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which brand is the best


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Posted on Jan 5, 2011 8:32:27 AM PST
TruthTeller says:
One experience I had yesterday with my Magellan 5045LM Roadmate is that it froze up in mid route and after about a minute it rebooted and asked if I wanted to continue on with the programmed destination. After answering "yes", it did recalculate to my current position and eventually got me close to the destination, but it still didn't signal my arrival until I was about half a block past the address I had programmed in. I've read other people's feedback who have had the same experience with Garmin and TomTom units turning themselves off also; what is the cause of these spontaneous shutdowns? Any idea if they are rare or common? This could really be an issue if you're at a critical junction on a trip and the ol' gps decides to take a little siesta for a minute or two.

Earlier Warren commented that the mapping in general is something that will improve gradually and I fully agree, but I had hoped for something more accurate than that. The more I drive around with the Magellan in my rural area I am also noticing some well established side roads showing up on screen after I am well past them or in some cases, not at all. Others were spot on. At one point it lost track of the road I was on entirely, as if I were in an off-road vehicle tooling through the bushes. It may be simply a signal lag, I'm guessing; has anyone else had that experience with your respective brands? BTW, when these things happened the weather was fairly clear, the unit was in good position on the dash and firmly plugged into the power source. I am now seriously considering returning the Magellan and switching over to a Garmin 1450LMT, since I don't need the Bluetooth capability the 1490 offers nor do I want to make the investment in the 1695 unit. Besides, I am very curious as to the difference between the TeleAtlas and NavTeq mapping systems as far as the address accuracy goes.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 8:55:10 AM PST
Any of the gps devices running winCE, like your Magellan, have been more apt to reboot or lock up once in awhile in my experience. As for the road disappearing during navigation, I had that occur one time with a TomTom 930, and it was a little disconcerting. I determined that it was due to what I consider poor autozoom settings, allowing the screen to zoom out past the 500' scale (determined from a Garmin running side-by-side. TomTom's don't have a map scale) and losing most of the smaller road detail. TomTom has since changed the autozoom behavior on newer models, but now doesn't autozoom out far enough to see much of the route ahead. I have several friends who like to comment that TeleAtlas maps are more accurate in some areas and Navteq better in others. That might be true, but not from my personal experience. There's several TeleAtlas instances within 5 miles of me right now where roads are shown that don't exist and never did, at least one instance of a driveway shown as a navigable road, and another that's been physically blocked by metal pipes, impassable for at least 10 years, yet was still included in a detour route computed by my TT740 last year. Those same types of errors are rare on my Navteq maps. But I haven't used both mapsets throughout the country, so perhaps my friends comments are correct, I don't know.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 10:55:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2011 11:07:42 AM PST
Rather than getting a GPS-specific hardware you might consider an Android-based cell phone. Mine uses Google maps and they are always up to date and the GPS is easy to use and always with you so you don't have to wait until you get in your vehicle to use your GPS. Some of the newest Samsung units have wonderful large bright screens. I have a Droid 2 that's OK (smaller and not as bright) but because the audible directions are clear I rarely look at the screen (just leave it on the console). I leave my Garmin home and don't rely on the built-in Pioneer unit in my Supra because all those maps (and consequently the routes are getting out of date). Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2011 12:18:50 PM PST
ML says:
When I was at Target looking at GPSs, I spoke to two different salespeople and one young man said I should go with a Droid phone and use google app for maps instead of buying a GPS. He showed me his phone and said it works great and the lowest price per month for phone service and internet was $50 per month. I don't use a cell phone much and have a pay as you go phone for about $90 per year without internet. (I prefer the sound of a land line phone. I'm an older person.) Not sure I want the expense of an Android....

