Garmin Instinct 2 vs 2S: Which one is right for you?

Released in 2022, the Garmin Instinct 2/2S is a major update to the popular Instinct line of watches. Featuring a sleek design and new features, the Instinct 2/2S is perfect for athletes and especially outdoor enthusiasts.

The watches in this lineup are categorized into Standard and Solar models and further divided into Camo, Tactical, Surf, & Dēzl Edition. Depending on what model you choose and for what purpose, you will have to pay from about $350 to $500.

Unlike  Garmin Instinct, the company has catered to a larger audience this time by releasing two watches for both men and women.

Garmin Instinct 2 vs 2S: 3 Key Differences

The main difference between the Garmin instinct 2 and 2S is the size of the watch.  The 2S comes in at 40mm, while the 2 comes in at the 45mm size option. You can easily guess that the 2s is targeted at those with smaller wrists (usually women).

Another major difference is the lack of the Dezl edition for Instinct 2S. The reason becomes obvious if you consider the fact that this model is marketed as a ‘Rugged Trucking Watch’. In case you don’t know, trucking is the most heavily male-dominated US industry. There is no point in offering a trucking-specific device that is only usable by women or a tiny minority of the male audience.

Though it isn’t huge, there is a considerable difference in the battery life of both watches. The Garmin Instinct 2S can last up to 21 days in smartwatch mode, while the Instinct 2 can manage 28 hours. Whereas the solar edition of Instinct 2S can last up to 51 days, the Instinct 2 Solar has an indefinite battery life in smartwatch mode.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 which offers a discount of almost $50 if you go with the smaller variant of the watch, Garmin offers no such relief to its users. You will have to pay the exact amount no matter if you go with the Instinct 2 or 2S. 

Other than these, the watches are almost identical. They offer features such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, smart notifications, and more.

Choosing between the Garmin instinct 2 and 2S is easy if you know the main difference between the two. Either a watch fits your wrist size or it doesn’t. This distinction should be enough to prefer one model over the other.

General Comparison: Garmin Instinct 2 vs 2S

Product NameGarmin Instinct 2Garmin Instinct 2S
Price$300-$500$300-$500
PredecessorGarmin InstinctGarmin Instinct
Models45mm | Instinct 2 Standard (non-solar/ Solar ), Surf, Tactical, and Camo, dēzl  Edition 40mm | Instinct 2 Standard (non-solar/ Solar), Surf (non-solar/ Solar), Camo(Non-solar)
Release DateFebruary 2022February 2022
Parent CompanyGarminGarmin
Operating SystemGarmin OSGarmin OS
CompatibilityAndroid, IOSAndroid, IOS
Competition Coros Vertix, Polar Grit X, Suunto 9 Peak Coros Vertix, Polar Grit X, Suunto 9 Peak
Suitable ForOutdoor, sport & fitnessOutdoor, sport & fitness
SensorsGarmin Elevate heart rate sensor, GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitorGarmin Elevate heart rate sensor, GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
Dimensions, Weight45 x 45 x 14.2 mm, 52g40 x 40 x 13.3 mm, 42g
Band Size22mm20mm
Build materialssiliconesilicone
ColorsElectric Lime, Poppy and Neo-Tropic, Tidal Blue, Mist Gray, Graphite, Graphite Camo, Bells Beach, Mavericks, Coyote Tan, BlackGraphite, Deep Orchid, Poppy, Mist Camo, Ericeira, Waikiki, Mist Gray, Neo Tropic
Waterproofing10 ATM10 ATM
Display Size0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm) 0.79” x 0.79” (20 x 20 mm)
Screen Type & Resolutionmonochrome, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 176 x 176 pixels(active area)monochrome, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 156 x 156 pixels 
Pixel Per InchNot SpecifiedNot Specified
Screen ProtectionPower GlassPower Glass
Always-on DisplayYesYes
Rotating BezelNoNo
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth, ANT+
Companion AppCONNECT IQCONNECT IQ
Storage32 MB32 MB
ProcessorN/AN/A
RAMN/AN/A
Notification AlertYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYes
Offline SpotifyNoNo
Timer & AlarmYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesYes
Voice AssistantNoNo
Music Storage, ControlYesYes
Third-Party AppsYesYes
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYes(Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only))Yes(Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only))
Browse WebN/AN/A
Contactless PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)Yes (Garmin Pay)
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)Yes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
SleepYesYes
StressYesYes
Blood OxygenYesYes
ECGNoNo
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoNo
Steps, CaloriesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesYes
Sport ModeYesYes
Sync Data With Strava, Apple HealthYesYes
Battery PerformanceUp to 28 days/unlimited with solar*, Smartwatch mode (w/ battery saver): Up to 65 days/unlimited with solar*, GPS: Up to 30 hours/48 hours with solar**, Max Battery GPS mode: Up to 70 hours/370 hours with solar**, Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 32 days/unlimited with solar*Smartwatch mode: Up to 21 days/51 days with solar*, Smartwatch mode (w/ battery saver): Up to 50 days/unlimited with solar*, GPS: Up to 22 hours/28 hours with solar**, Max Battery GPS mode: Up to 54 hours/114 hours with solar**, Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 25 days/105 days with solar*
Battery SizeNot SpecifiedNot Specified
Charger TypeUSB charging cable.USB charging cable.
Fast ChargingNoNo