Review of the Garmin GPSMAP66s - first look
With the launch of the all-new Garmin GPSMAP66s and Garmin GPSMAP66st, we have now had our hands on the unit.
How has it changed from previous Garmin models and what are the new key features that make this unit stand out, our first review of the Garmin GPSMAP 66s?
Garmin GPSMAP 66s and how it compares to the previous models, the GPSMAP 62s/ 64s
In this video we look and compare it to the previous model - GPSMAP 62s/ 64s
Screen size of the Garmin GPSMAP 66s
The first key thing is the screen and unit sizes, the Garmin GPSMAP66s has a larger screen (3 inches compared to 2.6 inches on the previous unit).
Weight of the Garmin GPSMAP 66s
Weight - The weight increase of the Garmin GPSMAP 66s is only slightly more heavy (227g for the Garmin GPSMAP 64s and 230g for the Garmin GPSMAP 66s).
Screen pixels of the Garmin GPSMAP 66s
The Garmin GPSMAP 66s now also has a higher number of pixels on the screen, it has gone from 160 x 240 to 240 x 400 pixels on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s.
Can I use my existing accessories on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s?
Compatibility of accessories for the Garmin GPSMAP 66s - as it has the same spine attachment current accessories are transferable to the new GPS unit.
Can you use an existing Ordnance Survey map card on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s?
Yes, you can use an existing Garmin Ordnance Survey map card on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s.
What satellite systems does the Garmin GPSMAP 66s use?
The new Garmin GPSMAP66s GPS unit picks up the American, Russian and the Galileo (European) satellite systems. This improves the speed it logs onto the satellites and also the accuracy you get with this GPS unit.
Activity recording - Expedition mode
The Garmin GPSMAP 66s now has an Expedition mode, this will significantly improve the battery life, this does this by making it a longer period that the GPS records a track point.
It also switches the screen off to also conserve battery life on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s when in Expedition mode.
Pairing Garmin GPSMAP 66s with inReach mini
This is the first handheld Garmin GPS unit to pair with the Garmin inReach mini two way satellite communicator, using the Iridium satellite communication system.
The inReach mini now pairs with the Garmin GPSMAP 66s and you can now send and receive messages from your Garmin GPSMAP 66s GPS unit.
Garmin GPSMap 66s video review - Looking at some of the new features
This video gives you a more in-depth look at some of the new features you will find on the new Garmin GPSMAP66s.
Button layout on Garmin GPSMAP 66s - very similar
The button layout on the Garmin GPSMAP66s are very similar than previous models but they do have a nicer feel to them and they are also backlit, so you can read the text on the buttons in the dark.
It also has a number of new addition features that have been built into the buttons.
The power button on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s it also now on the top.
Pair the Garmin GPSMAP 66s with your smartphone
When paired with a smartphone you can now download satellite imagery onto the Garmin GPSMAP 66s GPS unit.
It will download this Birdseye satellite imagery using the data on your phone or the wifi your phone is logged onto.
Live Geocaching - When paired with your smartphone you can now undertake live Geocaching, enabling you to download Geocaches.
Different profiles on Garmin GPSMAP 66s
With the prominence of profiles on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s it enables you to get the GPS to look and act differently for different activities you are wanting to do.
Tour Cycling - When Tour Cycling on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s you now have an ability of round trip routing. You can put in a desired distance you are wanting to cycle and it gives you some route options available to you.
Further reading on the Garmin GPSMAP 66s
1. Interview with Garmin - Our interview with Garmin at the launch of the Garmin GPSMAP66s
2. Launch day of Garmin GPSMAP 66s - Videos taken on the launch day of the Garmin GPSMAP 66s
2. Comparison - Garmin GPSMAP66s v Garmin GPSMAP86s
Direct links to the GPS unit product pages
1. Garmin GPSMAP 66s - more here