Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin Rino 655t

Garmin Rino 655tThe Garmin Rino 655t GPS with two way radio updates the Rino 530HCx with a touch screen interface, preloaded100k scale topo maps, triaxial compass and 5MP geotagging camera. In addition, the 655t gets the other goodies common to recent Garmin handhelds, including BirdsEye aerial imagery, along with a barometric altimeter.

Related units

Garmin Rino 655t FRS/GMRS radio

The Rino 655t features a 5-watt FRS/GMRS radio with a range of up to 20 miles, allowing you to see other Rino users right on the 655t’s screen. Unit to unit text messaging is also possible. Some screenshots…


Rino 655t map screens

Garmin Rino 655t NOAA weather radio

The built-in NOAA weather radio supports Specific Area Message Encoding, allowing you to view National Weather Service warnings and watches on a county by county basis, right on the map (shown below at left).


More Garmin Rino 655t screenshots

Before wrapping up, how about a few more screenshots? That’s the altimeter screen, above at right. Below, left to right, we have the trip computer with the recreational dashboard option enabled, one of the main menu screens, and the compass screen with the four data fields option enabled.


More Garmin Rino 655t reviews

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…

Other Garmin Rino 655t resources

Compare prices on the Garmin Rino 655t at these merchants:


About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. If you have a good cell phone … this piece
    of equipment is near obsolete …save your money
    i bought the 655t and it is very confusing to navigate
    through …

  2. Location on 100k map is incorrect on rino 655t… There is more work needed to this device. There is no support from Garmin, … only they suggested to by 24k maps. In other blogs some people say that the 24k map is not recognized by the unit. Solution…? Imported POI from my nuvi 350 do not correspond with coordinates of rino 655t.. Is it a joke or something that you supposed to rely on?

  3. hi rich, im looking for a good heavy wooded hunting gps unit. we usually hike about a days out while hunting and usually in very heavy cover and we are exploring new places every season. i like the feature on the rino how you could locate one another. There’s 8 of us in our hunting group and we all are looking for something thats gonna navigate us back to camp. i dont care to much for the 2 way radio because we already have some good midland device but since it’s there i have to ask how is it compare to the midland gxp1050. just wanted to see if you could point us to a unit thats going to work for us. price is not an factor, we’ll pay for anything thats not going to take a dump or loose sat reception or point us in the wrong direction while we’re 10-15 miles out.

  4. Hi Rich,

    instead of buying the Rino 655t with its pre-installed 100k map, do you think one could buy a Rino 650 and install a free 100k TOPO map that covers the US, to save some money? (in fact, do you know of any free 100k TOPO map that covers all of the US?)

  5. So I’m having a minor issue with setup on the Rino 655t. When I’m moving (say eastward) the triangle icon onscreen shows me the direction I’m heading and shows the track going up on screen, then as soon as I stop, it rotates the icon and compass heading to track north (which is to the left on the screen, not straight forwards). I thought this had a electronic compass…I just want the unit to show me whatever direction I’m pointing…what setting do I adjust to fix this?

    • Under Setup > Heading, do you have the compass set to Auto or Off? Have you calibrated the compass since last changing the batteries?

      • it was set to AUTO…I have never calibrated the compass because it was accurate (same) compared to my other Silva and Brunton compasses. It has a li-pol battery pack..I have never changed it.

        • The electronic compass is very sensitive to magnetic field variation and should probably be recalibrated following charging and perhaps again when hlaf depleted, IF you are navigating line of sight using the compass. This could possibly explain the behavior you are seeing.

          • If I’m facing north the gps is correct. If I move east for a few seconds, the compass and triangle icon on the map both rotates to show that I’m now moving east, but once I stop moving it rotates the Icon and compass to point North…this is so very annoying. I can’t stand it. I didn’t think it was a calibration issue since the compass was pointing in the right direction… I will try to recalibrate it and see if that is the issue.

  6. I have a Garmin rino 655t and I am very disappointed!

    The electronic compass needs recalibrating as often as every few minutes and can not be trusted and is often off as much as 180deg.

    The sending text message option is useless because there is no alert tone when a note is received so if your not looking at the screen at the moment it is received you will never see it.
    witch makes this useless.

    I have yet to seen any weather alerts show up on this unit in 3 years. they show up on my phone the TV but NOAA’s web site but never on my Garmin even if I leave it tuned in to the weather ch all night long during a sever winter storm.

    and last I can no longer poll the location of my other Rino 110 after doing the latest update.

    And Garmin refuses to fix any of these problem!!!!!!
    and claim that I am the only person that has had issues with them.

    (I have also I have had 2 units replaced that had a defective display)

    • I’m assuming your firmware is up to date and you’ve tried a hard reset.

      • Yes
        in fact it was after updating to 3.70 now 3.80 that I found the polling feature would no longer work.
        This worked with 3.12 but Garmin claims they no longer have access to any older ver. of firmware so I am stuck with the new even more bugy ver. and that my “Rino 110 must be at fault”, though I have verified that another Rino 620 with ver 3.12 will still poll its location just fine.
        Garmin is absolutely no help.

