Garmin has just announced the new Montana 700 series for Australia which has been 5 years in development. The new models include a plethora of new features packed inside a new rugged design. The Montana 700i & 750i include Satellite Messaging and SOS functionality. These models are expected to arrive in Australia in August-September 2020.
What’s changed from the Montana 680t to the Montana 700 Series
I’ll list the key changes between the Montana 680t and the Montana 700 below:Key Feature Differences Montana 700, 700i & 750i VS Montana 680t
|Montana 700/700i/750i||Montana 680t|
|Physical Size||8.76 x 18.3 x 3.27cm||7.48 x 14.42 x 3.64cm|
|Display Resolution||480 x 800p||272 x 480p|
|Battery Life||GPS Mode: 18 Hours
Expedition Mode: up to 330 Hours
|GPS Mode: 16 hours|
|Memory||16GB (varies depending on users installed maps)||8GB|
|Preloaded Maps||Topo Active
City Navigator Maps (Montana 700i and 750i only)
Topo Full (Montana 750i)
|Topo Full V5|
|Birds Eye Satellite Imagery||Yes||No (Subscription Required)|
|Active Weather||Yes (Requires Mobile Connection)||No|
|LED Beacon Flashlight||Yes||No|
|Wireless Connectivity||Yes (WiFi, Bluetooth, ANT+)||N/A|
|Satellite Messaging Functionality||Yes (Montana 700i and 750i only)||N/A|
Preloaded Maps – The Montana 680t originally came with Topo Maps V5 the new Montana models come with different maps. A review of each of the topo maps provided by Garmin is available here if you need more information.
Montana 700– Preloaded with Topo Active Maps. Topo Active Maps is a relatively new map option from Garmin that doesn’t use Garmin’s own topographical mapping data but uses different open sources and the OpenStreetMaps POI database. The Topo Active Maps have 30m contours and come with 2 free map updates per year.
Montana 700i – This model is preloaded with Topo Active Maps and City Navigator Maps, this gives the unit full routing functionality to an Australian address. These preloaded maps plus the Satellite Message functionality give this model incredible usage versatility.
Montana 750i – This model also has City Navigator maps, but instead of Topo Active Maps it comes with Garmin’s best topo mapping Topo Maps Full (V6).
The Montana 700 series has seen quite a significant change in physical design, the new models are wider and taller. The screen size has also gotten larger, sporting a 5” display as opposed to the Montana 680t 4” display screen. The Montana 700 series, like the previous iteration, has the same capacity for charging mounted cradles. Due to the size difference though, the original Montana 680t cradles and accessories are not compatible with Montana 700 models. There’s a full list of compatible accessories available on this page, under the ‘Montana 700 accessories’ tab.
The Montana 700 series is also designed to Military standards in terms of water resistance, vibration, shock, dust and drop measures (MIL-STD-810). The Montana 700 series also keeps the option to use AA batteries along with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery that comes with all of these units.
Another hardware change exclusive to the Montana 700i/750i is the inclusion of the SOS button on the side. This button is protected by a hard flap that needs to be opened before you can press the SOS button.
Sunlight Display test
Features and Accessories
The Montana 700 series is packed with a massive number of features & sensors.
Sensors – Each Montana comes with altimeter for elevation data and barometer to monitor the weather and a 3-axis electronic compass.
Active Weather – This is new to the Montana 700 series and shows weather forecasts overlaid on your map. The only caveat here is that it requires cellular connectivity.
Satellite Mapping – This uses BirdsEye Satellite imagery to give you hi-res satellite images of specific locations you select. Unlike the previous Montana 680t, there is no annual subscription fee to access these satellite images.
Multi-GNSS support – To help improve satellite acquisition and retention, the Montana 700 series are equipped with access to GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO satellite constellations. As a side note here the Montana 700i and Montana 750i don’t have access to the same satellite constellations as they use the specialised Iridium Satellite network, they no longer use the GLONASS network but still use the GPS and GALILEO constellations.
Wireless Connectivity – The new Montana models finally feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity which dramatically increases how easy it is to update these models and gain extra information via cellular connection to the device.
Due to the hardware design changes, the Montana 680t accessories are not compatible with the Montana 700 models. I’ll list the significant accessories here, but a full list is available on the Montana 700 product page. Below are some useful accessories that are already available to order:
Mounting options available - AMPS Pattern Rugged Mount for Motorcycles or ATV’s. This kit includes a mount, hardware and cable with pos/neg power and 3.5mm audio jack and data wires.
Bicycle Mount suitable for handlebars and can be used in portrait or landscape orientation.
Garmin Screw-Down Marine Mount. This kit includes a mount, hardware and cable with pos/neg power and 3.5mm audio jack and data wires.
Suction Cup Mount with Speaker. This cradle can also charge your device with the pos/neg power, 3.5mm audio jack and data wire.
Motorcycle Rugged Mount with Audio/Power cable. This kit includes mount, hardware, AMPS arm/ball socket and cable with bare power/audio/data wires.
The Montana 700 series represents a much-needed update to the top-rated Montana series. The new features bring this device into a modern arena in terms of the latest wireless connectivity options, Satellite Imagery, Preloaded Mapping and even memory capacity. While the Montana 680t is still a perfectly viable Handheld GPS, there’s no doubt that the Montana 700 series is a significant upgrade across the board.