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Garmin Montana 650

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I have been Googling everywhere trying to get a release date for this unit. So far only "hype' articles and such on some of these Euro tech sites but nothing substantial. Does anyone have inside info on when this thing will be available? I know you can pre-order it through Amazon, REI and a few other 3rd party vendors...I just would like to know when please?

 

Thanks!

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Amazon usually lags behind other vendors a bit. Smaller operations like GPS City can start shipping the day they arrive. But the dates often slip, with Garmin giving the vendor little notice (less than 24 hours) that they've been delayed.

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was at rei looking at gpses

does anyone know if the montana will have Wherigo app like the oregons

 

has anyone seen one yet?

 

really thinking that this will be a slick unit with the street nav looking and speaking like car unit that is really an outdoor hiking unit

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was at rei looking at gpses

does anyone know if the montana will have Wherigo app like the oregons

 

has anyone seen one yet?

 

really thinking that this will be a slick unit with the street nav looking and speaking like car unit that is really an outdoor hiking unit

 

No Wherigo app on the montana. At least not in the initial rlease.

 

Werner

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anyone used one yet?

 

I had issues with 62 not holding up like my 60 so took it back to REI

ordered the montana off REI.com

 

hoping this will be good other wise going to have to go back to a 62 and just figure a way to protect buttons and few other things on it

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GPSCity has the 650 in stock and is shipping today. Overnighted, it should be in the hands of the few by tomorrow. Looking forward to a "first impressions" post.

Edited by yogazoo

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Yogazoo,

 

I see you went and did it... you ordered the Montana 650, and you should have it in your hands tomorrow morning... how exciting.

 

I can't wait to read what you think of the unit, especially the screen readability in sunlight.

 

I placed an order for the 650 with Amazon a few days ago. They are still quoting 2-4 weeks delivery.

Edited by Barrikady

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My first impression, it's a VERY nice Gps a bit heavy, but very confy screen and software, the big screen is a marvel, you can set the automotive mode in Nuvi (very handy)

you have to wiggle with the angle in the bright sun, but good readable.

Edited by splashy

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Splashy.

 

I looked at the pictures of the Montana, and I can't locate a pair of openings where lanyard can be attached so one could, for example, hang the Montana around one's neck.

 

Is there a place to attach a lanyard to the Montana?

 

Thank you.

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My first impression, it's a VERY nice Gps a bit heavy, but very confy screen and software, the big screen is a marvel, you can set the automotive mode in Nuvi (very handy)

you have to wiggle with the angle in the bright sun, but good readable.

 

A pda style screen protector should cut down on glare.

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The Oohs and Aahs around the office were resounding as I unboxed the 650 surrounded by a crowd of envious onlookers. My very first impression was "Holy cow this thing is big" but after playing with it I've already become used to it.

 

Screen: Amazing. In sunlight it is clear and crisp. Low light is poor but you'll use the backlight for that anyway.

 

Lanyard: Yes, there is a slot much like the 62 on the bottom of the unit. It would be quite a pendulum around your neck but it is doable.

 

Screen Protector: I purchased a Nuvi 1490 Zagg shield and cut it down to fit.

 

Menus: A giant leap above the Oregon series. Accessing setups from their perspective screen is something Garmin should have done with the Oregon long ago.

 

EDITED TO ADD: The processor seems much beefier than the Oregon or 62. Map redraws are lightning fast even with shaded relief and Birdseye. The look of the map is different too. Topo lines are much nicer (light brown opposed to the dark brown on the Oregon and 62). Touch screen is way more responsive than the Oregons. I continue to be impressed. If folks can get over the size, the Montana is ging to kill the Oregon.

 

Overall impression: It's a keeper. The map screen is noticeably (barely) lower resolution than the Oregon. The size and weight are considerations and may dissapoint a few people but the tradeoffs are worth it in my opinion. You can always get used to it's size but having the slick new menu layout, huge screen, multiple battery options, and spoken turn by turn will be appreciated greatly over the Oregon for as long as I own it.

 

Get a screen protector. The screen covering (plastic) is glossy and may scratch easily.

