Image source: Garmin

Garmin Descent G1 is a watch intended for, but not exclusively, divers

Garmin has released its latest divers watch into the wild. Arriving in a solar option, Descent G1 has useful functions both in and out of water.

The last divers watch the company released was Garmin Descent MK2S. That was in May last year. The device was a smaller and less expensive version of the original, available in Light Gold, Gray and Mineral Blue colorways.


Garmin Descent G1 – what’s new?

Compared with that one, Descent G1 is nearly half the price. Garmin has achieved some of the saving by opting for a Fiber-reinforced polymer bezel instead of a steel one. Rated 10 ATM for water resistance, the watch retains the fiber-reinforced polymer case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lens and five leak-proof buttons.

A more significant saving comes from the display. Descent G1 has a much less high res one. Instead of the 1.2 inch Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) (240 x 240 pixels) of the MK2S, you get a Monochrome MIP (176 x 176 pixels) with a custom, two-window design: 0.9″ x 0.9″.

The actual dimensions of the watch come in at 45.5 x 45.5 x 15.2 mm. This means it sits between the 52mm diameter MK2 and 43mm diameter MK2S.

Mind you, there’s no real difference when it comes to the sensors under the hood. You get the full gamut so the watch doubles up as a decent fitness, sleep and health tracker. To this end, you can tap into 30 built-in sports apps and advanced training features, along with recently released goodies such as Fitness Age and Health Snapshot.

The other thing that is missing and that can be found on the MK2’s is on-board storage for music. So you don’t have WiFi support, only Bluetooth and ANT+. In fact, you are not even able to control music on your smartphone from Descent G1. But you do get NFC for making contactless purchases through Garmin Pay, notifications, calendar reminders and incoming call alerts.

Garmin Descent G1

Extensive diving features

The diving features are pretty much unchanged so the watch offers to access to a number of dive modes making the suitable both for beginner and advanced divers. This includes Apnea, Apnea hunt, Gauge, Gas dives (single and multiple) and Closed-circuit rebreather.

All of these come with appropriate functionality such as depth, dive time, temperature, time to surface (TTS) and no-decompression limit (NDL) alerts. As you’d expect, the watch can also track the ascent/descent rate, gas mix, decompression, along with safety stop information. Of course, the device is GPS (GLONASS, Galileo) equipped so can automatically mark surface entry and exit points.

Battery life is pretty decent. You can spend some 25 hours below the water surface in dive mode between charges. In smartwatch mode this climbs to 21 days (or four months with solar). In GPS mode you can expect 26 hours (and 39 hours with solar). Garmin says the device can run indefinitely in Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode on the solar variant.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

The watch can be picked up now on Garmin’s website for $549.99 in Slate Gray or Powder Gray options. In the US, UK and some other countries you can also pick it up on Amazon (check price/availability).

There’s also the Solar variant in Hurricane Blue and Black, which runs $100 extra. That one is the same as the regular version – the only difference is its ability to convert the sun’s rays into electricity.

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