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2,078 of 2,103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its promise - update 6/26/09
Update (6/26/09): A week ago, my Nuvi was stolen out of my vehicle (I know, my bad; all I had to do was take it with me, but it was a momentary lapse of reason). I replaced it with a Nuvi 885T. I can tell you that the new 885T is better in every way than the 360, which stands to reason. Nice job by Garmin continuing to update and improve their units. Noteable changes...
Published on July 22, 2006 by Earl E. A. Dopter

versus
303 of 313 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional nav, but marginal hands-free cel
I've used the unit daily for a couple of months, now. I would rate the navigation portion as outstanding- it exceeds my expectations in every way. I also like that it is small enough to use while you carry it, if you happen to be taxiing or walking through a city, such as San Francisco or New York.

But the hands-free bluetooth for the cel phone is marginal,...
Published on November 15, 2006 by Todd R. Solomon


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2,078 of 2,103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its promise - update 6/26/09, July 22, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
Update (6/26/09): A week ago, my Nuvi was stolen out of my vehicle (I know, my bad; all I had to do was take it with me, but it was a momentary lapse of reason). I replaced it with a Nuvi 885T. I can tell you that the new 885T is better in every way than the 360, which stands to reason. Nice job by Garmin continuing to update and improve their units. Noteable changes include elimination of flip-up antenna (internal now), much more advance warning of upcoming turns, real-view of on/off ramps at confusing highway junctions, posting of speed limit, with actual speed noted right next to that (VERY handy!), and of course the latest map version, 2009. If you want the best bang for the buck I still heartily recommend the Nuvi 360. But for the very best available right now, the 885T is now the device of choice.

-----------Original review-----------
Previous to this, I had the Nuvi 350, which is also an excellent device. Since the function is identical in nearly every regard to the 350, there is little point in covering the basics in much depth, but it's worth re-stating some of them. I will go into great detail on the Bluetooth functionality below.

This is such a handy device, and is so well executed, that you would be hard-pressed not to love it. The first thing I noticed about the Nuvi was its incredibly small size and weight. I could not believe how light it was. I literally expected it to have at least twice the heft when I went to pick it up the first time - it was like picking up a deck of cards, but lighter.

The antenna is a flap that is raised from the back, maybe about the size of a matchbook. When raised the Nuvi immediately starts locking in on satellites, when lowered, the unit knows you are through navigating for a while. Intuitive and effective.

Navigation on the Nuvi is very good, fast, and intuitive. It's no different from many of Garmin's other offerings in that regard. Some buildings and businesses that you would expect to be shown as POIs are not there, but most are. One thing I would suggest: when a route is less than ideal, Garmin should allow you to correct it permanently so that it does not re-suggest the non-preferred route each time.

I had a problem with my old Nuvi 350 that I have not observed on the new 360. Sometimes the 350 would not lock onto the satellite signal. Once it went into this mode of searching for, but not locking in, for over a minute it just never found anything. The only way I found to correct this was to push the small reset button under the antenna. I notice that another reviewer found that his new 360 had the same problem. This must be a bug in some Nuvi units that would be worth following up with Garmin on. I can tell you that my 360 NEVER has required a reboot, and I've been using it continuously.

I did not test the MP3 functionality beyond verifying that it plays back the songs that are pre-loaded for demo purposes. I didn't care about this feature; I'm very happy with my iPod for song management and playback. I can verify that you would not want to use the Nuvi's internal speaker for song playback, though. It's good enough to use as a speakerphone and for voice prompts, but it's not a hi-fi.

Now, for the fun part: Bluetooth functionality. I have been using it with my BlackBerry 8700c with excellent results so far. I had no problems with the initial discovery and mating process. The interface is robust. What happens is that once your phone has made the connection with the 360, a phone icon appears on the Nuvi. You can now use the 360 to call ANY POI directly from the screen! This is truly amazing; you are now walking around with the yellow pages in the palm of your hand, sortable by your current location, or any other location you choose. I just find the Point of Interest, and touch the phone number of that POI, and the phone starts dialing it. The sound comes out through the speaker of the Nuvi, and conversations have been natural so far. It's working like an absolute charm, and this single feature moves the device beyond anything else available right now.

