2xxx or 3xxx or new Andriod Phone?

My Nuvi 650 screen died, tried all the suggestions online, it is truly dead.

I do NOT use the GPS daily, but I travel frequently, flying to places and then renting a car. Mostly fly into major city airports and travel to outlying areas, mostly via highways until the very end.

The GPS has become somewhat indispensable in finding my way. Then the screen died and I was very glad I had printed out Google Maps directions as back-up.

My choices at this point are complicated by the fact that I will be moving from my existing antique Blackberry to a new high-end Android phone next week. I've never used a phone for navigation, though I know plenty of folks who do. If I just do that, I have to continue to print out back-up maps, which is fine for the most part, except when things change enroute.

If I get a new dedicated GPS, then the phone becomes the back-up, but obviously at a significant cost penalty.

Which brings me to the GPS possibilities.

My 650 worked fine for me, the thing that caused me the most issues was missing a "turn" because I was in the wrong lane and couldn't get over, or because it wasn't very clear, so the lane-assist would be a huge plus from my perspective.

I'm not going to build any personal trends or routes because I generally am not going the same place, most trips are new, or at best, just once a year.

WRT weight, not a huge deal since the Garmin dash bean-bag mount pretty much is where the weight is and I find that much easier to use in the wide variety of rental cars I end up with than a suction windshield mount. (it appears I can continue to use that with any of these Garmin GPSes?)

I find the 4.3 screen of the 650 just fine, but maybe I don't know what I am missing. :D

Buying new maps every year has been an expensive PITA, so I would either get a unit with Lifetime Maps or buy a subscription, which seems to be running about $80 extra.

Not sure I need traffic, how valuable is that for what I use the GPS for?

The 3750 is appealing, though not inexpensive, but reading online comments and such, I get the impression is is somewhat fragile and may not be a good choice for my kind of travel where it is subject to general abuse. Don't want and can't afford fragile. Thoughts or comments on this?

The alternative seems to be the older form factor, open to suggestions for the best unit that fits my needs, bearing in mind all of the above.

TIA for your help.

Doug

Comments

  • Boyd 1312 Points
    I've had my 3790 since last summer and use it pretty much every day. It is holding up just fine. At first I was a little concerned, because it looks like an iPhone but feels cheaper and more flimsy. In reality, this hasn't been a problem. I think it would take almost as much abuse as any of the Nuvi's... only concern might be cracking the glass screen I suppose.

    But a phone will have most of the same issues with fragility. I know there are some android phones with big 4" screens. These would be well suited as a GPS, but look awkward for a phone. Otherwise, would you be content with a smaller phone screen? I am not.

    I have an iPhone 4, but much prefer the dedicated GPS. I think that's a personal choice you have to decide for yourself. I really like the multi-touch glass high res screen on the 3790, it is simply beautiful. And being able to switch from landscape to portrait view is a big plus - I use portrait view almost exclusively in the car now.

    I don't find Garmin's free Navteq traffic very useful myself, having had it on two different nuvi's. I just use a regular power cord on my 3790 and don't use the traffic.

    Beanbag mount seems like kind of a big thing to haul around (and stash) between rental cars personally. Without it, the 3750 would be really small and light to pack. But the 3750 has the same size ball mount as your Nuvi 650, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    If you want a 5" screen, then the 2450 sounds like a good bet, although lower resolution, not multi-touch and no portrait mode like the 3750. The 2360 would give you portrait mode, but with a lower resolution "traditional" Nuvi screen.
  • saxmaniac 0 Points
    edited March 2011
    I have a nuvi and an Android phone, the phone makes a good backup. I use the phone as a pedestrian GPS. I don't want to depend on a phone for GPS, too many spotty coverage areas.

    The most compelling feature for me of the 37xx is the super-bright screen, which is much easier to read in bright daylight. My old 350 would get a bit washed-out due to the matte screen, which was pitted. My wife's 205 is even worse, since the screen is thicker and "more" matte-coated than the 3xx.

    You don't even have to mount it, it's happy just sitting in a cup-holder in portrait mode, unless you need traffic reception.

    A good case should provide protection.
  • Boyd 1312 Points
    I don't want to depend on a phone for GPS, too many spotty coverage areas..
    On the iPhone there are a number of navigation apps that store their maps in internal memory and don't require a data connection to operate. Aren't there any apps like that on Android?

