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NWGeocacher

Garmin 64s vs Oregon 650

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Which one of these would you buy?

 

I want it for geocaching, hiking, car navigation (if possible).

 

What are the pros and cons of each that YOU have experience with?

 

Thanks!!

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The 650 has a camera. Otherwise, you want the Oregon 600.

 

The 64s and the Oregon 600 are nearly identical, except that one uses buttons to get around, and the other uses a touch screen. For hiking and geocaching, it comes down to personal preference, but for car navigation, a touch screen is much easier to use.

 

Now, for car navigation, I find that an Oregon makes a great back-up unit or a great travel unit (take it with you when you fly rather than a nuvi), but beyond that, there are some pitfalls of using an Oregon in your vehicle, namely that it's not designed for car use. The Oregon does have a Nuvi mode that simulates the experience of a Nuvi GPS, but the screen is still small and you have to purchase a map and the lifetime updates, if you want to keep it updated, in addition to the GPS. For that reason, we often suggest that you buy a handheld GPS for hiking and geocaching, and a Nuvi for dedicated car navigation.

 

If you choose this route, you can add free OpenStreetMap maps to a handheld to get routable street directions, but keep in mind that in the US, the routing abilities and the POI database are not nearly as good as using the paid maps. Thus it's good to have a Nuvi as your primary vehicle navigation device.

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The 650 has a camera. Otherwise, you want the Oregon 600.

 

The 64s and the Oregon 600 are nearly identical, except that one uses buttons to get around, and the other uses a touch screen. For hiking and geocaching, it comes down to personal preference, but for car navigation, a touch screen is much easier to use.

 

Now, for car navigation, I find that an Oregon makes a great back-up unit or a great travel unit (take it with you when you fly rather than a nuvi), but beyond that, there are some pitfalls of using an Oregon in your vehicle, namely that it's not designed for car use. The Oregon does have a Nuvi mode that simulates the experience of a Nuvi GPS, but the screen is still small and you have to purchase a map and the lifetime updates, if you want to keep it updated, in addition to the GPS. For that reason, we often suggest that you buy a handheld GPS for hiking and geocaching, and a Nuvi for dedicated car navigation.

 

If you choose this route, you can add free OpenStreetMap maps to a handheld to get routable street directions, but keep in mind that in the US, the routing abilities and the POI database are not nearly as good as using the paid maps. Thus it's good to have a Nuvi as your primary vehicle navigation device.

 

Thanks for the response! So for geocaching/hiking you would prefer the Oregon over the 64s?

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The 650 has a camera. Otherwise, you want the Oregon 600.

 

The 64s and the Oregon 600 are nearly identical, except that one uses buttons to get around, and the other uses a touch screen. For hiking and geocaching, it comes down to personal preference, but for car navigation, a touch screen is much easier to use.

 

Now, for car navigation, I find that an Oregon makes a great back-up unit or a great travel unit (take it with you when you fly rather than a nuvi), but beyond that, there are some pitfalls of using an Oregon in your vehicle, namely that it's not designed for car use. The Oregon does have a Nuvi mode that simulates the experience of a Nuvi GPS, but the screen is still small and you have to purchase a map and the lifetime updates, if you want to keep it updated, in addition to the GPS. For that reason, we often suggest that you buy a handheld GPS for hiking and geocaching, and a Nuvi for dedicated car navigation.

 

If you choose this route, you can add free OpenStreetMap maps to a handheld to get routable street directions, but keep in mind that in the US, the routing abilities and the POI database are not nearly as good as using the paid maps. Thus it's good to have a Nuvi as your primary vehicle navigation device.

 

Thanks for the response! So for geocaching/hiking you would prefer the Oregon over the 64s?

 

I can't make that decision for you. My preference for one interface may not be your preference. Best thing for you to do is go to a store with live display models (REI for example) so that you can hold them and play with them and get a sense for how they feel ergonomically and how you use the interface to navigate between screens and features.

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I would go with the 64 because I've long been a fan of the quad antenna and I like a unit I can operate with one hand.

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I would go with the 64 because I've long been a fan of the quad antenna and I like a unit I can operate with one hand.

 

I can operate my Oregon 450 with one hand.

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I would go with the 64 because I've long been a fan of the quad antenna and I like a unit I can operate with one hand.

 

I can operate my Oregon 450 with one hand.

 

I can not....its hard to pan the map using two hands often putting a pin down by mistake or opening a menu. The multi-poke screen becomes tedious....its a nice unit to back up my 62's but I got kind of tired dealing with it.

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If this helps your decision, the Oregon 600 and 600t are on sale at gpscity.com. That makes the Oregon cheaper than the 64s, even with the topo maps.

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If this helps your decision, the Oregon 600 and 600t are on sale at gpscity.com. That makes the Oregon cheaper than the 64s, even with the topo maps.

