Up until quite recently, people were quite literally going crazy for GPS devices that can be mounted on the dashboard or the windshield of the vehicles. The arrival of these devices effectively put paper road maps to rest forever, and it is hardly surprising when you consider just how advanced modern GPS devices are.
Unfortunately for many manufacturers, most of today’s smartphones offer motorists a very practical and a very cost-effective alternative to dedicated GPS devices. Smartphones can easily fulfill the role of a GPS device so a lot of people have chosen to use this option instead. However, using your phone as a GPS device has two fundamental drawbacks. Firstly, it can send your monthly phone bill through the roof, and secondly, phone batteries are notoriously infuriating because they are forever running low on power when you tend to need them the most.
Of course, if you are driving along in your vehicle battery charge is no big deal because you can charge your battery on the fly. Obviously, this is not the case if or when you head into the great outdoors. If you go on a long hike for example, it is highly unlikely that your phone battery will last long enough if you are using your phone as a GPS device. Also, depending on where about you go hiking, the chances are phone won’t be able to even pick up a signal in the first place. So, let’s take a look now at the Garmin Montana 680t:
The Montana 680t is Garmin’s top handheld GPS device, and it replaces the company’s older 650t model. Being the Garmin’s premium offering, the Montana 680t features a very impressive 8-megapixel camera with autofocus as well as automatic geo-tagging. This essentially means that you can simply snap pictures and set them as waypoints when you are out and about in the great outdoors.
Another very impressive feature is the unit’s high-quality 65k dual-orientation glass display. The display is easily readable even in strong sunlight, and what makes it even more impressive is the fact that the touch screen is glove-friendly, so no need to remove one of your gloves every time you need to do something with the device.
Battery and Power Consumption
The Garmin Montana 680t comes with a Lithium-ion battery pack that provides around 16 hours of non-stop power. The unit can also run on 3 AA batteries should your Lithium-ion battery run out of power. The good news is, 3 good quality AA batteries will typically last for around 22 hours. When you have the Lithium-ion battery in, the unit weighs 10.2 OZ (289g). With 3 AA batteries installed, the unit is only marginally heavier at 11.7 OZ (333g).
Other Notable Features of the Garmin Montana 680t
Like all of Garmin’s GPS devices in the Montana range, the Montana 680t is also waterproof. This is a very valuable feature for people who take part in outdoor activities where they are often likely to get wet. The 680t can work with both GPS and GLONASS, which is also a very valuable feature, particularly if you tend to explore places which are far from any built-up areas. I won’t go into the technicalities, but let’s just say that it is highly unlikely that your 680t will ever let you down in times of need.
- Speed – The Garmin Montana 680t is blisteringly fast, and not only when it comes to locking on either.
- Photo Waypoints – This unit allows you to effortlessly take pictures and set them as waypoints when you are out exploring in the wilderness, or anywhere else for that matter.
- Battery Life – A fully charged battery lasts for an impressive 16 hours, while 3 AA batteries will last for 22 hours.
- Accuracy – The 680t is astonishingly accurate, and will get you to within 40 inches of any chosen waypoint.
- All Round Practicality – The Garmin Montana 680t has definitely been designed and manufactured for serious outdoor enthusiasts. Everything about this model points to practicality, from its remarkable glove-friendly display to the fact that it is fully waterproof.
- Cost – The Garmin Montana 680t is a bit on the expensive side. I’m certainly not saying that it isn’t worth the price, but I do believe that the price is going to put a lot of people off.