GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Discussion related to the Garmin GPSMAP 65 series GPSr
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GPSrChive
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by GPSrChive »

OK, so what details have you still undecided?
ewald.gruen
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by ewald.gruen »

All I am looking for is a replacement for my worn-out 64s, which was perfect for my needs - apart from its lack of accuracy in difficult terrain.

The things that worry me the most about the 66sr are:
  • Shape and Size
  • Location of the power button
  • Choice of Micro-USB over Mini-USB (or USB-C)
  • Not being able to reactivate the backlight with any button*
  • Apparent lack of flexibility when it comes to overlaying data fields
  • Price (because I'm only going to use a small subset of all available features)
  • Pixel density** (in theory and according to some user reports the lower pixel density of the 65s helps readability in difficult conditions)
*) However, I am still not convinced that this is really the case (because I'm talking about the 'Backlight timeout' not 'Battery save').
**) Although I most likely am going to enjoy the higher pixel density (and maximum display brightness) of the 66sr most of the time.
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GPSrChive
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by GPSrChive »

I must have misread your earlier post. Any button will reactivate the backlight when not in battery save mode on the 66sr.
herdofem
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by herdofem »

The 65S does not have wi-fi and does not have BirdsEye Direct capability. I should have got 66SR.
ewald.gruen
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2022 2:58 pm

Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by ewald.gruen »

The GPSMAP 66sr arrived yesterday. Here are my first impressions (with firmware 3.80) after a 13 km trail run and extensive use of all controls:

Pros:
  • The display is a major step forward compared to the 64s
  • The higher dynamic range of the display brightness is quite nice
  • There is a nice two button press combination to hide / show the dashboard
  • Only five instead of eleven buttons presses are needed to clear the current trip data
  • The render quality - especially of maps like Garmin TOPO Germany PRO - is awesome

    GPSMAP_66sr_TOPO_Germany-photo.jpg

Cons:
  • Map rendering is pretty slow
  • The USB plug sits very loosely in the socket
  • The buttons are definitely worse compared to the 64s
  • Scrolling feels incredibly sluggish and is a major annoyance
  • Compared to the 64s, the 66sr feels like a foreign object in your hand
  • The tactile feedback of the buttons is decent but the sound they make is annoying
  • There are noticeable and unpredictable delays when interacting with the user interface
  • The weight balance is rather poor and actually makes one-handed operation quite uncomfortable
  • A fairly sharp edge on the back of the device makes one-handed operation even more uncomfortable
  • The position of the power button makes it unnecessarily difficult to adjust the brightness with one hand

Things I personally don't really care about but still surprised me:
  • The compass display is more jerky than on the 64s
  • The shaded relief feature is basically just as bad as on the 64s
  • The brightness of the screen can apparently only be adjusted in 11 levels instead of 21 as on the 64s
  • It is apparently not possible to connect to a Wi-Fi network without going through some sort of initial setup via Garmin Express
The quality of the recorded GPS tracks is as expected significantly better compared to the 64, but the question remains how it compares to the 65s and whether the seemingly poorer satellite reception of the 65s actually makes a difference or not - because according to the reviews I've seen, it doesn't.


TL;DR: I'm an idiot for not buying the 65s when I had the opportunity to get it at a 25% discount.

GPSMAP_66sr_TOPO_Germany-screenshot.png
GPSMAP_64s_TOPO_Germany-screenshot.png
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GPSrChive
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by GPSrChive »

@ewald.gruen

Thank you for the detailed review!

Was your GPSMAP 66sr already loaded with firmware 5.50, or did you have to update it?

:D
ewald.gruen
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by ewald.gruen »

It came with firmware version 3.80 and I haven't updated it yet.
Last edited by ewald.gruen on Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GPSrChive
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by GPSrChive »

ewald.gruen wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:05 pm It came with firmware version 3.80 and I haven't updated it yet.

You may want to update the firmware before making any final judgements.