 

At the same price??? That's funny.

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Yeah, they have the Oregon 600 for $349.95 or the 600t for $349.95. Not a hard choice to make, even though the topo maps on the 600t aren't the best.

 

The email I got from them said the 600t is on sale until 7/20, though it doesn't say that on their web site.

Edited by BikeBill

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Tough choice. Like others have said, seeing them firsthand is the best way to decide.

 

I tried out the Oregon 600 and GPSMAP 64s in-person, and walked out with a 64s. But there is quite a bit of heavy canopy in our area, so the quad-helix combined with the GLONASS option makes for a nice pairing.

 

If I had to frequently enter lots of waypoints and data manually, I would have probably gone for the Oregon 6xx series, since it has a touch screen.

 

Good luck with your choice! :rolleyes:

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A touch screen is easier (more intuitive) to use right out of the box. It takes a bit longer to get familiar with the buttons. The GPSMap 64s has a 2.6" LCD with a resolution of 160x240. The Oregon 600 has a 3" LCD with a resolution of 240x400. I think maps look slightly better. The Oregon does have poorer battery life than the GPSMap. I haven't used the 600 outdoors, so I can't comment on the display. I have the 450 and the display is not as bright as the GPSMap 62. Note that the 600 has a different screen compared to the 450.

 

Just to make your choice harder, the GPSMap 62s is about $230 right now. You can call it discontinued, or you can call it "more thoroughly debugged by Garmin" :)

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Tough choice. Like others have said, seeing them firsthand is the best way to decide.

 

I tried out the Oregon 600 and GPSMAP 64s in-person, and walked out with a 64s. But there is quite a bit of heavy canopy in our area, so the quad-helix combined with the GLONASS option makes for a nice pairing.

 

If I had to frequently enter lots of waypoints and data manually, I would have probably gone for the Oregon 6xx series, since it has a touch screen.

 

Good luck with your choice! :rolleyes:

 

I am in the NW as well (Salem/PDX area). I will mostly use it for geocaching and hiking trails. Does the 650 have as good as reception as the 64? Does the Quad-Helix make a huge difference?

 

Thanks!!

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Yes, the helix antenna makes a huge difference under trees. I had GPSMap60CSx and it was much more accurate than my new Oregon 600. With the GPSMap I was able to say exactly which tree has the cache, while the distance shown by the Oregon varies so much that I often have to check 3 or more trees within a much larger radius. Also, the screen of GPSMap is much brighter. The readability with backlight off was so good, that I only used the backlight at night. The brightness of Oregon isn't bad at all, but it cannot compare with GPSMap.

 

On the other side, I find that 160x240 is way too small for using the map comfortably. Scrolling with the joystick was a pain for me, typing names too. The Oregon (240x400), is a different story - you see much larger segment of the map and you can easily scroll and zoom, which is really handy for hiking and city exploring.

 

I think the accuracy of GPSMap makes it better for geocaching and Oregon 6xx is more flexible and more convenient for hiking/general use.

Edited by demococcus

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Yes, the helix antenna makes a huge difference under trees. I had GPSMap60CSx and it was much more accurate than my new Oregon 600. With the GPSMap I was able to say exactly which tree has the cache, while the distance shown by the Oregon varies so much that I often have to check 3 or more trees within a much larger radius. Also, the screen of GPSMap is much brighter. The readability with backlight off was so good, that I only used the backlight at night. The brightness of Oregon isn't bad at all, but it cannot compare with GPSMap.

 

On the other side, I find that 160x240 is way too small for using the map comfortably. Scrolling with the joystick was a pain for me, typing names too. The Oregon (240x400), is a different story - you see much larger segment of the map and you can easily scroll and zoom, which is really handy for hiking and city exploring.

 

I think the accuracy of GPSMap makes it better for geocaching and Oregon 6xx is more flexible and more convenient for hiking/general use.

 

I agree with this.

I own a lot of GPS units and have used still others in the field. It is my experience that the units with the quad performed much better under heavy canopy......maybe not a huge difference but a big difference.

I would not want to buy a unit without a quad antenna.

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What I have seen over the years is that a touch screen model GPS isn't as readable in bright sunlight as the ones with buttons. I guess that it may have something to do with a sensing layer to detect touch over the regular display but I'm not really sure. I've owned 60CSx, 62s, and now a 64s and any time I've been with a caching group and compared, the results have always been the same. If you can do a side-by-side comparison in sunlight at the store before you buy it might help you make up your mind.

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What I have seen over the years is that a touch screen model GPS isn't as readable in bright sunlight as the ones with buttons. I guess that it may have something to do with a sensing layer to detect touch over the regular display but I'm not really sure. I've owned 60CSx, 62s, and now a 64s and any time I've been with a caching group and compared, the results have always been the same. If you can do a side-by-side comparison in sunlight at the store before you buy it might help you make up your mind.