Edited by yogazoo

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Thank you Yogazoo and Splashy for your tidbits of valuable information. The Zagg info was particularly informative.

 

I look forward to my receipt of the 650.

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Zagg is very hard to cut, how did you do it?

 

I used a photogragh on some thick photo paper to use as a guide (and to square up the edges) and used a very sharp sewing scissors. I have also used one of those large slide map cutters at work with great results.

Edited by yogazoo

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The Montana's screen in bright sunlight seems to me to be the brightest screen Garmin has ever produced, touchscreen or non-touchscreen, and I've owned them all. Simply amazing.

Edited by yogazoo

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The Montana's screen in bright sunlight seems to me to be the brightest screen Garmin has ever produced, touchscreen or non-touchscreen, and I've owned them all. Simply amazing.

 

The brightest GPS device I own is the 60Cx (the dullest is the Oregon 300). Are you saying that the Montana is brighter than the venerable and much admired 60Cx?

Edited by Barrikady

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Zagg is very hard to cut, how did you do it?

I've always left it on the backing and used a home-use rotary paper cutter. Never even realized they were hard to cut. Looks like one of these, but mine didn't cost as much (got it as Sam's, I think). Originally bought it for photo trimming, but use it for screen protector cuts for all my "stuff". I just buy the 3 packs of the Zagg "universal" size and trim as needed. I can get a couple per sheet for the Oregon.

 

http://www.officemax.com/catalog/sku.jsp?productId=prod1810892&history=nimkaxjt|prodPage~15^freeText~paper+cutter^paramValue~true^refine~1^region~1^param~return_skus^return_skus~Y

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The Montana's screen in bright sunlight seems to me to be the brightest screen Garmin has ever produced, touchscreen or non-touchscreen, and I've owned them all. Simply amazing.

 

The brightest GPS device I own is the 60Cx (the dullest is the Oregon 300). Are you saying that the Montana is brighter than the venerable and much admired 60Cx?

 

It just barely beats the 60csx in bright sun IMHO. In low light the 60 is definately brighter. The screen is very vivid, contrasty, and large which definately contributes to its overall excellent visibility in bright sun. The upside is that even in shaded light or bright indirect sunlight the backlight is so bright it makes a difference. In other words it's very visible in all conditions.

Edited by yogazoo

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The Montana's screen in bright sunlight seems to me to be the brightest screen Garmin has ever produced, touchscreen or non-touchscreen, and I've owned them all. Simply amazing.

 

The brightest GPS device I own is the 60Cx (the dullest is the Oregon 300). Are you saying that the Montana is brighter than the venerable and much admired 60Cx?

 

It just barely beats the 60csx in bright sun IMHO. In low light the 60 is definately brighter. The screen is very vivid, contrasty, and large which definately contributes to its overall excellent visibility in bright sun. The upside is that even in shaded light or bright indirect sunlight the backlight is so bright it makes a difference. In other words it's very visible in all conditions.

 

I can't believe theres no spring clip for this! Honestly the lanyard is a deal breaker for me. Swinging all around haphazardly.

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A couple more details:

 

There is a MAP SPEED selection in the map setup. From what I can tell, having it set to "FAST" makes the map update while driving seem smoother. Instead of the herky-jerky one second updates to the map you can now have a smooth scroll.

 

You can select the "VEHICLE" in any profile. There are a number of pre-loaded cars, boats, and others.

 

Custom backgrounds can be loaded but you need to create both Landscape and Portrait images for each one.

 

The altimeter screen has two displays. When you have the elevation plot selected, the main display will show your elevation and a smaller screen will show the barometer plot. When you switch to view the barometer in the main view, the smaller view switches to the elevation. Cool!

 

The internal "BEEP" tone, which has been traditionally faint in the opinion of many, is much louder. It almost scares me when I'm not expecting a beep.

 

I can't get the Topo 24K maps to calculate a route in "Pedestrian" mode. It just gives me a route calculation error message.

 

This unit fits in the garmin carry case designed for the 60/62 series. It will also fit nicely in the Nite-ize case (the larger one).

