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Compare the New Garmin Descent G1/G1 Solar Dive GPS Watch vs the Instinct 2 Solar Tactical vs the fēnix® 7 Solar

Need a rugged GPS watch that let's you do what you love above and below water? The Garmin Descent G1 watch-style dive computer could be your new everywhere wearable.

Bonus—not only does it blend the best of all your worlds (from topside to below the surface)—it's more afffordable compared to the Descent Mk2 series and other Garmin high-end watches, like fēnix 7, epix (Gen 2), and Forerunner 945.

So how does it hold up next to the Instinct 2 Solar Tactical and the fēnix 7? Read on to compare these watches and find out what makes this new Garmin dive GPS watch so unique!

Note that the Descent G1 and the fēnix 7 each offer solar- and nonsolar-charging options, while the Instinct 2 Solar Tactical has only the solar-charging option.



Comparing the Descent G1 Solar vs
Instinct 2 Solar Tactical vs fēnix 7 Solar.


Descent G1 Solar vs Instinct 2 Solar Tactical vs fēnix 7 Solar | Watch Design

Garmin Descent G1/G1 Solar Dive GPS Watch

Featuring an easy-to-read, high-contrast display and 45mm watch case, the G1 Series introduces a new compact design into the dive lineup that is purpose built in both form and function. Water rated to 10 ATM (100 meters) and tested to engineering standard EN133319 for dive compliance with leakproof inductive buttons and a sapphire lens, the Descent G1 Series is rugged and ready for excursions above and below the water’s surface. Available in multiple color options and compatible with Garmin QuickFit® bands, divers can switch between long and short straps for wearing over wet suits when needed, or switch up their style in a snap to take their timepiece from a dive to dinner.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Tactical Rugged GPS Watch

In addition to its new vibrant color options, Instinct 2 Series offers a slimmer profile, as well as two sizes—a traditional 45mm bezel and a new Instinct 2S with a smaller 40mm bezel, providing a more comfortable fit for individuals with smaller wrists and women (note: the Instinct Solar Tactical is only available in the 45mm size). A new high-resolution, easy-to-read display protected by chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant glass helps customers feel confident knowing they are ready for any challenge. Paying homage to the rugged Instinct and Instinct Solar Series, Instinct 2 remains built to military standard 810 for thermal and shock resistance and is water rated to 100 meters.

Instinct 2 Series is compatible with the Garmin Connect IQ™ store, an all-in-one platform for further personalizing Instinct 2 Series with free downloads of apps, widgets, watch faces, data fields, and more.

Garmin fēnix 7/7S/7X Premium Outdoor GPS Watch

Built for rugged reliability from premium materials like titanium and sapphire, fēnix 7 Series comes in three sizes and has been redesigned for ultra-durability with reinforced lugs and metal button guards. Trusted button controls are matched with a responsive new touchscreen interface for dual utility, improving daily smartwatch interaction, and map navigation. The powerful 5-buttons and touchscreen interface enables quick and intuitive engagement with the topographical maps, offering confident “off-grid” situational awareness. With the introduction of Sapphire Solar models, users do not have to choose between solar capabilities and a scratch resistant sapphire lens, as they had done previously for the fēnix 6 Series. The updated fēnix design maximizes solar surface area for increased efficiency including doubling solar gains from fēnix 6 to fēnix 7 in smartwatch mode.

Garmin fēnix 7 Standard, Solar & Sapphire Solar:

  • Display Size: 1.3"
  • Physical Dimensions (W x H x D): 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm

fēnix 7S Standard, Solar & Sapphire Solar:

  • Display Size: 1.2"
  • Physical Dimensions (W x H x D): 42 x 42 x 14.1 mm

fēnix 7X Solar & Sapphire Solar:

  • Display Size: 1.4"
  • Physical Dimensions (W x H x D): 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm

Descent G1 vs Instinct 2 Solar Tactical vs fēnix 7 Battery Life

Garmin Descent G1/G1 Solar Battery Life

  • Dive mode: Up to 25 hrs
  • Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/4 months with solar
  • Battery saver watch mode: Up to 48 days/Unlimited with solar
  • GPS: Up to 26hrs/39 hrs with solar
  • Max Battery GPS mode: Up to 56 hrs/Unlimitedwith solar
  • Expedition GPS activity: Up to 27 days/Unlimited with solar

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Tactical Battery Life

  • Smartwatch: Up to 28 days/Unlimited with solar
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 65 days/Unlimited with solar
  • GPS: Up to 30hrs/48 hrs with solar
  • Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 70hrs/370 hrs with solar
  • Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 32 days/Unlimited with solar

Garmin fēnix 7S / Solar / Sapphire Solar Battery Life

  • Smartwatch: Up to 11 days/14 days with solar
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 38 days/87 days with solar
  • GPS Only: Up to 37 hrs/46 hrs with solar
  • All Satellte Systems: Up to 26 hrs/30 hrs with solar
  • All Satellite Systems + Music: Up to 7 hrs
  • Max Battery GPS: Up to 90 hrs/162 hrs with solar
  • Expedition GPS: Up to 26 days/43 days with solar

Garmin fēnix 7 / Solar / Sapphire Solar Battery Life

  • Smartwatch: Up to 18 days/22 days with solar
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 57 days/173 days with solar
  • GPS Only: Up to 57 hrs/73 hrs with solar
  • All Satellte Systems: Up to 40 hrs/48 hrs with solar
  • All Satellite Systems + Multi-band: Up to 23 hrs/26hrs with solar
  • All Satellite Systems + Music: Up to 10 hrs
  • Max Battery GPS: Up to 136 hrs/289 hrs with solar
  • Expedition GPS: Up to 40 days/74 days with solar

