135 of 148 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator (Electronics)
The Etrex 20 is a nice step up from the Legend H. Satellite reception is very sensitive. I compared the Etrex 20 head to head with the Magellan GC...The Etrex 20 locked on to 18 satellites under a sky with no obstacles vs. the 5 locked on by the Magellan GC. The Etrex was showing an accuracy of 7 feet (Glonass satellite constellation added to U.S. + WAAS and European satellites allows for this type of accuracy) while the Magellan GC was showing 56 feet. Inside a building next to a window, the Etrex 20 found 14 satellites. The Magellan GC was unable to find any satellites.
The aquisition of satellites is quite fast. From a cold start out of the box, the Etrex 20 found my location in about 30 seconds. Once the unit has found it's location, subsequent aquisition times (given that one hasn't traveled several hundred miles since last turning it on) is almost immediate.
Garmin tech on the phone helped me put my identification on the start up screen.
The unit allows for one to choose the order that screens come up... I liked the Legend H's progression of boot up screen into satellite screen into map screen...I have set my unit to power up on the satellite screen, and then when I am satisfied with the satellites that have been found, pressing the back button puts me into the map screen. Pushing back again gets me into the menu screen.
The basemap is worldwide in scope for major highways (the Legend covered North and South America as far as major highways are concerned. The rest of the world consisted of primitive outlines of countries, no highways, only capital cities), and the coverage of towns and cities around the world is impressive. I looked for the little city of Turfan in the Gobi Desert of northwest China on the old silk route and found it! The world basemap actually shows more towns when on the 5 or 3 mile scale than my New York Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World in the U.S. and around the world (even more towns than the NYT Atlas in Mali!). If a dot is not labeled, you can move the arrow to the dot, and the display will identify the town (highways can similarly be identified). One can seach for worldwide cities by direct spelling...the Etrex usually comes up with the intended choice before one spells out all of the letters of the name. When the town is found, the user is free to examine the map for the found town's setting. This is neat for looking up a town that comes up in conversation or on the news! The Magellan has street level coverage within the U.S. The Etrex 20 does not include this. That said, downloading and SD cards with street level mapping inside and beyond the U.S. is available from Garmin as well as topographical maps. The Magellan GC does not have downloading or SD's available.
The color screen is actually quite readable without use of backlighting when in a lit environment (backlight can be lowered to none if one wishes to make the batteries last 25 hours). The color screen shows the physical relief of a region at the 3 mile scale and above (white background for 2 miles or less). I like the daytime screen much better than the nighttime screen. I went into settings and made the daytime screen the default screen at all times.
I found that I could go to the trip computer option, and change one of the fields to display battery condition. I have made this a page now...unit now powers onto the satellite page, pressing "back" takes me to map, pressing back takes me to trip computer, and pressing back again gets me to the main menu. Great stuff!
I'm thrilled with this unit.
Updated by internet to version 2.4
Got the North America Roadmap...it has every road in the U.S and Canada, and most in Mexico. The unit allows one to search for an address anywhere in the continent...it will prompt for state (or province), city, house (business) number, and finally street. The unit often comes up with a list of choices before entire entry is fully typed in. You can then see a map of the selected address (and zoom in and out and pan), and if desired, ask it to navigate to the spot. If you wish to search for places of interest such as restaurants in a city far away, go to settings,system, then select the satellite listing and place the unit in demo and exit out . Then select "Where to", find "city", and select move to city. Now you can search for places of interest in the chosen city, and if desired, navigate to it. Remember to go back and activate the satellites, and WAAS. When on a scale of 300' or less, the unit displays points of interest, often with business logos! (update Dec 4...this works on the recreational profile. On the automotive profile, one cannot move location to the city of interest. In the automotive profile, the emphasis is on navigating to the city of interest)
I have no interest in geocaches, and cannot comment on how the unit does with this!
At or above the 20 mile zoom, especially 30 miles and up, the topographical detail shown on the physical relief map is quite vivid. Below that zoom level (12 miles or less...and at the higher 20+ mile zooms when there is little in the way of relief to display), I prefer the blank white background allowing for the roadway networks to be highly visible. I just realized that the settings/map menu choice offers the option to not display physical relief at any zoom scale! Until now, I was disappointed to have the blank background only at the 2 mile zoom or less. Nice! I do wish that the option to display highest density of towns/data allowed for even more towns to be displayed in rural areas where towns are far apart.
Tech support helped solve the density of towns shown not being as full as I expected when unit is set to display "most" (as in most towns that the unit will display). I was operating the unit in the recreational profile. On the automotive profile, the map will show all of the towns in the data base on the map on the 3 mile scale choice (or dots that the curser can be moved over to call up an id if the map is too crowded), and a good many towns at the 5 mile scale.
Version 2.80 made a huge difference on the response of the unit when traveling at a walking speed. I would imagine that folks that use this for geocaching will find this latest version a great improvement. Previously, (even after allowing the unit to get a solid lock on all available satellites with an estimated 1 standard deviation radius of 9' or less) when navigating the last several dozen feet to a target, the unit would lag behind. I might walk 10-15 feet before it would impact the remaining distance/bearing to the target. The lag would also result in overshooting the target. The new upgrade makes the unit respond almost instantly and smoothly, and allows me to "softly land" upon the target down to the last foot! I also notice now that after the unit has locked in on the available satellites with most reception bars showing "d" as in good lock, the etrex will discern the elevation difference between being held at eye level vs. being placed at groud level, and then back to eye level. Outstanding!
Tracked by 2 customers
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2012 5:47:30 PM PST
I am new to this sort of gps stuff. Does this gps good for walking around town/city like rome or paris or europe?
I like the look of this & don't want to have to carry the traditional bigger gps like for cars.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 7:17:28 PM PDT
This would work if you get purchase a Europe map on an sd card to insert under the battery compartment. Garmin and various amazon dealers sell the maps. The Etrex 20 comes with the major highways of the world, but does not offer city street level details. The maps on sd's take care of that.
Sorry that I didn't check to see if any questions had been posted :)
Posted on Jan 24, 2014 6:18:30 AM PST
Jamie Hord says:
Does it plug in to change or do I need to replace the batteries.
If it runs off batteries is it just standard batteries where I can use rechargeable batteries?
‹ Previous 1 Next ›