If you’ve been waiting for Garmin to bring over the solar charging capabilities of the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar to Malaysia, you’re in luck. Garmin Malaysia today announced the arrival of three new Solar editions from their range of smartwatches: the Garmin Fenix 6 and 6S Solar, as well as the Garmin Instinct Solar.
Garmin Instinct Solar (Graphite, Tidal Blue, Sun Burst) – RM1,999
Garmin Instinct Solar (Camo Graphite) – RM2,199
Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical (Black, Moss) – RM2,199
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro Solar (Purple) – RM4,199
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar – RM4,199
At the launch, I was given a chance to try out the new smartwatches during a morning spinning session at Oxygen Cycle in Kuala Lumpur. Located on a rooftop, the morning sun was the perfect way to test out the solar charging capabilities of the devices in theory—although I was left absolutely exhausted, just like I was at another of Garmin Malaysia’s media events.
Despite my personal struggles with the spin session, Garmin has announced a couple of very interesting devices. Here’s what you need to know.
Garmin Instinct Solar
Prior to this, the only Solar model in the Garmin Malaysia smartwatch lineup has been the Fenix 6X Pro Solar. Of the three new models, the most affordable device is the Garmin Instinct Solar, supposedly designed to endure “the most challenging of environments”.
What’s interesting here is that Garmin promises “unlimited battery life” for the Instinct Solar, although the device will need to be in Battery Saver mode, with “sufficient solar exposure”. Battery life in smartwatch mode is rated at up to 24 days when used indoors, with solar charging capabilities offering an additional 26 days with sufficient sunlight outdoors.
At the top of the Instinct range, there’s also the Tactical Edition. Garmin says that tactical-centric features such as night vision goggle compatibility and Stealth mode add onto the range of tracking features on the Instinct, along with Pulse Ox tracking and the Body Battery feature.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar & Fenix 6S Pro Solar
Moving up a rung, we have the Garmin Fenix 6 and Fenix 6S Solar. Both feature Garmin’s Power Glass, which means that you won’t be able to opt for a Sapphire watch face—although I do feel like there is increased visibility with the Power Glass option instead.
Again, battery life is impressive for both models, with the 6S Pro Solar offering up to 9 days of indoor usage and 10.5 days with added solar charging (smartwatch mode). For the Fenix 6 Pro Solar, you’re looking at up to 14 days of indoor usage and 16 days of outdoors usage—with sufficient sunlight, that is.
As per its premium positioning as part of the Fenix lineup, you’ll also have access to a bunch of advanced tracking features, along with built-in topographic maps. These include ski maps (over 2,000) and golf courses (over 41,000), along with Pulse Ox and respiration data.
You can also store up to 2,000 songs onto both Fenix smartwatches by downloading playlists from supported music streaming services such as Spotify. This basically means that you’ll be able to use the smartwatches as standalone devices, because—let’s be real—who wants to bring along a chunky smartphone on a run?
All of the models in this article are now available in Malaysia. For solar charging, Garmin says that you need to have your smartwatch in an “outdoor environment” for at least three hours to “have the effect of solar charging”. The minimum brightness required for solar charging is 50,000 lux, although indoor solar charging is still technically possible at a slower rate.
Additionally, Garmin Malaysia tells us that the Solar models have been upgraded to be more “power-saving” in general, so even without the use of solar charging, battery life is improved over standard editions.