Is a Satellite Watch worth the Money?

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Is a Satellite Watch worth the Money?

Before we get to far down the rabbit hole I would preface this by saying I have been a watch guy for the last 5 years and prior to that I always found I would crack the face or ware down the watch so fast it wasn't worth it to me. Below I have showcased the watches I have used so you know where my experience is coming from. In no way do I claim to be in a expert in this criteria. However, my number 1 aspect is functionality and my number 2  is durability. 
 Watch timeline:
  • G-Shock
  • Rockwell Coliseum - Broke
  • Rockwell Coliseum
  • Apple Watch - Broke
  • Garmin Vivoactive - Stopped Functioning
  • Garmin Instinct Tactical - Currently Using
 
My current watch is a Garmin Instinct Tactical and I do have to say, "I love this thing". As far as a tool to use while out scouting, hunting, fishing, or just daily use it has proven it's worth over and over.  
I am no tech wiz and this Garmin can do way more that I will ever use, I will put the specs and features below for all you technical people. 
Durability - I have been using the Instinct since December and so far it has held up under 5 hunts, 2 of which were some very extreme conditions. If you are putting on the miles and want to know what kind of elevation you are covering then this Garmin is clutch. 
(Packing out a 6 foot black bear in MT, I used the instinct on this trip almost as much as my binoculars)
Here are the features that I like and use the most when it pertains to the outdoors particularly hunting:
  • Elevation
  • Moon phase
  • Sunrise/ Sunset
  • Twilight Feature
  • Compass
  • Weather
Battery Life
I can go a solid 2 weeks without charging the instinct. That is with daily use on continuous basis. The longest I have gone is 17 days. 
The instinct has a really cool track feature that allows the use of Garmin's satellite service in which will track your location and if need be, guide you back the direction you came. I've messed around with this feature several times and if I needed it in an emergency I could see it being very handy. Or if I needed to give search and rescue my coordinates the watch will tell me my longitude and latitude with a click of a button. That screams functional to me. 
This watch comes with the "normal" features that seem to attract most individuals to a "smart watch". Step tracking, activity, notifications, etc.... and those are great things but I wanted this thing for a tool to better my chances while in the field chasing game. Overall, if you are a watch guy and think you might want something that does more than tell time than I would definitely consider a smart sat watch. As you can see I have not used 100 different brands or compared between Garmin's competitors..... this is my experience. 
Thanks for reading. 
Justin
SPECS

WHEN YOU CAN RELY ON INSTINCT, THE WORLD CAN RELY ON YOU

You’ve never been one to follow the beaten path — that’s where Instinct comes in. This rugged GPS watch is mission-ready and built to withstand the toughest environments.

Withstand the elements with military standard toughness.

Tactical-specific features such as night vision compatibility and more for field ops.

Navigate your world with multi-GNSS satellite support and outdoor sensors.

Pair with your compatible smartphone for on-wrist messaging, alerts and notifications.

Map, track, sync and share your trek from anywhere with our exclusive app.

Don't be limited by battery life. Get up to 14 days in smartwatch mode.

 

General

LENS MATERIAL

chemically strengthened glass

BEZEL MATERIAL

fiber-reinforced polymer

CASE MATERIAL fiber-reinforced polymer
QUICKFIT™ WATCH BAND COMPATIBLE

yes (22 mm)

STRAP MATERIAL

silicone

PHYSICAL SIZE

45 x 45 x 15.3 mm
Fits wrists with a circumference of 132-224 mm

DISPLAY SIZE custom, two-window design; 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm)
DISPLAY RESOLUTION 128 x 128 pixels
DISPLAY TYPE monochrome, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
WEIGHT

52 g

BATTERY LIFE Smartwatch mode: Up to 14 days
GPS mode: Up to 16 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 40 hours
WATER RATING 10 ATM
MEMORY/HISTORY 16 MB

Clock Features

TIME/DATE
GPS TIME SYNC
AUTOMATIC DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
ALARM CLOCK
TIMER
STOPWATCH
SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

Health Monitoring

WRIST-BASED HEART RATE (CONSTANT, EVERY SECOND)
DAILY RESTING HEART RATE
ABNORMAL HEART RATE ALERTS yes (high and low)
BODY BATTERY™ ENERGY MONITOR
ALL-DAY STRESS
RELAXATION BREATHING TIMER
SLEEP yes (Advanced)
HYDRATION yes (in Garmin Connect™)
WOMAN'S HEALTH yes (in Garmin Connect™)

Sensors

GPS
GLONASS
GALILEO
GARMIN ELEVATE™ WRIST HEART RATE MONITOR
BAROMETRIC ALTIMETER
COMPASS
ACCELEROMETER
THERMOMETER

Daily Smart Features

CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth®, ANT+®
SMART NOTIFICATIONS
TEXT RESPONSE/REJECT PHONE CALL WITH TEXT (ANDROID™ ONLY)
CALENDAR
WEATHER
CONTROLS SMARTPHONE MUSIC
FIND MY PHONE
FIND MY WATCH
VIRB® REMOTE
SMARTPHONE COMPATIBILITY iPhone®, Android™
PAIRS WITH GARMIN CONNECT™ MOBILE

