Magellan RoadMate 2035 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic
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271 of 281 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2011
UPDATE follows this review

I've owned and used GPS units from all three of the major manufactuers - Garmin, TomTom and Magellan.

When it comes to interface Magellan units usually shine. The 2045T is no exception. However, as at least one reviewer noted, the edit function within the address book is not user friendly. That, however, is the least of my complaints about this unit. Before I get to my complaints, I want to mention the things that are great about this GPS.

Unlike my TomTom, Magellan GPS units are very logical as you enter in a destination. When you enter the first letter of the town or city it automatically starts to suggest places near your current location. If your near Bangor, Maine it doesn't suggest Boston. That's exactly what my TomTom does and it drives me insane. So Magellans are intuitive on this count.

Secondly, the AAA guidebook that comes with Megellan units is just great. It's perfect for finding stores, restaurants and attractions when you're in a place you don't already know. A major kudos for this.

Despite these great features, I have two major beefs.

One, there's something wrong with Magellan's software and how it determines fastest route. In the space of two days the unit failed to know the fastest route at least half a dozen times. These weren't just mapping errors, these were the unit's inability to just know that one route is faster than another. This is NOT a problem I've seen in any of the units I've used up until now, including older Magellans. These weren't major mistakes, but they added a minute here and there. On a long trip I could see them adding up.

The second beef I have is with the traffic function and estimated time of arrival. I'm self employed and part of my work is getting from place to place in a timely fashion. A few minutes late could actually result in lost income in my line of work. I was on my way to a business event and I followed the Magellan's suggested route that took me off the major highways. It was around 5pm in the Boston region so traffic was really bad. The Magellan gave me an ETA that indicated I'd only lose a couple of minutes due to traffic. So I followed its suggested route. It didn't work.

Instead of bumper to bumper traffic on the highway, I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on secondary roads. The ETA was off by almost 20 minutes. Thankfully I had built in enough buffer that this didn't harm my work. Nonetheless, it caused me to distrust the traffic function. There's no way I can know if it would have been faster to stay on the highway, the most direct route. All of which just creates more confusion.

I haven't used the traffic function on other GPS units so I can't compare the Magellan to other units. Fastest route, however, is something that's a glaring problem compared to other GPS units, including previous Magellan units I've used. I also have to be honest and say that the only GPS I've used that's just outright failed was a Magellan.

I like using a Magellan GPS and the 2045T is no exception. However, I have serious reservations about its usability. So with that I give it three stars.


After using this GPS on dozens of trips I now cannot recommend this GPS even for its good points.

Here's why: This GPS simply does not know the fastest route if it involves secondary roads. It's hardwired to assume that highways, no matter how many extra miles, are faster. And in turn it adds massive amount of travel time to secondary roads.

The most glaring example of this was on a trip in which the GPS added an entire hour(!!!) to a route that didn't involve highways. Because the calculations are so lopsided the GPS unit refuses to adapt as you drive. It will insist on telling you to do a U-turn to "save time" when you're already a half hour into the actual shorter route. All other brands of GPS I've used quickly (usually within a couple of minutes) realize you've chosen a different way and recalculate. Not this GPS. It insists you've taken the wrong way and wants you to go back to the highway.

I now only reluctantly use this GPS when I'm in an unfamiliar area. Based on multiple experiences on roads I know well I have to assume that this GPS is not giving me the fastest route to my destination.
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210 of 217 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2010
Here's my video review, if you have any questions or something I didn't cover, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer!

UPDATE Nov.'10: On a recent trip to visit my parents, it alerted me to a car accident on the highway. It gave me a few options to detour and told me how long each one would take in comparison. Telling me there's an accident is helpful, but I absolutely ADORE the specifics with the timing.

