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ras_oscar

which gps should I buy

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I know I know each user has different needs that serves their purpose, no one unit serves everyone.

 

But I'm special :)  I geocached for several years using the Etrex Vista HCX. The unit does far more than I ever used. Windows based home support for PQs and updating maps. GSAK and Mapsource. Eventually I burned out and took a hiatus of several years. Thinking about returning to the game, and here are my questions:

 

1.  iphone app or a dedicate hand held? if Iphone I'd want to be able to access the satellite constellation directly, not triangulate through and rely on the cell tower network. Which app?

 

2.  If separate handheld, I prefer to stay with Garmin. Want the least expensive unit that will do color, touch screen , updatable maps, 2000 caches and paperless caching for everything but entering logs ( ill do that manually at the end of the trip)

 

I have been unable to find a website that allows me to select a collection of Garmin GPS units and show a features comparison table. Am I missing something?

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The Garmin site allows comparison of models:  https://preview.tinyurl.com/uzd7odd

 

See if you can find a store where you can try various units in person.  The Etrex line tends to be small and fits in a pocket, while other models aren't as compact.

 

The iPhone "Location Services" are complicated.  Location comes from a number of sources, and it might be hard to tell when it's using GPS and when it isn't.  But i-Things that have phone capability also have GPS circuits.  They do use GPS, plus other signals when available.

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All smartphones these days can use GPS satellites without the need for cell towers. Granted, using both cell tower and satellite triangulation only helps. But you can use phones outside of cell service. Apps for iPhone include the Geocaching app (official from Groundspeak) and Cachely. Both are quite capable and will do offline caching and let you save field notes/drafts to submit later once you are online.

 

For a GPS that does touchscreen, you can look into the eTrex Touch or an older Oregon model. If you can find an Oregon 600 at a price you like, I suggest that over an Oregon 450 or 400 for a nicer screen as well as GGZ support (you can use GSAK to export in this format). The eTrex Touch has the same screen as the Oregon 600, just smaller. There are no geocache limits on the 600 or the eTrex touch.

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1 hour ago, Mineral2 said:

The eTrex Touch has the same screen as the Oregon 600, just smaller. 

 

Almost.

 

The Oregon 6x0/7x0 have a 3" screen at a resolution of 240x400 (96K pixels), which is 155 ppi.

 

The eTrex Touch have a 2.6" screen at a resolution of 160x240 (38.4K pixels), which is 110 ppi.

 

The Oregon 6x0/7x0 have 250% the screen of an eTrex Touch and offer far more capability and features to boot!

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21 hours ago, kunarion said:

The Garmin site allows comparison of models:  https://preview.tinyurl.com/uzd7odd

 

See if you can find a store where you can try various units in person.  The Etrex line tends to be small and fits in a pocket, while other models aren't as compact.

 

The iPhone "Location Services" are complicated.  Location comes from a number of sources, and it might be hard to tell when it's using GPS and when it isn't.  But i-Things that have phone capability also have GPS circuits.  They do use GPS, plus other signals when available.

Right you are. Plain as the nose on my face. Thanks for sorting me out.

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On 12/23/2019 at 9:30 AM, ras_oscar said:

Right you are. Plain as the nose on my face. Thanks for sorting me out.

 

But....  They are not quite as good at zeroing out on a cache as a dedicated unit.  I suspect that is mostly because they do not use WAAS.  I use both regularly to find caches, so this is from first hand experience.  Your search zone will be half the size normally when using a dedicated versus the iPhone.

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On 12/23/2019 at 1:37 AM, ras_oscar said:

I know I know each user has different needs that serves their purpose, no one unit serves everyone.

 

But I'm special :) I geocached for several years using the Etrex Vista HCX. The unit does far more than I ever used. Windows based home support for PQs and updating maps. GSAK and Mapsource. Eventually I burned out and took a hiatus of several years. Thinking about returning to the game, and here are my questions:

 

1.  iphone app or a dedicate hand held? if Iphone I'd want to be able to access the satellite constellation directly, not triangulate through and rely on the cell tower network. Which app?

