Garmin Instinct Solar Inconsistent Intensity Minutes

Second Garmin Instinct Solar.  First one did not record intensity minutes.  Second one does record SOME intensity minutes but it has a mind of its own.  Daily walks almost carbon copy from day to day, at least 3 each day of about an hour each..  HR very much showing the same daily pattern.  However, the watch recorded one day 68 minutes and the next few days nothing.  It makes absolutely no sense.  To make it even more puzzling, I have a Garmin Vivosport with identical HR settings, zones, etc. and it records intensity minutes without failure (under identical use).  Can anyone bring some light to this matter?  Maybe Chris at Garmin? I have plenty of information on Garmin Connect for them to take a look and see exactly these inconsistencies.

  • You are right.  Without HR on Garmin will use an algorithm based on steps taken/per unit of time.  Those intensity minutes are just a guess.  I can never make it work with HR on, unless a manual activity is started.

  • I cant seem to get any intensity minutes without recording an activity, even then i don't always gain any. I've tried adjusting the heart rate zones but still won't get any unless i really push myself which you can't always do if just walking. My Vivoactive 3 & 4 always gave me intensity minutes even without recording an activity. Strange

  • I also have an Instinct Solar. It seemed to be doing fine until a few weeks ago. It had recorded two weeks' worth of intensity minutes. We went on a two day backpacking trip where we were out of cell range. When I connected the watch when we were back it briefly showed an increase from the weekend, then showed two dashes, then moved all two weeks' worth of intensity minutes into one week-- it now says I have zero minutes for one week and almost 1000 for the next. This week (the following) it recorded intensity minutes for one activity and hasn't registered another minute since, despite having recorded several activities where my heart rate was elevated. 

  • I am having this same issue and I am on my 3rd Garmin Instinct. I first bought the Standard Instinct, one week it would not track any intensity minutes the next week it would start tracking on a Tuesday. Then the following week it would work great, then the go back to not tracking at all. So I did what I am sure all of you did, got support tried all the max heart ranges on the app nothing worked. The customer rep determined it was faulty. I got a second one and it did the same thing now I have the Solar Instinct and it is doing the same thing. I thought about getting the Fenix 6 since it is supposed to be for a multi activity tracking, but I see from the this forum it does the same thing and it cost $700.  

  • Chris:Is this statement:  "We are not seeing any pattern of issues for Intensity Minutes being reflected for the Instinct series" still invoked by Garmin fpr not doing anything about failure to record intensity minutes due to BAD OHR sensor on all instinct devices?.  At this point it is almost comical the way Garmin distance itself from addressing this issue.  I have been using the instinct solar for many months now and, it failed to record intensity minute 99.9% of time.  A couple of days ago I switched back to Vivosport (left all settings identical) and within minutes it started to record intensity minutes.  If you want proof, please access my online records. How many people need to bring this situation to Garmin's attention until ANYTHING gets done?

  • I am sorry you continue to experience issues with your OHR sensor not reading your wrist accurately. If your personal experience is the Instinct Solar OHR sensor not reading your wrist well, a HRM strap should be considered.

    Even though the OHR sensor is cutting edge technology and it works well 99.5% of the time, body physiology is a factor too. With each new generation of the OHR technology, the perception of how your own wrist is read can be different.

    For all Instinct Solar owners that come across this thread where the OHR sensor is not reading you well:

    Please review this Support Center article:

    The Heart Rate Sensor on My Garmin Watch Is Not Accurate

    You are always welcome to reach out to Outdoor Product Support in your region to discuss it too.

  • Unfortunately, I will have to reiterate that the OHR sensor on this device is far worse than the older version installed on other devices (ie Vivosport).  The only other explanation which would make sense would be that the design of the back of the watch is flawed and the sensor is incapable of accurate readings because of that.  And no, a strap is not an answer since the purpose of the OHR sensor is to avoid it with the expectation that even if not as accurate, at least it would be functional, which, as proven time and time again by a large number of users, it is not!

  • I am sorry to disagree with you but it is not a design flaw of the OHR sensor for the Instinct Solar series.

    Your pulmonary system is not being read well through your wrist. Please reach out to Outdoor Product Support for a solution. If you do not wish to contact Outdoor Product Support again, you are welcome to highlight my name and send me a Private Message.

    I will be happy to work with you further.

  • Without blowing this out of proportion,  I will mention that my "pulmonary system" is perfectly read by Vivosport but not read by instinct solar which happens to have the new(er) OHR sensor as many other users are reporting to not recording intensity minutes.  The differences between the two (related to intensity minutes) are the sensor and the shape of the device, which takes me back to the statement I previously made. I would assume the algorithm is the same.