Garmin Oregon 600 Review

Garmin have recently released their Oregon 6xx series of GPS. In the range are the 600, 600t, 650, and 650t. The ‘t’ models include “Full European Recreational mapping 1:100K”. The 650 units include a rechargeable NiMH battery pack (this can be purchased separately for the 600 for under £20), an 8MP geotagging camera, a torch, and a larger storage capacity. The devices are currently retailing at between £370 and £500, depending on the model and whether you add 50k OS maps to your purchase. I took a look at an Oregon 600 with 50k OS maps to see if it was a worthwhile upgrade…

First impressions

The Garmin Oregon 600t

The Garmin Oregon 600t

My first impression of the device was that the screen seemed smaller than the Oregon 450 that I’ve used. In fact the screen size is the same (3″ / 240 x 400 pixels). Whereas previous Oregons have the protective raised plastic around the edge of the screen the new version is completely flat with the glass of the screen extending to the edges. This does make the device appear to look more modern and phone-like, however means that the screen isn’t as protected around the edges and gives the illusion that the screen is smaller than it is. It also seems a bit of a waste as it’d be more desirable if the screen filled this vacant space. The glass used on the screen is however “chemically enhanced” meaning that it should be more scratch resistant and durable and therefore doesn’t need that added ridge. Check out this YouTube video where they throw it on concrete and hit it with a hammer and it still doesn’t break!!!

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NEW: Garmin Montana GPSr + Magellan eXplorists in the UK

Well, it looks like there are some exciting times ahead for us UK gadget-loving Geocachers. Today Garmin announced the new Montana unit and last week Magellan announced that they would return to the UK and launch four GPS handhelds.

Garmin Montana

The Garmin Montana

The Garmin Montana looks very exciting indeed. We have the usual features that the Oregon is packed with (Wireless, microSD card, waterproof, durable, paperless caching, etc.) but we also have a 4″ sunlight-readable touchscreen (Hooray!!!) with improvements on the display and the ability to view maps in landscape mode. It’s also packed with a 5-megapixel digital camera which allows Geotagging (Add the coordinates that a photo was taken to the photo attributes) and allows the ability to navigate to a geotagged photo. We have a massive 3.5GB of built-in storage too (Well, you need somewhere to store those 5MP photos!). It comes with a rechargable Lithium Ion battery, but also gives the option of using 3 AA batteries, for those emergencies when you frantically dash of for an FTF and the battery dies, of course! It also looks like if you buy the City Navigator maps for it, plus a mount then it will transform into an in-car sat nav. There will be three models: the 600, 650 (+ camera) and 650t (+camera, +maps).

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The future of GPSr’s?

Wowza! I think I caught a glimpse of the future of GPSr’s today when I saw the Delorme PN-60w on the Internet. It’s released in the US at the end of the month and I can’t find any UK sites yet that are promising it (There aren’t that many Delormes around in the UK anyway).

The reason I think this sounds so amazing is it promises something that I don’t think any GPSr device features at the moment… The ability to upload your logs, connect to Facebook, twitter, send text messages, etc. When I heard about this initially I thought it was a bit too good to be true, and it kind of is…

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