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Garmin vs. TomTom

michking73 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
We're looking to buy a GPS, but are trying to decide which is best. A couple that we have considered are the Garmin Nuvi 2555LMT with a 5" screen or the TomTom Start 40M with a 4.3" screen. The price difference is about $70. Any idea which would be the better buy?

Comments

  • dhn 336 Points
    'Better' is a subjective term......

    What requirements do you need/want in a device?
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Welcome back ,dhn!
  • phk 0 Points
    'Better' is a subjective term......

    What requirements do you need/want in a device?
    Fast TMC and best map. Best map being the map that get new and changed roads fastest on the map.

    Tnx in advance :)
  • Tim 1480 Points
    That criteria really means it depends which city you are in. Both have places in their maps with decades old errors and Fast TMC will likely depend on availability of broadcast stations in your city.

    So to get an answer based on that criteria you would want to get answers from people who have owned each, in your city/region as there is no blanket answer.
  • Ramaprem 112 Points
    There not being a blanket answer is my answer, also.

    That being said, I own an older TomTom (930) and an almost-new Garmin Nuvi 3590.
    All else aside (and there are many things to be considered), I find - dramatically - that the audible instructions of TomTom are far more accurate, reliable, and appropriate than on the Garmin.
    When I use the TT, I pretty much don't have to look at the screen; using the Garmin, I'm always looking at the screen, because the spoken instructions are not accurate/timely.

    And not looking at the screen - and simply listening to instructions and getting it right - is really what it should be about.
    TT excels at this - is my experience.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    And not looking at the screen - and simply listening to instructions and getting it right - is really what it should be about.
    Again... this is a purely personal preference. For me, it's all about the map and screen; I couldn't even tell you what the voice sounds like because I always have my devices set for mute.

    I suspect I'm not alone either or Garmin, TomTom and Magellan wouldn't keep introducing models with larger, higher resolution screens and new features like active lane guidance, 3d buildings, junction view, etc.
  • Ramaprem 112 Points
    I also enjoy the benefits of the features that you named - and that newer models provide. No matter what the company.
    The need, however, to look at the screen in order to follow instructions is less with the TomTom - because of its better voice instructions. And certainly there is a safety factor involved.
    Although, if being told what to do by "Victoria" drives you up the wall - better not listen to her voice!

    "Again... this is a purely personal preference."
    Agreed. Everyone takes various factors into consideration, and puts different values on them.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    I would never drive simply following spoken directions. IMO it's vital to be looking at the map and the road if you're to drive safely.
  • Ramaprem 112 Points
    I agree with that, also.
    I have less need to look at the screen using the TT.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Hmmm ... I don't follow that argument. However good the spoken directions might be I'd want to look at the screen, I can't see that need ever being reduced :twisted:
  • Ramaprem 112 Points
    "...I can't see that need ever being reduced."
    But, for me, it is (reduced) - greatly.

    My idea of a perfect world:
    I'm driving in unfamiliar territory, being guided to my destination by my navigation device. It audibly instructs me - exactly and appropriately - what to do and when to do it. Without fail, it is correct and gets me to my destination.
    I keep my eyes on the road - and have no need to look at a screen. After all, I'm driving a car - not watching a video.
    Perfect.

    Do I live in a perfect world? Not on your life. The Garmin and TT worlds are not perfect.

    Do I find myself looking at the screen much more when using my Garmin? You betcha. Because the need is there; because the spoken instructions are far, far less accurate and complete than TomTom's.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    I think you're missing the point, although you alluded to it. We certainly don't live in a perfect world. You say TT gives you less need to look at the screen. What you're saying is that so far you have confidence in most of its instructions.

    My point is without looking at the screen you can't confirm that and you're driving simply based on the spoken voice. That in my view is dangerous. I listen to my Garmin, but I would never blindly take it at face value, and if you don't do that your need to look at the screen is just as much as mine, so it's not reduced :twisted:
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    My idea of a perfect world:
    So in your perfect world you will just blindly do whatever a machine instructs you - because you are *sure* that it must be right? Wow.

    I guess there are some major cultural differences between the EU and the US, because that sounds more like a perfect hell to me. :twisted:
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Me too ... And as you know I'm in the UK :wink:
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Yes, but George Orwell is from your country. :D
  • sussamb 813 Points
    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • My idea of a perfect world:


    So in your perfect world you will just blindly do whatever a machine instructs you - because you are *sure* that it must be right? Wow.

    I guess there are some major cultural differences between the EU and the US, because that sounds more like a perfect hell to me. :twisted:
    If you're relying on a PNG for directions - visually or voice, or both - aren't you "blindly" following a machine?

