Garmin Tactix Charlie
Tactical GPS watch
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Our take on the Garmin Tactix Charlie by Crutchfield's Ken Nail
For field ops, working out, or hitting the town
Garmin GPS watches like the Fenix series have proven their versatility and reliability. In fact, they've become a popular choice with members of our military looking for a watch with accurate GPS functions, along with ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) capability. Garmin's Tactix Charlie goes one better with beefed up hardware to meet the demanding environment of field ops. You'll find an easy-to-read white on black customizable display that is night-vision friendly, and features non-reflective surfaces, including a curved glass bezel that minimizes telltale light reflections. But this watch is just as home when you're running, cycling, or more, and it offers a ruggedly stylish look when you call it a day and hit the local pub.
True tactical functionality and navigation
The tactical functions of this impressive watch are ready for air, sea, and land. With Jumpmaster mode, you can specify all the important nav elements needed for HAHO, HALO, and static line jumps. If you're approaching your objective by sea, you can check out the tides for the location you specify. If you're on the ground, you can rely on a built-in magnetic compass, or use GPS to navigate to destinations, record your tracks, and add points of interest as you proceed.
Full color TOPO mapping keeps you on course.
Garmin's smart notifications work with your smartphone to let you receive texts, emails, and alerts on the watch's screen. And this watch automatically uploads your workout to Garmin Connect, where you can share it with your friends through social media or many popular fitness-tracking apps.
Plus, you customize the display with Garmin's Face-it™ app, changing the background to any picture stored on your smartphone. And if you like capturing the action, it even works as a remote control for Garmin's VIRB™ and VIRB Elite action cameras.
Built-in heart rate monitoring and performance monitoring
If you're training to improve your performance, the evidence is clear that heart rate monitoring is an essential tool. Tactix Charlie employs wrist-based heart rate monitoring, so you're always able to tap into this vital metric. And using the data it records with its heartrate monitor, Tactix will estimate and track your VO2 max, predicting your performance and suggesting training paces.
At the gym and the great outdoors
This Garmin is well-suited for taking along on a ride, whether your choice of venue is single-track or smooth asphalt. You'll accurately measure your speed, distance, and pace, and it's fully compatible with Garmin's Vector™ pedals or ANT+ power meters, so you can track and record your power output throughout your ride. For extra safety, this watch is also compatible with Garmin's Varia™ lights and rear-view radar systems.
You'll find special features for use with swim training, skiing, and golfing too. When you're in the pool, this watch tracks your distance, pace, stroke count and more. And when you clip into your skis or snowboard, special modes track your speed, distance, vertical drop and your total runs — even pausing automatically when you're in the lift line. How about a nice round of golf? Tactix Charlie taps into an extensive database of golf courses to let you know accurate distances to the green, doglegs, or layup points.
- GPS/GLONASS multisport watch
- tactical features including jumpmaster, waypoint projection, and preloaded tactical activity
- includes preloaded TOPO mapping plus routable map navigation
- titanium bezel and rear cover, stainless steel buttons, scratch-resistant sapphire lens
- Elevate™ wrist-based heart rate monitoring
- 1.2" diameter color display (240 x 240 pixel resolution)
- customizable display fields; compatible with connect iQ app for custom watch faces, widgets, and data fields
- built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass
- time, date, alarm, timer, chronograph, pace alerts, chimes, and vibration watch functions
- Auto Lap, Auto Pause, interval trainer, heart rate, calorie counter, and lap fitness functions
- built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows up to 35 hours (UltraTrac mode); 20 hours (GPS/HRM training mode); up to 12 days (smartwatch mode)
- compatible with Garmin Connect text, email, and alert notifications
- ANT+ and Bluetooth capable with compatible devices
- water rated to 100 meters
- VO2 max estimator
- recovery advisor
- race predictor
- running dynamics measurements
- records personal records
- compatible with Garmin Vector pedals and other ANT+ -enabled power meters
- compatible with Garmin Varia lights and accessories
- saves multiple bike profiles
- swimming metrics and stroke recognition
- lap counter
- open water swim distance
Activity Tracking Features:
- step counter with auto goal setter
- move bar
- sleep monitoring
- golf and outdoor recreation features built in
- 2"W x 2"H x 3/4"D
- weight: 3.2 oz
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Tactix GPS watch with black band
- 21" USB charging/data cable (Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on other end)
- Quick Start Manual
- Important Safety and Product Information booklet
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Overview: The Garmin tactix Charlie is a premium, multi-sport GPS watch loaded with features for fitness training, outdoor navigation, and tactics. This rugged watch is crafted of premium-grade materials that will last for years. It comes with a 21" USB charging/data cable. tactix Charlie can be combined with other Garmin accessories, such as HRM-Swim, HRM-Run, HRM-Tri, or the Running Dynamics Pod, to analyze your workouts for maximum power and benefit. The watch dimensions are: 2-1/8" wide, 2-5/16" high, and 11/16" thick. The band is 1" wide and 10-5/8" long. The watch weighs 3.2 ounces.
