Garmin Instinct 2X Solar launches with flashlight and multiband GPS

Bigger, badder Instinct brings top features
Garmin Instinct 2X
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Garmin has announced its latest addition to the outdoor focussed Instinct 2 series – the Instinct 2X Solar. 

You can now read our full Garmin Instinct 2X review, or read on for a quick overview of the headline changes.

It’s a super-sized and super-specced-up version of the Instinct 2, that is closer to the Fenix 7X – but distilled to focus on outdoors, trail running, and trekking features.

The Instinct 2X Solar will launch in two editions: the standard 2X Solar and the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical Edition.

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Garmin Instinct 2X Tl;dr

  • It comes in two editions: Garmin Instinct 2X Solar and the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical Edition.
  • The watch boasts a 50mm fiber-reinforced polymer case built to MIL-STD-810
  • Unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode with three hours of sunlight exposure per day.
  • Integrated LED flashlight
  • Multi-Band GNSS monitoring
  • Training Readiness 
  • Obstacle Course Racing mode.
  • The Instinct 2X Tactical Edition includes Jumpmaster, tactical preloaded activities, projected waypoints, dual-position GPS formatting, and Night-Vision Compatibility.
  • Price: $449/$499 | £399/£449

The Instinct 2X boasts a 50mm fiber-reinforced polymer case (up from 45mm on the standard Instinct 2), which is built to MIL-STD-810 U.S. military standards for water and shock resistance.

It’s rated at 10 ATM water resistance (100m) and features a chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant screen – which also acts as a solar panel.

Like the Instinct 2 Solar, the 2X Solar can offer unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode, if you get the requisite three hours of sunlight exposure per day.

Garmin says it has improved the Power Glass panel, and it will 50% more energy than the standard Instinct 2 solar watch. 

Integrated flashlight and multiband GNSS

GarminInstinct 2X

Aping the Fenix 7X, the Instinct 2X Solar packs in the integrated LED flashlight, which can be adjusted to offer various intensities. You can set it to red or adjustable white light, which can show your way, and the light will match your running cadence and alternate between white and red, so you can be seen when running at night. We were big fans of this feature on the Fenix 7X and we're pleased to see it roll out to more of the Garmin range.

Another Fenix/Epix feature that has trickled down to the Instinct 2X Solar is multi-band GNSS, which will offer better accuracy, especially when trekking in mountainous or tree-covered areas. 

Users can retrace their trail with TracBack routing, helping them find the same route back to their starting point and reference point marks of a known spot relative to their location. 

In terms of wellness and fitness features, it’s standard Garmin fayre, including stress tracking, Body Battery, and 24/7 heart rate.

 There are also sports profiles for running, biking, swimming, strength training, and more, plus VO2 max, Training Status/Load stats, and all the advanced analytics from the top watches in Garmin’s fitness range.

The Instinct 2X also gets the advanced Training Readiness HRV analysis, which is the more advanced estimation of how rested your body is, and is derived from heart rate variability. It has only been available on the Fenix 7/Epix/Forerunner 955 so far. 

And there are also smart notifications, Garmin Pay contactless payments, and Connect IQ app integration.

The Instinct 2X Solar also adds Obstacle Course Racing as an activity, including running segments and obstacles of various types. Athletes can manually record obstacle splits, and once obstacles are marked for the first lap, they will be automatically tracked for the remaining laps. 

It will also track run times, number of obstacles, time spent on each obstacle, run metrics for run splits (distance, pace, cadence, stride length, etc.), elevation profile, heart rate, and distance.

Instinct 2X Tactical Edition

GarminInstinct 2X tactical

And Garmin is also launching an Instinct 2X Tactical Edition too. That model included the Jumpmaster and tactical preloaded activities, projected waypoints, dual-position GPS formatting, and Night-Vision Compatibility. Users can also enable Stealth Mode, which prevents sharing of GPS position and disables wireless communication. 

The Instinct 2X Solar has a suggested retail price of $449.99, while the Instinct 2X Solar-Tactical Edition has a suggested retail price of $499.99


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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