When you select the phone icon from the main screen, several phone-related icons appear. From the phone screen, you can make a call manually, access your address book, call a POI, etceteras. The manual dial function works fine from the touchscreen. The really cool news: Nuvi automatically downloads your phone's address book to its database when it makes the initial Bluetooth link. So, if your phone supports this functionality, you can use it for all dialing functions, since the display is so much nicer than most phones, and the touchscreen works really well. You can always break the BT connection once you get the number dialed if you want a private, non-speakerphoned conversation. I have done that many times already. Once your call ends, the connection to the Nuvi is reestablished automatically. One word of warning: BlackBerry does not support sending its addresses to the Nuvi, so I was unable to test the download feature, but this does not surprise me given BlackBerry's security obsession. I am confident that it would work fine with other supported phones.

Overall, the device is a joy to operate. The battery life is good, although I would not call it excellent. The menus are very intuitive. The accuracy is very high. Even the windshield mount earns my praise. I did a lot of research on the Nuvi, comparing it in excruciating detail to the latest Tom Tom 910, the Magellan Roadmate 800, etceteras. The 350 was a great unit, the 360's Bluetooth functionality makes it even better, and worth the extra money for me.

UPDATE (7/28/06): I just returned from a 4 day trip to Banff, Canada during which I logged another 20 hours of driving. The unit continues to perform perfectly, including comprehensive POIs in the Banff/Lake Louise area. I also discovered an amazing feature I had not noticed before. I was unfamiliar with the Lake Louise area and had three hungry kids in the car. I pressed Where To, then Restaurants, and the list appeared, in order of proximity to my moving vehicle. Each listing showed the distance to that restaurant, with a little arrow next to it showing the exact direction to that restaurant. I just left it on this page and drove around, following the arrows, which moved as I did, until I found a restaurant that looked good. What an amazing device. I also have nothing but praise for the window mount. Seems like a small thing, but it's so solid and well-designed I had to make special mention of it. It has a lever to easily create a large suction force, the ball joints are very solid, and the method of attachment to the Nuvi is just extremely well designed.

Update (9/2/06): I have now owned the Nuvi 360 for about two months. It continues to exceed my expectations in terms of reliability and accuracy. So many nice touches that you don't notice right away but that are executed so well. The auto brightness level, for example, is perfect. The night mode changes the color scheme and the background goes black, highlighting the roads well and keeping the light emissions at a pleasant level, where the day mode would have been too bright. Everyone I demo it for wants one. My next step: buy stock in Garmin?

Update (9/14/07): The unit continues to operate flawlessly. I have now bought this machine for several employees of my company, each of whom love it. I also followed through on my impulse to buy Garmin stock, which has more than doubled since then! I now also own a Nuvi 660; it's fantastic. However, with the wider screen it's a bit bulkier to carry around, so my wife and I trade them back and forth depending on what we are doing. I still say that the 360 is the best bang for the buck if you want the Bluetooth functionality, and the 350, which is now selling for only $370, is every ounce as good if you don't care about the Bluetooth.

One other point - I now drive a BMW 545i with integrated GPS. I bought the car used but I know that the option costs a bundle. I never use it because the Nuvi is so much more user friendly and fast. So for anyone out there who is trying to decide if they should spring for a very expensive integrated GPS system in their new car, here's one vote to save yourself the money and get the Nuvi. It's easier to use and you get to carry it around with you to boot!
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455 of 464 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best All in One Solution Out There!, July 15, 2006
By 
JanSobieski (United States of America) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
This may be one of the slickest little gadgets I've ever owned. It is not without some relatively minor deficiencies which pale in comparison to this products overall design and function.

