Garmin announced three new rugged handhelds: GPSMAP 66sr, GPSMAP 65, GPSMAP 65s!
These handhelds are Garmin’s most accurate outdoor devices in positioning and tracking as they provide multi-band and multi-GNSS technology. Outdoor explorers get optimal accuracy wherever they are: mountains, urban canyons and dense forests.
GPSMAP 66sr and GPSMAP 65 Series supports multi-band GNSS technology, making them Garmin’s first handhelds to receive and use multiple frequencies sent by navigation satellites, enabling improved user position accuracy, specifically in areas where GNSS signals are reflected (buildings, rock faces, especially when wet, …), weak (deep forests, …) or typically do not penetrate.
Garmin GPSMAP – Multi-GNSS
The GPSMAP 65, 65s and 66sr can simultaneously process satellite signals from numerous GNSS:
- GPS (USA)
- GLONASS (Russia)
- Galileo (Europe)
- QZSS (Japan, focused on the Asia-Pacific region)
- IRNSS (India, designed for use in this region only)
The "old" GPSMAP 64 and GPSMAP 66 series provide GPS, GLONASS and Galileo.
The label on the housing shows which GNSS are possible( e.g. GPSMAP 66sr).
You get several settings in the system setup:
- GPS only
- Demo mode (GPS off)
- Multi-Band on/off
The WAAS/EGNOS mode is no longer available!
Garmin GPSMAP – Multi-Band
The new GPSMAP handhelds receive satellite signals not only over the L1 but now also over the L5 frequency band (Galileo: E1 and E5a) – a technology that was previously only available on selected smartphones and can lead to increased positioning accuracy and faster positioning – especially in challenging environments with multipathing and weak signal acquisition.
This is an exciting development, which in my opinion will become really interesting when this technology is introduced to wearables like a Garmin fenix 7 or fenix 8! Because the GPSMAP handhelds are already very good at GPS reception!
Wearables are more sensitive to ground reflections, multipath reflections from short distances, disruptive dynamics due to arm swinging; and deep attenuation due to limited visibility and device orientation on the armrest (source: Sony).
Which GNSS* currently support multi-band technology?
Garmin writes in the GPSMAP 65 manual:
- GPS multi-band: A satellite constellation built by the United States, using the enhanced L5 signal.
- GLONASS: A satellite constellation built by Russia.
- GALILEO multi-band: A satellite constellation built by the European Space Agency, using the enhanced L5 signal. (note: Galileo: E5a)
- QZSS multi-band: A satellite constellation built by Japan, using the enhanced L5 signal.
That means in practice: In Europe and North Amerika you can receive multi-band signals provided by GPS and Galileo!
The new technology could have another advantage: The altitude values corrected by auto-calibration via the GNSS system should be more accurate.
*GNSS = Global Navigation Satellite System
What are the differences between the GPSMAP 64 and the GPSMAP 65 series?
Besides the described multi-band & multi-GNSS receiver you get the following new features:
- Internal memory is now 16 GB (versus 8 GB)
- GPSMAP 65 and 65s are compatible with the Garmin Explore app* and website (e.g. trip planning, mapping and data sharing) (*Android, iOS)
The GPSMAP 65 and GPSMAP 65s have suggested retail prices of $349.99 and $399.99.
What are the differences between the GPSMAP 66st and the GPSMAP 66sr?
The GPSMAP 66sr can be compared with the GPSMAP 66st and GPSMAP 66i.
Like the GPSMAP 66i, the GPSMAP 66sr features an integrated, non-replaceable lithium-ion battery with a battery life of up to 36 hours, or up to 450 hours in expedition mode (compare). AA batteries cannot be used!
Garmin wouldn’t be Garmin if there weren’t a few subtle differences in detail – one of which is sensational:
- The slot for the microSD card is located on the side.
- RINEX recording is omitted.
- The routing menu has a slightly different structure.
- The sound volume can be adjusted!
The GPSMAP 66sr suggested retail price is $499.99.