Garmin have just announced a new hybrid smartwatch called the Garmin Instinct Crossover. Sharing large portions of the DNA found in the Garmin Instinct Solar, the Instinct Crossover adds traditional hour and minute hands, creating a product that should appeal to traditional watch enthusiasts who want a taste of the smartwatch world.
In typical Garmin fashion, it's built like a tank and plays host to a raft of features more suited to a military division than a piece of consumer technology – Night Vision, anyone? It carries itself much like a Casio G-Shock, actually, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences.
One feature that really stood out to me on the Instinct Crossover was the battery life. It may be a little tongue-in-cheek of Garmin to proudly boast a lifespan "measured in months, not days" but it's not wrong.
Specs vary depending on your model preference – there are options for Solar-powered and Standard or Tactical editions – but the low end is listed at "nearly a month" up to an infinite battery life with other configurations. Somewhere in the middle, the Solar-powered, Standard edition model using advanced connected features will give up to 70 days of battery life.
That bugs me, because I own an Apple Watch. And battery life on the Apple Watch is about as bad as it gets for a modern smartwatch. My Apple Watch SE is rated for a miserly 18 hours. In fairness, I've actually managed to push it beyond that but even the ultra premium, Garmin-in-disguise Apple Watch Ultra is rated to top out at 60 hours.
Now granted, the Apple Watch is running a more intensive OS than the Garmin but I can't help but feel let down. It's a massive gulf in difference, and it's something that other smartwatches don't seem to be plagued with either.
I'm a long-time admirer of the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro, which is rated for 12 days of use. Similarly, last week I reported on the Huawei Watch GT Cyber, which schools the Apple Watch, offering a range of features that are missing from the Cupertino kingpins' offering.
Now, with this latest Garmin offering, I feel like my love for the Apple Watch has finally died. Its features and fitness tracking capabilities are fantastic, but there are a number of other devices that can also give me that, and still last more than a day between charges.