While your smartphone might get you through your normal day-to-day with its onboard hardware and provider network, most become useless as soon as you leave the service area. So, if you have any interest in off-the-grid exploration, you’re probably better off leaving it at home. You might, however, want to get your hands on something similar in size that can help guide you and free you from the frustrations of having to fold and unfold your map over and over again – like Garmin’s Rino 755t.
This nifty little device is about as technologically advanced as handheld GPS devices come. On the 3-inch, sunlight readable, dual-orientation touch-screen you have access to both the GPS and GLONASS satellite networks, preloaded TOPO U.S. 100k maps (with an included year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery), and a 2-way radio with text messaging capabilities. And, in case of emergency, there’s an alert system that can notify other Rino 700-series users of your position, let you know the position of help on the way, and supports Active Weather forcasting with animated weather radar tracking. Or, if you’re not in trouble and just want to snap a few photos of your trip, this device has an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with an LED light that can double as a flashlight. This impressive package isn’t cheap, however, and will run you $650 a unit. [Purchase]