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Garmin GPSMAP 696 (Americas)

- 19 customer reviews.
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Garmin GPSMAP 696 (Americas)

Meet our ultimate portable MFD: the GPSMAP 696, an all-in-one navigator designed exclusively for aviation. Featuring a large screen, detailed electronic charts and real-time weather, the 696 is your own personal avionics system.

See the Big Picture
The GPSMAP 696's bright 7-inch diagonal high-definition sunlight-readable display makes detailed mapping easy to see day or night - you can even view an entire approach plate on the large-format display. For easy operation, the bezel around the screen includes soft keys and a joystick control. And with a fast 5 Hz GPS update rate, the 696 renders graphics and presents flight data smoothly and continuously.

No Chart? No Problem.
With the addition of Garmin FliteCharts(R) and IFR map mode, the GPSMAP 696 has Class 1/Class 2 electronic flight bag (EFB) capability, reducing the use of paper charts in the cockpit. With FliteCharts, you can quickly find and view all U.S. NACO departure procedures (DP), standard terminal arrival routes (STARs), approach charts and airport diagrams. If the current approach is known, GPSMAP 696 automatically selects the correct chart based on the flight plan. When in IFR map mode, the 696 can display victor airways, jet routes, minimum enroute altitude and leg distance, much like found on paper enroute charts.

Add Weather and Radio
The GPSMAP 696 includes a GXM 40 smart antenna, which gives you access to high-resolution weather and audio entertainment right in the cockpit (XM subscription required). XM WX(TM) Satellite Weather includes next generation radar (NEXRAD), aviation routine weather reports (METARs), terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs), temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), lightning, winds aloft and more for the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the 696 can receive PIREPs, turbulence forecast and icing forecast information. The weather data can be laid directly over the unit's navigation and topographic map databases. With 170+ channels of digital music, news and programming through your aircraft headset or cabin audio system, you'll stay informed and entertained.

Enhance Situational Awareness
The GPSMAP 696 features a high-resolution terrain page showing hazards relative to your altitude and a vertical profile of terrain along your route of flight. It comes with a built-in Jeppesen database, and an Americas, Atlantic or Pacific terrain database. It also includes an obstacles database for the U.S. or Europe. Using this information, the 696 displays your flight route over contour terrain mapping. With information from the terrain and obstacles databases, the 696 monitors your current position in relation to surrounding terrain to provide alerts. You can even customize your own minimum clearance levels to receive terrain cautions. The 696 also comes with a realistic "view from space" satellite imagery basemap.

Like other portable Garmin devices, the 696 includes the following enhanced aviation databases:

  • Garmin SafeTaxi(R)
    Provides detailed taxiway diagrams and position information for over 850 U.S. airports. Preloaded on the unit, this information helps you navigate unfamiliar airports with confidence and shows your aircraft's exact position on the field.
  • AOPA Airport Directory
    Offers detailed information for over 5,300 U.S. airports, along with the names and phone numbers of thousands of FBOs. Easily look up taxi services, plan an overnight, and choose fuel stops, plus find ground transportation, lodging, restaurants, local attractions and more.
  • Private Airports and Heliports
    Provides data on private airports and heliports throughout U.S. and Europe, and materially expands your list of navigation and emergency "nearest" options.

Receive Altitude-Sensitive Alerts
When in the air, Garmin's new Smart Airspace(TM) feature makes it easier than ever to identify what airspace lies ahead. Smart Airspace automatically highlights airspace close to your current altitude and de-emphasizes airspace away from the current altitude, which gives you increased situational awareness.

Expand Your Portable
The GPSMAP 696 includes an SD card slot for extra memory and updates. Keep track of the databases on your GPSMAP 696 through, our online manager that helps you update, manage and purchase the latest aviation data for your Garmin device, all in one place.

