New Garmin Instinct Crossover combines tradition and technology via analogue hands and smartwatch functionality
Along with 'real hands' are built-in sports apps, health and wellness features and solar charging, all of which set a new standard of hybrid smartwatch functionality according to Garmin
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Garmin has launched the Instinct Crossover, a hybrid GPS smartwatch that the US brand says is built for those who appreciate a classic analogue watch experience but who do not want to compromise essential smartwatch functionality or rugged watch durability - hence ‘crossover’.
Like the Instinct 2 (opens in new tab), which Garmin released in February, the new watch is claimed to have an infinite battery life in saver mode thanks to the solar tech that also features on its latest cycling computer, the Garmin 1040 (opens in new tab).
The solar edition of the Instinct Crossover can provide up to a claimed 70 days of battery life in smartwatch mode with solar charging. Even without solar, the base model provides “nearly a month” of battery life in smartwatch mode and more than 110 hours in GPS mode according to Garmin.
As well as the solar charging and “luminescent” watch hands, like Garmin's best cycling smartwatches (opens in new tab)the Instinct Crossover includes all the brand's health monitoring and activity tracking features - these ones in a digital display of course.
The new Super-LumiNova coated analogue hands are overlaid on the Instinct Crossover’s high-resolution digital display and quickly move (to 9:15) when users want to access detailed smart feature data.
As a watch designed for adventure the Instinct Crossover is thermal and shock resistant, built to MIL-STD-810, and water-rated to 10 ATM.
Thanks to its new RevoDrive technology, Garmin says the Instinct Crossover delivers accurate analogue timekeeping even in the harshest activities and environments: this means if the watch receives enough of an impact to move the watch hands, RevoDrive is designed to autocalibrate them back to the correct time.
As already mentioned, the Instinct Crossover features Garmin’s full suite of wellness features including Sleep Score and Advanced Sleep Monitoring, and health monitoring which allows users to log metrics, such as Body Battery, stress, and heart rate in a single view.
It also includes VO2 Max, Pulse Ox, Fitness Age, Training Status/Load/Effect, HRV Status, and Recovery Time, like Garmin’s other top watches such as the Fenix 7 (opens in new tab), Epix and Forerunner 955.
Like those watches it also connects with smartphones so that users get notifications, can use Garmin Pay contactless payments and sync with the Garmin Connect app and Connect IQ store.
As you’d expect, the Instinct Crossover also provides GPS tracking, Multi-GNSS support, ABC sensors, TracBack routing, which navigates the same route back to the start point, and Reference Point, which helps users keep track of a known place relative to their location.
There’s an Instinct Crossover Tactical Edition aimed at SAS hopefuls that provides dedicated tactical-oriented features like night vision compatibility, stealth mode, dual-format GPS, a kill switch and more.
The Instinct Crossover range is available right now with a RRP that starts at £479.99$499.99 for the Standard Edition. The Solar Edition costs £529/$549.99 and the Tactical Edition £569/$599.99.
All models are available directly from Garmin’s website (opens in new tab) now.
We've ordered one in for testing and will bring you our full review shortly.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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