Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Smartwatch

9.3
9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.3)] = (Gearweare.net) score (9.3)/10

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Editor rating: 9.3 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Is it a computer? Is it a smartwatch? Is it a fitness tracker? It’s all of these things! The Garmin Descent MK2 features an easy-to-read screen, a comfortable band, and 32GB of memory. It is ideal for scuba divers of all sorts. Are you ready to go deep into the highlights and features of this watch computer?

To begin with, the large font is easy to read in the glaring sun or underwater. If you practice more sports, other than scuba, you’ll love the built-in fitness classes and the pre-loaded 41,000 golf courses. It also meticulously tracks your health throughout the day - including heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, calories burned, and more.
Garmin Descent Mk2 Dive Smartwatch Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Easy to read screen

32 GB of memory

Functions as a fitness tracker, dive computer, and a smartwatch

Great battery life

Glare resistant

Cons

Heart rate monitor might be slightly off

Expensive

Key Features

Comfort

The Garmin MK2 has a 52mm case size and a 26mm band. A silicon band is included but you can choose a leather or titanium band for an upcharge. The holes are placed very closely making it easy to get a perfect fit for big and small wrists. To get more accurate readings from the heart rate monitor, it’s best to have the fit adjusted tightly.

To use it underwater and take advantage of the health monitoring features, you may need to roll up your wetsuit sleeve. However, if you are just using it as a dive computer, you can wear it over the wetsuit.

There are five buttons and a touch screen. With just a few hours of fiddling with the watch, and glancing over the instructions, you’ll have it figured out. You can customize the watch face to show whatever information is most important to you. You can even customize it with a personal picture.

Features

Okay, let’s dive right in. The Garmin MK2 is packed with features. It is able to be connected to other devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ANT+, and NFC connections. Depending on which functions you use, the battery life varies greatly. For example, in battery saver mode, it can last up to 50 days. If you run the GPS constantly, it will last for 48 hours. Just as a smart watch, it will last for up to 16 days. In dive mode, it will last for 80 hours.

The 1.4” color screen is 280 by 280 pixels. The chroma display allows you to see the screen clearly in the bright sun or underwater without an issue. There is some backlight illumination, however, it is difficult to see the screen in complete darkness.

Thanks to the 32GB memory, you can store up to 2,000 songs on the watch or use an app (Spotify, Pandora, etc…) to listen to music. You can also partake in animated exercises such as Yoga, Pilates, or a cardio workout right from your watch. Or you can enjoy one of the thirty built-in sports modes. The MK2 is loaded with 41,000 golf courses and 2,000 ski resorts around the world.

In terms of fitness tracking, this watch measures your daily stress levels, steps, calories, elevation changes, blood oxygen saturation, and more. If you want to know more about each category, check out the help section of the Garmin Connect for in-depth explanations of how it tracks each feature. I have noticed that the heart rate monitor seems to be slightly off compared to other products.

For diving, you will want to download the Garmin Dive app to sync your data. You can set it to record your dives automatically or manually. It can record many things, such as your dive point, depth, time spent on the bottom, your underwater heart rate, and more. It will also give you a heads up about your NDL (no decompression limit) and will warn you if you are coming up too quickly.

The MK2 is a great underwater companion for any type of diver. It has the ability to track single and multiple gas dives, apnea and apnea hunt dives, closed circuit rebreather dives, and more. In the watch itself, you can store and review data for up to 200 dives. You can even create a list of your favorite spots to keep publicly or privately.

Durability

Like many Garmin products, the MK2 has great craftsmanship. The bezel is made from stainless steel and the lens is made from sapphire crystal. I suppose you could scratch or chip the watch face if you really tried, but it’s not likely to happen by accident.

This product has a water rating of 10 ATM, meaning it can withstand depths up to 100 meters. To keep this product in good condition, it’s advisable to rinse the watch computer after each dive with tap water.

Garmin products come with a two-year warranty and you can return this product within 30 days if you decide that it’s not for you.

Value

Well, it’s not something I want to talk about but it is something that needs to be addressed. The Garmin MK2 is very expensive. However, it is a three-in-one product. It functions as a fitness tracker, a dive computer, and a smart watch. It is full of high-tech features that do not come cheaply.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current watch and interested in buying a dive computer, the MK2 is the total package.

Comparison to Similar Watches

One of the most common comparisons that people make is between the MK2 and the MK2i. These watch computers are nearly identical but the Garmin MK2i costs a bit more. So, what’s the big difference?

The MK2i comes with a titanium bezel and backing instead of stainless steel and has a blue accent color around the buttons. As far as functions, the only difference is that the MK2i works with a transmitter via SubWave technology. Because of this, the MK2i is slightly more expensive.

The Suunto D4i Diving Watch is a simpler version of the MK2. It has only four modes - nitrox, air, free, and off. It clearly displays your air pressure and dive time on a black and gray screen. It comes with an elastomer strap, mineral crystal glass, and a stainless steel bezel. If you are looking for something way more simple, this is a decent and cheaper option.

Verdict

This one-of-a-kind item is comfortable to wear and gives you the option between haptic or audible (or both) notifications. The battery life is impressive and the watch is incredibly versatile. Did I mention you can also connect it to Garmin pay? You don’t even need to carry your wallet when wearing this watch.

There’s no way we can ignore the incredibly high price tag, but this item is top of the line. It would be difficult to find a computer, watch, or fitness tracker that functions as well as the Garmin MK2 and with all of the same features. If you’re willing to make the investment, the MK2 will be a great accompaniment to your future days and dives.