What's in the Box:

  • GPSMAP 696
  • Free single database update
  • Yoke mount
  • GXM(TM) 40 smart antenna
  • XM USB extension cable
  • GA 25 remote antenna with suction cup mount
  • 12/24 volt power cable
  • AC power adapter
  • USB cable
  • Protective cover
  • Owner's manual
    Quick reference guide


Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 5.7"W x 7.7"H x 2.0"D (14.5 x 19.5 x 5.1 cm)
Display size, WxH: 3.6"W x 6.0"H (9.1 x 15.2 cm); 7.0" diag (17.78 cm)
Display resolution, WxH: 480 x 800 pixels
Display type: bright, color WVGA TFT with adjustable backlighting
Weight: 35.7 ounces (1012 g) with battery pack; 22.4 ounces (635 g) without battery pack; 12.7 ounces (361 g) RAM mount
Battery: rechargeable, replaceable Nickel-Metal Hydride
Battery life: up to 2.5 hours with full backlight and GXM 40 connected (8 hours with 50% backlighting and XM connected)
Voltage range: 11-40
Receiver: high-sensitivity



List Price: $1,999.00
Now: $1,799.00

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Have a question about Garmin GPSMAP 696 (Americas)?  Ask your question and see previous Q & A about this product.

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Customer Reviews For Garmin GPSMAP 696 (Americas):
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Monday, April 11, 2011
Good with quirks
by Jack from ME USA 

Pros: Good backup for instrument panel, good in plane weather information
Cons: Poor resolution on the approach plates - expensive
Review: Good resolution screen, but the resolution on the approach plates is poor. Plane is shown on plan view of approach plates, but not on the section view.
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Monday, March 28, 2011
Better than expected
by John from Sugarloaf Pa. USA 

Pros: The whole pilot package!
Cons: Updates expensive, mounting is challenging due to it's size.
Review: Better than I expected. Having owned a 396 with XM weather since 2005, I can see a big improvement, even beyond just the screen size. Having the low alt charts as a moving map is wonderful. Having all the plates is even better - and the plane moving on the plate??? Unbelievable. Glad they gave 1 free update (the unit I got was 6mo out of date on the charts). The updates are costly, but the idea of only needing the paper as backup is great - especially when flying alone. The controls and menus are different, and took a few hours to become accustomed to. Had to buy an adapter to use GPS antenna from older 396 install in plane.
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Sunday, March 27, 2011
Best portable GPS available today
by Kent Magnuson from Kearney,NE 

Pros: Continuous wx display
Cons: none
Review: Our flight department has 2 of these units and we think they are best available today. The continuous weather updating is a 'best' feature. The approach charts are very good, and have geo-referencing. The weakness, not in the unit, is enroute chart detail. Garmin is working to improve that however. We have stopped all paper chart subscriptions and use the 696 and also iPad with Foreflight Pro charts, which are very detailed enroutes.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
by Bud Raymond from Los Angeles, CA 

Pros: Backup Flight Instruments
Cons: Expensive/Outdated
Review: This product does what it says it does, but it way too expensive compared to other options. You can buy an iPad and Foreflight for around $800 and have the same or better functionality.
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Friday, December 31, 2010
Great GPS but overheats too much
by Bill from Merritt Island, FL 

Pros: Nice size display with lots of capability
Cons: Overheats and shuts down
Review: Has tremendous potential but my unit overheats too much and turns off after about 2 hours, sooner if the cockpit is warm. Updates are unreasonably expensive and would have deterred me from the purchase had I done better research and discovered how much these updates cost. Overall though, the GPS performs nicely when it works but tends to overheat too much.
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Monday, October 04, 2010
Best garmin product yet
by Frank from Reisterstown MD USA 

Review: The 696 with XM weather is as good a GPS/tablet/weather package you can find anywhere. Easy to use.
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010
I would buy this product again
by A Customer from KOQN 

Pros: Excellent for situational awareness.
Cons: Initial updates were confusing
Review: At first the updates wehere very frustrating but customer service was very helpful and now all is great!
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Tuesday, June 01, 2010
by Alan from Keller, TX USA 
Pros: Packed with features and information
Cons: Mechanically vulnerable; Expensive; no SID's or STARS
Review: Presents a lot of good information. External GPS antenna connection is fragile and broke during the first flight. Satellite antenna cable connection protrudes down below the device making it vulnerable to breakage also. "Joystick" sticks up above device surface making it also vulnerable to breakage. AC adapter is large and heavy. Expensive; Subscriptions to charts and data add substatially to cost
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Monday, February 15, 2010
Another great product by Garmin
by Robert from Fort Pierce FL USA 

Pros: Does everything Garmin advertises
Cons: None
Review: I like everything about it, especially the large screen.
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Friday, September 18, 2009
XM Weather updates old
by Mu2Doug from New Hampshire 

