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Garmin Instinct Crossover Introduction – Did Garmin gang up with G-Shock?

Tags: Review | Garmin | Men's | Smart | Military

20.11.2022 | 5 MIN

Instincts being similar to G-Shocks? That's what we used to say. But now the resemblance has become something that really looks like Garmin's collaboration with Casio - the Instinct Crossover model.

Crossover? In what sense?

As you may know, the word crossover means a crossing, and in the automotive industry, for example, a combination of bodies is called this. Mostly it is a combination of any body with SUV elements.

So what exactly does Garmin mean by this? That the Crossover provides the best of both watch worlds, analog or digital, or that this smart watch is suitable both for the city and for sports? Because this is the main photo of their campaign. No sportsman, just a guy in a coat. Which, by the way, looks eerily reminiscent of Russell Brand (who doesn't know, it's just one google away).

But enough with these polemics. The Garmin Instinct look great. I'm head over heels for them, and they're Garmin's first sports-oriented smartwatch with analog hands. So far we've only seen it in the Vívomove range, but that's a big deal.

Co přináší Garmin Instinct Crossover:

What the Garmin Instinct Crossover brings to the table:

  • analog hands with Revodrive technology and Super LumiNova luminescence
  • navigaci na referenční bod navigation to a reference point
  • battery life up to 70 days in smartwatch mode
  • in limited mode, the smartwatch lasts up to 90 days
  • GPS receiver with reception of all satellites at once
  • support for Running Power and MTB dynamics

A smart watch with an analog twist

I've always said the Instinct line is kind of abused. Watches for gamers, truckers, surfers, soldiers, men, women... And now even with analog hands. But it looks good, huh?

And now let's try to put the G-Shock GA-800 and the new Crossovers side by side.

I'm not saying Garmin copied anyone, because there's not much to invent with an outdoor watch. But I think if someone removed the Garmin logo...

In Instincts, the display was originally divided into a main part and such a smaller window. This has disappeared with the Instinct Crossover, creating a slightly larger space that will definitely find its use. Otherwise, the technology is exactly the same - black and white LCD monochrome (memory in pixel) display. Probably its biggest advantage is its low battery consumption and strong contrast. But I have to admit that without the mini-display the Instincts look a bit better because they have a cleaner look.

Time indexes and a minute scale have also been added. Indexes and hands have received luminescence, which is mainly used by Swiss brands such as HamiltonTissot or Certina.

Luminescence could then look something like this.

Will the hands get in the way, you ask? They definitely won't. As soon as you start using the watch, the hands will "clear". Vívomove models do it this way too.

An interesting thing is that the case is plastic, but under the bezel you can partially see a sheet of steel, which probably prevents the glass from breaking and holds the structure so that the hands do not fly off after impact. Smart. Perhaps it is related to the Revodrive technology, which should guarantee the most accurate time display even under the worst conditions.

Water resistance remained at 100 meters, as well as resistance to shock and extreme temperatures. The glass is chemically hardened.

Aren't the handles too heavy on the battery?

Vívomove watches are notorious for not lasting very long. This is not the case with Instinct. It lasts 28 days in normal mode (up to 70 with solar) and in analog mode, i.e. when only the hands work, it lasts up to 71 days. I think that's fine because there have never been Garmins that you can turn into a classic for a while. Maybe you're going on vacation, you don't want to deal with heart rate, sleep and similar crap, but you just want to know the time. Please, only Crossover can do this. With good light access, analog mode works indefinitely. Wow.

It's 25 hours on GPS and 31 hours with solar. Which are exactly the same values ​​as the Instinct 2.

Introduction of Garmin Instinct 2 / 2S – For men, women and with NFC payments
9.3.2022
Introduction of Garmin Instinct 2 / 2S – For men, women and with NFC payments

Of course, luminescence does not affect the battery in any way, because it glows after being illuminated by natural or artificial light. It has nothing to do with electricity. But the question is how good the Instincts' luminescence is. There are different levels and either it can shine for 2 hours or maybe 6. But don't expect it to be every night, all night. Or maybe yes, but I doubt it.

The sensor equipment remained the same

The equipment is absolutely identical - i.e. accelerometer, barometer, compass, thermometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor, GPS and pulse oximeter. The watch can also measure heart rate variability.

GPS has also been upgraded and the Instinct Crossover supports Multi GNSS, i.e. reception of three satellite systems at once (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS). The previous generation was only able to receive two at a time.

What about lifestyle, sports and smart functions?

In truth, the lifestyle equipment remained exactly the same, but from a sporting point of view, the offer was slightly expanded.

Garmin likes to boast about their "Reference point" feature, which is a navigation to a specific point of interest that you save. I suppose it has the advantage over the "TracBack" feature that it can navigate you to that point from more or less anywhere. Tracback always only takes you to the starting position of the activity.

I'm not sure if it was in Instinct 2, but the support of Running power or MTB dynamics could be a reason you come to like the watch even better.

Contactless payment is a delight from the smart equipment, and it is surprising that Garmin does not indicate whether it is all or only solar Crossovers, because only solars got NFC in the second generation.

In addition, the Tactical versions have such classics - night vision support, dual coordinates, Stealth Mode (the watch does not transmit or receive anything), Kill Switch (deletes all data with a long click) or Jumpmaster (parachute jump mode) and tactical activity.

So what are the Crossovers like?

Funkčně nemají jak zaujmout, ale vzhledem určitě. Luminiscenční ručky jsou určitě zajímavé, ale nevím, jestli je to přímo "taktické", protože luminiscenci prostě nevypnete, když se plížíte černým lesem.

Functionally, they have nothing to impress with, but they certainly look good. The luminescent hands are certainly interesting, but I don't know if it's exactly "tactical" because you just can't turn off the luminescence when you're sneaking through the black forest.

But if we leave the soldiers behind and move on to ordinary mortals, I'll just say... I like the watch. I am one of those who still have a love for analog hands and I actually use a smart watch to read the time. I don't look at my phone. So the handles are fine for me. Especially with luminescence, because with other Garmins you are recorded without backlight at night. I think the analog mode is brilliant. Do you want to switch off from smart gadgets, but know about the time? Well, please.

I like that they cleaned up the look, added steel elements and gave the watch a twist. I believe that they will find their users and I look forward to having them in my hands.

And what do you think about the new Insticts?

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