Garmin fēnix 7X Solar / Sapphire Solar Battery Life

  • Smartwatch: Up to 28 days/37 days with solar
  • Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 90 days/ 1+ year with solar
  • GPS Only: Up to 89 hrs/ 122 hrs with solar
  • All Satellte Systems: Up to 63 hrs/ 77 hrs with solar
  • All Satellite Systems + Multi-band: Up to 36 hrs/ 41hrs with solar
  • All Satellite Systems + Music: Up to 16 hrs
  • Max Battery GPS: Up to 213 hrs/ 578 hrs with solar
  • Expedition GPS: Up to 62 days/ 139 days with solar

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Descent G1 vs fēnix 7 vs Instinct 2 Advanced Features

Garmin Descent G1/G1 Solar Features

Descent G1 Series has features for new recreational divers up through seasoned technical divers with support for multiple dive modes for single and multiple gas dives (including air, nitrox, trimix, and 100% O2), gauge, apnea, apnea hunt and closed-circuit rebreather. G1 Series also includes a 3-axis digital compass and vibration depth alerts. Right on the wrist, divers can view depth, dive time, temperature, NDL/TTS, ascent/descent rates, gas mix, PO2, N2 loading, decompression/safety stop information, and time-of-day, all customizable to the user’s preference. Freedivers will enjoy customizable dive and surface screens in apnea modes, plus more metrics like ascent and descent rates to analyze performance between dives.

Plus, the Descent G1 features a variety of built-in indoor and GPS sports apps with favorites that include swimming, hiking, running, cycling, golf, yoga and surfing. Topside, this dive computer watch will track and measure performance with Garmin’s full suite of advanced fitness features like VO2 Max, Fitness Age, Training Status, Recovery Time, HIIT Workouts, and Daily Suggested Workouts.

Garmin fēnix 7/7S/7X Series

Take training to the next level with sports apps from bouldering to mountain climbing to strength training and beyond. Plus tools for optimal performance, including:

  • To avoid burnout, the new Real-Time Stamina tool allows athletes to monitor and track exertion levels during a run or bike activity.
  • The new Visual Race Predictor feature takes into account running history and overall fitness to provide race estimates and insights into how training is progressing.
  • Post workout, Recovery Time Advisor takes into account training intensity and other factors like stress, daily activity and sleep to estimate the number of hours of rest needed to properly recover before another session of the same exertion.
  • Daily Workout Suggestions gives a recommended next run or ride workout based on current training load, training status and overall fitness level.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Tactical Features

Popular with military personnel, the Instinct 2 Solar—Tactical Edition adds dedicated tactical features such as a Kill Switch, Stealth Mode, Night Vision Goggle Compatibility, Dual Format Position Coordinates, and Jumpmaster Activity mode. Available in Coyote Tan or Black.

Plus, fitness enthusiasts will be motivated knowing their Instinct 2 Series now includes VO2 Max, Fitness Age, Training Status/Load/Effect, Recovery Time, HIIT Workouts, and Daily Suggested Workout.

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Garmin GPS, Maps, & Navigation  

Garmin Descent G1/G1 Solar

The Descent G1 will automatically mark surface entry and exit points in the water using multi-GNSS satellite support and log it in the companion Garmin Dive app so divers can easily review a detailed analysis of each dive activity including max depth and bottom time. Use the Garmin Dive App to configure settings on the Descent G1 Series, or plan the next trip by viewing popular sites that have been rated and reviewed by other users.

For navigation, the Descent G1 provides point-to-point navigation, reat-time bread crumb trail, Back to Start, and TracBack.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar—Tactical Edition

Whether you’re hiking, mountain biking, trail running, or skiing, the Instinct 2 series provides access to multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone. Plus, point-to-point navigation, reat-time bread crumb trail, Back to Start, and TracBack.

Garmin fēnix 7/7S/7X Series

Packed with Garmin’s full suite of navigation features, the fēnix 7 series supports all major satellite systems along with the additional L5 frequency range for improved accuracy in challenging GPS environments. All fēnix 7 watches are preloaded with the SkiView™ maps and 42,000 golf courses. Standard and Solar models allow for downloadable TopoActive maps from any region around the world. Sapphire Solar models are preloaded with TopoActive maps for your region and also allow users to download any region from around the world. Save precious time on race day with the new Up Ahead feature that provides exact locations of aid stations, trails, next turn, etc. At user-defined checkpoints, a data page displays performance metrics which includes upcoming distance and elevation— with a summary of the last split with optional rest timer—all in an effort to help athletes manage their time during competition.

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Descent G1 vs fēnix 7 vs Instinct 2 Solar Tactical | Health Features

All of these Garmin watches—Desecnt G1/G1 Solar, fēnix 7 series, & Instinct 2 series—offer Garmin’s full suite of wellness features including:

  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Daily resting heart rate
  • Abnormal heart rate alerts
  • Respiration rate (24/7)
  • Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturated
  • Fitness Age
  • Body Battery energy monitor
  • All-Day Stress
  • Relaxation reminder
  • Relaxation breathing timer
  • Sleep
  • Sleep score and insights
  • Hydration
  • Women's Health
  • Health Snapshot

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Daily Smart Features

The Garmin Descent G1/G1 Solar, fēnix 7 series, & Instinct 2 series provide a rich package of daily smart features, including:

  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity (fēnix 7 also has Wi-Fi)
  • Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
  • Smart Notifications
  • Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
  • Calendar
  • Weather
  • Battery saver (customizable low power watch)
  • Controls smartphone music
  • Plays and controls watch music (fēnix 7 only—stores 2,000 songs)
  • Find My Phone
  • Find My Watch
  • VIRB Remote
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Pairs with Garmin Golf app
  • Pairs with Garmin Connect Mobile
  • Garmin Pay

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