Big Pros!:
- I often use a traffic app on my iphone. So I'm sitting there with all these devices, all with different info. Now, with this GPS, it's got it all. Live traffic updates and I won't have to pay attention to multiple screens. In order to get the lifetime traffic updates for free, there are little banner ads now and then. They don't block the map or directions, so they don't bother me at all.
- The screen is large and bright, and the voice is nice and loud. Sometimes I have issues hearing my garmin, with this I was only 1/2 way in the sound level and it was clear as a bell.
- My garmin has a flip up antenna that I'm always convinced I'll eventually snap off. The Magellan is internal, so that makes me a lot more comfortable.
- I LOVE the fact that it adjust so fast to wrong turns, but it doesn't shout "recalculating" at me, which really usually just makes you feel dumb that even with a GPS you're still going the wrong way. It just quickly decides the next best way to continue on my route. Sometimes my Garmin will send me on the most ridiculous back tracking journeys, the Magellan so far hasn't done that to me.

I love this Magellan RoadMate 2035 GPS top to bottom. In comparing it with my Garmin Nuvi 360, there are a couple features I did notice though that this doesn't have, which can be a con depending on what features are important to you.
- security code: I lock my garmin only because people seem to steal GPS devices from cars quite often in my town. If someone were to steal my nuvi, they won't be able to use it(unless there's a way to break into them, which I'm not aware of). It just sits there asking for your password/security code.
- My garmin links with my iphone by bluetooth to turn the GPS into a speaker phone, though it wasn't great quality, people used to say I sounded like I was in a tunnel. The Magellan isn't bluetooth capable.
- My garmin lets you choose a variety of voices with a few different accents, most notably British or Australian. The garmin woman is just annoying to listen to, so I had it set to an Australian guy who was very pleasant. This Magellan is one voice, no choices. But so far she isn't grating on my nerves.
- It didn't come with a little slip case. In the box there was the actual GPS, manual, window suction cup mount and charger. So now I'll have to find something to protect it when it's in my bag.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
I have had this unit for a week now after returning a refurbished Garmin NUVI 1370 I had purchased from Amazon as well. The Magellan was heavily discounted and had decent reviews so I thought I would give another brand a try. This GPS does exatly what a GPS is designed to do, tells you where you are, and how to get where you are going. It reroutes within about 50 feet following a missed turn and provides you options for minimizing or maximizing highway use, fastest/shortest route, and avoiding toll roads. The touchscreen is much more responsive than the Garmin was and navigating the menus was very intuitive (I have yet to open the manual). The only negatives I have about this unit are there are occasional banner ads that pop up which I could definitely do without, in direct sunlight the screen gets washed out a bit but not to the point of being indecipherable. That being said, if you don't need bluetooth, MP3 player, voice recognition and a game player in your GPS, but just want a GPS that does its job and provides you with up to date traffic information, then this is what you are looking for.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 25, 2011
I have had two Garmin Nuvi 600 and Nuvi 660. The original Nuvi cost $500. The 660 a couple of years later cost me half as much. This Navigator comes in at a fraction of those models, and it has a more robust menu system, better screen brightness/resolution and features that make my Nuvi's antiquated. The integrated GPS in my Acura MDX is not even as user friendly as this model.

What comes in the box:

Navigation device
USB Cable
DC Charger

Intuitive design
Fast startup
Easy to follow map and turn guidance prompts
Extensive menus
Expansive Points of Interests (POIs)
Lifetime map updates
Lifetime traffic alerts

Only one voice
No other selectable icons
Carrying case is not included


For me, I have a Mac OS system which is not supported. I resorted to charging the unit and turning it on. The cradle is cumbersome. The power cable must be placed in the slot of the cradle and then the GPS must be guided along a track to snap into place. This is a two handed operation, unlike my Nuvi which can be released rather easily with one hand.


First time the unit powers up, the satellite localization takes no longer than its competition (except for when it is compared to an integrated GPS in a vehicle). Subsequent startups are rather faster than a Garmin.

Finding points of interest (POIs) is rather easy, as well as entering destinations by address. The estimated time of arrival is at the bottom left of the screen, the toolbox for settings is in the bottom center of the screen, and the menu is accessible in the bottom right hand corner. Orientation of maps are heading up and north up, as well as 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional screens. One negative is the inability to change the icon from anything other than a triangle. The voice cannot be changed, either. Aside from those minimal quirks, this system is great.