Premium-grade Materials: The watch features a 1.2", high-resolution, sunlight readable, full-color Garmin Chroma display (240 x 240 pixels) with a domed, scratch-resistant sapphire lens. It has a rugged black diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated titanium bezel, a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a black titanium rear cover, and stainless steel buttons, all resistant to abrasion and corrosion. The all-black tactix Charlie comes with a black silicone watch band, and is compatible with the full line of optional Garmin QuickFit 26 watch bands, made of silicone, leather, stainless steel, or titanium.
Controls: The watch features five buttons around the perimeter of the bezel. Each button has multiple functions:
- Light: This upper left button turns the backlight on and off. Holding the button also brings up the controls menu and turns the device on (if in standby).
- ♦: The upper right button, designated by a "diamond" icon, selects the option highlighted in the menu. It also lets you view the activity list, and acts as the Start/Stop button in an activity.
- Back/Lap: This lower right button lets you back up to the previous screen in the menu. During an activity, pressing the Lap button records a lap, rest period, or transition to the next activity (during multisport event).
- Down: The lower left button lets you scroll downward in the menu selections, or scroll through the list of Widgets. When held down, the watch face is displayed.
- Up/Menu: The left center button lets you scroll upward in the menu selections and Widget list. Hold down the button to bring up the menu.
Battery: tactix Charlie is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that lasts up to 12 days in smartwatch mode with activity tracking and 24/7 wrist-based heart rate monitoring. In GPS mode with wrist-based heart rate monitoring, the battery life is up to 20 hours. In UltraTrac GPS mode, with gyro-based dead reckoning, the battery life is up to 35 hours. The battery charging port is located on the back of the watch, and charges on USB power with the included charging/data cable.
Wireless Connections: The tactix watch easily pairs with your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, enabling you to receive notifications, texts, and phone calls, and perform many functions through the Garmin Connect app. The watch can be used with wireless ANT+ sensors to help you view and track your performance. These sensors typically work within 10 feet of your device, and include the Bike Cadence and Bike Speed Sensors, Heart Rate Monitors, Temperature Monitors, and Foot Pods. tactix Charlie also connects to Wi-Fi, allowing you to upload your activity results to your Garmin Connect account, browse for and select workouts and training plans, and download the latest software updates.
Garmin Connect: The Garmin Connect App is an online training tool that can store, analyze, and share all of your fitness activities. Garmin Connect can keep track of your performances as you run, bike, swim, and hike, plus show your activities on a map. Month-to-month and day-to-day comparisons can be made to show your progress. Garmin Connect allows you to download workouts, or create customized workout schedules to help you reach your fitness goals. The app lets you compare your performances to other app users, or follow the progress of your friends during a race. Garmin Connect is available for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch running iOS 9.0 or later, and for Android devices (version varies with device). It is also compatible with Windows 10 PCs.
Maps and GPS: Garmin tactix Charlie has preloaded TOPO maps which include topographical contours and nearby points of interest. With a built-in GPS receiver, you can navigate from your current location to another, or create a round-trip course to run or bike. You can also create a track log along the path you have traveled, allowing you to retrace your steps at another time. For additional accuracy, you can also connect to the Russian-based GLONASS satellite network. The watch can be manually synced to GPS to set the time and date each time it acquires satellites. In addition, tactix Charlie has a compass and a barometric altimeter.
Clock: The device is equipped with multiple clock functions. There are dozens of available watch faces to choose from, including analog and digital displays. You can customize the layout, colors, and data shown on the watch face display. In addition to keeping time, you can set up to 10 separate alarms, a countdown timer, stopwatch (with lap times), and a display of the time in other time zones. Times for local sunrise and sunset can be displayed, as well as alerts that occur a specific number of minutes or hours before sunrise or sunset.
Widgets: Garmin tactix Charlie comes preloaded with Widgets that provide information on a multiple subjects. Some of the Widgets are only available when the device is paired via Bluetooth to a smartphone. Some of the available Widgets include: ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass), Calendar, Calories, Dog Tracking, Golf, Music Controls, Notifications, Steps, Stress, VIRB controls (for Garmin action camera), and Weather. In the menu, you can customize the list of Widgets that appear on your device, including the order they appear.
