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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - Garmin Nuvi: First impressions from a previous TomTom user
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Garmin Nuvi: First impressions from a previous TomTom user
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nheather
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Joined: Nov 02, 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Garmin Nuvi: First impressions from a previous TomTom user Reply with quote

Just received my first Garmin after about 4 years of TomTom ownership.

The reason I went for Garmin this time is that my dealings with TomTom support have been frustrating and the TomTom equipment and software have always been a little flakey round the edges - nothing serious but niggling.

So my Nuvi 255W arrived yesterday and to be honest I'm not impressed compared with TomTom. Obviously I not had chance to test stability and support yet which is where I expect the Garmin to win but in virtually every other aspect it is losing out to TomTom.

Here are the things I don't like.

1 - Distance to go is not displayed on the main screen. Speed is but I can't imagine why - I have a speedometer in my car and would always use that before a sat nav calculation. The three main things I'm interested in my route are, what I have to do next, when I will get there, how many miles to go.

2 - Default map zoom. The Garmin presents a much more zoomed out map than TomTom. I prefer the TomTom because it is easy to see the road turns. In particular the TomTom handles complex turns (roundabouts etc) much better because it auto- zooms right in so you can see exactly what exits to take - really good for those double roundabouts.

3 - Speed. My 3 year old TomTom 700 is faster. This really surprised me. It picks up satellites quicker that the brand new Nuvi and does zooms, screen updates quicker. If I switch off the TomTom and then switch it on again without moving it aquires the satellites in less than 10 secs every time. The Nuvi takes over 45 seconds on occasion under exactly the same conditions.

4 - Safety. I find Garmins PC approach (you mustn't touch your sat nav whilst driving, please click this agreement before you can use the unit) really annoying and slightly two-faced. Two-faced because unlike the TomTom which you don't have to touch throughout the journey, Garmin hide important imformation away on soft buttons.

5 - Street Names. Not as numerous as my 3 year old TomTom and slightly random. For example it the same area, it doesn't display streetnames for roads leading to a village but it shows the name of a private dead-end road (less than 200m long) serving three houses.

6 - Name Search. When looking up a road or a city, TomTom searches as you type displaying options as you type each letter. Quite often you only have to type the first 4 letters before your destination is displayed. Garmin sort of does this but you have to type a few letters and then hit search. If that doesn't find what you want you have to enter a few more letters and hit search again. Sort of works but more painful than TomTom.

7 - Voice. More robotic than TomTom.

In summary, the Garmin seems to route well but doing anything always seems to be one or two clicks more than with TomTom.

Really surprised with the slow satellite aquisition. Thought things would have moved on in 3 years, especially as the today's sat navs advertise faster, more sensitive receivers. I have consistently found my old TomTom to be faster than Garmins latest product.

So I contemplating taking it back. The biggest killers for me are

(a) The un-necessary display of speed rather than distance to go.

(b) The zoomed out map view and the poorer auto-zoom.

I use these two features a lot.

Cheers

Nigel
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john877
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Joined: Mar 16, 2007
Posts: 468

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your findings are pretty much what I found when I was looking at a new sat nav and some of the problems such as the way garmins handle roundabouts,the refresh rate,and the map view was just to much of a compromise

Its a pity I really did fancy a Garmin this time !! I suppose its a bit like marmite you either love it or hate it !!!
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nheather
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Joined: Nov 02, 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah a big disappointment to me.

I really wanted the Garmin to work - I feel that they produce the technically best kit, also backed up by their experiences with serious GPS gear (maritime, mountaineering etc).

On top of this TomTom are a real nuisance to deal with - arrogant and unhelpful in the most part.

The Sat Nav looks good, well built and the screen and graphics llok vibrant and clear.

They just mucked up on the usibility front for me.

The frustrating part is that they know the problem (evidence by the introduction of the 'next turn' indicator on the main creen on the latest models) but they seem so slow in addressing them.

Bottom line for me is that if I 'distance to go' was displayed instead of speed, or I had the freedom to choose myself (like with TomTom) then I would be keeping it.

Instead I've just got off the phone from the retailer to arrange the return.

