Off-road GPS, gimmick, life saver, or essential tool? We got to put the Magellan TRX7 to the test and see if we could answer these very questions.
First let’s talk about what the TRX7 is: “The Magellan eXplorist TRX7 Series features a 7″ HD touchscreen protected by a ruggedized IP67 casing. Three different mounting systems are available to fit any 4×4, UTV/SxS or ATV vehicle. Designed for the off-road enthusiast, all include an intuitive interface, preloaded trails, hi-res 3D base map view, and a database of crowd-sourced tracks.”
That description is straight from Magellan’s website and what they built the unit to be. Below is what we think of the unit. the concept, and the final execution.
- Nice easy to see display.
- Great size at 7 inches. Not too large to be difficult to mount.
- Easy to add tracks for use.
- Touch screen.
- Multiple options for way points.
- Mileage awards achievements.
- Accurate at speed.
- Easy to follow an existing track.
- Storage capacity.
- Able to create a wish list of trails.
- Upload pictures.
- Email available.
- Internal battery for areas where you have to walk.
- Ram mount/charger is a nice setup.
- Can add you own coordinates for navigation.
The display is a really nice size that is easy to see but also easy to us. Even while bouncing down the trail you could still hit the right spots and use functions without too many missed touches.
It has a lot of features that other GPS units do not have. For instance, built-in email capabilities, the ability to play music, wireless sync, all add up to ease of use and function. The attributes are a fun thing that shows what level the trail is by picking what is on the trail obstacle wise. Even the way points have a nice section to break down what type they are. It read accurately at speed. Some of the of the GPS units I have used read at longer intervals and it creates straight lines on a map. Retracing a track or following a new track is easy and has arrows to show you directions. The storage capacity is huge allowing many areas to be stored on the
Trail attributes are a fun thing to help decide what trail to run. Picking trail obstacles shows what level the trail is. An intuitive way to determine whether a trail is too hard or too easy for you. The way points have a nice section to break down what type they are. It read accurately at speed. Some of the of the GPS units I have used read at longer intervals and it creates straight lines on a map. Retracing a track or following a new track is easy and has arrows to show you directions. The storage capacity is huge allowing many areas to be stored on the
The unit read accurately at speed. This seems like a no-brainer that a GPS unit would show an accurate track. Some of the of the GPS units we have tested read at longer intervals, this creates straight lines on a map where there should be distinct undulations in the road and terrain.
Retracing a track or following a new track is easy and uses easily identified arrows to show you directions.
The storage capacity allows many areas to be stored on the unit without using an SD card. The unit does come with an SD card slot for importing tracks, and if you need to expand the storage you could. You can add your wish list of trails to the unit for times when you may get there. It allows you to upload pictures and once the updates come through then you will be able to screen shot with it. You can add pictures for the waypoints or vehicle log. Since it is a tablet you can check your email from it also. Having an internal battery it makes it nice for and rougher areas you wish to avoid but still map. You can just walk with the unit.
You can add your wish list of trails to the unit ahead of time. Making it much simpler to pre-plan your off-road adventure. It allows you to upload pictures and once the updates come through then you will be able to take a screenshot with it. You can add pictures for the waypoints or vehicle log.
The unit allows you to upload pictures and once the future updates come through you will be able to take screenshots with it. You can also add pictures for the waypoints or vehicle log.
We really like the fact that it has some of the basic abilities of a tablet as well. Checking email and internet access are quite handy.
- Screenshot not available in this model.
- Have to pause track to change any settings.
- Not able to export.
- Can’t see way points when dropped.
- Would be nice to be able to upload a map with lots of roads and have them all over laid instead of just the one selected.
- Only charges with the supplied chargers. Found out that using any other style doesn’t charge even though it says it is.
The ability to take a screenshot is not available in this model yet. Neither is the nicer 3d update or the turn by turn directions. When recording a track and you want to change a setting you have to pause the track and hurry through settings then un-pause. That or you have to stop. There is no option for exporting tracks and they can only be shared between Magellan units. So you can not share with others with different
When recording a track and you want to change a setting you have to pause the track and hurry through settings then un-pause. Which sucks if you are leading a group and your passenger is taking care of GPS duties. You either lose some of the route or you have to stop. Since our main business is off-road training and trail rides stopping isn’t the most convenient. There is no option for exporting tracks and they can only be shared between Magellan units. So you can not share with others with different
There is no option for exporting tracks and even if you could they can only be shared between Magellan units. Magellan does have a robust user database where maps can be shared between users of their products. From their perspective the “one” platform makes sense. As a consumer, we don’t like it all. Sharing maps with friends makes the experience more complete. Not everyone wants the same unit and with others able to export and import GPX files this is a shortcoming.
Waypoints dropped while recording do not appear on the screen. So if you loop around and back to an area there is the waypoints you created earlier are not shown. It would be nice to upload a whole map of an area.
It would be nice to upload a whole map of an area. Maybe it is just us but if an offroad park has 50+ trails you would think you could see all of them. Instead when a map is uploaded it only shows a list of trails and you have to select one at a time. We aren’t sure if this would be fixed if all the trails were uploaded to the public maps database, but these were trails for business use. Either way, if you create the trails you should have access to them.
Not a true issue with the unit but something to be very aware of. I had issues with the TRX7 charging both in the vehicle and at home. I had a dual adapter in my vehicle and it wouldn’t charge with it. It showed that it was charging but it was not. I tried many different styles of adaptors and only the supplied units work. Another trivial item but if you happen to lose your charger and need a quick fix, you may be out of luck.
I logged over a thousand miles with the TRX7 on and off-road and while there are things I would like to see changed I liked the unit overall and would recommend it to anyone looking for a robust off-road centric GPS. If they fix some of the minor issues, however, this would definitely be my go to unit above all others.