Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
NOT PERFECT BUT VERY GOOD, REQUIRES A LITTLE MORE POLISH WITH REGARDS TO THE OPERATING SOFTWARE AND MENU SYSTEM
on 16 April 2014
I'm a map and compass kind of guy who learnt the basics in the army, but with the advent of technology it is impossible not to get drawn in. If truth be known I love gadgets.
I have been using this little device for a number of weeks now, trying to eke out its good points and find the shortcomings. Now that the weather has turned for the better I have been dragging out the children for a bit of intensive Geocaching and playing catch up.
I have been running it in comparison with a iPhone 5S and a Garmin eTrex 30.
Ok, the iPhone has an acceptable function as a GPS but it just does not warrant being spoken of in the same breath or being compared in accuracy so that's the last time I will mention it.
The eTrex is all buttons whereas the Oregon 600 is a touch screen. While I know my way around the eTrex the usability of the the touch screen is so much better, so much more functional and is easier to use. This is probably down to the fact that my last 6 or 7 mobile phones have been touch screens. It is what i have become used to.
The Oregon is also quite a bit bigger in the hand and feels bulkier but not too big that it becomes a burden. The menu system is generally Ok when flicking between screen or setting the device up but Garmin needs to refine this a little more and make the breakdown of the menus more intuitive.
Sometimes what you expect should be there is hidden in another sub-menu. They could learn a little from Apple or Samsung.
I have now been able to use the device in bright sunlight! The screen handles it fairly well but don't expect Retina or Super Amoled screen clarity, it is more `second generation' colour screen technology. While the screen is bright, really bright sunlight washes it out, so a bit of shade helps. If you are used to handbag sized phones this screen will feel a little small and cramped.
Much of the screen size is down to battery drain, a bigger brighter screen and you would need to carry a rucksack full of batteries with you.
It does boot up quickly and finds where it is within a reasonably quick time. The map can get blurry and grainy when you zoom in as it is like an overlaid photocopy of a paper version.
However, notwithstanding that fact, the quality of a GPS is in how accurate it is, and this is accurate, I would like to think to within maybe two meters. I have compared it to the GPS that I use when I fly and accuracy is good. It helps that it can lock on to the American GPS and Russian GLONASS.
Extras include an alarm clock and and calculator thought these have limited value to me but might just appeal to someone else. There is even an installed program for a way to walk round an area and then calculate the size of the area. Man overboard? I have sailed in my time but would it be necessary or should you be looking at a maritime dedicated device. I reserve judgement on the photo viewer.
Preloading the device with Geocache stashes is straight forward and easy when you know how either wirelessly or by cable, though for speed I tend to stick with the cable.
It is a shame that the device does not come preinstalled with a proper UK map data base, though if you have looked to purchase a full set of 1:500,000 for the UK you will know that it comes in at around £200 or more. Luckily there is an open source alternative, it has a little less polish than the OS maps but does the job and costs nothing. It might be worth looking at those that offer a discounted deal for the maps at the time of purchase.
Installation of maps can be a little confusing to the uninitiated but there are many websites that offer a guide to installation.
In conclusion, it is accurate and portable though maybe a little heavy to hang around your neck. Garmin could improve the device, a little more thought to the menu system and to make it more intuitive. A slightly larger screen but not to the detriment of battery life might be found in future generations of the device. All in all it is a very good. Accurate and with an easy learning curve. It is a huge improvement over the eTrex in usability.