Garmin Tactix Delta Review: Should to But This Smartwatch

garmin tactix delta

Are you searching for a GPS watch that combines multisport with certain additional features? In Black? Rugged? MIL-STD-810? Tactical features? If so, the Garmin tactix Delta is the right GPS smartwatch for you!

Why? With more than 20 different tactical functions, the Garmin tactix Delta lifestyle multisport watch stands out from the crowd.

Garmin offers three tactical watches in three price categories with the Delta:

  • This is the Instinct Tactical Edition (MSRP: $299)
  • The Tactix Delta (MSRP: $899,99)
  • Commander (MSRP: $1,950.-)

We take a closer look at the tactix Delta Sapphire Edition in this review. We will, however, focus on its special features. As the Delta is based on the fenix 6X Sapphire DLC, we refer to Garmin’s detailed review of the fenix 6X Pro.

What is the Garmin tactix Delta made of?

Let’s take a look at the data sheet and the Garmin website:

  • The lens is made from a domed sapphire crystal
  • The bezel is coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC).
  • Fibre-reinforced polymer case with metal rear cover, additionally you’ll find information about a PVD-coated steel rear cover
  • Silicone is the material of the strap

Lens material

Despite being extremely scratch-resistant, synthetic sapphire crystals have a Mohs hardness of 9 just behind diamonds with a hardness of  10. When compared to a flat glass, a domed glass like the tactix Delta is not only more expensive to manufacture, but  it is also considered to be more resistant (keywords: domed & load distribution). When looking at the Delta from the side, it is only just visible that the curved form is there.

Bezel material

Steel is treated with DLC, which provides protection against scratches (DLC = diamond like carbon). There is no way to tell whether this protection really makes a difference in the long run until a longer-term study is done.

Case material

PVD coating is also applied to the metal rear cover. PVD coatings (= Physical Vapor Deposition) can increase hardness or thermal resistance depending on their properties.

Strap material

Fast, easy swapping of silicone wristbands is possible thanks to QuickFit, which allows wristbands of different materials and colors to be replaced quickly.

In the case of an expensive watch, it’s better to use the original wristbands rather than cheap Chinese replicas. With such a strap in our collection, the QuickFit mechanism has already failed twice!

How durable is the Garmin tactix Delta?

In addition to its rugged design and durable materials, the Garmin tactic Delta

  • The water rating is up to 10 ATM (= 100 m)
  • MIL-STD-810 is built to military standards.

MIL-STD-810, according to Wikipedia, concerns “United States Military Standards that emphasize tailoring equipment’s environmental design and testing limits to the conditions that it will encounter throughout its service life”, e.g. temperatures and  shock.

On the tactix Delta website, however, Garmin does not indicate which standards the  Delta meets. “MIL-STD-810”, “THERMAL SHOCK” and “100 METERS” are engraved on the back of the watch. In addition, the fenix 6 series’ data sheet notes the watches are built to meet the US military’s MIL-STD-810 standard for temperature, shock, and water resistance. The latter should also be applicable to  the Delta.

Major Features in Garmin Tactix Delta

  • Jumpmaster, an app for paratroopers.
  • In the tactical mode, there are five pre configured data screens, including a page with a dual position format; you get your position both as “MGRS” and as “hddd°mm.mmm'” (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 disables track logging and wireless  communication. Locations cannot be saved, but activities can be started and saved. However, FIT files for the activities do not contain data (for example in Garmin  BaseCamp).
  • The tactix Delta can be reset to factory defaults by using the kill switch. If you wish to cancel the execution, you need to press the LIGHT and BACK-LAP keys simultaneously within 10 seconds. The mechanism is the same as a reset: settings > system > reset > delete data  and reset settings.

Garmin tactix Delta Review – Conclusion

In comparison to the Garmin fenix 6X Sapphire DLC – with which it is most comparable – the Garmin tactix Delta offers a few extras in materials, features, and optics. Particularly the external advantages could make all the difference in getting a tactix Delta with a tactical-military feel.

With no additional features, the tactix Delta is entirely functional, just like the Garmin fenix 6 series, which offers an extensive range of functions for everyday life, fitness, sports and outdoor activities, as well as long  battery life and an extra large display (review).

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