I will not mention the other (very well known and generally respected) brand - but share the experience. A relative bought another brand - near the top of their range. For a user who has just a little problem finding the on switch on a computer ( ) and who has never had a GPS before - soon well out of their depth.
I have a Nuvi 250W (not exactly the top of the range) and do know my way around a computer, but admit to getting close to out of my depth with it as well.
Their manual was inadequate - unhelpful - on problems and you really had to understand the language to find solutions on the website and do a fix.
We tried to buy a needed map. OK - that bit was relatively easy - except there was no warning that a download like that would not work on 250kb link speed - the best they can get where he lives - (no explanation). Only found that after a search for solutions!
OK OK - It was a TomTom - and I am telling you that because they have refused to help! Go to a friend and try it there!
I have posted a request for help on stalled downloads in the TomTom talk.... see what happens next!
What happened next.
Still no real help from TomTom - but the download was tried again and actually worked so at least he has the map - but OH the trouble! Thoroughly convinced me where to stay.....
yep. i own 3 garmins and iam the only one who is into the gps. who me compulsive. lol
Getting my 760 was the best auto-assesory I've ever bought. It's saved by butt from the "Where the $%#@ are we?!?!" thought on many occasions, it's my main source of music, and has made handsfree calling easy.
However, since becoming a member here, I realize it's not perfect...and for that I blame you all.
A GPS is a tool, it is not perfect, but this toy help me more then once, on trips and local too.
I have compared quite a few different brands before sticking with Garmin.
This is my finding:
1. Garmin would deliver the directions faster.
2. Garmin would give me the best directions then other brand in shorter time.
3. Customer Support is A+.
You know the old saying, you get what you pay. These are my experience. I drive for a living and still there are places and addresses I’ve never been to. With my GPSr it’s no longer a problem.
I’ve gone through the C330, 250W and now 750. I’m truly satisfied.
I had a Tomtom ONE (actually still have it) before I bought the Garmin 750. The 750 has many more features and the Customer Support is way better than Tomtom. Battery life is better on the Garmin too.
The Tomtom did seem to recalculate routes quicker though. As soon as I didn't follow a direction, it instantly started recalculating. I've had the 750 let me go a block or two before recalculating.
I'll be taking my first longer trip with the Garmin in two weeks. That will be the real comparison.
I own 3 generations of garmin gps's. I bought a competitors brand and returned it due to ease of use. I've never owned anything that gave such a great return on the purchase. It's not perfect however, I now travel without fear of getting lost. This is a great benefit to me.
I have given a 250 to my Son and have a 360 for myself. He and I both love them. I had a cousin over for the 4th of July with a brand we will not mention, it was difficult to work with, inacurate, could not update easily.
Would not give up my Garmin.
Ever since I switched from Magellan to Garmin, have owned i3, i5, C320, C340, C530, C550, C580, Nuvi 350, 360, 650, 660, 670, 200, and 260. Garmin is the best.
What else do you need. I've owned a Lowrace 350 (good while it lasted for 6 months) and a Nuvi 350 and 650. I'd still have my 350 if I didn't upgrade to the 650.
I've had my Garmin a week and a half-bought it at Sam's club. Got a free 2009 Map update from Garmin-
Had a TomTom XLs. It froze up after a week and a half-would not own another one.
Like those who have already commented, I am a big Garmin fan. I don't think any device from any manufacturer is perfect. Some do certain functions better then others. (I’m also not a big fan of convergent devices that try to do everything – I think they end up not even doing the primary function well. In other words, I’ll never buy a GPSr because it plays music, makes phone calls, displays family photo albums, talks to my phone, etc, etc. Eventually, the GPS function suffers, IMO.) But I have first-hand experience with Garmin's customer service and they are terrific! Fast, fair and knowledgeable. I'm happy with the performance of my devices, too.
The one common error I've noticed, though, when people compare different brands and then draw conclusions, is that they rarely compare similar models of similar generations (who's going to buy two different brands of the same generation and level of GPSr?). That's really not a good comparison and probably paints the older/lower level devices in an unfair light. But unless you have severe gadgetitus or run a consumer protection magazine, it's probably the only comparison we'll ever get.
Garmin produces great products, but not so hot manuals. Only the barest essentials are included. It's great that poi-factory, and similar web sites help fill in the gaping voids! Why doesn't Garmin provide more complete manuals with their products???
