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Garmin Launches First ‘Infinite Battery’ Handheld GPS Device

If you're embarking on a monthslong expedition into the wilderness, Garmin's latest GPS device can go the distance — without a recharge.

garmin etrex solarMeet the Garmin eTrex Solar, the company's first solar-powered GPS device; (photo/Garmin)
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Thanks to the miracle of solar power, Garmin claims its new GPS device will never need a recharge. Well, as long as there’s sun, anyway.

Long-term winter expeditions will likely still want a backup for emergencies. But for thru-hikers tackling the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail — both of which require at least several months — the Garmin eTrex Solar can supposedly go the distance without recharging.

Even without sun, Garmin claims the eTrex Solar’s battery will last 2.5 months. In Expedition Mode, the GPS device boasts 1,800 hours (that’s 75 days) of life. So you could conceivably hike for an entire summer without using the solar recharge and still have juice left for an SOS.

So for those wanting a longer and uninterrupted adventure, the eTrex Solar sounds like a solid option.

“For over two decades, our iconic eTrex series has been known for its revolutionary features and capabilities, making it wildly popular among our customers,” Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales, said in a press release.

“Adding infinite battery life through our solar-charging technology is just the latest example of the innovation we strive to provide in each of our outdoor products.”

On the eTrex Solar’s Expedition Mode, the device will still last for 1,800 hours, even without sunlight; (photo/Garmin)

Garmin eTrex Solar: Features

The extra-long-lasting battery is far from the only feature in Garmin’s first solar-powered GPS device.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also use it to view waypoints, track their location, and navigate even under bright sunlight, thanks to the 2.2-inch high-contrast display. When paired with a compatible smartphone, eTrex Solar users can access the Garmin Explore app, which allows for connectivity and information access in off-grid areas.

Multi-band GPS support provides “superior positional accuracy,” the company said, making the device ideal for tracking in challenging environments. The device, built to withstand harsh conditions, also has a digital compass for accurate heading even when stationary.

The eTrex Solar also has many functions that will be familiar to GPS users, like location tracking and weather forecasts; (photo/Garmin)

Other key features of the app include:

  • Cloud backup: Utilize unlimited cloud storage for easy review, saving, and sharing of all mapping and trip data.
  • Plan ahead: Create routes on the app and sync them to the handheld for convenient trip planning.
  • Smart notifications: Stay connected with smart notifications for text messages, phone calls, and more when connected to a compatible smartphone.
  • Geocaching live: Receive automatic cache updates and instantly upload findings to a saved profile via the app.
  • Weather forecasts: Stay informed about real-time weather forecasts when paired with a compatible smartphone.

Garmin eTrex Solar: Pricing and Availability

The eTrex Solar handheld is available now for $250.

For more information, visit the Garmin website.

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