Samsung Gear S2 vs. Garmin Instinct

Gear S2
 SamsungGear S2Buy NowGarminInstinctBuy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$300$300

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration2-3 days14 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution360 x 360128 x 128
Size1.2 inches0.9 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water ResistanceIP6810 ATM




Operating SystemTizen

Comparing Instinct and Gear S2

The Garmin Instinct and Samsung Gear S2 are two popular smartwatches, each with its unique features and design aspects. The Garmin Instinct, released in 2018, is built for rugged outdoor adventures, while the Samsung Gear S2, released in 2015, is more focused on fitness tracking and daily use. When choosing a smartwatch, it’s crucial to consider your specific needs and requirements to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Both Garmin and Samsung have established themselves as renowned brands in the world of innovative technology. Garmin is well-known for its GPS and navigation systems, while Samsung has made a name for itself in various areas, including smartphones and wearables. Understanding the history and reputation of these brands is essential when comparing the Instinct and Gear S2.

In this article, you’ll find detailed information about the design, features, user interface, price, and value for both the Garmin Instinct and Samsung Gear S2. Additionally, we’ll provide a comparison of their differences and a conclusion based on our analysis to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Build

Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Instinct is built with durable materials, featuring a fiber-reinforced polymer case and chemically-strengthened glass. The watch is relatively lightweight, with its weight and dimensions being 52g and 45x45x15.3mm respectively. The Instinct sports a monochrome 128x128 screen for easy readability in various conditions.

Samsung Gear S2

The Gear S2 features a stainless steel case and a Gorilla Glass 3 display. The watch’s dimensions are 42.3x49.8x11.4mm, and it weighs 47g. The Gear S2's display is a 1.2-inch 360x360 Super AMOLED touchscreen offering vibrant colors and crisp visuals.

Comparison of Design and Build Quality

While both watches have their unique styles, the Garmin Instinct is more suitable for outdoor enthusiasts due to its rugged design and higher durability. On the other hand, the Samsung Gear S2's sleek and modern appearance caters to those seeking a more versatile, everyday wearable. Each device offers convenience, with the Instinct excelling in outdoor readability and the Gear S2 offering a vivid touchscreen.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Instinct runs a proprietary operating system, focusing on GPS and fitness features. Packed with a variety of sensors, the Instinct has a battery life lasting up to 14 days in smartwatch mode. Key features include fitness tracking, a heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and swim tracking.

Samsung Gear S2

Powered by Samsung’s Tizen operating system, the Gear S2 is equipped with a plethora of sensors and fitness tracking options. The watch’s battery life typically lasts for 2-3 days. The Gear S2 shares many similar features with the Instinct, from heart rate monitoring to sleep tracking, but lacks full swim tracking capabilities.

Comparison of Features and Performance

In terms of features and performance, the Garmin Instinct surpasses the Gear S2 in battery life, making it suitable for long outdoor excursions. While both watches offer a range of fitness tracking options, the Instinct’s swim tracking functionality sets it apart. On the other hand, the Gear S2's Tizen operating system enables access to more apps, providing a broader range of functions to suit various needs.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Instinct

The Instinct’s monochrome display offers a straightforward, easy-to-navigate interface. Customization options are available, and the watch is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, albeit with limited app support compared to the Gear S2.

Samsung Gear S2

With its vibrant Super AMOLED touchscreen, the Gear S2 offers a more interactive user experience. The watch incorporates various apps, customization options and is compatible with Android and iOS devices. Additionally, the Gear S2 boasts Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities for added convenience.

Comparison of User Interface and User Experience

Despite the Garmin Instinct’s simplicity, the Samsung Gear S2 stands out for its seamless user interface and plethora of available apps. Nevertheless, the Instinct’s compatibility with both Android and iOS devices offers versatility when paired with smartphones. Both devices cater to different preferences, with the Instinct focusing on function and the Gear S2 prioritizing a more interactive experience.

Price and Value

Garmin Instinct

The Instinct’s $300 price tag offers excellent value for its target audience, providing durability and essential features required for outdoor adventures.

Samsung Gear S2

Similarly priced at $300, the Gear S2 offers a well-rounded combination of fitness tracking, app availability, and versatile design for daily use.

Comparison of Price and Value

Both the Garmin Instinct and Samsung Gear S2 offer substantial value at their respective price points. However, when choosing between the two, it ultimately depends on the individual’s specific requirements and desired features. Those seeking a rugged outdoor smartwatch may prefer the Instinct, while those looking for a versatile, app-rich device may lean towards the Gear S2.


After a thorough comparison of the Garmin Instinct and Samsung Gear S2, it’s apparent that each watch caters to different preferences and lifestyles. The Instinct’s rugged design, robust battery life, and outdoor functionality make it an ideal companion for outdoor enthusiasts, while the Gear S2's sleek design, vibrant touchscreen, and app availability cater to those wanting a versatile smartwatch for daily use. By considering the various features, specifications, and strengths of each device, you can make an informed decision and choose the watch that best aligns with your needs and desires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Garmin Instinct have touch screen capabilities?

No, the Garmin Instinct features a monochrome display with button navigation instead of touch screen functionality.

Can the Samsung Gear S2 track swimming activities?

The Gear S2 is rated with IP68 water resistance but does not have dedicated swim tracking features like the Garmin Instinct.

Are the Garmin Instinct and Samsung Gear S2 compatible with smartphones?

Yes, both watches are compatible with Android and iOS smartphones for notifications and additional functions.

Which watch has a better battery life?

The Garmin Instinct has a significantly longer battery life, lasting up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, while the Gear S2 has a battery life of 2-3 days.

Do both watches have GPS functionality?

Yes, both the Garmin Instinct and Samsung Gear S2 are equipped with GPS functionality for tracking activities and location.

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