The following review was in relation to the Magellan eXplorist 610, however many of the features do cross over to other models.
I'll be honest, I am an iPhone user. So when it comes to interfaces, I'm used to doing the dumbest thing and it usually works. When you need to re-place the curser in a txt message or zoom in on a photo this is fine, but the problem with being an iPhone user is that when your have to actually operate something technical and use it in the same method, it inevitably ends in a rabbit hole of functions, none of which are what I was after.
I had heard a lot about the previous lines of GPS's and how un-friendly the interfaces were, so when I was given one of eXplorist 610 to tryout on a backcountry trip in the Snowy's I knew it had the capabilities to do more than what I needed, but I also knew I didn't want to be wasting my time trying to figure out how to use it.
So here was the sequence of events:
- Parked the car at Guthega
- Turned on the GPS, it did take a minute to realise I wasn’t in Sydney (where it was last turned on)
- It located where I was, I pressed on that spot and a message came up “Do you want to save this locations?” I clicked “yes”.
- I zoomed out using ‘pinchy fingers’ technique, swiped around on the map a là google maps, found where I wanted to go and pressed on it. A note popped up “Do you want to navigate to here?” and I said “yes”
Now I’m not implying that my 17 month year old son, who has discovered the “swipe to unlock” function on my phone could use this, but it’s pretty straight forward. And there are a whole host of features that I only just skimmed the surface of.
Now if you’re asking yourself “well why I don’t just use my phone to navigate backcountry?” here are a couple of reasons:
- Waterproof (submersible)
- Shock proof
- Pressure touch screen NOT electrically conductive, means you can use this with gloves on. Which is really useful for subzero temperatures.
- Probably the most important is that the GPS on smartphones still relies a lot on working in relation with phone towers for accuracy. Obviously this can be a big problem when out of range.
I’m really keen about this product. If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, at the very least it will save you countless hours of navigation time; at the most it will get you out of some serious trouble. Now… if only it had Angry Birds to pass the tent time…
Was lost... is now found