Oregon 600, 650, 700 and 750 Review

I am often asked, as both a geocacher and a keen hiker/walker, what I think of certain Garmin GPS devices.  To save me repeating myself (regularly) I thought it would be a good idea to write reviews of certain Garmin models that I have, or have used.

This is a review of the Oregon series of devices as I have used or owned several of these Garmin models and tested them with my own maps (which work fine).

I have owned the older generation Oregon models too, an Oregon 200 and a 550, both are excellent devices which have been superseded by the new generation models that started with the Oregon 600 and 650. I also now have an Oregon 700!

This review is for the European models, not the US versions.

The Oregon 600 and 650:

Both of these models have the same size screen 1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm) 3″ diag (7.6 cm) and 240 x 400 pixels, they are both touchscreen driven, both used to access device functions and move around the map.

The display is a bright, transflective 65k color TFT screen,  this supports dual-orientation and is sunlight readable. It also has a back-light that can be activated when needed.

Both models have a 3 axis electronic compass and also have a barometric altimeter as standard.

The main differences between the two models is that the 650 has a built-in 8MP digital camera with auto-focus, digital zoom and flash.

Both support paperless geocaching, up to 16 hours of use out of a pair of AA batteries, support both the current US GPS constellation and the new Russian (GLONASS) one too (this should improve accuracy in most conditions). The 600 has 1.7GB  and the 650 has 3GB of internal memory and both can take MicroSD cards (up to 32GB) for extra storage and adding supported mapping cards.

They are also IPX7 rated, meaning that they are waterproof to that rating and they are fairly tough little devices, and cheaper to replace than a modern smartphone. On that topic, both devices support Bluetooth and ANT+ for exchanging data, etc. with compatible devices. This means you can wirelessly transfer large files such as photos, geocaches, adventures, routes and Custom Maps between Oregon 700-series devices. Plus, new technology allows your routes, waypoints and tracks to transfer up to 50 times faster. Oregon is also ANT+ wireless compatible for heart rate, cadence, chirp™ and tempe™ sensors. They both also have “Wifi” as standard!

These may be offered with Garmin’s TopoActive Western Europe maps bundled in (these are OSM based, like mine, but do not have contour data and are not as detailed). See my YouTube video to see how they compare. They also come with a very limited world-wide shaded basemap installed.

These are great  devices for those that prefer a touchscreen GPS and are not on such a tight budget; recommended. Please note that the 600 and 650 are now marked as discontinued on the Garmin website; however you can still purchase these models and they are still supported by Garmin.

The Oregon 700 and 750:

Unlike the 600 and 650, both the 700 and 750 have the ability to pair with a smartphone (Android or iOS) and this includes Geocaching Live support, Active Weather, Live Tracking and it works with Connect IQ allowing “apps”, “widgets” and “data fields” to be added to the device. They also support  “Smart Notifications” allowing texts and other alerts from your supported smartphone to be sent to the Oregon and displayed on its screen.

Both of these models have the same size screen 1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm) 3″ diag (7.6 cm) and 240 x 400 pixels, they are both touchscreen driven, both used to access device functions and move around the map.

The display is a bright, transflective 65k color TFT screen,  this supports dual-orientation and is sunlight readable. It also has a back-light that can be activated when needed.

Both models have a 3 axis electronic compass and also have a barometric altimeter as standard. The 700 and 750 also have an enhanced antenna enables better reception and performance.

The main differences between the two models is that the 750 has a built-in 8MP digital camera with auto-focus, digital zoom and flash and that the 700 base model is not supplied with any maps. The 750 also comes with a rechargeable battery pack.

Both support paperless geocaching, up to 16 hours of use out of a pair of AA batteries, support both the current US GPS constellation and the new Russian (GLONASS) one too (this should improve accuracy in most conditions). The 700 has 1.7GB  and the 750 has 4GB of internal memory and both can take MicroSD cards (up to 32GB) for extra storage and adding supported mapping cards.

They are also IPX7 rated, meaning that they are waterproof to that rating and they are fairly tough little devices, and cheaper to replace than a modern smartphone. On that topic, both devices support Bluetooth and ANT+ for exchanging data, etc. with compatible devices. This means you can wirelessly transfer large files such as photos, geocaches, adventures, routes and Custom Maps between Oregon 700-series devices. Plus, new technology allows your routes, waypoints and tracks to transfer up to 50 times faster. Oregon is also ANT+ wireless compatible for heart rate, cadence, chirp and tempe sensors.

These may be offered with Garmin’s TopoActive Western Europe maps bundled in (these are OSM based, like mine, but do not have contour data and are not as detailed). See my YouTube video to see how they compare. They also come with a very limited world-wide shaded basemap installed.

Currently the 700 and 750 are being offered with a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription included.

These are great  devices for those that prefer a touchscreen GPS and are not on such a tight budget; highly recommended.

Data on functionality taken from the Garmin website and GPSCentral for this review.