Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS: Definitive Review (2022)

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This is the Ultimate TopNotch Review of the Garmin Oregon 700 for 2022.

Welcome to another TopNotch Guide to help you out for your next season of adventure and excitement in the wilderness. 

In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:

  • Ease of use;
  • Reception and display;
  • Improved antenna design;
  • Electronic Compass;
  • Comparison with other top models on the market today;
  • 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…

Reception
7
Ease of Use
8
Display Quality
9
Speed
9
Weight and Size
8
Versatility
6
Overall Score
78

  • Manufacturer: Garmin Limited
  • Display Size:  1.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Display Type: Transflective color touchscreen display (TFT)
  • Satellite Systems Used: GPS, GLONASS – supports various mapping options
  • Display Resolution: 240×400 pixels
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Average Battery Life: 16 hours – lithium batteries will be better in the cold

Bottom Line : This is one of the most capable and easy-to-use GPS units thats ideal for most outdoor adventures.

Pros


  • An accurate navigation device
  • A good quality 3-inch touchscreen
  • Effective Wi-Fi  and Bluetooth linking – expanded wireless connectivity
  • Fast and lag-free performance
  • Customizable profiles
  • Geocaching friendly
  • Activity profiles – simplified menu interface
  • Encased power button
  • IQ compatible – customize with data fields, widgets, and apps
  • Battery save mode
  • The compact size makes it easy to pack
  • Access geocaching live 
  • ABC Sensor Capabilities – Altimeter, Barometer, Compass

Cons


  • It uses up batteries fast
  • Not suitable for cold weather
  • Only 3.4 GB inbuilt memory

Our Verdict: Garmin Oregon 700 Review

Handheld devices have made things much easier for us outdoor lovers. 

And when it comes to the 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. You can even share LiveTrack location data or geocache discoveries with other users.

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 – not to mention the smart notifications via Bluetooth connectivity with a compatible smartphone.  

In the end, the 700 is a GPS navigation device that any adventurer will love to carry along. We just wish the manufacturer 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.

Reception

Now, one important feature of the 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. 

Garmin Oregon 700

Reception Rating

Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
9
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
9
Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
8
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
8
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
8
Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
7
Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
6
Garmin etrex Touch 35
6

Another important addition is the redesigned antenna that helps acquire your signal faster.

Remember, it has the ABC (altimeter sensors, 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

Why? 

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. 

Garmin Oregon 700

Ease Of Use Rating

Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
8
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
8
Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
8
Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
8
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
7
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
7
Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
7
Garmin etrex Touch 35
6

And before you ask, all the profiles can be customized. 

Our advice is, go through some training videos on YouTube on how to use 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 TOPO maps Active 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 a great geocaching experience. 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.

Display Quality

Without any doubt, the 700 has one of the best touchscreen displays in this category. 

How come? 

To start with, the 3-inch transflective color TFT touchscreen provides a bright and vivid interface. 

Garmin Oregon 700

Display Quality Rating

Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
9
Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
9
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
8
Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
7
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
7
Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
7
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
7
Garmin etrex Touch 35
7

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.

Speed

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. 

Garmin Oregon 700

Speed Rating

Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
9
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
9
Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
9
Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
8
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
8
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
7
Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
6
Garmin etrex Touch 35
6

The map redrawing speed was very good and it handled larger files smoothly without faltering.

The fact is the manufacturer 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. 

What next? 

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 reception 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 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?

Thought so.

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 Oregon 700

Weight & Size Rating

Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
10
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
10
Garmin etrex Touch 35
9
Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
8
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
8
Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
8
Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
4
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
2

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 this GPS device slightly difficult to handle while wearing thick gloves. 

Bottom Line

While lightweight backpackers and hikers will find the 700 a good choice, professional users might prefer a more robust device.

Versatility

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.

Garmin Oregon 700

Versatility Rating

Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
9
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
9
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
8
Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
7
Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
7
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
7
Garmin etrex Touch 35
7
Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
6

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… 

There’s more. 

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. 

On the other hand – its built-in altimeter keeps you updated with elevation data so that you can accurately monitor any ascent or descent. 

And the barometer will monitor the air pressure and help you predict weather changes.

Overall though, 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

Garmin GPSMAP 66st Handheld Hiking GPS
81%
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
80%
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
80%
Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS
78%
Garmin Montana 680 Touchscreen GPS
73%
Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
73%
Garmin etrex Touch 35
68%
Garmin in Reach Explorer+
66%

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. 

Period.

It combines a simple interface with Topnotch features and solid signal reception and is perfect for a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, geocaching, cycling, kayaking, hunting, and fishing. 

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 Global Positioning System 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.

 

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