Canmore GT-740FL Review

Anyone who read my previous Canmore GT-730FL-S review is probably wondering why I got this device. Simple. I lost the 730! (Hooray! I found it again on 27/12/2014)

I nearly bought another 730 as the replacement but thinking about the minor gripes I had with the device I thought that the 740 may resolve most of them.

  1. 730 silver cap and rear scratched very easily making it look shabby. The 740 doesn’t have the nice rubberized coating, but its black plastic doesn’t seem to scratch as easily and certainly doesn’t show the scratches as much. You can get a 730 in black, which I did consider.
  2. On/off slider switch could be accidentally knocked on the 730, but a really firm two second hold is required on the large rubberized 740 button.
  3. The waypoint logging button was always getting fired in my pocket on the 730, so I had to edit out the waypoints in notepad++. Again the 740 button needs a good firm press and hold, this time for just one second.
GT-740FL

Canmore GT-740FL Sport Log Book

I believe that when you strip away the case and buttons the two devices are identical except that the 740 has a G-sensor. This means that if the unit is stationary for 5 minutes it will stop logging your position thus saving power tracking satellites and writing to memory. It only takes the slightest movement for it to wake and start logging again and this process is almost instantaneous. If you left the 740 on a table overnight it would hardly drain the battery at all, hopefully leaving you plenty of juice for the next day, whereas the 730 would have been recording the same position all night and may now be drained just when you need it. The 740 claims to be able to run in standby mode for 1500 hours when fully charged.

I’ve just left the same drivers and Canway software on my PC as they are clearly the same files for the 730 and 740. On first power up after traveling thousands of miles to the UK from Taiwan via Germany there was a satellite fix (whilst indoors) within just a few seconds. The truth is that I switched it on, went to redirect my phone, turned round and it already had a fix. Each time I have subsequently turned the device on the fix has been made in less than 5 seconds.

The cap is very hard to remove, though this is probably a major contributor to it being  IPX-6 waterproof. I was concerned that the 370 cap would get lost one day as it comes off pretty easily. It seems very unlikely with the 740.

While the 740 comes with an armband there is no means of attaching a lanyard. The device is marketed as a Sport Log Book, which is a bit silly really. As I have said, it is really the same device as the 730, which is not marketed in this way.

As with the 730 I ordered from digital-paradies (they also sell via Amazon now for a fraction more) and was a bit disappointed that the postage was £7.05 when the same company charges £4.99 to deliver the 730. Units and boxes are the same size and weight.

Standby Test added 9/3/2015

In response to Stratos’ post on the GT-730 topic I decided to conduct a test to see how long the device would run when used for a period each day and left it to go into standby mode.

I put the receiver in my car on 28/1/2015 after fully recharging it. It was configured to record location once every second. The car was being used generally twice a day for short trips (4-8 miles) and 4 or 5 longer ones (25-35 miles). It recorded for around 10 hours over a period of 15 days before the battery finally ran out.

I thought this was pretty good, though you could always charge the device from a portable charger or from your car cigarette lighter. Many newer cars even carry USB ports these days which you can charge from.

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7 Responses to Canmore GT-740FL Review

  1. Dan McGrath says:

    Hi Pete, I received my 740FL today. My results aren’t so encouraging as yours. I charged it up then turned it on indoors, no fix whatsoever. Went in the garden for a wander, again, no fix. I then left it on a stationary table for several minutes and eventually the blue LED started to flash. I downloaded the latest release of the rather ‘clunky’ CanWay software and grabbed the track (me wandering about in garden) and exported to GPX, that seemed to go smoothly bar the fact the track doesn’t seem to be visible in Memory Map PC software, might be finger trouble on my part. Anyhow, disturbingly, since the initial fix that seemed to take forever, after switching it off, then on again, I haven’t managed to get a fix at all outdoors or in. Strange. There’s nothing unusual about my garden & there is a clear view of the sky. I shall play some more but thus far I’m pretty disappointed.

    Dan

  2. Deborah says:

    Hey Pete,

    Can you please give a little update on your thoughts for the Canmore GT-740FL. I am very interested in purchasing this model and want to know if your experiences prove it to be accurate, reliable, user friendly over time, time taken to pick up a signal…any pros / cons I may want to consider. PLEASE :)

    My use for this is all for logging my hiking trips…daily use for 6-10hrs / day up to 6 months at a time. Obviously I need to get the data off the stick at various intervals, while I am on the move, is this an easy task? I assume I will have to possibly carry the software & install it each time I am on a computer or is there another way? How long does it take to recharge & do I need a computer for this or can I charge using a USB cable to a powerpoint?

    Really appreciate if you could get back to me on this. I haven´t been able to find that much useful info about this product or many useful reviews.

    Thanks so much
    Deborah

    • AdminPete says:

      Hi Deborah,
      My post on the GT-730FL-S should answer most of your questions. They are effectively the same devices regarding all of your questions.
      All USB chargeable devices should be able to charge from a mains adaptor and will usually charge faster than they would from a computer’s USB port.
      I’m still using my 730 and 740 on a daily basis without any problems.
      You do have to install the s/w to get the data off the data logger. Unfortunately you will probably need to export each log individually to a gpx file. It’s a very quick process, but would be better if you could export batches.
      If you record your position less frequently (i.e. every 30 secs) you will be able to store data for a long period of time. In my test 54.9hrs of recording used 3% of memory.
      Cheers,
      Pete

  3. Jiri says:

    Hi Pete,
    I am thinking about using GT-740FL for logging an orienteering runs, i.e. mostly in forested areas. Could you tell me anything about the sensitivity and general performance under trees or in deeper valleys etc? I tried HOLUX M1200E but the performance under the trees was very poor.
    Many thanks
    Jiri

    • AdminPete says:

      Hi Jiri,
      I don’t find a problem in the forest or in valleys, though your valleys may be steeper than those round here. There is more performance detail on the GT-730FL review, which will be the same as the GT-740FL. I’ve never lost the signal with the Canmore (as used to happen on old Garmin handheld devices). I mostly walk on tracks, so there is a slight opening in the trees, but when I do venture off track there is nothing on the map to reference the log against, so it’s hard to tell how accurate that is. There is more wavering of the track line when in heavy forest compared to open areas, but that’s to be expected and it’s still accurate enough for me.
      Take a look at this typical route of mine recorded on the GT-740FL (elevation data generated externally). Zoom in to the map until you get green paths indicating 1:25000 scale and you will then accurately see where the actual paths/tracks/lanes are. This track log has been simplified, so here’s a screenshot of the actual tracklog in CanWay to compare it against.
      This page is quite useful for device comparisons. The Canmore GT-730F(G) sounds good. It wasn’t around when I bought my Canmore devices.
      Cheers,
      Pete.

      • Jiri says:

        Hi, Pete,
        tnx for your reply. I already read the mentioned article about 730 which is very interesting.
        I normally run with Garmin Forerunner 305 or 310XT and both of them had perfect, gapless performance in any kind of terrain so far.
        Finally I decided to order one piece of GT-740FL and test it. I will post the results when I have some.

        Regards
        Jiri

  4. Simon says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for the time you spent testing and writing up your review. It was very helpful to me and I have ordered the GT-740FL. Thanks, Simon

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