In Car GPS recommendations

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  #1  
Old 09-06-10, 10:24 AM
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In Car GPS recommendations

Anyone have any comment on what a nice portable (movable from vehicle to vehicle) GPS with the moving map and voice directions would be?

SIL had it on her phone out in L.A. and DW just loved it. Also would have avoided some "discussions" on the trip (I forgot the road atlas, and SoCal signage sucks!).

Also...do these require some sort of subscription to a service..or do you just download the info for a specific area?

Thx
 
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  #2  
Old 09-06-10, 11:03 AM
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No subscriptions. Just works right out of the box.

The only info you need is to type in your destination.
They come preloaded with a map of the North American continent.

I like the Garmin models with lane assist. Lane assist gives you a little icon that shows you how many lanes are on the road you're on, and which one you'll need to be in within such and such a distance. Also shows you distance to your next turn. I actually use it with the voice directions muted.
But if you select a voice with a suffix TTS in the title, then it'll pronounce the various street names as they apply. Which can be amusing.

The only downfall is the lack of a "pause" button. Example: Turn from the highway into a gas station and you'll hear "recalculating" followed by directions on how to get back on track, unless you've told it to take you too a gas station... Kind of annoying.

I'm a fan of 'em so there is lotsa little things I could get into but I'll stick to what you've asked!


EDIT: No subscription for GPS functionally. Some units come with a traffic update receiver which can recieve either free FM updates or a paid subscription. Either depends on the accuracy of the location giving the updates. You can choose to be alerted or rerouted when a traffic jam occurs. I can't really comment on the accuracy of the traffic info.
 

Last edited by mickblock; 09-06-10 at 11:25 AM. Reason: added something.
  #3  
Old 09-06-10, 11:31 AM
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I've got a TomTom and I really like it. It has a lot of nice features and options. If you take a different turn, you don't hear "recalculating", it says nothing and then just starts telling you different directions.
Did a bit of homework first and prefered the TomTom over the Garmin, but I guess it's a matter of preference.
This coming from a very directionally challenged person!
Oh and no subscription. You just download.
 
  #4  
Old 09-06-10, 11:42 AM
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Thanks folks......how much are we talking? Model info?

Becky....isn't Tom-Tom just for major (mapped) roads? Does it have off road info as well? Not that we'd be using it for that right now...just looking ahead a bit...

mickblock...please...elaborate as you wish! I want relatively simple...semi-large screen...but DW will be the navigator...I'm just the pilot.

Traffic info not really an issue....
 
  #5  
Old 09-06-10, 12:00 PM
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I got it almost a year ago, but I think it's the 540S. It was a couple hundred on sale, but I think the price has gone down since (of course ).
Not sure about the off road info. I'd have to check it out when I get a chance.
 
  #6  
Old 09-06-10, 01:38 PM
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Semi large screen (4.3") and basic GPS function is gonna be about 130 bucks new, regardless of the brand.
The off road is a preference you turn on or off the same way you can tell it to avoid tollways etc. I do not know if all the models have it. Mine did. it was the 755t. ??

The basic thing is, the map is static. So inaccuracy would increase with time, that would be due to the map, not the unit.
The firmware updates will be free.

I think the recommendation is to buy a map update once a year. New units I believe come with one free update. Unit's can also be purchased with free updates for life.
Single updates for maps are about $100.00. Here's another fact for you: I will probably never buy a map update. The map that came with it is good enough. If an offramp is moved, that's ok it'll still have the same designation. If a business moves, ok I'll remember that. If they construct a brand new interstate system THEN I'll spring for a map update.

I'm replacing one that my wife bought me for my birthday. It got stolen out of my truck.
They have an antitheft PIN option that makes them useless unless you enter it, but yeah that's kind of after the fact.
Anyhow I bought a refurb and I wasn't scared to do it.