Searching POIs by categories closest to your location is intuitive and really makes a great tool in those times necessitating spontaneity. Even searching for POIs by name worked with some obscure businesses in my smaller city. I was truly impressed with how quickly this works and I have found it to work for me when indoors (unlike my Nuvi).

On the screen, you can display certain icons to represent categories of POIs (such as Emergency, Shopping, Gas). As you drive, icons appear for shopping centers. If you click upon the icon, you can see what stores are in the certain shopping centers, including the telephone numbers. One of the most impressive features of this system is the AAA Tourbook which gives ratings and descriptions of POIs.

The free lifetime traffic alerts is a valuable feature. It gives guidance to avoid traffic when traveling. This won't work for those on a daily commute but it will help when traveling through areas that a user is unfamiliar. My area is not covered but my travels to areas that are covered will help when average speeds go down. Note that traffic is only available with the OEM DC power cable. If you don't use it, it won't work.

Turn by turn guidance is clear and a door chime notifies you exactly when to turn. At the top of the screen, the next turn is shown with the distance is displayed. Redirects are relatively quick but not as responsive as a Garmin Nuvi. Again, this is not a dealbreaker for a device at this price point.

Aside from serving as a GPS navigator, this unit is small and lightweight enough to be used on walking tours.


The power button is located in the top center that slides to the left. The screen is 4.3 inches, bright and the touch screen is responsive. The housing is hard plastic which is durable feeling but it doesn't appear to be impact resistant. If dropped, this will likely break very easily.


This device is a great value at its price point for lifetime maps, traffic updates and features.
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73 of 84 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 9, 2010
When I bought my Garmin, I had no idea they were considered the best GPS. So when I had the opportunity, I was curious to do a side by side test with this new Magellan and see if Garmin deserves the hoopla. I'll briefly walk through the basic differences:

First off, in all fairness to Magellan, this RoadMate 2035 is really more of an entry level GPS. I have a Garmin nüvi 5000, which isn't top of the line, but it has many bells and whistles this RoadMate 2035 doesn't possess, so I'll only compare GPS functionality between the two.

GPS Accuracy:

Garmin beats Magellan on this one. And by accuracy, I don't mean how new the maps themselves are -- I mean the accuracy with which the GPS itself pinpoints and tracks my location and movements.

Magellan's internal antenna seems quite accurate and is pretty fast at locking in on my location. But the Garmin's response time and accuracy blows this particular Magellan away. And no, I don't think it has anything to do with internal processor speeds. Actually, my Garmin is an older model and can be a bit clunky when it comes to searching for locations by name -- the internal processor easily gets bogged down and runs like a computer that needs more memory if searching for locations by name -- so I'm positive this Magellan has a MUCH faster internal processor. Yet somehow, my old Garmin is WAY more responsive with pinpointing my location or knowing I've missed a turn.

The Garmin's map will actually turn and move with every move of my steering wheel, accurately pinpointing the direction my car is pointing, even if the turns are subtle. This Magellan, on the other hand, is much more broad by comparison. Many times, the map was lagging well behind my movements and turns -- several seconds behind Garmin, and at times, not registering movements at all. Yet my Garmin with the slower processor was redrawing my maps quickly and accurately, matching my every move with speed and precision. Personally, I think that says a lot given the age difference in these products.

The Magellan's response time is fine in and of itself, and I probably wouldn't even have made an issue of it had it not been for the side by side comparison. But when I see how fast and accurate my old Garmin is, it's clear their GPS pinpointing is running circles around this Magellan.

Reliable Directions and Navigation Accuracy:

It's a dead heat on this one. Both Garmin and Magellan performed exactly the same in this regard, each giving accurate turn by turn directions. Actually, both units mapped out the exact same route to my destinations. Only rarely did the routes differ, but when they did, I tended to prefer where Garmin was sending me over Magellan. But maybe that's just because I'm used to the Garmin.