Edited by yogazoo

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Yogazoo,

 

Thanks for the additional nuggets of information.

 

Please keep the info coming when you have the opportunities.

 

Here's a question.

 

I am thinking of getting a back-up lithium ion battery, perhaps a generic lithium ion battery rather than a Garmin branded battery. Does the battery that comes with the Montana have an identification number on the battery?

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Any improvements w/ caching that you can tell so far? Mine is on it's way but won't be here until Monday. :( I also have the auto mount coming so bye bye Nuvi.

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Having a spare Montana battery is not what you might want, the battery is charged INSIDE the gps, therefore I think I keep using my AA's (3X) when the montana battery is empty.

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Having a spare Montana battery is not what you might want, the battery is charged INSIDE the gps, therefore I think I keep using my AA's (3X) when the montana battery is empty.

 

Splashy,

 

Thank you for the info.

 

There are numerous generic external lithium ion battery chargers. I feel sure that the battery type used by the Garmin Montana was not specifically designed for the Montana. Once the battery model # is identified, it should be fairly easy to find a lithium ion battery charger designed to externally charge the battery used by the Montana.

Edited by Barrikady

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More "Nuggets"

 

3D mode is much improved. Very responsive to turns. Renders quickly. Not that I use that mode often but FYI.

 

There is no "Measure Distance" selection on the maps screen. Those liking this feature in the 62 series will miss it on the Montana. This basically means you can't measure the distance between two arbitrary points on the map. You can still measure distance but only from your location to the red pin.

 

The Li-ion battery has the following identifiers: 3.7V, 2000mah, 7.4Wh.

Under the Garmin wrapper there are the following ID features: SAMSUNG SDI, 7715VA9181, ICP103450V

 

After a rather extensive search on the internets, there doesn't appear to be a match to the Samsung identifiers.

Edited by yogazoo

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So has Garmin re-introduced the night mode to the Montana. I really liked it on the 60Cx and my nuvi 550 but ity wasn't on the colorado 300 or Oregon 450.

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More "Nuggets"

 

The Li-ion battery has the following identifiers: 3.7V, 2000mah, 7.4Wh.

Under the Garmin wrapper there are the following ID features: SAMSUNG SDI, 7715VA9181, ICP103450V

 

After a rather extensive search on the internets, there doesn't appear to be a match to the Samsung identifiers.

 

Thanks for the additional info Yogazoo.

 

Yes, I also checked the Internet and was unable to find a compatible battery. Based on past experience with lithium ion batteries for digital cameras, I feel sure that within a short period of time generic batteries for the Montana will be available on Amazon and EBay.

 

Have you taken any pics with the camera? If so, can you share one or more and discuss how the geotagging works?

 

Have fun

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If folks can get over the size, the Montana is ging to kill the Oregon.

For me, it's more about the price than the size.

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If folks can get over the size, the Montana is ging to kill the Oregon.

For me, it's more about the price than the size.

 

I got mine for $607 which is near what I paid for the 60CSX way back when it first came out. Yeah, adding City Navigator, lifetime maps, and an auto mount is going to throw another $200 into the mix but if I use this one as long as I have used the 60CSX I'm okay with that price. If it were just used for caching then I might think otherwise but this puppy is going to be doing caching, auto, and motorcycle duty. It just better not suck. ;-)

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So has Garmin re-introduced the night mode to the Montana. I really liked it on the 60Cx and my nuvi 550 but ity wasn't on the colorado 300 or Oregon 450.

 

Night mode is a feature of the Montana series.

 

Chrysalides: You've got a point with price. I sold a cadre of GPSR's to afford this one. That said, I'll bet by Black Friday you'll be able to pick one up for under $500. And that's if you must have the camera. You could pick up the 600 for alot less. And to be honest the camera is not among the top features that make the 600 series good (IMHO).

