Garmin Descent G1 review | Best Diving Watch Yet?

garmin descent g1 review- best gps tech

Garmin aquatic devices are more of a niche Garmin device line, but dive computers live and die by their durability and data strength. The Garmin Descent G1 continues the brand’s prolific 2022 output with incredible versatility and variety. So, is the Garmin Descent G1 a good diving watch?

The Garmin Descent G1 is a slim and durable diving watch that adds new beneficial features to make it stand apart from the previous Mk2 models. With solar charging capabilities, as well as vibration depth alerts and the ability to take multiple gas dives the Garmin Descent G1 is a stellar diving watch.

Are you currently debating on purchasing a new Garmin Descent G1? Perhaps you are curious if the upgrade is worth it compared to the innovative and feature-packed Mk2 models? Whatever the reason, this in-depth review of the Garmin Descent G1 Solar is for you.

Read on to find out more about its features and how it compares to older models.

At a glance: Garmin Descent G1 Solar

Upon first glance at the Descent G1 Solar, the watch looks very similar to the Garmin Instinct, in addition to some cosmetic similarities to the Mk2 models. In fact, you can almost think of the Descent G1 Solar as an Instinct with multiple dive modes and an innovative dive computer.

The watch comes with a long dive strap as well as a USB charging cable and comes with multiple training features as well as a wrist-based heart rate monitor no matter your fitness age.

There is multi-GNSS satellite support that syncs perfectly with the Garmin Dive Companion app, which is a real highlight for seasoned technical divers.

Garmin’s Descent dive watches are truly shaping up to be an innovative line. Features such as a closed-circuit rebreather monitor automatically mark surface entry with a wide array of connected features that record data like descent rates, recovery time, multiple dive modes that record dive time, and even vibrating depth alerts.

With solar charging, you can ensure that you reach a 100% charge based on sunlight alone even at certain depths underwater.

The buttons on the watch make for easy navigation to all the essential functions of the watch. Using the top right button, you can easily access all of the dive features of the watch in dive mode including ascent and descent rates, an array of apnea hunt features, dive training status, and multi-gas settings for trimix or accelerated decoys, and much more scuba diving features.

The rebreather mode when set through the Garmin dive app can adequately track your diving depths and the corresponding times, which can also occur even if there is a rebreather computer failure.

There is even a pool mode that allows for advanced training techniques when needed. This is a particularly beneficial feature for recreational divers.

The apnea hunt mode feature will allow all of your notifications and metrics to go into vibrate mode. There is also a stopwatch feature when set through apnea modes that allows you to set to stopwatch mode with relevant alarms.

You can also plan dives based on a gas mix, and a tides mode feature, based on your phone, will tell you when the tide is coming in and going out.

Last but not least, there are also numerous multi-sport activities as well, which is a bonus for such an advanced dive computer.

These built-in sports apps include daily suggested workouts, advanced sleep monitoring, GPS mode sports, as well as over 30 more activity profiles in addition to all the dive activity features. That makes this watch great for divers with an active lifestyle as well.


  • The Descent G1 is both a powerful dive computer as well as a sports watch with multiple GPS sports apps for any fitness age
  • Superior battery life when in smartwatch mode with extended battery life and a rechargeable battery in the Solar editions
  • Perfect for advanced and new recreational divers alike
  • Innovative and durable surface screens both on land and underwater, with perfect dive app playback underwater
  • Comes with Garmin Pay
  • Up to four months of battery when in smartwatch mode
  • Comes with both long and short straps
  • Significant price decrease from many of the Mk2 models
  • Comes with significant features like apnea, exit points, lifestyle features, wellness features, calendar reminders, a detailed logbook, and much more


  • The air integration features that defined many of the convenient features of the Mk2 models are not as great on the Descent G1
  • A bit harder to navigate effectively, especially when underwater

What can the Garmin G1 Descent do?

The Garmin Descent G1 is a diving watch that Garmin specifically designed to appeal to divers who want quality as well as an affordable price point.

This watch can do nearly everything you have come to expect from the Mk2 models previously, but Garmin narrowed some of those features such as air integration, maximum depth, and customisable dive points to readily include a wide range of other multi-sport activity profiles.

But the Descent G1 is a powerful and cost-efficient entry in the Garmin Descent Series, and you can expect a more detailed logbook of your dives across multiple decoys and gas variations.

The Descent G1 has a fun, fresh, and rugged design and comes in multiple color options and a scratch-resistant sapphire screen, as well as a wide array of solar charging models to choose from.

This watch has inductive leak-proof buttons and a complete re-engineered set of electronics that make it totally suitable for harsh underwater environments.

Key dive mode features

Some of the key dive mode features include:

  • Single gas, multi-gas, rebreather, gauge mode, and two free diving modes
  • This watch handles everything from air to nitrox to trimix with separate corresponding gas profiles for each of these diving types
  • Perfect for either recreations or advanced technical divers
  • GPS that automatically marks both entry and exit points both authentically and with pinpoint precision
  • New pulse oximeter technology on the wrist-based heart rate monitor
  • Comes with a 3-Axis digital compass


  • Comes in a wide variety of different color choices in a truly impressive lineup to match different underwater hues


  • Sapphire lens with innovative digital monitoring and display
  • Comes with Garmin quickfit bands that allow you to go from wearing the watch in everyday use to a long band that you can wear underwater and attach to a wetsuit easily


  • Affordable and lower in price when compared to Mk2 models

Battery life

  • Powerful and impressive battery life, with up to months of battery in the solar models


Is Garmin descent G1 air integrated?

One of the biggest drawbacks to the Descent G1 is that it is not air-integrated. This is a marked contrast to what can be found in the older Mk2 models.

But despite the lack of air integration, the sheer amount of profiles available in the app that cover a wide range of gas choices is very impressive.

You can either choose to do a standard descent or rapid descent for the more technically advanced. There is also a range of features that allow for easier dives when you are hunting quarry, such as the apnea feature that allows you to set everything to vibrate.

The Descent G1 is a more affordable dive watch, but it does come with a strong wave of diving innovation as well.

Can I dive with Garmin instinct?

Since the Descent G1 is very similar to the Garmin Instinct series, many people wonder if you can dive with the Garmin Instinct? Unfortunately not. The Garmin Instinct is designed for surface-level swimming only, and if you attempt to dive with the watch and stay underwater for elongated periods of time, you can damage the watch.

The Descent G1 is similar to the Instinct in terms of design and features, but the comparison ends there.


In summary, the Garmin Descent G1 is a perfect diving watch if you are looking for new and improved innovation at a price point that is also attractive. There are a few features missing from the Descent G1 when compared to the Mk2 models, but the innovation and affordability of the watch, as well as dive features, make up for it.

Best GPS Tech

At Best GPS Tech we found it frustrating that there were limited websites available, willing to provide an honest opinion on the latest GPS technology to aid our interests. We enjoy creating content around GPS products from the industry leaders such as Garmin, FitBit and more. We hope you find the site informative in helping you make the right buying decisions.

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