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Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech
- Bluetooth wireless technology, built-in microphone, and speaker for hands-free calls with compatible phones
- MP3 player with pre-loaded sample songs and audio books, JPEG picture viewer, travel alarm, and currency converters
- 2D or 3D views; pre-loaded with most recent Navteq-driven maps for United States, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Canada
- Turn-by-turn directions with actual street names; real-time traffic and weather info
- Super-bright 2.8 x 2.1-inch sunlight-readable color screen
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The Garmin nüvi 360 GPS Navigator and Personal Travel Assistant isa GPS navigator, personal translator, multi-media entertainer and tour guide all wrapped into one. In addition to all the advanced features of the Garmin nüvi 350 including automatic routing, turn by turn voice directions, an MP3 player and audio book player, JPEG picture viewer, and much more this pocket-sized personal travel assistant comes with hands-free Bluetooth wireless technology, making it the hands down go anywhere travel companion.
The Garmin nüvi 360 GPS Navigator and Personal Travel Assistant isa GPS navigator, personal translator, multi-media entertainer and tour guide all wrapped into one. In addition to all the advanced features of the Garmin nüvi 350 -- including automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, an MP3 player and audio book player, JPEG picture viewer, and much more -- this pocket-sized personal travel assistant comes with hands-free Bluetooth wireless technology, making it the hands-down go-anywhere travel companion.
Which nüvi is Best for You?: Click here to see a quick, simple comparison of features for all Garmin nuvi GPS navigators
The nüvi 360 comes with hands-free bluetooth wireles technology. See side view.
Browse your stored pictures with an easy-to-use JPEG viewer.
The device sports a handy MP3 player, letting you play songs stored on SD memory cards.
The nüvi 360 integrates wireless technology with a microphone and speaker that lets you make hands-free mobile phone calls using your compatible Bluetooth-enabled phone. Simply dial numbers with the nüvi's touch screen keypad to place a call, and to answer calls, just tap the screen and speak directly into its built-in microphone.
In addition, you can easily look-up and dial numbers from your personalized phone book or from your phone's call history log. Don't know the phone number for your destination? Simply find and dial it from nüvi's database of more than six million points of interest -- including hotels, restaurants, stores, and attractions.
Navigation and Entertainment with Ease
For starters, the nüvi 360 includes a high-sensitivity integrated GPS receiver that offers exceptional performance and reception. The unit's flip-up antenna includes an MCX-type connector for optional external GPS antenna connection. Preloaded software features maps of Europe or North America, and it includes automatic routing, 2D or 3D map perspective, turn-by-turn voice directions that speak street names, and a fingertip touch screen interface -- making navigation as easy as it gets.
But navigation is just the beginning. Like the nüvi 350, the nüvi 360 also includes many entertainment and travel tools including an MP3 player, audio book player, JPEG picture viewer, travel alarm, and currency converters.
The nüvi 360 features a bright, 2.8 x 2.1-inch TFT display with white backlight for easy readability. At 3.87 x 2.91 x 0.87-inches (WxHxD) and just 5.1 ounces, the unit is small enough to be placed on the dashboard with the included suction mount, or into your pocket for easy transportability. The unit also features Garmin Lock -- an advanced anti-theft feature that disables the unit from performing any functions until you type in a specific four-digit PIN or take the unit to a predetermined location. A built-in lithium ion battery will give you up to eight hours of power, and an included 12/24 volt adapter cable will let you run the navigator off your vehicle's power. An AC battery charger is also included.
A built-in Travel Kit that includes sample MP3s and audio books will get you started with entertainment, and with the unit's SD memory card expansion slot you can add optional software, such as language and travel guides. A USB port is also included for loading and updating data.
What's in the Box
Gamin nüvi 360, Preloaded City Navigator NT North America or Europe (full coverage), vehicle suction cup mount, AC charger, 12/24 volt adapter cable, dashboard disk, USB interface cable, carrying case, owner's manual, and quick reference guide.
Which nüvi is Best for You?Note: All nüvis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.
Screen Size inches (W x H)
Text-to-Speech (Directions in Real Street Names)
FM Transmitter (audio through car stereo system)
Battery life (hours)
Cont. U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
AK and Canada
|nüvi 360||2.8 x 2.1||FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 8|
|nüvi 205||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 205w||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 255||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 255w||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 260w||3.81 x 2.25||Photos||up to 5|
|nüvi 265T||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 265WT||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 275T||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 285WT||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free);||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 465T||3.81 x 2.25||FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 755T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 760||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 5|
|nüvi 765T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 775T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 780||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 5|
|nüvi 785T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 850||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 855||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 885T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos, MP3s||up to 4|
|nüvi 1200||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1250||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1260T||2.8 x 2.1||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1300||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1350||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1350T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1370T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1390T||3.81 x 2.25||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1490T||4.4 x 2.5||MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)||Photos||up to 4|
|nüvi 1690||3.81 x 2.25||NAVTEQ Traffic, 2 years free (Garmin nüLink! service)||Photos||up to 4|
Top customer reviews
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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!
