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Showing 1-10 of 4,805 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,129 reviews
on May 31, 2012
My previous GPS (Magellan) also came with "lifetime" map update but after one update which went fine, it refused to do further update. I have dealt with Magellan customer service and after getting no satisfaction to the issue I decided to come back to Garmin.

Nuvi 50 was on sale so it was worthwhile for me to get slightly bigger 5 inch model rather than 4.3 inch model. It is basic in that it has no bluetooth and other "extra" feature that I really have no use for. Aside from "lifetime" map update, it also had one feature that I wanted which is to indicate speed limit of highway and streets. Depending on where you're travelling certain jurisdictions of cities and freeways are nothing but speed trap and often you will not see the posted speed limit sign until you're too late.

For those new into purchasing GPS, I bid you welcome. Good GPS will do a lot to alleviate figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B smoothly and efficiently (usually). However, it is not going to be 100% perfect in execution so I suggest you carry map of the area you are going to travel (just in case GPS fail).

When you open the box, you will find Nuvi 50 with no plastic wrappers. Lift the unit out of box and lift the cardboard box beneath it and you will find, car charger, USB cable, window mount, paper for "Need a dashboard disc?", "Activate your Lifetme Maps", "Important Safety and Product Information", "Free Trial Update Your Safety Camera" and no owner's manual but there is quick start guide that is only apparent if you open the paper showing picturegram of mounting GPS to windshield of car. In it you will find quick-start picturegram so basic I can't believe what length Garmin went to cut cost.

1) Type in Garmin web address on your computer's browser. (Earlier I typed in web address but Amazon did not like it. Don't know why.)

2) Connect GPS using included USB/mini USB cable to your computer

3) Register your Garmin once you open an account.

4) Download updater so that you can get the latest map.

Other reviewers have already noted, be forwarned that update of map will take time. During download of new map, at one point, updater will instruct you to detach GPS from computer and turn the unit on. This is to allow the GPS to load what was already downloaded into the unit.

Once GPS finished loading the update you will be instructed to attach the unit via USB to computer again and continue updating process. Just follow the instruction given and all will be fine.

The actual registering and downloading updater went smoothly for me. The updater will notify if there is any available map update.
Those interested can download owner's manual from Garmin site but this GPS (to me at least) was so easy to operate that I find no need to read it. Still, for those buying their first GPS it might be good idea to peruse the manual.

AC charger is not included and really there is no need to purchase one. Use the supplied USB cable and charge your GPS from your computer.
In actual operation, the GPS worked fine for the most part but compared to my previous Magellan Roadmate 1424 LM, I found that Garmin was slower in doing reroute/recalculating. Whereas Magellan was quick to give revised direction if I deviate from route, I noticed that Garmin was sometimes noticeably slower in giving revised direction; a minor quibble but still noticeable if you have owned another brand GPS.

I will be adding additional update (positive or negative) if there is need to as I have had this unit for few days only and haven't had chance to really give it a go. But for the brief time I have had it is a keeper.

***UPDATE 06/12/12***

It may or may not be an issue but on my nuvi 50, I have determined that reroute feature will not kick in immediately if I deviate from route given by Garmin during the first initial guidance.

Example: I turn on the GPS. I input address or favorite. GPS give first guidance: "Proceed on highlighted route on (street you are driving)."

The way my home street is laid out it is better to take opposite route initially to get to main street where I am heading due to traffic. My old Magellan GPS also gave same guidance initially but it learned to adjust guidance after I deviated a few times. Nuvi 50 seem to be unable to do that (for now).

Magellan also excelled in guessing correct address with few keystroke. I had to type street almost all the way on some addresses on nuvi 50 before it filled the rest of the field.

If you pick different voice some of them will not give street names. However, in the voice setting it will clearly tell you which one of them will give street names or not in parenthesis. I guess this is Garmin's way to save money.

On my old Magellan, it was slow in catching GPS signal during initial power up. By comparison, Nuvi 50 was very fast in catching satellite signal.

Taking into account of what I have so far I find Garming Nuvi 50 to be:

POSITIVE:

- East of operation

- Fast signal capture

- Split screen lane assist (some reviewers did not like it but I like it.)

- Where available will post speed limit

- Accurate guidance (for the most part)

NEGATIVE:

- Reroute slow in some situation (see above)

