UPDATE: Read our hands on review of the Garmin Monterra.
It’s been a few months since we first heard the rumors, but today the Garmin Monterra has finally been announced. Boasting an Android operating system, the Monterra can utilize apps from the Google Play Store. It even has WiFi to allow for direct downloading of apps.
Garmin appears to be making a push for developers to create apps for the Monterra, saying “Developers are also free to create new apps that are ideally suited for the rugged, waterproof, and sensor-loaded handheld device.” The news release mentions Peak Finder as an example of a useful app and also cites professional apps such as ArcGIS.
The Monterra offers a 4″ (same size as the Montana) multi-touch display and includes a headphone jack and built-in FM and NOAA radios with SAME alert capabilities. It is their new top-of-the-line model, with GPS+GLONASS support, a triaxial compass and barometric altimeter, and something else new — a UV sensor. It also features a built-in 8MP geotagging camera and (in another feature new to Garmin) a 1080p HD video camera with LED flash. Internal memory is 8GB with a microSD slot for expansion.
Like the Oregon 600, the Monterra features a hardened mineralized glass display, and dual battery capabilities allowing you to use the included rechargeable li-ion battery packs or AAs.
In addition to WiFi, other wireless capabilities include ANT+™, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC.
Another new feature is 3D MapMerge, which appears to be what we’re seeing in the image above, on the right. It’s described this way in the news release:
New to the Monterra, is a unique mapping feature: 3D MapMerge. With this feature, users can combine two maps-like TOPO, basemap, or BirdsEye Satellite Imagery- then view the new unique map in three dimensions. Hills, valleys, lakes, roads, and points of interest combine to give Monterra’s maps unequaled detail and richness. Combine BirdsEye with TOPO US 24K, or a GIS-based water table map with a shaded relief basemap, then zoom in, pan out, and rotate the 3D map using multi-touch.
The Monterra is slated to be available in the third quarter of 2013 with an MSRP of of $649.99 (Worldwide with preloaded worldwide basemap), and $699.99 (U.S. with preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K with Navteq® roads). That price point will likely keep quite a few folks away. Too bad — it sure looks interesting.
I’ll update this post with product links, more images and other info as they become available.
UPDATE: Here’s the full news release and another pic…
UPDATE 2: Here’s the Garmin Monterra product page.
UPDATE 3: GPS City is showing an estimated availability date of September 1.