Map Layout and Appearance:

Again, maybe I'm just used to it, but Garmin has it all over Magellan on this one. Garmin's maps are drawn better and are more pleasing to the eye. The color scheme and layout just works, hands down. (Actually, I have a friend with a $100k Porsche, and my $200 Garmin runs circles around that GPS too -- go figure!) The maps on the Magellan are newer than my Garmin, so I have no doubt they are more accurate. But the Garmin is just easier for me to read and decipher, especially while driving. I truly think there's more to it than me just being used to Garmin's layout. I just think they did a better job overall. Magellan's maps look good, but Garmin's is more inviting, better laid out, and pleasing to the eye.

Navigation Voice and Audio:

Again, Garmin beats Magellan. The Garmin has several voices to choose from and lets you chose additional features, such as, announcing additional street names. Magellan's volume goes much louder, but interestingly enough, the voice sounds a bit garbled compared to Garmin. The voice on the Garmin is much easier to understand, whereas Magellan's voice sounds like she's mumbling by comparison. Just like the maps, Garmin is just much clearer and unmistakable. On the flip-side, I had to really focus on hearing and understanding what the Magellan was saying.

Recalculating for Missed Turns:

If I miss a turn, Garmin says "recalculating" loud and clear, then announces my new route. Magellan, by contrast, just sounds a subtle bell, and recalculates with little fanfare. Personally, I prefer Garmin on this one. The Magellan is so subtle about wrong turns that I could easily not even know my route had changed at all. Not cool. I need to know if I messed up and that I'm in the midst of a course correction.

Search by Name:

Magellan beats my Garmin here. As I said, my Garmin is a bit old, and it definitely shows when trying to search destinations by name. It works, but it's definitely clunky. Magellan, on the other hand, is fast and responsive with its searches. And I really like how it intuitively eliminates numbers and letters as you type, making it easier to spell names and numbers on the fly. Very nice!

Free Traffic Reports -- But Annoying Advertisements:

The Magellan offers lifetime free traffic reports, whereas Garmin charges extra for that feature. Free traffic reports sounds great at first, but then I found out why it's free -- because there's actually text ads that appear on the Magellan's screen, advertising restaurants and such -- NOT cool. I don't want any distracting ads popping up while I'm driving, it needlessly convolutes the whole purpose of a GPS. Just give me clear, accurate directions and don't clutter the issue with BS ads. I'd rather skip the traffic reports entirely than be bothered with erroneous information. What's next? Onscreen commercials interrupting my drive?? No thanks!

Bottom Line:

The Magellan RoadMate 2035 is a good entry level GPS. It beats draining your cell phone battery by using a GPS app, but it's nowhere near as good as my 3 year old Garmin Nuvi 5000, and the Garmin doesn't even have an internal battery! But then, this Magellan is much more affordable too. Given the price point, there's really no reason for anyone to do without a GPS. And for what it is, this Magellan is a good starter unit for just about anyone. Not the greatest, and no bells and whistles -- but certainly a good, basic GPS.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
I purchased the Magellan RoadMate 2045T-LM after our last Magellan Roadmate stopped working. We also tried a more expensive Garmin nuvi 1450LMT and returned that one. The Magellan is easier to use and the only thing this doesn't have that the Garmin did was speed limits (nice feature) but saved $60 without it. The Magellan does better traffic as well, the detours are mediocre at best, but twice as good as the Garmin.

My big complaint is that I plugged it into my computer and it installed some new software (easy). The device refreshed with a new version of software (easy). Then it prompted me to upgrade my map from v41 to v43 (I purchased the device ~40 days ago) and it is telling me I need to pay $50 to upgrade maps! It says "Lifetime Maps" all over the box! I've tried to contact Magellan several times via email with no response. The website does not answer my question. I expected FREE lifetime maps, not $50 a pop Lifetime Maps. Extremely disappointed with this advertisement. FREE LIFETIME MAPS NOT INCLUDED.

Another complaint, the window mount is ridiculous. You have to attach the cord to the mount and then slide the device onto the mount and the power cord at the same time. I don't leave my device mounted due to the possibility of theft and thus have to redo this every time I use it (Garmin had a much slicker mount). The cord from our old Magellan broke, and this one seems sturdier, but at an extreme convenience cost.

