One of the more popular handheld GPS units over the years has been the versatile Rino line created by Garmin, undoubtedly the most popular GPS maker in the world. Part GPS satellite navigation and part walkie-talkie, the Rino products are excellent for any outdoorsman looking for a bit of extra protection while on the trail with friends. So I have to say I was pretty excited to see that on Friday Garmin announced that it will be releasing a new Rino product this summer, the Rino 650t.
In line with previous Rino products, the 650t features a built-in 5-watt FRS/GMRS radio which allows communication of up to two miles over FRS and 20 miles of GMRS, allowing users to communicate with the touch of a button and send their exact GPS location to other Rino users with the Position Reporting Feature. Short text messages relaying information like waypoints, routes, tracks and more is also supported through ANT+ with other compatible Garmin units.
“The Rino series provides a unique safety net to the outdoorsman, providing real time location information, as well as a means to communicate at the touch of a button, “said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “So no matter if users are hiking, hunting, or even back-country skiing, they’ll be able to keep their bearings with detailed mapping and easily communicate with their group.”
The Rino 650t does not feature a camera like some of the previous models but does come with preloaded TOPO US 100K maps and a one-year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite imagery to provide users with detailed satellite maps. The device features a microSD slot for more map storage and is compatible with other maps like HuntView and BlueChart g2 for use on the water. The device also supports Garmin Basestation to track units on a computer.
As you’d expect on a Garmin Rino product, the Rino 650t has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix and a quad-helix antenna to help lock on and maintain a GPS signal quickly even in difficult terrain like canyons and canopies. The device, of course, has a 3-axis electronic compass, an altimeter and barometer as well as a built-in NOAA radio to help monitor important weather warnings and watches while hiking or exploring. The Rino 650t has an expected battery life of 14 hours with a rechargable Li-ion pack or 18 hours with the optional AA battery pack, which will be sold separately. The device has an IPX7 waterproof rating for all weather.
The Rino 650t is slated for a launch sometime this summer, but as is typical of Garmin, an exact date has not been released. The expected retail price is $549.99 which also means that the older Rino products will likely see a price drop. When it officially is launched, we’ll do another short announcement, so be sure to keep an eye out!