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Road and Offroad Replacement for 276c

This discussion was created from comments split from: Garmin introduces two Android based devices.

Comments

  • werewolf 107 Points
    ""Could we please just move on"?

    OK. You're right, this is off topic. I'll just slip in a question for Tim, OK?

    Tim - So you're the expert. Could you recommend a gps that i could replace my 276C with, something that will work in a vehicle on the road (mainly) and off the road (sometimes)? Do you know if the 2797 7" can do everything my 276 could do? And, yes, I know it has a lot of nice new features.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Have you considered the Monterra? No... the 2797 won't do everything your 276c could. Likewise there are things the Monterra can do that your 276c couldn't. But it really depends how you will be using it "off-road". That could mean many different things.
  • popej 57 Points
    There is a gossip, that Garmin has already canceled lifetime subscriptions for Monterra ;)
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=325006

    Probably better choice would be Montana and a car mount. Or maybe a zumo.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I think the Montana would be the best choice, it had a lot of bugs when it was new, but has had time to mature. Very happy with mine. You would have to purchase City Navigator separately along with the vehicle mount, so it isn't cheap. If you want lifetime maps, you need to buy City Navigator on DVD, then purchase a lifetime subscription separately.

    The Montana will give you voice guidance if you use the Garmin Auto mount (that includes a speaker). It will also show speed limits and lane assist. But it doesn't support junction view.

    The Nuvi is not very good off road….

    * No track manager. The Nuvi can only record/show the current active track. You can't save tracks and can't load tracks from a computer.

    * Waypoints are really messed up on the newer Nuvis. Any symbols you have assigned are ignored when you send them to the device and replaced by ugly blue flags. Waypoint names are not shown. Random POI's from City Navigator are mixed in with your waypoints. My newer devices won't show waypoints at all if you aren't using the City Navigator map.

    * No control over what map features are shown. Small roads vanish when you zoom out farther than .5 miles.

    * Topo maps look very ugly, countour lines are fatter than roads, some features aren't shown at all. Shaded terrain (from Garmin 24k maps) cannot be disabled and is very dark, making it hard to see the roads.

    * The nuvi no longer uses classic routes. They have been replaced with "trips" which are a very different thing.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    popej said:

    There is a gossip, that Garmin has already canceled lifetime subscriptions for Monterra ;)
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=325006

    I don't understand that thread. You can't get a lifetime subscription "for the Monterra" because it doesn't have City Navigator pre-loaded. You would have to purchase the DVD version of City Navigator and then purchase lifetime updates for the DVD. How could they cancel updates if you owned the DVD?
  • werewolf 107 Points
    Thanks for splitting off this topic.

    Boyd, you use the Montana in the NJ Pine Barrens, so you know all about the kind of off road use that I'm interested in, though I rarely get back to those wondrous woods nowadays. Yes, expensive, like the 276 was, and you needed to purchase the necessary accessories separately for the 276 too. Why do they do that? because the market for them is much smaller than for their road units I guess.

    I would like a bigger screen than my 276, and one just as sharp. The Montana's screen is a little smaller than the 276 I think, and I believe it lacks a lot of the latest on road features that the new Nuvis have.

    One idea is buying the Garmin 7" Nuvi for on road and keeping my 276 for off road and occasional out of vehicle use. I'm still hoping that enough 276 owners complain and Garmin starts updating the maps again, and I don't think they had any right to stop because I don't think there's any technical reason why the 276 can't be updated. Maybe there's a 276 devotee who's also a lawyer. But even if they do I'll need a new one eventually because the buttons are already becoming just slightly creaky, as they did on my first 276.

    "There is a gossip, that Garmin has already canceled lifetime subscriptions for Monterra"


    Oh, has Garmin declared the "lifetime" of that one up already too? No, Tim, the Monterra never did sound appealing to me.

    So I'll just wait a little bit and see if Garmin does the right thing, and also they should be due for some new models pretty soon. The 2015.10 I have now will be good for a while, and I guess the buttons will too.