Safety and Tracking Features

LIVETRACK

Tactical Features

STEALTH MODE
NIGHT VISION MODE
DUAL GRID COORDINATES

Activity Tracking Features

STEP COUNTER
MOVE BAR (DISPLAYS ON DEVICE AFTER A PERIOD OF INACTIVITY; WALK FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO RESET IT)
AUTO GOAL (LEARNS YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL AND ASSIGNS A DAILY STEP GOAL)
CALORIES BURNED
FLOORS CLIMBED
DISTANCE TRAVELED
INTENSITY MINUTES
TRUEUP™
MOVE IQ™

Gym & Fitness Equipment

AVAILABLE GYM ACTIVITY PROFILES Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and Yoga
CARDIO WORKOUTS
STRENGTH WORKOUTS
AUTOMATIC REP COUNTING

Training, Planning and Analysis Features

HR ZONES
HR ALERTS
HR CALORIES
% HR MAX
% HRR
AUTO MAX HR
HR BROADCAST (BROADCASTS HR DATA OVER ANT+™ TO PAIRED DEVICES) yes (using ANT+)
GPS SPEED AND DISTANCE
CUSTOMIZABLE DATA PAGES
CUSTOMIZABLE ACTIVITY PROFILES
AUTO PAUSE®
INTERVAL TRAINING
ADVANCED WORKOUTS
DOWNLOADABLE TRAINING PLANS
AUTO LAP®
MANUAL LAP
CONFIGURABLE LAP ALERTS
CUSTOM ALERTS
AUDIO PROMPTS
FINISH TIME
VIRTUAL PARTNER
RACE AN ACTIVITY
COURSE GUIDANCE
TOUCH AND/OR BUTTON LOCK
HOT KEYS
AUTO SCROLL
ACTIVITY HISTORY ON WATCH
PHYSIO TRUEUP

Running Features

AVAILABLE RUN PROFILES

Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running

GPS-BASED DISTANCE, TIME AND PACE
CADENCE (PROVIDES REAL-TIME NUMBER OF STEPS PER MINUTE)
RUN WORKOUTS
FOOT POD CAPABLE

Outdoor Recreation

AVAILABLE OUTDOOR RECREATION PROFILES

Hiking, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Jumpmaster, Tactical

POINT-TO-POINT NAVIGATION
BREAD CRUMB TRAIL IN REAL TIME
BACK TO START
TRACBACK®
ULTRATRAC MODE
ELEVATION PROFILE
DISTANCE TO DESTINATION
BAROMETRIC TREND INDICATOR WITH STORM ALERT
TRAIL RUN AUTO CLIMB
VERTICAL SPEED
TOTAL ASCENT/DESCENT
FUTURE ELEVATION PLOT
COMPATIBLE WITH BASECAMP™
GPS COORDINATES
SIGHT 'N GO
AREA CALCULATION
PROJECTED WAYPOINT
SUN AND MOON INFORMATION
XERO™ LOCATIONS

Cycling Features

ALERTS (TRIGGERS ALARM WHEN YOU REACH GOALS INCLUDING TIME, DISTANCE, HEART RATE OR CALORIES)
COURSES
AVAILABLE CYCLING PROFILES

Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking

RACE AN ACTIVITY
SPEED AND CADENCE SENSOR SUPPORT (W/SENSOR)
​

Swimming Features

AVAILABLE SWIM PROFILES

Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming

OPEN-WATER SWIM METRICS (DISTANCE, PACE, STROKE COUNT/RATE, STROKE DISTANCE, SWIM EFFICIENCY (SWOLF), CALORIES)
POOL SWIM METRICS (LENGTHS, DISTANCE, PACE, STROKE COUNT, SWIM EFFICIENCY (SWOLF), CALORIES)
STROKE TYPE DETECTION (FREESTYLE, BACKSTROKE, BREASTSTROKE, BUTTERFLY) (POOL SWIM ONLY)
DRILL LOGGING (POOL SWIM ONLY)
BASIC REST TIMER (UP FROM 0) (POOL SWIM ONLY)
"REPEAT ON" REST TIMER (POOL SWIM ONLY)
POOL SWIM WORKOUTS

1 comment

  • Randy

    Loved this review,,,going to look into that garmin , i liked that you could go two weeks on a charge .
    I currently have the apple watch in titanium , I am a bricklayer and we eat watches up ,after 1 year in the mud ,sand , rain ,acid washing bricks , banging up against scaffolding , it looks like brandnew!
    But i have to charge it every day when i come home , so i can track sleep at night . Looks like i might be wearing two watchs soon ,, lol thx again , Randy , (new subscriber)

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