Garmin recently announced the arrival of its newest Instinct and fēnix series smartwatches in the Philippines, powered by its patented solar charging technology.
Unlike solar-powered watches that convert solar energy into electrical energy for functions such as time, Garmin’s solar charging technology utilizes the converted energy for multiple sports activity modes and health monitoring features such as heart rate, GPS, apart from various sensors and data calculation.
This solar charging technology not only delivers overall improved power performance but also reduces carbon emissions by up to 59 percent.
Revolutionizing solar charging technology for increased battery optimization
One-of-a-kind Power Glass solar charging panel
Garmin was able to design an ultra-thin layer of tiny conductive elements on top of a glass panel, creating a multilayer structure that’s only 0.5mm thick, and can efficiently convert the light source into electrical energy while maintaining high permeability so that when it’s paired with a Memory-in-Pixel (MIP) display, it’s able to retain clear and full-color visibility under direct sunlight.
Over 30 patents filed for revolutionary solar charging technology
Garmin’s breakthrough solar charging technology is achieved by using the best conductive materials to generate a peak power output (Pmax) of the solar cell that is rated five times higher than the industry standard. Incorporated in the design of the Instinct Solar, it’s able to achieve unlimited battery life when set to the battery saver mode.
The technology also delivers a solar conversion rate that’s up to five times faster than the industry standard.
Continuous solar charging even in partially covered conditions
Garmin’s innovative solar panel technology has rearranged the panel’s conducting cells in a new design such that even when part of the screen is covered by clothing or mud during an activity, the smartwatch continues uninterrupted solar charging.
Power Manager feature to allow customizable feature management
This allows the user to easily toggle the watch functions according to their usage needs for the day, deactivating unused or lesser used functions on low activity level days. This allows the user to maximize each charge.
Instinct Solar for the rugged, outdoor enthusiast
Garmin incorporated the solar lens technology into its Instinct range of GPS smartwatches to cater to the urban sports enthusiast. With the Power Manager feature, users can toggle to the Battery Saver mode to enjoy unlimited battery life on the Instinct Solar and Instinct Solar – Camo Edition, up to 24 days in smartwatch mode indoors and over 54 days with sufficient solar exposure.
Instinct Solar series now also includes the Body Battery feature which analyzes heart rate variability, stress level, sleep quality, and activity data to determine overall energy levels. Another new feature is the Pulse Ox, a technology that measures blood oxygen saturation which is a useful health indicator to monitor especially during this time of pandemic as the COVID-19 virus can lead to pneumonia infection, leading to a drop in blood oxygen level. A sudden drop in SpO2 levels can indicate the early onset of symptoms.
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fēnix 6 Solar Series – The Ultimate Solar Powered Smartwatch
Featuring Garmin Power Glass solar charging lens and a Power Manager mode, the fēnix 6 Solar Series utilize solar energy to stay on and remain ready for weeks, so users will have more on-wrist time to enjoy their activities, training features, onboard mapping, music streaming and much more. The fēnix 6 and 6S Solar also come surf, mountain bike, and indoor climb-ready.
- Surf – Track total waves, surf time, total time, max speed and the longest waves. When surfing in front of a Surfline camera, users can upload their surf data to their Surfline account and later view a video of that surfing activity through Surfline Sessions.
- Mountain Bike – Track the details of every ride with mountain biking metrics along with specialized grit and flow measurements that rate trail difficulty and how smoothly a user descends, giving a score to beat next time.
- Indoor Climb – Allows climbers to track their session at indoor facilities. Metrics include the number of routes, vertical distance climbed, climbing time, difficulty of each route, and more.
fēnix 6S Pro Solar battery performance in smartwatch mode is up to 9 days indoors and up to 10.5 days with sufficient solar exposure, while battery performance for the fēnix 6 Pro Solar in smartwatch mode is up to 14 days indoors and up to 16 days with sufficient solar exposure.
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Garmin Solar Series Battery Life Chart
fēnix 6 Solar Series Battery Life
|Mode||fēnix 6S Pro Solar||fēnix 6 Pro Solar|
|Smartwatch||Up to 9 days plus 1.5 days*||Up to 14 days plus 2 days*|
|GPS||Up to 25 hours plus 3 hours**||Up to 36 hours plus 4 hours**|
|GPS and Music||Up to 6 hours||Up to 10 hours|
|Max Battery GPS Mode||50 hours plus 14 hours**||72 hours plus 21 hours**|
|Expedition GPS Activity||20 days plus 6 days*||28 days plus 8 days*|
|Battery Saver Watch Mode||34 days plus 25 days*||48 days plus 32 days*|
Instinct Solar Series Battery Life
|Mode||Instinct Solar and Instinct Solar – Camo Edition|
|Smartwatch||Up to 24 days + 30 days *|
|GPS||Up to 30 hours + 8 hours **|
|Max Battery GPS Mode||70 hours + 75 hours**|
|Expedition GPS Activity||28 days + 40 days*|
|Battery Saver Watch Mode||56 days + unlimited*|
* – Solar charging, assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions
** – Solar charging, assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions
Pricing and Availability
Instinct Solar comes in Graphite and Flame Red variants while Instinct Solar – Camo Edition is available in Graphite Camo.
The fēnix 6 Pro Solar comes in Black with Slate Gray Band Mineral Blue with Whitestone Band, while fēnix 6S Pro Solar comes in Light Gold with Shale Gray Band and Amethyst Steel with Shale Gray Band.
- Instinct Solar – PhP24,995
- Instinct Solar Camo Edition – PhP27,995
- fēnix 6/6S Pro Solar – PhP52,995
Garmin official brand stores where you can find the Solar Series are as follows:
- GLORIETTA 5
- SM MEGAMALL
- SM MOA
- UPTOWN BONIFACIO
- ALABANG TOWN CENTER
- SM AURA
- SM NORTH EDSA
- THE PODIUM
- AYALA MALLS VERTIS NORTH
- SM CITY PAMPANGA
- SHANGRI-LA PLAZA
- SM CITY BAGUIO
- SM CITY CEBU
- SM LANANG PREMIERE
- FESTIVE WALK
- SM BACOLOD
For more information, you may visit https://ph.garmin.com.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.