 

2.  If separate handheld, I prefer to stay with Garmin. Want the least expensive unit that will do color, touch screen , updatable maps, 2000 caches and paperless caching for everything but entering logs ( ill do that manually at the end of the trip)

 

I have been unable to find a website that allows me to select a collection of Garmin GPS units and show a features comparison table. Am I missing something?


1. Well, it depends on your own preferences. I prefer to keep my phone for urgent calls (like 911 in case of emergency or letting my wife know where I am now) and have a separate GPS unit for tracks, though I have a lot of friends who are just hiking using their phones/tablets for navigation. In my opinion, too much can go wrong with a tablet, the OS can get unstable, the app can crash etc. With a dedicated device it's much easier to navigate, and yes, it doesn't have any bells and whistles but it works well for a  single purpose - navigation. Once again, I'm talking from my experience. As for capabilities, Mineral2 already said that the quality of phone navigation is quite decent, works offline pretty good and such. The choice is yours. 

2.As for Garmins, here are my two coins - I'm quite happy with both Oregon (slightly cheaper, about $400), and Montana (about $550). Both have touchscreen, color display, have similar battery life and support geocaching, but Montana's screen is bigger. 

Good luck choosing. 

Edited by jean_w

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Your needs are quite straightforward -- to the extent that you go with a dedicated Garmin unit, you might even want to look for a used Oregon 450, which will do all that you have requested (and a bit more).  That will set you back a lot less than any of the newer models that have features not in your list.  No ongoing support, but also no major bugs that will get in the way of geocaching activities, either.  You can score one on eBay in good condition for $75~$100 most days.

 

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On 12/25/2019 at 9:57 PM, ecanderson said:

Your needs are quite straightforward -- to the extent that you go with a dedicated Garmin unit, you might even want to look for a used Oregon 450.

 

 

I would strongly suggest not going that far back. Oregon 6x0 minimum, nothing older. The Oregon x00/x50 series are just too slow and fragile.

Edited by Atlas Cached
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13 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Your needs are quite straightforward -- to the extent that you go with a dedicated Garmin unit, you might even want to look for a used Oregon 450, which will do all that you have requested (and a bit more).

 


The 450 was great when it came out. But the improvements made when going to the capacitive touch screen are too great to ignore. On occasion when I do go back to my 450, I miss the convenience of the customized home screen layout. I miss that user customizable button. And most of all, I miss a screen that is super easy to read in just about any lighting conditions. That glass screen is more resistant to scratches (still put a protector over it) than the plastic screen on the 450. Having the geocache limit removed is nice when traveling. The whole user interface is just a lot friendlier.

When the 600 came out, I convinced myself that the 450 was still good enough. I had a workflow that worked for me. But after buying a 600, it's really hard to go back. My workflow has been simplified as a result, and I suppose it would simplify more with a 700. 

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sooooo I have been drooling over the following gps units:

 

Etrex touch 35 ( because its the least expensive unit that will download custom maps and is touch screen)

Oregon 700 (because its a slightly large form factor and will likely be easier on my eyes) Also intrigued by the option to link to wifi. (Can I enter logs in the field and upload them over wifi when I return?)

I have set aside the Montana 610X because its the largest unit, its the most expensive unit, and it does not add anything to the caching experience that I can see over the 700, aside from a larger screen.

 

I loaded up the Groundspeak caching app on my iphone and went out to find 4 caches just to see how it works. Was suprised how seamlessly it allowed me to switch between the built in map navigation, the GZ compass pointer, and logging the find. Truly paperless. Was not happy with how much data it used. Also not happy at the prospect of dropping my shiny new and not yet completely paid for iphone on a rock, in a stream, etc. Sooo, I drug out my old android phone and loaded up the app there as well. Advantage is google maps has an option to DL the nav maps to the phone and navigate offline. The android only has internet through wifi. I turned the wifi off and closed the phone screen several times. ( simulating a caching trip without wifi available) It retained the cache data for about 2 hours before  clearing all but the one cache that I had routed to. The app says a premium membership will allow me to DL maps and caches for offline use. Stay Tuned.

