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Luxury Villa at Watersong Davenport, Orlando, Florida for rent

Handheld GPS Comparison

04th May 2003

 Article by Dave Burrows

 

There are so many handheld GPS Receivers out on the market, it's starting to become very difficult to find the wood from the threes.  Most of the receivers are of similar specification, but some can be quite different in price, so we've tried to bring together the most popular handheld GPS Receivers and compare the complete manufacturer specifications.  You can also read the review on any of these GPS Receivers if a review has been written by clicking on the Read Review link under each GPS Receiver.

 

 
 

Magellan

Meridian GPS

Magellan

Meridian Colour

Magellan

Meridian Gold

Magellan

Meridian Marine

Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review
Basemap 2mb cities/highways 16mb cities/highways 16mb cities/highways 16mb cities/highways
Number of Screens 7 9 7 7
Position Update 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec
TTFF Cold <2 mins <2 mins <2 mins <2 mins
TTFF Warm <1 min <1 min <1 min <1 min
TTFF Hot 15 secs 15 secs 15 secs 15 secs
Max Velocity 951 mph 951 mph 951 mph 951 mph
Weight 8 oz / 227gm 8 oz / 227gm 8 oz / 227gm 8 oz / 227gm
Display Size 2.2in x 1.75in 2.2in x 1.55in 2.2in x 1.75in 2.2in x 1.75in
Display Resolution 120 x 160 120 x 160 120 x 160 120 x 160
Colour Display ? Grayscale High-Colour Grayscale Grayscale
Backlit Display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Antenna Quad Helix Quad Helix Quad Helix Quad Helix
Horizontal Accuracy <7 m <7 m <7 m <7 m
Horizontal Accuracy WAAS / EGNOS <3 m <3 m <3 m <3 m
Battery Type AA AA AA AA
Battery Life (hours) 14 14 14 14
Additional Memory SD Cards SD Cards Built In Built In
Additional Maps MapSend MapSend MapSend MapSend
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Min Operating Temp -10C / 14F -10C / 14F -10C / 14F -10C / 14F
Max Operating Temp 60C / 140F 60C / 140F 60C / 140F 60C / 140F
Max Operating Alt 60,000 ft / 18,288 m 60,000 ft / 18,288 m 60,000 ft / 18,288 m 60,000 ft / 18,288 m
Waypoints 500 500 500 500
Routes 20 20 20 20
Trackpoints 2000 2000 2000 2000
Datums 76 76 76 76
DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Compass Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric Altimeter n/a n/a n/a n/a
Hunting/Fishing Calc Yes Yes Yes Yes
Celestial Information Yes Yes Yes Yes
Interface 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial
         
         
         
 
 

Magellan

Meridian Platinum

Magellan

SporTrak

Magellan

SporTrak Map

Magellan

SporTrak Pro

Review Read Review Coming Soon Read Review Coming Soon
Basemap 16mb cities/highways Cities Locations POI's 2mb cities/highways 9mb cities/highways
Number of Screens 7 9 7 7
Position Update 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec
TTFF Cold <2 mins <2 mins <2 mins <2 mins
TTFF Warm <1 min <1 min <1 min <1 min
TTFF Hot 15 secs 15 secs <15 secs <15 secs
Max Velocity 951 mph 951 mph 951 mph 951 mph
Weight 8 oz / 227gm 8 oz / 227gm 6.1 oz 6.1 oz
Display Size 2.2in x 1.75in 2.3in x 1.4in 2.2in x 1.75in 2.3in x 1.4in
Display Resolution 120 x 160 160 x 104 160 x 104 160 x 104
Colour Display ? Grayscale Grayscale Grayscale Grayscale
Backlit Display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Antenna Quad Helix Quad Helix Quad Helix Quad Helix
Horizontal Accuracy <7 m <7 m <7 m <7 m
Horizontal Accuracy WAAS / EGNOS <3 m <3 m <3 m <3 m
Battery Type AA AA AA AA
Battery Life (hours) 14 14 14 14
Additional Memory SD Cards Built In Built In Built In
Additional Maps MapSend n/a MapSend MapSend
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Min Operating Temp -10C / 14F -10C / 14F -10C / 14F -10C / 14F
Max Operating Temp 60C / 140F 60C / 140F 60C / 140F 60C / 140F
Max Operating Alt 60,000 ft / 18,288 m No Info from Magellan 60,000 ft / 18,288 m 60,000 ft / 18,288 m
Waypoints 500 500 500 500
Routes 20 20 20 20
Trackpoints 2000 2000 2000 2000
Datums 76 76 76 76
DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Compass Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric Altimeter Yes n/a n/a n/a
Hunting/Fishing Calc Yes Yes Yes Yes
Celestial Information Yes Yes Yes Yes
Interface 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial
         
