Everything You Need to Know About the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition

garmin instinct esports edition

What do you need to know about the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition? Garmin has been a major player in the active-watch industry for over 30 years after its founders Gary Burrell and Min Kao founded the company in 1989. Now, Garmin has entered the world of gaming with their signature Garmin Instinct Esports Edition smartwatch, that promises plenty for every gamer, and especially streamers with the ability to display your heart rate wirelessly on your stream and allow your viewers to see how you’re feeling in whichever situation you may find yourself. This is something that I would have never thought we would see, but I’ve gotta say, this has a ton of potential for growing streamers to provide some sort of unique entertainment factor that helps them stand out from the rest, without having to give up your life savings to afford a heart rate tracker. Garmin was kind enough to send us over a free unit to tell you everything you need to know about the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition!


First of all, we’re going to have to talk features and specs of the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition – after all it is a smartwatch.


  • Lens Material: Chemically strengthened glass
  • Bezel Material: Fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Case Material: Fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Quickfit Watch Band Compatible: Yes (22mm)
  • Display Resolution: 128×128 pixels
  • Display Type: Monochrome, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Weight: 52 grams
  • Water Rating: 10 ATM

Battery Life

The Garmin Instinct Esports Edition claims to have a solid battery life across all 4 of its modes:

  • Smartwatch Mode: Up to 14 days
  • Esports Mode: Up to 80 hours
  • GPS Mode: Up to 16 hours
  • UltraTrac Mode: Up to 40 hours


You’ve got quite a few options when it comes to clock features on the Instinct Esports Edition, including:

  • Time/Date
  • GPS Time Sync
  • Automatic Daylight Saving Time
  • Alarm Clock
  • Timer
  • Stopwatch
  • Sunrise/Sunset Times

Health Monitoring

  • Wrist-Based Heart Rate (Constant, Every Second)
  • Daily Resting Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts (high and low)
  • Body Battery Energy Monitor
  • All-Day Stress
  • Relaxation Breathing Timer
  • Sleep


  • GPS
  • Glonass
  • Galileo
  • Garmin Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Monitor
  • Barometric Altimeter
  • Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • Thermometer

Daily Smart Features

  • Bluetooth and ANT+ Connectivity
  • Smart Notifications
  • Text Response/Reject Phone Call with Text (Android only)
  • Calendar
  • Weather
  • Controls Smartphone Music
  • Find my Phone
  • Find my Watch
  • Virb Remote
  • Pairs with Garmin Connect Mobile

Safety and Tracking Features

  • Livetrack

Tactical Features

  • Dual Grid Coordinates


  • Esports Activity
  • Str3amup! PC Tool for Streaming Biometrics

Activity Tracking

  • Step Counter
  • Move Bar
  • Auto Goal
  • Calories Burned
  • Floors Climbed
  • Distance Traveled
  • Intensity Minutes
  • Trueup
  • Move IQ

Gym & Fitness Equipment

  • Cardio Workouts
  • Strength Workouts
  • Automatic Rep Counting

Training, Planning and Analysis

  • HR Zones
  • HR Alerts
  • HR Calories
  • % HR Max
  • % HRR
  • Auto Max HR
  • HR Broadcast (using ANT+ or BLE)
  • GPS Speed and Distance
  • Customizable Data Pages
  • Customizable Activity Profiles
  • Auto Pause
  • Interval Training
  • Advanced Workouts
  • Downloadable Training Plans
  • Auto Lap
  • Manual Lap
  • Configurable Lap Alerts
  • Custom Alerts
  • Audio Prompts
  • Finish Time
  • Virtual Partner
  • Race an Activity
  • Course Guidance
  • Touch and/or Button Lock
  • Hot Keys
  • Auto Scroll
  • Activity History on Watch
  • Physio Trueup


  • GPS-Based Distance, Time and Pace
  • Cadence
  • Run Workouts
  • Foot Pod Capable

