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Garmin nüvi 205W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
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- 4.3 in Touch Screen Navigator with 2D/3D Maps
- Turn by Turn Voice Directions and Optional MSN Direct Services
- Where Am I Emergency Locator / You Always Know Your Location
- With HotFix, It Calculates Your Position Faster to Get You There Quicker
- JPEG Picture Viewer, World Travel Clock, Currency Converter, Calculator and More
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The Garmin nüvi 205W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator leads the way with turn-by-turn directions and optional MSN® Direct services to get you there on time and keep you informed.
Portable, affordable and wide, nüvi 205W is your personal travel assistant for life on the go. This navigator leads the way with turn-by-turn directions and optional MSN® Direct services to get you there on time and keep you informed. It's packed with millions of destinations and maps for the contiguous U.S., Canada or regional sections of Europe. Like the rest of the sleek nüvi 2x5-series, the 205W is priced right and ultra-easy to use.
See More With nüvi 205W's widescreen display, you'll always get the big picture. View map detail, driving directions, photos and more in bright, brilliant color. Its sunlight-readable, 4.3"
With the nüvi 205W's widescreen display, you'll alwasys get the big picture.
Your personal travel assistant for life on the go.
Depending upon the version, nüvi 205W comes preloaded with City Navigator® NT map data for either the contiguous U.S., Canada or one European region or country (click versions tab to view all). 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 redraw rates as you navigate. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. In addition, nüvi 205W 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. With HotFix® satellite prediction, nüvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.
Take It With You
Like the rest of the nüvi 2x5-series, nüvi 205W sports a sleek, slim design and fits comfortably in your pocket or purse. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or foot. With its "Where Am I?" emergency locator, you always know your location. Simply tap the screen to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations.
Go Beyond Navigation
Navigation is just the beginning. nüvi 205W includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. With photo navigation, you can download pictures from Garmin Connect™ Photos and navigate to them. The 205W is compatible with optional enhanced MSN® Direct content (subscription and receiver required) and our free Garmin Garage™ where you can download animated vehicles that show your location on the map. It also comes with Garmin Lock™, an anti-theft feature. Enhance your travel experience with optional plug-in microSD™ cards such as Garmin Travel Guides for detailed data on attractions.
What's in the Box
nüvi 205W, preloaded City Navigator® NT data for the lower 48 states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico (no Alaska or Canada detail), vehicle suction cup mount, vehicle power cable, and quick start manual.
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The Bad: No external volume control, POI database fairly small, no text to speech, and map colors seem a bit kindergartenish.
Overall: The Garmin Nuvi 205w is a solid entry level unit for basic navigation needs. If you're looking for extras, this isn't the place to find them. Below you will find my detailed, usage based review.
SETUP: Your overall comfort level with technology and electronics really drives how important this aspect a device is because you should only perform it infrequently if more than once. Fortunately for the Nuvi 205w, there isn't really anything to do. Other than product registration and charging, the unit is ready to use out of the box. While some may change a few of the settings, most will have no problem going with the defaults.
DISPLAY: This is an area where the published information doesn't tell the correct story. The difference between the W and non-W units is more than just 3.5" (Nuvi 205) vs. 4.3" (Nuvi 205w). The Nuvi 205 is correctly labeled as being QVGA (320x240) resolution. However the Nuvi 205w is incorrectly labeled as WQVGA which would be (480x240). If this were the case, the only difference you would notice is that you have a larger area displayed at the same resolution. In reality, the Nuvi 205w has a resolution of (480x272) which is actually Sixteenth HD1080. So why do you care? Those extra 32 pixels give you a crisper display on the w units.
SOUND: When choosing which unit to buy, I went to a local retailer to compare units. I ran the same simulations on a Nuvi 205 and a 255w. I already described the difference in display above. When I compared the sound, I was disappointed that the text to speech on the 255w lacked the clarity of the basic instructions on the 205. I decided to opt for clearer, but simpler guidance. I've used both types in other GPS units, and I find that the clarity in verbal prompts is more helpful that spoken street names. On the 205w, the next turn is listed at the top of the unit, and you can watch for it along your route. This is also an area of cost consideration as the difference in base price between the 205w and 255w is $70. I just didn't think it was worth it. The one feature I would like to have seen is an external volume control on the unit. If you decide to adjust the volume, you have to press the menu button and choose the volume icon on the main screen. However once you have a good volume, you probably won't be making many adjustments since this unit has neither an MP3 player nor Bluetooth capabilities.