Health and Fitness Features
Elevate Heart Rate Monitor: The tactix Charlie multi-sport watch features Elevate wrist heart rate technology that lets you monitor your heart rate without wearing a separate chest strap. The heart rate sensor is located on the back of the watch, and measures your heart rate through the skin. The Heart Rate Widget displays your current heart rate in beats per minute, plus a graph of your heart rate for the past 4 hours. tactix Charlie can also broadcast your heart rate to other connected devices. The watch will automatically use the wrist-based HRM, unless you pair an ANT+ heart rate monitor to the device. If desired, you can turn off the wrist heart rate monitor.
Running Dynamics: When paired to the HRM-Tri accessory heart rate monitor, tactix Charlie provides real-time feedback about your running form. The built-in accelerometer in the HRM-Tri measures torso movement to calculate six running metrics: cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, ground contact time balance, stride length, and vertical ratio. You can display any of the above metrics in a color gauge to determine your performance compares to other runners.
Performance Measurements: Using the wrist heart rate monitor or a chest HRM, you can measure and track your running or cycling performances, as well as your recovery time. These measurements, when analyzed, will determine how effective your current activity is on your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Many of the performance measurements will be displayed, along with a color-coded gauge, comparing your results to a person of the same gender and age. Measurements include VO2 Max, Recovery Time, Training Load, Predicted Race Times, HRV (Heart Rate Variability) Stress Test, Performance Condition, Functional Threshold Power (FTP), and Lactate Threshold. All of these measurements help to determine your progress toward meeting your fitness goals.
Activity Tracking: The tactix Charlie device features Activity Tracking, which records your daily step count, distance traveled, intensity minutes, floors climbed, and calories burned. If you sit for a prolonged amount of time, the device will send you a Move Alert. It also analyses your sleep, including the total hours of sleep, sleep levels, and your movements during sleep. Details of your workouts, running or cycling segments, and activities are compiled into your personal profile. Each time you achieve a goal, or surpass a personal record, the display will alert you.
Sports and Tactics
Jumpmaster: The Garmin tactix Charlie watch features Jumpmaster, which is designed for experienced skydivers. Jumpmaster follows military guidelines for calculating the High Altitude Release Point (HARP). The device automatically detects when you have jumped, and begins navigating toward the Desired Impact Point (DIP) using the barometer and electronic compass. You can plan jumps ahead of time, determining the type of jump: HAHO (High Altitude High Opening), HALO (High Altitude Low Opening), or Static.
Note: tactix Charlie should not be used as the primary skydiving altimeter.
Skiing/Snowboarding: While skiing, the device records the details of each run. The Auto Run feature records each new run, based on your movements. The timer pauses when you stop moving downhill, and when you're in the chairlift. When you start moving downhill again, the timer restarts to log a new run. You can use the metronome feature to play tones at a steady rhythm to help you train at a faster, slower, or more consistent cadence.
Golf: The tactix Charlie can locate golf courses near your location, and provide hole by hole information during your round. You can use the GPS receiver to calculate distances to the front and back of the green, and the selected pin location. Distances to hazards along the fairway are also provided for par 4 and 5 holes. For your best drives, you can measure your shot right after you hit it. If you have a Garmin TruSwing device (an ANT+ sensor), your swing metrics can be recorded and displayed. An electronic scorecard allows you to keep track of your strokes. If you're walking the round, a built-in odometer can record the time, distance, and steps as you play.
Swimming: Because it is waterproof, you can wear your tactix Charlie watch in the pool. As you swim, the device can record the number of lengths, intervals, strokes, and your Swolf score. The stroke type is automatically identified at the end of a length (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and mixed). Before your swim, you should record the pool size in the menu. The swimming activities are only intended for surface swimming. The device is not designed for scuba diving, which may damage the unit and void the warranty.
Multisport: You can use the device during multisport competitions such as triathlons and swimruns. During the activity, you can easily transition from one activity to another (by pressing the Lap button), and continue to view your total time and distance. Prior to your multisport activity, you will need to prepare the device by selecting Multisport and the various activities in the menu.
Indoor Activities: You can use the tactix Charlie for training indoors, however GPS is turned off for indoor activities. If you're running on an indoor track or riding a stationary bike, the self-calibrating accelerometer is used to calculate your speed, distance, and cadence. Use of an optional Foot Pod (ANT+ sensor) will help record your pace, distance, and cadence. (You'll need to calibrate the Foot Pod manually prior to your activity.) When performing a Strength Training activity, the device can count your reps and sets. After a set, you can edit the data to add the weight used.
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