I ordered my Garming GPSMAP62s on Wednesday and it arrived today. I admit it I succumbed to Garmin’s cash grab and upgraded so that I can use the chirp technology. I would not have upgraded if the Colorado firmware received an upgrade. The fact that it doesn’t is a sign that Garmin would rather you upgrade to a whole new unit than let you upgrade firmware.
The following are my thoughts pre-geocaching. The unit has just arrived and has not been outside yet. My thoughts on these subjects may change once I’ve had the unit in the field. My last GPSr got a scratch on the screen days after I got it. This time I put the screen protector on before I took the unit geocaching.
Observations on the unit’s physical characteristics:
- As with the 60CSx the 62s uses micro SD memory cards. I’m glad I used those with an adapter instead of investing in full size cards. This way I don’t have to buy new micro SD cards.
- The back clip is shorter. You can actually leave the clip on and still remove the battery cover. Just clip the cover to your backpack thus freeing up one of your hands to help with the battery swap.
- The battery cover uses a 60 style twist “lock” to keep it in place.
- Finally, there is a place for lanyard. Now I can keep my GPSMAP 62s attached to me when I change batteries or am looking at the screen.
- The front buttons do not seem as rubbery as 60 series, they are a little slippery.
- With my Colorado I would load pocket queries directly to my SD card. This was very fast. With the micro SD card under the batteries I think I’ll be doing most of my uploads over the USB cable. The 62s comes with a cable. I suggest you use that one.
- Power button much easier to use now that is has been moved to the side.
Observations on the units operation:
- Pages auto select on pause when scrolling through screens.
- The trip computer includes a total finds indicator. This will makes milestone caches easier to figure out.
- Load up a large pocket query and then use built in filtering to find caches by size, type, terrain, difficulty. This is a much appreciated feature.
- The power saver function turns off screen instead of dimming it.
- The sight and go seems like a handy function.
- You still can’t edit geocaches but you can save them as waypoint and then edit from there. This will speed up the time it takes to do a multi-cache.
- upgrade firmware – shipped version didn’t have Chirp support
So far I’m fairly impressed with the form factor and the operation. There are a few quirky things like “stop navigation”. I’m still not sure where I find that function. I won’t be getting out for a long day of geocaching for a few days yet.
Until I figure out what to do with my Chirp I have it broadcasting the tracking ID for my georide.
UPDATE: I recently wrote an in-depth post about using the GPSMAP 62s for Geocaching.
My Flickr stream has more pictures of my GPS receiver comparison.