The Garmin Rinos look good, work great, and feel excellent in hand.
After owning a Garmin Rino 120 for over a decade and having the opportunity to use all of the others in the Rino series, I have become accustom to the Rino operating system. I was shocked to see that the 600 series is a lot different.
I pretty quickly found the new system to be extremely user friendly and easy to find may way around. In fact, it is quite a bit easier to navigate through than the prior Rino models. The touch screen is the biggest factor in making it work so smoothly as you do not have to push the little button cursor around to get to where you want.
The speed at which the Garmin Rino 655t connects with satellites is amazing. In all cases of me powering up the unit, it has connected to satellites before I could even check it, even when indoors. I have not had any problem with receiving any signals in any type of overhead cover.
With my old Garmin Rino 120, I am use to waiting up to a minute for a strong enough signal to mark a waypoint. This has progressively gotten longer since I bought it and is harder now to get reception in dense cover. Hopefully this will not be a problem with the Rino 655t. With it as fast as it is now, I believe it will keep its stellar performance. Also with the 120 I was pretty lucky to get accuracy within less than 30 feet. With the 655t and 600, 9 feet of accuracy is easy to get almost instantly.
All Garmin Rino Models have a built in 2-way radio and can communicate with each other.
The ability to communicate with others in the woods is a huge benefit. With all of the Garmin Rinos you have the ability to keep in touch with each other by transmitting over FRS and GMRS signals making it possible to receive radio communications from other Garmin Rino users as well as anybody else that has a handheld radio running on either of those radio bands, which is almost all handheld radios such as Motorola Talk Abouts, Cobras, and Uniden Radios, as well as any cheap generic brands. The Rino 600 series come equipped with 5 watts of 2-way radio power. This is enough to transmit up to 20 miles line of site.
Another important feature is the ability of Garmin Rinos (any model) to communicate with each other. I have found this to be extremely useful when hunting and hiking with others. Their Rino will show up on the map telling you their exact position. This will only work with Rinos, so do not get any others.
There are two main differences with between the Garmin Rino 655t and the 650. They are maps and built in camera. We will talk about the camera later. The Rino 655t comes with Garmin’s 100k Topographical Maps preloaded already in it. The 100k topo maps cover the US as well as base maps of the rest of the world showing visual relief, landmarks, roads, cities, and more, all in color. The 100k topo maps are a scale of 1:100,000 and show a lot of detail with contours and all other features. If these are not enough for you, then you have the option of installing 1:24,000 scale maps that show even more detail including remote hiking trails. The 24k maps are not near as pretty, but are much more in depth.
The Garmin Rino 650 only comes with a base map. It is almost pointless though. It shows state lines, but not much more than that. You can mark a waypoint and easily navigate back to the point by looking at the map, but it is not going to indicate the type of terrain you will have to cross to get there. Luckily you can easily add maps to the Rino 650 GPS as well, but the start at $100. That is why it is better to just spend the $75 or so and buy the 655t, plus you get a built in camera.
Built -in Camera: Garmin Rino 655t
Photo taken with Garmin Rino 655t GPS Built-in Camera. Probably wont win any photo contests, but nice to have.
The other feature you get out of the Garmin Rino 655t that you do not get with any other Rino GPS model is a built-in digital camera. The Camera is an auto focusing, 5 megapixel digital camera that makes the unit no bigger. It takes good pictures as well and is very easy to use. Now you have one less chance of forgetting your camera when you come across the most beautiful view of the hike, or after a successful hunt, or when ever you might need one.
The feel of all of the Garmin Rino GPS units has been of quality that should hold up to many years of abuse in rough conditions. The Garmin Rino 655t and other 600 series models are built very well and feel the sturdiest of them all. They are encased with a rubberized armor that protects it from the rigors of the great outdoors and are waterproof. Although they are a little heavy, they feel very dense and comfortable in hand. The Rino 600 series are the best looking as well.
Garmin Rino 655t Review Closing Statement
The Garmin Rino 655t GPS is in a category of its own, as are all of the Rino Series. Why someone would consider buying a GPS that does not have a built in two way radio is beyond me. What sets the Garmin Rino 655t apart from the rest is the preloaded maps and built in camera. If you are looking for the absolute best GPS for hiking, hunting, fishing, and any other outdoor activity and price is not an option, the the Rino 655t is by far the way to go. If it is out of your price range, then consider the other options that the other less expensive Garmin Rino GPS Receivers have to offer; all are worth their price, and the lesser models are under $200, the same price as other GPS receivers without a 2-way radio.
In case my Garmin Rino 655t Review was in any way misleading, let me clarify my thoughts: the Garmin Rino 655t GPS is the best adventure GPS that money can buy. Click the link below to see the best price available on all of the Rino 600 Series Models.
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Best GPS Receivers: Garmin Rino Series