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Garmin introduces the Montana 750i

This looks very nice, have been wondering when they would introduce a touchscreen handheld with the advanced features of the GPSMap 66 and Overlander. 5" screen at 800x480 should be nice, bet this is also an Android device. Not sure if these new devices are even compatible with Basecamp, they use Garmin's online services and apps. Maps are downloaded directly on the GPS. Are these devices even compatible with third party maps (like the ones I make)? Nothing in the specs suggests that they are. It's compatible with "custom maps" (.kmz files) but Garmin has crippled those so you can only cover a very small area. Will look forward to reviews and user reports on this device.

First thing I've seen from Garmin for awhile that I might actually want to own.... but not at these prices. $600 for the basic model, $700 to add satellite communications and $800 when you add the camera. :-O

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/699779

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https://newsroom.garmin.com/newsroom/press-release-details/2020/Garmin-unveils-Montana-700-series-with-global-connectivity-routable-topographic-mapping-and-8-mega-pixel-camera/default.aspx

Comments

  • deserteagle56 189 Points
    Depending on how well the InReach part was implemented I just might make the jump from my old 600. Also depending on what kind of Topo maps these can use.

    Right now I am paying a steep price every year for access to the Iridium network via my satellite phone. If I can stop paying for the sat phone that will more than pay for the new Montana.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited August 7
    Some videos. It actually has an interchangeable battery pack, which is nice (but probably expensive). Quite a bit larger than a Montana 6xx but that's to be expected with the 5" screen. Too bad they couldn't reduce the size of the bezels, that would make it about the same as the old Montana. Seems to be quite a bit faster than my Montana 600.

    Overall, I like it, but still have a lot of technical questions about its capabilities. Doesn't much matter however, spending $600 for a new GPS just ain't in the cards for me. ;)







  • Chris_Sav 129 Points
    Video's wrong on this, you can use AA batteries in an adaptor.

    Looks interesting, but not sure the screen is quite big enough for I am looking for my ageing eyes.
  • Chris_Sav 129 Points
    Looks everything (apart from buttons) the much maligned 276cx should have been
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    Chris_Sav said:

    Video's wrong on this, you can use AA batteries in an adaptor.

    You really need to dig through the manual to find that! It says there is an optional AA battery pack, but they don't list it in the accessories.
  • Chris_Sav 129 Points
    edited August 8
    Battery endurance is one of my prime concerns as has been mentioned previously.

    Had been looking closely at industrial grade tablets such as
    https://www.bressner.co.uk/products/mobile/scorpion-7x-android

    But no rush to buy at present!
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    That tablet looks kind of awkward with the wide bezels and buttons on the side. What is that big thing on the top right? A speaker?

    First impressions review of the new Montana here with lots of screenshots: https://www.navigation-professionell.de/en/garmin-montana-700-700i-750i-review/
  • Chris_Sav 129 Points
    edited August 9
    Unfortunately my approach to Bressner for the 7X discovered on Friday that they will not be getting any more of the 1000 nit 7X's from the States and had just sold the last one. The only similar but bigger one is only 700 nits so not much brighter than my rugged cell phone.

    The new Montana has certainly got my interest but the OSM map question needs answering. I'd guess it will likely be the death knell of the 276CX slug
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    What is the "OSM map question"?
  • Chris_Sav 129 Points
    edited August 9
    I thought from your first post that there was a question mark over whether the 700 series takes third party maps?

    Apps for the new Android beasty seems uncertain on compatibility as well I'd guess?

    Early days yet to judge!
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited August 9
    In one of the links I posted above (?) it shows Javawa GMTK with the Montana 7xx connected, and the maps are .img files. While not conclusive, that implies you can access it as a mass storage device and copy map files to it. Have not seen any mention of Basecamp, but at least you should be able to install pre-compiled Garmin-format maps. And you also have City Navigator plus Garmin's new routable topo maps that are OSM-based.

    Seems there are a number of Android apps that support OSM as well as popular types of tiled raster data. Guru Maps, Locus Map, OsmAnd, etc. Guru started offering routable OSM maps awhile ago but I haven't tried that feature, since I really don't need it.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited August 10
    Actually, this is where I found the javawa screenshot(s). Lots of posts comparing it with the Zumo XT in this thread.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/garmin-montana-700i.1459494/page-7#post-40605262

  • Fiddish 5 Points
    UPS is bringing my 700i today. Sadly, no AMPS rugged mount available as my primary use is on ATV’s. Garmin says 3-5 weeks so I pre-ordered 2 mounts from GPS City which claimed a shorter availability window.
    The manual does mention using Basecamp to move files back and forth. Page 14, I think.
    I’m excited to replace my clunky-interface Montana 680t and my InReach Explorer+ in one fell swoop
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    Cool! B-) Will look forward to hearing your impressions.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    Chris_Sav said:

    Video's wrong on this, you can use AA batteries in an adaptor.

