Garmin Instinct vs Fenix: Key Differences [Guide 2022]

We would like to share with you our hands on test for Garmin Instinct vs Fenix comparison. If you are into adventures and outdoor activities, these two smart watches are the game changing pieces of the year. We have been using them for last 4 months and both Garmin Instinct and Fenix are impressive. But there are some specific differences and features that could make one or the other better for you depending on what you are looking for on a smart watch.

Garmin Instinct Solar vs Fenix 6 Pro Solar Main Differences and our hands on test

We would like to highlight the Garmin Instinct Solar and Fenix 6 Pro Solar in this comparison. Because, both of them are the most popular smart watches in their production line. Also, they are more suitable for outdoor activities compared to standard model of Instinct and Fenix 6. When we compare Garmin Instinct Pro vs Fenix 6 Pro Solar, we realized that there are tons of similarities between these two smart watches like heart rate monitoring, GPS, tons of sensors and so on. However, we will be focusing on the differences, so you guys can determine which one is best for you.

The main differences between Garmin Instinct Solar and Fenix 6 Pro Solar are as follows:

  • The cost
  • The Style
  • Fitness & training Features
  • Music Storage
  • Battery Life
  • Topo Maps
  • Ruggedness

Let’s focus on these differences one by one and how we find both smart watches during our hands on test.

Garmin Instinct Solar vs Fenix 6 Pro Solar

We highlighted the main differences between these two smart watches. Now, it is time to take a look at them deeply and make a side by side comparison for Instinct Solar vs Fenix 6 Pro Solar. Let’s take a look at how the Garmin Instinct and Fenix differs considering the outdoor activities. Each of them makes sense in different scenarios and depending on how you use the watches.  

The Price Tag

The first difference we realized was the price tag. It was impossible not to notice during our purchase! The Garmin Instinct Solar costs around $400 dollars, and Fenix 6 Pro Solar costs around $800. Is worth spending extra 400 dollars to get Fenix 6 Solar Pro? Well, we will see it!

Rates for Garmin Instinct Solar

The Price Tag of Garmin Instinct Solar compare to Garmin Fenix 6 Solar Pro

Check the Rates on Amazon

Rates for Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar

The Price Tag of Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar compare to Garmin Instinct Solar

Check the Rates on Amazon.

The Style

If you are working in office environment then Fenix 6 is more professional looking watch and it fits in office environment. The Fenix 6 looks more stylish. On the other hand the Instinct is more are rugged watch. Therefore, it doesn’t fit quite in the office environment.

Leather Bands looks better on Garmin Fenix 6. The Fenix is more stylish and suitable for office environment, On the other hand, the Instinct is more rugged.

Instead of using the standard band comes with the smart watch, we like to change the watch band frequently. With the Fenix if you don’t like the silicone bands which come with it then you can get other bands. Our testers personally prefer leather bands on Fenix 6 in order to make it even more professional.

Training Features & Music Storage

Another difference is how they perform at the gym and while training. The Fenix 6 Pro Solar works great for weight trainings. It has a dedicated weight training program. Also, it has animations that pop ups in the screen and shows you how to do exercise. Moreover, it includes automatic rep count which is really cool! You don’t have to do anything; it will tell you how many reps you done in sets and automatically ends the set which is really good for timing your rest periods.

What we liked the most on Fenix 6 Pro Solar is that you can listen anything of your Spotify account directly from the Fenix 6 Pro using Bluetooth headphones. We found this feature very nice at gym.

You can listen Spotify via Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, but you cannot listen Spotify with Garmin Instinct

If you have Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar with you and you are running, you don’t need to bring your phone with you to listen music. The Fenix 6 Pro Solar has a better running analysis and tracking programs compare to the Garmin Instinct.  So, the Instinct does not have these features and this may and may not be a deal breaker for you guys.   

When it comes to training and fitness features, there is also a more cost effective and feature rich smart watch “Garmin Vivoactive 4”. You can check our “Garmin Vivoactive 4 Revivew” article to read more about it.

The Battery-life for Garmin Instinct vs Fenix

The Solar watches of Instinct and Fenix take energy from the sun and put that into the battery of the watches. So, you can get significantly longer battery life with both of them. With the Fenix 6 Pro Solar, you can get 14 days of batter life just using it every day with no solar. However, the Fenix 6 Pro Solar can last for 16 days if you use it with solar and smart watch mode. With the Garmin Instinct, you will get 24 days of batter life with no-solar and 54 days, if you use it with solar and smart watch mode.  

The reason why Garmin Instinct gets such a better battery life has to do with the solar panels on it. So, there is only a thin ring of 100% solar panel on the Fenix 6 Pro Solar and a quite big more of that in the Instinct. Therefore, Fenix 6 has a much bigger face capable of showing things, whereas Instinct is not as capable with showing information on it.

The Durability

The Garmin Instinct is just a little bit more rugged compared to the Fenix 6 series. It has raised bevels around the outside. So, it is a little bit harder to scratch the crystal.

This is another aspect of both Instinct Solar and Fenix 6 Pro Solar watches. They use crystal and you cannot get sapphire crystal with solar capable watches of Garmin, it is not an option.

However, we love sapphire edition of Fenix and have never been able to scratch its sapphire watch face.

On the other hand, the crystal (for Solar Watches) on both Instinct and Fenix 6 are pretty good as well. Unless, you are on purpose trying to scratch the face of Solar Instinct and Fenix 6, you will see that they are good in this aspect.

Maps and Navigation

Feature for Uploading Topo Maps included in Garmin Fenix 6. On the other hand, the Instinct does not allow uploading maps for navigation.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast or a runner, you will definitely need maps and navigation on your smart watch. Considering this situation, the Fenix 6 Pro Solar has ability to upload topo maps which you can use it as navigator. We like to load our roads on the Fenix 6 Pro before we head on a trip, then we can follow that road on the map. We love the navigators in Fenix 6 Pro since it helps to save battery of our mobile phone. On the other hand, Garmin Instinct lacks this feature.

Bottom-line Garmin Instinct vs Fenix:

So, here is the final question. Which one is better Garmin Instinct or Fenix 6 Pro? In this post, we mainly compare the Solar edition of both watches, since they fit better considering the longer battery-life which we needed during our long haul.

The Bottom-line for Garmin Instinct Solar vs Fenix 6 Pro Solar:

  • We will recommend you to go with the Fenix 6 Pro Solar, if the extra every day features; training features and maps are worth extra 400 dollars for you.
  • You can get the Instinct Solar, if you don’t really care about those features and prioritize battery life, ruggedness and price!

Honestly, our testers and I personally prefer Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar over Garmin Instinct, since the Fenix option is more versatile. Here is the links that you can check the latest rates and color options on the Amazon:

Rates for Garmin Instinct Solar

Rates and color options for the Instinct Solar

Check the Rates on Amazon

Rates for Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar

Rates and Color Options for the Fenix 6 Pro Solar

Check the Rates on Amazon.

We would recommend checking out following articles, if you are willing to find a smart watch!