  • werewolf 107 Points
    Boyd said:

    popej said:

    There is a gossip, that Garmin has already canceled lifetime subscriptions for Monterra ;)
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=325006

    I don't understand that thread. You can't get a lifetime subscription "for the Monterra" because it doesn't have City Navigator pre-loaded. You would have to purchase the DVD version of City Navigator and then purchase lifetime updates for the DVD. How could they cancel updates if you owned the DVD?

    What about me and my 276 then? I didn't get a lifetime subscription with the 276, but I purchased the DVD and then the so-called lifetime updates.

  • popej 57 Points
    Boyd said:

    How could they cancel updates if you owned the DVD?

    Probably there is general problem with any update for Monterra, see:
    https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?99076-Monterra-issue&p=338376#post338376
  • truckinguy 115 Points
    I owned a 276C for a long time. I also own a 2797 and Dezl and some others. The Montana is my choice now it is an amazing unit. Wish I had this years ago. None of the other Gps's will do what it does for outdoors hiking,atv,etc. At this point I am not interested in the features of the Monterra now. Like I've said before I will never go back to the 276C. The Montana has a Nuvi mode as well.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    edited August 2014
    popej said:

    Probably there is general problem with any update for Monterra, see:
    https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?99076-Monterra-issue&p=338376#post338376

    Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. But at least they are refunding the purchase price.
    _______

    "...he was told by Garmin Support that the support of lifetime products for the Monterra has been terminated and that he would get a refund for the lifetime subscription…"
  • werewolf 107 Points

    I owned a 276C for a long time. I also own a 2797 and Dezl and some others. The Montana is my choice now it is an amazing unit. Wish I had this years ago. None of the other Gps's will do what it does for outdoors hiking,atv,etc. At this point I am not interested in the features of the Monterra now. Like I've said before I will never go back to the 276C. The Montana has a Nuvi mode as well.


    Do you use the Montana in a vehicle? How does the screen compare with the 276 in clarity? Do you need to keep the backlight on in order to see the screen in daylight as you do on the 276 (you didn't on the black and white 176)? Isn't the Montana screen a little smaller that the 276? I'd much rather have one that is bigger. And the "Nuvi mode" - does that do everything, or almost everything, that the new Nuvi road machines do - voice directions etc.?

  • Boyd 1985 Points
    "Nuvi Mode" is a misnomer. It isn't a "mode", it's just a "dashboard". It makes the screen look like a Nuvi, but that's all it does. Everything else is still "Montana" - the menus and functions are completely different from the Nuvi.

    Montana specs are here, you can compare these to the screen on your 276: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-trail/handhelds/montana-600/prod75226.html
    ___

    Display size, WxH 2"W x 3.5"H (5.06 x 8.93 cm); 4" diag (10.2 cm)
    ___

    The screen is beautiful. It is transreflective and looks good in the sun with no backlight. But you will want to use the backlight in a vehicle with external power. The backlight is very strong - unlike the Oregon 4xx series that had a wimpy backlight.

    The Montana doesn't have junction view and cannot use traffic receivers or smartphone link. The newest Nuvi's have some additional features like real directions, trafficTrends, etc. that are not supported on the montana.

    Really, you should go somewhere and play around with one. It is very different from the Nuvi, but it still provides vehicle navigation that is comparable to the Nuvi's from a few years ago.


  • werewolf 107 Points
    Thanks, Boyd. The 276C screen is 3 1/8 wide by 2 1/4 high (3 7/8 diagonal), so the Montana's is very slightly larger. Junction view sounds like something I can live without. I don't want a smartphone link (I have a stoopid phone), and I don't need traffic receiver...how accurate and up to date are they these days anyway?) Does it have Lane Assist? I see that my local REI has the 650t model in stock. I believe I'll go down there and ogle it a bit, but I don't suppose it will be activated, but if I buy it at REI I guess I could try it out and return it if I don't like it.
  • werewolf 107 Points
    edited August 2014
    I took a look at the Montana 650T at the REI today. $600 - 10% REI dividend at the end of the year. Couldn't tell much about it by just looking. The salesman walked me outside to show me how the screen looked in bright sunlight, and the matte screen did look like it would be more visible than the 276C, tho with the backlight on, the 276 is good.