 

I will post pics from the unit when I get a chance. For me, the camera is so-so as I've gotten some mixed results. In bright sunlight it's great, lots of detail and a marked improvement on the Oregon 550, but anything less is hit or miss. Of course it doesn't compare with a dedicated digital camera but it's there for record shots and in situations where you forget your digital. I still wouldn't leave my point and shoot and home in lieu of the camera on the 650 series.

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Some full sized images from my Montana 650. All photos were taken with the resolution on 5MP.

 

1308796738.jpg

 

Tire from two feet

1308796857.jpg

 

Tire close-up

1308796968.jpg

 

Moose skull in shade

1308797033.jpg

 

Flowers in shade

1308797207.jpg

 

Distant mountain

1308797345.jpg

 

Indoors at the nature center. Low light.

1308797668.jpg

Edited by yogazoo

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Some full sized images from my Montana 650. All photos were taken with the resolution on 5MP.

 

Yogazoo,

 

I am impressed with the quality and detail of your images. How do you access and use the geotagging ability of the Montana? Do you have to use Google Earth to show the geotagged image on a map?

 

Thanks again for your input on the pluses and minuses of the Montana 650. Your comments are helpful to me, and I await my 650 with anticipation.

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The geotagging is automatic in the unit. Take a picture and it contains the data. You can drag and drop into Google Earth and requires some playing around with the settings to be able to see where you took the photo. Not too bad though.

 

Tracklogs are smooth and precise. I'm highly impressed with the tracks.

 

The night mode has been vastly improved over the 62 series. As you can see in the following images, the topo lines are a pleasing light brown. The Oregons don't have a night mode and the 62's night mode topo lines are stark white and look terrible. The Montana is very pleasing to the eye.

 

1308804594.jpg

1308805188.jpg

Edited by yogazoo

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was at rei looking at gpses

does anyone know if the montana will have Wherigo app like the oregons

 

has anyone seen one yet?

 

really thinking that this will be a slick unit with the street nav looking and speaking like car unit that is really an outdoor hiking unit

Finally, a good successor to the venerable GPS V. I'll definitely be getting one of these.

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Montana beeps coming near to a speedcam poi, the 3th or 4th time it beeps the Montana shuts down.

 

My tones settings are still factory setting, but it seems a bit much to all these warnings.

Edited by splashy

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Splashy.

 

I looked at the pictures of the Montana, and I can't locate a pair of openings where lanyard can be attached so one could, for example, hang the Montana around one's neck.

 

Is there a place to attach a lanyard to the Montana?

 

Thank you.

 

yes it does, at the bottom, under the Garmin sign

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Now my question is: does it lock up when it's importing caches? :P

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Now my question is: does it lock up when it's importing caches? :P

Is this a common garmin issue? My 450 has never locked up like that

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Now my question is: does it lock up when it's importing caches? :P

Is this a common garmin issue? My 450 has never locked up like that

 

Some people constantly have that problem (I think all Oregons and Dakotas are affected, as well as the 62), others never have it. Nobody could ever figure out what exactly is causing it, and I think not even Garmin knows. The only thing I could ever figure out is that it's roughly related to the number of caches you have loaded.

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Now my question is: does it lock up when it's importing caches? :P

Is this a common garmin issue? My 450 has never locked up like that

I asked about this in another thread, and the number of responses surprised me. I import a single GPX with about 1900 geocaches on my Oregon 300, 5 to 7 logs each, and it has about 10% chance on locking up when starting up the first time after the load.

 

I haven't encountered it in the last 3 months though. And now that I've jinxed it, I'm sure it'll crash when I reload tonight :blink:

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Looks good to me. Will get one in August since that is when Ram says they will have a holder for it. I do a large amount of my caching on my bike and need a holder for that. Nice to know that the 60/62 belt holders will hold it.

 

Although I will miss the Oregon style of holder since I hang it on the straps of my back pack and can just look down, tilt it up and see the compass without unhooking.

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Now my question is: does it lock up when it's importing caches? :P

Is this a common garmin issue? My 450 has never locked up like that

 

I don't know about common but an often mentioned problem. When I load a new set of caches about 1 out of 10 times I go through the failed start and have to remove the battery. Although i will say since the last firmware update it hasn't happened at all.

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