Garmin Vista HCx – GPS Review

Garmin Vista HCx

Price: £229 – With Free Delivery
Available from: Maplin
Garmin Vista HCx
Small and light, the HCx is designed for trail, hiking, geocaching, and biking, and also doubles as a basic in-car sat nav with Garmin’s CityNavigator maps. The unit sports a colour screen, a power/backlight key, a page key, map zoom in and out keys, the find key and the joystick key.

There is a card slot – card not provided – and a 1GB micro SD card should provide plenty of room for all your maps. Included is a USB cable for computer use and MapSource Trip and Waypoint manager, which allows you to connect the HCx to a computer and manage your waypoints, routes and tracks. Useful extra features are an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter. The unit is not Mac-compatible but is WAAS/EGNOS-enabled and supports most software, including Memory-Map.


  • Waterproof casing to withstand the elements or an accidental dunk in water
  • Crisp 256-colour, sunlight-readable display makes it easy to distinguish map details plus, it looks fantastic!
  • Fast USB computer connection so you can transfer waypoints and other data to your computer
  • Barometric altimeter, electronic compass, microSD™ card slot and automatic routing for wherever adventure takes you
  • High-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver

Technical Specifications:

  • Unit dimensions: 10.7(w) x 5.6(h) x 3(d) cm / (4.2 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches)
  • Display size: 3.3(w) x 4.3(h) cm / (1.3 x 1.7 inches)
  • Display resolution: 176 x 220 pixels
  • Display type: 256 level color TFT
  • Weight: 5.5oz (156g) with batteries
  • Battery: 2 x AA batteries (sold seperately)
  • Battery life: 25 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes (IPX7 standard)
  • Floats: No
  • High-sensitivity receiver: Yes
  • Interface: USB
  • Basemap: Yes, Atlantic basemap included (see for coverage details)
  • Preloaded maps: No
  • Ability to add maps: Yes
  • Built-in memory: No
  • Accepts data cards: Yes, microSD™ card (sold seperately)
  • Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads): Yes
  • Electronic compass: Yes
  • Barometric altimeter: Yes
  • Geocaching-friendly: Yes
  • Outdoor GPS games: Yes
  • Hunt/fish calendar: Yes
  • Sun and moon information: Yes
  • Tide tables: No
  • Area calculation: Yes
  • Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest): Yes
  • Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units): No
  • Picture viewer: No