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  • Garmin nüvi 550 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
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Garmin nüvi 550 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator

by Garmin
| 3 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • High-Sensitivity GPS Receiver For Improved Performance And Reception
  • Built-In 3D Basemap
  • Built-In US Maps
  • 3.5-Inch Display, 320 X 240 Pixels
  • Easy Touch-Screen Interface
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1 new from $549.00 1 used from $289.95

Technical Details

  • Picture viewer, Clock, Unit converter, Calculator,, Calculator, Clock, 2D / 3D map perspective, Photo viewer, Custom POIs, Garmin Lock, Built-in speaker

Product Description

Product Description

The Garmin nuvi 550 will guide you while you drive, hike, bike or boat. Go sightseeing with geotagged images from Garmin Connect Photos or see your terrain with the digital elevation model basemap. The nuvi 550 comes preloaded with highly detailed City Navigator maps. The preloaded map data features millions of points of interest, including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions. The map data is provided by NAVTEQ, a world leader in premium-quality mapping. Geocaching, including Wherigo Platform player Built-in DEM Basemap (Digital Elevation Model) 3.5 QVGA color antiglare TFT with white Backlight Touchscreen Display - 320 x 240 Pixels User replaceable lithium-ion battery - up to 8 hours depending on use Dimensions - Width 4.21 x Height 3.35 x Depth 0.9 (10.7x8.5x2.3cm) Weight - 7.6 ounces (215 grams)


nuvi 550 Perfect for crossing over the threshold from city to backcountry, the Garmin nüvi 550 provides a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with turn-by-turn navigation in a ruggedized, waterproof exterior that you can use while hiking, biking, or boating. With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix satellite prediction, nüvi 550 locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons--whether in the city or out in the wilds. And it easily switches modes (driving, walking, biking and boating) to navigate through your active lifestyle depending on your activity. Other features include a 3.5-inch touchscreen, microSD memory expansion, geocaching GPX file capabilities for complete cache descriptions and hints, and Garmin Connect Photos--enabling you to associate your favorite images with saved locations.

The waterproof nüvi 550 guides you while you drive, hike, bike or boat.
The nüvi 550 offers detailed City Navigator NT street maps for the United States and features digital elevation maps that show you shaded terrain contours at higher zoom levels. The map data, provided by NAVTEQ, features over six million points of interest, including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions.

The DEM basemap (above) provides shaded contours, and the nüvi also includes a digital compass.
Weighing 7.6 ounces and measuring less than an inch thin, the nüvi 550 fits easily in a purse, backpack, or jacket pocket. The 3.5-inch color touchscreen display (with 320 x 240-pixel resolution) is easy to read even in direct sunlight, and the nüvi's easy-to-use interface means you'll spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time searching for information. Simple controls and sub-screens make it easy to enter or search for destinations and get data about your trip. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nüvi takes you there with turn-by-turn voice directions, 2-D or 3-D maps and smooth map updates as you navigate. Its digital elevation model (DEM) mapping shows you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. In addition, the nüvi accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs.

Garmin's HotFix capability automatically calculates and stores satellite locations, greatly reducing satellite acquisition time so that you can turn the unit on and get going. With HotFix, your nüvi 550 remembers the position of all satellites it is tracking when you turn it off, and calculates their movements in order to predict where they should be the next time you turn it on. HotFix can predict satellite positions for up to 3 days after the device was last turned off.

Conveniently plug in optional preloaded microSD memory cards for all your outdoor activities on land or water. Just insert an optional Garmin MapSource card with detailed street maps (such as for locales outside the United States), and the nüvi 550 provides turn-by-turn directions to your destination. And with optional BlueChart g2 Vision maps, you'll get everything you need for a great day on the water including depth contours, navaids and harbors.

A user-replaceable lithium-ion battery will give you up to eight hours of battery life (depending on use).


  • User modes: Driving, Boating, Bicycling and Walking
  • Expansion: microSD card slot for optional mapping and data storage
  • Wherigo player
  • Geocahing: Supports Geocahing.com GPX files for complete cache descriptions and hints
  • Dimensions: 4.21 x 3.35 x 0.9 inches (WxHxD)
  • Display size: 3.5-inch QVGA color antiglare TFT screen (320 x 240-pixel resolution) with white backlight touchscreen
  • Weight: 7.6 ounces
  • Battery type: user replaceable lithium-ion
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours depending on use
  • Waterproof standard: IEC 60529 IPX7

Play Wherigo Wherever You Go
This nüvi GPS device is compatible with Wherigo, the latest GPS-based activity from geocaching pioneers Groundspeak. Wherigo (pronounced "where I go") is a toolset for creating and playing location-based multimedia experiences in the real world. Using the Wherigo platform, Wherigo authors can build exciting adventure games, historical tours or other innovative activities.

3D Terrain Maps
If you add topographic maps to your device, then you can view them as shaded relief terrain so you know when to expect hills, mountains, forests and other natural features. Topographic terrain maps are viewable when using the 2D "birds-eye" view.