First the good news. This is the smallest, most elegant and compact AIO (all in one) GPS navigation solution I've come across. The mapping details are excellent. The Nuvi 360 has map v8 updated from the v7 in the Nuvi 350. The voice prompts are loud, clear and timely. The ease of use is just fantastic and the visibility and quality of the display are very good. The 360 uses the low reflection screen and brighter display which were only found on the very latest 350s. POI access is excellent and can be navigated to much more simply than the TomTom unit which requires additional cumbersome steps. The attachment system for the Nuvi is superb and very secure. With the Nuvi 360 you can access your POIs directly by name rather than having to go through a cumbersome category menu and then only getting the POIs by proximity as is the case with the TomTom 910.

The new screen display in the 360 is nearly as good or equal to the TomTom 910. The automatic panning is not quite as good as the TomTom. And bright light visibility is nearly as good as the TomTom 910. Despite these minor comparative deficiencies, all the other advantages of the Nuvi much more than outweigh the disadvantages of the TomTom 910 (their top of the line). As with all GPS units, you want to place the Nuvi so as to reduce the sun's glare.

This device is intended as an extremely simple point to point navigating AIO GPS navigation solution and is not intended to enable the use of way points or easily changing the course selected by the unit. You have essentially two options: the shortest route and the fastest route. Fortunately, the mapping program selects routs that are very acceptable. Personally, I like to look at the overall route and fiddle with it. This unit is not designed for such use. Microsoft Streets and Trips is ideal for this kind of tinkering, but terrible for point to point navigation while on the go at which the Nuvi has no peer.

Make sure and get the most recent firmware updates on the Garmin website which will fix the known bugs and further improve the functionality. This unit is so easy to use that my 85 year old father purchased one for himself and he loves it to. He is, to put it kindly, technologically challenged but this unit is so intuitive and easy to use that he's had no problems whatsoever. He doesn't like to be distracted while driving so he plans his trip before leaving and simply listens to the voice prompts.

The new bluetooth feature makes using hands free use of your bluetooth enabled phone a pleasure. If you don't need or want the Bluetooth feature save yourself a couple of hundred bucks and get the most recent Nuvi 350 but make sure it's got the low reflective screen, the bright display and map v8. Remember, only the most recent Nuvi 350s have the bright low reflective screen. I believe if you get a 350 with map v8 it will automatically have the brighter display with the low reflection screen. I give this unit a 5 star on form and a 5 star on the functionality for which it was designed. You will not be disappointed.
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303 of 313 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional nav, but marginal hands-free cel, November 15, 2006
By 
Todd R. Solomon (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
I've used the unit daily for a couple of months, now. I would rate the navigation portion as outstanding- it exceeds my expectations in every way. I also like that it is small enough to use while you carry it, if you happen to be taxiing or walking through a city, such as San Francisco or New York.

But the hands-free bluetooth for the cel phone is marginal, because of the tiny speakers. If you turn the speaker up high enough to hear callers, it distorts. If you turn it down a notch, you'll be asking the other party to repeat a lot. I've had a couple of hands-free car kits in the past, that had their own, appropriate-sized speaker, that had superior sound quality to this. But these little speakers are not up to the task. They work fine with the navigation's voice, which I'm guessing is because they graphically equalized the voice to work well with the speakers. But when someone speaks loudly, or has a boomy voice, then the speakers distort a lot. I sometimes have to turn off the unit, and take the call on my cel phone directly, in order to hear the person.

My advice would be to save some cash and buy the Nuvi 350. Then, buy a seperate hands-free bluetooth cel kit.
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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I normally do not bother with writing reviews . . ., July 29, 2006
By 
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
but after using reviews to make this purchase--I want to share my feedback.

