Garmin Descent G1 – Half the price of Garmin’s MK2i – a quick review

Garmin descent g1 review specifications

Garmin Descent G1 – a quick review


Garmin has just released a new, lower-cost dive model at $549 based on the Instinct 2 we saw released only a few weeks ago. Previous years have seen a much more expensive dive watch based on the Fenix range let’s see what Garmin is up to

In a nutshell: It’s a ‘proper’ dive watch with many dive-specific features plus a whole host of other Garmin smart features and sports features. The watch is waterproofed to 100m and the battery is good for 25 hours of diving, boosted more significantly if you pay extra for the Solar option.

Garmin descent g1 review specificationsGarmin Descent G1 vs Garmin Instinct 2

Descent G1 is specifically designed for diving plus more, the Instinct 2 isn’t designed for diving.

Putting that obvious difference to one side here is what you get with the Descent G1

  • Sapphire glass lens (vs chemically strengthened glass on the Instinct)
  • G1 is 7mm thicker, 9g heavier and comes with a longer strap to go over your dive suit.
  • Descent G1 adds a depth sensor and gyroscope
  • G1 gets the additional sport profiles for Surfing, Windsurfing, Kiteboarding and boating plus tide tables

In more detail, check out the full and impressive spec of dive features in the next section.

Garmin Descent G1 Specifications

These are the Garmin Descent G1 specifications of diving-related features

Garmin Descent G1 Specifications
Dive activity maximum operating depth100 meters
Single-gas modeYes
Multi-gas modeYes
Gauge modeYes
APNEA modeYes
APNEA hunt modeYes
Decompression modelBühlmann ZHL-16c with gradient factors
Nitrox supportYes
Trimix supportYes
Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR)Yes
Gas mixesAir, Nitrox and Trimix up to 100% O2; 1 bottom gas and up to 11 deco and/or backup gasses.
PO2Up to 2.0 with customizable deco PO2 setting
Auto start/end diveyes
Custom end-dive timeoutyes (20sec to 10min)
Safety Stopyes (customizable off/3min/5min)
Deep Stopsyes (using custom gradient factors)
Customizable conservatismyes (low/medium/high or custom using gradient factors)
Dive ascent/descent rate indicatorYes
Automatic altitude adjustmentYes
No-fly timeYes
Dive planneryes (basic NDL + multi-gas deco planner)
Backlightyes (configurable time and intensity; auto-on at depth)
Automatically saves dive entry and exit locationsYes
Custom dive data screensYes
Sync dive log to Garmin Dive™ Mobile appYes
Alerts & alarmsAudible and vibration alarms for ascent rate, PO2, CNS/OTU, NDL, deco, gas switching. Customizable (up to 40) audible and/or vibration per dive mode, based on depth or time
3-axis dive compassyes (with an adjustable heading, a quick change to 90R, 90L and reciprocal). Indicates degrees and direction back to set heading
Missed Deco Lockoutyes (can be disabled prior to dive with user acknowledgement)
Residual Tissue Loading Resetyes (on the surface with user acknowledgement)
Surface diver status widgetyes (surface interval, N2/HE loading, CNS, OTU and tissue compartment status)

Battery life is also worth highlighting separately and is excellent, note that the GPS features are useful for water entry and exit positions.

  • Dive Mode: Up to 25 hours
  • Smartwatch: Up to 21 days
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 48 days
  • GPS: Up to 26 hours
  • Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 56 hours
  • Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 27 days

You get many other related water/safety features including inReach compatibility, customisable dive modes, 200 dive logs, dive compass, surf line and tide tables.

Plus there are many land-based features like fitness age, recovery time, multi-GNSS, training status, daily suggested workouts, all-day respiration monitoring, wrist HR, women’s health tracking, hydration tracking, smart notifications, Connect IQ (app) store, safety/accident and tracking features, QuickFit bands and many fantastic in-sport features.

Garmin Descent G1 vs Garmin Descent Mk2i

Garmin descent g1 review specificationsGarmin’s Descent MK2i is the premier dive watch coming in at twice the price of the G1. It has superior-quality hardware and some additional dive-specific features as well as a host of extra, non-dive features too. With the G1 you are missing out on the following dive features

  • $1500 price tag…ouch!
  • Subwave support
  • Air Integration
  • 5 transmitters supported
  • Gas time remaining (really?)
  • Gas consumption rate (really?)
  • Only one size. MK2i has two sizes

Garmin Descent G1, Availability & Discount

Descent G1 is now available, initially only at RRP. There are 4 colours available for either solar or non-solar versions





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