Garmin Tactix Delta Solar AB tactical smartwatch review

As I sorted by means of my trunk of out of doors gear the night time earlier than leaping on a flight to Las Vegas, I noticed what number of years of accumulation had handed. There was a 15-year previous GPS unit for my automobile, maps of the Quantico highlands and varied public lands, and protractors for plotting an azimuth the old school manner. 

However alongside all this was the brand new hotness from Garmin: the Tactix Delta Photo voltaic full with software program from Utilized Ballistics. Contained in the tactical GPS smartwatch is extra energy and potential than the remainder of all my previous gear mixed. That’s an astounding feat for such a compact case, which is why Garmin invited me to place it by means of its paces. And that’s precisely what I supposed to do over the subsequent month. 

As a lot as I admire a top quality product, I’ve by no means been one to attend in line for the most recent tech gadget, so think about me about as unbiased as you may get for this type of factor. I’d put on the watch every day, take it into the backcountry, topic it to runs and exercises, and evaluate notes on the vary. I made a decision that if it may do all that effectively sufficient to make me neglect in regards to the price ticket, it will earn my stamp of approval.

Dimensions: 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm

Weight: 97 g (case solely: 69 g)

Supplies: fiber-reinforced polymer with metallic rear cowl and knurled buttons (case), Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated metal (bezel)

Water ranking: 10 ATM


Unboxing this watch was a no-frills affair. There was some fundamental packaging, a small instruction booklet, and a charging wire. This watch wasn’t constructed to sit down round the home when you mused at shiny brochures and technical guides. It was constructed to forge a path into the wilderness and it looks like Garmin is encouraging clients to begin proper from the leap.

The 1.4-inch display, and hefty case, give this watch an imposing look, however the sub-100-gram complete weight proved comfy and unobtrusive. The five-button configuration is simple to study and navigate, and my watch got here with each a nylon and rubber strap that proved sturdy and by no means rubbed the fallacious manner. 

Total, the watch exudes high quality. Between the strengthened polymer case and the Energy Sapphire lens, I by no means felt compelled to child it.  

How we examined the Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB

There are extra options on this watch than one particular person may check in a yr. Significantly, need to calculate the perfect altitude to open your parachute? The Tactix Delta can calculate that and provide you with suggestions for high-altitude and low-altitude openings. Need to observe your bodily efficiency throughout a run, bike, swim, hike, triathlon, or stroll across the block? There are separate capabilities for every of these. You possibly can even observe snowboarding information, though I do know having a speedometer on the slopes would get me killed.

For this check, I primarily centered on operating, mountain climbing, and day-to-day capabilities. The golf course maps have been too cool to disregard, so I tagged together with some associates for a day trip at TPC Las Vegas to match the Garmin with different GPS watches and the in-cart digital maps. As a result of this explicit watch was geared up with Utilized Ballistics software program, I additionally took the chance to ship a number of rounds downrange.

I did my finest to push the Tactix Delta out of its consolation zone. I zeroed an optic at two completely different distances to see how the Utilized Ballistics software program would compensate. I hit the path seeking a topographic function as an alternative of a preloaded focal point. Then, I enlisted the assistance of some runner and golfer associates to place the watch by means of its paces and evaluate it in opposition to the opposite gadgets they have been acquainted with.

At dwelling on the vary

Fairly than making an attempt to kind out ballistic information from scratch, Garmin introduced within the heavy hitters at Utilized Ballistics to make this watch as competent on the firing line as it’s in all places else. This explicit watch had the flexibility to sync with laser rangefinders and thermometers for immediate firing options, however I used it by itself for this check.

Like several piece of substances, this watch takes apply to benefit from the whole lot it has to supply. Rubbish in equals rubbish out, as they are saying, so it begins with precisely inputting issues like caliber, bullet weight, muzzle velocity, barrel twist, distance to the goal, and elevation change between the firing line and the goal. Utilizing that info, the Garmin crunches numbers immediately and gives mandatory changes in inches, MIL, or MOA. Hell, it will possibly even inform how lengthy the bullet can be within the air.

Throughout my check, the Utilized Ballistics software program carried out in addition to we anticipated. Firing options have been instantaneous and if I’m being trustworthy, much more exact than most individuals who will ever use it. Severe long-distance shooters will clearly get probably the most out of it, so don’t be shocked if this watch has you looking for the closest two-mile capturing vary. It was additionally attention-grabbing to examine old-school changes and holds in opposition to the watch to match outcomes. I do know to regulate elevation to compensate at 500 yards, however seeing “58 inches up” made me chuckle on the quantity required.

Yeah, science!

Review: Getting down and dirty with the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar AB smartwatch
The Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB

Right here’s a enjoyable reality: the altimeter makes use of an inside barometer to measure ambient air strain and calculate your ensuing altitude. After taking a business flight, I commented to a pilot good friend that I used to be disenchanted to search out out that the watch didn’t present my altitude in flight. 

“Let me guess,” he stated. “It stopped at 8,000 ft?”

I used to be shocked––that’s precisely the place the altimeter froze. It seems that wasn’t a malfunction. Industrial airways sometimes pressurize cabins at a simulated altitude of 8,000 ft. The watch wasn’t glitching, it was spot-on.

These maps, although

Review: Getting down and dirty with the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar AB smartwatch
The Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB

There are many digital maps on the market as of late. GPS watches are available, mobile service is getting more and more dependable in distant areas, and offline maps make navigation that a lot simpler. The distinction is made by accuracy. 