Edited by ras_oscar
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14 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

The app says a premium membership will allow me to DL maps and caches for offline use. Stay Tuned.

Whether using an app (official or 3rd party) or a GPS, a premium membership will allow you to do much more with your devices.

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1 hour ago, ras_oscar said:

I drug out my old android phone

 

Try Locus Map on that.  It's an approved caching app, and works brilliantly well offline, like a make-believe Garmin but with better specs.  Also, the map selection is astounding; try something OSM-based for excellent trail detail.

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The eTrex Touch 35 and Oregon 7x0 are very close in price, but not in capability. The Oregon 7x0 far surpasses the eTrex, and yes, it will upload your cache logs live via bluetooth or wi-fi should you configure it to do so. Also, the eTrex Touch still has glaring, embarrassing and obvious faults that were present in pre-production that Garmin have thus far elected to overlook. 

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11 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

 

Try Locus Map on that.  It's an approved caching app, and works brilliantly well offline, like a make-believe Garmin but with better specs.  Also, the map selection is astounding; try something OSM-based for excellent trail detail.

Understood. I was a long time contributor to OSM in my first caching career. OSM has always been my first choice for trail maps Not sure why someone would choose to pay for Garmin maps. Its unfortunate that Garmin makes it sound like theirs are the only maps available.

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41 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

Its unfortunate that Garmin makes it sound like theirs are the only maps available.

 

How So? I have never seen anything remotely suggesting that Garmin maps are the only maps available. In fact, Garmin have been including OSM mapping on many of their new models from the factory (eTrex 22x/32x, GPSMAP 64x series, etc.). 

 

Garmin even offer OSM mapping that is optimized for their GPSr directly from their website.

 

I also know from experience that Garmin software engineers work hard to maintain their GPSr compatibility with various third party maps they have no control over, which I applaud them for, as they could just simply lock out all non-Garmin maps if they wanted to.

 

41 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

Not sure why someone would choose to pay for Garmin maps.

 

Because they see the value in the additional mapping data provided, and they know the map will work with their Garmin product without fail. Garmin offers many mapping products that are not available from OSM or other third party vendors.

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So, I've purchased a premium membership, created a cache list and downloaded the list and associated map to my android phone. I can use the trail map on the android phone to compare my location to the location of the cache. However, when I select compass view I get an error message telling me the device ( android phone?) does not have a compass. Am I missing something or will I be unable to navigate to the cache via compass with this phone? I thought the compass view came from the app.

 

I have also downloaded and installed GSAK, run PQs covering my home state and uploaded them to GSAK.

 

Previously, I used mapsource to hold my OSM map tiles. However, Garmin has since moved to basecamp. Am I better off continuing to use mapsource or should I use Garmin basecamp? I like to have an offline desktop map with my PQs to plan caching trips before I get in the car.

 

Finally, while it no longer works correctly I still have my old Garmin Etrex Vista GPS with the OSM maps on a data card. Would I be able to plug the old card into a new Garmin Oregon 700 (say if I'm looking it over in the store) or will I need to adjust the maps to work with the Oregon 700?

 

 

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On 12/26/2019 at 7:58 AM, Atlas Cached said:

 

I would strongly suggest not going that far back. Oregon 6x0 minimum, nothing older. The Oregon x00/x50 series are just too slow and fragile.

Plenty fast enough for caching, even from 30,000 feet (the map keeps up!)

Fragile?  I've been beating on mine since it was first introduced and so far (knock on cache containers), it's still doing just fine.  I'd guess my last 10,000 finds were made with the Oregon 450.

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3 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Plenty fast enough for caching, even from 30,000 feet (the map keeps up!)

Fragile?  I've been beating on mine since it was first introduced and so far (knock on cache containers), it's still doing just fine.  I'd guess my last 10,000 finds were made with the Oregon 450.

 

You may be the exception to the rule.