The only thing I did not like was the limited storage. I could load an updated map of the eastern U.S., or the western U.S., but not both.
I particularly liked all the voices that were available in many languages. It was fun to sometimes switch to Swedish or French to hear directions when I already knew where to go. Free entertainment on a long drive.
It's strange that this Nuvi was a leap forward in technology for me but now the technology has moved on.
This Garmin navigator is user-friendly and simple to use even for my grandparents. Knowing they have this device if they ever get lost gives me a peace of mind you can’t put a price on. I bought this Garmin nuvi 360 for $170 in 2008, and I would pay the same price today. All the functions are still working and the touchscreen is still just as sensitive as it was when I first bought it. I know Garmin has newer models these days, so if you’re in the market for a portable navigation device, I hope this review will give you confidence in making a purchase of a Garmin product.
This is so easy to use, I have only read the manual to make sure I didn't forget anything when I hooked it up to my car. I was able to tell it to take me somewhere after powering it up for the first time and I was up and navigating. I did spend time later to find out more features and customizing it just by pressing things on the screen.
There are a whole lot of things I like about the nuvi. Since other reviewers have already talked about them (and you can find out even more about the features on Garmin's site), I'll just list my favorites: text-to-speech (TTS) saying street names, colored 3D view (water is blue, parks are green, etc), points of interest (POI) with address and phone numbers as well as direction and distance from current location, real-time driving statistics (avg MPH, ETA, time stopped, etc), one press operation for the next direction and it automatically goes back to the map, way point insertion via map.
I did wonder whether the bluetooth functionality was worth it since my phone already has a speaker phone function. But I am really glad I got the 360 instead of the 350. If nothing else, it's like having a heads-up caller ID. It also directly accesses my address book on my Blackberry 7105t. So I can receive and make calls without taking my phone out of its holster (which is sometimes a hassle with the seatbelt buckle/jacket/coat in the way). I have my nuvi connected to my stereo via a cassette adapter so I can clearly hear the caller. For privacy, the 360 allows you to send the call back to your phone but it requires three presses on the screen which is a bit inconvenient.
Now for the things I don't like so much:
* Many times, the person on the other side of the call has trouble hearing me. I've ordered the external microphone which will hopefully take care of this.
* The MP3 player works well, but my MP3 files are much louder than the navigation audio. This pretty much makes the MP3 player useless to me while navigating since I would either have to listen to the music much louder than I want or struggle to hear the navigation audio. I've sent Garmin a request to make this adjustable.
* The data is outdated even if "new". I guess this is not specific to Garmin and is the nature of the beast, but I've gotten wrong directions and been taken to places (POI) that no longer exist because the data is basically two years old. Even though they update once a year ($75 each update), by the time a consumer gets it, the data is already closer to two years old. For example, the newest data was released on April 2006 but it wasn't shipped until September 2006. And just because it was released on April 2006, I don't think it means everything was up to date at that time. But that's just conjecture on my part. What I do know is, it lists stores/restaurants in my area that I know were no longer in business way before April 2006. I think some of them even closed in 2005 but they are still listed in my nuvi.
* It's not perfect. It didn't know about a concrete barrier so it kept telling me to go through it. It was trying to get me to go through a private road once. Sometimes the route isn't the best.
Even with its flaws, I am glad I bought the 360 as it has given me a greater sense of adventure and security that I will not get totally lost. Instead of spending minutes looking on the web for directions where to go, I just make sure I have the address before I walk to the car. In a 10-day period recently, I drove to a wedding in NJ, to a vacation in NC (Outer Banks) and back to a wedding locally in VA. The nuvi got me to all three places without getting lost once, while some of my friends got lost to some of those places (but they didn't have any GPS).
Here's my thoughts after 6 months of use:
I still love it!
Garmin was generous and gave everyone who bought a nuvi by a cutoff date the 2008 update free. It was easy to upgrade although it did take a few hours to complete. Getting more up-to-date info is definitely a big plus. I wish they would update twice a year (at half the cost each time, of course).
Garmin said they cannot do anything about the MP3 problem I emailed them about. They're not even sure they will incorporate it in future models. It's a shame since it's not practical for me to use the MP3 function while navigating with the way it is now.
The external microphone helped but I think the real problem is me plugging in the Nuvi output to my tape player. Now, when someone calls, I make sure it's not playing through my tape player and I've gotten less complaints from callers about echoes or not being able to hear me.
The Detour function seems to help a lot when there's a big delay when you're in a major highway. It does a good job of getting you to a different way which has been avoiding the delay most of the time. Note: I do not have the traffic service so it's just re-directing you.