Are you looking for a multisport GPS watch with certain extras? In Black? Rugged? MIL-STD-810? Tactical features? Then the Garmin tactix Delta should be the right GPS smartwatch for you!
Why? The lifestyle multisport watch Garmin tactix Delta is especially characterized by tactical functions, high-quality materials and durability.
With the Delta, Garmin is offering three tactical watches in three price categories:
- Instinct Tactical Edition (MSRP: $299,99)
- tactix Delta (MSRP: $899,99)
- MARQ Commander (MSRP: $1.950.-)
In this review we take a closer look at the tactix Delta Sapphire Edition. However, we will primarily focus on its special features. The Delta is essentially based on the fenix 6X Sapphire DLC, so we refer to our detailed Garmin fenix 6X Pro review.
What is the Garmin tactix Delta made of?
First a look at the data sheet and the Garmin website:
- Lens material: Domed Sapphire Crystal
- Bezel material: Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated steel
- Case material: fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover, additionally you will find an info about a PVD-coated steel rear cover
- Strap material: Silicone
Synthetic sapphire crystal is considered to be extremely scratch-resistant – no wonder, it comes with a Mohs hardness of 9 just behind diamond with a hardness of 10. A domed glass like the tactix Delta is – compared to a flat glass – not only more expensive to manufacture, it is also considered to be more resistant (keywords: domed & load distribution). However, the curved form is not immediately visible with the Delta, it is only just visible when looking at it from the side.
DLC-Coating, this is a special coating of the steel that protects against scratches and wear (DLC = diamond like carbon). Only a long term review can show whether this protection really helps – in this respect no statement can be made yet.
The metal rear cover is additionally coated with a PVD coating. A PVD coating (= Physical Vapor Deposition) should – depending on its properties – lead to increased hardness or thermal resistance, for example.
Thanks to QuickFit, the silicone wristband supplied can be quickly exchanged for a wristband made of a different material or color.
One remark: With such an expensive watch, it is better to use the original wristbands instead of cheap Chinese replicas. Reason: With such a strap in our collection it has already happened twice that the QuickFit mechanism – for whatever reason – has opened …!
How durable is the Garmin tactix Delta?
In addition to the rugged and durable materials, the Garmin tactic Delta
- has a water rating up to 10 ATM (= 100 m) and
- is built to military standards MIL-STD-810.
Regarding to Wikipedia MIL-STD-810 is a "United States Military Standard that emphasizes tailoring an equipment’s environmental design and test limits to the conditions that it will experience throughout its service life", e.g. temperatures and shock.
However, Garmin does not indicate on the tactix Delta website which standards the Delta meets. But on the back of the watch, "MIL-STD-810", "THERMAL SHOCK" and "100 METERS" are engraved. A glance at the data sheet for the fenix 6 series also shows that the watches are manufactured according to the US military standard MIL-STD-810 for temperature, shock and water resistance – this should also apply to the Delta.
What are the external differences between the tactix Delta & the fenix 6X Pro?
First of all: The tactix Delta looks great! And should not only appeal to military fans, black lovers ….!
Compared to a 6X Pro (not Sapphire!):
- The black color is not shiny but appears matt and reflects less.
- The bezel is not bevelled but flat, the watch looks a bit bigger.
- A 02, 04, … 24 hour scale is engraved on the bezel.
- The keys are not smooth on the outside but ribbed and therefore have a better grip.
What additional functions does the tactix Delta offer compared to the fenix 6X?
Garmin advertises the tactix Delta not only with its resistance, but also with special functions. It should be noted that certain features such as Jumpmaster mode, projected waypoints and the "tactical" activity are also present in the fenix 6X series.
- Jumpmaster, an application for paratroopers.
- Tactical, a pre-configured activity with five data screens, including a page with a dual position format; you get your actual position in the "MGRS" and the "hddd°mm.mmm'" format (MGRS = Military Grid Reference System).
- Saving a dual-position, when saving a new waypoint ("saved location") you can see two position formats ("MGRS" and "hddd°mm.mmm'"); but the saved location contains only the position format defined in the setup (the fenix 6X shows only one position format when saving the waypoint).
- Projected waypoints, calculating and saving a new location by entering distance and heading.
- Night vision capability with a screen that can be read by night vision googles (the backlight and the wrist heart rate monitor are turned off).
- Stealth mode, turns off the track logging and any wireless communication. You can not save a new location, but you can start and save a new activity. However, the activity FIT files contain no data (e.g. in Garmin BaseCamp).
- Kill switch, you can remove all saved user data and reset the tactix Delta to the factory defaults. To execute, press the BACK-LAP and the LIGHT keys simultaneously, you can cancel it within 10 seconds by pressing any key. This feature is the same as a reset: settings > system > reset > delete data and reset settings.
You get a Watch Face not available on fenix 6X (figure).
tactix Delta review – Pros
- Design in black
- Rugged materials & MIL-STD-810
- Top-notch battery life
- Big 1,4″ display
- 32 GB built-in memory (about 20 GB is available for data, music, podcasts & additional maps)
- Full connectivity via ANT*, Bluetooth, NFC, USB, Wi-Fi
- Several built-in sensors (barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate, compass, pulse ox, thermometer)
- Vast range of external devices & sensors via ANT+ & Bluetooth
- Three GNSS (combinations: GPS, GPS + GLONASS, GPS + GALILEO)
- Huge range of functions for everyday life, fitness, outdoor …
- Supports all kinds of sports & activities
- 18 Firstbeat fitness- & health metrics
- Additional features via Garmin Connect IQ
- Interchangeable wristbands
tactix Delta review – Cons
- Heart rate accuracy not always as accurately as you would wish
- High price tag (MSRP: $899,99 / €899,99)
- Extensive training necessary to know all functions
- Size & weight (97 g incl. strap) does not suit everyone
Garmin tactix Delta Review – Conclusion
Compared to the Garmin fenix 6X Sapphire DLC – with which it is most comparable – the Garmin tactix Delta offers a few extras in materials, functions and optics. Especially the external advantages could be decisive to get a tactix Delta with that certain tactical-military touch.
Purely functional – apart from the add-ons – the tactix Delta corresponds to the Garmin fenix 6 series, which is not only characterized by an immense range of functions for everyday life, fitness, sports and outdoor, but also offers excellent battery life and an extra large display (review).