 

Take you pick: Weak plastic screen with soft flexible membrane stretched over it (Oregon x00/x50) vs Gorilla Glass screen with capacitive multi-touch (Oregon 6x0/7x0).

 

Anyone using both side by side with identical maps and data could easily see how much slower the x00/x50 is.

 

Then, of course, the matter of geocache capacity (5000 vs Infinite), and the amount of work required before each trip to load the device (x00/x50) vs loading them wirelessly in the field where and when desired (7x0).

 

YMMV

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48 minutes ago, Atlas Cached said:

Anyone using both side by side with identical maps and data could easily see how much slower the x00/x50 is.

I have a 450 and a 600, both loaded mapwise with identical SD cards (including brand, speed, and capacity). I've noticed some lag in map drawing in the 600, and generally speaking, they can perform about equally, though I would not be surprised if the 600 does in fact have the edge on processing and draw speed.

It's the better screen, user buttons, unlimited geocaches/ggz support, and more flexible/customizable UI with regard to home screen/app drawer and trip computer screens that wins me over. As I kinda mentioned earlier in this thread, when I only had my 450, I was happy with it to the point of convincing myself that the improvements in the 600 were cosmetic - not inherent to the functionality of the GPS. It's easy to do that when you are naive to the actual user experience of the newer models. I can, right now, convince myself that the 600 is better than the 700, and that wireless loading of caches is just a toy that distracts from what is under the hood. But I'm sure that if I were to get a 700, I would stop using the 600 just as I have stopped using the 450. But in my naivety, my perception is that the leap between the 450 and 600 is greater than the 600 and 700. I definitely vouch for a 600 or 700 over purchasing a 450 as we roll into 2020. A 600 can be found at a justifiable price point, and I assume the 800 (or 700x, or whatever Garmin is going to call the next model) is on its way soon.  

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You are always best skilled at the tool you are most familiar with.  After a while you come to unbderstand any shortcomings the unit may have and you work around them

Edited by ras_oscar
phat phingers result in pr spllng

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That's true. Generally speaking, any GPS will do the basics: tell you where you are relative to your destination. You can still use an old eTrex and carry cache descriptions around on paper - there are many who still do that. Shortcomings of old units are usually about improving efficiency - ie, eliminating the need to carry multiple tools. Paperless caching and GPX support mean no more waste (and extra cost) of printing cache descriptions. Nicer screens mean less eye strain and spending less time reading your device. Faster processors mean less time to get the information on your screen. Customized user shortcuts and buttons means fewer clicks/taps to perform a function. You can decide what features you are willing to work without and which you must have. But generally speaking, making more work for yourself doesn't make you a smarter cacher. But having used older devices certainly makes you appreciate the convenience of modern ones.

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12 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

It's the better screen, user buttons, unlimited geocaches/ggz support, and more flexible/customizable UI with regard to home screen/app drawer and trip computer screens that wins me over. As I kinda mentioned earlier in this thread, when I only had my 450, I was happy with it to the point of convincing myself that the improvements in the 600 were cosmetic - not inherent to the functionality of the GPS. It's easy to do that when you are naive to the actual user experience of the newer models.

 

Absolutely true!

 

Every time I pull out an older Oregon x00/x50 for whatever reason, I am always amazed at how slow it is compared to my newer units (it was fine for it's time) and find myself thinking "Wow, I was happy with that?"

 

12 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

I can, right now, convince myself that the 600 is better than the 700, and that wireless loading of caches is just a toy that distracts from what is under the hood. But I'm sure that if I were to get a 700, I would stop using the 600 just as I have stopped using the 450.

 

OMG - Never having to do ANY prep work and always having access to CURRENT geocache data directly on the Oregon 7x0 when and where I want it is worth the price of admission alone. GCLive is the bees knees!

 

12 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

But in my naivety, my perception is that the leap between the 450 and 600 is greater than the 600 and 700. I definitely vouch for a 600 or 700 over purchasing a 450 as we roll into 2020. A 600 can be found at a justifiable price point, and I assume the 800 (or 700x, or whatever Garmin is going to call the next model) is on its way soon.  