Atop North Peak in Nevada, the bottom was so rocky and barren that in lots of locations the path merely vanished. The open nation made macro-level navigation simple, however with so many steep drop-offs it will have been simple to observe the fallacious topographical function and find yourself spending hours backtracking. 

Garmin got here by means of massive time with a path map and GPS accuracy inside ft. I adopted the path on the watch and ended up precisely the place I wanted to be when the path grew to become marked once more. Add in layers for roads, companies, common sights, public lands, contour strains, a number of grid techniques, and even maritime use, and you may be assured navigating wherever.

What we like in regards to the Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB

There’s loads to love about this wrist wizard. I’m prepared to wager that if I had it for one more month, I’d prefer it much more. There are simply so many capabilities and alternatives for personalization that the watch has the flexibility to develop with its homeowners as they discover new pursuits.


Have a look by means of Garmin’s product web page, and I’m prepared to wager you’ll want a break earlier than you get by means of each function and functionality this watch presents. It’s really outstanding. 

Need maps? Faucet into GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite tv for pc techniques with highway, topographical, maritime, and federal public lands maps. 

Prepared to interrupt a sweat? Make the most of health apps for operating, swimming, biking, mountain climbing, rowing, alpine snowboarding, cross-country snowboarding, backcountry snowboarding, {golfing}, browsing, mountaineering, and the checklist goes on. 

The Join IQ Retailer presents a slew of specialised apps past what comes put in from Garmin, so you’ll be able to preserve your watch present with the most recent and best know-how.

Along with activity-specific packages, you’ll be able to view information plotted over time to raised analyze your exercises and athletic efficiency. I used to be significantly impressed by the Utilized Ballistics software program on the vary. 

I’d be mendacity if I stated the Join IQ retailer and touchless funds weren’t sensible. In between these two are capabilities for almost the whole lot beneath the solar. 


Whether or not operating, swimming, or mountain climbing, I constantly obtained suggestions about how good the Tactix Delta’s show is. Low mild, harsh glare, and viewing angle aren’t any issue for this display. Garmin additionally prioritized visibility by way of the scale at which info seems. The simplicity of presentation and loads of distinction makes it very simple to learn particular info at a look. 

On high of that, nearly each display may be personalized together with your most popular info format, information factors, and shade schemes.


This watch is incredible by itself, however you may get much more out of it by pairing it with different gadgets. I’m not simply speaking about wi-fi headphones, both. Utilized Ballistics permit this watch to immediately convert rangefinder outcomes into a spread card that makes use of your particular firearm and ammunition to elevation and wind calls. In fact, there’s a suite of appropriate gadgets provided by Garmin.

What we don’t like in regards to the Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB

No piece of substances is ideal, and I attempt to be goal in the whole lot I evaluation. As a client, I want the $1,400 price ticket was just a little extra accessible, though Garmin does give consumers the choice to forego photo voltaic charging and the Utilized Ballistics perform to avoid wasting a pleasant chunk of cash. Apart from that, my solely criticism comes because of being spoiled for thus lengthy.


That is nitpicking, however after years of taking a look at Apple retina Shows, having the ability to see particular person pixels is type of a bummer. This show definitely isn’t dangerous, although, and the colours are vibrant and crisp.


The thought I stored coming again to is “this factor is actually rattling good.” It simply dealt with the whole lot I may dish out prefer it was nothing. In case you want one of the best, that is most likely about pretty much as good because it will get. In case you don’t want one of the best however you continue to need it, deal with your self. Develop into this factor. Let it lead you to locations you by no means thought you’d go. And if a type of locations is a lonely mountain peak outdoors Las Vegas, there was a shooter of whisky once I left that’s all yours.

Review: Getting down and dirty with the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar AB smartwatch

FAQs in regards to the Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB

Extra questions? Right here’s Job & Function’s extra temporary. 

Q. How a lot does the Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB price?

A: This watch has an MSRP of $1,399.99 as examined. Skip the Utilized Ballistics software program and save $300. The bottom mannequin with no ballistics calculator or photo voltaic charging has an MSRP of $899.99 as of this writing. That’s some huge cash in any configuration, however the capabilities continued to impress us and I believe the watch is price each penny.

Q. How lengthy does the battery final on a single cost?

A. With out photo voltaic charging, I noticed battery lifetime of about 28 days. The extra publicity to daylight the watch will get, the longer it would final. Operating the GPS perform will place a big draw on the battery, and I noticed the estimated lifespan drop by a day over the course of a six-hour hike with steady GPS use.

Q. How does the GPS evaluate to different gadgets?

A. As anticipated from Garmin, the GPS on this watch was extremely correct. A technique I examined this was by programming a waypoint on the recognized summit of North Peak outdoors Crimson Rock Canyon Nationwide Conservation Space. On the true summit, the watch’s GPS positioned it instantly on high of the pre-plotted coordinates. It additionally carried out admirably at TPC Las Vegas, offering correct readouts alongside different GPS items and the course’s golf cart system.

As with all GPS gadget, do not forget that info comes from satellites, not wifi or mobile information. Indoor reception could be very weak and even tall buildings and automobiles may cause noticeable interference.

By pairing the watch with Garmin’s InReach distant, you may as well benefit from the SOS perform to summon assist in an emergency. I didn’t check this functionality––fortunately.

Q. Is the Garmin Tactix Delta Photo voltaic AB definitely worth the cash?

A. That’s the first query that stored developing with everybody I talked to about this watch. Sure, the worth is up there. If you’d like a health tracker, GPS watch, or ballistics calculator, there are extra inexpensive choices. If you’d like all of these issues, simply go along with one watch that may deal with the whole lot with out lacking a beat.

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