- Touch Screen
- High-Speed USB
- Barometric Altimeter
- Picture Viewer
Garmin Montana 650t, US Topo
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- 4-inch LCD display
- 5 MP autofocus digital camera with automatic geo-tagging; Worldwide built-in baesmap with shaded relief, preloaded U.S. Topo
- Bright sunlight readable touchscreen color display
- 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter
- High-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver
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Top Customer Reviews
After carefully considering how to approach this review, since I know there's a lot of buyers holding off until a few user reviews came in, I decided to break it down into three areas, hardware, software, and company. You need all three to have a successful product, and after putting the Montana through its paces and contacting Garmin about a few issues, I'm able to offer my thoughts on all of them.
First, the hardware. Garmin did an excellent job designing the Montana. The screen is nice and big, and to finally put one of the most noted issues to rest, it was definitely easy to read in sunlight. The touchscreen works just about perfectly. I never felt like I had to apply too much pressure to get action, or that I pressed something that I didn't mean to (like when using the virtual keyboard). It "feels" comfortable just holding it too. For my first hike with it I didn't have a case yet, so I just threw a lanyard on it and mostly carried it in my hand the whole way up and down the trail--never bothered me. Satellite aquisition is scary fast and never had a single dropout even in dense forest.Read more ›
First thing to do when getting the Montana is download the latest software upgrade. Like some others, the compass would not calibrate until I did this. After the upgrade, calibration went fast and worked as expected. Using the MicroSD card with preloaded 24K Topo maps from my GPSMap worked flawlessly, just insert the card and the Montana read it perfectly. Downloading and uploading GPS data to Base Camp software also worked well with no problems. Everytrail.com was also able to detect the GPS and upload with no issues.
The prevailing issue with the Montana is that its simply too big for hiking. I really, really wanted to believe it wasn't but after 3 long, 20+ mile day hikes, and a 30 mile overnight, it was time to face reality. The Montana is just a bit too big to fit in standard compact camera cases, and while it did fit in my pants pockets, the weight was just too much for comfort. The unit uses 3 AA batteries or a rechargeable lithium battery. The rechargeable battery lasted a good 11 hours with about 1/4 charge left, however that's using the battery save option and only fiddling with it about 3 or 4 times (a few minutes each time) during the day.Read more ›
That said, I think the Garmin Montana is a fine device. The calibration of the 3-axis compass is smoother than it was on some other models, I love the larger and more sunlight-readable screen (still not perfect but better) and and I especially like the new layout. The overlay of the compass on the map (removable, if you like) is a bonus. The GPS is as accurate as any Garmin unit and works reasonably well under tree cover.
One minor gripe is the portrait/landscape switching. It can be disorienting if you hold it up in portrait and then hold it horizontal. It often wants to switch to landscape. I now have it set to stay in portrait, as that is the easier way to hold it, given its size.
One bug I have found is that the Cache difficulty/terrain is always listed at 1/1 when using the map/compass combo. At least most of the time.
All-in-all a fine piece of hardware. Note to users (as of 16 July 2011): the unit software is now up to 2.60. Be sure to use Garmin Webupdater and also have a reasonably full battery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Works as advertised. More features than I use but fun to try new things. Probably overbought but wanted to get as much as I could for the buck. Nice photo app.Published 10 days ago by Navy Blue1984-2014
Fantastic GPS! I use it for horseback riding and hiking. Can waypoint 'home' and create tracks so always get back to camp. Also geocache with it and it works great!!Published 1 month ago by Mark & Debbie
Memory card slot broke. Had to pay to send it back to for replacement with a "refurbished."Published 1 month ago by J. Mchann
Fantastic For use with cars and ATV's they use a lot of power when the display is kept on. Use a mount with a power cord or wire it into your system.Published 3 months ago by thomas perry
Having not seen one of these in a local store, I found this unit to be a little larger than I expected. It is a hand full. It works great and has been very useful on vacations. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Online Shopper
Replaced my old Magellan with this, and am really liking the much larger screen!Published 3 months ago by Cory
Nice product but difficult to set up. Have problems from land an lake navigations.
Some areas stated no navigational roads (Florida). Read more