Garmin Instinct 2X Solar Tactical vs Instinct 2X Solar

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar Tactical and 2X Solar are rugged smartwatches with GPS capability. Both watches have been around since April 2022.

What are the main points of distinction between the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical and Instinct 2X Solar smartwatches? Below, we look at the main features and differences between the Instinct series smartwatches.

Main differences

  • Instinct 2X Solar Tactical is costlier than Instinct 2X Solar by $50. Instinct 2X Solar Tactical comes at a list price of $499.99 and the Instinct 2X Solar has a cost price of $449.99.
  • Instinct 2X Solar Tactical has tactical features of stealth mode, night vision, and the kill switch. These tactical features are unavailable on the Instinct 2X Solar smartwatch model.
  • Instinct 2X Solar Tactical is compatible with Kestrel wind sensors.

For all other features, there are no differences. Both watches share the core features and capabilities.

We look at the three tactical features of Instinct 2X Solar Tactical watches below.

Stealth mode Instinct 2X Solar Tactical

Stealth mode means you do not want your watch to be trackable. So, your smartwatch goes under the radar and is no longer visible over Bluetooth or wireless networks.

Stealth mode can be enabled or disabled in the tactical edition of the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical watch. When you enable the stealth mode, the smartwatch takes specific steps to take your watch in an invisible mode.

  • Stealth mode can only be enabled once all the activity logging has been stopped.
  • Once active logging is turned off, you can enable Stealth mode from the Control menu of the smartwatch.
  • When the stealth mode starts, it will automatically disable the wireless connectivity of Bluetooth and ANT+.
  • It means that your watch will work as a local smartwatch, with no possibility of exchanging any information over the network.
  • On a similar basis, your watch will not be visible to proximal devices on the network.
  • As long as the stealth mode is active, you will not be able to track any activities.

The stealth mode implies that all kinds of wireless communication are disabled and track logging will remain inactive. Your smartwatch’s location information will not be shared or available to external receivers or devices.

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar Tactical editon

Night vision on Instinct 2X Solar Tactical

Night vision is a tactical feature that is available on the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical watches. The night vision feature implies that you will alter the backlight on the watch screen to reduce it.

When you reduce the backlight on the smartwatch, the screen becomes compatible with the night vision goggles. So, wearing the night vision goggles, you can see the display screen of the watch.

Since the night vision tactical feature plays with the backlight intensity, it can be enabled or disabled from under the System -> Backlight settings. Night vision is one of the modes available under the Backlight settings.

Kill switch

The kill switch feature is a smart tactical feature. It is basically a strategic feature.

If data on your tactical watch is of a sensitive nature, you can use the kill switch to prevent the data from being accessed by anyone else.

Kill switch on the Garmin 2X Solar Tactical watch allows you to delete all user data stored on the smartwatch’s internal storage. It is a quick way to format all data on the watch and revert the smartwatch to factory settings.

The intelligent thing about the kill switch functionality is that it is not enabled by default. You need to define a hot key on the watch to perform the kill switch functionality.

Garmin recommends using a 2 hotkey combination to enable the kill switch functionality on the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical smartwatches.

When you define a hotkey for Kill switch, and use it for deleting user data, the following actions are performed on the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical watch:

  • A countdown timer initiates the reset process.
  • When the countdown ends, the Instinct 2X Solar Tactical watch will reboot.
  • It then shows an eraser icon for some time. The eraser icon implies that the watch is being reset to the factory settings.
  • A full master reset of the smartwatch is performed after the kill switch is engaged or used.
  • All the device data, sensor data, device pairings, custom settings, and device history are deleted from the smartwatch’s internal storage.

The Kill Switch functionality is a useful feature for sensitive situations and incidents and for strategic people.

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar edition

Wind meter or Wind sensor compatibility

Garmin Instinct 2X Solar Tactical edition is compatible with wind sensors. You can pair the watch with a wind sensor over Bluetooth connectivity.

The following Wind sensors are compatible with Garmin Instinct 2X Solar Tactical edition smartwatches:

  • 5700AL Elite
  • 5700AL-I ITAR Elite
  • 5700AL-R Elite with prebuilt Ruger profiles
  • 5700XAL X-hardware Elite
  • 5700XALSF X-hardware Elite for SF
  • 5700XEL ABX Elite (Military version)

All these wind sensor variants are the Kestrel wind sensors.

Wind sensor compatibility is not available on Instinct 2X Solar edition watches.

Other features

There are no additional points of distinction between Instinct 2X Solar Tactical and Instinct 2X Solar smartwatches.

Both watches have similar display configurations, hardware configurations, and health features. Battery backup is similar for both smartwatches.

Final verdict

Instinct 2X Solar Tactical is designed for special situations and strategic resources. It is a MIL-STD-810, that comes with tactical features that may be handy for defense personnel.

Instinct 2X Solar fits the bill for most users who do not need the tactical features of stealth mode, night vision, or kill switch.

The decision to choose Instinct 2X Solar Tactical or Instinct 2X Solar should be taken on the basis of the use case scenario of the tactical features.

Suggested reading

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