This is the Ultimate TopNotch Review to Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS 2020.
Welcome to another TopNotch Guide to help you out for the next season of adventure and excitement in the wilderness.
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- Ease of use
- Reception and display
- Comparison with other models
- Lots more…
So if you’re looking for a simple and accurate GPS at an affordable price, you’ll love this guide.
Here are the details…
- An accurate GPS navigation device
- A good quality 3-inch touchscreen
- Effective Wi-Fi and Bluetooth linking
- Fast and lag-free performance
- Customizable profiles
- The compact size makes it easy to pack
- It uses up batteries fast
- Not suitable for cold weather
- Only 3.4 GB inbuilt memory
Our Verdict: Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
Handheld GPS devices have made things much easier for us outdoor lovers.
And when it comes to the Garmin Oregon series, the manufacturer has always produced a great combination of user-friendly features and TopNotch accuracy.
So when we headed out with the 700, we had high hopes.
It turned out to be an excellent all-round device; with fast and smooth reception.
We loved the multiple connectivity options, both with Smartphones and Wi-Fi systems.
Also, there are smart notifications to keep you updated at all times.
Geocachers will find the wireless partnering with Geocaching.com a cool addition.
Not only that, but the Garmin Oregon 700 allows you to store 10,000 waypoints.
Can you believe that?
Moreover, even though it’s the most affordable product in the Oregon series, you get a superb touchscreen with self-orientation.
In the end, the 700 is a GPS navigation device that any adventurer will love to carry along. We just wish Garmin would have paid more attention to some of the minor rough edges.
Still, even in the wildest of terrains, this GPS will keep you rooted to the right track.
So shall we head into the details?
Here we go…
Related: 10 Best Handheld GPS
Our Analysis Comparisons and Test Results
Actually, while organizing the trip for testing the GPS devices, we didn’t realize we would be heading into some of the most beautiful terrains.
That included some lovely spots in the Glacier National Park.
It was quite a trip.
High altitudes and rough trails, we went all-out to judge the performance of some of the best hiking and mountaineering GPS devices on the market.
Note that Garmin has stopped the production of the Oregon 600 series, so there’s no point in comparing the Garmin Oregon 600 vs 700 GPS.
In any case, the 700 is a versatile choice for GPS navigation in any hiking, hunting, or cycling trip.
So let’s check out how it performed.
Now, one important feature of the Garmin Oregon 700 handheld GPS is that it can capture both the GPS and the GLONASS satellite network.
For sure, we challenged the GPS with our wild trails. But even in forest-covered trails, the signal reception was rock steady at all times.
Another important addition is the redesigned antenna that helps acquire your signal faster.
Remember, it has the ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) sensors that provide accurate data for easier navigation.
Another feature we loved is the TracBack function. We tested it in the forest in Glacier and it led us back to our campsite without fail.
Having said that, the accuracy levels aren’t as good as the Garmin GPSMAP66ST.
Well, one reason is that the 66ST can acquire three satellite signals, including the Galileo satellite system.
But don’t get me wrong here.
In reality, the difference isn’t so noticeable.
The Oregon 700, is still very fast under a variety of conditions.
Apart from that, we felt the inclusion of “off-route” alerts would definitely have made the GPS more effective.
Ease of Use
Think about this.
For any first-time buyer, selecting a personal GPS for hiking, ease-of-use is definitely an important factor.
So how did it perform?
Firstly, it’s an intuitive GPS and there are preconfigured profiles that make it easy for first-time users.
Ease Of Use Rating
And before you ask, all the profiles can be customized.
Our advice is, go through some training videos on YouTube on how to use Garmin Oregon 700, to figure out the details.
But that’s not all.
Pair up the Garmin Oregon 700 with your Smartphone via Bluetooth and you’ll get smart notifications in terms of call, text, and email, along with weather predictions.
Sadly, the TOPOActive mapping available in other Garmin products is missing here.
On the other hand, you get the Garmin Connect IQ platform that has plenty of cool features including widgets and apps.
While the TopNotch team avoided most of the clutter, the downloading of routes and FIT/GPX files is one practical feature we loved using for navigation..
In addition, the touch screen makes the operating easier, and swiping left or right leads you easily to the various features.
Finally, we loved the live geocaching feature that makes the 700 a great tool for geocachers. Once connected with the smartphone, you can also view weather forecasts and updates.