    How is hearing "Turn right at Taylor Road" any different (albeit safer) than looking at the map/directions visually depicted on a video screen?

    Eyes on the road is the safest way to drive.
  • My idea of a perfect world:


    So in your perfect world you will just blindly do whatever a machine instructs you - because you are *sure* that it must be right? Wow.

    I guess there are some major cultural differences between the EU and the US, because that sounds more like a perfect hell to me. :twisted:
    If you're relying on a PNG for directions - visually or voice, or both - aren't you "blindly" following a machine?

    How is hearing "Turn right at Taylor Road" any different (albeit safer) than looking at the map/directions visually depicted on a video screen?

    Eyes on the road is the safest way to drive.
    To answer your last two questions, I tried just listening to voice rather that also watching the screen. I found it unnerving because with my eyes I can choose whether I want or should follow it. Also, with my eyes I see in the distance the turn coming up and the number of lanes and which one you should be in ahead of time and it gives me fairly adequate time to make the most proper decision based on traffic, unforseen road repairs etc what I feel I need to do to negotiate what the GPS is telling me. My sister bought a Tom Tom despite my recommendation and it drove her crazy with it's idiosyncrasies until she decided to by a Garmin. Now keep in mind this was a couple 3 years ago and things change so I am not saying they are problematic today as they were then but I love many things about the Garmin so yes, I am biased.
  • Kyuzo 0 Points
    I too am mulling TomTom vs Garmin. I also have never used the Garmin, but have used my sister's TomTom XL One on several occasions. I have updated it many times via TomTom Home and find it updates with few quirks, though I have had several unusual update problems recently (TomTom has changed the XL's operating system twice in the last month, necessitating a LONG download even though I have a very fast connection).

    In use, I have found the TomTom to be extremely helpful (again, I have no knowledge of Garmin against which to compare it). Its IQ routing seems VERY accurate, it reroutes quickly if you miss your target and the "Simon" voice (British English) is very clear, but has a deuce of a time pronouncing names in my area (lots of Native American city and street names). Also, while many users complain that TomTom's GUI is difficult to grasp, I am no technophile, but I caught on to it quite quickly and find it fairly nimble. If I have major quibbles with the unit, it's that the screen washes out quite badly in direct sunlight and the XL often takes a bit to lock on to the satellites. If you're driving while it's trying to lock, it may often take MINUTES to lock on. Stopping the vehicle at an intersection often speeds things up.

    Sorry to prattle, but I hope this may have helped regarding the TomTom.
  • cz9h3d 0 Points
    Is TomTom even relevant in the US Market???

    I own a few Garmins. I recently saw the Go 1535tm on sale for $99, and was considering getting one just to fully understand the differences, and to experience their Live services. As I researched their models, I was surprised to see the lack of Go models - and the 1535 is two years old!! That's quite a contrast to the Garmin model overload.

    It looks like they have new Go models (or model?) coming with a brand new interface... sometime....somewhere.

    Anyways, I was just surprised as to how limited, low-end, and aged their US product line is. Am I missing something?
  • dhn 336 Points
    In fact, the Go 1535 LIVE model with HD traffic (now called TomTom traffic) is superior to anything else around in the opinion of many.........
  • Kyuzo 0 Points
    After an agonizing choosing between the Via 1535TM and the Garmin 2555LMT, I just purchased (but have yet to receive) a Via 1535TM. I looked at its sister GO model, and the HD traffic looked appealing. That is until I saw the price tag after the GO's first initial year. :shock: Honestly, I think I can get by with the Via and use my cell phone to get reviews of hotels...

    I'm thinking of getting a Garmin later on as a spare (yeah, I'm a geek). My main factor against the Garmin was that I recently had a friend come visit me. He was using a Garmin, and it kept saying my house was one street over for some reason. It had him turn prematurely, but fortunately the street eventually curves back around to my house in 3 miles. My sister's TomTom has her come in the same way I do. I don't know if one is necessarily better, but my route saves a bit of time.

    The TomTom HD traffic is very impressive.
  • My wife is on her third Garmin while I am still using my first TomTom (TT) and we have started using a GPS at the same time. We usually use both at once to check on the reliability of each and to have a back-up is one fails as the Garmin has on 2 occasions. I much prefer the TT for easier spoken directions but even more so because the time and distance numbers are more accurate than the Garmin. Additionally the Garmin does not properly handle the fastest route properly. For example I was returning home this past weekend and the Garmin had me going on way while TT had me going another. When I followed TT my wife and I carefully watched the time to arrival and distance on the Garmin (as we passed the turn that Garmin wanted us to take) and after recalculating, which took no more than 15 seconds) the "New" route for Garmin was now 4 minutes shorted and 5 kilometers shorter. So, ignoring Garmin for TT I saved a few km's and a couple of minutes. THIS IS A PROBLEM WITH ALL THREE GARMINS.

