Image source: Garmin

Garmin Descent MK2s is a diver’s watch for those with smaller wrists

Garmin’s latest wearable is the Descent MK2S. A smaller and less expensive version of the original, the diving watch is available in Light Gold, Gray and Mineral Blue colorways.

A watch for the deeply curious

The Descent MK is the company’s dive computer range which offers surface GPS navigation. The first generation device was revealed back in 2017, the second generation followed last year. That one comes with a bright 1.4” color display and watch-style design that very much resembles the company’s Fenix 6x. The similarities between MK2 and Fenix 6x, however, do not stop there.

You’ll find pretty much the same sensors on both including Garmin’s Elevate wrist heart rate technology, pulse Ox, compass, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, accelerometer and thermometer. The only addition is the depth sensor on the MK2. On surface, the watch becomes a training companion offering almost all Fenix 6x multi-sport features, advanced performance metrics and smartphone notifications.

Image source: Garmin

Rather conveniently, diving mode is automatically activated when you hit the water and switched off when you exit. You get detailed real-time info on depth, dive time, water temperature, ascent/descent rate, no-deco time, decompression stop information and more. Thanks to the built-in GPS the watch precisely logs where you entered the water and where you exited. The GPS will not work under-water, though.

You can even plan your next adventure directly on the device itself. There are a plethora of modes for single and multiple gas dives, gauge and apnea.

So far, we’ve seen two iterations of the second generation device – the Descent MK2 and Descent MK2i. The main distinguishing factor between them is the fancier build and a few more features on the latter. There’s also a $200 price difference.

Now there’s a third version the watch. The MK2s costs about $300 less than the MK2.

Descent MK2s – what’s new?

The clue is in the name – the letter “s”. No, it doesn’t stand for solar – in Garmin’s range the letter denotes a smaller version of the watch.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

The current iterations are huge. Measuring 52 x 52 x 17.8 mm, they are even bigger than the Fenix 6X. So it makes perfect sense to release something for those with smaller wrists. Smaller dimensions come with a smaller display – a 1.2 inch one.

The MK2S has six dive modes including single and multiple gas dives, gauge, apnea, apnea hunt and closed-circuit rebreather. The hardware is unchanged from the original. It includes ABC sensors, an underwater 3-axis compass for orientation below water, surface GPS, wrist-based heart rate and Pulse Ox, multiple sports apps, advanced training features, Garmin Pay, music storage and more.

Battery life is up to 30 hours in dive mode, 7 days in smartwatch mode and 6 hours in GPS mode with music. That’s less than half then what you’d get on the full size version – not really surprising as Garmin has had to shrink the size of the battery.

Other watches from the company are expected to follow soon. We expect Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE to land in the near future. Forerunner 55 is another device that is expected soon.

The MK2s can be picked up from Garmin for $999. Check price and availability on Amazon.

* This article was updated on 19 May 2021.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

4 thoughts on “Garmin Descent MK2s is a diver’s watch for those with smaller wrists

  • so a 7 days battery (in smart watch mode!!!!), which is less than half of that of the MK2/MK2i is considered acceptable? now I have to choose between a dive computer and an activity watch, which I thought was the feature Garmin was going for to set itself apart from the competition. when you put a 7d battery on a dive computer (in smart watch mode!!!!) you’ve degraded the MK2s to just a dive computer. absolute letdown. sorry.

    • Still better battery life than the Apple or Samsung smart watches. Neither of which you can take diving.

    • It’s much much better than many smart watches and smaller is almost always going to mean lower battery life.
      Not happy with shorter battery life buy the larger watch simple.

  • I hope it will connect to a transmitter at some point. I’d love for my wife to have this since I use the MK2i. A MKsi???


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