Jump to content

Have 2 days to send eTrex30x back what else can I get to replace Magellan 210


Recommended Posts

I recently purchased a Garmin eTrex30x to replace my Magellan 210 which I could no longer send any files to.

I find the Garmin screen impossible to see in even the brightest sunlight and, when I contacted Garmin, they told me to keep the back light on all the time which leaves me maybe 3 hours of battery life.

With my old gps, I was able to see the screen unless I was in the car in a dark garage!

Either this device is malfunctioning or it has a very bizarre and ridiculous screen design.

I thought the compass on this unit would be nice but I cant' see the screen to use it! My $22 plastic compass is better for navigating :(

What other handheld can I look at that has a readable screen for geocaching??? 5ad4d2da9f1eb_BadScreenSmaller.thumb.jpg.971e42349dd4e3c798a33a470ebf4bd7.jpg

Link to comment

I think you're doing something wrong. Garmin screens on the latest devices are very bright and readable, even in the shade, but especially in direct sunlight because there is a reflective layer behind the pixels that shines the light back. It works best when the light source is behind you and shining directly onto the screen. 

By the way, your image isn't a fair comparison as both your phone and the nuvi are obligately backlit screens, and your eTrex 30x doesn't appear to have its backlight turned on, and this is taken indoors.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment

As MIneral2 mentioned, it looks like your backlight is off in the photo.  I have my backlight set to 1/2 (on the horizontal scale) and it is as bright as the screen on my Samsung Galaxy S7 (at 75% brightness).  The only time I'd need the backlight to stay on is if I was using the eTrex while driving, but then I just use my phone that can give me driving directions.  I have my backlight timer set to 30 seconds and have found that sufficient.  It's easy enough to just tap the joystick to get the light to come on while heading to a cache.    Setup -> Display -> Backlight Timeout

I've never had my backlight set to "Stays on", so not sure if 3 hours of battery life is reasonable, but you may want to check your battery settings in the device to ensure they are set to the type of battery you're using.  For example, I use eneloop and have my eTrex setting on "Rechargeable NiMH". Other options are "Alkaline" or "Lithium".  Setup -> System -> Battery Type

Link to comment

Yes, I agree, that is very confusing.  Garmin handhelds have the best screens I've ever used for direct sunlight.  The backlight is only needed when it is dark.


Your comparison shot is showing two devices with their backlights on.  I'm not sure the point of that comparison.

Link to comment

Have you tried adjusting the screen brightness using the on/off button? Give it a quick press then use the toggle to adjust brightness to your liking or just press the on/off a couple of times and it will cycle from 0 to 50% to 100% brightness. I can cache all day on 100%. You can also adjust the time your screen stays lit up.

Link to comment

I also had an explorist 210 and my etrex 20x (same screen as your 30x) is miles better.

In the picture you posted it looks like:

  1. it's indoors
  2. the backlight is off on the GPSr
  3. The GPSr is laid down at an angle, the nuvi / phone are propped up.

Here is an indoor picture with the backlight on 100% on both devices


In outdoor conditions, I can say that the GPSr is very readable as long as the sun is in my back (shining onto the GPSr screen).

Here's a sunlight picture with backlight off 


If your GPSr doesn't perform like this, i'd say something is wrong.

Edited by stefanwilkens
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
17 minutes ago, alandb said:

Based on my Oregon 550, I have found the worst conditions for screen visibility are bright overcast days.

It's worth noting that the eTrex 30x has a newer and brighter screen than the Oregon 450/550. It's more in line with the Oregon 600 and gpsMap series.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...