Garmin Monterra Review – An Android-Based GPS

What is the Garmin Monterra? It is the company’s first Android-based GPS for recreation. It shares the same set of core functions found in the eTrex Touch 25, but with the use of an Android OS means it is more flexible in terms of updates and improvements. The company is even advertizing this particular GPS for leisure activities other than hiking, biking, or Geocaching. Garmin also aims to bring the device to professionals such as miners, contractors, and even fire rescuers.

Garmin Monterra Review - An Android-Based GPS

The Garmin Monterra is Made for Both Leisure and Professional Use

The first thing you’ll notice about the Garmin Monterra is its size, but its largeness is pretty much similar with the company’s other previous recreational GPS devices. It comes with a 4-inch screen (measured diagonally) with a 272 x 480-pixel resolution. To go with its size, it has a heft that weighs 331-grams when the supplied lithium-ion battery pack, or 375-grams when you’re using three AA batteries instead. To let you know how heavy it is, the iPhone 6s weighs only 192-grams.

All of these calculate to one hefty beast. It is not meant to slip inconspicuously into your sports jersey or in your jeans pocket as you go about town. It is encased in a rugged material which promotes a very solid build quality. It also has an IPX7 rating, which means that it can be submerged in water of up to 1-meter in depth for up to 30-minutes. It should not be brought, however, during your dives but it can survive being thrown in a puddle or shallow river.

The performance of its display is pretty average and may inhibit some mainstream Android apps. But to be fair, the screen is better than most handheld GPS devices that you can come across in today’s market. Visibility is also decent even when using the device under direct sunlight.

It is powered by a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4460 dual-core processor with an Imagine Technologies PowerVR SGX 540 GPU. It only has 663GB of RAM, which seems very diminutive when comparing it to modern smartphones, but it is still pretty decent for a GPS device. Both GPS and GLONASS are supported by the Monterra when it comes to location acquisition, as well as the WAAS and EGNOS systems.

With the supplied 2,000mAh lithium-ion battery supplied within the standard packaging, the Garmin Monterra claims that it can be used up to 16-hours of continuous use on a single charge. Overall, it may be a pricier GPS but it definitely delivers better features due to the Android OS.

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