Is The Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS As Clever And Helpful As Walkers Have Been Led To Believe?
GPS devices can do so much more than give a basic idea of location and the display, maps and tools of the Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS suggest that it is really trying to be a top-of-the-line model for keen adventurers.
The inclusion of the 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter suggests that this is a high tech model with lots of helpful gadgets. There is certainly the sense – despite its old-fashioned looking hardware – that this Garmin could be very helpful. Are all of these features helpful to consumers or is there a clear flaw in the design?
What are the key talking points in positive reviews for this high-tech sounding Garmin GPSMAP 64st Bluetooth-enabled 8GB GPS?
A key selling point with this model is the connectivity options that are supposedly provided. Not only does the GPSMAP have a high-sensitivity GPS system, it has ANT+ Bluetooth and the ability to send and receive data. The function will enhance the experience, such as receiving notifications on your progress or even emails and sharing that data and your location with others.
For the most part, this seems to work pretty well and buyers have been confident about the accuracy and reliability of the data and connections. The potential of this connection in terms of keeping up with other users and maintaining progress is surely a desirable aspect for many buyers in more competitive areas.
While these connectivity aspects tend to dominate the specification for this particular Garmin 64st Handheld GPS, as the company target those hikers and professionals that need to be constantly in the know while out in the field, it is the quality of the map data that is crucial.
There are 100K maps pre-loaded on purchase, with a year’s free subscription to Birdseye Satellite imagery. Buyers have been impressed with the amount of detail that is shown – from the names of the roads to the differentiation in terrain and features.
Another interesting feature that widens the appeal of this product is the fact that it has 250,00 preloaded caches for avid geocachers. A dedicated GPS system is the ideal way to make this new outdoor sport paperless and the separate classification for this data in the menu makes the system pretty easy to use. It also helps that there is a 8GB internal memory to retain all this data, which is higher than some had expected.
Have buyers experienced any problems while using this Garmin GPSMAP GPS out in the wilds of the US?
One aspect of these types of portable GPS devices that often comes in for criticism is the display. Here we have a 2.6” colour display for viewing all that US topography is all its glory with the promise that it is also sunlight-readable.
For some this is a little too small but others say that it is easy enough to use. Some have found that the design of the device means that the screen is a little too prone to damage, although others have criticised the whole unit for this, suggesting that the software and connectivity is more important than the hardware.
Another element that buyers tend to have reservations about, prior to buying a GPS system, is the battery life. With this model, Garmin have provided the ability to use traditional AA batteries or a rechargeable NiMH pack and promise that it has a 16-hour battery life. The problem here is that this long life is achieved via a battery-saving mode – so the screen cannot be permanently on show – and keeping the Bluetooth enabled can be pretty draining.
Summary: how does this negative feedback affect the final verdict on this Garmin US Topography 64st Geogaching GPS?
This Garmin model is clearly not without its flaws and there are definite areas where developers can improve. Generally speaking, it seems that they are making great progress with the software – notably the quality of the maps, Bluetooth connectivity and the range of data that can be stored – but there are still issues with battery life and the screen.
The plus sides do seem to outweigh the negatives, however, and a fiddly screen is a worthwhile drawback for all the helpful data on topography and geocaching. It is the dedicated section on the latter and the potential of the wireless connections that make this Garmin GPS such an interesting tool in the right hands. It may be extreme and problematic for the casual walker but adventurers will surely see the benefits.
Find out what other people are saying about the Garmin GPSMAP 64st High-Sensitivity GPS and GLONASS Receiver on Amazon here.