We used the Nuvi 360 in over 2000 miles in Europe (with optional European card). It worked great in all 7 countries we visited. It located a gas station in a very remote rural area when we were extremely low on fuel. My device recovered very well after long tunnels (It never required rebooting). Worked very well on confusing roundabouts in large cities where many roads converged. It recalculated and routed perfectly when we were detoured several times. I found many obscure locations without fail--even when I was unsure of the exact address. I used it to plot drive times and even to determine real-time currency conversation rates. My wife and I enjoyed the scenic drive without hassling and debating each other over maps and routes. I would highly recommend this product to any travelers!
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116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for Address Navigation, Bluetooth not worth it though, September 11, 2006
By 
J. Rafferty (Downingtown, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
I've had the Nuvi 360 for a couple of weeks now and has really performed fantastically. From finding us places to eat and sleep in Hawaii (Oahu) and correctly navigating me to about 15 different addesses as I was checking out houses in the Southern California area, the unit has provided incredibly detailed and timely driving directions and even tells you which side of exit ramps to bear to, so that you can accurately go east/west or north/south as the case may be. The FIND function is good for finding things nearby your location, but don't count on it to take the place of the yellow-pages. Though there are POI's stored on it and it easily locates some of the more frequently visited establishments, this real worth of this device is not in finding you the nearest restaurant you're in the mood for, but navigating you to that destination given an address or intersection. You will do yourself a favor if you always have an address or intersection, as you can not find a single road with the Nuvi--so a little prior planning will go a long way.

I got the 2GB SD card with it, but just know that it is totally unnecessary. You don't need it for navigation or restaurant storage--in fact the country, language and Fodor's guides are all on separate and special SD cards. If you get one, it will only be to store photos or MP3's. If you're using this as your sound system however, perhaps you should be putting the money somewhere else first, before getting yourself a Navigator :O)

The included cigarrette-lighter plug works out nicely when you keep it plugged in all the time. It automatically turns the unit on when you turn the keys in the ignition and shuts down in 15 seconds when you leave the automobile. If you choose not to use the Nuvi while driving however, it simply charges the Nuvi for later battery use, for instance, if you wanted to take it biking or on a walk (yes, it has navigational settings for both!).

The visitbility is fine and the suction-mount is terrific, so there's no permanent commitment necessary. The only problem with the obvious windshield mount of the device is that once you link it with your Bluetooth phone and try to talk through it, your face is so far away from the front of your windshield that people on the other end can barely hear you and it's a tossup of how well you hear them (forget about it if you have a sunroof or convertible top down). For the difference in price between the 350 and 360, I wish I had forgotten about the Blue Tooth option and just went with the 350. Enough people seem to have other hands-free devices these days that having "another" one, that only works in your car, is really not worth your while.

Apart from the Bluetooth glitch, the Nuvi is one of the greatest devices I have ever owned and I think has payed for itself in uselessness, just this past week. And I don't think driving to a new location and asking it to show you driving distances to everything "nearby" will ever get old :O) I love it!
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every cent!, October 22, 2006
By 
Ben (Minneapolis) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
It is over a month since I purchased this item. Prior to buying the Nuvi 360, I used MS Streets and Trips on a laptop. I researched for 6 months prior to buying it and my choice came down to the US designed Nuvi 350, 360 or a European Tom Tom. The latter was a very close favorite, but I dropped it because of reviews of poor customer service. I then had to decide whether it was worth paying $90 extra for a Nuvi 360 over 350 which had a Blue Tooth. Looking back, 360 was really worth it. I would definitely buy the 360 over 350. The blue tooth is just wonderful. Not only can you pull your phone book up on the Nuvi but you can call any business in the huge data base of Nuvi - restaurants, car rental, recreation etc etc.

The pros of Nuvi 360 are - very fast satellite tracking, recalculates route rapidly (say you see an accident ahead - just exit the road, and Nuvi will do an alternate route). Routing is really good, the volume of the instructions is very good even on a 70 mph road with the AC and fans on. The touch screen is excellent and unlike the equivalent Tom-Tom, switches very easily from day time viewing to night time. The antiglare screen is excellent and one never has problems viewing the maps during the day time. Prior to buying it, I was a bit concerned about the small size of the screen, but that has never been a problem, in fact the size of the Nuvi is great to put in my pocket. It is very easy to take off the Nuvi from the mount.

