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Magellan eXplorist 610 GPS – UpaDowna
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Magellan eXplorist 610 GPS

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Magellan has been long hailed as one of the front runners in the GPS industry and has been trusted by many outdoors enthusiasts for years and fortunately their new line of units named the eXplorist line keeps us pleased with their advancements.

MSRP: $449.99

Weight: 6.87 oz.

Dimensions: 2.57" x 5.04" x 1.45"

Screen size: 3"

Memory: 4GB (expandable with micro sd up to 32GB)

I received a 610 for review a few months back and have been taking it through its paces from simple navigation to geocaching to all out hike till I'm lost and try and use the 1:24k maps to find my way out. This rugged little unit does a great job of taking the licks and still functioning great. Even deep trees the 610 was quick to fire up and get things tracking. At first the 3.2mp camera was a bit lagging on start up but after a quick on line update it fired up with out an issue. This unit also features a pretty decent video option as well as a way to record voice notes on the trail. The touch screen is meant to be used, it is not just another pretty feature, now I am not suggesting that you use a tent stake as a stylus but be firm and it tracks well.

There are plenty of options for the quick reference buttons and using the different 2d and 3d views can take a bit of getting use to (but only because they are so damned sweet!). All in all the technology in this set up is pretty user friendly. Just spend a bit of time dialing it in to the way you want it and navigating is pretty easy. I cannot say that the battery life is a full 16 hrs as advertised, in fact I would say that this is reasonable if you have it in suspend mode which still tracks movement but does not use up the battery by running other features.

The 3-axis compass seemed like I had to recalibrate it every time I fired it up, fortunately it was really simple and easy to do by simply rotating the unit around in a figure 8 pattern. Another great interface that Magellan utilizes is the amazingly easy to use Vantage Point software. Now this is really exciting because this software allows you to plan trips/routes, play back routes, keep a journal, see vertical profiles and 3D imaging as well as much more. In the past I have struggled trough other programs just trying to get all of this info in an easily digestible format and with the VP program they do it all for me in one platform!

The software is solid with a few kinks that are worked out by the ever diligent, tech crew. HOWEVER there was one major issue ****THIS HAS BEEN RESOLVED****. I use the MGRS and UTM coordinate system almost exclusively and unfortunately there is a bit of a problem. You see through my training I was taught and subsequently have taught that the way to read a map is right then up or more commonly known as easting then northing. For example if you want to find the coordinates to something you would read them as, and this is purely an example: 13SD 123456e/987654n, however on the navigation screen on this unit you would see them reversed as 987654/123456 and if you are relying on this for say a SAR rescue and you read off the coordinates as you see them here, well you would be sending them far far away from your current location. ****THIS HAS BEEN RESOLVED****

To be clear I have only found this issue in the UTM and MGRS coordinate system not the more popular Lat/Long system. Nonetheless if you use these systems be aware! I have contacted Magellan and they are aware of the issue and will be addressing it and fixing it very soon, just be sure to log onto their web site and download the updates.

I will get a few pics up that I took with the camera up soon so you can see that they are really pretty good considering the 3.2mp and the fact that it is taken with a GPS unit and not an actual dedicated camera.

All in all I think this is a solid unit that is user friendly and has a very practical applications for the recreational user as well as for the die hard GPS fanatic. If this is a bit more unit than you can or want to handle Magellan offers a great line in the eXplorist series that will no doubt fit your needs.

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