- Not all voices will give street names

- Although I have latest map update, map still not showing new layout of freeway exit near my place
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on July 14, 2012
This was to be my first GPS and I wanted outstanding performance in a 5 inch screen, but didn't want or need anything fancy (like Bluetooth, etc) but did want lifetime maps. The Garmin nuvi 50LM was the perfect choice and I have not been disappointed. It is easy to use, fast and accurate. The screen is bright with excellent contrast. It is 'turn by turn" and specifically mentions the names of the streets. The default voice is strong and easy tonhear/understand. Overall, the Garmin nuvi 50LM is simple, basic and outstanding. I also bought the "beanbag" mount for the top of the dashboard and it is GREAT!! It makes is so easy to remove the GPS from sight when parked or after use, plus move the Garmin nuvi 50LM from vehicle to vehicle. In my opinion, the Garmin 50LM is the best value for money for basic "no frills" automotive GPS. I am very pleased with the Garmin nuvi 50LM and my choice in buying it. You can be too!!
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on July 10, 2012
I did a lot of research before I bought. This is my first gps navigator. I decided against the comparable TomTom unit because reviewers stated that the TomTom screen wasn't as bright as they'd like and was particularly difficult to see in bright daylight. Reviewers also said that the TomTom audio volume was not loud enough to always hear clearly even at max. My thinking was... when I'm driving down the highway, the number one thing I need from a gps unit (besides accuracy) is to be able to hear it clearly and see the screen clearly... else what good is it to me? If I can't see and hear it clearly, I may be distracted from focusing on my driving and the more distractions the less safe is one's driving and who wants to have to pull over to see/hear the dang gps? Reviewers of the Garmin Nuvi 50 generally said the screen was large enough and bright enough and the audio was plenty loud enough even when the volume was not at highest setting. When I read reviews comparing the 5" screen to even slightly smaller screens, the 5" won out being large enough to accommodate a nice sized view of the map, as well as written content in top, bottom, or side margins.

I find the Nuvi simple, easy, and pretty intuitive to use. It is plenty loud...I never have it on the max setting. It is plenty easy to see on the dash, even in bright sunlight. I like the 3-D style map. I like that it shows the speed limit and the speed I am going.

It does a good job of getting me where I want to go, which is the whole point, of course. Now, I have read reviews where people complain that it doesn't always take the "best" route as judged by an individual familiar with the city/town. Well, people, it's a machine, not a person. It gets me from A to B, mostly on main roads, when B is in unfamiliar territory and that's good enough for me. If I then become familiar with the area and find a short cut to B, fine, but I don't blame the Garmin for not taking me on side roads and back alleys to start with. Frankly, in an unfamiliar city, I would not want the Garmin to route me through side roads, strange neighborhoods, and far off the beaten path, even if it were the shortest route. In some places that would be not even be safe.

Oh, and I wouldn't get any navigator device without the lifetime map updates. It just makes sense.

I love my Garmin. It's a pleasure to use. In fact, my husband bought a cheaper Magellan for a project where he needs the gps coordinates. It actually gets him where he wants to go, but when he checks the coordinates, they are incorrect. Go figure that. The coordinates on my Garmin, however, are spot on. Soooo today he just ordered a Garmin Nuvi like mine. :o)
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on May 9, 2013
I bought the Garmin Nuvi 50LM for my wife for Christmas 2012 as she had mentioned wanting a GPS for trips. I did some research and settled on this make and model because of the positive reviews and lifetime maps. I honestly thought I would never use this thing but she wanted it so I got it for her.

Well, we recently got the chance to test it out on a trip to Maine and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Margo, as we named her, did a great job getting us to our destination and came in very handy when we took a drive through the backroads and had no idea where we were. I pulled over, entered the number of a house on the road we were on and entered the address for a restaurant we were thinking of going to for dinner and Margo got us there with only one hitch, and I can't blame her for that. There was a small section of street that appeared to have recently been converted to One Way so we just followed the signs and came out where we should have. And Margo never missed a beat. She straightened everything out and gave us directions from the detour to the restaurant without giving us any attitude (no she doesn't say "RECALCULATING...." in that snotty way I've heard some GPSs do.

It turned out to be a good trip. And I have to say the Garmin did really well and I can recommend it highly.

Oh, one more thing. There were times when I didn't know what the speed limit was as I hadn't seen any sign but this unit tells you the speed limit of the road you're on and shows your actual speed at the same time. I found it to be very accurate and believe it saved me from a ticket when the speed limit went from 50mph to 25mph. I slowed down immediately and low and behold there was the local police sitting on the side of the road waiting for some unsuspecting out of stater like me. But Margo saved my butt. She deserves the 5-star rating.
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on November 27, 2013
This is a great GPS, its has take me from Texas to Pennsylvania and back to Arizona.
The only issue is when you get off the highway to get gas, it sometime takes the long way to get back to the highway... I'm not sure why.
This model does not yell "recalculating," when you get off course, it simply recalculates and tells you were to turn.
Sometimes it does take weird routes, taking me in a big loop to get to a shopping mall, when it could have just told me to turn left, but its still the best Garmin has made and we have had 3 models to date. And the price is a long way from the $300 we paid for the first one. I didn't give it five stars, because of the issue with getting me back to the highway but that's no big deal really.
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on December 28, 2014
This is the second Garmin (same model) we bought from Amazon. The first was used when traveling with my in-laws to a wedding in up-state New York, where none of us were familiar with the area. Though my father-in-law pretended to ignore it, he came to rely on it after we left Michigan. The real test came when we were expected to attend the wedding rehearsal dinner (which we knew nothing about and it was quite a surprise to us). It was at the groom's parents' house, in a very secluded area and the street signs were not labeled very well. By the time the dinner began, it was already getting dark. Getting from our hotel to the house and back was quite a challenge when one had great difficulty ready the street signs at that time of night. We only had to input the hotel address and the house address and the Garmin directed us straight from point A to point B and back again with no problem (aside from the brief time when he decided to deviate from it). This year, my mother-in-law asked for a GPS for Christmas and my wife & I knew exactly which one we'd get them. Now whenever they decide to go into the 'big city' of Grand Rapids, they can be rest assured of not getting lost.
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on May 4, 2014
This product will definitely get you there. It costs much less than the Garmin nuvi 350 that cost me $278 six years ago. The LCD display is much better, high resolution and helpful at showing the correct path at complex interchanges. And it includes free map updates.