The device still gets me from A to B, it stopped working for a day - I don't know why - but seems to be working fine now. The price was good ($120) and it is intuitive to use.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2010
I was about to give up on specialized GPS units and just use Google Navigation on my Droid, but this device convinced me otherwise!

The addition of live traffic reports to GPS's in general (particularly if you drive near a major metro area frequently) is a very beneficial feature. It replaces having to listen to traffic on the radio every 10 mins and construct your own detours. It's a very clever and very useful feature.

I had that feature on a Garmin unit previously, and it worked fairly well, but after a few months they wanted me to pay for a subscription. Meanwhile, my Driod phone includes navigation with traffic at no extra cost (beyond the small fortune I'm paying Verizon already).

So I was pretty much set to toss the Garmin and just use the Droid. The form factor is slightly inconvenient for GPS use, but the price is right and it works pretty well.

Then this Magellan product came along at an extremely reasonable price with lifetime traffic at no extra fee. So I gave the GPS category one last try. And it is definitely a big step up from using the phone (and from not having traffic built in).

The UI is very intuitive. It's fast. It's mapping is very good. And the traffic really works. I tested it on a trip from NYC into central PA (which I'm not familiar with) and it flawlessly bypassed 3 traffic jams on the interstate taking me onto parallel state roads and back to the highway. Very impressive unit.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 14, 2010
The first GPS I ever owned was a Magellan. That thing was a brick and costed me $800 around 6 years ago. Today, GPS devices are small and sleek and can pretty much fit in your pocket. It's amazing.

This Magellan Roadmate 2035 is 5 stars all the way. The menu is easy to use and screen visibility is great. The reception is great and picks up where it left off in a few short seconds. The lifetime traffic is a neat feature and uses NavTec. The lifetime traffic is good for the lifetime of the device and must ne used with the supplied car adapter.

You can tap the traffic button the left side of the screen and it shows current traffic conditions near by. Zooming in and out is as simple as touching the - and + in the middle of the screen. You have a "one touch" button the top right that allows you to instantly choose destinations without having to fumble thru the menu.

The device is small and sleek and can run on it's own batteries for a short period of time.

I also notice it displays ads. I was driving an advertisement for Olive Garden and Best Western popped up on the screen on the top. Clicking the ad gives you the option of seeing more offers and closest locations. Weird and neat at the same time. Creative minds at work here.

This is a 5 star device for the money. It doesn't have any bells and whistles like bluetooth, video or MP3 playback, but if you just need a GPS with the benefit of lifetime traffic, you cannot go wrong here. I highly recommend it.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon December 14, 2011
Over the last few years, I've owned several GPS devices including the following:
TomTom Go Live 1535M (I'll refer to this as "TT1535")
TomTom XXL 540T (This will be TT540)
Magellan 2045T-LM (M2045)
Magellan 9055-LM (M9055)
Garmin nuvi 265 W (Garmin)

I've already written a review comparing my TT540 to my Garmin. This review will echo many points in that one, but will also incorporate the newer Tom Tom and the Magellan GPSs. I will post this same review in the other new models, so the comparisons will be more comprehensive than if I were to individualize more. I have broken the review up by model, so if you are only interested in this model, skip to its section, below

Let's start with the
**** Garmin ****.
Navigating style: First = "Continue 1.6 miles, then turn right." Nearing = "After 500 feet, turn right on Elm Street." At turn = "Turn right on Elm Street." OR, if the next step is quite soon, "Turn right on Elm Street, then stay in the right lane."

1) Of all the units, the Garmin has the best name pronunciation. That is, it sounds the most like a human speaking and/or pronounces the names of streets correctly the most often. Not perfect, but the best in the group (the Tom Tom is also very good--sometimes arguably better).
2) The suction cup is very easy to use
3) Sending an address from your computer to the GPS (look it up on Google maps first, then send the address to the device via a USB cable) is BY FAR the easiest to do on the Garmin. You only have to download an active x control (happens automatically, with your consent, when you use the "send" function in Google maps) and you are good to go. The other brands require you to download a full app that is always running in the background. Updating the maps is also very simple.
4) To me, the user interface is very simple and intuitive.
5) The point of view in 3D mode is just right--not too high in the air, not too low to the ground.

