I had gone back and forth about whether to post this type of topic, fully knowing that 1. It would not be a popular topic and 2. That I’m sure I’ll get some negative feedback for doing so (if not a deleted topic). Well, I’ve never been one to shy away from making an unpopular decision, so here we go.
The Descent Mk1 was released in Jan ’18, where its sibling the 5x was released in Q1 ’17 and the Tactix Charlie was released in March ’18. I’m specifically mentioning these watches because they’re part of the same family, in fact it’s even mentioned on the Descent Mk1 page that this watch had all of the best features of its sibling the 5x (as stated on Garmin’s website): “offering the best features of our f?nix® 5Xultimate multisport GPS watch”. Ok, so the watch release timeline is done.
Back on 11/13 we received an email stating that a “simple software update was coming soon” for the Descent Mk1 and it specifically mentioned adding CCR support. I’m sure that there would have been other “updates” that go along with this “simple software update” but none were mentioned. Well, it’s now 12/22, well over a month since that Black Friday “we want to sell more watches” email… and no update. The last update for the Descent Mk1 was on 8/23…4 months ago. Meanwhile, it’s “siblings” have since received updates to enable Galileo, native Sunrise/Sunset widget, ALT. Time zone widget, Explore App Support and many other updates that have been available for these models since June/July (yes CIQ exists but the widgets, etc are slow and quite frankly poor as opposed to the baked in items). Yet the most expensive “base” Garmin model has been the least supported watch since its release.
Now, I had spoken to a Garmin employee via PM about the last of support/updates for this watch and after going back and forth, it was insinuated that I wanted a rushed product, yada, yada, yada. I by no means want a rushed product but when a Garmin employee that didn’t have to pay anything and/or full price for a $1k watch says something like that, it really burns my britches. I knew buying this watch that it wouldn’t have the “beta” side of updates. I understood that as this watch was geared towards a Life Support Sport and Garmin had to take a slower road to updates. I understood that. But the path to updates to bring it seemly closer to its siblings has not only been slow, but at a snail’s pace (I reported in January an issue with the Diving Compass pointing only to True North and not Magnetic North and it took them over 3 months to come out with an update to fix it). This would be different if this watch was solely designed for diving. I don’t wait for monthly updates for my Shearwater Perdix, Sherwood Wisdom 3, Sherwood Profile, Oceanic PP3, etc. I don’t expect monthly updates for the Mk1 but maybe even communication from Garmin reps that I know visit this forum giving us a “generalized” timeline of what’s to come would be appreciated. When you call Garmin’s Customer Support, they do an EXCELLENT job with handling issues. Unfortunately the representation on the Garmin forums though is nowhere near the same and quite frankly needs to be vastly improved.
Ok, to wrap up this long post. I know that once changes are done, they have to be tested. But I’ve wondered why a company like Garmin couldn’t do updates to other parts of this watches software without keeping it separate from 3-4 diving activities.
Are we a bit spoiled at seeing other watches have more frequent updates? Yes we are. Is it realistic to think the Mk1 can be the same? No. But when you are months and months behind models that are a1+ years older than yours, you start to wonder has the how serious are they taking this? When they do eventually update the watch, how many more or how much longer will they continue to support the watch when the Mk2 is already in the pipeline? They seem to only support watches for about 1 ½ - 2 years, as that’s fine, I understand that. Nothing lasts forever. I was told that I was in the minority that no one else was like me when it came to updates. This particular Garmin employee was wrong, as I also am a Garmin Dealer and I sold over 15 of these Descent’s to my customers, some of them that have come to ME to inquire about it since I sold it to them. These customers visit this forum but do not have a desire to post. This post is for them and anyone else frustrated by this process, not me. Due to the response from Garmin employee, I have since sold my Ti Descent Mk1. I have nothing to gain from this but I do feel for the other that has spent their hard earned money on this watch. Does the watch work? Yes it does, but could it be better within the construct of the Fenix 5 ecosystem?
/end of rant