So if you want a specific recommendation based on basic, cheap, and decent screen size:
Garmin Nuvi 205W - about 100 clams new at amazon.
I can understand very little if any difference between the newer or higher priced models. They all just seem to be different colors. They got bluetooth connectivity, Mp3 player ability, photo album... just etc etc... whatever!!

Can't speak on the TomToms although the leeway on taking an alternate sidestreet sounds good!
My recommendation of Garmin came from my wifes truck driver buddy. Figured if a truck driver thought they were good, then I'd go with that.
 
  #7  
Old 09-06-10, 03:45 PM
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I've been using the Mio 520 for some time now, and it is pretty good. I like the 520 over the 320 (which wifey has) because of the woman's voice. Feels natural having one tell me where to go. The 520 also pronounces the names of the street you are to turn onto, instead of "take next right". All of them use the same mounting devices, so you can move them from car to car if you like to keep your mount in place. It also has full screen capabilities.
 
  #8  
Old 09-06-10, 04:56 PM
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Ya know Vic, that's the problem with asking for opinions and suggestions. Everyone has their favorites and now you're back where you started, lol!
 
  #9  
Old 09-06-10, 05:07 PM
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I have the Garmin 1490T. Lots of free extra features like traffic, lane change, compass, blue tooth phone connect, speed limits etc. i really like the large 5" screen.
My third GPS and I've used a couple on rentals. the best so far. You can get a review here. Garmin NUVI
 
  #10  
Old 09-06-10, 05:42 PM
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Nope...all good info....

So many articles I read say Magellan...but not a single mention here...who do I trust?

The folks here...of course!
 
  #11  
Old 09-08-10, 08:10 AM
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Hmmmm since I wouldn't be using this very often and will always have a navigator with me....any thoughts on the handheld types? I know they are more for hunters and hikers and cost a bit more. I really hate the thought of more dangling cables and stuff...and having to remove it to a safe place all the time when stopped.

Still would like the voice feature though...that way we don't have "communication" errors.

Any thoughts?
 
  #12  
Old 09-08-10, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Hmmmm since I wouldn't be using this very often and will always have a navigator with me....any thoughts on the handheld types? I know they are more for hunters and hikers and cost a bit more. I really hate the thought of more dangling cables and stuff...and having to remove it to a safe place all the time when stopped.

Still would like the voice feature though...that way we don't have "communication" errors.

Any thoughts?
I don't know Vic. That irritating woman's voice on Garmin didn't earn the nickname GPS "beech" for nothing. Who knew that "recalculating" could be such an annoying irritant.

I like the dashmount. It takes just a second to pop it off and secure it. The 5" Garmin screen is great. I can read it no problem without removing my glasses. That wasn't the case with my Garmin 200. The voice warning for upcoming turns is probably the best feature for me along with the lane indicator. No more watching your exit zoom by.
 
  #13  
Old 09-08-10, 09:45 AM
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Yeah...and where our problems occur (LA, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix mostly for now) the lane feature is probably a good thing to have. Luckily we don't have any trips planned for a while..so it leaves plenty of time to decide.

I know electronics always get cheaper and more feature filled....but was hoping to find something I or my wife could also carry for her biking jaunts...and for my M/C trips...when I get one in 2 yrs. Maybe one for the cars and a more basic one for the other would be the best?
 
  #14  
Old 09-08-10, 04:38 PM
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There are some auto capable GPS units that have usage modes for driving, bicycling, and hoofing it. The next necessity would be the mounts, which can also be found.
I do think that having one that could also be used for a motorcycle has it's own special requirements besides mode. Like, you'd want it to be water proof. Most are not specifically rated as water proof.
Charging method and battery life is a consideration for multi usage also.

Also there are bizarre model revisions. If you find a model that does all the things you want as far as lane assist, spoken street names etc, ya can't take for granted that the more expensive or newer model will not have deleted a desired feature.

Just some random thoughts.

Sounds like it's good you've got plenty of time to decide!