         
         
 
 

Garmin

eTrex

Garmin

eTrex Summit

Garmin

eTrex Legend

Garmin

Venture

Review Read Review Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Basemap n/a 8mb 1mb Cities / Highways 24mb Cities / Highways
Number of Screens n/a n/a n/a n/a
Position Update 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec
TTFF Cold 5 mins 5 mins 5 mins 5 mins
TTFF Warm 45 secs 45 secs 45 secs 45 secs
TTFF Hot 15 secs 15 secs 15 secs 15 secs
Max Velocity n/a n/a n/a n/a
Weight 5.3 oz 5.3 oz 5.3 oz 5.3 oz
Display Size 2.1in x 1.1in 2.1in x 1.1in 2.1in x 1.1in 2.1in x 1.1in
Display Resolution 128 x 64 128 x 64 288 x 160 288 x 160
Colour Display ? Grayscale Grayscale Grayscale Grayscale
Backlit Display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Antenna Patch Patch Patch Patch
Horizontal Accuracy 15 m 15 m 15 m 15 m
Horizontal Accuracy WAAS / EGNOS n/a n/a 3-5 m 3-5 m
Battery Type AA AA AA AA
Battery Life (hours) 22 22 18 20
Additional Memory None None 8mb Built In 1mb Built In
Additional Maps n/a MapSource MapSource MapSource
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Min Operating Temp -15C / 5F -15C / 5F -15C / 5F -15C / 5F
Max Operating Temp 70C / 158F 70C / 158F 70C / 158F 70C / 158F
Max Operating Alt n/a n/a n/a n/a
Waypoints 500 500 500 500
Routes 1 20 20 20
Trackpoints 1536 3000 2048 2048
Datums n/a n/a n/a n/a
DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS No No Yes Yes
Electronic Compass n/a Yes n/a Yes
Barometric Altimeter n/a Yes n/a Yes
Hunting/Fishing Calc n/a n/a Yes Yes
Celestial Information n/a n/a Yes Yes
Interface 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial
         
         
         
 
 

Garmin

Vista

Garmin

Camo

Garmin

GPSMap76

Garmin

GPSMap76S

Review Read Review Coming Soon Read Review Coming Soon
Basemap 24mb Cities/Highways n/a 8mb Cities/Highways 24mb Cities/Highways
Number of Screens n/a n/a n/a n/a
Position Update 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec 1 sec
TTFF Cold 5 mins 5 mins 5 mins 5 mins
TTFF Warm 45 secs 45 secs 45 secs 45 secs
TTFF Hot 15 secs 15 secs 15 secs 15 secs
Max Velocity n/a n/a n/a n/a
Weight 5.3 oz 5.3 oz 7.7 oz 7.7 oz
Display Size 2.1in x 1.1in 2.1in x 1.1in 2.2in x 1.6in 2.2in x 1.6in
Display Resolution 288 x 160 128 x 64 240 x 180 240 x 180
Colour Display ? Grayscale Grayscale Grayscale Grayscale
Backlit Display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Antenna Patch Patch Quad Helix Quad Helix
Horizontal Accuracy 15 m 15 m 15 m 15 m
Horizontal Accuracy WAAS / EGNOS 3-5 m n/a 3-5 m 3-5 m
Battery Type AA AA AA AA
Battery Life (hours) 12 22 16 10
Additional Memory n/a n/a n/a n/a
Additional Maps MapSource n/a MapSource MapSource
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Min Operating Temp -15C / 5F -15C / 5F -15C / 5F -15C / 5F
Max Operating Temp 70C / 158F 70C / 158F 70C / 158F 70C / 158F
Max Operating Alt n/a n/a n/a n/a
Waypoints 500 500 500 500
Routes 20 1 50 50
Trackpoints 3000 2000 2048 5000
Datums n/a n/a n/a n/a
DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS Yes n/a Yes Yes
Electronic Compass Yes n/a n/a Yes
Barometric Altimeter Yes n/a n/a Yes
Hunting/Fishing Calc Yes Yes Yes Yes
Celestial Information Yes Yes Yes Yes
Interface 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial 9 pin Serial
         
         
         
     
 

