Garmin readies Android-powered Monterra outdoor GPS

(Credit: Garmin)

Today, Garmin pulled the wraps off of its new Monterra — a handheld, outdoor GPS device that can survive in conditions and environments where few smartphones dare to tread.

At first glance, the the newest model in Garmin’s line of outdoor GPS devices looks remarkably similar to its existing Montana models — which is good for reasons that we’ll revisit later. The Monterra differs from the current Garmin product line in being powered by the Android mobile operating system. The advantage here is that users will be able to download outdoor-related apps to augment the device’s functionality, such as Summit Finder, professional apps like construction estimators and ArcGIS, or one of the plethora of Android geocaching apps.

You’ll also be able to download apps that aren’t outdoor specific — perhaps a podcatcher app to keep you entertained on a hike — via the Google Play Store. Garmin’s announcement also seems to imply that users will be able to sideload .apk app files that aren’t in the Play Store.

Like any good device designed for use outdoor, the new Monterra boasts a ruggedized construction; its chassis is shock resistant and IPX7 waterproof (tested to a 1m depth for up to 30 minutes). Garmin claims that the 4-inch, multi-touch mineral glass display is also durable enough to take a f… [Read more]


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