    Over on the geocaching forums, someone posted that the AA battery pack only works with the Montana 700. He says that the "i" versions with inReach technology only work with the special Garmin battery.
  • Fiddish 5 Points
    700i arrived yesterday. I was able to pair it with iPhone X via Bluetooth and my home network via WiFi. I connected it to my iMac and launched Basecamp, which recognized it and the 4 pre-loaded maps (Topo North and Central, City Navigator and the Garmin Public Land map) There’s also a worldwide base map on the unit but I didn’t notice it on Basecamp. I followed prompts to update Basecamp (after disconnecting 700i) and put a 32G micro SD in the unit before reconnecting to Basecamp. Micro SD was recognized on the computer and in Basecamp but I haven’t tried loading anything on it yet. Basecamp prompted me to use Garmin Express to update my maps, which I did. I also transferred my waypoints and my “Greatest Hits” collection of tracks to the 700i, which worked perfectly.
    The backlight, surprisingly is NOT as bright as my Montana 680t. The touchscreen, however, is a huge improvement. I can scroll around the map screen without leaving a pin every time I touch it, then a different pin in the lower left, next to the X, when I try to exit the screen....Hated that on the 680! The display responds well with a glove on, though I’m sitting on the couch, not banging over rough terrain on the ATV. Until I get my powered mount installed on the handlebars, I can’t really test it properly or switch my inReach subscription from my Explorer+.
    My main motivation for getting the 700i was a bigger screen, better user interface and InReach built in to the same unit. So far I’m very pleased.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    A brief review here, with several embedded videos. They confirm that the "i" models cannot use AA batteries.

    https://www.gpstraining.co.uk/reviews/review---garmin-montana-700-series

    I found this part surprising, but evidently it is the same as the GPSMap66

    "The Montana 700 also has the option to use the Russian GLONASS system, but this is not the case with the 700i or 750i as these units have to incorporate an IRIDIUM antenna which is used for the two way satellite communication (inReach technology)."
  • rjmlakota 182 Points
    Chris_Sav said:

    Video's wrong on this, you can use AA batteries in an adaptor.

    Looks interesting, but not sure the screen is quite big enough for I am looking for my ageing eyes.

    From the manual on Garmin website.

    NOTE: The optional AA battery pack is compatible with the Montana® 700 device only.

    I just received my 750i today and I'm so far loving it!
  • Fiddish 5 Points
    I tried loading a free Arizona Topo map onto the 32G micro SD in my new 700i. I can’t remember if I used Mapinstall, forgetting Garmin Express is the new interface. Anyway, the .img file showed up on the SD, showed up and loaded on Basecamp when selected, as expected, but it doesn’t show up on the unit itself when I try to configure maps. Tried a few things then gave up and got rid of the .img file.
    Later, I purchased and downloaded Southwest Topo 24k. Using Garmin Express I downloaded the purchased file to the 700i (took 15-20 minutes, 3.07G) I was warned it MAY end up on the SD card, which it did. Once again, it shows up on the SD and Basecamp but not on the unit. Today I saw there was a new firmware release for the 700i. I installed it, rebooted. All is well but still no map choice on the unit. I tried once more downloading my purchase via Garmin Express and it completed happily and declared everything is up to date. I still can’t choose it on the 700i.
    I checked my Montana 680t and Map 62st, adding them to devices in Garmin Express, updating firmware & maps. The 680 has a couple maps on the SD that show up as choices to use. The 62st had no maps on the SD. I dragged and dropped the free AZ Topo to the SD, restarted the unit and it showed right up on the list.
    I’m stumped for now....probably something simple I’m missing.
    Unit works perfectly other than that.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited August 14
    Hmm, that is not a good sign. Were you using the same SD card when you tried the AZ topo on the other GPS?

    Did you contact Garmin support? According to their site, the Southwest Topo should be compatible. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/699779#maps
  • Fiddish 5 Points
    It’s a Sandisk Ultra Plus 32G. (Red and grey). It still had GoPro videos on it before I formatted it to MS-DOS (FAT 32) on my iMac. It is recognized by the computer, Express and Basecamp and I can read/write to it. I was hoping the firmware update yesterday might shake it loose.
    The Montana 680t has the same, but 64G. I read somewhere while trying to figure this out that the max was 32G but since it works I left it alone.
    The 62st has an ancient Sony 16G HC-1. That’s where I put my AZ Topo in the Garmin folder without Express or Map Manager...worked as advertised
  • Fiddish 5 Points
    Just got a prompt call back from Garmin Product Support. It’s a new-product glitch within Garmin Express...not the 700i (nor my ineptness...whew!) There’s a ticket open on it already from a couple new owners. The Tech I spoke to had just got the 750i
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    So, @Fiddish - how do you like the 700i now that you've had it for a month? There's a long thread at advrider and people are complaining about screen visibility. Several photos have been posted that don't look so good...

