery GPS mode, and in smartwatch mode, this jumps to a massive 24 to 54 days. In expedition mode, battery life is further increased to between 28 and 68 days, and in battery saver mode, from 56 days to an unlimited period of time.
The Fenix 6 Pro Solar and the Fenix 6S Pro Solar models can maintain battery life for between 36 and 40 hours when in GPS mode, and for between 72 and 93 hours when in max battery GPS mode. When in smartwatch mode, the watches can see up to between 14 and 16 days. In expedition mode, that increases to between 28 and 36 days. Battery life potential increases even further in battery saver mode, to between 48 and 80 days.
Garmin has also overhauled the power manager within these sports watches to bring less fussy settings to the market. Customisable modes, backlight settings, pulse ox and more features are possible with the new models. And, solar is now a feature that Garmin sports watch users can come to rely on.
These watches are certainly no gimmick.