There’s a lot of choice out there when it comes to satellite navigation systems, or sat-navs. Not only are there plenty of different companies – such as TomTom and Garmin – but there are also different products within a single company.
Garmin is one of the most popular choices for satellite navigation systems thanks to the great value for money they offer. Two of their top sellers are the Oregon 650 and the Montana 650, but which is best?
Quick Comparison: Garmin Oregon 650 Vs. Montana 650
|#1. Oregon 650|
Our Best Pick
|240 x 400 pixels||16 hours||4 GB||8MP|
|#2. Montana 650|
|272 x 480 pixels||16 hours (22 hours on AA batteries)||3GB||5MP|
One of the first differences you will notice between the two systems is their size. The Montana is a little larger than the Oregon. With the larger size also comes a little more in terms of weight. The good news is that it has a larger screen, which is a big difference maker for some people.
The Montana has a 4” diagonal screen compared to the 3” diagonal screen on the Oregon. Thanks to the larger screen, the Montana also has a higher display resolution compared to the Oregon.
The Montana offers 72 x 480 pixels compared to the 240 x 404 pixel display of the Oregon. Given that the systems are sat-navs, a higher resolution can be important.
Both the Oregon 650 and the Montana 650 have their own high quality satellite receivers, but the Oregon is the better choice for satellite navigation. This is because it uses not just GPS, but also GLONASS satellite systems. This allows it to fix the satellite position faster than the Montana.
Both systems also have their own unique features. The Montana has support for voice prompts and will speak street names and instructions through a speaker in the mount.
This effectively makes the system hands free, which is great. While the Oregon doesn’t support this feature, it does have route avoidance features that allow you to avoid toll routes.
Even though both units have a rechargeable battery and an average battery life of 16 hours, the Oregon comes out ahead in terms of battery life. Both units are able to run on AA batteries, but the Montana is able to get more out of them, squeezing 22 hours out of them.
If you plan on taking a trip and taking lots of pictures then the Montana would be the better choice as you’ll need less batteries to keep it going. Speaking of the cameras…
The Oregon edges ahead of the Montana in terms of camera quality. It features a strong 8MP autofocus digital camera. It shares a geotagging feature with the Montana, which automatically tags the photos with the location there were taken. This feature works with the sat-nav, as it allows you to navigate back to where the picture was taken.
The camera on the Montana is no laughing matter either, as it’s still a whopping 5MP. It also allows you to use the BaseCamp feature to see the location of the photo on a map, rather than just letting you navigate back there. Create a full map of your journey by taking photos along the way with the Montana.
The Oregon also comes out ahead in terms of storage capacity, but just barely. The Oregon has a built-in memory capacity of 3.5GB, compared to the 3GB of the Montana. This extra storage space will come in handy given the size of the pictures the Oregon takes.
Thankfully both devices also have room for additional storage, so storage space won’t be much of an issue. An extra 500MB hardly makes this a deciding factor.
Each device is packed with some additional features. For example, the Oregon 650 has a built-in 3-axis electronic compass with accelerometer tilt compensation. Basically, it’s a compass that works even if you’re moving or you aren’t holding the device level.
The barometric altimeter can also pinpoint your location and help you stay on top of the weather. You can also add maps, load geocaches, and share everything wirelessly through the Oregon 650.
All of these features can also be found in the Montana 650 so, once again, it’s not much of a game changer.
The Oregon 650 has a patented backbone and battery cover that allows it to be attached to a range of stands for cars, bikes, boats, and ATVs. It doesn’t matter what you drive, the Oregon can call it home. The Montana on the other hand comes with its own proprietary mount.
Even though both units are very impressive, there are some key differences between the two. If satellite navigation is what you really need, then the Oregon would be the better choice thanks to the combination of GPS and GLONASS.
The Montana is the better choice for longevity, screen size, and resolution. Some people may find it bulky, but others will appreciate having the extra space.
When choosing between the two devices, it’s a question of which features you want most and what you plan to use the device for. The Oregon is the ultimate all-in-one solution, but the Montana has enough going for it to be worth the extra money.