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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2013
I bought the Garmin Oregon 650 for the purposes of car navigation, bicycle navigation and for walking and it does all 3 with perfect ease. The menu system is so intuitive, new and fresh yet Garmin has kept the same trusted look and feel that they have always had- if it isn't broken why fix it?? The main benefits of this system are:

- It fits nicely in your hand and yet has a weight that tells you it is a quality product- not a light, cheap plastic feel you get with modern sat-navs.
- It uses standard AA batteries and standard USB cables to power the unit- no manufacturers bespoke batteries and cables which would normally cost a fortune.
- I can download OpenStreetMap on the device and if I see problems on the map I can go straight onto the OpenStreetMap website, fix the problem (ANY map related problem) and re-download the map and have the problem fixed in minutes/hours. Many other manufacturers of sat-nav maps take over 12 months after a reported map incident to get a fix on a map- not with this Garmin and OpenStreetMap!!
- Using OpenStreetMap on the Garmin Oregon I can download national and regional walks, scenic routes, ski runs (even entire ski resorts!!) and so many other things onto the device- it's a navigators' heaven!
- I can set up different profiles to the type of navigation I want- so I can have a car navigation profile, a bicycle navigation profile, a skiing profile, a sailing profile and have each working in a different way customized to the type of navigation I actually want.
- The device is so customizable I can display any of the information I want quickly on the screen- brilliant!!
- The TFT screen is amazing and so clear! Also what is nice is that you can use the screen with gloves on....something you just cannot do with capacitive screens like on modern day cell phones- yet it looks and performs just like a capacitive touch screen.
- It is completely waterproof.
- The camera is fantastic.

The list of things you can do with this unit is just amazing and all I have to say is:'ve done a great job with this unit. You clearly understand what navigators want and you've made relevant and welcome changes compared to lower spec units and not made pointless changes for the sake of change. Amazing!
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on 20 September 2015
I have used Garmin GPS units for many years. I use them for hiking, mountaineering and ecological survey work. For many years I used the 62s until I more or less wore it out. I have also used the Montana 600. Recently, I decided to buy an Oregon 650. My main reasons for getting it were (a) it is fairly small and light; i.e. smaller than both the Montana and the 62s (b) the screen is a reasonable size (bigger than the 62s, smaller than the Montana) and is clear even in bright daylight. I've been using it for about 2 months.
If you are used to touch screen units, you will find the Oregon straight forward to use. However, you need to be aware that the touch mechanism is very sensitive in the default set up and the screen orientation flips between landscape to portrait unless you lock it into your preferred format. I recommend doing this and also using the low sensitivity option for the touch mechanism. Also, lock the dashboard or you'll find that your preferred data field(s) will disappear from the screen when the unit is bumped around, which is what tends to happen when you are out walking. One final tip - buy and fit a screen protector. This is an inexpensive yet essential way of protecting the most important part of the system, which will get scratched or cracked during everyday use if you don't protect it.
Like other Garmins the Oregon comes with a clip and karabiner which fits on the back of the unit and allows you to attach the GPS to a rucksack. This is both simple and invaluable - why don't other GPS manufacturers do this?
The Oregon 650 has a built in camera, but in my opinion it isn't as good as the cameras you get on most mobile phones these days. The Oregon 600 is cheaper, does everything the 650 does but doesn't have a camera.
The 1:50k OS map that comes with some Oregon 650 packages is OK but the map function is limited somewhat by the relatively small screen. I've not used a Satmap Active 12 system, but the screen on that system is bigger and the map looks a bit better. However, the Satmap is a larger and heavier unit and does not attach so conveniently to a rucksack. If you are hiking or doing a survey this does make a difference, especially if you have to carry other kit around with you as well.
I'm not a great fan of touch screens on GPS units, I prefer buttons. But, I concede that touch screens allow you to navigate around the options very quickly, as long as you tame the screen.
Overall the Oregon is a nice GPS unit and is the optimum size for hiking. If weight and size is important to you, I recommend the Oregon. I hope to get many years of use out of it. But, it could be better. The perfect handheld GPS lies somewhere between the Oregon and the Satmap.
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on 19 November 2014
When I first received this as a Christmas present I played with it but found very difficult to use. So much so that I put in in a drawer and forgot all about it for several months. I then went on a trek through the Romanian wilderness and took it along in case of emergency. Whilst out there we did get lost following a map and out of desperation switched on the Garmin. I couldn't believe it - the Garmin came alive and immediately found our location plus gave us the route to our destination. It located the path we should have been following which we had been walking around trying to find for hours in a matter of minutes. After that we used on the entire trip and gave you a great sense of security.
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on 2 September 2014
Cant fault this unit. Nice and clear, easy to read and use. Garmin or other paid for maps are stupidly expensive though. Look for openstreetmaps on line. They can build you whatever map set you want and in a few days you can download it to your micro sd card and away you go.
Heres a tip to get openstreetmaps to work on your device, it had me foxed for a while. When you transfer the downloaded file to your sd card ( gmapsupp.img) make sure you create a Garmin folder on your sd card first and put the file there, or it won't work.
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on 3 November 2014
This GPSr was bought to replace my Oregon 450 which had given up the ghost after only 4 years hard labour. There is a lot of functionality in the 650 which I recognised from the earlier 450 and so my transition to the new model hasn't been difficult. There are several detailed reviews of the 650 on the net and so I'll confine my comments to my impressions rather than attempting to address each feature.

