A smartwatch is no longer considered an extravagant accessory reserved only for the rich and famous to flaunt their wealth. It has become a necessity that has even proved its utility as a lifesaver.
A smartwatch is a device you wear 24×7 or almost round the clock. While some choose to take it off when they sleep, charging them is always a challenge. No wonder solar-powered smartwatches are so popular today.
Moreover, a solar smartwatch works with a rechargeable battery that is both an eco-friendly and economical choice. Instead of disposable batteries that add to the mounting hazardous waste, these rechargeable ones tap on the freely available solar energy to keep the smartwatch ticking.
The rising popularity of the smartwatch has caught the attention of some of the best brands in the industry. Garmin and Casio are the frontrunners in the solar-powered smartwatch scene with a variety of models offering diverse features to suit every smartwatch fan.
This article presents some of the best solar-powered smartwatches available in the market today. In this article, you will also find tips when shopping for a solar smartwatch.
5 best solar-powered smartwatches
Solar-powered doesn’t imply the same meaning in all smartwatches. While in most, it means that it will stretch the time between two recharges, in some others like Garmin Instinct Solar, it means truly unlimited runtime if it gets sufficient sunlight.
1. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
Priced at $699, this solar watch is worth every dollar. Making the wish come true for most smartwatch users, this product from Garmin can last forever without recharging in the battery saver mode.
This product from Garmin brings together all the smart features available in this beautifully crafted smartwatch. Besides the regular GPS feature, smart notifications, and a range of health and workout apps, Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar also allows users to customize the widgets present.
This smartwatch has 5 physical buttons to control the settings. It also comes with a press-and-hold shortcut.
This smartwatch is available in 42mm or 47mm cases and in a wide range of materials and colors to suit diverse preferences. Lightweight and sturdy, Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar has a non-touchscreen with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 DX and a color transflective LC display for clear visibility.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar smartwatch is one of the best solar smart watches available on the market today. Garmin has also come with a more advanced model of this highly popular smartwatch – Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar.
- Unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode
- Lightweight with a large clear display
- Connectivity using Bluetooth 4.2, ANT+, WiFi
- Navigation systems include GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS
- Features compass, thermometer, accelerometer, heart rate, and pulse oximeter
- Water resistance up to 100m
- Third-party apps like Uber and Spotify can be downloaded from the Connect IQ store
- Contactless payment with Garmin Pay
2. Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Tactical-Edition
A recent launch from one of the biggest names in solar-powered smartwatches, Garmin, Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is a winner all the way. More affordable than its more popular forerunner, Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar Edition, it offers an amazing array of smart features. Moreover, it is smaller and lighter, making it more suitable for all.
Garmin Instinct Solar 2 offers the best battery life among all solar smartwatches available on the market. In smartwatch mode, it offers unlimited battery life with 3 hours/day in 50,000 lux sunlight. In GPS mode, it can last up to 48 hours with continuous solar charging in 50,000 lux conditions.
This solar fitness watch allows you to go dark in stealth mode by disabling data sharing and wireless communication. The tactical features on offer in this solar watch are dual-position GPS format, waypoint projection, Jumpmaster activity, and preloaded tactical activity.
A variety of health monitoring tools, a built-in 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, built-in sports apps, and water resistance up to 100m are some of its other highlights. When paired with a compatible smartphone, you get to enjoy smart notifications with Connect IQ. The power manager helps you keep track of the battery life and tweak the settings at any time.
- Unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode
- An array of navigation systems including GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS
- Stealth mode to instantly disconnect wireless connectivity
- Wide range of tactical and health monitoring features
- Sports apps to track a variety of activities
- Smartphone compatibility with smart notifications
- Power manager to handle the longevity of the battery
3. G-Shock Move GBDH1000
A worthy addition to the G-Shock array of solar watches from Casio, GBDH1000 uses solar power to stretch its battery life. Rugged and built in a military-style, this G-Shock smartwatch has smart features like GPS tracking and a heart rate monitor. When paired with a smartphone, you can track the communications of this solar watch in the G-Shock Move app.
The battery can last an entire year on a single recharge if it is used solely in the smartwatch mode. However, turning on the GPS can drain the battery faster.
