Garmin Releases Its Latest Aviation Smartwatch

GPS and avionics pioneer’s new watch connects to pilot’s phone.

Garmin Ltd. (NYSE: GRMN) has launched the D2 Air X10, its latest in a series of smartwatches designed for pilots.

Unlike previous watches in the D2 Air line, the new device connects with users’ compatible phones, allowing them to press a button to take calls and use the phone’s voice assistant to send texts, control compatible smart home appliances, and other functions. Garmin says the X10 works with Google Assistant, Siri, or Bixby.

If your flying routine includes calling the airport’s AWOS from the car, the watch could make the call easier. Or you could just switch to the watch screen that shows winds, visibility, barometric pressure and other weather information.

The X10 automatically begins tracking flights at takeoff for logging purposes and can receive flight plans from the Garmin Pilot app. It tells pilots what is ahead by providing airport information like radio frequencies, runway length and orientation, and traffic pattern altitude. Health monitoring functions can be helpful to pilots who wish to track their heart rate, pulse oximeter, respiration, and other readings during flights. 

Like other D2s, the new watch functions like a NavCom for your wrist. Pilots can use it to navigate directly to airports and waypoints in a preloaded worldwide database. In HSI mode, the “needle” shows whether the aircraft is on the desired flight path. A barometric altimeter alerts pilots when they have reached a preset altitude. The watch offers several other alerts including flight time, distance, and fuel timers.

Garmin says the X10’s battery lasts up to seven days when in regular smartwatch mode, or up to 20 hours when continuously using GPS and pulse ox functions while flying. Its suggested retail price is $549.99.

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