Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Watch Review 2022

12. Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Watch1
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Garmin has recently unveiled the new Descent dive computers from the G1 series. The G1s feature multi-type dive technology, a range of health and wellness features, over 30 integrated indoor and GPS sports apps, and extensive smartwatch functionality, just like the brand’s earlier Mk2 models.

The G1 has a longer battery life, a smaller build, and a lower price than the other two series, even though it sacrifices some important features in the process.

Let’s examine the features of the new Garmin G1 dive computers in greater detail and see how they stack up against the Mk2 series.

What Is Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Watch

The eagerly anticipated Garmin Descent Mk2 has arrived, and she is stunning. The Descent Mk2 is a svelte and durable piece of gear that seamlessly blends style and a ton of functionality. Garmin has produced a worthy contender for the title of “best dive computer ever” and With the Testers’ Choice award, Scuba Lab acknowledged their agreement.

Following the Mk1, Garmin’s initial entry into the dive computer market, which enjoyed an unexpectedly high level of success, comes the Descent Mk2.

Although the Mk1’s proficiency surprised divers all over the world, Garmin carefully considered the feedback and criticism and brilliantly incorporated it into the new model, fusing regular functionality and usability with exceptional dive computer capabilities.

Lack of air integration technology—an unusual omission for a dive computer of this caliber—was one of the Descent Mk1’s main detractors.

Along with fixing this issue, they also developed a brand-new, enhanced approach to air integration for the Garmin Descent Mk2i.

They developed SubWave™, a powerful sonar system using their own, patented technology. It not only expands the range from 1m (with conventional VHF radio technology) to an astounding 8m underwater but also permits multiple inputs to a single dive computer.

The Garmin Descent Mk2 has generated a lot of buzzes, but it appears that Garmin has once again done everything perfectly. The Garmin Descent Mk2 seems like it might be well worth the steep price, despite price.

Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Watch Review: Dive Features

The Descent G1 Series has features for beginning recreational divers up to experienced technical divers, making it fairly adaptable in terms of dive functionality. The G1 offers a variety of dive modes, including gauge, apnea, apnea hunt, closed-circuit rebreather, and single and multiple gas dives (including air, nitrox, trimix, and 100% O2).

On the computer display, you can quickly and conveniently access essential dive data such as:

  • depth
  • time
  • temperature
  • residual nitrogen
  • deco-stop requirements, etc

The user has complete control over how the data is displayed. The device also comes with such convenient features as:

  • a 3-axis digital compass
  • vibrating depth alerts
  • automatic entry / exit point tracking

In apnea modes, freedivers will benefit from customizable dive and surface screens as well as additional metrics like ascent and descent rates to assess performance in between dives.


Garmin improved upon the Descent Mk1 technology and built on its success with the Mk2 model.

They increased the screen size; it is now one-third larger than the Mk1 model. On top of streamlining the information to make it easier to understand, they were able to fit more information on each dive screen.

You can ensure that you have all the information you need and that it is presented to you in the order you prefer by fully customizing the dive screens.

Transflective memory-in-pixel technology makes the screen completely readable in sunlight, giving it a significant advantage over computers with power-hungry OLED displays.

You won’t need to fumble around in low light to find the right settings because the backlight is automatic at depth. Because it is made of sapphire crystal, the lens is virtually scratch-proof and durable enough to withstand the usual bumps and bruises that come with being a scuba diver.

The Descent Mk2’s buttons have also been updated by Garmin to include new technology. Compared to earlier models, these inductive buttons are more leak-proof and responsive underwater, even when wearing gloves.

Build And Design

The Descent G1 and Descent G1 Solar computers in the series each have a high-contrast, easy-to-read monochrome display built into a 45mm watch case, with a depth rating of 10 ATM (100 meters/328 feet), leakproof inductive buttons, and a sapphire lens.

The G1’s compatibility with Garmin QuickFit bands enables divers to switch between long and short straps for various exposure suit thicknesses, or change the appearance of their watch from a dive to a dinner.