    I will not even go into the 3 hour time to download a map and the endless tweaking needed to get the map to work.

    Buy anything other than the Garmin is my recommendation, I know we have purchased our last one.
  • Kyuzo 0 Points
    GREAT info, CSM!

    I got my new Via, only Amazon had substituted a GO Live 1525M for the Via, yet still charged me the 30 dollars US difference between the two units.

    The GO is impressive when it's working, but finicky as heck. Sometime it locks up, the Fuel Prices don't work (apparently a problem for many TT users), the updates are slow (maybe not as slow as yours, CSM!), and to top it off, it gets confused when you miss a turn. Sometimes it takes 10 seconds to recalculate in my mountainous area.

    When it is working, it's super. The Live Services gives you tons of info about the surrounding area. HD Traffic is very informative, but receiving it is tricky because it uses ATT's 2G cell system to transmit info and in my area coverage is spotty.

    I was planning on replacing the new GO with a Garmin 2557LMT, but now I'm not so sure, CSM! :lol:
  • Kyuzo 0 Points
    Sorry, that was a GO Live 1535M.

    Still want that 2557LMT, though...
  • TeeTwo 0 Points
    I have a XL and now a 52LM and both appear to deliver an accurate route. both for instructions and directions and advanced lane warning. I use the screen to get ready for a change in direction but nice to hear a voice.

    My 52LM is new so has not been used much. I had a bad experience with one TT XL how I got this 52M. But an older XL I managed to reformat and it is working currently.

    They are both basic models and equally comparable and get the job done
  • Kyuzo 0 Points
    I have to say that I do not like my GO. I wish I had purchased an XXL540 as my old XL is a killer GPS, if basic. Th GO has been a right pain, finicky and the MyTomTom interface is horrible. Just today I had two phantom updates.

    TeeTwo, I'd love to know how the units perform on identical trips!
  • This is a very interesting thread, because I’ve always heard that Garmin was the Big Boss of the GPS world. Every sales person that I’ve ever talked to has told me that, so I’ve never even considered TomTom or Magellan. Amazon reviewers tend to weigh in on Garmin more as well. I own a Garmin 265WT and was so impressed, that I got another one for my wife. I’ve found that I don’t have a need to look at the screen because the voice has always been accurate and clear, but I look at it anyway because I’m a map person. On the other hand, a map to my wife may as well be ancient Chinese script.

    It appears that many of the posters here are from Europe, so I’m wondering if this has a bearing on which is best. My wife and I are “Ole School”, and don’t need or use a bunch of bells, whistles, and gadgets. We need, POI’s and “get me there”, but I’m buying a GPS for my daughter, who loves bell & whistles. So I’m eyeing this thread for this reason. I have no idea what to get for her because she is content using her smartphone, so why even bother getting her one?

    057912
  • privet01 221 Points
    I don't particularly think one brand is overwhelmingly better than the other. I have five of Garmins, road, water and fitness devices. Probably the reason I didn't go with another brand at some point is because there is quite a bit of commonality in the user interfaces between all the Garmin units. So I didn't have a high learning curve to use each one.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Also remember that Garmin devices have the ability to use other forms of mapping, such as topo maps. And there are tools available for you to make your own maps. In the end, this is why I stick with Garmin, this just isn't possible on any other platform to the same extent.

    Of course, this capability may not interest everyone, but it's there if you need it. :)
  • Kyuzo 0 Points
    While I'm sure that no particular brand is perfect, I must say that my recent experiences with TomTom and its support system have been very frustrating- even so to the point that I will not purchase another unit from them. Their GPS units have an excellent navigation screen, with street you're on, turn by turn, and all the necessities. I used a One XL for years and loved it.

    But since getting this new GO Live, my experiences have been ones of frustration. My unit has no fuel prices, an outdated speed camera database, and for the first two months I owned it, it locked up constantly and MyTomTom gave me nothing but headaches on updating. On my last long trip it suddenly shut down just before a major multi-highway intersection, necessitating my pulling over to soft reset the thing TWICE to get it unlocked.

    After waging a time-wasting campaign with TomTom customer service, I gave up. Recently however, the GO has been better. I apparently was one of the blessed in that I had no problems with the new updating interface (MyTomTom's gussied-up remake MyDrive). Many had trouble with MyDrive as it had browser conflicts.

    I have my eye on the 2598LMTHD by Garmin and anticipate replacing the GO with it by the end of the year.
  • I have Garmin 755 and 3790, plus TT2535TM;
    TT finds satellite signals faster, and updates re-routing faster.
    I like the Garmin's interface better.
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