As one of the toughest smarwatch providers for outdoor enthusiasts, Garmin has a range of products aimed at different needs. For example, the Instinct Solar series comes in several variants. What we will review in this article is the Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition.

As the name implies, Surf Edition means that this smartwatch is equipped with special features for surfers. Even more interesting, the Instinct Solar series also has solar panel technology to absorb solar power and convert it into power to make the battery last longer.

Curious about the sophistication of the Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition? Come on , just take a look!

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition design

Most of the Garmin smarwatch products put forward a tough design to be able to withstand various extreme conditions. So does the Instinct Solar Surf Edition, which looks like an adventurous watch with a MIL-STD-810G military standard design for thermal, shock and water resistance of up to 100 meters.

The material is a combination of fiber, polymer, and a strap made from silicone. This combination of course offers high durability so you don’t have to worry about weather changes and collisions when on the move on tough terrain. The screen itself is also coated with strong and scratch-resistant glass.

In terms of design, because it is designed for fans of outdoor activities, it’s no wonder the Instinct Solar Surf Edition’s appearance tends to be sporty and masculine. Its thickness and width also make it look bulky, especially if you have tiny wrists. Of course, this watch is not ideal for wearing on formal occasions.

In Indonesia, Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition is available in two color choices, namely Pipeline as in our review article this time, and Cloudbreak. According to Gaming, the Quickfit type strap on the Instinct Solar Surf Edition makes it easy to remove and replace with a similar strap to your liking as long as it is 22mm in size.

You will find five physical buttons on the Instinct Solar Surf Edition with different functions. Just like the Fenix ​​series, because the screen on this smarwatch does not support touch, all control is done through these five buttons.

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition display

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition comes with a screen that carries a two-window concept (there is an extra small round screen). The resolution is only 128 x 128 pixels and is still black and white. Yes, you won’t find a sharp and colorful AMOLED screen like a typical smartwatch. Designed to be battery efficient and easily visible in the sun, Garming uses a transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display.

Even so, you can still choose several Watch Face options ranging from digital to analog clock styles. The brightness level of the screen itself is also very good and in our opinion it can display content clearly both in very bright sunlight conditions to dark nights.

On this screen you can also monitor key information such as time, day, date, remaining battery, and since this is Surf Edition, there is info about the height of the waves. You can also scroll the screen to access other features using the up and down buttons, and activate the light to make it easier to see in the dark via the light button.

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition features

The features in Instinct Solar Surf Edition are basically similar to other Instinct Solar series. What distinguishes it is the availability of data that displays tidal conditions, so those of you who want to surf can find the perfect waves on the beaches around you.

What is more interesting is that all surfing activities such as a recap of the number of waves, the maximum speed reached, and the distance traveled during surfing will also be saved. Unfortunately, we couldn’t test the sophistication of this feature right away. Apart from being a pandemic, we (especially myself as writers) are not surfers.

For other features, Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition is equipped with a heart rate sensor that will monitor periodically, Pulse Ox to measure blood oxygen levels, stress tracking, and features to monitor the body battery so you can know when you are ready to be active or when you need a break. .

Not to forget, Instinct Solar Surf Edition has support for global navigation satellite systems ranging from GPS, GLONASS, to Galileo. There are also ABC navigation sensors including an altimeter for altitude data, a barometer for monitoring the weather, and a 3-axis electronic compass. You can also use the Tracback Routing feature as a guide to make it easier to find your way home or return to your starting point.

It should also be noted that even though the status is Surf Edition, this smartwatch is still equipped with several other sports modes such as running, hiking, cycling, and so on. Notifications that enter the smartphone can also be displayed on the Instinct Solar screen when connected via Bluetooth.

Finally about the Garmin Connect application. This application is available for the Android and iOS operating systems. All the activities you do while using the Instinct Solar Surf Edition will be recorded and summarized in the Garmin Connect app. Apart from that, you can also access some of the settings from here.

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition battery and solar panels

This is what we think is one of the main draws of the Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition. The battery has extraordinary durability, which is up to 24 days in smartwatch mode indoors, and more than 50 days with adequate sun exposure. You can also adjust battery life through the Instinct Solar Power Manager feature.

The solar panel itself is very sophisticated. In fact, you don’t even need to be right in the hot sun for the solar panels on the Instinct Solar Surf Edition to absorb energy. Even when you are in the shade of a tree these solar panels can still work. You can monitor the performance of the solar panel directly from your watch or through the Garmin Connect app.


The Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition is definitely not the smartwatch for everyone. This watch has a very specific market share, namely lovers of outdoor activities, especially those who like surfing. As a user who does not belong to that group, we still recommend Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition as your first choice. Complete features, and military standard durability.

The advantages of Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition:

  • Tough body by military standards
  • The screen is comfortable to see in all light conditions
  • Battery life is very satisfying
  • Equipped with solar panel technology
  • There is a wave monitoring feature for surfers
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Pulse Ox to measure oxygen levels in the blood

Cons of Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition:

  • The body is quite large and thick
  • Five buttons with different functions can sometimes be confused and feel impractical
  • The watch face option is less attractive

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition is ideal for: Surfers. Outdoor enthusiasts. Adventurers who often explore rough terrain.

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition is less than ideal for: Casual users who don’t need the above features.


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