Pros: nice big display, user friendly
Cons: Antenna plugs difficult to attach and detach, weather updates old
Review: First one returned to Garmin due to unable to shut off and turn back on without removing battery first to reset. Unit also slow to update weather. Second one fixed reset issue but XM weather still seeing :15 to :20 minute old weather. Antenna location on glareshield with good view of sky.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Garmin 696/695 overheating solved.
by Marcel Nijdam, PH-NWG from Stadtlohn EDLS, Germany 

Pros: Easy programming, easy navigating.
Cons: Map underlay is not precise, according the 695 we live South of the river while we don't.
Review: We flew our Speed Canard navigating by 695 from Stadtlohn, Germany to Malaga, Spain. And simply reversed the flightplan after some wonderfull sailing. With cockpit temperatures around 30 Centigrade the screen went down to low power, making the thing almost useless in the bright sunshine. Reset was possible for the next half hour by simply keeping the 2700 dollar gadget outside the window for a while.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009
Good unit...just can't take a warm cockpit in summer
by R F Martin from New Mexico 

Pros: Excellent daylight viewing ( see 1 proviso in cons), superb accuracy, great layout of buttons, decent maps
Cons: Unit overheats and shuts down to night screen when used in sunlight in a cockpit with minimal ventilation. Gamin says they are working on the issue and hope for a software solution. Nothing yet.
Review: Great resource, especially when teamed with XM data.
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Monday, July 06, 2009
One fantastic GPS unit
by Kent Magnuson from Kearney,NE 

Pros: Very user friendly
Cons: None
Review: This is much better than anything else available right now. We also have the 695 in rear passenger cabin for their moving map display, mounted on a seatrail post. The 696 is typical Garmin (very user friendly). We have the full weather feature and like that very much, as well as the Flite Charts subscription. They are quick and easy to access. Nothing we do not like about this box.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009
Garmin 696 Annoyances
by John Beck from Belmar, NJ 

Pros: Excellent weather depiction capability. Easy to use. Excellent user interface. Intuitive, especially if you already use Garmin.
Cons: XM antenna jack prevents unit from laying flat. No chart rotation capability.
Review: Initial out of the box impression was very positive with the exception that the XM antenna did not allow the unit to lay flat on the table and would wobble when the bottom buttons were pushed. This is because the USB plug forms a right angle down. The plug became loose after a short period and was a potential failure point. Garmin support said it was designed that way because it was intended to fit on the yoke (so putting it on the floor is not a good idea). The STAR for Teterboro was not oriented properly and there is no feature to rotate a chart. It was not readable so the concern is how many other charts are not readable. The weather features of the unit are excellent, which is why I purchased the unit; hence, the 696 gets a high rating.
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Saturday, June 06, 2009
G1000 user using 696 as backup
by Robert Boyle from North Hampton, NH 

Pros: Just like a G1000 without the COM and autopilot
Cons: No STARs or DPs can be added to the flight plan, external XM antenna is a pain
Review: I just purchased this unit and I'm pretty happy with it overall. I wish the XM antenna was integrated into the unit. It is a separate dongle and although this is probably fine for those who want to use this as their "backup" (really primary) situational awareness device in a steam gauge airplane, it's probably fine. As someone who wants to keep the 696 in my flight bag with my backup COM/NAV radio as backup to my G1000, I want to pull it out at a moments notice and have it work. If I'm flying in bad weather under IFR, I have to keep the XM antenna on the glareshield and the 696 plugged in and ready to go to have weather info quickly since it isn't easy to set it up while flying the airplane. Also, it appears that although I can view STARs and DPs in chart form, they can't be added to the flight plan. As someone who flies into some busy airports which utilize STARs and DPs extensively, it would be nice to have the ability to add them to a flight plan the same way they work on the G1000. Other than that, it is a nice unit which works very well and has a nice bright screen. The WAAS capability on a handheld device for such a low price is pretty amazing. I wish Garmin would offer some type of discount for those who already pay every month for the updates already for my G1000 equipped airplane, but the extra money is well spent if I ever need the situational awareness in an emergency. I have seen other devices which are less expensive for all the updates, but the instant easy usability without having to open a book and the ability to use it in an emergency without thinking since it works the same as the G1000 was my primary reason for purchasing it. The 696 is a great product at a great price.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009
696 battery fails after 45 minutes
by oscar from ar 

Review: 696 is excellent in theory, but after 45 minutes the 696 battery dims and may completely shut down. If you leave it connected to the cigarette lighter, the 696 overheats and shuts off
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Monday, March 16, 2009
by 206 driver from waunakee WI USA 

