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Which is right for me?

Papadapaopolis 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
I went to Best Buy to see some GPSs.
I looked at Magellen, TomTom, Garmin

One thing I've noticed is that large screen Magellans and TomToms were a lot less expensive than large screen Garmins. Why?

I currently have an old Nuvi unit and I remember having to pay for map updates. At Best Buy 100% of the units say "lifetime map updates". Are they serious? Free map updates for life?

What is the Bluetooth connectivity for?

For <$250, which GPS do you recommend? I dont need traffic updates or any super snazzy features. But a fast and accurate GPS lock is important, as well as intuitive menus.

One thing that pisses me off about my current Garmin is that when I select a POI or location, but before I hit "Go!", it shows an estimate trip travel time and distance. But when I click "Go!", it does it's little calculation and the distances and time are different. As if it just chooses a straight line to find out distance.

Comments

  • dhn 336 Points
    If a TomTom, maybe this one:

    http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/products/car-navigation/via-series/via-1605-tm/index.jsp

    Comes with lifetime maps and a combo rds-tmc antenna/car charger which allows for lifetime traffic on highways and main roads.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    And a GPS does calculate 'direct' initially, you'll only get the exact distance when a route has been calculated.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Lifetime updates are becoming the norm. Of course, there is some fine print though... Garmin updates will cease if they switch to a different map data provider for example, but that doesn't seem very likely.

    I am only familiar with Garmin, but they have a number of large screen choices that meet your requirements well within your budget. Maybe Best Buy just didn't have them in stock? Just looking at Garmin list prices, how about the 2557LMT for $200? Or Nuvi 52LM for $150? Or the 2757LM for $220 which has a big 7" screen. You could also shop around for last year's models like the 2555LM if you can find one.

    The more expensive devices have glass multi-touch screens, which is a premium feature that you will pay more for.

    Bluetooth on Garmin is primarily for hands-free calling. Some of the Bluetooth Nuvi's allow you to pair your smartphone with the GPS for connected services (most of which require subscription). Some of the models only support Android, others support iOS. But none of the Nuvi's support bluetooth audio, so they cannot be paired with a car stereo.

    The straight line route preview is standard and the Nuvi has always been that way. If the Nuvi calculated the entire route initially, there would be a big delay that most people would probably not like.
  • On my current Garmin, I have a SD card with Europe on it. Paid like $100 for it through Garmin.

    If I get a new Garmin, can I use that Europe map too? And will that Europe map get lifetime updates too? I hope it's been updated because last time I was in Europe it had me going offroad to a highway that no longer existed.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    If you purchased a City Navigator map that was pre-loaded on a memory card, then it can be used in any GPS. But only one GPS at a time, because you must use the original card and not a copy. This kind of map cannot be updated, you would have to buy a new one if you want newer maps.

    If you purchased the map on DVD and loaded it onto your own card, it can only be used on the original GPS for which it was bought. You could, however purchase lifetime updates for that map. But those updates would only work on the original GPS that you purchased it for and not your new one.

    If you purchased the map by download and put it on your own card, then that will only work on the original GPS for which it was purchased. There are no update options for this kind of map either.
  • Do any of the other company's GPS (Tomtom, Magallen) allow you to update both default US map and additional maps?

    Is there a Garmin I can order that has preloaded Europe maps, and therefore get lifetime updates for the Europe map?
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    These two models have both EU and US pre-loaded but you would have to purchase the update for each map separately. That would add somewhere around $150 to the price (depending on what kind of deal you can find on the update cards).

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/automotive/previous models/nuvi-2475lt/prod97148.html

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/automotive/new-2013/nuvi-2577lt/prod122520.html

    As mentioned above, you can buy the DVD version either the US or EU map and also purchase an update for it.
  • I am planning a roadtrip across Europe, including Russia next year. I will be doing this drive multiple times over the next few years.

    Garmin has Europe and Russia as separate maps. TomTom has them combined as one map. Not sure about Magallan. Even though I live in the US currently, I will be living with my cousin in Europe next year.

    I think the best option will to get a GPS with preloaded Europe maps on it so I can do the lifetime update on it. If I do the Garmin option, I can do lifetime updates on Europe (minus Russia). I wouldnt be able to do lifetime updates on Russia with Garmin (because it will be an add-on, stupid rule if you ask me... if i pay for a downloaded map i want the updates too.)

    But if I go the TomTom option, I since Europe and Russia are on one map, I can get lifetime updates for that. But I do not know which company has the better maps and better hardware/software.

    Is it possible to buy a GPS with preloaded Europe maps on it while in America? I already have an old Garmin with America on it that I'm using now.
  • dhn 336 Points
    You can get this one from TomTom with both USA, Canada and Europe preloaded (while in the USA):

    http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/products/car-navigation/go-live-series/go-2535-tm-wte/index.jsp

    BUT........................

    Only the USA_Canada map is eligible for lifetime maps, not the Europe map.
  • Yeah, I just noticed that. TomTom only has lifetime maps for North America.

    So Garmin it is!
  • Well here's a question.

    Say I have a downloaded map on my device. And I want to update that downloaded map. Do I have to buy the whole map all over again for the full price? Or is there any cheaper priced 'update' option? This question is for both TomTom and Garmin.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Please read my earlier post, it summarizes Garmin's policy. You cannot update Garmin's downloaded maps. You would have to purchase another at full price. Buy the DVD version (if available) and then you can purchase an update. But it appears that they only sell the Russia map via download, so you're out of luck there.
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