To sum up, we liked its overall ease-of-use and the GPS ended up among the top performers in this metric.
Without any doubt, the 700 has one of the best touchscreen displays in this category.
To start with, the 3-inch transflective color TFT touchscreen provides a bright and vivid interface.
Display Quality Rating
We found the readability excellent under any kind of light.
Note the orientation in portrait and landscape mode is automatic like other touchscreen devices…
Also, the pixel density of 240 x 400 pixels makes the high-resolution images appear sharp.
Not to forget, there’s a backlight that can be activated as and when needed.
We always love the advantage of a backlight in a tent or on a trail after dark.
Moreover, you can also adjust the brightness to conserve the batteries.
No one likes a display that scratches easily.
Our 700 had quite a tough screen.
Unless you accidentally damage it with a sharp object like a knife, scratches won’t be an issue.
All in all, the GPS shared the top spot under this metric with the Garmin GPSMAP 66ST.
Obviously, speed is an important metric we use to compare handheld GPS devices.
The good news is, the Oregon 700 was one of the fastest among those we tested.
Now, the touchscreen was highly responsive most times.
The map redrawing speed was very good and it handled larger files smoothly without faltering.
The fact is Garmin has packed this device with 3.4 GB of memory and that helps to keep the performance lag-free.
Also, the connections via Wi-Fi, ANT+, and Bluetooth were super fast.
We tested the Time To First Fix (TTFF) as per our standards and it was less than a minute. That’s on par with the other top performers in this segment.
In addition, this tough little GPS comes with a high-speed mini USB interface.
One more thing…
We tested the satellite finding times both in the wilderness and locally to home.
This GPS was very fast in acquiring a signal.
Just in case you need to go faster, download the necessary extended prediction orbit files (EPO) files through the Garmin Connect account.
In the end, the Oregon GPS Garmin was among the chart toppers in this segment too.
Weight and Size
So you like a GPS that’s easy to grip and fits into the pocket without a fuss?
With the dimensions of 2.4 x 2.5 x 1.3 inches, the Oregon 700 is easy to hold for even those with smaller hands.
In fact, I had no problems transferring it to my jacket pocket when I needed my hands free.
Garmin has struck the right balance between ‘display’ and the ‘overall dimensions’ with this model.
Coming to the weight, it weighs around 7 oz with the batteries.
That’s light enough for hikers and backpackers.
Beyond that, you can use the wide range of accessories to make handling even easier.
These include car mounts, bike mounts, backpack tether.
However, being a touchscreen GPS, it doesn’t feel as robust as some of the chart toppers like the Garmin Foretrex 401.
Also, the overall design is ergonomic and you can comfortably hold it in one hand.
Then again, we found the GPS is slightly difficult to handle while wearing thick gloves.
While lightweight backpackers and hikers will find the 700 a good choice, professional users might prefer a more robust device.
On the face of it, the 700 GPS is really versatile with customizable menus and various intuitive functions.
The touchscreen interface is very fast and using it with thin biking gloves won’t be a problem.
However, with thick woolen gloves, the screen is not so responsive.
What about wet conditions?
We used it in light snowfall and the screen response was pretty smooth.
Like the other members in the Garmin 700 series, it’s IPX7 water-resistant so you can use it in the rain.
But, when it gets completely wet, the touchscreen does lose some of its responsiveness.
Now we know that’s a common problem with touchscreens…
The Garmin specs say that the battery life is 16 hours. But with standard alkaline batteries, the GPS doesn’t run as long.
We also found it freezing up when the temperatures dipped below zero.
So this is one metric where the 700 didn’t really put up a good show like the others we tested..
Our Final Verdict: Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
Conclusion: Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
Here we are at the end of our Garmin Oregon 700 Review.
Time to sum up.
In terms of the high quality and features, this is one of the best handheld Garmin GPS devices you’ll find.
It combines a simple interface with Topnotch features and solid signal reception.
The superb display is another plus point.
What’s more, the all-round connectivity made it easy to share data amongst the team.
Last but not least, the speed and accuracy make it perfect for use over water, in remote terrains, and at higher altitudes.
Quite simply, if a touchscreen GPS is what you want, the Garmin Oregon 700 offers great value for money.
It’s still a first-rate choice for adventure lovers.
Over to you to make your choice…
Or check out the TopNotch Award Winners to see some other great Garmin devices.