1) No lane guidance. Here I am referring to when you are driving on the highway and you have an exit coming up--on the other devices, you get a picture of the highway and lanes and what-not. The Garmin just sticks with "Keep left" or "Take exit xxx on the right." Honestly, I don't think there is a whole lot of benefit to the "Lane guidance", but it is a nice little feature that would be nice on this unit. Note that my Garmin is several years old--the newer models may have this. Note also that lane guidance is only useful when it is correct. An interchange near where I live used to have 3 exit lanes, but about a year or two ago, they changed it to 2. Both the Magellans AND the Tom Toms incorrectly show 3 exit lanes for their lane guidance. This is the exception (they have been correct in all other instances that I have noticed), and yet, bad data is always worse than no data.

**** Magellan ****
Navigating style: First = "Turn right in 1.6 miles." Nearing = "Turn right in 500 feet." At turn = 2 dings. For a left turn, the first ding is a higher pitch, for a right turn the second ding is a higher pitch, and for continue straight, the 2 are the same.

1) Fastest route calculation. When I missed a turn, the Magellan was ALWAYS the first to have a new route planned and start telling me about it.
2) Current speed is in tenths (1/10) of a mile per hour. You can also display your current elevation. These strengths are totally trivial, but these units were the only ones that had this data.
3) "Lane guidance", although I didn't really like the way it was displayed because it would show 1 sign saying which way to go, and another sign saying which way the wrong way to go was. The idea was to make it look exactly like the freeway signs. The incorrect one was slightly shaded. I didn't like this method--until I got used to the unit, it took more than a mere glance to figure out which lane I was supposed to be in because it wasn't intuitively obvious which sign was the "correct" one. I very much preferred the Tom Tom's method of lane guidance.
4) The 9055 has an input so you can attach a backup camera to it. It is also quite large, so you can see much more map (or backup view) at a time. The size is both a strength AND a weakness--see below.
5) Both models are easy to put in/take out of their windshield holders--they sit in a cradle and when you pop them in, it plugs the USB power in at the same time. This makes it really easy to take the unit out of the car and put it back in every time. (see weakness #5-c, below)
6) The 9055 is Bluetooth enabled and can be an in-car speaker phone when paired to your mobile device. It was OK. Not fabulous, but OK.
7) Included with the various points of interest are Triple A ("AAA") points of interest and events, although they didn't seem to update with the rest of the device. Even though I had updated my unit, it was still showing events from last year and nothing for this year. Still, being able to search for a near-by restaurant by AAA rating was a great feature.

1) By far, the worst, most difficult model to update via computer (map version updates). You have to go download their little app and have it running in your system tray and you can't do it on Windows 7 64-bit. I don't know if you can do it on Win7-32, but I tried 3 different Wind7-64 computers and couldn't get it to work. I involved tech support and they had no idea what was going on. I'm the one who figured out it was OS dependent--they were totally unaware of this problem. Note that it works fine on my Win XP-32 computers (I tried 3 of these and they all worked). ...Oh, and don't even bother trying to send a location from Google Maps--you can't do that at all. This more than anything is a deal breaker! Minus 2.5 stars for this alone!
2) The UI was not intuitive to me and entering in addresses was the most difficult. Remember that you cannot send an address via your computer, so if it is also the most difficult to type in an address, you can see that these units become quite a bit less useful.
3) No speed limit data. You see how fast you are going, but you never see the posted speed limit. Both the Garmin and the Tom Tom show the posted speed limit, though only most of the time--there are several stretches of roads where there is no speed limit data for any of the models.
4) "Dings" instead of saying "turn right" or "turn left" when you get to your critical point. This may be a trademark or something, but it's one I think they should lose.
5) The 9055 is HUGE! This is both a plus and a minus. On the plus side, you can see a lot of map at once which gives great perspective. On the minus side,
A) it takes up a considerable amount of windshield view.
B) Even though it dims at night, it is so big that it adds a lot of light to the inside of the car at night which slightly impairs night vision.
C) the mount is enormous, unruly, and is not just a suction cup, it requires them to put some sort of glue on it to really hold it in place which made removal VERY difficult, and it's not the kind of thing you will be putting up and taking down on a regular basis. Note that it is really easy to get the unit itself in and out of the mount (see strength #5 above), but the mount "ain't goin' nowhere". If you wanted to buy 1 unit and move it between 2 cars as needed, you'll have to get a second mount or (better yet) one of those little pads you set on you dash and rest the GPS on. A second problem with the non-removable mount is that a thief passing by may see the mount and decide to break into the car because the GPS unit itself may be in the glove box.
6) Worst name pronunciation.

