"Same price as an Edge 520 but has full blown navigation". Reader review by Seah BC.
Garmin eTrex Touch 35 works like an in-car sat nav, but with maps and features specifically designed for navigation during activities like cycling.
Garmin eTrex Touch 35 review
Reader review by Sean BC
Is it a GPS logger or a navigational GPS?
How fast does it start-up and find signal?
19 seconds to boot up. If it takes too long, it means you have to clear the log files. Under a minute to get a satellite lock in good weather.
Tell us about the mounting options
There is only one original Garmin handlebar mount – with zip ties. It shares the mount with other handheld Garmin GPS units like the Oregon, Montana, eTrex, etc.
Any mapping included? Is it any good?
Base map is included and compatible with third party maps. I am using Openfietsmap from OpenStreetMap. It shows all the cycling routes in my country.
On-the-fly navigation. Is it turn-by-turn? Basic bread-crumb following?
It is a proper full-function GPS that just happens to be mountable on a bicycle.
Is it easy to operate, especially on-the-fly?
If you are familiar with Garmin interface then you should have no problem with this one.
Tell us about the screen. Is it touchscreen or physical buttons? How is it in bright light, and low light?
It has a touch screen with two level of sensitivity settings. With my full finger glove, I need to switch to high sensitivity in order for the touch screen to function. But when using my bare finger, I have to set it to normal sensitivity or else the screen will only respond to very light and careful touch and not heavy presses. Backlight is brightness adjustable and the screen is viewable in daylight without backlight.
How easy is it to get a route in it? Uploading a pre-designed route from a computer, and also plotting/amending a route with the device itself.
It does not have a wifi connection, but it is BLE enabled. For uploading routes, it is best to use a computer running Garmin connect and Basecamp. You can draw a course in Garmin connect directly and send to device or you can draw one in Basecamp and export to a gpx or tcx file which you then import into Garmin connect. Being a proper GPS, you can of course search for waypoints and POI and it will calculate the route. There are a few profiles built in, therefore it is important to select cycling instead of driving so that it will avoid expressways which are off limit to bicycles.
Does it play nicely with other apps (Strava etc)?
The Garmin Connect mobile app can auto sync with Strava and other third party apps.
Is there any software provided and/or online service? Is it any good?
When I first got it, the firmware has a bug in displaying speed above 9.9km/h. I emailed the problem to Garmin and in about a month or so, a new firmware was released. So I am happy that Garmin do responds to customer’s feedback. Using Garmin Express, I can keep the firmware up to date.
Connectivity to other devices (smartphone, HRM, power meter etc)
It has Ant+ for sensors and BLE for mobile phone connection. You can check your phone message on the GPS screen. It lacks the bike-centric functions of the Edge series but is compatible with HR, cadence, power meter, etc.
It is about the same price as an Edge 520 but has full blown navigation functions. It uses 2xAA batteries so I have never worried about replacing expensive built-in li-po. Instead I use Eneloop Pro rechargeable AAs. Battery life is about the same as the Edge. It is of course heavier with the AAs but that is the trade off I gladly accept. Plus I can carry extra batteries on long whole day rides. The only weakness relates to the mount. I wish Garmin will produce a more solid securing system instead of relying on cable ties. Older Garmin units had brackets that tightened to the handlebar with a screw, making it secure and yet easy to remove. It is also important to note that any GPS unit is only as good as the map installed. Rating: 9/10.