Changes made from version 3.80 to 4.90:

  • Added support for creating courses. Courses can be navigated point to point like a track, or using map data like a route.
  • Added support for syncing courses with Garmin Explore. Requires updated Garmin Explore app.
  • Added ability to convert routes and tracks to courses.
  • Added ability to pair to Garmin Explore without first pairing to Garmin Connect Mobile. Requires updated Garmin Explore app.
  • Added option to search for POIs near a selected city.
  • Added on course and off course alerts to track navigation.
  • Added support for Connect IQ 3.1.
  • Improved status bar to show paired sensors instead of only enabled sensors.
  • Improved bluetooth device names in sensor setup.
  • Fixed possible issues with live geocache lists.
  • Fixed possible issues returning to the adventure review map from another page.
  • Fixed time data when copying tracks in reverse.
  • Fixed issue where route list would not update after route was deleted.
  • Fixed issue with keyboard language not persisting through power cycles.
  • Fixed an issue deleting adventures that contain routes.
  • Fixed possible issue with elapsed time when recording is paused.
  • Fixed possible shutdown selecting Current Activity from the Recorded Activities app.
  • Fixed issue where messages would appear during power-down.
  • Fixed pressure labels for hectopascals.
  • Fixed possible issue with missing track stats in GPX files.
  • Fixed issue selecting the first point on the active route page.
  • Fixed possible shutdown on keyboard page.
  • Fixed display issue on photo viewer page.
  • Fixed recording with expedition mode when auto-start is off.
  • Fixed issue where archived tracks could not be deleted.
  • Fixed issue with LiveTrack data not being sent correctly.

Changes made from version 4.90 to 5.20:

  • Fixed issue with main menu as base page.
  • Fix shutdown when downloading BirdsEye imagery when SD Card is inserted.
  • Improved Find key to search near map cursor position when appropriate.
  • Fixed possible issues with expedition mode.
  • Fixed possible issues with Search Near option.
  • Fixed possible issue with Cancel button when saving a course.
  • Fixed incorrect option menu items when reviewing a course.
  • Fixed incorrect option menu items when reviewing the current recording.
  • Fixed possible issue when changing long course names.
  • Fixed incorrect English text when deleting a profile.
  • Fixed possible issue where course review page could show stale data.
  • Fixed routing prompt appearing twice when adding a via point.
  • Fixed possible issues with menus in Connect IQ applications.
  • Fixed possible unexpected behavior when saving or clearing an activity.
  • Fixed adding via points to on road routes to a single point.
  • Fixed possible shutdown when downloading Birdseye Direct images.
  • Fixed missing lap data in course files generated on the device.
  • Fixed incorrect tone for on and off course alerts.
  • Fixed issue with on and off course alerts appearing when they should not.
  • Fixed possible issue syncing courses with Explore mobile.
  • Fixed issues searching for address numbers with more than 6 characters.

Changes made from version 5.20 to 5.40:

  • Fixed a possible shutdown when entering expedition mode.
  • Fixed a possible issue with editing a Geocache filter.
  • Fixed a possible issue with removing an item from the page sequence.
  • Fixed a possible issue with modifying the coordinates of Multi-Caches.
  • Fixed a possible issue with editing a Course name.
  • Fixed unit settings not being profile-dependent.

Changes made from version 5.40 to 5.50:

  • Fixed a possible issue where POIs wouldn't appear on the map.

:o
ewald.gruen
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by ewald.gruen »

Thanks for the reminder, but I read through the whole change history before writing my post, and yes, I know that the newer firmware versions probably also contain many fixes that aren't listed there, but I doubt that the things I criticized are fixed in 5.50, and if they were, you'd probably tell me? Apart from that, the most important factor in deciding whether or not I keep the device will be whether or not I am willing to give up ergonomics.

Besides, why not just link the GPSMAP 66sr Firmware Update History?
pokyyy
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Re: GPSMAP 65s or 66sr

Post by pokyyy »

It was a difficult decision for me too. I ended up with 65s and so far am quite happy with it. I don't need all the bells and whistles of 66sr, I just wanted a practical smallish unit that I could rely on when the *** really hit the fan. In fact, I prefer the simplicity of 65s.

Only you can decide what is important for you and get what works best for you, life is too short to duel on these things for too long. Good luck with your decision.
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