Garmin Tactix Charlie release

Garmin has announced an update to the Garmin Tactix series to follow on from the Tactix bravo, and they have named it the Garmin Tactix charlie.

Back in 2016 Garmin released the Tactix Bravo, Garmin is back with its successor the Garmin Tactix Charlie. The big headline feature is the addition of pre-loaded full-colour topographical maps that first appeared on the Fenix 5X and this time Topo mapping comes to the UK.

Fenix 5x vs Tactix Charlie

So when comparing the Fenix 5x vs the Tactix charlie, they are pretty much the same fitness watch with lots of similar features and the only real differences between the Tactix charlie and the Fenix 5x are;

Fenix 5x vs Tactix Charlie

  • Weighs 90g (Fenix 5 is 98g)
  • Tactix charlie has a bezel which is “Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated titanium” and the Fenix 5X is stainless steel.
  • The Tactix Charlie has a titanium rear cover and the Fenix 5X has stainless steel. Although the Charlie has stainless steel buttons
  • Garmin Tactix Charlie also has a night vision mode. This is short is a feature that alters the backlight to make it easier to use with Night vision goggles, I am sure this will be useful to those that like to go running in night vision goggles
  • Garmin has included TopoActive Europe mapping preloaded with the Tactic Charlie, the Fenix 5x does not come with Topo maps in Europe and the UK
  • There is not much difference in price, the Tactic Charlie is £649.99/$749.99 and the Fenix 5x is £629/$729. I suspect the price difference is down to the map improvements and materials used.
  • Battery life
    • Garmin Taxtic Charlie – Up to 12 days’ battery life2 in smartwatch mode, up to 20 hours in GPS mode and up to 35 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode
    • Fenix 5x – up to 12 days in smartwatch mode (depending on settings), up to 20 hours in GPS mode or up to 50 hours in UltraTrac™ battery saver mode.

So there you have it, the key differences between the Tactix Charlie and the Fenix 5x. Not much other than a difference in battery life, better mapping and materials each is made from.

Must read: Connect IQ app store guide

Garmin Tactix charlie features

Whilst lots of the features are similar, I think its worth just mentioning some of the key features as not everyone will have the Garmin Specification saved to memory

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Like most top-end Garmin fitness watches, there’s both GPS and GLONASS support for coverage in even the most challenging environments. Whilst this is the same as the Fenix 5x, I am looking forward to getting my hands on one to see if they have improved the GPS performance on the Tactic charlie vs the Fenix 5x

Garmin Maps

Garmin Tactix Charlie topo maps

Garmin has included mapping with the Tactic Charlie like they did with the Fenix 5x. in the USA you will get TOPO maps. Garmin has also included TopoActive Europe mapping preloaded on the Tactix Charlie in the UK and Europe. This is different from the Fenix 5x which came with Full-colour European recreational mapping, which does not have Topo mapping.

You’ll also have an altimeter, barometer and compass built in so you can track elevation data. There’s also preloaded tactical features, which includes dual position GPS formatting and waypoints projection.

Heart rate tracking with training features

It’s also built for fitness packing a heart rate sensor along with Garmin’s Training Status and Recovery modes are onboard to let you know if your workouts are paying off. It will also have resting heart rate tracking along with sleep tracking

Tactix Charlie smartwatch features

Garmin Tactix Charlie night vision

So you can receive emails, texts and alerts, but you cant respond to them like with the rest of the Garmin range. You can access Garmin’s Connect IQ store to download apps, custom fields and watch faces. The Garmin Tactic Charlie is also waterproof to 10 ATM, which is the same as the Fenix 5x.

Tactic Charlie price

Garmin Tactix Charlie, Premium GPS Watch with...
200 Reviews
Garmin Tactix Charlie, Premium GPS Watch with...
  • 1.2” high-resolution, sunlight-readable display with domed sapphire lens; switch between daytime use and night vision goggle compatibility
  • Includes preloaded TOPO mapping plus routable map navigation

So when it comes down to price, the Tactix charlie is £649 / $749 which in my view in the UK is a good price. The Fenix 5x is £629 in the UK and does not come with TopoActive Europe mapping preloaded. These alone are 44.99 and because they are preloaded with the Tactix Charlie you get a good deal.

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  1. Unless I’m not seeing it I take it the Charlie hasn’t got an NFC chip built-in for GarminPay…

    Is this something to read into, i.e. they won’t be adding it into similar watches, e.g. Fenix 5x, later this year? Or is the Charlie just a little bit too early for it still?

    Cheers JR,

    • You are correct, no NFC in the Charlie.

      I would not read into it as this watch is aimed at a user that probably would not use GarminPay. But still interested it’s been missed

  2. Is pre order available from any retailers in Us other than amazon. I prefer to ship at rei or clever training. When will this ship? I know garmin site says 3-5 weeks but it said 5-8 weeks for 5x for 3 months.

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