• GPSMap 64 review - Garmin introduces the GPSMap 64 series - compared to the GPSMap62

    Garmin are introducing a new model, the GPSMap 64 series, which is a clear indication that the GPSMap 62 series are no longer a current model. So what makes the GPSMap 64 different from the GPSMap 62?

    Well, the first one I believe is the most important, is the fact that the GPSMap 64 base model includes microSD card slot, something that Garmin had deliberately and contentiously removed from the base model of the 62 series. Garmin have decided to include 12 months free subscription of Birdseye Satellite Imagery. As for additional Topo maps, in USA they get the Topo U.S 24K maps, however, don't hold your breath for Australia, it won't happen. My view is, they won't as Garmin have practically supplied US devices with the TOPO US 24K way back when the eTrex SummitHC existed some 8 years ago but never offered a map in Australia. They could include OSM (Open Street Map) or like Magellan have done, a useable basemap with lots of tracks, but they won't, especially as the only logical move to include 12 months of Birdseye is because there isn't a big enough take up of the maps. Personally, with a "boasted" 2.6" screen, Birdseye is not my preference, Garmin Australia Topo would be; excluding third party maps such as OZtopo of course.

    Then again they wouldn't be able to sell the 64ST. As a word of advice, anyone wanting the best Street and Topo maps for their Garmin including for the new GPSMap 64 series, buy OZtopo, I flatly refuse to encourage anyone to buy Garmin land maps.

    Software:
    Going on the same theme as the new Garmin Monterra, the 64 series includes what could be really the Monterra guts because of the features and functions that both models are promoting, as the best thing since sliced bread, phone connectivity, GPS & Glonass satellite reception, ANT+, Garmin Connect and AA battery compatible plus optional rechargeable battery pack capable. The only thing that stops me from thinking the 64 series has an Android OS is that the Monterra doesn't have NMEA0183 capability whilst the 64 series does. As yet I am not sure if any of the current series work with DNR Garmin.

    The pricing is okay, same as the 62 series, which again indicates a decision to encourage people to buy the 64 series immediately.

    Hardware:
    The cost with the new unit is battery hours dropping from 20 hours to 16 hours, but you get in return from 1.7GB to 4GB onboard memory and microSD slot for the plain vanilla GPSMap 64, from 2K waypoints in the 62 series to 5K in waypoints for the GPSMap 64.

    NOTE: By the way if you need NMEA0183 from your GPS then you are fine with the traditional GPS including the 64 series but not from the Monterra.


    Pros:
    Returned the microSD card for the base model
    Retained the great 60 series hardware tradition
    Added features that may get used - in other words, are useful additions
    Birdseye 12 months subscription

    Cons:
    Overpriced like they always have been.
    Small screen, would like to see a 3" version.
    Crap basemap
    Australia Topo map update for the ST version a rip off

    Score 8/10


    I have done a compare of the mapping base models excluding the eTrex just to show the key differences. Click Here to view the comparison.




    Garmin's blurb


    The GPSMAP 64 series brings a dual GPS and GLONASS receiver, preloaded geocaches and smartphone connectivity for LiveTrack and Smart Notification to a product line already popular with hunters, hikers and geocachers of all ages. “Building on the popularity of the GPSMAP series, the new GPSMAP 64 series improves functionality to make a top-notch device even better, said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “The GPSMAP 64 is ideal for anyone, no matter if it’s their first handheld, or if they’ve used Garmin for years. It combines trusted Garmin technology with the comfort of a device people know and love.”
    The GPSMAP 64 series boasts a 2.6-inch sunlight-readable transflective color display and a high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver with a quad helix antenna for superior reception. With the addition of GLONASS satellites, the time it takes for the receiver to “lock on” to a position is (on average) approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS alone. This allows users to get their position quickly and precisely even in heavy cover and deep canyon.
    The GPSMAP 64 series features three distinct water-resistant (IPX7) models to suit various activities and interests. The basic GPSMAP 64 includes a built-in worldwide basemap with shaded relief, and supports BirdsEye Satellite imagery and TOPO U.S. 24K maps. The GPSMAP 64s adds a 3-axis electronic compass and barometric altimeter. Additionally, the 64s adds wireless connectivity for data transfer between other compatible Garmin handhelds and mobile apps, and for Smart Notification technology. With this, users can receive emails, texts and alerts right on the device (when paired with an iPhone 4S and later). This allows users’ smartphones to be safely protected from the elements. The 64s also comes with a one-year subscription of BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. In addition to these key features, the GPSMAP 64st includes preloaded US 100K topographic maps. With this, users will be able to search for points of interest by name or proximity to their location and view descriptive details for terrain contours, topo elevations, summits and geographical points.
    The rugged GPSMAP 64 series is the perfect companion for the outdoor adventurer. Devices are compatible with BaseCamp, a free software download that allows users to view and organize maps, waypoints, routes and tracks. Additionally, the 64s and 64st models are compatible with the BaseCamp mobile app for data transfer, and the Garmin Connect mobile app, for features such as LiveTrack. With LiveTrack, users can pair their device with the app, and invite friends and family to follow their activity in real time. This provides peace of mind, especially if users are alone. Through ANT+, the 64s and 64st models are also compatible with external sensors such as tempe, the external temperature sensor and the premium heart rate monitor. Additionally with ANT+, the 64s and 64st models can act as a remote for the new VIRB™ and VIRB Elite action cameras.
    The GPSMAP 64 series makes paperless geocaching easier than ever. Each device comes preloaded with the locations of 250,000 geocaches from Geocaching.com. Devices store and display key information to find the cleverly hidden containers including the geocache coordinates, terrain rating, its difficulty, hints and descriptions, so users no longer have to manually enter coordinates or print out geocache info. By going paperless, users are helping the environment, and improving their efficiency. If users would like to continue geocaching beyond the preloaded geocaches, when they register their device they can sign up for the free premium membership trial through Geocaching.com, and download even more geocaches. In addition to the preloaded geocaches, the GPSMAP 64 devices can store millions more, so users will no longer have to pick and choose which geocaches they want to load on their device.
    All of the devices in the GPSMAP 64 series have a unique dual-battery system, where both standard AA batteries and a rechargeable NiMH battery pack (sold separately) can be used. Plus, all of the GPSMAP 64 devices have internal memory (4GB for 64/64s and 8GB for 64st), and a microSD card slot to store additional data and maps.
    This article was originally published in blog: GPSMap 64 review - Garmin introduces the GPSMap 64 series - compared to the GPSMap62 started by Nicko