Cons: CA and MN don't allow mounting the GPS device on the windshield. I mounted the Nuvi on the dash board and it would fall off. I called Garmin, got connected after about 50 minutes. They were very friendly and sent by 2 day delivery a new mount and my problem got solved. Later I read some where dipping the base in water makes a great suction, I did it and am now using the old mounting system without any problems. The Nuvi can run 4 hours without a power source and I have taken it on walks and used in rental cars without the cord, without any problems. The Nuvi has in-built male and female voices and even different accents, like Canadian, Australia, Brit etc and it is cool to keep changing it. Garmin has a great web update system and one can connnect and get firmware updates for free. One can even download different car symbols etc from there. The Nuvi connects to the laptop effortlessly for both charging and downloading MP3, just like it were a jump drive. Garmin provides power connecter, USB connector and Car charger connector - 3 ways to charge your Nuvi! I downloaded the manual from Garmin site and read it even before my Nuvi arrived, but the learning curve is almost nill and one can start using the Nuvi very quickly. There are many user sites for downloading ready made NUVI POI (e.g., all starbucks in the US or Canada etc) on sites such as GPS Passion etc.

The blue tooth is great, but the sound quality at the other end of the line is a bit distant. I got over the problem by buying a Nuvi Microphone, which plugs in to the Nuvi mounting bracket and the sound quality is great. The MP3 is average, but I never use my Nuvi for MP3 anyway.

All in all, this is great product and my wife is now starting to like it, I will definitely buy a 360 and not a 660 because the 360 size is cool to carry it - I would never leave my Nuvi in the car! BTW, the Nuvi has a great lock. One can set a password, if you forget you can take it to a secret location and unlock automatically when the GPS position matches lock place. The only other way for the thief to unlock is to send it to Garmin, who will report to police if the device is reported stolen!
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garmin is the best for GPS, September 28, 2006
By 
M. Anderson (Santa Ana, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
I spent a lot of time trying out GPS units, and have compared Garmin, Tom Tom, Magellan, and several factory GPS units. All of these GPS units tell you how to get somewhere and will re-route if you make a wrong turn. However, Garmin is my absolute favorite, and here's why:

1. The most important thing about Garmin units is the user interface. It is simple to understand and easy to use.

2. The Garmin unit uses a built in database of sunrise and sunset times (based upon your location) to automatically change from daylight mode to night-time mode. This is important because the daylight screen is much too bright for use at night. With the Tom Tom, you must make this change manually.

3. If you have the Garmin unit plugged into your car power, when you turn off the car (and the cigarette lighter power goes off), the Garmin unit will detect that and automatically turn itself off (it gives you 30 seconds to override and keep the unit on).

4. When you start your car again, the Garmin unit will detect that too and automatically power up. If you were in the middle of a trip, the Garmin unit will pick up where you left off, and you won't have to tell it where you were going again.

5. Unlike most factory GPS units, Garmin will allow you to select your route and make changes while you are moving.

6. The Garmin units have an extensive database of locations and the excellent interface makes it easy to search the database to find what you want. Do you want food or gas? Just click three buttons and a list of locations (sorted by distance) will appear. If you know the name of the place you want, you can type it in on the on-screen keypad and Garmin will find it for you. You can even add your own locations using the favorites feature. I first started using this when I was out of town, but its amazing what you'll find near you when you look.

7. While you are driving, the Garmin unit will both prompt you to turn and give you a written explanation of the turn (including the street or highway name and direction) at the top of the screen. The Garmin unit also shows an estimated arrival time (usually a few minutes earlier than you'll actually arrive) and the distance to your next turn. A separate screen gives you detailed trip information, including how far and how long you've been driving and your maximum speed. I used mine on an airplane once (yes, it is allowed - read the back of the airplane magazine), and it now says that by maximum speed was 590 miles per hour.

8. I often use the Garmin even when driving locally, becase it often finds better, faster ways to get there then the way that I usually use.