 

Absolutely, the leap between the Oregon x00/x50 to the Oregon 6x0 was revolutionary compared to the evolutionary changes between the Oregon 6x0 and 7x0 models. With the Oregon 7x0 commonly selling for less than $300.00 USD, I feel it is by far the best bang for the buck for a geocacher.

 

Oregon 8x0? Well, I can hardly wait!

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I would note that the OP requested the following, no more.  While there are options with additional features that many like, they go far beyond the request:

 

2.  If separate handheld, I prefer to stay with Garmin. Want the least expensive unit that will do color, touch screen , updatable maps, 2000 caches and paperless caching for everything but entering logs ( ill do that manually at the end of the trip)

 

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1 hour ago, ecanderson said:

I would note that the OP requested the following, no more.

I think it's been mentioned that any touch screen Garmin will cover these minimum specifications. But, the cheapest option may be woefully out of date. Then again, maybe not as I haven't actually looked to see if it's possible to even get an Oregon 300 anymore. Even if it were available, I still wouldn't recommend it. As it stands, the eTrex Touch 25 is cheaper than a Dakota 20. But if an Oregon 600 can be found at roughly the same price point as an eTrex touch, then by far, the Oregon 600 is the recommended buy.

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2 hours ago, ecanderson said:

I would note that the OP requested the following, no more.  While there are options with additional features that many like, they go far beyond the request:

 

2.  If separate handheld, I prefer to stay with Garmin. Want the least expensive unit that will do color, touch screen , updatable maps, 2000 caches and paperless caching for everything but entering logs ( ill do that manually at the end of the trip)

 

 

I would FIRST also Note that part way through this thread, the OP stated:

 

On 12/27/2019 at 6:00 PM, ras_oscar said:

sooooo I have been drooling over the following gps units:

 

Etrex touch 35 ( because its the least expensive unit that will download custom maps and is touch screen)

Oregon 700 (because its a slightly large form factor and will likely be easier on my eyes) Also intrigued by the option to link to wifi.

 

I would then SECONDLY note that the OP eventually decided on and purchased an Oregon 7x0.

 

Fortunately, most of us offered more information than was perhaps originally requested, which did result in a better informed purchase that was outside of the original scope of interest.

 

 

 

 

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It would have better been said, "because it is the least expensive CURRENT MODEL unit that will download custom maps and is touch screen".

 

I hadn't noticed that the OP eventually landed on a 700 series Oregon.  Certainly didn't fit the original request regarding expense, but may suit future needs better.

 

@mineral2

" woefully out of date" is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  Unless one needs certain of the extra functions made available in later units (gzz with the ability to load every cache in the universe, online connectivity, etc), the x50 units with their decent touch screens and 5000 cache limit are still as suitable for caching in a 'modern' way as some of the newer units that didn't bring along all of the additional features and cost.  I guess what I'm saying is that when working on a budget, some of the newer devices don't really afford the typical user any benefit over some of the older ones that can be had very inexpensively, so they remain something to be considered. 

Edited by ecanderson

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2 hours ago, ecanderson said:

" woefully out of date" is definitely in the eye of the beholder

Yes and no. Sure, the fundamental structure of the Garmin units remains the same since the switch from the non-paperless  to paperless caching units. (or I guess I should say from the units that fully support mass storage mode and those that don't). Once can easily pick up an Oregon 200 or Colorado and still load it up with a PQ file and go geocaching. On the other hand, the hardware itself has a limited shelf life, and the plastic and rubber on those old units is going to break down much faster from a current date of purchase than something newer. And the newer body style of the Oregons seem to be made of more durable materials than that of the Oregon 200-450 series. It's not always easy to find those older units in new or decent condition, whereas the 600 can still be found unopened at the $200 or less price point. Of course, the OP decided on a 700, which will will last them quite a long time.

