Garmin GPSMAP 79s & 79sc – Marine handhelds with Multi-GNSS

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Garmin is showing off the GPSMAP 79s and the GPSMAP 79sc, two new marine handhelds for fishing, kayaking, sailing and other marine adventures or recreational activities.

The successors of the GPSMAP 78s, which has been available since 2010 (!), score with a optically bonded, scratch-resistant 3-inch color display, which is supposed to prevent fogging and be easy to read in strong sunlight.

Also new is the support of multiple satellite systems (Multi-GNSS): GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou as well as SBAS. Multi-band is not provided (should also be irrelevant for the target group).

According to the GPSMAP 79s/79sc manual, the following settings are possible:

  • GPS only
  • Multi GNSS
  • Demo Mode

So in multi mode all supported systems should be received at the same time. This option could also be an indication of what to expect in new handhelds in 2022 (e.g. a Garmin Oregon successor).

An MCX connector for an external antenna is not provided. Interestingly, the GPSMAP 79s & 79sc only have a Micro-USB port and not modern USB-C! Apparently there is no barometric altimeter (according to the Garmin website), but a 3-axis compass with tilt correction.

Otherwise, much is reminiscent of the Garmin GPSMAP 66 series – for example, the user interface, the classic button operation, the protection classes (IPX7, MIL-STD-810) and features such as a Rinex recording and the use of optional BlueChart g3 maps (79s).

The GPSMAP 79sc comes – in contrast to the GPSMAP 79s – with built-in BlueChart g3 cartography.

Garmin GPSMAP 79s Marine Handheld Device
Garmin GPSMAP 79s marine handheld (©Garmin)

Key Features GPSMAP 79s & 79sc

  • 3″ large GPS marine handheld
  • Support for multiple global satellite systems
  • 8 GB internal memory (memory card optional)
  • Storage of 10,000 waypoints, 250 GPX tracks, 300 FIT activities (tracklog with 20,000 points) and 250 routes
  • Tilt-compensated 3-axis compass
  • Bonded, scratch-resistant display for better contrast and to prevent fogging
  • Battery life of up to 19 hours
  • Pre-installed worldwide base map
  • Compatible with Garmin BlueChart g3 maps
  • Floatable and robust design

The Garmin GPSMAP 79s costs $299.99, the GPSMAP 79sc $349.99 (RRP).

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