If the watch is worn in bright sunlight for about three hours per day, the G1’s rechargeable battery can last up to 25 hours in dive mode, three weeks in smartwatch mode, and up to four months in smartwatch mode with the solar charging models.

Sports Apps And Lifestyle Features

Applications for swimming, hiking, running, cycling, golf, yoga, and surfing are among the numerous sports apps included in the Descent G1 Series.

The computer also contains a range of fitness and wellness features including:

  • advanced sleep monitoring,
  • hydration and menstrual cycle tracking,
  • fitness age,
  • training status,
  • daily suggested workouts, and more.

Connectivity Features

The G1 and other Descent dive watches from Garmin are made to work with their Dive App. You can share information about your trip and get the inside track on places to visit on the app. You can also review specifics to keep a more thorough logbook.

The computer can also be connected to an inReach Mini 2 satellite communicator (satellite subscription required) to send and receive messages or to send out an SOS in an emergency.

In the event of an incident, Garmin Connect Mobile will be able to contact the user’s emergency contacts with a message that includes the user’s name and location (if available).

Other connected features of the Garmin Descent G1 include Garmin Pay and the capacity to receive notifications for calls, texts, calendar reminders, social media updates, and breaking news stories when connected to compatible Android or Apple smartphones.

The G1’s drawbacks include its inability to store music or use wifi.


The Garmin Descent Mk2 is a very fashionable piece of equipment, which almost goes without saying. It is incredibly versatile and looks equally at home in a boardroom, a gym, a trail, or a dive boat.

The watch is sturdy without being oversized, though people with small wrists might find it a little bulky. The watch face is 52 x 52 mm in size, and the functional display is 35.56 mm.

While the bezel on the Mk2 and Mk2i is made of titanium with Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating, the case is made of fiber-reinforced polymer with a metal rear cover.

This indicates that a wide variety of colors and materials, including titanium, leather, and nylon, are offered for sale in the Garmin store. Additionally, you can switch them out for any existing Garmin watch bands you have.

G1 Vs Mk2/Mk2i

Although the dive-specific and lifestyle features of the G1 series are very similar to those of the previous Descent Mk2 models, there are a few important distinctions to be aware of.

The design will catch your eye right away. The G1 watch is significantly more compact and lighter. Garmin replaced the bulky steel construction with an impact-resistant fiber-reinforced polymer and narrowed the screen from 52mm to a more manageable 45mm.

While this might be advantageous for topside activities, the G1’s monochrome screen, which is smaller than the Mk2/Mk2i’s full-color display, may be more challenging to read underwater. Additionally, using the smaller interface buttons while wearing neoprene gloves may also be more challenging.

Regarding battery life, users of the G1 can anticipate 25 hours of bottom time for diving (down from the Mk2’s 80 hours in dive mode) and up to four months (for the G1 Solar) between charges when used solely as a smartwatch.

The cost must obviously be taken into account.

The G1 is a much more cost-effective alternative, while the Descent Mk2 and Mk2i are in the luxury category of dive computers. The G1 offers many of the same advanced features as the Descent Mk2i for less than half the cost.

12. Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Watch2


The Garmin Descent Mk2 and Mk2i have excellent battery life despite all of their bells and whistles. The watch can operate in smartwatch mode for 16 days without diving on a full charge.

When using GPS, this is cut down to 48 hours, and when adding music, it is cut down to 15 hours—more than enough time for a full day of hiking.

You can go up to 96 hours with just GPS running on a full battery. Up to 80 hours, or roughly four days, can be obtained while in dive mode, making it ideal for a liveaboard or weekend diving trip.

The Descent Mk2i’s battery life is reduced to 32 hours when used with a T1 Transmitter. The T1 Transmitter itself has a battery life of 110 hours (bear in mind that it will only be “on” when you’re actually diving) with a user-replaceable CR123 battery.

Even more impressive is the battery life when using the Expedition GPS Activity (35 days), and you can get up to 50 days when using Battery Saver Watch Mode. Not bad.

The Garmin Descent Mk2 charging with a USB “clip” which easily attaches to the pins on the back of the computer. It can charge completely in three hours from empty.