I'll take the hit on the return postage and pay a little more for a new TomTom.

Cheers,

Nigel
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PaulB2005
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Joined: Jan 04, 2006
Posts: 9323
Location: Durham, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
2 - Default map zoom.


Zoom in a few times and it'll learn.

Quote:
4 - Safety.


Lawyers + H&S = Warnings

Quote:
unlike the TomTom which you don't have to touch throughout the journey


Well if you use your unit as a Bluetooth Hands free or with a TMC then you do have to touch the screen from time to time. Its a legal thing and takes one press to disable it.

Quote:
5 - Street Names.


Again zoom in a bit and the names should appear.

Quote:
6 - Name Search.


Mine doesn't work like that. If i have a place name to enter at no point do i hit a Search button. I just keep typing the name until it throws up a short list. Sometimes it only take 3 or 4 letters sometimes 6 or 7 depending on the length and how common the first few letters are at the beginning of place names.

Quote:
7 - Voice


I found the Emily voice awful but the Daniel one is better.

Quote:
The un-necessary display of speed rather than distance to go.


It only displays the speed when you have no route set so how would it know the distance to you destination?

Quote:
The zoomed out map view and the poorer auto-zoom.


A pain at first but after a few zooms i find it learns...
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nheather
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Joined: Nov 02, 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well if you use your unit as a Bluetooth Hands free or with a TMC then you do have to touch the screen from time to time. Its a legal thing and takes one press to disable it.


The 255 does not have Bluetooth. What I was saying is to get some of the info you would expect to have you have to touch the screen. So makes a bit of nonsense of the legal warning.

Quote:
Zoom in a few times and it'll learn.


I have tried zooming in but it soon jumps back to what it wants to display. No sign of it learning but perhaps I haven't given it enough time.

Quote:
Again zoom in a bit and the names should appear.


Again no. The things is, that one or two street names are there but others aren't. Zooming in doesn't resolve this. The ones that are there sometimes seem inappropriate - i.e. really minor roads named, where more important ones are not.


Quote:
Mine doesn't work like that. If i have a place name to enter at no point do i hit a Search button. I just keep typing the name until it throws up a short list. Sometimes it only take 3 or 4 letters sometimes 6 or 7 depending on the length and how common the first few letters are at the beginning of place names.


I will look again tonight but I don't think the 255 is like that. To enter a street, city or postcode you get a full screen keyboard. No search results can be displayed until you hit search or enter to come out of the keyboard. You then get a screen with what it has found and you can select from that. But you might find that you haven't typed in enough letters to get the place you wanted so you then have to go back to the keyboard screen and type in a few more letters.

Might be the difference between a 255 and the higher range 760 that you have.

Cheers,

Nigel
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
255 does not have Bluetooth.


I know. The point is from time to time you might need to use the screen. The warning only occurs the first time you tocuh the screen whilst moving and is easily disabled. It's just a legal thing to cover Garmin.

Quote:
Might be the difference between a 255 and the higher range 760 that you have.


Good point.
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MaFt
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 14797
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomtom 700 was fairly high in the tomtom range when it was released. the 255 is the eu-mapping entry level device for garmin...

maybe it'd be better to compare a one v3 with the nuvi 255 or at least compare a nuvi760 with your old go 700?

MaFt
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nheather
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Joined: Nov 02, 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
tomtom 700 was fairly high in the tomtom range when it was released. the 255 is the eu-mapping entry level device for garmin...


Agreed but I thought that technology would have improved over the last 3 years.

As an example. Used the Nuvi to work this morning and parked. Clear skys throughout. Got in the car at home time and switched the Nuvi on. The car hadn't been moved in the meantime and there was a perfectly clear sky.

Took almost 3 minutes the aquire the satellite.

By contrast in the same situation the TomTom takes less than 10 seconds.