And yes, I very happy with my 260W.
Garmin is best of class. Customer support is second to none. I own two and I only tell others to buy Garmin.
Happy with Garmin? Yes!
I'm tickled, even estatic. Not only is my Garmin C530 a cool tool, I've made it even cooler thanks to the factory and the wealth of information I've gotten here.
I love my c530. It does not have text to speech, but honestly, I do not miss it. It is bulky in size compared to the new thin line models, but that actually has a couple of advantages. For example, it has two big, loud, speakers on the back. I can easily hear the voice commands on my motorcycle. That is a big plus for me. Also, because of its size, it fits perfectly in a cubby hole in my dash board. I just hold it in place with a small piece of velcro and I don't have to fool with a windshield mount or bean bag.
I also had a TT One and got rid of it in 2 days. Garmin's are just plain better. And using this site makes it even better, no, the best.
I just purchased my nuvi 650 for father's day. I had borrowed a friends for a trip and loved it. So I had to go get my own.
I do have some problems with loading POI.
I am still learning.
I have the Garmin 360. I had some other Garmins in the past. This one I really love. It does everything I need, and the extra features that are just fun. The POIs make it though. Nothing like being in the vicinity and having the alert go off.
Since I bought our garmin 750, my daughter and her husband get around real well. lol They just took a trip to the beach ( with my nuvi). She called the next day and seems they made a wrong turn enroute and didn't notice it. Well Lola ( my wifes nickname for the voice on nuvi) spoke up and within a matter of min. had them right back on track. She said where they were it would have been very difficult to have gotten back on track without Lola.
It's saved by butt from the "Where the $%#@ are we?!?!"
Tranlation: "Where the Fugawi?"
Our work vehicles use the Magellan Nav750. Awesome at the time but now A bit outdated. But for the money, Garmin all the way!
Very much so, my 660 has routed me successfully to so many destinations in my travels over the almost two years I've owned it. Garmin customer service has been great as well.
Definately happy. Don't have much experience with other brands - but don't really need to. I'm very happy with the Garmin - I have a few complaints, but that's to be expected - I couldn't find a GPS unit that works exactly as I want without having to design it myself, but the Garmin is close.
Just bought my first GPS ~ 4 weeks ago. Nuvi 780. I have taken two trips with the gps (1400 round trip and 500 round trip).
I had used my daughters little known brand for a few trips. Very hard to use, difficult to see the screen, and voice prompts were not very helpful.
I can tell you that I am very happy with the Garmin unit. Much easier to use, voice prompts are easy to understand, maps are easy to see, menu is very intuitive. MSN direct is great (live in Atlanta).
And I like them. My current one is a c550 which does all I need. I just bought a Nüvi 260W for my mom, which I am sure she will love.
I will likely upgrade to a better Nüvi in a year or two.. when the current top-o-the-line drop in price.
Really now... I just recently bought a Nuvi-750.
This will be my second Garmin, and I am more than happy with all of its features.
My family goes Geo-caching (always loved hide and seek), traveling without maps (saves the "aggravation of navigation"... and the marriage), ice-cream tour (load all of your local ice-cream parlors and "sample" something new at each one - great summertime family fun), and anything else that happens to give us an excuse to use this finest piece of automotive ingenuity this decade!
.. I wonder if I can claim it as a "Dependant"?
I am quite happy with my new nuvi 680. The GPS functions are great, and the extras are quite useful (especially the Bluetooth and MSN Direct). It could scarcely be easier to use. My main gripe is the FM transmitter, but not everything is perfect (as many have noted).
I don't see a reason not to buy a Garmin next time around!
I also own 3 Garmins. Each time I get a new one I'm like a kid at Christmas.
Looks like I have really brought out the people in defense of Garmin - and rightly so. After my personal experience with my Garmin and that thing my relative bought - (Miss POI - am I allowed to mention the brand?) - GO Garmin!
I bought a Garmin 360 after having a Vista on my dash for years. I can compare it to my wifes Magellan 4225 though. The Garmin allows the addition of a via point and the whole POI loader thing make it an easy choice. I do like the the Magellan telling me what I am entering as I hit the keys and to be able to enter a city by typing the zip code
Within a day or two my Nuvi 760 will be arriving from WalMart.com.
