Top positive review
1,281 people found this helpful
A worthy upgrade
on December 18, 2011
I upgraded from a Nuvi 205w, which Ive had for 3 years. The 205w has sure gotten a work out, I work for a large cable company, so I drive all day and the 205w has never failed me as it navigates 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the past 3 years. The battery is at the end of its life as it holds a charge for a bit over an hour and the maps are outdated. As prices of GPS units are constantly dropping and being offered with lifetime map updates, I couldn't justify updating the maps on the 3 year old unit when for a few dollars more I picked up a new one when it went on sale.
I didn't need all of the bells and whistles like bluetooth, voice activation/voice commands, mp3 player etc. When shopping for a new unit I wasn't convinced that I needed the 5" screen as my old 4.3" unit was mounted next to the rear view mirror and about 22" from my face, and I could read the screen just fine. B*st B*y just happened to have the 50LM version on sale much cheaper than the smaller 40LM, so it was a no brainer. (I picked it up for $117)
After purchasing the unit I had it updated and ready for use in 34 minutes after walking in the house. The update included installing the Web updater, the lifetime map updater, registering the unit, updating the maps and firmware and rebooting the unit twice. Very quick process and everything went absolutely flawless.
After the effortless update process, I took it out to actually navigate, I checked the points of interest, looked up a pizza restaurant across town and it guided me there with zero glitches, hiccups, re-routes or misguided routing. While on the interstate, upon approaching an exit it switches to lane assist and junction view and the exit signs it shows are to-the-letter exact as the actual sign reads. Very impressive.
After getting to my destination I wanted to test the boot time, so I shut the unit completely off and then turned it back on, I did this several times to get an average boot time and was ready to navigate at the "Where To/Show Map" screen in 13 seconds every time I turned it on.
Using the 50LM side-by-side with my 205w they operate very similarly (if you own one you will be right at home with the new one), the 50LM is faster, has smoother map scrolling, has better touch response on the screen and even though the resolution is the same, the 5" screen of the 50LM looks noticeable sharper, and the difference in size is very noticeable. The volume is VERY loud at 100%; you could probably use this in a noisy convertible without problems. One other thing I noticed is the 50LM has very accurate speed zones, if I'm in a 35mph zone and then it switches to 50, the unit updates the on-screen speed zone within a second of physically passing the street sign.
While my 205w workhorse still works perfect after 3 years of constant use, the 2012 units are a very worthy upgrade, especially with lifetime map updates.
After a full week of navigating since my initial purchase, I am happy to report that there have been zero hiccup's, freezes, resets, crashes or faults that I can think of. My unit is in use from 7:30am to 4:00pm everyday and has worked flawlessly, only once has it not found an address, and to its defense the address was a service road within the confines of a gated apartment complex. I cant comment further on the volume level or speech clarity, I have mine muted while driving and just frequently glance at the arrow on the screen for guidance. The screen is really bright and I find that for me, a comfortable adjustment is at 40% brightness in either day or night driving.
Again comparing this with my older 205w, I REALLY like the speed and sensitivity of this touchscreen much better, its almost like texting on an iphone, just light taps whereas the 205w, even after numerous screen calibrations, would take 2-3 taps of certain keys to get them to register. Map scrolling is much smoother and faster also, just swipe your finger across the screen while in 2D mode and the map rolls smoothly, almost too fast at times, I occasionally have to remind myself to scroll slower so as not to overshoot my targeted area.
Just a reminder, this is Garmins base model, no frivolous extra features to make it cumbersome or complicated - it navigates, and it does that task VERY well.
***UPDATE 08/06/2012*** Today my Nuvi50LM had to be replaced. It guided me to my job destination like always, but after my job, I turned the unit on to enter my next jobs address and all I got was a black screen with a faint GARMIN logo, I tried rebooting it several times and never got past the first Logo screen. Luckily I was a few miles from the Best Buy store where I bought it, they happily exchanged it for a new one, no questions asked. The new one already had the newest maps loaded, I just needed to register it online which took about 10 seconds as the website communicator auto-detects the model and serial number. Im hoping the new one works as well as the last one.