Ultimate Guide on Solar Smartwatch in 2021

A smartwatch comes with many advanced features and functionalities. Due to this reason, the battery of the smartwatches often compromised. Have you ever thought about dying your smartwatch out of battery in the middle of a half marathon? How embarrassing it is! Solar smartwatches are the solution to this.

Over the past few years, smartwatch manufactures are trying to add as many features as possible to the smartwatches. Consequently, modern smartwatches can track your heart rate to ECG and just displaying phone notification to making calls independently. Whenever new features added to the smartwatches, it puts an extra burden on the battery.

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Consciously or unconsciously, most of the smart wearable manufacturers ignored the battery part. Even Apple is ignoring the battery part in their smartwatches. If you look at the Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 6, the battery capacity remains the same. Its battery does not last for more than 18 hours in typical usage. The battery dies even faster if you use features like music streaming, GPS, etc. Other popular wearable device manufacturers such as the Fitbit, Samsung, etc., have the same story to tell. 

On the other hand, Garmin has done an excellent job with solar-powered smartwatches. Garmin is not using solar power as the primary charging source; however, Garmin solar-powered watches such as Garmin Enduro can last for more than 65 days (about 2 months) on Battery Saver Watch Mode. It is one of the best rugged solar GPS watches you can buy in 2021.

Make suew you check our comprehensive list of the best solar powered smartwatches with Longer Battery Life.

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What is a Solar-Powered Smartwatch? 

Solar Watch Technology
Image Source: Seikowatches.com

Solar-powered smartwatches come with a solar panel on the case, display or bezel. For instance, the Garmin wearables use the Power Glass technology to convert sunlight into electrical energy and stores it on an eco-friendly battery. This way, it increases the duration between the battery charging.  

How to Charge Solar Powered Smartwatch? 

Direct sunlight is ideal for recharging a solar smartwatch. For example, the Garmin Instinct Solar watch requires exposure to strong sunlight (50,000 lux sunlight) for at least 3 hours to recharge the battery completely. But it is not possible when you go running, walking, or hiking. 

But you should remember that your smartwatch is charging continuously even when you work out. Consequently, it increases the battery life. Getting battery juice from sunlight while going for a long run or hiking is not a bad thing.

Solar Watch Face in Garmin
Image Source: Garmin.com

If not enough sunlight available, you can use a fluorescent lamp to recharge the battery indoors. Even though it takes more time to recharge the battery, it is extremely helpful to pack the watch with additional battery juice.  

Garmin Solar wearables display the solar intensity graph on the watch face or solar widget. This data helps you get an idea of sunlight intensity at that time. The maximum intensity is 100% which can be achieved if you recharge the watch directly from strong sunlight. 

Here are some of the valuable tips to utilize solar charging. 

  1. Keep the watch in the window by the watch face directly facing the sun. 
  2. Use a sleeveless shirt while going outdoor for better exposure to sunlight. 
  3. If you are using a fluorescent lamp to charge the smartwatch, keep the watch closer (5 cm) to the lamp. 

Which are the best solar watches? 

Solar-powered watches are expensive. Popular analogue watch manufacturers such as Citizen and Casio are making solar-powered watches. If you are looking for a solar smartwatch, you do not have many choices other than Garmin. They have a wide range of GPS solar watches such as Garmin Enduro, Fenix Series, Instinct, and Tactix® Delta Solar. 

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The ability to utilize the sunlight help these smartwatches to last longer and allows the wearer to push themselves to the next level of performance. Even though Garmin Solar watches are costly, it has a longer lifespan and ideal for athletes and adventurers.

There are many cheap solar-powered smartwatches and analogue smartwatches are available in the market. However, you should go for a trusted brand like Garmin for better quality and peace of mind. It is also essential to know that solar-powered watches can last for many years, even for decades. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Smartwatch

  • Frequent battery recharge no more required
  • Prolonged battery life
  • Solar watches are generally durable.
  • Possible to recharge the smartwatch continuously by utilizing sunlight.
  • Expensive

Pro Tip:

Even if you do not utilize sunlight to charge the watch, you should expose it to sunlight or any other light source to maintain optimal battery performance. It is also not recommended to store a solar smartwatch in the dark for long. 


When it comes to solar smartwatches, we do not have many options available in the market today. Having an in-built power station makes Garmin Solar watches an industry leader. Like Garmin, more watch companies should come with solar-powered smartwatches to increase the performance of their smartwatches.

Over to you. So, what do you think about solar watches? Do you believe that it is worth buying a solar-powered smartwatch? Make sure you write your thoughts as comments below.

Saneesh VS is a Registered Nurse by Profession and Wearable Tech Enthusiast by Passion. He loves to write about fitness, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. He also loves reading books on wearable tech, technology in healthcare, artificial intelligence etc., which he has been writing for the past 5 years.

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