Garmin Oregon 300
Handheld GPS with a touch screen
- Full touch screen, attractive and minimal design, user-friendly interface, expandable memory, preloaded base map
- Provided maps aren’t detailed enough, display isn’t readable in direct sunlight, slow acquisition times, 3-D view isn’t available with preloaded maps
Garmin has provided a competitive handheld GPS device with the Oregon 300. It provides a full touch-screen experience in combination with a rugged casing and vital navigation tools. We would have preferred more detailed maps, but Garmin has provided room for expandability — making this an excellent choice.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
Garmin’s Oregon 300 is a handheld GPS unit with a touch screen that manages to retain the ruggedness of its button-endowed brethren. With expandable memory, turn-by-turn navigation and 3-D view added to the mix, the Oregon 300 may sound like an automotive GPS device. However, a bare base map prevents this device from providing the best of both worlds. But although there are definite improvements that could be made the Oregon 300 should still prove useful to hikers.
Distinguishing the Oregon 300 from the rest of the handheld GPS market is its physical design. Forgoing the multitude of buttons that often adorn such devices, the Oregon 300 relies solely on a 3in touch screen for control. Garmin has been able to create a minimal yet attractive look that still provides the necessary IPX-7 rubber casing to withstand the rigours of outdoor activity.
Perhaps the best part of the design is the battery cover — the fiddly threaded battery lids of lower-end models are gone, replaced by the same simple metal clasp featured on Garmin’s Colorado 300. This design allows users to easily secure a carabiner to the clasp. The only qualm we have with the Oregon 300’s design is the microSD card slot, which Garmin has placed underneath the batteries. This means users must first remove the batteries before they can swap memory cards.
As usual, Garmin hasn't specified the Oregon 300’s GPS receiver, instead simply boasting that the device’s receiver is highly sensitive and allows for quick signal acquisition. Unfortunately, this didn’t prove to be true: the Oregon took 3min 15sec from a cold start-up to full signal acquisition, making it much slower than Garmin’s own eTrex H. Thankfully, the device’s HotFix satellite position memory cache means that warm start-ups take under 20sec.
The Oregon 300’s user interface closely resembles that of an automotive GPS device. It’s much easier to use than competing handheld devices. The screen is slightly more resistive than we would have liked, forcing us to press quite hard in order to get a reaction from the device, but this is probably a side effect of its protective layer.
Although Garmin says that the Oregon 300’s display is easily readable in direct sunlight, we were dissatisfied with the display’s performance. Under direct sunlight the display’s colours are washed out, making it hard to view. The problem makes the Oregon 300 less than ideal for sunny days.
The navigation problems we faced on Garmin’s lower-end models are remedied somewhat on the Oregon 300 thanks to the inclusion of a base map. The preloaded map is fairly basic, displaying major arterial roads and significant locations for each country. The Oregon 300 also boasts a Digital Elevation Model layer that displays topographical information in the form of shaded relief. This preloaded information remains basic — it won’t recognise an elevation difference of a few metres — but it will still aid navigation close to hills or mountains.
A 3-D view mode is available on the Oregon 300, providing a display similar to the standard automotive GPS navigation view. However, this doesn’t work with the preloaded maps; it's intended for use with Garmin’s aftermarket maps, including the country-specific City Navigator maps and TOPO topographical maps. However, these maps can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.
Community-minded trekkers are in for a treat, as the Oregon 300 can wirelessly exchange waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches with nearby Oregon 300 and 400 models. We weren't able to test this as we didn't have a second unit, but the feature is definitely intriguing.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBusiness Development Manager | Digital MarketNSW
- FTService Desk AnalystVIC
- CCTest ManagerNSW
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTSAP Business Objects ConsultantACT
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)NSW
- CCTechnical lead (Informatica MDM)QLD
- FT2 x Firewall Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDigital Delivery and Engagement OfficersVIC
- FTNode Developer / ArchitectVIC
- FTSystems Engineer - Managed Service ProviderVIC
- FTSecurity EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Wealth ManagementNSW
- CCSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- TPTechnical Specialist, Identity and Acess ManagementVIC
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior Projects Engineer | Systems Integration and IT Managed ServicesNSW
- FTDesktop Support Team LeaderVIC
- CCSEM / PPC / Paid Search Specialist - 6 Month Contract RoleNSW
- FTService Delivery Management LeadQLD
- CCSenior Platform DeveloperNSW
- FTManager Integration PlanningNSW
- CCSolutions Designer/Architect- ServiceNowVIC