Garmin Oregon 600t Review
Cons: Sensitive screen that changes easily, expensive, freezes up, limited basecamp interface
Our Analysis and Test Results
We took this unit into canyons, heavily treed areas, and into the mountains to determine how reception and accuracy compared to the rest. We also performed tests to determine which units were able to pick up a signal the fastest. All in all, the Oregon 600t has stellar reception and accuracy. This accuracy is attributed to the utilization of both GPS and GLONASS (24 extra satellites) satellite networks and WAAS capabilities.
We marked a waypoint and had the device navigate back to that spot. The Oregon 600t was able to navigate within 75 inches of the waypoint
During our field tests the Oregon 600t was able to lock and fixate on a position throughout the journey. When navigating under thick cover, accuracy decreased slightly, but we could navigate from point to point. All in all, the Oregon 600t has great reception in both open and covered areas.
Ease of Use
Easy peasy! If you're a little challenged when it comes to technology, the 600t is an excellent choice. The device has a sensitive touchscreen that operates like the display of a smartphone. You can use two or one finger to navigate, zoom in/out, and select options. This was the only touchscreen device that offered this versatility in screen function. The unit also features two buttons. One for power and the other to quickly get back to the menu (this button was programmable).
The interface (like other Garmin units) is easy to get to know. The menu is set as the default screen and fairly self-explanatory. The text is large with the option to be smaller or bigger. It also allows you to customize the menu to make it more adaptable to your personal use. Many of our novice testers were able to navigate the device and deemed it one of the easiest to understand.
What really sets this device apart from the rest? Its display quality! The durable mineralized glass cover (a.k.a gorilla glass) is more durable and easier to see than other units in all light conditions. Garmin has incorporated special technology that uses the sun to determine how much backlight is used. It's also great for those who wear sunglasses.
This display itself is about 2.5 inches with a 240 X 400 pixel resolution. We also liked the screen's dual-orientation - switching from landscape to portrait depending on how it is held.
The only downside of the display is its sensitivity. Only a few droplets of water caused it to go from one display to another - almost erratically. That said, there is a screen lock option that comes in very handy when encountering hard rain or difficult weather. In all, we were impressed by the display's size, resolution, and its durable mineralized glass cover. It was head and shoulders above the rest.
The touchscreen is incredibly sensitive, making this a very fast unit. We were able to quickly mark and log waypoints and toggle between menu options. The electronic compass and map redraw was also very fast with little to no delay.
Weight and Size
The Oregon 600t is our third lightest unit, weighing just 6.95 oz. The unit stows away easily in a chest pocket or large pant pocket without weighing you down.
It also has a girth hitch point on the bottom to attach a lanyard if you want to wear it around your neck.
The Garmin Oregon 600t features a few fancy extras like wireless communication, a barometric altimeter, and electronic compass that make it far more versatile than units without these features. However, it does not feature a camera, video, or voice recorder to fully document adventures.
We also learned this device isn't really suited for extremely cold temperatures. After putting all units in the freezer overnight, the Oregon 600t was the only one to freeze up. All other units were fine. We also experienced this 'freeze up' during another test that didn't involve any extreme conditions. This makes us question the reliability of the unit.
When using thin gloves, the unit operated easily and without issue. When we increased glove thickness, the Oregon 600t was rendered useless. In these situations we would recommend a buttoned unit. Overall versatility is good for all weather conditions and activities - with the exception of extremely cold temperatures.
We would limit its use to all weather except seriously freezing situations.
Even though we love this unit, we aren't thrilled about the $399.99 sticker price. The Oregon is unique in its screen functionality but we think there are other units with better value. Overall, we think the price is on the high side, but you may decide the modern screen is worth it.
The Garmin Oregon 600t features a sleek touchscreen display that has the same look and feel as your smartphone. This GPS unit will be joining us on many adventures to come.
— Amber King