    Then I looked up reviews for the device on Amazon. A distressingly large amount of 1 star reviews - over 33% of the 5 stars - and recent ones too, not just the early models, which could have been accounted for by the early software glitches. And the second most recent review was especially relevant. Here it is:

    2.0 out of 5 stars Nice Display but Too Many Errors !!!, July 29, 2014
    By
    Daniel Nye - See all my reviews

    This review is from: Garmin Montana 600 Waterproof Hiking GPS (Electronics)
    I sold my old and trusty 276C for this piece and sure wish I hadn't. Purchased the unit Sept. 2013 and shortly there after starting having an issue with the battery that said use only garmin supported battery. It was very annoying would pop up all the time so I could not see the map. Then yesterday was using it on my moto and it got really hot for some reason, open it up to find 3 of the 4 battery prongs are missing, dont know what happened it was on a 5 amp fused circuit.

    Also when you transfer tracks from Base Camp or Mapsource that are in alpha. order they transfer to the device and show up in random order...why ???

    Garmin wants $160 for a refurb. one...am I getting jammed here ???

    Dan


    http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Montana-Waterproof-Hiking-Megapixel/product-reviews/B0050SNCPC/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
  • truckinguy 115 Points
    like I said above. I would get a Nuvi any Nuvi if money is an object. And get the Montana for off road use.I used the 276C for many thousands of miles snow machineing up north and the Montana has a much better daytime display as well as every other aspect of usage. I use it for hiking as well. I used many handhelds with the GPSMap 72c which I liked as well.
    Yes you can't realize just seeing it for a few minutes. By one from a store that will refund your money like Cabelas and check it out. You couldn't give me a 276C after using the Montana now for 2 seasons of rugged White Mountain hiking and snowmobileing around 4 k miles.
  • deserteagle56 87 Points
    edited August 2014
    Another vote for the Montana. I've had one since shortly after they first came out and after learning all the things it could do, and how easy it was to use, the 3 other GPS units I had went in the drawer and have been collecting dust. I'm sure there are people who have had trouble with theirs, as with any other electronic device. Mine has been absolutely trouble free - and I use it extensively on my dirt bike and quad where it really gets a beating, as well as in my Jeep, pickup and RV. It stays in the Rugged Mount so it runs off 12 volts and the screen stays bright, clear and highly visible no matter how bright the sun.
    You can choose any number of data fields to have on the display - or none at all. Super customizable!
    I'd post a picture but can't seem to get it to work!
  • werewolf 107 Points

    Does the Montana require special Garmin AA batteries, like the Amazon reviewer said? When the REI salesman was showing it to me the battery went dead - maybe not such a good sign considering that some of the reviews I read said that the battery life was poor - and he put in some odd looking AA's, but I didn't ask about that. I was just thinking that is a good thing that it takes AA's, for out of vehicle use. The 276 does not, though the 176 did (another pro for that older model I forgot to mention).

    Anyway, I'm leaning towards getting a Nuvi and keeping the 276 for off road if the Nuvi doesn't work out for that, and for a backup. I'm thinking of the 7" 2797. If I ever decide I want one for out of vehicle use, then I might consider the Montana, because neither the Nuvis nor the 276 is good for that.
  • truckinguy 115 Points
    edited August 2014
    See this web site for all you want to know. garminmontanagpsr.wikispaces.com/FeaturesI can tell you most of those review folks don't know GPS's. I laugh at some of them pretty good. Also if you believe a salesman at REI you may be in for trouble. Most are as bad as those reviewers.
    I'm a Master USCG Captain and Dive Master and have used many of them since 1996. Many boat units, Auto units and many handheld Garmins for hiking and snowmobile use. Garmin is the best.
    No special AA's. I used 2200 rechargeable's. But I mostly use the Garmin recharge battery that comes with it.. It lasts a long time. All day hikes. You have a battery save mode and screen lock features. As well as turning the brightness down. I tuck in into a Garmin pouch with an external antenna recording all day long.
    Some rechargeable's are thicker due to increased power. That may be the issue. You have to put in regular rechargeable s in the 2200 range. I use Eneloop which seem to be great batteries.
    If you don't try a Montana you will be missing an awesome unit. Like I said buy one online from a place with good returns and try it.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I got my Montana over 3 years ago and still love it. You will find bad reviews of just about everything on Amazon, especially something as complex as the Montana which some people don't spend enough time learning to use. Like all Garmin products, it isn't perfect though.