Garmin

Geko 101

Garmin

Geko 201

   
Review Coming Soon Coming Soon    
Basemap        
Number of Screens n/a n/a    
Position Update 1 sec 1 sec    
TTFF Cold 5 mins 5 mins    
TTFF Warm 45 secs 45 secs    
TTFF Hot 15 secs 15 secs    
Max Velocity n/a n/a    
Weight 3.1 oz 3.1 oz    
Display Size 0.92in x 1.44in      
Display Resolution 64 x 100 64 x 100    
Colour Display ? Grayscale Grayscale    
Backlit Display Yes Yes    
Antenna Patch Patch    
Horizontal Accuracy 15 m 15 m    
Horizontal Accuracy WAAS / EGNOS n/a 3-5 m    
Battery Type AAA AAA    
Battery Life (hours) 12 12    
Additional Memory n/a n/a    
Additional Maps n/a n/a    
Waterproof Yes Yes    
Min Operating Temp -15C / 5F -15C / 5F    
Max Operating Temp 70C / 158F 70C / 158F    
Max Operating Alt n/a n/a    
Waypoints 250 500    
Routes n/a 20    
Trackpoints 3000 10000    
Datums 18 100    
DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS No Yes    
Electronic Compass n/a n/a    
Barometric Altimeter n/a n/a    
Hunting/Fishing Calc n/a n/a    
Celestial Information n/a n/a    
Interface n/a 9 pin Serial    
         

 

GPS Hardware TTFF (Time To First Fix)

 

Cold

Test 1

Cold

Test 2

Cold

Test 3

Cold

Test 4

Cold

Test 5

Cold

Test

Average

Warm

Test

Hot

Test

CoPilot CF 1m 22s 1m 8s 56s 1m 17s 54s 1m 07s 52s 16s
Emtac Sleeve/CoPilot 40s 37s 42s 37s 46s 40.4s 10s 9s
Emtac/Socket BT GPS 47s 53s 42s 36s 38s 43.2s 10s 17s
Garmin eTrex 39s 44s 40s 41s 43s 41.4s 8s N/A
Garmin eTrex Summit 38s 41s 45s 39s 42s 41.0s 8s N/A
Garmin eTrex Vista 37s 57s 32s 35s 38s 39.8s 17s N/A
Garmin GPSMap76 42s 34s 23s 56s 32s 37.4s 12s N/A
Garmin GPSMap76S 32s 53s 32s 39s 36s 38.4s 11s N/A
Garmin Geko 101 1m 37s 45s 38s 44s 41s 53s 15s 13
Garmin Geko 201 34s 45s 38s 43s 40s 40s 19s 10
HaiCom 302 CF 50s 33s 1m 25s 36s 1m 25s 57.8s 23s 10s
HaiCom 303 MMF 42s 1m 05 s 41s 1m 02 s 1m 18s 57.6s 36s 3s
Holux GM-210 42s 38s 35s 37s 42s 38.8s 30s 4s
Holux GM-270 54s 1m 07 s 1m 03s 50s 1m 12s 61.2s 39s 4s
Holux GM-270U 46s 49s 42s 1m 01 s 49s 49.4s 35s 3s
Holux GR-230 1m 02s 55s 50s 49s 52s 53.6s 39s 5s
LeadTek 9531 / 9532 29s 37s 39s 41s 43s 37.8s 9s 5s
Magellan Meridian Range of GPS 38s 53s 43s 33s 35s 40.4s 18s 15s
Magellan SporTrak Range of GPS 37s 47s 46s 41s 41s 42.4s 19s 16s
Navman 3000 (ROM 2.0.0) 49s 52s 1m 33s 3m 23s 8m 5s 2m 56s 20s 11s
Navman 3400/3420 (ROM 2.1.2) 1m 33s 2m 30s 1m 32s 52s 1m 17s 1m 32.8s 20s 12s
Navman 3450 (ROM 2.1.2) 57s 50s 1m 09s 48s 1m 0s 56.8s 20s 11s
Navman 4400 53s 1m 03s 1m 19s 54s 53s 1m 00.4s 0s 0s
Pretec Compact CF 1m 28s 2m 47s 57s 45s 1m 2s 1m 23s 1m 16s 12s
Pretec Compact LP CF 3m 48s 5m 32s 4m 59s 1m 53s 4m 02s 4m 04s 52s 33s
Rikaline X5 41s 41s 34s 41s 42s 39.5s 39s 0s
Rikaline X6 34s 60s 44s 48s 57s 48.6s 38s 0s
RoyalTek Onyx 1m 28s 1m 39s 2m 23s 1m 38s 1m 35s 1m 46s 1m 24s 17s
RoyalTek Sapphire RGM 1m 02s 1m 0s 56s 41s 55s 54.8s 37s 10s
RoyalTek RBT-3000 57s 46s 43s 41s 55s 48.4s 30s 9s
RoyalTek RGM-2000 48s 52s 40s 45s 39s 44.8s 33s 7s
SysOnChip BT GPS 48s 77s 66s 67s 51s 61.8s 37s 4s
SysOnChip CF Plus (SIRFXTrac) 40s 30s 33s 38s 39s 36s 30s 0s
TFAC MG30 Mouse 1m17s 1m 26s 1m 38s 1m 36s 2m 11s 1m 37s 34s 4s
TomTom Bluetooth GPS 48s 52s 46s 59s 51s 51.2s 37s 3s