This solar smartwatch comes with a colorless display that is about an inch in diameter. The case is in true G-Shock style, coming to almost 2 inches across. Crafted from resin and black stainless steel, the case is shock-resistant.
You can use its Bluetooth(R) capabilities to link it up with a smartphone to exploit its variety of smart features for health tracking and workout support. It has a heart rate monitor, stopwatch, temperature sensors, altitude/barometric pressure, and accelerometer for counting steps.
Using this solar smartwatch, you can track and monitor running information like speed, distance, pace, and VO2 max value, an indicator of your cardio-pulmonary capacity.
- Year-long battery life in smartwatch mode
- GPS tracking
- Rugged G-Shock style appearance with big display
- Bluetooth(R) capabilities for linking with a smartphone
- Wide range of health tracking and workout features
- Access to G-Shock move app for communications
4. Casio Protrek PRW2500T-7 Multi-Band Atomic Solar Wristwatch
The Protrek Solar watch comes equipped with Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Duplex LC Display, battery level indicator, countdown timer, power-saving function, and full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099). It has storage, tone on/off button, and 12/24 hour formats.
The solar battery offers 5 months of running time on a full charge without further exposure to light. Or 23 months on a full charge with Power Saving Function without further exposure to light.
Other features in the smartwatch include an altimeter, altimeter memory, barometer, digital compass, thermometer, tide graph, and moon data. This Casio smartwatch also comes with world time, hourly time signal, 5 independent alarms, 1/100 second stopwatch, and full auto EL backlight with afterglow.
- Multi-band atomic timekeeping
- Compass, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer
- High-efficiency solar cells and long-lasting battery
- Water-resistant up to 200m
- Duplex LC Display
- Full auto EL backlight with afterglow
5. Casio Edifice Solar Powered Smartwatch
This is an affordable smartwatch from the stables of Casio that uses solar power to prolong battery life. This Casio Edifice smartwatch keeps up with the rugged look that is the hallmark of the smartwatches from Casio.
The solar cells in-built into this smartwatch can use even the faint light from fluorescent lamps and similar low indoor lighting conditions for charging and keep the device running for long. The device is water-resistant up to a depth of 100m, making it an ideal companion for all kinds of outdoor activities.
Lightweight with a flat bezel design, this solar watch offers a wide range of features like a chronograph, date display, battery indicator, and 1-sec stopwatch. The multitude of features on the watch face doesn’t compromise its looks either. The black dial with blue accents, luminous hands, black bezel, and stainless steel strap add to its rugged charm.
This smartwatch is a good choice for those who are looking for an affordable solar-powered smartwatch with analog and digital displays.
- Affordable smartwatch powered by solar energy
- Analog and digital displays
- Capable of charging in indoor and low light conditions
- Water-resistant up to a depth of 100m
- Wide range of features including chronograph, stopwatch, and battery indicator
- Features the classic Casio smartwatch look
Tips while selecting a solar powered smartwatch
Solar charging: Having the ability to charge under low light conditions is a big positive.
The longer the battery charge lasts and the lesser the need for a recharge, the better it is for daily use.
Smartwatches are chosen for the features they offer. Besides the regular health tracking and workout apps, the most in-demand smartwatch features are smartphone notifications and third-party apps.
In the world of smartwatches, brand value is important. There are only a handful of reputed players in the market. The Garmin, Casio, and G-Shock line of solar watches from Casio are the best.
Those who are not yet familiar with smartwatches may wonder what the big deal is. When all these features are available in a smartphone, why bother about a smartwatch. A smartwatch is not just about displaying the time of the day or even offering an alarm, stopwatch, chronograph, altimeter, barometer, and a compass.
All these and more are available on a smartphone. However, there is always the possibility of getting separated from a smartphone, while a smartwatch is always ready at hand, literally. With the additional feature of solar power, you can wear it 24×7 without any need for taking it off for recharging.
Something that only a wearable device like a smartwatch can do is measure your health parameters like heart rate, temperature, footsteps, and even the health of the heart. In the real world, there have been instances of smartwatches predicting an imminent heart attack accurately and saving the life of the wearer.