Fitness Tracker Features

Therefore, Garmin’s specialty is sort of GPS sports watches. They are excellent at them. To be honest, it’s probably the best. The Descent Mk2 is one of Garmin’s top models, and it probably bears the most resemblance to the Fenix line.

In other words, you not only get a top-notch dive computer, but also one of the best sports watches available. We’re ok with that.

Although the Garmin Descent MK2’s sports watch feature is a major selling point, we will only briefly touch on its capabilities here because it could easily warrant a separate article due to their breadth and depth.

Sports Apps

Numerous sports apps are available, including those for biking, swimming, cycling, HIIT, pilates, yoga, and strength training. If you’re interested, you can also find apps for backcountry skiing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, and even skydiving, which includes information on the speed of descent.

The watch’s screen displays fully animated workouts in full color, and the navigation app provides turn-by-turn directions and tracking.

There are topographic maps available for ski resorts worldwide. For playing golf, you can download full-color mapping information for more than 41,000 golf courses around the globe.

The Garmin Descent Mk2 can calculate lap times for running and cycling (even if you’re not on a track), stride efficiency and length, GPS-based time and pace, and maximum power.

In addition to triathlon, mountain biking, road cycling, indoor cycling, track running, cross-country running, and treadmill running, it can offer cycle-specific maps.

Based on your performance metrics and the desired travel distance, a round-trip routing function will generate a suggested route.


The Garmin Descent Mk2i’s safety features are fairly standard, but Garmin adds a few nice touches.

The MOD is 100m, and both the deep stops and the automatic safety stops can be adjusted. For NDL, PO2, deco, and gas switching, there are built-in ascent rate monitors and customizable alarms. Alarms can typically be modified.

If you miss deco, there is an automatic lockout that can be turned off before the dive. Alarms vibrate and have an audible tone. You don’t have to figure it out on your own because there are automatic no-fly periods and automatic adjustments to altitude!

What’s In The Box?

A QuickFit26 black band with stainless steel attachments, an extra-long strap (to fit around thick wetsuits or drysuits), a charging/data cable, and the documentation, including a quick start guide, are also included in the package.

Other Garmin accessories that you can buy include travel bags, integrator pods, heart rate monitors, and a wide range of straps. Watch our unboxing video right away to find out for yourself!

Actually, there isn’t much competition for the Garmin Descent MK2 that is even on par with it. But these a few have capabilities that are comparable.

How Does The Garmin Mk2 Measure Up To Its Rivals?

The predecessor, the Garmin Descent Mk1, comes first. The Mk1 is unquestionably a fantastic dive watch. By developing a dive-computer-cum-smartwatch-cum-fitness-tracker, it broke new ground for the dive computer sector. It stands out from the competition simply due to its functionality. There are several significant upgrades between the Mk1 and Mk2. Garmin takes customer feedback very seriously, and it is clear that they have paid attention to the queries, concerns, and improvements that divers had for the Mk1 model.

First off, the Mk2’s screen is 36% larger, making it easier for many people to read.

The addition of air integration to the Mk2i is the second and biggest change. Here, Garmin really outdid itself by developing a brand-new sonar-based air-integration system.

This creates multiple connections and a significantly greater transmission range, opening up a vast array of possibilities.

The Mk1 is an excellent dive computer, and the introduction of the Mk2 has significantly reduced the price to £729.99 (roughly $650.99), making it slightly more accessible if money is an issue.

To Sum Up

That said, in addition to the G1’s smaller size and significant price reduction, a few features have been removed.

The air integration is most likely the most notable. The G1 also lacks the Mk2i’s touchscreen user interface, wifi network connectivity, mapping functionality, and music storage capabilities.

Overall, the G1 feels like a device for people who lead an active lifestyle and also happen to be divers, as opposed to the obviously scuba-centric Mk2 series. Despite this, there are a lot of positive things to say about this watch, and it will undoubtedly be a fantastic addition to both the market for dive computers and Garmin’s already impressive lineup.

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