9. Garmin offers a variety of installation options and accessories. My favorite is the friction based dashboard mount (three weights connected to a center stand) which is much more convenient than the supplied mounting system.

10. If you turn off the GPS receiver (see settings) and then look up another location, you will get the option to set this new location as your present location. This will allow you to use search Garmin's points of interest for the new location. This is a great feature when planning trips, because Garmin's points of interest database is quite extensive and includes all of the typical tourist attractions, plus food, shopping, gas, banking, etc.

11. Be sure to check for the latest map and firmware updates at Garmin's web-site.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Product and You CAN use the MP3 Player, February 25, 2007
By 
Steve (On the move) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
This product is great. I'm not going to waste your time rehashing what others have already said. The GPS works well and you should buy this product primarily for this reason.

However, many have asked why the need for an MP3 player. I agree that playing the MP3 player through the peakers of the NUVI is a stupid idea. But, If you have the NUVI hooked into your car speakers IT WORKS GREAT.

How do you do that? Well, I went to radio shack and bought a cable that has RCA on one end (RED & WHITE) and a headphone jack on the other. I hooked the RCA plugs into the back of my car stereo and hooked the headphone jack to the NUVI. Now I listen to my directions and MP3's through my car stereo. This is not that hard to do. Go to a car installation place and ask them to do it for you. The cable at Radio Shack is $10.

Alternatively, if you have a tape deck you can buy those tapes with a headphone jack and hook that to the nuvi headphone jack.

Why this is great:
1. The nuvi plays your songs and pauses them for directions. After the directions are given it resumes the song. So, if your listening to your stereo, you will never miss a direction again

2. If you recieve a phone call it pauses the song and when you end the phone call it resumes the song.

Try it out....well worth it :)

HOSA CMR206 Stereo Mini Male to RCA Y-Cable - 6 Feet

This is the cable I used. I connected one end to the AUX port on my car stereo and the other in the headphone jack of the NUVI.

If you have a tape player, you can use this :Philips USA PH-62050 CD/MP3/MD-To-Cassette Adapter.

Revised Feb. 26th, 2006

I should mention that the NUVI comes with 500MB of free space. The mapping software takes up 1.5GB. So, if you plan to use this as an MP3 player, buy an SD card.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An "insanely great" device, November 25, 2006
By 
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
I'm one of those people who wondered why anyone would pay big bucks for a GPS Navigation system when a $3 map would do the trick. The Garmin Nuvi 360 has converted me! And I continue to be amazed at the power, usefulness and ease of use of this little device.

On a recent trip from San Francisco to Vancouver, B.C. I took the Nuvi with me to avoid having to lug a shoebox full of maps. It took less than 15 minutes from opening the box to having it working in my car. The mount attaches easily and securely to the windshield, and the device powers up and is ready to use quickly right out of the box. The interface is well-designed and intuitive. You really don't need the manual. Even technophobes will quickly learn how to use most of the features with ease.

Entering a destination address is easy and quick. You simply press letters on a touchscreen keypad to spell out the address. Usually after just a few keystrokes, the device is smart enough to predict what you are typing and fill in the rest. Then you simply press a large "GO!" box and the device takes over. It varies the scale of the map so you have the best view of what you need to do next, and it speaks direction commands to you at just the right time. In my experience, these commands were very accurate and extremely helpful in their specific detail, for example, "In 50 feet, turn right on Main Street..."

I've read others say that the routing is not always accurate or optimal. I have not found that to be the case. In fact, on occasion, the Nuvi has suggested a route that was better than the one I was already familiar with.

There is a "favorite places" menu which I have found very useful, and the device keeps track of the recent places you've gone, which makes going back to any of them--from anywhere--extremely easy. Just press the big "GO HOME!" button, and wherever you are, the device will guide you home.

For longer trips, the device can display a "dashboard" with useful and interesting information, like estimated arrival time, length of travel, average speed, etc. You can also watch your progress on a map which shows points of interest that are nearby.

