Garmin eTrex Solar handheld GPS navigator with smart functionality

Garmin introduces a new handheld navigator GPS device, the eTrex Solar, featuring solar charging capabilities promising near-infinite battery life. Alongside, it includes a compass and Bluetooth connectivity.

Garmin eTrex Solar GPS handheld navigator

Beyond their acclaimed smartwatch line, Garmin continues to offer handheld GPS devices. In times preceding smartphones, Garmin’s portable GPS units were indispensable for seamless navigation during hikes or extended expeditions.

The eTrex Solar marks Garmin’s latest offering in handheld navigator GPS devices, harnessing solar charging for potentially limitless runtime. Garmin specifies a requirement of 75,000 lux for optimal charging, achievable only under abundant sunlight conditions.

Operational endurance varies: the device boasts up to 1,800 hours in expedition mode and around 200 hours in GPS tracking. In practical terms, intermittent charging should support weeks of navigation. It’s not mandatory to keep the eTrex Solar constantly active; having direction information for a few hours suffices, with a compass available for reference.

Supporting up to 50 routes and 1,000 waypoints, the device caters to extensive journeys, rarely necessitating division into sections. Its 2.16-inch screen lacks color but promises readability even in bright sunlight, boasting a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels.

Compatible with GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, Beidou, and IRNSS, the device allows trackback and easy retrieval of geocaches. Bluetooth connectivity facilitates synchronization with Garmin Explore.

Garmin eTrex Solar price and availability

The eTrex Solar is now retailing at just under $250 on Amazon.com. However, there are alternative colored eTrex models available at the same price, sans solar charging.

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Earlier this year, Garmin introduced wrist-worn GPS navigation devices, Foretrex 801 and Foretrex 901. These rugged Garmin GPS systems offer email and SMS alerts, with select models featuring ballistic functions.

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