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I need a new GPS reciever


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It has been a few years since I was actively geocaching but now I am ready to get back into it. Unfortunately, my Oregon 450 no longer functions and I need a replacement. I would like the replacement to have paperless caching, compass, and altimeter. I will be using it mostly for hiking and geocaching; I have a separate car GPS for driving. I might download some free maps at some point.

 

Any and all suggestions are welcome. Especially from anyone who has moved on from an Oregon. 

 

Thanks,

WildHog

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12 hours ago, RuideAlmeida said:

 

Try a smartphone and an app (or several), instead... ;)

Not great for females, as jeans pockets don't fit my phone. (Same for several brands of jeans.)  In fact the pockets on female jeans hardly fit a handkerchief :mad:. A GPS fits much easier.

(This, besides I find my GPS is easier to use.)

Edited by Goldenwattle
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For most of the last twenty years, the answer to this question has been basically the same:

Choose between a touch screen or a dpad. With that decision in mind, choose between the best Garmin in your price bracket or a ruggedized (at least case) smartphone.

In the first decision tree, it's largely personal ergonomic preference. For people in cold, gloves may influence the decision. Goldenwattle has the right idea in looking for ergonomics. Comfort matters. A device that won't fit in your hand will get dropped and all of these are too expensive to be casually dropping 20x a day.

For the second, Garmin is pretty much the only one standing in handheld geocaching GPS receivers for a long time. There is no competition in tech or price, so there's been no real motivation for them to improve on either in many years. I suspect their update schedule is driven mostly by when parts they rely on become unavailable, so they're kind of "tail-driven" on hardware.

These forums are filled with advice on phones being the best ever because you can use external battery packs and you can get live updates and you can run multiple apps that are actively maintained. Or they're the worst ever because they don't bounce off rocks very well, they're hard to see in sunlight, or you can't just pop the cover off and replace batteries. Or there's the chorus of "real" GPS being the best ever because they still use plain ole AA's that you can get at the grocery store so you can hot swap them. They're also the best because they can have a full Quad Helix  or even just a large patch antenna and the GPS receivers tend to receive more constellations than "just" the phones which have a GPS that exists mostly to direct 911 to your burning car and to direct you to your hotel for the night.

All of this is pretty much true. The models in the boxes change a little bit over time (Oregon 400 vs 500 vs 600 vs 700, or 62, 64, 65, 66 or Samsung ${INTEGER}) but the basic flowchart hasn't really had any different players in almost 15 years now, I think, when Magellan and Rand both made dying gasp entries into the market in the late 200x's.

For the third point, price is always an issue for some cases. It's no longer the case where the difference in a $150 unit and a $600 unit will paralyze you vs. jazzing you with glitter and eternal rainbows. An eTrex 10 is unnecessary self-torture. The middle range eTrex was basically the top of the line features from a few years ago, but they cripple the driving features on them. If you have to buy City Navigator for ANY of the Garmins, remember that a Nuvi/Drive "LMT" unit will include lifetime maps, be about the same price as one individual map drop, and be a WAY better driving experience. (Oh, this is an area where smart phones have a HUGE edge. Apple and Google Maps driving experience is just a beatdown...and self-updating for major features all the time.) The remainder of the decision in the $300-$700 range is touch vs. dpad and dialing in the maps and other features like cameras. 

Garmin makes the niche units like Rino and Inreach, but they're really not for geocaching, so they're off your table. GPSRchive is one of the last GPS sites still standing and a good site for news and honest lists about known defects. The market has imploded and become so boring that a lot of the GPS tech sites that were thriving early in the century (GPSPassion, GPSTracklog, Laptop/PDA world,  and several nerdier ones all are gone) Compatibility is pretty much a solved problem. I have the #1 program in that space and I don't have any questions or wishlist items for funky hardware  while I had several a week in 2004. That's all a side effect of there being only one maker and slow change these days.

If you were happy with your 450, you'd likely be thrilled with a 700 or even a used 600. They're SO much faster and that capacitive glass multitouch screen vs the resistive screen on your Oregon bring it forward into the 2010's. The UX would certainly be familiar to you. It seems like there should be an 800 "soon" becuase the 700 is five years sold (see also: unchanging market) but given their history of problems with new products, the Oregon 700 is kind of the "the devil you know" at this point.

The basic formula of "what should I buy" has been the same for a long time and it's been hashed to death in this group before.

If someone less jaded than me wants to write a definitive "what should I buy 2020" post, I'll gladly change that pinned post to point to it. Cover the above matrix and try to be somewhat balanced  between phones and dedicated hardware, and you're probably "in".

Good luck on your purchase.

Edited by robertlipe
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