 

Fastest

TTFF

Cold

Tests

Slowest

TTFF

Cold

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

Warm

TTFF

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

Hot

TTFF

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

CoPilot CF 54s 1m 22s Not Stated 52s N/A 16s N/A
Emtac Sleeve/CoPilot 37s 46s Not Stated 10s N/A 9s N/A
Emtac/Socket BlueTooth GPS 36s 53s 1m 20s 10s 45s 6s 10s
Garmin eTrex 39s 44s 45s 8s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin eTrex Summit 38s 45s 45s 8s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin eTrex Vista 32s 57s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin GPSMap76 32s 56s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin GPSMap76S 32s 53s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin Geko 101 38s 1m 37s 45s 15s 15s 13s N/A
Garmin Geko 201 34s 45s 45s 19s 15s 10s N/A
HaiCom 302 CF 33s 1m 25s 48s 23s 38s 10s 8s
HaiCom 303 MMF 41s 1m 18s 48s 36s 38s 3s 8s
Holux GM-210 35s 42s 45s 30s 38s 4s 8s
Holux GM-270 50\s 1m 12s 45s 39s 38s 4s 8s
Holux GM-270U 42s 1m 01s 45s 35s 38s 3s 8s
Holux GR-230 39s 1m 02s 45s 39s 38s 5s 8s
LeadTek 9531 / 9532 29s 43s 48s 9s 38s 5s 8s
Magellan Meridian Range of GPS 33s 53s <2m 18s <1m 15s <15s
Magellan SporTrak Range of GPS 37s 47s <5m 19s <1m 16s <15s
Navman 3000 49s 8m 05s 2m 0s 20s 48s 11s 18s
Navman 3400/3420 (ROM 2.1.2) 52s 2m 30s 2m 0s 20s 48s 12s 18s
Navman 3450 (ROM 2.1.2) 48s 1m 09s 2m 0s 20s 48s 11s 18s
Navman 4400 53s 1m 19s n/a 0s n/a 0s n/a
Pretec Compact CF 45s 2m 47s 1m 0s 1m 16s 45s 12s 8s
Pretec Compact LP CF 1m 53s 5m 32s 2m 10s 52s 45s 33s 20s
Rikaline X5 34s 42s 45s 39s 38s 0s 8s
Rikaline X6 34s 1m 00 s 45s 38s 38s 0s 8s
RoyalTek Onyx 1m 28s 2m 23s 45s 3m 0s 45s 17s 20s
RoyalTek Sapphire 41s 1m 02s 45s 37s 38s 10s 45s
RoyalTek RBT-3000 41s 57s 45s 30s 38s 9s 8
RoyalTek RGM-2000 39s 52s 45s 33s 38s 17s 45s
SysOnChip BT GPS 37s 77s 45s 37s  38s 4s 8s
SysOnChip CF Plus (SIRFXTrac) 30s 40s 45s 30s  38s 0s 8s
TFAC MG30 1m 17s 2m 11s 45s 34s  8s 4s 0.1s
TomTom Bluetooth GPS 48s 59s 45s 37s 38s 3s 8s

 

Connecting a handheld GPS Receiver to a PC or Pocket PC

Both Garmin and Magellan handheld GPS Receivers ship with a cable that will connect it to a PC, but none of them ship with a cable that will allow you to connect it to a PDA (Palm or Pocket PC).

 

PC-Mobile supply a cable set.  The cable should comprise of two parts, the first part is the cable that screws onto the back of the Magellan like the one below.

 

Magellan GPS Cable

 

 

Garmin GPS II / III / V / 12 / 30 / 40 / 45 / 48 / 89 / 90 / GPS76 / StreetPilot / GPSMap

 

Garmin eTrex / eMap Cable

 

The second part of the cable will have a 3.5mm socket on one end which will connect with the 3.5mm plug (left) and the other end of the cable will have a PDA connector.  This then allows you to use your favourite GPS Receiver on your favourite PDA and utilise a whole host of other mapping products anything from Topographical products like Fugawi, OziExplorer, Memory-Map to Street Routing software like TomTom Navigator, PowerLOC Destinator and you don't then need to purchase a second GPS Receiver if you're primary use going forward will be on the Pocket PC!

 

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