    I would not get the 650t unless you really want the camera (which isn't supposed to be very good) or the pre-loaded 100k topo, which isn't very accurate. The Montana 600 is better bang for the buck IMO.

    The unit includes a rechargeable battery that charges right in the GPS with the included charger (standard Mini-USB Garmin charger that you could also use with a Nuvi). I have never used any other batteries in mine, but any AA's will work.
  • truckinguy 115 Points
    I got the 600 as well. And then bought the 24K Topo for the NorthEast which is where I hang out mostly. I also the full USA Topo in 100K which serves the little I leave NE.
    I haven't bothered with the Monterra because were I go doesn't have cell service or wifi service to justify the cost difference for one. The Montana has had a lot of bug fixes and improvements since coming out as well.
  • werewolf 107 Points
    No, I wouldn't get the T model, Boyd, but that was the only model that the REI had in the store. I hardly need another digicam. I don't even know why they put it on a GPS, especially for an extra $100 or whatever it is.

    So do you think that the high percentage of bad reviews on the device on amazon are from people who just don't know how to work it properly, or is it bad quality control?

    Thanks for that link, Truckinguy. It's a good one. Yeah, I use Eneloops and other extended charge batteries (or whatever you call them) for everything. Been doing so for years now. And yeah, the salesman at the REI didn't know much about it, but he was friendly, and they have a pretty good return policy (but not nearly as good as it used to be!), plus you get 10% off if you're a member of their co-op, which I've been for many years.

    Do you guys who like the Montana use it mostly for on the road use, as I would be mostly doing, and if so do you ever feel that the Nuvis with all the bells and whistles and *bigger screen* might serve better for that?

    If I could, I would just as soon keep my good old fashioned steam powered 276C going for as long as the creaky buttons hold up, and see what new stuff Garmin comes up with in the interim, and not have to go through the big Montana learning curve.
  • truckinguy 115 Points
    There is no bad Montana hardware and quality wise.They don't know how to use such a nice device. Maybe they are trying to use it on road. No gps does both well like I said. When you say Off road use what are you doing? ATV's hiking,etc? If used for mostly on road get a Nuvi.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Actually there were problems with the screens on the inital run of the Montana. I was fortunate to get a device without the problem, but Garmin was rumored to have actually halted production due to screen problems. They did not announce a formal recall, but the issue was widely reported on the forums and Garmin replaced the defective units (even out of warranty). But there was a period where new Montanas were not available and defective ones hadn't been fixed, so if you sent yours in for repair, it could have been a long wait.

    This issue definitely rubbed some owners the wrong way. But it only affected devices made about 3 years ago.
  • truckinguy 115 Points
    Boyd said:

    Actually there were problems with the screens on the inital run of the Montana. I was fortunate to get a device without the problem, but Garmin was rumored to have actually halted production due to screen problems. They did not announce a formal recall, but the issue was widely reported on the forums and Garmin replaced the defective units (even out of warranty). But there was a period where new Montanas were not available and defective ones hadn't been fixed, so if you sent yours in for repair, it could have been a long wait.

    This issue definitely rubbed some owners the wrong way. But it only affected devices made about 3 years ago.

    What was the issue with the screens ? mine works ok far as I can tell.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    edited August 2014
    If yours works, then you don't have an issue with the screen. Neither did I. But from what I read, the screen would become unresponsive and not register touches in the right place. Calibrating did not solve the problem. For awhile there was a concern that one of the firmware updates created this problem, but in the end I think the consensus was that some of the screens during the first year of production had hardware problems.

  • truckinguy 115 Points
    Sounds like all touch screens MO. :)
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