 

I really don't understand this sentiment. My Oregon 450 is incredibly readable in the sunlight. It's even readable via headlamp. I almost never have to turn on the backlight to see the contents of the screen.

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I really don't understand this sentiment. My Oregon 450 is incredibly readable in the sunlight. It's even readable via headlamp. I almost never have to turn on the backlight to see the contents of the screen.

I didn't say it was totally unreadable just if you compare it to a non-touch screen GPS there is a noticeable difference. This isn't a sentiment, it is what I have observed many times. If you try a side-by-side test instead of stating an opinion without doing a test maybe you'll agree.

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What I have seen over the years is that a touch screen model GPS isn't as readable in bright sunlight as the ones with buttons. I guess that it may have something to do with a sensing layer to detect touch over the regular display but I'm not really sure. I've owned 60CSx, 62s, and now a 64s and any time I've been with a caching group and compared, the results have always been the same. If you can do a side-by-side comparison in sunlight at the store before you buy it might help you make up your mind.

 

I really don't understand this sentiment. My Oregon 450 is incredibly readable in the sunlight. It's even readable via headlamp. I almost never have to turn on the backlight to see the contents of the screen.

 

I have my little issues with the 450 but readability has never been one....no problem for us.

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I really don't understand this sentiment. My Oregon 450 is incredibly readable in the sunlight. It's even readable via headlamp. I almost never have to turn on the backlight to see the contents of the screen.

I didn't say it was totally unreadable just if you compare it to a non-touch screen GPS there is a noticeable difference. This isn't a sentiment, it is what I have observed many times. If you try a side-by-side test instead of stating an opinion without doing a test maybe you'll agree.

 

It's not just the touch screen layer, it's also the higher pixel density, meaning not as much of the backlight makes it past the LCD. Compared to an eTrex or a GPSMap, it's definitely not as bright.

 

Reading in sunlight is not a problem though. Reading in part shade is when I struggle to see the screen, but the fault is partly my aging eyes.

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I think you'll find that the Oregon 6xx is the best of the bunch for screen readability under any conditions.

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I can operate my Oregon 450 with one hand.

 

+1 Zero problems here using my Oregon 600 one handed.

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I can operate my Oregon 450 with one hand.

 

+1 Zero problems here using my Oregon 600 one handed.

 

I used a 600 once and it had a beautiful iPhone like screen that was far more responsive than the 450.

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I used a 600 once and it had a beautiful iPhone like screen that was far more responsive than the 450.

 

It really is nice. I ditched a Montana for my Oregon 600. It doesn't have the dull matte screen covering that the Montana does and the size difference goes without saying.

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I purchased the 64s AND the 650 in the end to test them side by side.

 

The 650 was nice and I liked it a lot...but... 15 minutes in, the dadgum thing locked up. Packed it up and sent it back to Amazon.

 

I think I am going to go with the 64s, or maybe just CacheSense on my S4.

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The 650 was nice and I liked it a lot...but... 15 minutes in, the dadgum thing locked up. Packed it up and sent it back to Amazon.

Did you update the firmware? Some people reported that the latest firmware is more stable as of a few weeks ago. Garmin seems to release decent hardware, then takes a few years to work out the bugs in their firmware. The Oregon 600 series seems to have more issues than other units from various postings here.

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I purchased the 64s AND the 650 in the end to test them side by side.

 

The 650 was nice and I liked it a lot...but... 15 minutes in, the dadgum thing locked up. Packed it up and sent it back to Amazon.

 

I think I am going to go with the 64s, or maybe just CacheSense on my S4.

 

The 650 might have needed a firmware update, but still, I think you will like the 64s -- especially here in the NW. Good choice! B)

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If this helps your decision, the Oregon 600 and 600t are on sale at gpscity.com. That makes the Oregon cheaper than the 64s, even with the topo maps.

 

Well, Garmin's price for the GPSMAP 64s and GPSMAP 64st has now dropped lower than the Oregon. My link :D

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I purchased the 64s AND the 650 in the end to test them side by side.

 

The 650 was nice and I liked it a lot...but... 15 minutes in, the dadgum thing locked up. Packed it up and sent it back to Amazon.

 

I think I am going to go with the 64s, or maybe just CacheSense on my S4.

 

So? Do you like the 64s? (I'm considering getting it.)

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I think I am going to go with the 64s, or maybe just CacheSense on my S4.

 

Why not both? I use a 64s for all the navigation duties, with CacheSense on an S3 to handle reading descriptions, logs, satellite views and logging in the field. And on occasion, backup or "second opinion" on a hard search. The two complement each other very well.

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