The main advance I have found is in the user interface which is far more up to date - it's not to iPhone standards but is a significant improvement on the previous model. I've had hours of fun configuring the unit to how I wanted it and finding out how all the features work.

I've now been out on my first geocaching outing with the new unit and it performed well, very much as I expected it to do. I like the ability to have a portrait or landscape display but I found the automatic changing between the two didn't suit me because it happened too often as I walked along - easy answer though, facilitated by the ability to program shortcuts: I've made the transition controlled by screen keys.

My reason for 4 rather than 5 stars is a bit of disappointment at the slowness of OS map updates on the screen and a (known) firmware snag that froze the screen when trying to view (or take) photos - having said that I am pretty satisfied with my 650 and I reckon we'll rub along together OK for a few years.
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on 10 May 2016
I bought this for use in my Geocaching hobby when I wanted to take it one step further from my mobile phone apps. The only thing I do miss though is the wifi connect-ability that you take for granted with mobile phones. The apps will download caches on the fly whereas with the oregon you have to plan caches in advance then, when you finish your session of caching, upload the logs etc. I now find that I do my logs on the phone for this reason and just use the oregon for the actual navigation part which it does very well.
I like the fact that the Oregon will last pretty much the whole day rather than 3 hours or so that my phone would last under the same circumstances. It's also waterproof for those less than sunny adventures when you are caught outside in a downpour, or having to cross streams (as I had to not too long ago).
Taking that into account along with all of it's other function was all in all a good purchase though on the fly downloading would have made it perfect.
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on 29 July 2014
Have been using (mainly for geocaching) my new Oregon for a couple of weeks. What a great product!!!

I previously used a Garmin Oregon 550 - the 650 is a major improvement, particularly in speed in locating position, screen clarity and menu options. For geocaching it is really good - the ease of editing information on the go and the ability to store unlimited geocaches being really useful features. The touch screen is also an improvement with controls over the screen sensitivity being useful.

The only real negative that I have is that the screen locks occasionally. Garmin seem to be aware of this as they tell you how to fix it in the instructions. Perhaps a software update in the future might fix this.

All in all a great product made better by spending time setting it up for your own requirements.
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on 15 April 2016
used this a few times when out and about . the instructions don't explain the use very well and I went to youtube to learn how it could be best used.
the photos aren't the greatest but ok if its really cold and you don't want to take a phone out or camera
the gps is very accurate and I've not experienced any problems to date it allows you to load up routes and plan routes
I would recommend you learn how to use this before going out and about somewhere that you would rely on it as its straight forward but needs a bit of use to find your way round the device and its apps
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on 29 September 2015
Bought this to upgrade from an etrex 30, mainly because of the larger screen and 8mp built in camera. First impressions are very pleasing, ordnance survey maps on sd card works very well. All previous walks, routes and saved points transferred with no problems from desktop. Haven't walked with it yet but will update review when I have, don't see any problems so far.
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on 17 May 2014
I bought this new GPS for my wife specifically for geocaching. First impressions were good, nice design, size just right for my wifes smaller hand and the interface was good similar to my own Montana. You can load pretty well any number of caches in compressed gpz format. So all good so far. Unfortunately, in operation it was a different story even with a small number of caches loaded it took a long long time to find satellite's and be ready to use. Also when looking for caches the accuracy left a lot to be desired my Montana showing to be on one side of a duel carriageway and the 650 showing it on the other side about 40ft away. I have used GPS for many years for walking and caching and know how to change settings etc and satellite inaccuracies but could not get this machine do be useful. Therefore returned to Amazon. Disappointed.
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