Garmin GPS......which one to buy?

robarJuly 4, 2013

I was gong to purchase a Garmin Nuvi Gps. There are so many models and screen sizes. I'm not sure what one to buy.....can anyone offer any help in making my choice? Do you prefer another brand besides Garmin?

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GPS's are going the way of the buggy whip. More and more people are getting their directions on their smart phone.

Which means I may have to get one someday.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:11AM
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I have a Garmin and like it, it has a 4.5" screen, I think it's a Nuvi. Whichever brand you buy make sure to get lifetime maps, or you could be paying about $50 to upgrade every yr or two. I have a cell, but a dumb one, that I keep with me in case of emergencies. I refuse to pay the high monthly charges to have 4G network. I don't need to be in touch 24/7, but it's there if I need it do do what a phone is supposed to do.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 5:13PM
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For the last 10 year or so, I’ve bought a new Garmin ever 12-18 months. Last Christmas, I bought myself a nüvi 2495LMT and got my dad the nüvi 2595LMT. The only difference is that mine has a 4.3” display and his has the larger 5.0” display.

The LMT suffix after the model number means that they have Lifetime Maps & Traffic included. They also have Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, advanced lane guidance, preview of what’s available on upcoming highway exits and they can be operated (mostly) hands-free using voice commands. They also acquire signals and calculate routes much faster than any of my previous units.

Garmin has three series of nüvi models- ESSENTIAL, ADVANCED and PRESTIGE.

The ESSENTIAL models have two digit model numbers (the latest models are the 44 (4.3”) and 54 (5.0”)) and can be had with or without Lifetime Maps (44LM and 54LM). They’re good for basic navigation, but lack most advanced features.

The ADVANCED models have 4-digit model numbers starting with 2, the second digit designates the screen size (4.3”, 5.0” or 7.0”) and the latest models end with 57 or 97 (2597LMT, for example). Depending on model, they have up to 20% longer battery life, lifetime traffic option, Advanced Exit Services info, Auto-route planning for multiple destinations, Garmin’s new “Real Voice” guidance and several other features. The 97 models also add Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and voice-activated navigation functions.

The PRESTIGE models have higher-resolution displays and they’re thinner, but they also retail for $300+.

Currently, you can buy a 2597LMT for around $200 online. But the 2595LMT is almost identical and Best Buy currently has it for only $139! It’s a very good deal, in my opinion-

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Buy- Garmin 2595LMT

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:15AM
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I just sprung for the top-line (Prestige) 3597 LMT/HD, my third Garmin. It's not exorbitantly expensive, about $275 from NewEgg. It's a substantial improvement over my old one, which was a higher-end unit from 2 years ago. The new one is the same size, 5" widescreen, though is much thinner and has a much higher resolution screen with a more responsive touch surface, as well as voice recognition I haven't tried out yet. It takes much less time to sniff out the needed satellites when starting a new drive. Like my old one, you get lifetime map updates and traffic service. Unlike the old one, the traffic service is HD digital and provides warnings much faster and more aquarately than the old system, which didn't caclulate slowdows on sidestreets caused by satnav receivers sending drivers onto those small roads, and often didn't pick up on traffic on side roads in the first place. The lane-assistance is excellent - it will open a second window showing which lanes you can be in at tricky interchanges, with spoken instructions like "stay in the 2nd or 3rd lane from the right". Turns are tied to obvious landmarks and traffic lights, not just street names (or worse) just distances. So it will say "turn right at the traffic light after the McDonalds" about ten seconds before your turn, not "turn right on McLadden Ave." which may or may not have an easy-to-find sign, or "turn right in 500 feet" which leaves you wondering which of two nearby entrances is 500 and not 400 or 600 feet away. If there's a particular neighborhood or area you never want to be routed through, you can set it to always avoid that area.

It has a Bluetooth link that will tell your Apple or Android device where you were when the car was shut down, so if you forget where you park, you can find it on your phone or tablet; even an iPod Touch will work since you'll need only to dip into someplace with wi-fi to get a map back to where you parked, even though there was no wi-fi signal at the parking space. The Bluetooth can also be used for hands-free calling over the speaker. It's able to warn you of school zones and such, though I haven't figured out how to enable it yet, or maybe that's one of the extra-cost apps.

It's not perfect - it still doesn't know the existence of a nearby road half a block from home and tries to route me way around it. It couldn't find the Costco I just went to or the street it's on (it's been there for two years). It also couldn't find the gym/pool I go to, perhaps because it recently changed its name, but neither the old or new name could be found. At least it knew the address. The internal voice isn't as human-sounding as it was on my previous satnav. The included, reusable mount sticks to windows but not the top of my dashboard, and any windshield attachment in my car blocks the forward view a bit. Despite these flaws, its strong points overwhelm them, and it's the best GPS navigator i've ever used, including those built into cars or phones.

Finally, here's why I'm not using a smartphone for navigation: First off, most of our carriers charge for data usage. The GPS receiver doesn't use data itself, but tying it to where you are using Google Maps or Foursquare or whatever does, unless you run a usually 3rd-party app like Co-Pilot that downloads the entire area's maps onto your phone (which cuts into your phone's storage and adds complexity). The interface isn't as straightforward as on a good dedicated GPS. But mainly, I want to be able to use a smartphone as a *phone* when needed, sometimes passing it to a passenger for private conversation during a call. I don't want incoming and outgoing phone calls, or changing a musical selection, interfering with navigation. I want my maps and directions always to be there.

This post was edited by lee676 on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 11:13

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Buy yourself a phablet! 5.5" or bigger! Or get an tablet with LTE built-in.

Makes no since to buy a separate GPS device that is use for one use only. It all in the smartphone anyways and it even better then the mapping on it since Google and Nokia supply the maps to all other devices now.

Kind of stupid to spend $200 or more on a GPS Device when you can buy a smartphone for the same price and get everything - phone, internet, GPS, games, calculator, apps, etc....

Cellular plans are quite cheap too unlimited usage is now $35 a month and if you can get 4 people into a plan; it down to $12 a month unlimited.

This post was edited by harry_wild on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 15:57

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 3:52PM
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