Garmin's latest watch is built for pilots, but runners and cyclists should take a look too

Garmin D2 Air X10
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has unveiled its latest watch, the Garmin D2 Air X10, which is designed specifically with pilots in mind, but is also a fully featured sports watch for use outside the cockpit.

Garmin is one of the biggest names in aviation equipment, building radios, navigation and autopilot systems, and the D2 Air X10 is the latest in a long line of wearables built for commercial and recreational pilots.

When you're in the air, the D2 Air X10 allows you to plot a course straight to an airport or waypoint using a database of locations preloaded to the watch. Alternatively, you can choose to activate a direct course to the nearest airport, with a horizontal situation indicator (HSI) course needle that shows whether you're left or right of the desired flight path.

The watch also starts tracking flights automatically on takeoff, and transfers stats including date, duration, total flight time, and route to your logbook on flyGarmin. It's also possible to transfer flight plans to the watch from the Garmin Pilot app.

Sports and smartwatch tools

Outside the cockpit, you'll find that the Garmin D2 Air X10 shares a lot of DNA with the Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus. The most obvious similarity is the bright AMOLED touchscreen display topped with Gorilla Glass, but the three also have many of the same smartwatch and sports tracking features.

Like the Venu 2 Plus, the new watch has a built-in microphone that allows you to make and receive calls from your wrist, or control your phone's voice assistant provided it's within Bluetooth range.

There's an optical heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor, respiration tracking and breathwork activities, stress tracking, sleep monitoring, and Garmin's Body Battery tool, which shows how much energy you have throughout the day.

You can also capture a quick overview of your current health stats using the Health Snapshot feature, which takes a complete measure of your heart rate, heart rate variability, pulse ox, stress, and respiration over the course of two minutes. You can then keep this data for your own reference, or share it with others.

Garmin D2 Air X10

The Garmin D2 Air X10 comes in black and ivory (Image credit: Garmin)

There are dozens of sports tracking modes, including both indoor and outdoor activities, and the watch comes with preloaded workouts that you can follow to keep your training interesting.

It has storage space for up to 650 songs, or you can stream tracks from Deezer, Spotify, and Amazon Music. It's also equipped with Garmin Pay, which allows you to make contactless purchases and pay for public transport.

It's worth noting that the D2 Air X10's battery life is slightly shorter than that of the Venu 2. The aviation-focused watch has a battery life of seven days in smartwatch mode, or 20 hours in full GPS mode with SpO2 monitoring while flying. For comparison, the Venu 2 keeps running for up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, or eight hours in GPS mode with music.

It's a small difference though, particularly considering the sheer number of aviation tools the D2 Air X10 puts on your wrist. 

It costs $549.99 (about £400 / AU$770) and is available to buy now direct from Garmin in the US, or from third-party stockists.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)