But the navigation is noticeably inferior to the Garmin nuvi 350, or the TomTom XXL 540TM that I bought 4 years ago.

The way I judge efficiency of a GPS is by asking it to navigate local roads that I know very well, to see whether it comes up with the most efficient route. This GPS does poorly with this. For example, when I asked it to take me from my home to a destination seven miles away, and I started taking some back roads, it kept telling me to revert to my original route, even though this would have been substantially slower. In other words, if you deviate from the original route, it just tells you to go back to that route, rather than recalculating and finding the most efficient route from your current position.

Another way of judging a navigator is how well it predicts travel time. In this respect this GPS is seriously deficient. For example, on a recent journey late at night with very light traffic and no obstructions, it started out predicting 19 minutes and ultimately the journey took 26 minutes, even though I was exceeding the speed limit most of the time and there were no holdups. This is what it usually does. My 6 year old GPS, on the other hand, is usually within a minute or two for short trips, and within 3 or 4 minutes for longer journeys in excess of 50 miles. If you are like me, and phone ahead if I am going to be late for an important appointment, this is a real defect.

So, I am giving this product 3 stars, because it is significantly worse at navigating than older navigators that I own, even though it will get you there eventually.

I bought this product because my nuvi 350 maps are increasingly out of date. But I am returning this product and looking for a GPS that is good at recalculating efficiently if I take a wrong turn or deliberately deviate from the initially chosen route.
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on April 29, 2013
This replaced an old entry-level TomTom. Old TomToms tend to go crazy and lead you in circles when their maps are out of date. When that happens, it is time to toss them in the trash, because new maps cost as much as new TomToms.

When the Garmin arrived, I told my wife that we would compare it to the TomTom XXL she carries in her car. Whichever she liked better, she could keep in her car.

The units should be comparable. Same size, same price point.

After updating the maps on both and using both for a day, it was no contest. The TomTom was clearly superior by every measure. The TomTom is much faster and easier to update and is faster and easier to use. The displays are very comparable, but I like the presentation better on the TomTom. I did not try a lot of voices, but for the voices I tried, the TomTom was easier to understand. Wife is keeping her XXL.

The ONLY thing I liked about the Garmin better than the TomTom was that the update website recognized that this was a free lifetime maps model. It took several hours of trying to get the map to update, and I had to restart the software several times because it kept hanging up, but at least I did not have to go through my files looking for a card with a registration number as I had to do with the TomTom.
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on October 22, 2014
Much preferred my much less expensive and older Magellan that bit the dust while riding my bike. This week it had the symbol for the car driving into the Gulf of Mexico while we were on a main thoroughfare in Clearwater, and it often has a poor choice of routes or is completely off track. It also takes much longer to find satellites than my Magellan did. I frankly prefer using WAZE and Google Navigation but my phone service is not Verizon which means when I most need the device in the boonies they simply don't work for want of a tower for Virgin Mobile. Then even the Garmin comes in to save the day from time to time. The lifetime update service is unreliable and required my contacting customer service, and they say they no longer support Windows XP, which was a problem until buying a new computer last week to replace the Vista based Gateway that died this summer.
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on August 22, 2014
I own this Garmin in New York City. It works just fine outside congested areas, but whenever I am in Manhattan it goes screwy and if I only used this I would get lost time and time again, but only really in Manhattan. I think with all the congestion and whatever wire signals are emanating from Manhattan, this GPS just gets really confused. Then I have it on "avoid tolls" in the settings because well in and around NYC there are so many tolls and you really can avoid spending hundreds of dollars a month knowing how to avoid them. However once in a while, the only option is going through a toll, there is just no way around it, and this is also when the Garmin goes screwy and crazy. Other than that it seems to work just fine. I wish it could tell me where there are traffic spots to avoid. It has often driven me right into them. Sometimes I pull out my smartphone to check the route because my smart phone has this, knows what roads has the most traffic and drive accordingly based on my smartphone's route. Anyway I do think it's a good GPS for the price, but a more state of the art GPS would work better.
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