Pros: Excellent situational awareness
Cons: Cost, takes a while to learn, weak XM antenna
Review: I keep saying to myself wow the 696 delivered had a bad battery but Garmin quickly replaced it. Internal antenna worked well.The XM antenna had to be placed right to work properly
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Thursday, February 19, 2009
by chuck from NASHVILLE TN USA 
Cons: having trouble updating data
Review: Great cockpit addition and especially helpful with XM weather. Hit a few storms on way to Florida and the 696 guided me through the holes.
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Thursday, February 05, 2009
by Mark from Richmond CA USA 

Pros: Feature rich, easy to use, great screen size, best bang for the buck
Cons: don't forget to fly the plane while using
Review: I learned on a full glass cockpit Garmin 1000. I bought a 1962 Cessna 172 and have no plans to install a 40K system in a 26K airplane. But I really loved the G1000. The 696 obviously won't do everything a full glass cockpit will but it does replicate all the main features I wanted. I bought it and went to Maryland on New years eve to purchase my 172. We had all the sectionals and just flew with the 696 all the way to Oakland, CA. Unit performed flawlessly. WX in the cockpit was fantastic and having all the airport info available at your fingertips is heaven. All airport info including safe taxi, diagrams, freqs, and the entire AOPA airport database let us know what we would have for services before we got there and could change flightplans on the fly. Plan on spending a lot of time learning this unit. I had a CFII with me who flew while I Garmined. It gives you so much information it is very easy to get lost in the GPS and forget to fly the plane. Sounds humorous but I can see where crashes could easily happen, you really have to divide your time well. I was concerned about the physical size in the cockpit but that proved to be a non-event. I still have easy visual access to every one of my gauges and that large screen really makes it so much more useful. Even in direct sunlight I had no problem seeing the info. We had as back-up the old 196 and we met another pilot with a 496. The black and white screen and the small screen size made the 196 difficult to use and in comparing the WX on the 496/696 it was the difference between downloading with high speed DSL and a really old 56K modem. It is a truly remarkable product and if you do any kind of cross country flying you will want and appreciate one of these. This has been one of the best buys I have ever made in terms of bang for the buck.
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Previous Customer Questions For Garmin GPSMAP 696 (Americas):
Ask Your Own Question
On Tuesday, October 05, 2010 a customer asked:
what is the maximun time the screen will stay lit before it goes into the sleep mode.Currently it goes to sleep rite in the middle of approaches and is very distracting.

If you are referring to the backlight, you can adjust the backlight time using the instructions found on pages 22-23 of the user manual.  Or, is the unit completely turning off?

On Friday, August 20, 2010 a customer asked:
Is there a pannel mount adapter for the 696?
A: Yes, the AirGizmos Garmin 695 / 696 Panel Dock.

On Thursday, January 15, 2009 a customer asked:
Main question has to do with the size of the unit. I have a Mooney and the only place to install would be on the yoke. Is the yoke mount flexible enough to make sure the unit, when installed on the yoke, isn't too high which would block some intruments?
A: The Garmin GPSMAP 696 comes with a RAM Mount Yoke Mount kit.  You can see a picture of it here.  While not "flexible", it is fairly adjustable. 

On Tuesday, December 09, 2008 a customer asked:
I noticed on Garmin's specs page that the 696 does not handle custom POIs. Does this mean I can't enter my private airstrip as a waypoint?
A: The Garmin 696 allows you to create up to 50 custom saved routes and up to 300 custom user-defined waypoints.

On Friday, December 05, 2008 a customer asked:
is it true the annual subscription updates for all the charts (ifr, aopa, taxi, approach plates) are $1400/yr? It is hard to tell from looking at the various web sites. They all seem to say that it is only 295? if everything is only 295 id buy in a second. If its reall 1400 I'll stick with paper and my 396
A: There are a number of subscription options for the 696 available.  Generally, these costs are the same as your 396 except for the Approach Plates, the AOPA directory, and the SafeTaxi.

As Pilot In Command, it is your responsibility to decide how often you wish to update the different databases to enjoy a safe flight.

