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TwoNav... Garmin alternative?

Boyd 1999 Points
edited November 2019 in GPS Discussions
Have been using their smartphone app for awhile, and it's pretty nice. Their "Land" software runs on Windows and the Mac and is also very nice - allows you to manage your data and import/export maps in a number of formats.

But the same company also makes dedicated GPS devices that are sold in the EU but basically unknown here in the US (the company is based in Spain). Just got an e-mail with their Black Friday sale pricing, and have to say I'm tempted by some of their devices. They look like decent alternatives to the same-old Garmin.

For example, their "Trail 2" has a touchscreen with more than twice the pixels of a Garmin Montana (640x480 vs 272x480) along with dedicated hardware buttons for zoom and other functions - that's something I always liked on my old Garmin StreetPilot. The BF sale price of $310 is also a lot less than a new Montana.

image

https://www.twonav.com/en/gps/trail-2
http://manual.twonav.com/manual/twonav_47_en/wiki_trail2/#!twonav3.htm

They certainly don't have all the US mapping options as Garmin, but the basics are there.

https://www.twonav.com/en/maps/united_states_of_america?utm_campaign=blackfriday2019_en&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_b2c_en

This isn't much of an issue for me, since I make my own maps and these devices support a variety of open map formats. And they permit the use of very large raster maps - something which Garmin just doesn't allow with their intentionally-cripped "Custom Map" format.

Anybody ever use one of these? I suppose shipping from the EU will raise the price a bit. They also have some very reasonably priced older devices in their outlet store for $200 and less.

https://www.twonav.com/en/outlet

Going to give these some serious consideration as a replacement for my broken Montana 600. :)

Comments

  • Does look an interesting beast, especially with some buttons for the bikes, 5000mah battery life looks good though no glonass. Trans-reflective but how sunlight readable?

    Wish we could find out a bit more about it as I'm loath to spend several hundred pounds on yet another speculative top end unit

  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited November 2019
    Chris_Sav said:

    5000mah battery life looks good though no glonass

    Which model were you looking at? The Trail2 that I linked to has both glonass and galileo support. I did a quick Google search and found several videos, including a long one showing the screen during a bike ride.

    Not sure whether I will get one or not. I honestly don't have as much need as I used to, and am going to need to replace my phone before long. But it sure would be nice if Garmin had some real competition.
  • Top of the range Aventura https://www.twonav.com/en/gps/aventura-motor#technical

    Same here otherwise rugged Phone is being used more as I no longer trust the routing on my Drivesmart, Montana on the handlebars still as the 276CX has never reached my expectations of the device, but also have mount for the phone now
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited December 2019
    Oh, I see... wow that is rather expensive. Looks like the same hardware as the previous 2018 generation "Trail" device, with a joystick

    https://www.twonav.com/en/outlet/trail-orange

    I'm still quite happy with my DriveTrack 71 and its 7" screen in the car, using my own maps of aerial imagery overlaid with roads. http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/31309/the-drivetrack-71-garmin-s-coolest-model-you-ve-never-heard-of

    So the only thing that interests me is a dedicated handheld for hiking. But, since my home is out in the woods, I find myself spending more and more time just wandering around here and rarely bring a GPS for that. The Oregon 700 has been on sale for $280 recently, which is one of the better deals I've seen for a top Garmin product, but I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. A 240x400 screen is ridiculous in 2020, and Garmin makes it much too hard to use your own maps.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    BTW, this has to be the strangest commercial I've ever seen for a GPS. There are no shots of a GPS in the whole video, no indication of why their products are the best... or even why you need GPS.

  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited November 2019
    Still on the fence about this... Here are some additional thoughts regarding the Trail2.

    I suppose the TwoNav Aventura is a closer match for the Garmin Montana, it has a replaceable battery and memory card slot that the Trail2 does not have. Costs about $100 more than the Trail2, but it's an older hardware, without GLONASS or Galileo (as Chris pointed out). Also heavier and thicker than the Trail2

    https://www.twonav.com/en/gps/aventura

    I think the built-in battery on the Trail2 would be sufficient for my own typical activites -5 or 6 hours is usually the most I need, and the Trail2 is rated at 20 hours. But I will miss having a memory card slot, the Trail2 has 16gb internal but only 12gb is available for maps. And raster imagery takes a lot of space.

    I scaled images of the Montana and Trail2 for comparison. Overall, it's certainly smaller - although a bit wider - than the Montana. I think a 4:3 screen makes a lot of sense for viewing a map but 16:9 is probably more comfortable in the hand.

    image

    There doesn't seem to be anyway to attach a clip or carabiner to the Trail2. They have a case that looks pretty nice though, on sale for about $16, so I need to include that in the overall cost.

    https://www.twonav.com/en/accessories/case-l-aventura-trail

    TwoNav has a video of the Trail2 here. The user interface is really very similar to their smartphone app.



