Garmin D2 Delta Aviator Watch vs the D2 Charlie
Like clockwork, Garmin has released the Delta D2 Aviator watch almost exactly a year after the D2 Charlie was first announced. Unlike the previous aviation watch iterations, a rose gold variation has made its way onto the line-up. This series will have three variations in three different sizes. You can buy the D2 Delta S (42mm) for $1,349 RRP, the D2 Delta (47mm) for $1,429 RRP and the D2 Delta PX (51mm) for $1,869 RRP these are expected to arrive late August.
- D2 Delta PX aviator watch with DLC titanium band, Black Silicon watch band, trial subscription of Garmin Pilot App, Charging/data cable, documentation
- D2 Delta aviator watch with brown leather band, Black Silicon watch band, trial subscription of Garmin Pilot App, Charging/data cable, documentation
- D2 Delta S aviator watch with beige leather band, White Silicon watch band, trial subscription of Garmin Pilot App, Charging/data cable, documentation
What’s changed from the D2 Charlie Iteration
The biggest changes are that the new Delta series is clearly based on a fenix 5 plus hardware and software while the previous iteration was based on the original fenix 5. The key differences are as follows:
- Garmin Pay support (full list available here)
- Garmin music support (up to 500 songs stored on the watch)
- Galileo GPS support
- Ability to respond or reject phone calls with text (Android Only)
- Connext avionics connectivity
- Stress tracking
- More fitness options for workouts and profiles (cardio workouts, strength workouts, etc)
- Trendline popularity routing
- climbPro Ascent Planner
- Pulse Ox (available only on the Delta D2 PX – This is used to measure your Oxygen Saturation level)
- Size changes – The D2 Aviation watches now have different sizes (D2 Delta S – 42mm, D2 Delta – 47mm and the D2 Delta PX – 51mm)
On the strictly aviation side of things not much has changed really apart from Connext Avionics Connectivity and Galileo support (technically). Though the compatibility with Connext is largely dependent on you having the compatible hardware. Going beyond that into everyday use the watch really begins to show the differences with Garmin Pay, onboard music support and more fitness metrics, profiles and workouts. That’s it for the difference between the D2 Charlie iterations and the new D2 Delta watches.
Design and Functionality
What’s different between the previous generation is all well and good but what does this watch actually do? This watch is feature packed, really its just taken all the features from a fenix 5 Plus and then added specialised aviation functionality. The key aviation features are below:
Dynamic Mapping - Full-colour dynamic moving map shows navaids, airports, intersections and other surface features. You can use the map to zoom and pan to quickly see airports, waypoints, weather activity and VFR reference features such as roads, cities and bodies of water.
View meteorological information and radar graphics (NEXRAD) - D2 Delta series when connected to internet via smartphone will be able to display radar graphics (NEXRAD) location-based meteorological reports (METARs) and terminal forecast (TAF) information – including wind, visibility, precipitation, cloud cover, temperature, dew point, barometric pressure and more.
Automatic flight logging - (during take-off watch will detect your aircraft’s change in altitude and automatically initiate logbook function – recording date, duration, total flight time and route. After flight is complete information will be recorded to Garmin Pilot app and users account on flyGarmin.com.
Smart Compatibility - with Garmin Pilot App GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigator, G1000 NXI integrated flight deck via Flight Stream 510 (enable wireless flight plan transfer to watch). When connected via these devices the D2 Delta watches will be able to receive additional information including GPS position information, altitude, airspeed, groundspeed, magnetic heading, outside air temperature and more.
Aviation Tailored Alerts – configurable altitude notifications (watch vibrates when arriving at selected altitude). Fuel tank timer (watch vibrates at specified intervals to remind pilot to switch fuel tanks. Cross track error notification (watch vibrates when pilots deviate from an active flight plan)
Preloaded with Worldwide aviation database - allows you to immediately use direct-to and nearest routing functions to navigate direct to a waypoint or find the nearest airport.
That’s the gist of it for the aviation features, but in classic Garmin fashion, the watch is also packed with fitness features and metrics. As I mentioned earlier, the Delta series watches are running on fenix 5 plus software with only a couple of differences for the aviation information. This means you still get access to a lot of sports features (golf, swimming, running, outdoor recreation, cycling, etc.) and a whole bunch of other fitness metrics and training data.
Pulse Oximetry – This feature is only available on the D2 Delta PX and measures your oxygen saturation levels. It works by determining the percentage of haemoglobin in your bloodstream to work out your oxygen saturation level.
Battery Life – Based on the size of these watches Garmin has been able to place different battery cells in each unit. I'll detail their expected performance below:
D2 Delta S – Smartwatch mode: Up to 7 days, GPS Mode: Up to 11 hours, GPS + Music: Up to 4.5 hours, UltraTrac mode: Up to 25 hours
D2 Delta – Smartwatch mode: Up to 12 days, GPS mode: Up to 18 hours, GPS + Music: Up to 8 hours, UltraTrac mode: Up to 42 hours
D2 Delta PX – Smartwatch mode: Up to 20 days, GPS mode: up to 32 hours, GPS+PulseOx: up to 18 hours, GPS + Music: up to 13 hours, UltraTrac mode: up to 70 hours
Summary – Is it good?
Overall this is an impressive watch with some pretty nifty features, the price tag ultimately though will be the limiting factor for a lot of people. It’s hard to justify these features against the total cost of the watch. The other consideration is whether the new changes constitute the increase in price (for the leather and titanium models) from the previous iteration of the D2 Charlie series. On the one hand, you get a lot of options like Garmin Pay, Music support more smartphone notification and interaction and other fitness metrics, but on the other hand, very little has changed on the aviation side of things. At its core, the D2 Delta is still an impressive watch that has been tailored with helpful aviation features
D2 Delta S - All Compatible Bands and Accessories available on the 'Accessories' Tab
D2 Delta - All Compatible Bands and Accessories available on the 'Accessories' Tab
D2 Delta PX - All Compatible Bands and Accessories available on the 'Accessories' Tab