Garmin’s tactix series of rugged, military-grade smartwatches has reached its fourth generation with the release of the new Garmin tactix Delta. Like its predecessor, the Garmin tactix Charlie, it’s designed for demanding environments and comes with tactical functionalities in addition to the typical activity tracking features of current smartwatches. Here’s a side by side comparison of these premium GPS/fitness watches from Garmin for those keen for a tougher time-telling device.
Garmin tactix Charlie vs Delta Smartwatch Comparison Chart
|Model||Garmin tactix Charlie||Garmin tactix Delta|
|Dimensions||51 x 51 x 17.5 mm||51 x 51 x 14.9 mm|
|Display||1.2″ diameter||1.4″ diameter|
|Resolution||240 x 240 pixels||280 x 280 pixels|
|Lens||Domed sapphire crystal||Domed sapphire crystal|
|Bezel||Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated titanium||Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated steel|
|Case||Fiber-reinforced polymer with titanium rear cover||Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover|
|Weight||90 g||97 g|
|Water Rating||10 ATM||10 ATM|
|Memory||16 GB||32 GB|
|Heart Rate Monitor||Yes||Yes|
|Pulse Oximeter||No||Yes (with acclimation)|
|Night Vision Mode||Yes||Yes|
|Compatibility||iOS, Android||iOS, Android|
|Battery Life||Smartwatch mode: Up to 12 days|
GPS/HR mode: Up to 20 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 35 hours
|Smartwatch: Up to 21 days|
GPS: Up to 60 hours
GPS and Music: Up to 15 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: 120 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: 46 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: 80 days
|Released||March 2018||January 2020|
The Garmin tactix Delta has a larger display and more robust build than the Garmin tactix Charlie.
While the newer Garmin tactix Delta takes after its predecessor’s design heavily, it has a noticeably smaller bezel surrounding a much larger display than the tactix Charlie. A black diamond-like carbon (DLC) titanium bezel gives the Charlie a more rugged and solid look, while the DLC steel bezel of the Delta adds a bit more sophistication and minimalism to it. With this smaller bezel but same case dimensions, the tactix Delta has space for a 1.4-inch transreflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, which is 36% larger than the tactix Charlie’s 1.2-inch screen. This also results in a higher resolution for the Delta, 280 x 280 pixels against the 240 x 240 pixels of the Charlie.
With a larger display, the Garmin tactix Delta becomes much easier to view, especially when reading small text. Both have bright full-color screens that remain visible even under direct sunlight. Moreover, they have night vision modes that you can toggle on to make the display visible behind night vision goggles.
The Garmin tactix Charlie is slightly lighter than the Delta, but the latter is noticeably thinner, reducing its bulk on your wrist. They come with silicone bands that perfectly complement their rugged designs. One significant advantage of the tactix Delta is it’s built to meet US military standards (MIL-STD-810), making it better suited for tougher environments. Both do have a water resistance rating of 10 ATM, allowing it to be used underwater without worry unless it’s a prolonged deep dive.
The Garmin tactix Delta adds a pulse oximeter, all day stress tracking, and an energy monitor to the Garmin tactix Charlie.
As you’d expect, the Garmin tactix series is equipped with all of the requisite activity tracking features you can want in a premium smarwatch. They’re packed with activity profiles for typical exercises and sports such as running, swimming, biking, hiking, etc., which their bevy of sensors capture to measure your progress over time. Adding to the Garmin Elevate heart rate monitor and accelerometer on both watches, the tactix Delta has a Pulse Ox sensor that monitors your body’s absorption of oxygen, improving its altitude acclimation and sleep monitoring features.
Other tracking features that have been added since the tactix Charlie are all day stress tracking and the Body Battery energy monitor, which uses your heart rate, sleep, and stress data to determine your readiness for activities or whether rest is required. You can also find animated workouts on the tactix Delta, letting you discover easy-to-follow cardio, strength, Pilates, and yoga workouts. There’s a ton of advanced training metrics on the Garmin tactix series, such as running dynamics and VO2 max, that you won’t find on other smartwatches.