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FWIW I'm still seeing pictures of Etrex 10s in Found Logs like Virtuals, Earthcaches and others. I guess owners are happy with them as they do all they need to find caches. I've been using Etrex 20s for the last 8 or 9 years and really feel no need to update as it meets my needs. Had to replace a couple due to losing them.

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21 minutes ago, colleda said:

FWIW I'm still seeing pictures of Etrex 10s in Found Logs like Virtuals, Earthcaches and others. I guess owners are happy with them as they do all they need to find caches. I've been using Etrex 20s for the last 8 or 9 years and really feel no need to update as it meets my needs. Had to replace a couple due to losing them.

I used an etrex30 for years until a button broke. I replaced it with another etrex30. Very happy with it. I don't need the latest, and pay extra for it.

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As previously stated by other users here in this very thread, they never missed what they didn't know they were missing.... until they had it.....

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On 1/12/2020 at 4:57 PM, Mineral2 said:

Yes and no. Sure, the fundamental structure of the Garmin units remains the same since the switch from the non-paperless  to paperless caching units. (or I guess I should say from the units that fully support mass storage mode and those that don't). Once can easily pick up an Oregon 200 or Colorado and still load it up with a PQ file and go geocaching. On the other hand, the hardware itself has a limited shelf life, and the plastic and rubber on those old units is going to break down much faster from a current date of purchase than something newer. And the newer body style of the Oregons seem to be made of more durable materials than that of the Oregon 200-450 series. It's not always easy to find those older units in new or decent condition, whereas the 600 can still be found unopened at the $200 or less price point. Of course, the OP decided on a 700, which will will last them quite a long time.

The Oregon 200 and Colorado series would not have met the OP's basic requirements list.  Not sure how those got into the mix here.

 

I looked at the 600, and all I could see of any interest was the addition of Glonass and GZZ files.  Beyond that, from a functional standpoint, I could never find anything that was different from the older 450.  As for the $200 price, would like to know where that happens.  At best, you MIGHT find one on eBay for that (although there may also be a hidden reserve price higher than what you see for the minimum starting bid), but the rest are over $250 -- oddly, some quite a bit more for reasons that I don't understand.  The outer case of the 450 is tough stuff.  Mine has been dropped and abused quite a bit, and the case doesn't ever suffer any more than scratches from the worst of it.  Seems they did pretty well with them.  The only knock is on the rubber around the power button.  Have heard of people having issues there.  Mine is still OK.  Is the 600 different in that respect? 

Edited by ecanderson

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13 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

I looked at the 600, and all I could see of any interest was the addition of Glonass and GZZ files.  Beyond that, from a functional standpoint, I could never find anything that was different from the older 450.

 

The touch screen was greatly improved.  And the screen visibility was better (as was the 500 before that).  On my 450, I had to keep the backlight on, otherwise it got tough to see among the shadows in the forest.  That was partly due to the extra layers of "touch screen" over the viewing area.  Any of them are great in sunlight.

 

The rubber gasket that forms the button covers have been re-designed.  But that material can soak up chemicals, petrify or wear out.  It's still kind of an issue.  It depends a lot on the specific lot of rubber gaskets from the factory.  And how careful you are with it.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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3 minutes ago, kunarion said:

The touch screen was greatly improved.

Specifically, the outer screen has been changed from plastic to glass, the latter being more resilient to scratches and being more optically clear letting more light through leading to a brighter and more contrasty image. It's also a capacitive touch screen, responding to weak electric signals rather than pressure (like your phone). Pros: you can use multi-touch gestures to do things such as zooming in and out; screen is more responsive to touch making things such as scrolling menus or the map much easier. Cons: You'll need special gloves or a stylus pen in the winter if you want to keep your fingers warm; water droplets affect screen use.

I'll also note that you now have an option to turn the GPS on its side and use it in portrait mode, great if using it for vehicle or bicycle navigation. The Nuvi-like automotive dashboard makes using it for driving/road use better than the 450. 

