Recently Garmin South Africa launched their new look Montana 700 series devices. In South Africa we will be able to purchase the Montana 700, 700i and the 750i. The Montana 700 being the basic device in the series with the700i and the 750i additionally having the inReach technology, the two-way interactive messaging communication and SOS alerts. The 750i being a 700i but with an 8mp camera. These devices are bigger than the previous Montanas with a new 5inch screen, but smaller than the recently launched Overlander which has a 7inch screen. However, I feel that I must say that these are far more rugged devices than the Overlander. They can take the hammering.
The Garmin 276C/276Cx has always been my favourite Garmin Satellite Navigation device. The new Montana might not look like the previous Montana devices. It takes them all and I am bowled over with its new features and applications.
The device is primarily a vehicle-mounted satellite navigation device made for the outdoors. However, it does fit comfortably in my hand. The big screen is easily readable without my glasses. The size really impresses me.
The menu logic is very similar to that of the 276C/Cx and the previous Montana’s. This helped and I did not have to spend time trying to work out the menu logic.
I also found the flashlight feature to be a ‘nice to have’ as I can never find my car or house keys. Normally I will end up searching my snatch bag with a torch as it is so dark in my bag and I can never see anything in it.
The large screen allows for 20 feature icons to be displayed for quicker and easier finding. This means I do not have to scroll in the device for the required features. All my required navigation screens are immediately available and not part of a sub or secondary screen or menu.
A new one for me was the Aviation mode, features that I would generally use, like glide rate extra.
A capability that I did like is that the 700i and 750i take an external antenna. I miss this capability in the Overlander. Maybe not necessary in all vehicles but I feel such a navigation device is not complete without an external antenna capability for better and stronger signal inside of the vehicle. Unfortunately, these would not be the same external antennas that were used on the earlier Montanas and 276Cx.
The new included inReach technology in the 700i and 750i is a winner when comparing the pricing with other similar devices. This is now all included, built in. I have not included the inReach features as I covered that in my previous article.
The device comes standard with its own lithium battery, with an expected battery life of up to 18 hours. An additional power pack can be purchased or an AA battery adapter can be purchased for back-up power.
First impressions count and this device passed this test with flying colours. In saying that, I would consider it to be one of the most comprehensive satellite navigation devices on the market today.
For those wishing to use it on a motorbike the device is glove friendly.
For me using the Garmin Alpha dog tracking devices, the Alpha series Garmin GPS’s (not the collars) can be synchronized with the new Montanas via Blue Tooth.
I believe that these new devices are suited for 4x4ing, hiking, marine adventures, quad biking etc but I do not believe that it is the best device suited for cycling. Too big and too heavy.
In closing. I found the new Montana’s refreshing rate most impressive and a big step forward. The new features and the device itself in my words: a major upgrade.
I thoroughly enjoyed using the Montana 750i that I was loaned for a few weeks and was left with a positive impression. In the future the Montana 700i will be on my shopping list before anything else, guaranteed.
Disclaimer: Although the information shown above is presented in good faith and believed to be correct at the time of publishing, SA4x4 makes no representations or warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of the information. SA4x4 has no liability for any errors or omissions in the content freely displayed. Please note that all the prices shown below are subject to change without notice. Due to the nature of imported equipment shown above, please understand that we as a South African market are very dependent on the Rand/ Dollar exchange rates.
SA4x4 encourages all patrons and users to check pricing of items shown online with vendors directly via our contact form.