Apple watch

Garmin’s latest Apple Watch Ultra rival comes with ‘hybrid’ functionality and a reasonable price

While rugged smartwatches have been around for…about as long as “regular” smartwatches, aiming to not only keep up with your active lifestyle, but also enrich your adventures by harnessing the latest (wearable) technology, the product category is undoubtedly receiving unusual results. “general” attention now that Apple Watch Ultra is here.

Like any first-generation ‘iDevice’, of course, this muscular bad boy with ‘extra-long’ battery life isn’t perfect, allowing Garmin to capture the limelight and possibly attract a wider audience than ever before. with products like Instinct 2 and the all-new Instinct Crossover.

Analog + Digital = Price $500+

The Instinct Crossover, compatible with Android and iOS, appears to have been quietly launched recently in a number of markets around the world. In the US, the “hybrid” smartwatch costs $499.99 in a “standard edition” available in black and “granite blue” colors, with solar graphite and “tide blue” versions for an additional $50 a piece and a tactical edition clad in a black tint only costs you $599.99 (with solar charging also supported).

Because these price tags are obviously not comparable with the amount Apple Watch Series 8 normally costs (at least in an entry-level GPS-only aluminum model), it certainly makes sense to pit this thing against the rugged Apple Watch Ultra instead.

Then again, that’s not really a fair comparison either given that the Instinct Crossover sports a relatively modest monochrome display (by consumer smartwatch standards) with a resolution of 176 x 176 pixels.

Somewhat ironically, this component is advertised as “high resolution”, which is an accurate description when viewing the new outdoor-suitable smartwatch through a hybrid lens.

The digital display is paired with luminescent, luminous, easy-to-read and “incredibly reliable” analog watch hands to bring together the best of both worlds, helping the Instinct Crossover look like a traditional watch (more or less) while still providing valuable information, notifications and alerts from a connected phone, and perhaps most importantly, maximizing battery life.

The Instinct Crossover can last… how long?!?

Up to 25 hours in “GPS mode” (31 hours with solar charging), which might not sound that impressive…until you hear all of Garmin’s other battery endurance claims. Specifically, up to 28 days (or 70 days with solar) in “smartwatch mode” and up to 71 days (that’s two months!!!) in “battery saver watch mode”, which can switch to a rating “unlimited” when also considering solar charging functionality for which, remember, you’ll have to pay extra.

That’s right, you might not need to plug in your Garmin Instinct Crossover…ever if you play your cards right and don’t mind spending at least $550, which is starting to sound like more and more reasonable.

That’s $250 less than the Apple Watch Ultra’s regular price, mind you, and Cupertino’s decidedly non-hybrid rugged smartwatch can barely promise “up to 36 hours” of battery life in normal use or 60 hours on “low power settings”.

Unsurprisingly, the Instinct Crossover is also built like a tank, surviving not only submersion in water to a depth of 100 meters with ease, but also extreme weather conditions and various shocks, presumably including falls on hard surfaces.

In addition to standalone GPS connectivity, the long list of sensors offered at $500+ also includes a barometric altimeter, compass, thermometer, blood oxygen saturation monitor, and heart rate monitor, not to mention the stand. Glonass and Galileo guarantee reliable activity tracking in even the most remote places you can imagine, as well as in-depth sleep tracking and so-called “body battery” energy monitoring.

In short, you’ll get everything you might need from a health and fitness tracking perspective. more an undeniably elegant and ingenious design more Stellar battery life for your money here, which makes this value proposition pretty much irresistible, at least to some fans of rugged handhelds.