In terms of dive-specific and lifestyle technical aspects, the G1 Solar is fairly comparable to the previous Descent Mk2 models. The G’s construction is sleek and streamlined in comparison to the scuba-focused Mk2i. Garmin reduced the screen size from 52mm to 45mm and replaced the hefty steel frame with a lighter, more impact-resistant fiber reinforced polymer.
The solar support, which significantly improves the battery life of smartwatch functions, is our favorite feature. Garmin states that when used solely as a smartwatch, customers can expect 25 hours of bottom time and up to four months between charges. Whilst the G1 suffers slightly from underwater charging, its overall capability is roughly eight times that of the Mk2.
With its smaller size and lower price, the G1 has sacrificed a few features found in previous Descent models, the most notable of which is air integration. In addition, the display is monochrome rather than full color, and is divided into two panes rather than the dazzling one screen seen in the Mk2. The G1 is also unable to connect to wifi networks, map, or save music.
1. Dive Highlights
Despite the lack of air integration, the G1 Solar is a strong dive computer with a wide range of functions for divers from recreational to technical. It includes a 100m water resistance rating, leak proof buttons, and a swappable strap that may be worn around a suit.
The G1’s numerous dive modes include conventional Descent-series support for single and mixed gas dives, including nitrox and trimix, as well as an apnea and apnea hunt mode that disables sounds to allow you to sneak up on your quarry. Freedive settings are adjustable, and performance data are tracked between descents.
On the display, you may quickly and easily access important information such as a 3-axis compass, depth, time, temperature, residual nitrogen, and deco-stop requirements—basically all of the data and suggestions that a modern dive computer would provide. There are additional useful features such as vibrating depth alarms and automatic entry/exit point tracking. The G1, like the rest of Garmin’s Descent dive watches, is designed to work with the Dive App. With the app, you may look over specifics to keep a more complete diary, share information about your journey, and receive the inside scoop on places to visit from other users.
The G1 Solar walks the fine line between dive computer and smartwatch more gracefully than previous Descent models. The inability to connect to WiFi networks or download music is a significant shortcoming in this regard, but the G1 scores admirably in terms of more health-related criteria.
The G1 boasts a plethora of health and biometric tracking options, from sleep monitoring to hydration and menstruation. You may use preloaded programs to track sports like skiing, running, and golfing, and then use the data to plan your training and recovery using a smartphone app.
Other from assisting you in recording and organizing your health data, the G1 can fully interact with your phone, sending you notifications from SMS, calls, tweets, or your preferred social media. It can also be used for contactless payments with Garmin Pay.
The G1, like the rest of Garmin’s Descent dive watches, is designed to work with the Dive App. With the app, you may look over specifics to keep a more complete diary, share information about your journey, and receive the inside scoop on places to visit from other users.
In addition, the PC can be linked to an inReach Mini 2 satellite communicator (a satellite subscription is necessary) to send and receive messages or to send an SOS in an emergency.
If an event is identified, Garmin Connect Mobile can send a message to the user’s emergency contacts, including their name and location (if available).
When associated with compatible Android or Apple smartphones, the Garmin Descent G1 has a number of other connected capabilities, including Garmin Pay and the ability to get notifications for calls, texts, calendar reminders, social network updates, and breaking news articles.
The G1 Solar has a lot to recommend it. But, before we reach a conclusion, let us examine our issues. We’ve already gone through what’s lacking from other Descent models, but it bears repeating that no air integration and no wifi connectivity are both disastrous for a product in the dive computer and wristwatch categories, respectively. We’re also concerned about using the G1’s tiny buttons while wearing bulky neoprene dive gloves.
Apart from these reservations, you get far more than half the product for less than half the price of the Descent Mk2i. The G1 Solar is a capable product in both of its specialties, and it certainly has a less flashy appearance than other large dive-focused smartwatches.
The Descent G1 Solar isn’t just for divers; it’s also for active folks who happen to dive. Garmin has mellowed the price and product edges while adding an intriguing, adaptable product to their already impressive lineup.