On a side note I found my old Garmin StreetPilot in the "I'll have to do something with this someday" drawer in my garage. Turned right on and ready to navigate, after almost a year.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 04:58 PM
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I wish I had the lane change thingy the first time I went through the Holland Tunnel. How do they drive up there? Exit the tunnel in numerous lanes and the sign telling you where your lane is sits about 4' outside the tunnel and you're doing 50 mph. Change lanes??? Yeah right. You'll wind up in the Bronx.
 
  #16  
Old 09-08-10, 05:13 PM
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Change lanes??? Yeah right. You'll wind up in the Bronx.
That reminds me of a couple of weeks ago, my son had to go to New Hampshire from Philly, and he was using a Garmin GPS. The route he was taking had major construction work going on, so he took the detour that the Garmin gave him and he ended up going thru the Bronx. So yeah, these GPS's aren't perfect yet.
 
  #17  
Old 09-09-10, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Shadeladie View Post
That reminds me of a couple of weeks ago, my son had to go to New Hampshire from Philly, and he was using a Garmin GPS. The route he was taking had major construction work going on, so he took the detour that the Garmin gave him and he ended up going thru the Bronx. So yeah, these GPS's aren't perfect yet.
A couple of years ago the wife and I were traveling from VT to a golf resort in Quebec. The GPS took us to a backwater border crossing that had been closed since just after 9/11.
 
  #18  
Old 09-09-10, 04:07 PM
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Don't ask a cop in the Bronx how to get somewhere. They honestly don't know. It's odd. They live in the neighborhood where they patrol and seldom ever leave it. I asked him how to get to the GWB, and he just pointed to the bridge several miles away and shrugged his shoulders. Scary.
 
  #19  
Old 01-27-11, 01:44 PM
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Just wanted to give the resolution...
SIL gave us a Garmin 1300(?) for Christmas...worked fine except for no street name prompts and no lane assistant. Returned it (shhhh don't tell her!) and got a refurb 1350 which had the things mentioned as well as a larger screen. Boy...driving down in Phoenix the lane assist was great (strange roads down there).

I probably should pay for a map update (couldn't get it cause of the refurb) but I think I'll wait til they finish a few of the projects in our normal travel areas...
 
  #20  
Old 01-27-11, 05:53 PM
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Since original posting I got wifey a 1350. Mainly so she wouldn't call me to ask which lane she should be in on SB I75/85 in downtown Atlanta to exit to the airport. Nice lane indicator, huh? Another reason I may get a 1450 for me ( I always one-up her just to mess with her), since they are updatable, where the Mio isn't.
 
  #21  
Old 01-28-11, 07:46 AM
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Larry - For a few bucks more you can get the 1490T which has BlueTooth technology. You can pair it to your cell phone for hands free calling. All without the silly earbug.

The 1490T also has free traffic alert but so far I'll give that mixed reviews.
 
  #22  
Old 01-28-11, 07:54 AM
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Yeah I saw the stuff that some of them had..but the difference was $90 (incl shipping) vs about $170. Since SIL bought through WalMart..had to use the credit there.

Theres always 2 of us on longer trips when we use the GPS, so I figured it really wasn't worth it.

Larrys use may differ...the hands free calling and voice command on the upper end stuff looks pretty nice though..
 
  #23  
Old 01-28-11, 03:19 PM
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My wife has hands free calling in her Grand Cherokee. Not only hands free but also a reliable voice recognition. No dialing - just like ET all you have to say is "phone home". Incoming calls only require one touch on a touch screen to answer and hang up.
 
  #24  
Old 01-28-11, 04:15 PM
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I use a plantronics over the ear bluetooth, with noise canceling technology. I don't like those that hang over the ear. All my weight is behind the ear, and I sometimes forget I have it on. With the Motorola Q9H I do voice dialing, not only for the people in my phone directory by name, but I can dial any number by just saying "dial ###".
So, I wouldn't get much use of the bluetooth feature.
 
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