**** Tom Tom ****
Navigating style: First = "After 1.6 miles, turn right." Nearing = "After 500 feet, turn right on Elm street." OR if the next step is somewhat close, "After 500 feet, turn right on Elm Street, then take the third right." At turn = "Turn right on Elm Street." Or, "Turn right on Elm Street, then take the third right."

1) Something the Tom Toms do that neither of the other 2 brands do is detect when you come to an intersection where you can turn left or right but you cannot go straight. In this case, it says, "at the end of the road, turn right on Elm Street." I really like this because it is quick and easy to understand and you really cannot mess that up.
2) The best thing that the TT1535 (Go Live) has going for it is the "HD" traffic thing. I have found this to work pretty well, but don't expect TOO much out of it--my experience has been that it only occasionally rerouted me to avoid traffic when my other units didn't. That is, if the TT1535 was rerouting me, usually one of the other ones did too and if the other ones weren't rerouting me, very seldom did the TT1535 try to do so. And don't expect it to reroute on the block level as is shown in web advertisement--the delay needs to be at least somewhat significant in order for it to bring it up. HOWEVER, there is one traffic-related thing that TT1535 does that the other do not do and that is it shows on the map where it knows there is traffic. I LOVE this about it because I can be driving and see there is traffic on a road right near me and then see if the TT1535 knows it is there or not. What's more, if the traffic is somewhat light, it shows on my map as yellow, but if it is quite heavy, it shows as red. My experience is that this is pretty accurate most of the time, but, as mentioned above, only if it is significant enough. Not only does this instill confidence, but it allows me to leave the map somewhat zoomed out and quickly see if there is any traffic between me and where I'm going. This is useful if I'm driving between two points I know well and don't want to have to program the GPS to navigate me to (or I don't want to listen to it giving me turn-by-turn directions when I already know where I'm going).
3) The TT1535 also has the best graphics. The curves are smooth, the roads are proportionate to their actual size and the points of interest are marked with nice-looking icons. Contrast that to the Magellan units--very angular and... I don't know, just less pretty to look at. One thing that bugs me about the TT1535, though, is that in 3D view, they put in a false horizon--the top ¼ inch of the screen is the sky. What a waste of space! This has to do with (and is also made worse by) the fact that in 3D view your "eye" is closer to the ground (less of a bird's eye view) than with the other models. In my opinion, it is TOO low to the ground. My real view is all the way low to the ground--I KNOW what THAT looks like. I want the GPS to give me more of an aerial view so I can get my bearings. I certainly prefer the 3D view to 2D (or 100% aerial) because it gives me a sense of looking at the same thing out my windshield as on the map, but I ALSO want to see what's AROUND me and if the GPS "comes too low to the ground", you can only see what is immediately around you and the stuff that is further off kinda' disappears. My opinion is that both of the Tom Toms are "too low". Magellan was a little better, but only the Garmin is "just right".
4) Lane guidance that is quick and intuitive to use. You get a series of arrows at the bottom of the screen that represent individual lanes. The correct lanes are bright white.
5) The TT1535 is Bluetooth enabled, though I didn't use this. It also has voice recognition, but I only found this to be marginally useful as you have to activate the voice recognition by pressing a button on the screen.

