Is Upgrading to the Garmin Alpha 300 Worth It? – Conkey's Outdoors

Is Upgrading to the Garmin Alpha 300 Worth It?

Zachary Conkey

Is the Garmin Alpha 300 worth upgrading to? We get this question multiple times a day. The answer is simply YES. The biggest question is whether it’s right for you. Hopefully, this helps! 

Before Garmin even released the Alpha 300 I was pessimistic. The handheld itself looked just like the Alpha 200 I was using (Which I loved the Alpha 200) so there wasn’t much appeal on the exterior. However, it didn’t take long to realize how many improvements they made. Here are my top reasons I LOVE The Garmin Alpha 300.

1) There is an ongoing joke here at the store. The Legendary “Conkey No-Charge” is what they call it. My grandfather and I have a bad habit of not charging our equipment as often as we should. We can blame it on being busy… But the Alpha 300 has saved me MANY times already. I can hunt all week basically on one charge and the handheld charges so fast that if I am plagued by my genetics and it’s completely dead, it will charge VERY quickly on the way to the woods. BATTERY LIFE IS NICE! 

2) The screen is BRIGHT and the colors pop on the Alpha 300. The Alpha 200 left much to be desired as far as screen brightness, especially during the daytime. I like to watch every time my dogs move an inch some nights, Having this brighter and more colorful screen also makes your maps look better. The new screen look is REALLY nice.

3) We are all used to touchscreen cell phones or even television remotes doing exactly what they’re supposed to right when you click the button. Some of Garmin’s past handhelds had a bit of a lag. When moving maps or changing menus you would notice this. It’s a minor detail but the Alpha 300 eliminates this slowdown.

4) Channel View is one of my favorite features on the Alpha 300. I coon hunt and will sometimes run deer dogs in the fall and interference is always an issue when you link up with your buddies or show up to a competition hunt with strangers. Channel View allows you to see where interference will possibly happen and helps eliminate the chance of it before you dump your box or cut the dogs loose. It’s very simple to use as well and we have some videos showing how it can be done. No more guessing ID numbers when you are moving dogs around. 

5) Map Overview is a feature I find useful. You are probably used to a dog having a certain track color. With Map Overlay you can set the track to change colors when your dogs are doing certain actions. Let’s say you have Ole Yeller’s track set to yellow. Map Overlay allows you to set what color your dog’s line changes to when they reach a certain speed, bark or come treed. If I set the map overlay tree color to red and my dog leaves the tree, I will know exactly where they left it. I can see where my dog first barked on a track and I can also see when they were moving fast. This is something everyone may not use, but I think it’s helpful when hunting pups. 

The Alpha 300 is built TOUGH just like the 200 and I haven’t had any issues so far since we started testing them. There are a TON of other nice features like the new USB-C charging port, being able to share your whole group of dogs wirelessly at once, being able to update your handheld and the new TT25 & T20 Collars using your wifi and so much more.

Hopefully, this is helpful when you are deciding whether to upgrade or not. There is nothing wrong with any of the previous Garmin handhelds, as long as you have those dogs in the woods. We do take in trades towards the new Garmin equipment and we also are glad to answer any questions! Feel free to shoot us a message on Facebook, Email or give us a call at 904-692-1568! 

-Zach Conkey 

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