3.0 / 5.02 ReviewsDurability4.5 / 5Reliability3.0 / 5Performance3.0 / 5Ease Of Use4.5 / 5Value3.0 / 5Would You Recommend?Yes (1)No (1)Durability5 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance5 / 5Ease Of Use5 / 5Value5 / 5Would You Recommend?YesGreat WatchI purchased the D2 Bravo first, then a couple of days later the Charlie was released. Sporties had no problem returning the Bravo and the refund was VERY FAST. The moving map is awesome, especially for bad weather. The screen has great detail, the zoom in and out is great as well.
Took a few minutes to log on and get it set up, but not too bad at all. As long as you have it linked to your phone and you have the Garmin app it will work perfectly. Setting altitude notification is great as well. I have mine set to 1000 AGL and it does notify me precisely when I hit the mark. So I would give this one a 10 out of 10. I don't think the Titanium band was worth the additional $200.00 as I did talk to Garmin and insure the leather band watch has the same functions and it is exactly the same watch. I did not care for the leather band that came with the watch, as it looked kind of generic. I had ordered a leather band for the Bravo and it fit the Charlie just fine. So again I give this watch a 10 out of 10....August 16, 2017Durability4 / 5Reliability1 / 5Performance1 / 5Ease Of Use4 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?NoHuge disappointment from GarminIn no way does this review reflect negatively on Sporty's, which is not responsible for deficiencies of a new product by a trusted manufacturer. Sporty's remains the go-to vendor for pilot needs. To this point I was a loyal Garmin consumer, having had at least 8 of their products over 22 years with nothing but positive experience. The Charlie is an unmitigated failure and Garmin's lack of response to pleas for support is an unacceptable disappointment.
Being an avid cyclist, outdoorsman, and bush pilot, Charlie replaces my Vivoactive HR and was expected to add features beyond the HR. It does not. It is as accurate and helpful as the HR for cycling and other activities, but it does not accurately report Sleep Time, something noted by Garmin as a key element to track for overall health. The HR was more accurate.
Worst though, the aviation features; the Charlie is a flop. Precisely following the instructions of the manual to set up the Charlie, after 7 flights and despite firmware and database updates, the device does not do what it should and in fact could be a hazard. Nearest Airport feature is not effective and could take the unknowing pilot into harm's way. This feature is a great tool in the remote chance of a critical situation. Once over Lake Superior, having a ring fail on a cylinder, my oil pressure began to rapidly fall. My Garmin 496 directed me to the nearest airport and got me safely to the ground. The Charlie could very well lead a pilot away from the nearest airport to a further airport, resulting in potential disaster.
Though 27 nautical miles to one public airport, and 35 to another, when I select Nearest Airport, the true nearest airport is not presented by the Charlie. Charlie identifies the second nearest, followed by a list of other airports much further away. 8 nautical miles isn't a huge difference, but in a critical situation it could be the difference between life and death. Garmin has not responded to queries about this despite days of trying to get their support attention.
Auto Fly is utterly unreliable. Garmin promises that Charlie will record your flights and report them to Garmin Pilot for automatic Logbook entries. After 7 flights, the results reveal the promise as false. Of the 7, only 4 were recorded by Charlie; of these so little information was recorded and reported to Garmin Pilot that the information is useless for mandatory logging.
Flight 1 of 7 was not recorded by Charlie, even though the parameters were met. Flights 4 and 5 of 7 were similarly not recorded, although Charlie did "detect" the flights as Auto Fly did open the Fly activity. Although the activity was opened, the unlike with flights 2 and 3, flights 4 and 5 were not recorded by Charlie and not reported to Garmin Pilot. Flights 2, 3, 6 and 7 were duly recorded by Charlie, but the information was inaccurate and only portions of the information was synced to Garmin Pilot. The start time reported by Charlie was inaccurate on average about ten minutes from true time but with wide variation for each flight with no discernible pattern. Start to stop duration time is wildly inaccurate but flight time accurate.
Details of the flight Activity available in the Charlie show only the start time and that time is wrong. Of the other critical logging information, it shows the duration of the flight, and that time too is wrong. Start and End locations are recorded, though not reliably.
Although the Charlie gives lots of other information including but not limited to distance and speed, ascent and descent, average heart rate and maximum heart rate, none of of the information essential to mandatory logging is reported by the Charlie. One needs to sync the Charlie with Garmin Pilot which of course is only available for a subscription much more expensive than ForeFlight. Despite the greater expense, the utility is nonexistent.
Of the mere 4 flights of 7 that Charlie recorded and reported to Garmin Pilot, the first Garmin Pilot Entry tells me Wheels Off time (not accurately) but does not tell me Wheels On time. The Flight duration time is reported and miracle of miracles, it is accurate! The second Logbook Entry in Garmin Pilot from Charlie tells me only Wheels On time, (of course not accurately) but not Wheels Off time! It reports the Flight duration time and with accuracy. The third and fourth Logbook Entries in Garmin Pilot from Charlie give no Wheels Off or Wheels On times, although both entries give accurate Flight duration.
Garmin directs in the manual use of the Man Overboard features. However, this feature is not available in the Charlie. None of the screen information spelled out by the manual is available in Charlie.
In short, save your money and buy other great products Sporty's offers. At time of writing, Garmin still has not responded to any of the numerous emails to support or online support forms (as directed on their webpages for both) after many days of patiently waiting.August 12, 2017Purchased
3 weeks ago
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