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So many choices, so much confusion over which unit to choose


BrickAlley
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I found several caches last summer (unfortunately I didn't log all of them) and I have been out finding several in the last week or two also. Last summer I used an iphone plus an old etrex and both were a long way from "high sensitivity," so I have been thinking seriously about buying a nice handheld unit. I like the simple look of the Oregons and spotted a seller on ebay that has a bunch of refurbished 400t's for $299, but I wonder if I'm making the right choice. I've looked at the 450t and realize it has a tilt-compensated 3-axis compass, but is that something I really need? If I just compare features with no real way to gauge if I truly need them I would wind up buying the most expensive GPS and that is foolish if I have no real reason for said features. It's a confusing decision and one that I've seen discussed in many forum posts here.

 

I will add to the confusion a little bit by mentioning that my htc EVO phone has been incredibly accurate placing me in a very tight radius, but when I venture under any real foliage I lose a bit of signal, now how much I lose in comparison to a dedicated handheld unit I have no way of knowing. The phone works really nice and is a totally paperless system, so it's not like I am not happy just using my phone. On the other hand I am placing the phone in the way of danger, so that makes me worry a bit. Please feel free to give me your thoughts and opinions guys and as always, Thanks in advance!

Edited by BrickAlley
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For caching the 3 axis compass is pointless if you wil pardon the pun :unsure:. If you were an avid hiker or explorer and spents weekends in unknown wilderness i could see basing a purchase on it. The biggest reason i can see getting a 450t over the 400t is reports are that the screen is a little easier to read in bright sunlight. Garmin seems to be a little more attentive to the x50 series also. There have been 2 beta releases for them recently and x00 owners are wondering why they are being neglected - with good reason.

 

I have the EVO and it does make a great caching device, especially if you are lucky enough to have 3G coverage. Never a need to hook it to a computer to download caches and the aerial photos and street level nav etc is super nice. Even dedicated handhelds will get a little crazy under foliage and I've yet to try it with my EVO so I can't tell you for sure how much better a 450t would perform.

 

My honest opinion is to get a dedicated unit if you are really going to be caching a good amount. If its an occasional thing with a couple of grabs and not far from your vehicle or home then the EVO is more than enough. As you mentioned, you are putting a very nice phone at risk but something else to think of is battery drain. EVO's are known for super battery life as it is and if you end up on a hike away from the car and need the phone to be a phone and the battery is dead it's not good.

 

Post any other question if ya have them. Hopefully someone else will chime in with some insight.

 

Take care

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For caching the 3 axis compass is pointless if you wil pardon the pun

 

I found quite the opposite. The compass is a key tool for cache hunting with a hand held unit. Though I love my 60CSX its major drawback is that it does not have a 3 axis compass, so it as to be held perfectly level for it to work properly. This is not always easy when walking over difficult terrain.

 

The 3 axis compasses in my PN40 and Endura Sierra are very convenient, as I don't have to worry about proper orientation of the units.

 

While a magnetic compass is not essential for geocaching, if you want a unit with a magnetic compass, the 3 axis compass is the better choice. The OP just has to decide whether or not it is worth the additional money. I personally think between the 3 axis compass and better display in the 450 make it the clear winner.

Edited by briansnat
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The biggest reason i can see getting a 450t over the 400t is reports are that the screen is a little easier to read in bright sunlight. Garmin seems to be a little more attentive to the x50 series also.

 

I agree. I have a 400T and got a 450. Much better and the updates keep coming for the x50 while the x00 seems to be reaching the red headed step child status.

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I found several caches last summer (unfortunately I didn't log all of them) and I have been out finding several in the last week or two also. Last summer I used an iphone plus an old etrex and both were a long way from "high sensitivity," so I have been thinking seriously about buying a nice handheld unit. I like the simple look of the Oregons and spotted a seller on ebay that has a bunch of refurbished 400t's for $299, but I wonder if I'm making the right choice. I've looked at the 450t and realize it has a tilt-compensated 3-axis compass, but is that something I really need? If I just compare features with no real way to gauge if I truly need them I would wind up buying the most expensive GPS and that is foolish if I have no real reason for said features. It's a confusing decision and one that I've seen discussed in many forum posts here.

 

I will add to the confusion a little bit by mentioning that my htc EVO phone has been incredibly accurate placing me in a very tight radius, but when I venture under any real foliage I lose a bit of signal, now how much I lose in comparison to a dedicated handheld unit I have no way of knowing. The phone works really nice and is a totally paperless system, so it's not like I am not happy just using my phone. On the other hand I am placing the phone in the way of danger, so that makes me worry a bit. Please feel free to give me your thoughts and opinions guys and as always, Thanks in advance!

I just gave an geomate jr. an extensive workout. Cached from Riverside,Ca. to Louisianna and I have one thing to say actually two. First for geocaching only ,It ranks up there with the best.Second,I bet that Garmin,Magellan and the rest wished they thought of it.

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