    Sent some questions to TwoNav via the form on their website on Wednesday, still no response. This post might be a concern regarding support/repairs. However, he is trying to repair a screen that he broke himself. In a case like that, I would probably figure it wasn't worth the effort of an international repair. But Garmin certainly has an advantage when it comes the repairs/warranty in the US

    https://support.twonav.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360006647840-Awful-service-to-get-a-simple-cracked-screen-repair-done-

    The Black Friday sale prices are only good for one more day, so I need to decide soon. I see that GPSCity is listing the Montana 610 for $330, which is about the same price (currently out of stock, with more coming next week). Just not very excited about getting another Montana though.

  • alanb 556 Points
    Just go for it Boyd! You know you are itching for a new device to play with ;)
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited December 2019
    LOL :))

    Yeah, it's tempting to buy on impulse. I used to do that a lot when I was working fulltime. But retired, with more money going out than coming in, I'm a bit more restrained. Am actually leaning against it right now. Only 12gb of available memory is going to be a big limitation for the maps I make - this one only covers Southern New Jersey and is 11.9gb, for example. https://boydsmaps.com/boyds-map-of-the-pines-hd/

    And aside from that, I don't really *need* it, not planning on going anywhere this winter. Am also curious as to when Garmin will introduce a touchscreen device with features similar to the GPSMap 66. Of course, that is going to be more than I want to spend though, and we all know what it's like to be an early adopter with Garmin. :O)

    Also a bit put-off by the support issues raised in the link I posted, especially the part about TwoNav being very slow to respond - which is reinforced by the questions I sent them that still haven't been answered after three days. I mean... what if it arrives broken in the box? Could be a big hassle just to deal with something like that which would be a no-brainer with a US company....

    Will kick the idea around a little longer, the sale lasts until tomorrow afternoon. Why don't you buy one Alan? Seems to me you have some kind of orphaned handheld, don't you?
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited December 2019
    Not gonna do it, will save my money for "the next big thing". Looking at the Black Friday sale prices on current Garmin handhelds, TwoNav doesn't look like as good of a deal as I initially thought. If it were $200, or if they were selling on Amazon... or even if they had answered my e-mail, then I might have gone for it though.
  • alanb 556 Points
    Boyd said:

    LOL :))

    Will kick the idea around a little longer, the sale lasts until tomorrow afternoon. Why don't you buy one Alan? Seems to me you have some kind of orphaned handheld, don't you?

    Ha Ha! Yes, more than one counting the Lowrance Endura Sierra and Garmin Oregon 550 (not to mention the Bosch Nyon on my ebike). The Endura no longer has a working power button. You have to connect to USB power to turn it on, then make sure to turn off sleep and power saving features so it doesn't shut itself down while in use. But even with that, another device is the last thing I need.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    The molded plastic power button on my Montana cracked and eventually fell off, leaving a hole in the case where you can see the circuit board inside - evidently this is a common problem. But you can still turn it on and off by poking the switch mechanism inside with a stick. So I'm a little better off than your Endura in that regard. I can use a piece of tape to cover the hole after turning it on, LOL. Same thing happened to a friend and Garmin replaced it with a refurb off-warranty for something like $130, which is probably the best solution if I actually needed a new GPS.

    Guess I'll just continue to use it this way, or use my 4-year-old iPhone (which has limited battery life). Let's see whether Garmin comes out with a new touchscreen to replace the aging Montana. Will probably be too expensive though.
  • Tim 1482 Points
    Boyd said:

    Guess I'll just continue to use it this way, or use my 4-year-old iPhone (which has limited battery life).

    My 3.5 year old iPhone also has a weak battery. I went into an Apple Store the other day and was going to have the battery replaced for $49. An hour later the tech said they saw some internal damage to the antenna. (That's a mystery to me.) So they replaced the phone with a new one (refurb, probably) for $49.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited December 2019
    Well, TwoNav never answered the questions I sent them, but they have been generous with spam about all their holiday sales. Still trying to figure this one out.... special Christmas offer, regular price $365 now only $398! :O) On Black Friday, it said the regular price was $365 and sale price was $310.

    image
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited December 2019
    Got an e-mail today from TwoNav with a 10% discount code.. The current price for the Trail2 is $329... their prices sure have some ups and downs. But with the 10% discount, that would take it down to $296 which is best I've seen (the Black Friday special was $310).

    Still not buyiing, but it would have been worth the wait if I was. If anyone else is interested, this 10% discount code is supposed to be good for any of their products

    TRY852

    I'll see what Garmin has to offer at CES, which is less than two weeks away. Maybe there will be a new Montana with a capacitive screen? Or maybe not. ;)

    Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays, and here's to the new year!!
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    Got another e-mail advertising a sale with "UP TO 35% DISCOUNT" today. Went to their site and saw that the Trail2 price has actually gone UP to $368, which is a 12% increase over the previous price of $329 and a 24% increase over the previous sale price of $296.

    OK, that's enough, their e-mails are now going to my spam folder. CES starts tomorrow, maybe Garmin will have something interesting, although I'm not holding my breath for it ;)
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