For outdoor training and adventures, both tactix watches utilize multiple global navigation systems. GPS, GLONASS and Galileo ensure that you won’t find yourself lost no matter where you go. They have a nifty dual position format that shows GPS coordinates in both UTM and MGRS formats at the same time. Add in ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer, and compass) and topographical maps and you’ll be well prepared for striking out in the wilds.
The Garmin tactix Delta adds a kill switch, stealth mode, and music storage to the Garmin tactix Charlie.
Garmin bumped up the privacy features of the tactix Delta to further enhance its tactical appeal. A new stealth mode stops the storing and sharing of your GPS position and disables all wireless connections. The Delta also has a kill switch that can erase all user data from its memory as an extra security contingency measure. Returning from the Charlie is Jumpmaster mode, which computes high-altitude release points to help skydivers reach their target location.
Of course, both tactix devices have plenty of non-tactical features you can find on other smartwatches. You’ll be able to check notifications from your phone, control music playback, and make contactless payments via Garmin Pay. The tactix Delta has an edge over the Charlie in providing storage for up to 2,000 songs in addition to simply streaming music from Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer. It has double the memory of the Charlie, 32 GB vs 16 GB, giving you more room for apps from the Connect IQ Store. Moreover, the Delta has incident detection and assistance features that can send your location to emergency contacts.
The Garmin tactix Delta has a much longer battery life than the Garmin tactix Charlie.
Compared to typical smartwatches which measure battery life in hours, Garmin’s tactix series can do so in number of weeks. With an impressive 12-day battery life in smartwatch mode, the tactix Charlie is already a beast for day-to-day use. You’ll be able to continuously track your fitness metrics, sleep data, and more without needing to plug it in for more than a week. However, it pales in comparison to the tactix Delta, which has a humongous 21-day battery life.
Switching GPS on drains battery life pretty quickly. The tactix Charlie can only last for 20 hours with GPS and heart rate turned on, but the tactix Delta stretches this to 60 hours. Garmin further provides battery saving modes to allow users to have GPS on while disabling unnecessary features. The Charlie has an UltraTac mode that can provide 35 hours of GPS positioning, but it seems unimpressive when you consider that the Max Battery GPS Mode of the Delta is 120 hours. Furthermore, the newer tactix has an Expedition GPS Activity mode and Battery Saver Watch Mode which prolongs the Delta’s juice to 46 days and 80 days, respectively.
The Garmin tactix Delta is simply superior to the Garmin tactix Charlie.
As we’ve made pretty clear, the Garmin tactix Delta is a straight-up upgrade of its predecessor. It has a larger display, a slimmer profile, and a tougher body than the tactix Charlie. It’s got several fitness tracking and tactical features that can help push your training even further. What’s more, its battery life is phenomenal, maybe even overkill, though it’d never hurt to have such a dependable device. Of course, it’s significantly more expensive, but if you want a top-of-the-line GPS smartwatch that’s tough as nails, it’s worth it.
Now, if you don’t need a monstrous battery life as well as the new privacy functionalities of the Delta, the Garmin tactix Charlie remains an excellent smartwatch choice. It’s especially great if you’re into outdoor adventures and workouts, as it’s tough enough to survive the elements and provides several tracking features for non-indoor activities. You’ll get to save a considerable amount and still get a fantastic-looking and highly functional smartwatch.
The Garmin tactix Delta boasts a larger display, a slimmer profile, and a more robust build than the tactix Charlie, its predecessor.
The Garmin tactix Delta is water-resistant up to 10 ATM.
Unfortunately, Garmin does not give discounts to military members. However, if you’re a verified military member of GovX, you can take advantage of their deals as they get special rates from Garmin.
Yes, the Garmin tactix can store music. If you purchase from Amazon, you’ll get free access to Amazon Music for 90 days.