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#228158 - 07/21/11 08:38 PM Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead!
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
I have been debating on reviewing this due that most people may not be interested in a tough NUVI essentially, so if I have wasted your time my apologies. I had purchased a Montana 650 awhile back and have been putting it through its paces. All in all I am very happy with it, except how big it is, but due to the capabilities I will live with that. It is essentially a beefed up Nuvi/Dakota/Oregon. The screen brightness is fantastic, I finally have a bright screen that is brighter than my old Vista HCX . I have always wanted a AA Nuvi that I can run 100% off of solar with no batteries and waterproof. The GPS in this unit is blazing fast blowing away all my other Garmins and the speed of the processor is really fast. It can hold 3.5 gigs internal memory plus 32 gigs external with a total of 35.5 gigs. It has a 5 meg pix camera built in which will take pictures underwater. The pictures can be tied to the map and used as a waypoint as well. Comes with a universal plug that has adapters for most countries and a Lithium square battery if you donít want to use 3 AA batteries. If you buy the cradle with the built in speaker, it will give you voice directions like the Nuvi else you would have to use a headset. I have loaded most of the world for maps including 24K topos all accessed on the fly without switching cards however the water maps for some reason doesnít play well with the other maps and have to be put on a separate MicroSD card or stored on the card and moved with a phone or computer. All in all for a older guy like me who needs a big bright screen and very durable, I think it is a great improvement over its predecessors and I highly recommend .

Pros
1.Universal Batteries (AA) and can be ran 100% off solar with no batteries in unit
2.Capability of Street, topo and waterway maps of the entire world
3. 5 megapixel camera
4.3.5 gig hard drive with up to 64 gig capable, (32 gig tested)
5.Fast GPS chipset and processor (fastest lock on I have seen to date)
6.Very Bright Display and a large screen with easy to read letters
7.Wirelessly communicates with other Garmins
8.Has many operating modes including Nuvi, lots of flexibility of navigation functions
9.Waterproof and shock resistant
10.Headset capable

Cons
1.Size and weight, kind of feels like a brick
2.Have to use a external speaker or headset to hear voice navigating
3. No flash for camera but it does have a night mode for dark photos
4.Will not ply MP3ís yet, still seeing if I can find a way to do that
5.Waterway maps do not display right when used with other maps with the street/topo maps





_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#228159 - 07/21/11 08:39 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662



Plenty Room for storage of other Micro sd cards if needed



100% Solar no batteries



Waterproof



_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#228160 - 07/21/11 08:41 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Maps-Road/Topos/Waterway





Picture taking with GPS above water



Picture taking with GPS below water



_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#228161 - 07/21/11 08:49 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Again if I've wasted your time my apologies but I definitely have a world unit that has universal batteries and I can use to drive with as well as off the beating path and the display is so bright it makes a great back up flashlight.
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#228164 - 07/21/11 09:27 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
Thank you very much for posting the review falcon5000. Looks like a great GPS for the off road crowd.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#228166 - 07/21/11 09:53 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: 7point82]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Thank You 7point82, I am glad you liked it.
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#228167 - 07/21/11 10:22 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1331
Thanks for taking time to post the review, Falcon500. Gear reviews of all kinds are always much appreciated by many here.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#228181 - 07/21/11 11:34 PM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Nice review and great pics. Thanks for sharing. My negative for the new touch screen GPS units is you have to remove any gloves to use them. I often wear light gloves in the wilderness, Nomex flight gloves or some warmer gloves in colder weather. Removing them to touch the screen is a hassle to my way of thinking.
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#228190 - 07/22/11 12:11 AM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Great review, thank you
_________________________
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#228193 - 07/22/11 12:36 AM Re: Montana 650 Review warning heavy pictures ahead! [Re: falcon5000]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: falcon5000
I have been debating on reviewing this due that most people may not be interested in a tough NUVI essentially, so if I have wasted your time my apologies. I had purchased a Montana 650 awhile back and have been putting it through its paces. All in all I am very happy with it, except how big it is, but due to the capabilities I will live with that. .... All in all for a older guy like me who needs a big bright screen and very durable, I think it is a great improvement over its predecessors and I highly recommend .


I have a number of geocaching buddies who are salivating over this. I don't know what type of antenna it has (patch or quad-helix), I suspect it is similar to the 78 series. The larger size makes it a cross between the Nuvi/Oregon/78 series models.

I have the 62s which is the gold standard for geocachers at the moment and it's quad-helix is the best antenna in the market. The battery options and the large screen size of the Montana will make it a great auto/hand held crossover unit but at 11.2 oz it's not for the ultralights out there.

HARD DRIVE??? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure it takes SD cards.

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