The other salesperson at Target recommended a Garmin GPS because it pulls up maps so much faster and the maps are more up to date. Plus the screen is bigger but she said too big of a screen can be a problem at night because it lights up the car too much and is distracting.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 12:32:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2011 12:33:13 PM PST
Louie D says:
Marie - I have an emergency cell phone like you do, so I bought a separate GPS. You can't listen to salespeople, as they will try to move what they have or what is not selling (or what they might collect commission on). These forums are the most valuable you can find. You also should go to the store to see the difference between a 4.3 and 5" screen. The 5" is much larger (but not too big) as it is measured diagonally. If you can narrow it down to something like screen size at 5", you will have fewer to choose from and you can then read Amazon & cnet.com reviews. I generally disregard 1 star reviews, but look at 2-3 stars to see if people are unhappy about something which may or may not bother me. If you want an uncomplicated GPS, go for Garmin as Warren has stated many times. Make sure you get one with Lane Assist (not on all units) & Text to Speech/spoken street names (which most have now).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2011 12:41:51 PM PST
ML says:
Thanks Lucky, you made some good points. I looked at screen size and I liked the 5 in best but there was a $400 Garmin 3000 series that had a clearer/brighter screen. I am reading about the Garmin 1490LMT with Blue Tooth. The price has gone from $194 to $252 within the last week at Amazon!

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 12:42:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2011 12:46:36 PM PST
Lucky is right. A 5" screen isn't that large, and you'll appreciate the easier to read text. All Garmin nuvi's, and TomTom Go's and XL's for that matter, now have TTS. There might have been a bargain model TomTom last holiday season without it, but can't think of one since. Keep an eye on prices here at Amazon. They can fluctuate daily. A 1490 in the $190 range or less would be a good deal. Perhaps even with lifetime maps and traffic for that price if you're lucky. I would temporarily avoid the TomTom 540's. There's been a high number of problems with the one's rolled out for the Holidays. I'm sure new stock will be available here at Amazon within a few weeks.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 2:26:46 PM PST
Louie D says:
Marie, I think Warren suggested the Garmin 1490 model a few days ago. I think the 1450 would be good for you (5" screen). I think the only difference is the 1450 does NOT have bluetooth which you would not need because you do not make phone calls from the car. The 1450 is currently $129 without lifetime traffic and lifetime maps at Amazon. I don't know if you need those, but if so the price goes up to $189. I think the Garmin 3700 series would have way too many features you (and I) would never use (base unit starts @ $269) . I have a Tom Tom which is very customizable, but based on what you wrote it's not for you. If $129 is too much, let us know and someone will gladly suggest another good model.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2011 1:30:53 AM PST
I believe the only reason for Magellans being in Hertz is the fact that the AAA Points of Interest are integrated into the units, but to be honest, those locations can be uploaded to Garmins, TomToms, etc. A quick search about AAA POI's in my ***(input brand name) in google will give you some great information about that. And installation is even easier, and if you don't know how, there is always a family member willing to help you out, or a neighbor kid thats tech savy enough to do it for free or for a little bit of money. So before you discredit a certain brand because of a certain company using it, do a little research. Its all about the AAA branding and support.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2011 5:02:23 AM PST
I'm older too but I'm a heavy cell phone user. I think for you a stand+alone GPS is best. Ask or research about automatic dimming at night. Both of my GPS units have a night view (black background) and can be dimmed. One switches when I turn on the headlights. The other (the Garmin) at local sunrise and sunset. Both have overrides. IIWY I'd get the Garmin. You should be quite happy with it.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 2:32:36 PM PST
Susan says:
I have used both the Garmin 755t and the TomTom XL350TM, and have played with a Magellan. The Magellan I dismissed due to poor audio volume/quality. If you could Bluetooth the Magellan into a headset or car radio, it might be okay. The 7" screen is intriguing.

The Garmin is the easiest to use -- that is, to find, program and store destinations. The FM transmitter (wireless link to your car radio) works only OK due to regulations limiting its transmitter power. (Again, a Bluetooth-compatible headset would be better here.) The Garmin speaks ALL of the street names, whereas the TomTom usually defaults to "Right Turn/Left Turn" directions.

