Home GearDive Computer Review of the Garmin Descent MK1

Review of the Garmin Descent MK1

by DiveMaster
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Garmin MK1

Diving without any equipment might be challenging at times. Regardless of the place you are diving in, getting accustomed to diving computers will help you dive without any fear. Moreover, a majority of the dive computers offer navigation to help you stay within limits. 

Descent MK1 by Garmin is one of the topmost dive computers, which offers various options to make your diving experiences a lot easier and adventurous.  Dive computers provide a lot of safety and help keep data with regard to the amount of time spent diving. 

It has many competitors even within the same brand, but some unique features in this model make it convenient to be used by anyone and anywhere. 

Features of Descent MK1   

This dive computer has many features that include sensors to let you navigate the entry and exit point with very reliable battery life. Other than that, the features of this model of Garmin are quite worthy of notice. 

Switching modes

The Descent MK1 gives you the option of planning on the kind of dive you want to go for. Moreover, it gives you the data and shows the dive time, depth, temperature, and decompression stop information. 

All these features will start as soon as you dive into the water. The purpose of these features is to provide you with the critical information you will use while diving and keeping you safe. 

The alarms can be used to inform you about the points and the battery life as well. Other than that, it can support up to six gases. The settings can be customized for you to set your own safety limits. 

This model gives an entire cluster of ABC (altimeter, indicator, and compass) sensor abilities for the outdoors route. What’s more, the simple to-peruse compass show is accessible for submerged use too. 

The underlying altimeter gives rise to information, while the slant remunerated 3-pivot electronic compass keeps your bearing — if you’re moving. For speedy admittance to the compass show, a convenient “tap to compass” highlight allows you to just two-fold tap the screen instead of pressing the capacity catches.

Heart-rate and sport features

The Descent MK1 also comprises the technology to scan the pulse. However, this will only work when the watch is in contact with the skin. It cannot scan the pulse if it is worn over a suit. Along with other data that the watch collects, it also uploads your heart rate in the online section. 

This data can be then reviewed once you sign in to your Garmin account, an integral and unique feature that this diving computer offers. 

Other than the heart rate, you will be able to track your workout statistics, and it is beneficial not only while diving but also performing other sports activities. These activities could be running, rowing, swimming, biking, and a lot more. The fitness tracking feature and lap counts are available on this diving computer. 

The diving features have single, multi, gauge, and apnea mode. Along with that, the computer supports both trimix and nitrox. It has golfing, running, and other outdoor recreation features. 

Connectivity and battery

This dive computer can be paired with your smartphone. You will be able to check your emails, calls, and messages. Other than that, it will allow you to control music, and your family can track you as well with its navigation features. 

The battery mode of the diving computer can live up to 36 hours. In GPS mode, it can live up to 20 hours. You will be able to customize the applications, and it also has the feature of getting connected to the wireless network and other nearby devices as well. 


The lens material of this device is a sapphire crystal with stainless steel bezel. The display is evident even in the sunlight. The memory for all the data is up to 16 GB. There are numerous sensors which include GPS, compass, thermometer, etc.

Workout plans, training, and pump scans are unique features that most diving computers don’t offer. Its display size is 1.2”, while its resolution is 240 x 240 pixels. The battery life depends on the mode that it is set in. 

The battery life is comparatively less in GPS activity and Ultra Trac mode than other modes since it doesn’t use many extra features. 

Its optical HR works without any issues, and it will be able to analyze the amount of high air consumption. The other in-built spec is surface navigation. It shows your current location along with the time and place where you started. 

Tide Charts helps in understanding and getting data regarding the current. Being able to acquire this information on the watch helps immensely. 

What comes along with it

There are two Descent mk1; one is the silver sapphire, whereas the other is gray. The former comes with a black band and also has an adjustable strap. Documentation and data cable comes along with it in the box. 

Whereas the latter has a titanium band and a black silicone one. The others are adjustable straps, documentation, and data cable, similar to the other model. The titanium bands are not favorable to be used in the ocean. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

Let us focus on some of the advantages of this product first. Descent MK1 helps you in monitoring underwater as well as surface performance. Having made certain changes in the settings, you can set safety levels that will primarily be helpful while navigating underwater. 

The battery life is also note-worthy. It can last up to 10-19 days in the smartwatch and watch mode, respectively. It can vary in other modes, but most devices do not offer such a powerful battery backup. 

Other than diving, it provides many features as well. You can monitor your heart rate and track your fitness progress too. Monitoring your heart rate can be done even underwater. Certain features are available in other recreational features as well. 

Many accessories can easily be connected or used with this device. You can connect your smartphone and get various notifications. There is the easy accessibility of Bluetooth and wifi services as well. 

The backlight settings can be adjusted and work in almost any type of setting. Individual alarms can be set for various purposes. 

Moving on to the disadvantages, this device does offer a large number of modes. However, some modes are quite limited in terms of getting notified about certain information. Dive tracking is not as efficient in apnea mode, and the notifications are comparatively limited in this mode. 

While diving or swimming, it can locate the place or even the heart rate but can’t keep track of the number of arm strokes or fin kicks you do. You might be able to trace the entire data of your diving activity but won’t be able to see the number of times your body has moved while doing the same. 

The tide information will be stored and analyzed as well, but you will not be able to acquire it from the watch itself. To get the data, it is necessary for you to connect to your phone, which might be inconvenient most of the time. 

Descent Mk1 Competition

Within the spectrum of Garmin itself, there are a lot of comparisons. Descent mk1 has always been compared to other models like Fenix 5X, Quatix 5, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch. 

If it has to be compared in every aspect with the models mentioned, there are a few similarities and a few extra features that make Descent Mk1 more unique. It has the most significant display size from the above models. 

In terms of display type, all the Garmin models are made of sapphire crystal, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch is the only one that comes with a Gorilla glass. Its resolution is also far behind the Samsung Watch with only 240 x 240 pixels. 

The Descent MK1 has a water resistance of up to 10 ATMs, similar to other Garmin models. However, compared to Samsung Galaxy Watch, these Garmin models are very heavy. With respect to additional features, almost every model has the same ones. 

The most striking feature of the Descent MK1 is that it is an all-rounder. It can perform excellently in almost every situation, and it is ideal for anyone who wants a thoroughly water-resistant watch. 


With so many features that most diving computers can’t offer, this model has outperformed itself. It serves every purpose and is very convenient to use regardless of the place and activity that the individual is indulged in.

Being able to track down your activity and connecting it to many devices to analyze various data is one of the most integral features of this device. The battery life is also excellent, especially in different modes. Most diving computers won’t be able to back up the system even in normal modes. 

This device could focus on other aspects for its upgrade, but it is definitely worth the price with the best features beneficial to its users. 

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