In today’s article we are going to cover a smart watch, the Garmin Tactix Charlie long term review. Let us start with what you get when you buy the watch.
The watch comes in a very heavyweight cube shaped cardboard box, very sturdy to protect the watch.
When you get the watch the first thing to look for is a 1.5” clear security sticker that overlaps the top cover and bottom of the box sealing it. Ensure this is not broken and that there is not a second security sticker over the top of the first one in an attempt to reseal it. You can see the clear seal in the bottom right hand corner in the photo below.
Once you open the box you will find the watch, inside the two side cavities you will also find a charging cord, the instruction manuals, and warranty info. The box is well laid out to keep the watch safe.
The charging cord is USB type A to 4pin Garmin. If you lose the cord, a replacement cord is available on Amazon here, Tactix charging cord
The 4 pin communications access port is in the backside of the watch facing your wrist and has a bulkhead pin seal. This design is not ideal to me but is far robust than most smart watches as it should be for a watch of this type. The problem I foresee is many people will not keep this connection clean and in the long run will damage the watch.
The communication access port connection is quite easy to keep it clean however a few times a month take a Q-Tip and a bit of rubbing alcohol and give the plug area a quick wipe. You paid a lot for this watch, help it last a long time.
This watch has been in use daily for the past two years with the only issue being a broken silicone strap. If you have ever had a silicone strap watch you will know this is standard fare. Replacement straps are available for the Garmin Tactix here.
The battery life on the watch is the same as the day it was new which is surprising for a smart watch or anything battery powered really. The watch gets charged twice a month, sometimes less often based on the battery meter display.
The bezel has a bit of wear showing which is normal for the environment the watch is used in. To be honest I figured it would be more scratched than it is.
Garmin Tactix has an ABC sensor which handles the Altimeter, Barometer and Compass function. Have not had an issue with these at all. As with all Garmin they have their GPS portion down, no issues there either. It is kind of difficult using a 30mm display for a GPS, but what do you expect from a watch, it does well for what it is.
The watch also has a temperature sensor which is absolutely useless and Garmin should be embarrassed. The sensor will tell you the temperature of your wrist as the watch is warmed by your body. Who would have thought this is a good idea? If you take the watch off and set it on something within 10-15 min you will get a truly accurate reading. This is not a realistic expectation for a Tactical watch.
The Garmin Tactix model also comes with a Jumpmaster widget for sky diving, haven’t used that function yet so cannot comment on it’s usefulness.
On your smart phone you can download the Garmin Connect app that is available everywhere for almost every phone. With the app you can track your stats such as heartrate, steps, intensity minutes, floors climbed, stress level, calories and more.
From a rifleman’s perspective, the best App for this watch in our opinion for our usage is the Truflite ballistics app found here, https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/c8a08648-1344-4dd5-ac3d-6a54b165db5c
This app also has a contact page to get in touch with the developer which may prove useful. https://forums.garmin.com/developer/connect-iq/f/showcase/6765/watch-app-truflite-ballistics
We have had no need to contact the developer as the app does exactly what is required with ease and is quite accurate. Sometimes the App’s as we have all seen on multiple platforms are nothing more than a gimmick, not here.
This app is great, enter your BC in either G1 or G7, add the environmentals, set the yardages and go, pretty simple.
For other ballistic calculators, also look at the Kestrel 5700 article as it is truly outstanding piece of kit.