I got the TomTom thinking it would help navigate on trips to Baja California with its Mexico maps. However, it only knows its way (somewhat) around Tijuana; Ensenada to the TomTom is just the main (Transpeninsular) roadway and the state road out to the Bufadora.

However... the TomTom will announce directions in a more timely manner, whereas the Garmin waits until you're almost past the decision point. In fact, the TomTom is almost too busy telling you to avoid "Right Lane Must Exit" situations, but that's better than being a little too terse. TomTom's audio is a little better than Garmin's.

As for traffic navigation, we were using the Garmin driving through San Diego at rush hour and the Garmin spotted a tieup and successfully routed us off I-5, through a maze of one-way streets downtown on the waterfront, through the Naval Station and back onto I-5 past the slowdown. For its part, the TomTom was even more impressive in east Los Angeles, taking us off I-5 ahead of an accident and threading us through probably the most complex set of roadways anywhere (including residential streets) in order to transition us again back onto a southbound freeway past the traffic. I was impressed with both of their traffic-avoidance capabilities in two different cities.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 2:51:38 PM PST
Louie D says:
The Garmin 755T is not new but is still a higher grade model than the Tom Tom 350TM. It has many more features which Garmin has since begun to drop from its newer units. The Tom Tom 340TM with its more detailed menu options is a better comparison unit, as is the 540TM with the 5" screen, sold as low as $99 around New Years. I did notice the Garmin gave very last directions in local travel so sometimes I passed the streets and had to go around the block. Tom Tom does not give the street name when giving long range directions as in a first notification. As you get closer to the street it gives the street name (people like this as it is not overly verbal). TT traffic reporting is also more verbally detailed so you don't have to view the screen to make a decision, but I believe on these GPS they get the traffic at around the same time. Garmin gives the final location and side of the street (which is NOT always correct), and this TT only shows the side of the street on the screen. You did a nice comparison.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 3:54:03 PM PST
Lucky, thought I'd let you know Garmin isn't dropping features. Quite the opposite. In just the past 12 months they've added trafficTrends and myTrends, prompted navigation, specific road avoidance, custom detour, map themes, customizable on-screen data fields, area avoidance and now customized menu screens. I'm sure there's probably a feature or two I missed, but in any case Garmin has become more customizable than TomTom in some ways, and IMO certainly more dependable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2011 3:59:42 PM PST
Ah Betty, actually if you read my post and dissect it and you have at least half a brain, you'll see and understand that my comments (post) were directed mainly to Mr. Warren Merrill, not you. So, for you to make a rude and sarcastic comment on what other people post on this site that is not directed at "YOU", is truly against what this discussion site was established for. Maybe you should get yourself some type of hobby, that doesn't involve getting into other peoples business? I wish you all the best, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Posted on Jan 9, 2011 4:07:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2011 4:09:51 PM PST
Father Tony. . . who's Betty? And which comments did I miss?

EDIT: OK, I see now, a page back. Let's all be polite.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2011 4:12:04 PM PST
Mr. Merrill, forgive me if I sound out of it but, what does IMO stand for?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2011 4:17:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2011 4:24:21 PM PST
Hey Warren, I was polite..... I am always polite. I really was taken back by the fact that this "Betty" person, would have the nerve to make such a rude remark when my post was directed at you. I figured I needed to explain to her how to read slower and to learn to dissect what you read before you comment on things. More so, don't comment rudely on things that are not directed to you. So Warren, If what I said sounded impolite, then I apologize to you. That is all I will say further on that post.