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/garmin-montana-700i.1459494/page-23#post-40826495
  • Sorry for the long silence. I hadn’t seen any chatter on this thread. I’m following Garmin Forum as well as Advrider. Solved the maps on MicroSD not showing up in Configure Maps: it’s a 700i bug with 32G cards. I used a 16G and everything worked (Same 32G worked in Montana 680t)
    Finally got AMPS rugged mounts 2 days ago and was alerted to the 700 series using 5V to power it, not 12V like the 680t. The mount has a voltage converter between battery connections and the cradle. My 3 ATV’s have 12V available at the handlebars so I can swap my 680t from toy to toy. Gotta do more wiring so each can power the 700i.
    All that said, I rigged up the mount temporarily and took my first spin last night. In night mode I ended up turning the brightness down 50%. This morning I got it out in mostly sunny conditions. At full brightness and wearing sunglasses it is harder to see map details when in shadow than the 680t. I am 64 with 1.75 reading glasses on as I type this. No corrective lenses while riding. I can see my 4 data fields on the map screen just fine and my yellow X waypoints as I approach them on the map but it’s not as bright as the 680t. With direct light hitting the screen it is very bright and much better in my opinion than the 680t in that scenario. The advrider thread mentioned the 700i having a “transreflective “ screen.
    The touchscreen is a definite improvement and overall I like the unit. I’m usually glancing at data fields, curious about time, temp, elevation and trip odometer (fuel range) while riding. Other than approaching a marked point or following a track I don’t stare at the map much while dodging rocks and ruts at 30mph. If I’m confused I’d pull over and put the cheaters on to study the map so the dimmer screen is not a dealbreaker for me. YMMV
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited September 24
    Fiddish said:

    The advrider thread mentioned the 700i having a “transreflective “ screen.

    All Garmin handhelds have transreflective screens. This means that they can be viewed in direct light without the use of the backlight, which is important for conserving battery life. Garmin's automotive devices (and the Zumo) do not have transreflective screens and rely on very bright backlights for visibility. Since they are really designed to run on external power all the time, battery life is not so important.

    Now, there has been a long-standing issue about transreflective touchscreens vs devices with pushbutton interfaces. Evidently, adding touch capability to a screen involves another layer and that makes it less transmissive. This was a big problem with the early Oregon models (I had one) but has improved with newer devices.
  • I wonder if backlight intensity could be increased at the expense of battery life via firmware. I’m on external power 95% of the time. The downside of the InReach being built in is I’m thinking about having a second battery along for that freak instance boat/kayak/day hike and I’m suddenly in trouble without a power source. Probably a waste of money but I view the InReach subscription as an insurance premium anyway. Hope I never have to push that button.
  • Fiddish said:

    I wonder if backlight intensity could be increased at the expense of battery life via firmware. I’m on external power 95% of the time. The downside of the InReach being built in is I’m thinking about having a second battery along for that freak instance boat/kayak/day hike and I’m suddenly in trouble without a power source. Probably a waste of money but I view the InReach subscription as an insurance premium anyway. Hope I never have to push that button.

    I have the same ?; I use GPS for navigation on my off-road motorcycle in the backcountry and the screen intensity is just not up to par; kinda like GPS screens of (many) years past. The screen is adequate with the sun shinning on it, but when I'm riding toward the sun I can hardly see anything. I also have a 276CX and that screen is fabulous! I'm led to understand that touchscreen technology can't be made that bright, but I'm hopeful the lighting on 700 screen could be boosted with a firmware upgrade.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited September 24
    I think the complaints I've seen regard brightness on external power. Unless it's just a bug that limits screen brightness, hard to imagine that Garmin could improve this with firmware. On battery power, it's possible that they are limiting brightness to save power though.

    Over at advrider, one user said screen brightness was much less than a Montana 600 and more similar to the original Oregon 300/400 series. I had one of the original Oregons many years ago, and the screen was just terrible.

    It's really a shame that Garmin can't get this right, especially considering all the problems with the GPSMap 276cx.
  • Chris_Sav 129 Points
    I wonder how on Earth Garmin tests these units prior to production runs. The 276CX ran like a slug, obvious the first and last time I used it. Now the next premium model the 700 series seems not bright enough unless the transflective screen is lit up by direct sunlight.

    Guess the 680T is going to stay on the bars a bit longer!

  • Boyd 2027 Points
    edited September 25
    Now all they need to do is put the 276cx screen on the Montana 700 and the Montana 700 processor in the 276cx and both will be perfect! :))
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