Cheers,

Nigel
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Tom59
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Joined: Aug 05, 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's any consolation, I changed my old TomTom Go Classic for a Nuvi 760. After using it for one trip one weekend, I sent it back and got my TT Go 720, for all the reasons stated above.
I'm afraid that I have a love / hate relationship with TomTom.
I found the Garmin to be more robust, physically, which I like, but the software leaves a lot to be desired.
TomTom Customer Services ? Joker Joker Joker Joker
_________________
TT Go 720 (T)
Firmware 9.430. Map: Western Europe V 875.3613

TT iPhone app
V 1.23 Map: Western and Central Europe 2 GB V 965.7286

TT iOS Go Mobile
V 1.1 Map: Western Europe 965.7248
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oszim
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Joined: Dec 05, 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks All for your experiences, I have found your comments most informative and having had an original chunky Tomtom One for 3 years (that actually still works fine) I thought I'd upgrade and try a larger 4.3" display and the latest technology and was thinking about Garmin as a possibility.

I've become accustomed to TT's display and functions. I too like Tomtom's 3D route map, ETA and distance to go features and would miss them, so have decided to stick to Tomtom, now thinking about TT XL v2 or Go 720. Not sure how the XL v1 differs from v2, assuming its later mapping & technology. Anyone have any views on these choices?. Rolling Eyes
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mikealder
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 19638
Location: Blackpool , Lancs

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original One XL could use the Bluetooth system for data via a mobile phone for the Plus services, but didn't offer hands free, it also offered the SD Card slot for future mapping upgrades.

The Newer XL with the easy port mount has no Bluetooth and no SD card slot, everything is stored on the internal Flash memory which cannot be increased to cater for larger maps at a future point. That said, the newer XL is a cracking device with a great speaker and very good screen.

The 720 offers you the whole lot, mp3 player, Hands Free, Data via Bluetooth/ mobile phone and you get Built in Flash memory as well as an SD card slot for expansion capabilities, IQ Routes, Reality View/ Lane assist. The excellent Text To Speech is also only available on the x10, x20, x30 and x40 devices, the One range isn't equipped for TTS in Europe (The USA market do get TTS on some XL units though).

With the bargain basement prices the likes of the 720 can be purchased for I would have a long hard look for one of these. If you do get a 720 upgrade the software (at least twice) until it is running 8,010 then use the latest map guarantee to update your map - Mike
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oszim
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Joined: Dec 05, 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Which Tomtom...? Reply with quote

Thanks Mike for your prompt reply - from the points you've made, I think I'll be considering a TT Go 720, as it seems like that it should fulfill all my needs and is not too expensive, equally should not disappoint.
Appreciate your help and thanks again Very Happy
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barshaker
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Joined: Mar 12, 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 265WT and it has a satellite fix within seconds.

You can search the map or enter address details in to get a waypoint.

It shows ETA when driving a route, which is surely more useful than distance remaining.
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MrGumby
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Joined: Jan 21, 2006
Posts: 114
Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Useful dialogue Reply with quote

Thanks, guys, that was very helpful to me. I was close to going against my instincts and buying a Garmin 255WT as a present for someone, based on December 2008 Which? report, but I'll stick with TT, much as I hate and despise their customer service and arrogant licensing practices. I'd love to get away from TT, but I did once before try both Garmin and Sony and finish up swallowing my pride and returning to TT.
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Curious
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Joined: Dec 06, 2005
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch!!! Shocked
this is causing me problems.

I have always had Garmin, but when my brothers have wanted a GPS its been a Tom Tom they ended up with (from my advise). Embarassed
I am now wanting to replace my old Nuvi 350 and I am considering either a Nuvi 775t or the Tom Tom 940. I travel in UK and USA and would use the Trans Atlantic mapping .
I liked the look of the TT 940 but from what I have read its prone to clipping / incorrectly pronouncing verbal instructions, the POI's are woefully inaccurate,and at the moment the software is prone to freezing mid journey. So after lots of pain and frustration I thought HMMM I just stick with what I know Garmin, at least the Customer Services are A1. then I tried to contact them this AM, and gave up after 20mins AGHHH. Now I am reading this, Ouch you lads are making me ask myself again and I am running around in circles again.
I have noticed a lot of the members here who I respect the comments of, such as Mikealder have Tom Toms, but then MaFt is Garmin (I Think?)
Ouch Ouch Ouch, probabily end up sticking with 350 Crying or Very sad HELP
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