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Visiably of the Oregon 550t screen in the daylight?


mutt&bob
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I have some screen visibility shots in these posts:

 

http://www.gpsfix.net/garmin-oregon-550t-first-impression/

http://www.gpsfix.net/garmin-oregon-550t-second-impression/

 

A lot will depend on what you are currently used to. I use mine just about every day outside and it works pretty well but it is not as good as the lower resolution devices.

 

In my opinion the Oregon 550t is better than the Oregon 400t, not quite as good as the Colorado or Dakota and much worse than the 60csx in terms of outdoor daytime visibility.

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I really don't understand the so called 550 screen problems.

If garmin solved something it is the Oregon screen, I think it's near to perfect in bright sun, at least as good as colorado, but you must have the right angle.

 

Splashy is correct..."angle" is everything. I have "old eyes", wear glasses, have a Zagg screen protector on my Oregon 550t, and can see/read it perfectly in bright sunlight...it may be necessary to tilt it a bit left/right or fore/aft...but that's an intuitive movement and very natural.

 

Bill

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I really don't understand the so called 550 screen problems.

If garmin solved something it is the Oregon screen, I think it's near to perfect in bright sun, at least as good as colorado, but you must have the right angle.

 

Splashy is correct..."angle" is everything. I have "old eyes", wear glasses, have a Zagg screen protector on my Oregon 550t, and can see/read it perfectly in bright sunlight...it may be necessary to tilt it a bit left/right or fore/aft...but that's an intuitive movement and very natural.

 

Bill

Exactly, its all about the angle you hold it at.

 

Even my 400t is very readable in direct sunlight.

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I really don't understand the so called 550 screen problems.

If garmin solved something it is the Oregon screen, I think it's near to perfect in bright sun, at least as good as colorado, but you must have the right angle.

 

Splashy is correct..."angle" is everything. I have "old eyes", wear glasses, have a Zagg screen protector on my Oregon 550t, and can see/read it perfectly in bright sunlight...it may be necessary to tilt it a bit left/right or fore/aft...but that's an intuitive movement and very natural.

 

Bill

Exactly, its all about the angle you hold it at.

 

Even my 400t is very readable in direct sunlight.

I'd say mine is about the same as my Colorado 400t but nowhere close to my 60CSx. Like others have said, it's all about the angle. I've heard that polarized glasses help in bright sunlight but I can't attest to that.

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I think using direct sunlight is a bad example, as that really isn't where the problem is. The real issue is screen visibility in "indirect" sunlight. This is when the screen on the Oregon is washed out. For comparison, low resolution screens on models like the 60CSx are very readable in indirect sunlight.

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I have had problems with my Map60CSx, with glare, and had to use backlight, when in indirect lighting, but I admit that the Colorado 400t was worse. I turn on the backlight on the Map60CSx in the daytime, when I am getting too much glare. The backlight does eat batteries though. With my older eyes, I admit that any reflection off of the plastic window of the GPS units, is more of an issue now, than just 4 or 5 years ago, when my eyes were not as bad. Now I depend more on backlights to cut through glare, to see the screens.

 

Seems like a glossy screen like the 550t would be better in sunlight than the matte screen of the older Oregons.

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Another 2 cents worth. LowBat hit the nail on the head with the screen visibility issue IMO. Direct bright sunshine the screen visibility is good. Bright sunny day in a somewhat shady location where the unit is not in the sun is where the real problem with screen visibility becomes apparent... backlighting has little affect and no noticeably significant improvement in screen visibility.

 

I have been considering replacing my Oregon 400t with the 550t if the screen visibility is significantly better.

 

First trip to Sportsman Warehouse and instore compared the screens of the 400t and 550t side by side with various settings. Panned and zoomed both units to the same settings & location in Olathe, KA; units wouldn't get sat. reception inside. Result: 550t screen with it's glossy surface was slightly clearer or cleaner looking than the 400t; small streets were slightly easier to see on the 550t... larger streets such as major hwys. and interstates I could not tell any difference in ease of seeing them. Same result for backlight fully on or no backlighting.