    Regardless, I agree with your comments on the 3700 series. :)
  • gatorguy 191 Points
    Yes, there's several Android app options that allow for onboard maps. Navigon's is one of the higher profile ones. I've recently been playing around with Locus Free for Android which offers onboard map caching from numerous sources, including OSM, Google, Nokia, Bing and others.
  • popej 52 Points
    I mostly use my nuvi on vacation, when I drive routes in rage of 1000km. For this I need support for routes with multiple via. 37xx is very poor in this regard. It offers trips instead of routes. Trips are multiple destination route without via points, not usable for my purpose. On 37xx I use active route with via, but I have to insert via in revers order, because 37xx doesn't optimize active route. It simply go to last inserted via first, which is kind of silly solution.

    I think nuvi 24xx has some improvements in trip support but the same dummy support for multiple via in active route. Nuvi 23xx works probably the same as 37xx.

    I'm disappointed that Garmin is unable to make a usable routes in nuvi. I'm using Garmin outdoor gps, which doesn't have such a problem. For my next car navigation I will probably look for a smartphone, but it depends on available software for navigation.
  • Boyd 1312 Points
    Supposedly Garmin will update the 2300 and 3700 to the same routing capabilities as the 2400 by the end of this month.

    Regardless, none of this should matter much to the OP because he clearly stated
    I'm not going to build any personal trends or routes because I generally am not going the same place, most trips are new, or at best, just once a year.
  • popej 52 Points
    I would say the same, I don't need navigation to find a way to my work :)

    But I need to be able to plan ahead a route to a new place and be sure that nuvi takes the roads I like and pass through borders in a place I like. And I'd like to save more than one route on device, at least route to destination and back.
  • Boyd 1312 Points
    I don't disagree with you, but complaints about Garmin's routing belong in another thread.
  • popej 52 Points
    Well, I just explained why I'm thinking about smartphone after buying my 8-th Garmin device.
  • My limited personal experience, I will take a PND over a phone based unit anytime.
    I have a 255w and 260 as well as an iPhone 3GS, and much prefer the PND over the iPhone for true navigation while driving.
    I have tried several free and trial apps, and I keep going back to the 260 (that is in my car, the 255w is in the wifes).
  • ddabcd277 41 Points
    This article may be interesting tо those who haven't read it and for the topic. I read it before a mount:

    Mobile Unlikely to Displace Dedicated Navigation Devices
    http://www.cellular-news.com/story/47737.php

    Cheers,
  • dcnuvi 0 Points
    I have an android 2.2 phone and tablet. Goggle maps are good in a pinch but I find that in no way does the smartphone compete with the new garmin gps's. They are so much easier to use and full of features that make navigating and planning trips so much better. I use the phone apps around town to find stuff I'm not sure about but would not take it as the only source on a trip to unknown lands. It would frustrate me and does not give me a good sense of security. Google on the phone is an awesome source of info though, but I tend to enter that into the Nuvi for a better navigating experience.
    Money where my mouth is, I'm ordering a 2460LMT today, for when I need the true stand alone performance from my gps.
  • critter 0 Points
    Thanks for the feedback. I am narrowing my choice to the 2360LMT. Have a few questions in a new thread: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/22439/x/p1/
  • bawaji 0 Points
    Since no one has mentioned it yet...

    I have an old Windows Mobile phone but purchased Copilot Live v8 during the Thanksgiving Sale very cheap. It does not require a data connection and can be used as a backup when Google Maps or Bing doesn't work due to spotty coverage.

    If I was purchasing a new phone and had to purchase an unlimited data plan, that is the route I would go. What I like about Copilot Live is that they update maps every quarter and make small additions/corrections at the end of each month, all for free.
  • On the iPhone there are a number of navigation apps that store their maps in internal memory and don't require a data connection to operate. Aren't there any apps like that on Android?
    There may be. I think a recent update to Google Maps has offline caching. When I first tried it, my phone certainly lost the data connection and map refresh when driving through some not-very-remote areas, and that was really enough to turn me off to the whole concept.
  • I am using a Garminfone (having switched from a Blackberry Bold) and love it.

    The update to Android 2.1 was well worth it. The Garminfone is already end of life and can be had cheaply as a result: $320 on Amazon without contract.

    Unlocking it to accept a non-Tmobile SIM card was as easy as ebay can be.

    The real benefit of course is not needing a data plan; your maps are all in the phone. As well as many of the Apps for it are free. Those that have a cost are usually under $5.

    It comes with Lifetime updates to the maps as well.

    My nuvi 650 finally died last month.
  • n4khq 0 Points
    I have and iPhone with TomTom, Navigon, Garmin street pilot, MapQuest turn by turn directions just to name a few. I just counted 17 navigation programs on the iPad. To be honest the all do an excellent job and depending on what you are looking far, you can probable find an app to satisfy your needs. However, I would get a Garmin for navigation. I want my phone in my pocket and the iPad available for surfing, email, etc.
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