Outdoor Recreation

  • Point-to-Point Navigation
  • Bread Crumb Trail in Real Time
  • Back to Start
  • Tracback
  • UltraTrac Mode
  • Elevation Profile
  • Distance to Destination
  • Barometric Trend Indicator with Storm Alert
  • Trail Run Auto Climb
  • Vertical Speed
  • Total Ascent/Descent
  • Future Elevation Plot
  • Compatible with Basecamp
  • GPS Coordinates
  • Sight ‘N Go
  • Area Calculation
  • Projected Waypoint
  • Sun and Moon Information
  • Xero Locations


  • Alerts
  • Courses
  • Available Cycling Profiles (Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking)
  • Race an Activity
  • Speed and Cadence Sensor Support


  • Available Swim Profiles (Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming)
  • Open-Water Swim Metrics (Distance, Pace, Stroke Count/Rate, Stroke Distance, Swim Efficiency, Calories)
  • Pool Swim Metrics (Lengths, Distance, Pace, Stroke Count, Swim Efficiency, Calories)
  • Stroke Type Detection (Pool Swim Only)
  • Drill Logging (Pool Swim Only)
  • Basic Rest Timer (Pool Swim Only)
  • “Repeat On” Rest Timer (Pool Swim Only)
  • Pool Swim Workouts

As you can see, there are a lot of features that are included with the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition, and honestly, you probably won’t end up using most of them, unless you are determined to get the most out of your watch (in that case, more power to you!) Now let’s talk about how the streaming application works.

Str3amup! Software

In order to actually use the Str3amup! software, there are some basic requirements for your system (Note: these are the Windows requirements):


  • Windows 10 version 1809 or newer
  • Microsoft .NET 4.6.1 (included)
  • Screen resolution of at least 1920 x 1080, 1 GB RAM
  • At least 100 MB free disk space
  • Bluetooth Low Energy support

Streaming/Recording Setup

  • Requires pre-existing video game streaming/recording setup using a supported streaming/recording tool
    • Tools must support capturing desktop window content and “Chroma Key” Filters
      • Examples: OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit
  • Requires pre-existing set up account for a video streaming platform by the supported streaming tool (for streaming only)

Optional 3rd Party Tools:

  • Str3amup! can be used to send hotkey combinations to the Windows system that can trigger effects in 3rd party software using your biometrics
  • Compatible 3rd party software must support receiving and acting on hotkey combinations: Ctrl+Shift+F9, Ctrl+Shift+F10, Ctrl+Shift+F11
  • Examples are soundboard type applications for audio effects or applications that can apply video filters to the streamer’s web camera

So does it work? Yes, the Garmin Str3amup! software actually does a great job of displaying your current heart rate, as well as stress and body battery levels, to your PC. It refreshes at a near-instant rate and with solid accuracy. You can choose several different layouts and even customize the colors of the overlay. Garmin even gives you the option to turn off the “Powered by Garmin” tag at the bottom of your overlay, which is a nice surprise.

How does it feel?

I’ve never been a watch guy. Ever. I’ve tried to wear them, but there’s always something about them that I don’t like – even the Garmin Vivoactive, another Garmin product, is uncomfortable. However, I can safely say that I think I’ve finally found a watch that I feel comfortable wearing for more than 2-3 minutes at a time. I still find myself needing to adjust it occasionally, but not nearly as much as I need to constantly adjust every other watch I’ve ever owned.

Is it Worth $300?

Yes, the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is worth the $300 it will cost you to get your hands (literally) on this watch. Maybe not if you literally just need something to keep track of time, then you can probably get by with a $10 watch from Target, but if you’re even considering a Garmin watch, then that’s not you. You’re looking for something that has a ton of cool features (even if you won’t use most of them), and really want to keep track of your activity. The ability to also broadcast various biometrics to your viewers on Twitch, YouTube, or even Facebook, is also a huge plus if you’re in the content creation industry, and this will save you a ton of money as you won’t need to purchase another expensive device to do the same thing that this watch does.

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