        • You can get version 2.90 or 3.20 at

          • Awesome thank you for that link!!!!
            It worked I loaded 3.20 in and now I can poll the location from my wife’s Rino 110 once more. 🙂
            Funny because Garmin claimed that they could not reproduce this and that my 110 must be defective.

            Now if you could solve the other problems and I would be very happy with this radio/GPS.

            THANK YOU!

          • Cool! Not sure I can help with anything else, but what are the remaining problems?

          • The biggest problem would be that the electronic compass can not be trusted and requires recalibration all of the time.
            I fell that this is a huge safety issue because people learn to rely on there GPS and trust it probably to much. I remember getting turned around once in a wooded area that I new well and I seriously thought that my old Etex had broken but turned out that It was right, however it did not have a electronic compass just a GPS.
            I really enjoyed having the compass at first I no longer had to be moving for the gps to point correctly “neat”. At least I thought but turns out this thing points in the wrong direction all of the time when siting still and when I am walking it bounces back and forth not knowing what way is up.
            So I have to stop and recalibrate for it to work correctly, sometimes very often even after just a few minutes and is off by as much as 180deg, other times it works for days.
            I have been trying to work with Garmin for over 2 years now and think i am on my 4th unit maybe 5th and they all have the same problem. I have given Garmin screen shots and time stamped photos showing a boy scout compass for comparison of before and after calibration. they claim that “they can no reproduce it and that no one else has complained of this so it must be a unknown environmental issue”. I have also found many complaints online of similar behavior on other Garmin units and there response is that there not for the Rino6xx.

            And the 2nd big one is when sending notes (text messages) there is no message tone played when one is received so you never no when you have even gotten one. and on older units there is no history kept so if your not looking at the screen when it comes then you will never see it.
            Garmin has admitted that they have seen this but claim its intermittent however I have never heard it on the 655t I have only heard it a one times on the 110.
            I have also been emailing Garmin for 2 years on this one. Once they said there was a fix for it and it would be in the next release. I have seen at least 3 updates now and still nothing. When I ask Garmin (the same person) he claimed to not be aware of any issue.
            so I sent him a copy of his emails and his only response was.
            “Unfortunately I have not heard of any additional information regarding the message tones at this time. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

            And there are more but I will spare you.

          • No idea about the tones, but as for the compass, check the settings. I’m not sure if that model allows you to change the speed at which it switches to electronic or not. And while it’s not ideal, you can always switch off the electronic compass.

          • There is no such setting only.
            Display type; Letter, Degrees, Mils
            North Reference; True, Magnetic, Grid, User
            Compass; Auto, off

            Besides that would only make it bounce less often, it would still be wrong when I was not moving.
            And yes I have been turning it off when its been acting up but I like to be able to see were my hunting buddy is while sitting quietly in a blind. and I would also like to use the site n go feature but that requires a magnetic compass.
            And I shouldn’t have too, for $600.00 It should work.

            Thank you for your input!

            Thank you for you input

          • I just uploaded some videos to YouTube showing two of the problems that I have been having.
            There narrating is not that great because its a first for me! but I think it shows the problem well.

            Polling Problem;

            Message Tone;

          • Thanks for sharing. I’ll try to include it in my link roundup this weekend. Maybe that will get someone’s attention at Garmin.

          • Arne Glenn Flåten says:

            Hello !
            I have the sam issue. I now have 10 rino, and not very pleased after testing the 755t. I even upgraded my 655t. So in out hunting team there two news radios can not receive locations from the others 🙁
            Can you gibe me a tip of what I should download/install of the different versions ?
            Do you think I can use 530 software on the 655 and the 755 ?

  7. What is the general consensus of the Garmin RINO series? Are they a reliable unit or are they typically plaques with problems? Part of me likes with concept of an all-in-one two way radio and GPS, but another part of me thinks that a Garmin GPS and separate Motorola DTR radio might be better.

    • It’s great when it works.
      But garmin really needs to step up abd fix the problems.
      Its very nice to see the location of your buddies but they also need a rino if not then I would go for separate units and avoid the bugs

  8. Mike harrold says:

    Hello I found this website my rhino 655t upgraded and It is not polling I am not very impressed I was wondering if u can help me out with the instructions how to put if back to 3.20 or what ever it was from day one I have in the rhino version 4.40 it will not link to my buddies we have 8 of them mine is the only one updated so far I tried downloading ur file but I am not to good on the ole computer I also tried a factory reset on the rino I lost everthing but I backed it up so not to worried I can put it back in thanks for ur time Mike


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  5. […] Garmin Rino 655t review – GPS Tracklog – Garmin Rino 655t review including comparisons to similar units, links to other reviews, price comparisons, owners manual, message forums and more […]

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