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How do you like the screen on your Vista Hcx?

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I'm finding that unless I leave the backlight on (at least a bit) I can't really see my screen very well even in moderate day light. Is this just my unit or is that normal for the new Vista Hcx? How many of you are using your Vista Hcx with the backlight off? Seems to me that this has to be a big hit on battery life. The display with the light on is incredibly good but with the light off it seems really dark and hard to see (and I haven't found a contrast adjustment). I haven't tried mine in bright sunlight yet (if the rain ever stops maybe I'll be able to give it a try).

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The screen on my Vista HCx is definitely a lot darker than the one on my Vista C. In my house, I could see the Vista C. To see the Vista HCx, I have to turn on the backlight to see it. Outside, I just have to turn it so the sun is on the screen and then I can see it just fine.

Edited by Miragee
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I've only had it for a few days, but as I understand it, it is meant to be visible with the backlight off only in bright sunlight. In the dull winter light of Minnesota it looks pretty dark. But it is also an LED backlight, so it consumes very low amounts of power, so I wouldn't worry too much about having the unit backlight on.

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I'm not knocking the screen display, I tend to leave mine turned up on high all the time and it's fantastic! My 60cx was so dull I had to put my glasses on to see the screen clearly when it was dull outside. I don't need my glasses anymore with the Vista (I'd call that an undocumented feature!). I was just concerned that the dark looking screen (without the backlight) was a problem with my specific unit but it sounds fairly normal so thanks for the replies.

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I simply decided to purchase a ton of rechargable AA batteries and use the backlight all the time. :o


If it didn't have the backlight I would take it back..I always need it..


I think that's why Garmin has kept the old original Legend and Vista with the B&W screen while discontinuing all the other later color versions except for the HCx versions. The B&W screens are very legible without any backlighting when in daylight.

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It's great in full sun, though, and at night I need only one or two clicks on the backlight (5-10%) to see it clearly.

Even during the dull winter days here I only need to set the backlight to a fairly low setting to make it usable. I will say that with the backlight on (to whatever level) it's a nice looking and clear display! :o

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Is there a contrast setting on Vista Hcx? I've not been able to find one.


Yes, press the power button (right bottom button) and you will see a slider overlay on your screen. Use your toggle switch to adjust the brightness, then click the toggle again to remove the overlay.


that is brightness, not contrast. there is a difference

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Not a contrast button . . . but have you played with the color schemes out in the sunlight? I find a big difference between some of the color schemes and am not sure I care for the 'subtle' night time setting. That said, I tend to use the backlight on a low setting with a short 'On' time. It comes up when I toggle a button, then drops back down.


Color display is a HUGE improvement over my old eTrex Legend, though, that was VERY visible in strong sunlight.


Cache On!



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