This technically isn't Garmin's first foray into Android territory, but it could prove to be one of the most successful. The navigation company's just introduced Monterra, a dedicated handheld GPS running a TBA version of Android. Basic specs are in line with what you'd expect from a mid-range smartphone, including a 4-inch touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera with flash and geotag support, 1080p video capture, 6GB of internal storage and microSD expansion. Naturally, the display is optimized for outdoor use -- it's transflective, so you only need to use the LED backlight in low light, letting you conserve power during daytime river treks and sunlit hikes.
The device is ruggedized, with an IPX7 waterproof rating, and can run on either a rechargeable battery pack (included) or AA batteries. It includes WiFi, ANT+, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, a built-in FM radio with NOAA weather and SAME alerts, dual-band GPS and GLONASS receiver, a 3-axis compass with accelerometer and gyro, a UV sensor for monitoring the sun's intensity and a barometric altimeter, which can report altitude and predict weather based on pressure shifts. There's also a handful of preinstalled apps designed to take advantage of this plethora of connectivity, including Europe PeakFinder, or you can download favorites from Google Play -- anything from farming aids to efficiency trackers can utilize many of Monterra's bundled sensors. The device is expected to ship in Q3, and should run you about $650 in the US or £600 in the UK.
Garmin® Announces Monterra™, an Android™ Powered Outdoor GPS with WiFi
OLATHE, Kan. /June 24, 2013- Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced Monterra, Garmin's first WiFi-enabled outdoor handheld GPS that combines Garmin's powerful location and mapping capabilities and the versatility of the Android™ operating system. From now on users can easily access the Google Play Store™, download apps through an available WiFi connection right onto their outdoor optimized Garmin handheld and enjoy new ways to explore the great outdoors. Garmin will present Monterra the very first time to the international trade and media at the Outdoor exhibition in Friedrichshafen (Ger) from July 11th – July 14th.
"Monterra provides outdoor professionals and enthusiasts with the ultimate ability to customize their GPS device to perfectly suit their personal and professional needs," says Martin Resch, Garmin's EMEA Product Manager, Outdoor. "With its brilliant four-inch, colour, multi-touch display and the ability to experience ever new apps, Monterra takes the outdoor GPS to a whole new level, and users are able to take advantage of its great features no matter how adverse the terrain may be."The Android operating system empowers users to access all their favourite outdoor-related Android apps, and even those that aren't, through the Google Play Store right on the device. They can even access professional apps like for farming or logging to improve their daily efficiency in the field. One of the most popular recreational outdoor apps in Europe PeakFinder is even preinstalled on Monterra and tells you the names and the height of mountain tops around you all over the Alps. Monterra also has a built-in FM radio and you can listen to music either with headphones or through the built-in speaker.
Monterra deploys leading sensor technology, thanks to its high-sensitivity, dual-band GPS and GLONASS receiver, Monterra finds its location quickly and maintains signal lock even in heavy cover and deep canyons. To even further improve positioning it has a built-in 3-axis compass with accelerometer and gyro, which indicates the user's direction when standing still or not holding the device level. Its barometric altimeter has the ability to track changes in pressure to pinpoint precise altitude, and it can also plot barometric pressure over time to monitor weather conditions. It also has a built-in UV sensor so users can monitor the intensity of the sun, and reduce exposure if necessary.
Monterra features an outdoor optimized highly durable mineral glass display. Its transflective display uses the power of the sun to provide best readability even in brightest sunlight. This way it even safes power throughout the day as the backlight LED only needs to be turned on for low light conditions. Monterra is fully ruggedized and has an IPX7 waterproof rating. To provide maximum independence during outdoor adventures it uses a dual battery system, which allows users the option of using the rechargeable Li-ion pack (included) or traditional AA batteries. It is also compatible with the same mounts as the Garmin Montana™, so users can safely take Monterra anywhere.
No need to take a separate camera out into the field, either. Monterra has a built-in 8-megapixel autofocus digital camera that takes vivid, geo-tagged photos for easy return navigation, plus a 1080p HD video camera with LED flash. Users can easily download photos and videos to their computer for either work or sharing using Garmin Adventures. Monterra has 6 GB of internal memory built-in plus a microSD slot for even more extra storage.
Wireless sharing is easy with Monterra. It has WiFi, ANT+™, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC capabilities, which allows users to share data, maps, waypoints, tracks, routes, and geocaches with other wireless compatible devices. Additionally, Monterra is compatible with BaseCamp™, a free software download that lets you view and organize maps, waypoints, routes and tracks.
Monterra is a heavyweight geocaching device, meaning it can hold millions of geocaches. Download caches from OpenCaching.com, or use a downloaded Android app, and users won't run out of room. All the paperless geocaching features, such as descriptions, hints and logs, will be there for every single cache. Cachers can also view photos, connect to chirp® enabled caches, and filter caches by size, terrain, difficulty and type.
The new Garmin Monterra will be available third quarter 2013 at a recommended retail price of £599.99 with preloaded Rec Map Europe with Navteq® roads. With Monterra, users are able to work mobile in the field, using all the Android apps they are used to using, but with the assurance of a rugged device that is waterproof, has longer battery life, an easy to read display and a variety of mounting options. Monterra will be revealed at the Outdoor exhibition in Friedrichshafen (Ger) from July 11th to July 14th at Halle B1, booth 202.
Monterra is the latest solution from Garmin's growing outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users' outdoor experiences. Whether hiking, hunting, geocaching, golfing, or dog tracking, Garmin outdoor devices are becoming essential tools for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. For more information about Garmin's other outdoor products and services, go to http://www.garmin.co.uk and www.facebook.com/garmin.uk or https://twitter.com/garminuk