The Apple Watch can't compete with this Garmin Instinct Crossover feature

Garmin is measuring battery life in months, not days – and it's a stark reminder of the biggest limitation on the Apple Watch

A man walking towards three variations of the Garmin Instinct Crossover
(Image credit: Garmin)

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.

Sam Cross
Trainee Online Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.