What's in the Box
Garmin nüvi 550, preloaded City Navigator North America NT1, lithium-ion battery, vehicle suction cup mount, vehicle power cable, dashboard disc, quick start manual

Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight7.7 ounces
Product Dimensions0.9 x 3.3 x 4.2 inches
Item model number010-00700-01
Discontinued by manufacturerYes
Display Size3.5 inches
Display Resolution320 x 240
Warranty365 Days (Parts) / 365 Days (Labor)
Battery Life5 hours
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank #77,843 in Electronics (See top 100)
Shipping Weight1.2 pounds
ShippingCurrently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
Date First AvailableOctober 2, 2001
Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

So, besides lacking the software, this is a great unit worth every penny.
I have used this for hiking, and in car, on motorcycle, and bicycle and it is a great and accurate unit.
Still, it will get you from point A to B just nothing to get excited about.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 132 people found the following review helpful By de0ris on November 7, 2008
Verified Purchase
So, finally I got my nuvi. It was a tough choice: many GPS carriers are available, and each has many models that come in vast variety of flavors. I've narrowed it down to Nuvi 550 for the following reasons:

1. Text to speech to me is really annoying. I want my GPS to tell me when and where to make a turn, and not worry about spending extra time looking off the road to confirm street signs. Although with latest update, TTS capabilities are now available for this model (use Garmin's WebUpdater).

2. I wanted my GPS to help me out more than just driving directions. I hike, I camp, I travel all over, and not just North America. I wanted the versatility of being able to navigate and pin point my location on the highway, in the mountains, offroad, and not just be able to locate nearest gas station. Before Nuvi 500/550 I would have had to purchase 2 GPS units: one for the car, one hand-held (e.g. Colorado series).

3. I needed it to be durable, and reliable. 8 hour battery life + waterproof function to me are the two features I'm very very happy with. To date, my little nuvi took 2 falls (one on the rocks, and another one flying off down some stairs -- don't ask), and I'm happy to report gadget is functioning flawlessly. I'm not advocating it's indestructible, but it does have durable construction indeed.

4. Satellite communication is superior for the product. Leafs, heavy cloud cover, even indoors, I get fair reception. It does have its quarks rarely, but overall, it pin-points me within 10' radius. Gotta love it. With the latest firmware update location has been even more precise, so it's worth doing it asap. The update also adds a variety of language options and scooter mode, which is really neat.

Here's something to be aware of...
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Nameless Faceless User on October 12, 2008
It took me a while to understand the different between the Nuvi 500 and the 550. Look no further. Only the base map is different. The 500 comes with the lower 48 states with topographical information while the 550 includes all of North America (Canada and Mexico) and no topographical information. The units are identical otherwise.

First, the good stuff. This GPS is quickly becoming an invaluable tool for long drives. I have been able to enter a street address as well as many restaurants, hospitals, and businesses then just click on "go." On one trip, it correctly navigated reversing direction on a double-cloverleaf turn. A pleasant voice guides you and alerts you of upcoming turns. Miss the turn and the unit will patiently wait for you to realize your error. Then, after a while it will just recalculate your route automatically. It is also possible to tweak the routes by manually entering points to divert the automatic routing or pressing "detour" on the fly if you find yourself stuck at a railroad crossing. Custom routes can be saved. Waypoints can be sorted by category and new categories can be added. Photographs can be added, although I haven't done much with this feature. Clicking on the top bar will display the route turn by turn. I found the routing quite intelligent and much prefer this unit over my last human co-pilot (but I hope that she never reads this review). This particular unit has a rechargeable battery and the unit can be mounted on an optional bean bag mount to just throw it on the dash instead of messing with cables. This makes it perfect for rental cars as well. It has four modes for driving, walking, boating, or bicycling.

Next, the so-so stuff. This unit does not come with any software.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Dick on March 8, 2009
My initial impression of the unit was very good, it is a small enough to easily fit in your pocket, even a shirt breast pocket and is light enough not to be a problem. I had an older Garmin unit and was using Map Source (Tm) to manage the previous device. The Nuvi 550 was reasonably easy to configure for use with Map source as well. I started to see issues with the unit the 2nd day I owned it, it went into a reboot loop, but after removing the battery it seemed to be ok. I upgraded the maps to the latest available and set out to Mississippi for a 1 week mission trip assist with the Katrina recovery work. The unit worked very well on the way, but when I turned it on after arriving to enter the first location that we were going to work, the unit started to reboot and shutdown. No manner of reset or battery removal would stop it. So while my initial impressions were very promising, I currently am waiting to have the unit replaced by Garmin or Amazon. I truly hope this to have been a fluke, as I was looking forward to using the device in car, on Motorcycle and in my Kayak. Light weight, 8hr battery and waterproof these features really fit the bill for my needs.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Aron on November 18, 2008
For my motorcycles, I've had a Garmin Quest and later Quest 2 for years. I loved their small size, long-range battery and that they were water proof. But the time it took to recalculate and ability to lose satellite signal even in light tree cover became unbearable. So I began to seek an upgraded unit.

It came down to the Zumo and Nuvi 550 units because they are water proof, a requirement for my bikes. The Zumo clearly has several features the Nuvi does not, but was lacking in one critical area for me - battery life. The Zumo is rated at 4 hours, virtually requiring hard wiring. Since I use GPS on all my bikes, I did not want to go through the hassle, and the Nuvi comes with an 8 hour battery.

All it is lacking for me is the interface to enter addresses. On the Zumo it is more glove friendly. But other than that I could not be more satisfied. I use the Mapsource software from my Quest 2 to plan routes on the PC and upload to the unit. It is quick to recalculate and never loses a signal. I bought a RAM-MOUNT and it enables trouble-free and solid mounting to the bikes (just like they had done for the Quest 2).

If you don't want to hard wire, this is a great GPS unit. Oh, and I bought a spare battery and keep it charged - now I have 16 hours - more than I'll ever need for one day.

5 stars well deserved from this happy owner.
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