But the one feature that completely won me over, and the reason I would never go back to the 450 or leave the Oregon series, is the user customizable buttons. Both the power button and the second user button below it can be configured with a single press, double press, and long-press function (user button only, reserved for power off on the power button) giving you instant access to 5 features, which are customized to each profile. Combine with shortcuts and it just makes for an incredibly efficient user experience.

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3 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

The Nuvi-like automotive dashboard makes using it for driving/road use better than the 450.

 

One thing cool about the 450 (and 550) was the ridge framing the screen that protected the screen from damage and scratches.  I managed to get scratches all over the screen anyway (I'm an expert at that :cute:).  Also, I discovered that the 450 does not stick to the roof of the car.  So that's when I decided to upgrade... when it flew off somewhere as I drove.  But I'm not sure Garmin fixed that problem. B)

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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11 hours ago, ecanderson said:

The outer case of the 450 is tough stuff.  Mine has been dropped and abused quite a bit, and the case doesn't ever suffer any more than scratches from the worst of it.  Seems they did pretty well with them.  The only knock is on the rubber around the power button.  Have heard of people having issues there.  Mine is still OK.  Is the 600 different in that respect? 

 

Watch both GPSrChive > Oregon 6x0 > Hardware > Torture Test videos and get back to me. The Oregon x00/x50 would not make it 15 seconds in either of those tests....

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10 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

But the one feature that completely won me over, and the reason I would never go back to the 450 or leave the Oregon series, is the user customizable buttons. Both the power button and the second user button below it can be configured with a single press, double press, and long-press function (user button only, reserved for power off on the power button) giving you instant access to 5 features, which are customized to each profile. Combine with shortcuts and it just makes for an incredibly efficient user experience.

 

Amen to that! The additional user button and custom settings are essential once you've used them.

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:54 AM, Mineral2 said:

It's also a capacitive touch screen....


... But the one feature that completely won me over, and the reason I would never go back to the 450 or leave the Oregon series, is the user customizable buttons. Both the power button and the second user button below it can be configured with a single press, double press, and long-press function (user button only, reserved for power off on the power button) giving you instant access to 5 features, which are customized to each profile. Combine with shortcuts and it just makes for an incredibly efficient user experience.

A capacitive screen doesn't appeal much for this purpose.  Agree it might be nicer if in some kind of scroll/pan mode perhaps, but I'm used to poking the screen with anything I have at hand (usually a closed pen) when it's cold.  The 'conductive fingertip gloves' don't seem to work very well for me when typing, and I would think that would make field notes harder.  As for darker ambient, a capacitive screen non-OLED screen doesn't do very well in low ambient without a backlight, either.  Yes, the resistive screen does filter a bit of light, but they did a decent job with their 'transflective' technique. 

 

Will have to think about what I would do with a programmable button.  My layout for caching is pretty straightforward since they let you set up the main screen with whichever functions you use the most, which seems to work fine.

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On 1/18/2020 at 9:37 PM, Atlas Cached said:

 

Watch both GPSrChive > Oregon 6x0 > Hardware > Torture Test videos and get back to me. The Oregon x00/x50 would not make it 15 seconds in either of those tests....

Wish I could say my 450 hasn't taken worse hits than what I saw on those flat surfaces, but the hammer on the face certainly isn't something I'd want to try!  Then again, after falling in rocks, into water, and any number of other bad things, the unit hasn't failed.  Somehow, after a lot of use over thousands of finds, I haven't done anything with it that has done anything but scuff the outside case up.  My only concession has been to add a little piece of tape over the uSD door so that it doesn't come unlatched.

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On 1/18/2020 at 11:06 AM, kunarion said:

 

One thing cool about the 450 (and 550) was the ridge framing the screen that protected the screen from damage and scratches.  I managed to get scratches all over the screen anyway (I'm an expert at that :cute:).  Also, I discovered that the 450 does not stick to the roof of the car.  So that's when I decided to upgrade... when it flew off somewhere as I drove.  But I'm not sure Garmin fixed that problem. B)

Haven't left it on the car yet, but have neglected to latch it tightly into the bike mount a few times, causing geo launches when riding fast on rough tracks.

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