The Garmin Oregon 550 is one of the most acclaimed GPS units for hunting, as we have seen from the countless positive reviews it has gathered over time. The model comes with pretty much any type of feature one might ever be looking for, ranging from a large touchscreen display to a preloaded built-in basemap. If you’re still prospecting the market for a new GPS, it might be a good idea to consider this one as well as other alternatives you may have come across.
The display of the Garmin Oregon 550 has been built to last. It is among the most displays of GPS units on the market today, even though it features a color touchscreen that measures 3 inches. The neat thing about the screen is that it’s easy to read during all weather conditions, even when the sun is bright in the sky.
Some reviewers have mentioned that they come across minor issues when showing something on the screen to other people who were out hiking or hunting with them. However, even these people pointed out that this is, in no means, a deal-breaker, and that most of the angles you might use to look at the display are good enough to avoid reflections.
This is where the Garmin Oregon 550 is different than other models produced by the same company. The pack includes 2 AA NiMH batteries and an AA battery charger. In some other units, the batteries should have been bought separately, which was somewhat of a nuisance. Once the NiMH batteries aren’t usable anymore, feel free to purchase standard AA batteries, as they’ll work just as well with the device. As for the battery life, it has been tested and proven to last for around sixteen hours.
Ease of use
Some users are great aficionados of touchscreens, while others like the convenience and sturdiness of buttons. This model comes with a touchscreen, which might be a bit of a headache for some buyers. However, from what we’ve gathered by reading several customer reviews, we think it’s safe to say that the device can be customized and adjusted even when the user is wearing gloves. The neat thing about this alternative is that the interface has been built to speak even to the needs of people who aren’t tech-savvy.
Since the whole GPS is built to withstand the elements, you won’t have any trouble using its capabilities even when humidity is a problem.
It might be worth noting that this GPS comes with a camera, which might not be the most high-end one on the market, but it will still do its job. The unit can find its bearings in a timely fashion, thus allowing buyers to record short videos or take photos of the places they’ve seen or been to. On this account, you won’t have any trouble using the interface, as it can load in a matter of seconds. In addition, browsing for photos in the library isn’t tedious at all, as you’ll have the opportunity to check the spots you’ve been to by glancing at the pictures.
Maps and Geocaches
As previously mentioned, this unit comes with a preloaded worldwide basemap with shaded relief. The fact of the matter is that buyers don’t have to stick to the map collection that comes with the Oregon 550, as they can update it and add extra maps using the microSD card. Some of these maps one might be interested in buying from Garmin, while others can be downloaded online.
Furthermore, The Garmin Oregon 550 can be used for downloading data from websites such as geocaching.com. There are more than 5,000 caches available on the formerly mentioned website, with data regarding location, terrain, hints, description, and difficulty.
Unlike other models we analyzed during our research, this one can communicate with other Garmin users. There’s little to no info in regards to connecting the unit to a smartphone, so you might not be able to read your text messages or emails using the GPS. Even so, the device can share various data wirelessly, such as waypoints, geocaches, tracks, and routes.
All in all, the Garmin Oregon 550 has a great score when it comes to performance. Most of the buyers’ opinions praise its excellent capabilities, but it’s worth noting that if you plan to use your GPS in freezing conditions, you might be better off with a model that features buttons instead of a touchscreen. Nevertheless, since it is so easy to operate and comes with a relatively easy to learn interface, this is one of the most usable devices in the line