With the release of the Garmin D2 Air, pilots finally have the opportunity to buy an aviation smartwatch at a much more friendly price point than previously available.
While the D2 Air might not be as feature-heavy as the more expensive Delta series, its touchscreen AMOLED display and aviation features that are restricted to just the essential certainly make it an attractive proposition, which has already made the watch a firm favorite with pilots.
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The D2 Air features a beautifully clear, bright AMOLED touchscreen display. As you might expect, there is a bit of a learning curve but the watch is still intuitive to use – arguably more so than the D2 Delta PX.
The D2 Air features a stainless-steel bezel, 30mm Gorilla Glass 3 lens, and black leather strap, which means that the watch is more than tough enough for daily use.
There are few complaints when it comes to battery life, especially as Garmin smartly designed the D2 Air to preserve power by making sure that the AMOLED display only lights up when necessary by detecting a wrist raise gesture.
As a general rule, you can expect the following battery performance:
- Smartwatch mode: Up to 5 days
- GPS mode: Up to 20 hours
- GPS + Pulse Ox mode: Up to 10 hours
- GPS + Music: Up to 6 hours
The D2 Air features a worldwide aviation database that allows you to navigate straight to a location or waypoint of your choice, or activate a path to a nearby airport. You can also choose to set your own waypoints and save them for quick reference.
Additionally, you can view runway orientation (including wind components), lengths and airport frequencies as you approach your destination.
It’s great to see that the D2 Air has a built-in pulse oximeter, as it was only previously available on the more expensive D2 Delta PX. Better yet is how oxygen saturation levels are just as accurate as the readings standalone devices provide.
The D2 Air lets you access aviation weather, including METARs and TAFs, to see winds, visibility, barometric pressure, and more when connected to the Garmin Pilot app. You can also see current wind, ceiling, and visibility right on the main watch face too.
Automatic Flight Logging
Flight logging is hardly the most exciting aspect of being a pilot, which is why we appreciate the D2 Air’s automatic flight logging feature. This feature is able to automatically start tracking flights on takeoff, then automatically transfer date, duration, total flight time, and route.
The D2 Air customizable alerts aren’t something we thought we would need but definitely come in handy, and you’ll probably be setting them on most flights.
You are able to set up alerts so the D2 Air will vibrate when you reach a selected altitude, to remind you to switch fuel tanks, as well as when you deviate from your active flight plan.
Outside the Cockpit
The Garmin D2 Air is more than just a smartwatch that is useful in the cockpit. If you like to stay active, you’ll appreciate the watch’s activity training and tracking features, as well as a couple of others.
Activity Training & Tracking
Animated on-screen workouts, more than 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, heart rate tracking, body energy monitoring, hydration tracking, stress tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, and the ability to set your own custom workouts all make the D2 Air an excellent smartwatch for pilots who are active outside the cockpit.
The D2 Air even has capacity in its small frame to store up to 500 songs. You can then use headphones or an aviation headset equipped with Bluetooth technology to listen to your tunes whether you’re on land or in the air.
Anywhere there’s a scanner for contactless payments, you are able to use the D2 Air as a virtual wallet with Garmin Pay.
You are able to receive emails, texts, and alerts right on the watch, and even respond if you use an Android phone.
Garmin D2 Air vs. Garmin D2 Delta PX
The D2 Air is touchscreen compatible; almost twice as light as the D2 Delta PX (46.3g vs 87g); is smaller (43.2mm case); has a weaker battery life (up to 20 hours in GPS mode vs. up to 32 hours / up to 5 days in smartwatch mode vs. up to 20 days), and is made of stainless steel instead of titanium.
With the D2 Delta PX, you get the benefit of dynamic color mapping, a moving map that also features NEXRAD weather, and Garmin Connext support for enhanced cockpit connectivity – all of which the D2 Air lack.
The D2 Air has a good amount of activity training functions, but they aren’t as advanced as the ones found on the Delta PX, which also features extra heart rate functions.
For pilots who have always wanted an aviation smartwatch but weren’t willing to pay close to four figures for one, the D2 Air should bring a smile. While the Delta PX is the more feature-packed watch, with additional aviation, and activity training and tracking features, if you can live without them the D2 Air is the right choice.
Click Here to Read User Reviews >>> Garmin D2 Air User Reviews