AnyWho, while I have your attention (lol) Warren, which Garmin would you say is the best one right now, that will work best with Traffic and Detouring me around traffic by either suggesting a detour and allowing one to make the final decision? Preferably one with lifetime Maps and Traffic. I'm looking to get a new one because I am having to go further distances to get to my congregants with this horrible economy and lack of low cost Health Care. (btw, I'm in the So. Fla. area)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2011 5:00:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2011 7:25:53 PM PST
IMO=In My Opinion. :)

As for a traffic unit, I'm not sold on any of them. The two best I've used are the nuvi 1695 and TomTom 740, but it's still a toss up whether every reported delay exists on either of them. On top of that, local roads aren't reported on any of the pnd's. I wouldn't purchase one solely for traffic. I like Tomtom's pricing, very aggressive, and they have pretty good features. But they're just not reliable, and look to be getting worse, not better. Seems like new issues popping up daily. Garmin's not as "flashy", but absolutely more reliable and just as fully featured if not more so. The one's I'd choose today would be either from the 1400 series or the 3700's. But the most interesting to me will be the upcoming 2400's available in just a few weeks. Extended avoidance features, expanded detour function, customizable menu's. . .

If you're not in a hurry I think they may be worth the wait.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2011 4:56:20 AM PST
I enjoy your discussion and would like to have your opinion on the best Garmin gps available at this time, price is not too much of a consideration.

Posted on Jan 10, 2011 5:13:18 AM PST
Currently that would be the nuvi 3790LMT. Beautiful high-res display, twice that of any TomTom. Thin, light and very iPhone-like. But as I mentioned above, the nuvi 2400's, and specifically the nuvi 2460, is worth waiting for from what I've seen. Incredibly customizable with hi-end features.

Posted on Jan 10, 2011 5:41:10 AM PST
Louie D says:
Hi Warren - I meant Garmin was dropping old features from the 755T/765T such as picture viewer, MP3 player, etc. which people seemed not to use much. I realize they have added some new features such as Mytrends, which will compete with Tom Tom's IQ Routes when Garmin accumulates enough data over time. I am not anti-Garmin, I just like more customization and Tom Tom has it on most of their GPS where Garmin seems to have it only on their higher end models. Of course the Garmin 3700 series has been rated tops and I would love to have one, but not right now for $350-400. Do you know how the 2400 series will be priced, and how they compare to Tom Tom's 2500 (is that correct?) series?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2011 5:50:32 AM PST
They announced pricing as approx. $300 at initial launch. Prices should drop fairly soon after release as is customary with new electronics. As for comparison, tough to say. Many of the listed TomTom 25xx features still aren't available. Most have been promised by summer, but that's not particularly encouraging. The promised map compatibility and update by the end of December did happen, only to be pulled since it was determined to be bricking some devices. And the only recourse then was to return and or exchange them. No ability to backup or modify/repair the operating files. It will be mid-summer before anyone can make an honest appraisal of the TomTom 2500's.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 2:32:45 PM PST
JLM says:
Hi Warren, I'm looking for a really good Trucker's GPS. My husband has looked at the PC Miler 450. It's seems to have all the features that he would need and like, but we have read some good reviews and some bad, which makes choosing very confusing. Do you know anything about this brand and how well it works? Greatly appreciate your advice.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 4:38:23 PM PST
There's only one company I can confidently say avoid and that's TeleType and their World Traveler trucking pnd. The only thing I know about PCMiler is what I've read. In fact until you asked I thought ALK's PCMiler was for laptop use only. Didn't realize Rightway had preinstalled it in a pnd, so thanks for that. Fortunately (or perhaps not!) there's a lot more options for truck-friendly stand alone navigators than there was just 18 months ago. Garmin has two new truck gps models going by the name "dezl" as in diesel. Both should be available within a few weeks, adding a couple of options to their older 465, likely to be discontinued soon.

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 5:38:26 AM PST
GEEBEE says:
They ALL have something wrong with them! The secret is to know what features you are looking for at the price you want to pay and then do some research to find the units who do the best with the features you want. But in general, they also ALL work well enough that even a 'cheapie' that isn't considered very good is very useful.
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Discussion in:  GPS forum
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Initial post:  Mar 3, 2009
Latest post:  Jun 3, 2012

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