1) The worst thing about either Tom Tom is the mounting system. I hate it. You have to stick it up to the window and then turn this knob--something that feels very awkward. Once you get that mounted, the TT1535 is held too loosely so that when you press buttons, it pivots and moves in its holder and the TT540 sometimes falls out of the holder. Come on, guys, you can do better than this!
2) Going back to "wrong data is worse than no data," the TT1535 prominently shows you what your next turn will be and how far away it is. This is great, except that it seems to ALWAYS be 50-100 feet off. You wouldn't ever notice, except that there it is saying your turn is in 50 feet when you're in the middle of the intersection. For all the other models, they tell you how far your turn is, but once you get under 0.1 miles, they just say to turn here (on xxxx street).
3) Although updates are MUCH easier than the Magellan, and you CAN send locations of interest to the device through your computer, the Tom Tom still requires you to download an app that sits in your system try in order to do this. It is still not as easy as the Garmin.

If I'm driving to a new location and I don't know where I'm going, the Garmin is still my favorite. On the other hand, if I'm just driving around town and I only want to know about things like traffic, my speed vs. the speed limit, etc., then I like the TT1535 best. Both Tom Tom and Garmin make great units and I think you would be very happy with either one, but if I HAD to choose, I'd go with Garmin. On the other hand, the Magellan is easily my LEAST favorite (both models). Not that it is bad--it isn't. It works correctly, it helped me avoid traffic more than once, it is easy to follow and tells me fun things like my current elevation... BUT most everything that it can do, the others can do at least as well and often they do those things better.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 4, 2010
In the interests of full disclosure, I have used a total of three (3) GPS devices. One was a Dell Netbook (which was worthless, and can barely get a signal, outside, when you are holding still). One was a Garmin nüvi 295W 3.5-Inch Widescreen Wi-Fi Portable GPS Navigator (which was super fantastic, best GPS I've ever used). And the third one was this (obviously).

So, for a straight-up GPS, you really only care about three things.

First, how is the reception? For this category, this GPS receiver didn't do so hot. Standing next to a bank of floor to ceiling windows in my building, I was unable to get a signal. Only once I was outside was I able to get one. In the car (a Toyota Carolla), I was able to get signal without placing this on my windshield. So a passenger/navigator is a possibility. So, the reception was a bit spotty, and tends to be a bit weak in Southeast Wyoming for any GPS (although the Garmin worked beautifully).

Second, how fast and how easily does it reroute? On a pedestrian function, it did miserably, telling me to turn around and take a different route, even after I was within 100 feet of my destination. However, on a highway setting in an automobile, it rerouted faster than I could safely look at it, so in less than thirty seconds. The rerouting was simple, but I have to believe that a complicated reroute wouldn't have taken much longer. And, as A. Boston pointed out, there is no obnoxious "Rerouting..." statement, which apparently offends some. (Drivers of nearby vehicles probably would have been more flustered by me, yelling at the GPS that I was not interested in taking a particular, scary, highway. So...)

Third, how visible is the screen. This is where this one actually has a SLIGHT edge on the Garmin. As you can see from the stats, the screen is nearly a full inch larger. This means that it is a bit easier to see your upcoming turn. (Although the Garmin notifies you more directly, which I favor infinitely more. It will say, "Turn left at the next street, Elm Street", rather than the simple tone of the Magellan.) Moreover, the larger screen makes typing much, much easier. I spent a lot of time trying to type on the Garmin, but I have fat finger syndrome, so a stylus would have easily solved it, and practice made the problem nearly disappear.

So, which would I recommend? If you are a budget shopper, looking ONLY for GPS functionality, and price is your number one concern, the Magellan will probably serve your needs. BUT, if you can afford to upgrade to the Garmin, I would do it, and you probably will never look back. That unit has WiFi (in addition to GPS) and email and internet capabilities, which, if you are searching for a store, can be infinitely more useful...). But, this is definitely a good GPS for the value.

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