NAVIGATION: The sound and display don't mean a lot if the unit doesn't get the directions correct. I tested my 205w in areas that I drive frequently to see how it would do in generating routes. Of the five different trips I tested, each was at least 10 miles. The routes the 205w generated were essentially the ones that I would choose, and I had direction prompts before I could place the unit in the windshield mount. I intentionally missed a few turns or turned early to force a route recalculation. I found that the process was quick, and it was able to get me back on route quickly. The only area where the unit did not excel was differentiating between a highway and the access road. I have had more sensitive units that would enter route recalculation before I made it to the stoplight at the end of the exit ramp. The 205w did not notice that I was off route until I turned on the street at the end of the ramp. This is a fairly contrived test so you can decide if you think it is important for your usage.
USABILITY: This is an area where the Nuvi 205w gets high marks. The user interface is very easy to work with. One other reason to splurge for the w model is to have the QWERTY keyboard layout. For some reason, the non-w units only have alphabetical order layouts which I find very unintuitive. Menu navigation and data entry are a snap. The only thing I would change is the color coding on the maps. It seems that they tried to use all the colors from a box of crayons with all of the street color coding. This gives the maps the appearance of something out of a kindergarten coloring book. I have to admit that this is pretty minor, but I would have liked something a little more grown up such as the Navigon color schemes.
EXTRAS: There's not a lot to comment on here. The 205w has a photo viewer, and you can navigate to a picture that is tagged with coordinates. Frankly, I would have rather seen this feature left off and saved a few more dollars on the base cost. The maps only take up about half of the internal memory so the need for an SD card reader would not exist without the photo features.
It is pure novelty, but I did like the ability to add additional vehicles and voices from the Garmin web site. I added a few vehicles and the Halloween voice. I found the voice amusing, but it annoyed my wife. If you connect the 205w to your PC, the web site can install them directly to the unit.
The 205w does not ship with a USB cable, but most people already have more of these than they know what to do with. If you have a digital camera or non-iPod MP3 player, you probably already have what you need. The car charging cable that ships with the unit is very stiff, and I found that I had to maneuver it more than I would have liked in order to run it from the unit to the power jack without creating an obstruction to my instrument and windshield view.
It doesn't give street names, which I at first thought didn't matter. When I buy another one, I will pay the extra $$ for one that names the street onto which to turn.
Another disadvantage is that when you zoom in to check street names, the "points of interest" obscure the view - they are like huge billboards when you are looking at business districts.
IPhones do a better job: We were heading for a fast food joint in a shopping center. My nuvi 205W got us as far as the driveway to the mall, but the iphone actually got us to the restaurant - that saved us a few minutes.
In summary, it is far better than not having one, but I bet there are lots of models that are superior.
Even with the new changes/upgrades, I don't know if it's worth the cost to upgrade from a 200, but if you're considering getting a cheap 200 now that it's the old model, I would pay the extra for the 205.
I was also strongly considering the 255W, but decided that having maps of Canada/Alaska and spoken street names weren't that important to me. The instructions are clear enough, and if I really need to know the street name I can easily glance down and check.
Any negatives? It would be nice if it came with a wall AC adapter (along with the car one) and an appropriate USB cable, though that's cheap and easy to find. The screen was poorly calibrated out of the box and it was a hassle to figure out how to recalibrate it (turn it off, slide and hold the on/off switch to the left for 30 seconds, follow the on-screen prompts). The problem is that most of the instructions are actually contained on the NUVI itself rather than a manual. This is great most of the time, but when the problem is that the unit thinks you're touching the screen in a place different from where you actually are, it creates problems trying to find the info.
Overall I am very pleased with this purchase. I also highly recommend the corresponding Garmin friction mount.
Note: I see a lot of people complaining about it not being any faster at acquiring satellites than the 200. The way that Garmin tried to fix the problem with the 200 taking several minutes to acquire was to have the 205 "track" the satellites even while off. When you shut down the 205, it knows its location and that of the satellites. When you turn it back on, it "knows" where to look for the satellites by calculating where they were, where they were going, and how much time has passed. If you only turn your GPS on once a week or turn it off and then turn it on again in a new location, it's going to have to search from scratch, which takes longer (though it has never taken more than a few minutes for me... maybe 3 at the very most).