As of today (prices subject to change), the costs to upgrade different databases and services in the 696 are as follows:

  • NavData - This is your main database that includes airports, VORs, NDBs, SUAs and more.  This can be upgraded on a one time basis for $49.95 or you can get an annual subscription for $295.00.  The data is updated every 56 days (eight weeks).  Your 696 includes a pre-loaded NavData database as well as a coupon for one free upgrade.
  • XM Weather.  If you decide to get weather, you can get either the Lite for $29.99 or the Full Weather for $49.99/month.
  • Obstacle Database. This digital database includes the locations of towers, tall buildings and other vertical obstructions that could be a potential source of hazard to pilots.  A one-time update is $49.95 or you can get an annual subscription for $195.00.  The data is updated every 56 days.
  • Terrain Database.  This is $150.00 to update.  Since Terrain data does not include man-made objects (towers, airports, VORs etc.), updates to Terrain data do not occur on a regular basis. 
  • FliteCharts - NACO IFR Terminal Procedures.  These are updated every 28 days.  You can get a one-time update for $95 or an annual subscription for $395.00.
  • SafeTaxi - SafeTaxi identifies runways, taxiways, FBOs, and hangars, as well as your aircraft's exact location on the field.  A single one-time update is available for $49.95 or you can get an annual subscription for $195.00.  The data is updated every 56 days.
  • AOPA Database. Offers detailed information for thousands of U.S. airports along with airports of entry for Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It includes the names and phone numbers of thousands of FBOs, plus ground transportation, lodging, restaurants, local attractions and more. Updates are offered on a quarterly basis.  Single updates are $49.95. 

On Monday, December 01, 2008 a customer asked:
Please clerify the XM weather pricing--$29.99/$49.99 per month or anually? Also the lite version exclusions--are those just for the Canadian coverage--echo tops, airmets, Sigmets ect.? or for US as well? Was unable to get to the web site you refered to-- TT
A: The subscription prices are monthly. The light version excludes the following for both the US and Canada: High Resolution Canadian Radar, Canadian Weather Warnings, Echo Tops, AIRMETs, Lightning, Freezing Levels, Winds Aloft, SIGMETs, Severe Weather Storm Tracks, Satellite Mosaic, and Surface Analysis.

On Tuesday, November 11, 2008 a customer asked:
Can Jeppesen charts be used on the 696?
A: The 696 uses the Jeppesen database for the moving map, however the Jeppesen IFR charts are not supported on the 696 at this time.  Only the FAA NACO charts are supported.

On Thursday, November 06, 2008 a customer asked:
Will the Zaon XRX PCAS system link to the 696 as it did to the 496?
A: Yes, the Garmin 696 will still accept Zaon XRX traffic input.  However, the style of power plug has changed on the 696 and the current 396/496 interface cable will NOT work with the Garmin 696.  Zaon has indicated that they are working on a creating a new interface cable but have not yet announced an availability date.  [UPDATE:  The Zaon PCAS XRX to Garmin 695/696 Interface Cable is now shipping and available for purchase here.]

On Saturday, November 01, 2008 a customer asked:
Is is WAAS capable...that is, does it include vertical navigation?
A: Yes, this product is WAAS capable.

On Friday, October 31, 2008 a customer asked:
Are there any automotive features in the 696 either included or optional?
A: No, as the GPSMAP 696 was designed specifically for aviation, there are no automotive or marine features available.

On Friday, October 31, 2008 a customer asked:
How much does the XM Weather service cost?
A: The current prices for XM WX Satellite Weather are $29.99 for the Lite and $49.99 for the full weather feed plus a $75.00 activiation fee for either. The Lite version does not contain High Resolution Canadian Radar, Canadian Weather Warnings, Echo Tops, AIRMETs, Lightning, Freezing Levels, Winds Aloft (at altitude), SIGMETs, Severe Weather Storm Tracks, Satellite Mosaic, or Surface Analysis. For a comparision of the services, please visit:

On Friday, October 31, 2008 a customer asked:
How much are the FAA NACO IFR Charts for the Garmin 696?
A: The FliteCharts for the 696 are $95/each or you can get a one year (13 issue) subscription for $395.  These are purchased directly from Garmin.  If you have not updated your IFR charts in six months, they will be automatically disabled on the 696 and not load.

On Thursday, October 30, 2008 a customer asked:
Is there an online manual I can down load and review? Thank you for your response.
A: Yes, the manual is now available for viewing here.



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Some keywords that may help you find this product: Buy Garmin GPSMAP 696 (Americas) Garmin 010-00667-41 695 010-00667-41 695 010-00667-40 Featuring a large screen, detailed electronic charts and real-time weather, the 696 is your own personal avionics system.