All this is pretty cool. But what really sold me on the device was an experience with the restaurant guide feature...I was driving on I-5 in the middle of nowhere and getting hungry. Just for fun, I decided to see if there were any Chinese restaurants nearby. With 2-3 keystrokes, the device listed one within 3 miles. I pressed "GO", and it guided me there. The travel guide feature soon becomes addictive. It's full of useful points of interest which are simple to locate and select.

After mastering the basic features, I experimented with the audio player. I easily added music and podcast files from a Mac using the supplied USB cable, simply by dragging and dropping MP3 files. An SD card allows for expanding the memory capacity. Ok, so it is not an iPod, but if I could have just one device in my car it would be the Nuvi. My only quibble is that the sound volume seems not to go loud enough, especially if you are driving with a window down, it will be difficult to hear the audio. Perhaps there is a way to wireless transmit the audio output to an FM channel on your car radio. If so, that would be a great feature.

The unit is about the size of a deck of cards and feels solid. The screen is sharp and bright enough for most applications, except perhaps in direct sunlight. It's so useful and portable that I sometimes carry it with me when traveling in unfamiliar areas, and definitely use it in rental cars. I haven't yet used the bluetooth features, as I need to upgrade my phone first. But when I do, I expect it will add a whole other dimension to the device's usefulness.

In short, this is one of those rare devices (TiVO comes to mind as another) that I never thought I needed, and now that I have it, I can't imagine how I lived without it. Garmin has really hit a homerun with the Nuvi 360. It's easy to learn, easy to use, and full of useful features.
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117 of 128 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Happy and disappointed at the same time....., December 6, 2006
By 
E. Eng (Queens, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech (Electronics)
I was previously using the Magellan Roadmate 760 before purchasing the Garmin 360. I got fed up with the 760 because at times, it would take forever for it to pick up the satellites. I would be driving for 15 minutes before it would kick in even on sunny days. Anyway, I for the Garmin 360 today, took it out of the box and I was amazed at how small and light it was! Fits in the pocket and you don't even feel it...I turned it on, and it located where I was immediately. It's really simple to use and didn't really need to read the instructions. It has features for playing music, handsfree phone calling, but I'm not too interested in using those features, I really just want to use this as a GPS. Another cool feature is that it's portable so I was walking around with it and it still worked.

Now....here's the part where I'm disappointed with it. I live in Suunyside Queens, and there's a McDonald's right on Queens Blvd. near where I grew up for as long as I can remember, been there at least 20 years. I was 3 blocks away from it, choose to look up fast food resturants, spelled out McDonald's and it started searching for the McDonald's in the area. It said the closest one was 5 miles away in Maspeth?!? I couldn't believe this. So, I tried White Castle. I was standing right in front of White Castle and it led me to one in the Bronx!!!!

Another thing is with the Garmin 360, you can't exclude a route out, you can click for a detour but it doesn't help much. For example, if I want to go the Bronx and if the directions tells me to take the Whitestone Bridge, I can click on Whitestone Bridge, exclude it from the route, and it will reroute and use another bridge, such as the Throgs Neck Bridge with the Magellan Roadmate 760. I can't do that with the 360, and I hate that. The only two options is faster time or shortest distance with the 360. Unlike the 760, I can choose from 4 options..1) fastest time, 2) shortest distance, 3) avoid local streets, or 4) stick with highways. (I'm not sure about the last one, I forget).

One last example, I need to go to a friend's house this weekend. I know the fastest way to him is through Lincoln Tunnel through Manhattan for me since I've been there before. But, when I type in the address, it sends me all the way to the Holland Tunnel. So, I clicked detour...and all the 360 did was send me in a different way to get to the Holland Tunnel.

In all, I'm ok with the 360. I'm happy with the features and the size, not sold at all on the performance of leading me where I need to go which is the most important thing to me. I'll continue to play with it for now, and if Magellan made something this small and if the satellites picked up just as fast, then I'm getting rid of this one.
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