Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
This morning, Garmin announced the release of new handhelds in the GPSMAP and eTrex series.
The first updated handheld is the new GPSMAP 67 series GPS device. If you watched my GPSMAP 66 series playlist, you’d probably hear me complain about it despite being slow to handle the new radios and smartphone connected features. Basically if you had a operational GPSMAP 62 or even a 64, the price tag did not warrant it at the time.
It looks like the GPSMAP 67 series offers actual improvements and keeping up with features found in the off-road devices.
Notable Garmin GPSMAP 67 Hardware Updates
When reading over the spec list, you can see that we have some decent improvements or updates in this version compared to the GPSMAP 66, notably:
- USB-C charging port
- up to 180 hours of normal GPS battery life using the internal rechargeable battery
- multi-GPS network sensors: GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, QZSS, BEIDOU, IRNSS
Other than the above list, the external hardware specs of the GPSMAP 67 compared to the GPSMAP 66 are virtually identical.
Notable Garmin GPSMAP 67 Software Updates
The big question with the GPSMAP 67 is whether or not there would be some UI updates or would it be the same look & feel since the GPSMAP 62.
Well, from the product page screenshots, you won’t have that worry, as the UI looks to the same as with GPSMAP 66 series. What is new however are the integration with inReach Messenger and Garmin Explore.
Garmin Messenger is the recent smartphone app that copies ZOLEO in terms of sending messages over wifi, cellular or via the Iridium Satellites using the GPSMAP 67i or paired with a standalone inReach. You’ll be able to use the GPSMAP 67 more to respond to messages.
Specific new app on the GPSMAP 67 is the integration of inReach weather to the device. Currently you have the basic weather app on the device which uses your smartphone connection to pull weather. Now if you have the GPSMAP 67i, you can pull weather via inReach without needed to open up your smartphone to view the forecast.
A downside is that Garmin Explore is not baked into the device software unlike as opposed to the Tread series. You still need to use the smartphone app to sync and manage your collections. Being able to use a basic UI on the device for Garmin Explore as seen on Tread would have been nice.
Final Thoughts About Garmin GPSMAP 67
For those who have been waiting to update their GPSMAP 6x series GPS will like this one. The form factor has not changed in nearly 20 years, so you know it’s a winner.
The hardware improvements and battery breakthrough will be a game changer for many who manage AA batteries and with USB-C charging port, I expect flexible and quick charging times.
Other than the incremental inReach integration and messaging, everything stays the same as with the GPSMAP 66 series. You have your electronic compass, download birdseye satellite images, load custom maps, do geocaching, everything you want to see in a GPSMAP device.
Coming in a $649.99 CAD for the base GPSMAP 67, it is not a cheap device. That being said the GPSMAP 66st is currently at $599.99 CAD. So for the extra 50 dollars, might as well get the latest hardware.
Garmin eTrex SE Updated Entry Level Device
The eTrex series has been around for a while, it is your entry level GPS device with bare bones functionality. Which makes it perfect for kids, learning GPS navigation and for classrooms due to the low price, long battery life and built like a tank.
The last update in the eTrex series was the 22x/32x which I swear was only a different color trim, with no real updates. However, the base model, the eTrex 10 remained unchanged for years.
The eTrex SE is the next generation from the eTrex 10 as the size, weight, screen are virtually identical. However, just like the GPSMAP 67, we do see some updates.
Notable eTrex SE Hardware Updates
the list of major hardware updates are few but are in the right direction, you still don’t have an electronic compass with this model:
- USB-C charging port
- 168 hours normal battery life using AA batteries
- multi GPS netwrok sensors: GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, QZSS, BEIDOU
That’s right, you saw this with the release of the Garmin inReach Messenger last fall, Garmin seemed to have cracked the code to get even more battery life out of its devices while packing in more radios. But sadly, this is about it in terms of notable hardware update , well the new form factor design is nice.
Notable eTrex SE Software Updates
There’s not much new you can pack into the bare bones screen. it is not meant to display topo maps, or satellite imagery. But Garmin still found a few things to add since they added the Bluetooth radio, which means connectivity to your smartphone.
- Smartphone notifications
- Weather forecast
- Garmin Explore integration
Final Thoughts About Garmin eTrex SE
Coming in at $199.99 CAD, this will be the new entry GPS device for kids or adults who want the bare bones experience. Garmin has kept the clip attachment on this unit, meaning that you can find all sorts of mounts or interchange them from other devices.
For the minimalist, this device paired with a portable battery bank, Garmin inReach Messenger and a good topo map is about all you need for a multi day excursion.
If we can expect to see these minor updates further down the eTrex lineup, it will provide a more cost effective option for those who want a bit more features but can’t justify the sticker price of a GPSMAP 67.