Gracie III as she'll be called will be replacing my StreetPilot 2720 which in turn replaced my StreetPilot III.
I've looked at the other brand names, did my homework and yes, there are still a few glitches with the mapping software but overall, I cannot think of a single reason not to "go home with the one that brung ya to the dance!"
That's Texas-speak for stay with the winner!
Although customer service is sometimes lacking, I love my Garmin and plan to get another one for my wife.
I own 4 Garmin's. First got into Garmin's when I was active with sailboat's. (gps-12). Since then I have bought 3 different Garmin's for the car. Currently, I use the 660 and love it.
Can't remember exactly when we got it, but within a month (nuvi 660). I think the price was good.
Since it's the only GPS I've ever owned, hard to say that Garmin is any better or worse than others, but it's fine. I've heard customer support is good, and I was able to load the 2009 maps.
I do think the bluetooth doesn't work well and for whatever reason the unit has fallen off using the suction cup twice. But I don't think these are issues specific to Garmin. Overall, still happy with the unit.
Same here. I'll stick with Garmin.
I have purchased three of these systems for self and gifts. I would not change a thing.
I love mine! I've gotten a few other people to buy them too, and they're all really happy. Easy to use, crisp display, and works well. Excellent value for the $$ too.
First and foremost, Garmin customer service is tops, an important aspect of any consumer product. Any GPS is a tool and as such, like any tool, it works best if you know how to use it properly - and include some common sense. Sites like this one make it better so while I agree that the Garmin site is not the best, most units are fairly self explainatary and web sites like this one and others can help fill in the blanks and make it an even more useful tool.
I've never had a keen sense of direction... until my wife bought a Garmin 200W for me for Christmas. Now she doesn't worry about my getting lost any more. I have friends who have other brands and they just don't seem to be on the same sort of wave as all of my Garmin friends. I'm completely sold on the user-friendliness and accuracy of my Garmin and don't plan on ever changing manufacturers.
So far so good with my Garmin NUVI 760
Mine was a christmas present, and I am very happy!
Gave my son a TomTom ONE for Christmas. He loves it and uses it everyday. Works for a news station and the TomTom gets him to a location with no problems.
Bought a Garmin 260 for myself, mainly because I've used aviation-type Garmin equipment in the past and the price was right. The TomTom has more features, but none that are showstoppers for me (although starting to think about a unit that supports routing). Got a free 2009 Map update from Garmin and the 260 has been great, even in some of the more remote locations in Alaska. Going to make a Canada run next month so we'll see how the Garmin does there. Like others have already said, Garmin makes great products, but the manuals are a pain. But with sites like this one, we get our questions answered and learn new trick almost daily.
I have a few gripes with my 660 (fm xmitter), but overall I'm happy with Garmin.
Am I happy that I bought Garmin?
I have been using the Nuvi 760 for 2 months now. I have previously used rental car GPS systems and borrowed a friends C330 but this is the first GPS I have owned. I really wanted it for the traffic updates (which work OK) but found that the POIs and custom POIs from this site are of equal importance. Something I thought I wouldn't use was the bluetooth with my cell phone. As it turns out this is also a great feature.
I have had several and while I've had some problems the Nuvi 760 I currently have serves me well. Although it has hung up several times on my last trip requiring a restart.
I read the messages on POI Factory... and decided to get a Nuvi 350 about a year plus or so back. Very happy with it... Garmin is the way to go as far a gps is concerned.
But I do have one complaint... when pulling my camping trailer... it doesn't help when I am backing up. lol.
Just love my Garmin... got 3 of them including the brand spanking new Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS enabled training watch! Love this thing... keeps track of my runs and coupled with the heart rate monitor provides a great view of my general health and fitness!!
That's a big YUP!!!
There will always be a learning curve for every brand or model, i.e. a time of getting used to it. The Garmin is no different. But it was pretty easy to get the hang of. In the first couple of days I had it, the unit got registered, the firmware updated and the map upgraded to 2009. Within the first week, I found this site, and loaded a couple of POI files that I thought we could use.
It's also a 2-way street. The user needs to take the time to learn and allow for a few mistakes along the way without getting flustered about it. I try to reserve a couple of hours free from all distractions when fiddling around with a gadget that need to interact with a computer.
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