 

Sales clerk was nice enough for us to take both units outside for a side by side comparison. Was a very overcast day, No Sun, pretty much the same results as inside. Set both units to no dem. settings and with dem. settings and various backgrounds. Overall in these 2 situations I would give the 550t a slightly but only slightly improvement in screen visibilty over the 400t.

 

Second trip to Sportsman Warehouse, this time I took my own 400t that I have customized the backgrounds on per the Oregon 400t wiki for improved screen visibilty and my unit has a ZAGG Screen Protector on it. Again, compared my 400t to the 550t side by side. Instore with backlight full the 550t was slightly clearer, my 400t screen has a very very slight yellowish tint to it... don't know if this is from use in the sun or age or normal. With no backlight same situation as first trip the small city streets are slightly easier to seen on the 550t inside; backlight or no backlight pretty much the same results.

 

Now for the real test, we took both units outside, today was a very bright sunny day. Now remember I have customized my screen per wiki for optimum screen visibility. With settings the same on both units except for my custom backgrounds and dem. off on both, I could not tell any significant difference in the 2 screen's visibility, at least not worth saying one was significantly better than the other.

 

Next took both units under the stores front canopy, bright sun but units in the shade. Same result as just mentioned. Turned backlight up full on both units and pretty much no affect and no signifciant difference in the screen visibility difference worth noting.

 

My conclusion: The glossy sceen of the 550t makes only a very very very slight improvement in real world operating conditions over the 400t if you have customized your background to improve viewability. Granted, if the 550t's backgrounds were customized I might have seen more of a difference, but then the 550t did not have a screen protector on it.

 

With my unit and the 550t side by side it made so little of a difference outside on a bright day that it was instantly a no brainer that I would not be getting the 550t even though I was very much hoping for a noticeable improvement that would make me want to spend the money. On a very cloudy day, overcast, or low light conditions the backlight is going to be used anyway and then either screen is easy to see. Definitely not worth the cost to me to upgrade since the screen visibility with no backlight was my only reason for wanting to change and I was considering the upgrade would cost me about $150 after selling my 400t.

 

Hope this may help some others in the same dilema as I was.

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Seems like a glossy screen like the 550t would be better in sunlight than the matte screen of the older Oregons.

 

Right on brother. The glossy screen would at first make you think glare and reflection interfering with the viewability. However the matte finish on the Oregon 400t (and other x00 Oregons) actually diffuses the light on the screen surface washing out the screen image. The matte screen isn't bad - I really didn't have any real issues on my 400t, but was nervous of wearing the screen when scrolling so I put on a Zagg IS protector. The visibility also improved due to the glossy nature of the protector.

 

I suspect the glossy screen on the 550 versus the other Oregon models is the only real difference in performance of the viewability.

 

RE: Polarized sunglasses - they make little difference in my opinion. The polarization adds some 'rainbow' effect to the screen. It's not that bad with my prescription Bolle sunglasses but I can't say it makes it better. The screen protector has made the biggest difference to me in all lighting conditions.

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[RE: Polarized sunglasses - they make little difference in my opinion. The polarization adds some 'rainbow' effect to the screen. It's not that bad with my prescription Bolle sunglasses but I can't say it makes it better. The screen protector has made the biggest difference to me in all lighting conditions.

It depends on the viewing angle, this is what I see with my Dakota 20 and polarized sunglasses. I use my Dakota as a speedometer when fishing (trolling) out of my kayak, as such the Dakota is set down on the bottom of my kayak and about 2 ft in front of me. Without the polarized lenses all I see is a lot of glare coming off the screen. With the polarized lenses, I can clearly see the display. It's even better than my Vista HCX at the same spot. I agree, polarized lenses make little difference when holding the unit up in front of your face, but if you can't do that then it can make a big difference.

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