I remember the old days where a flip phone can have several days of battery life. I was then comparing a 2-3 day model vs a 4-5 day model, for charging purposes. Then the smartphones came and we are lucky to get around a day's worth of life. I mean a day's worth as in 7-9 hours not 24 hours. My Garmin does probably 2-3 hours. I feel strange to say I'm spoiled by the smartphone's measly 7-9 hours. I wish my Garmin can last as long. Am I expecting too much for the amount of work the Garmin does on a continue basis?
With the increased thinness of devices, the battery has to be thinner and suffers as well. True, devices are more energy efficient at the same time but it does seem that battery life has indeed suffered over the long run.
The automotive units are really not intended to be used away from their power/mount. And really, they are not very good for pedestrian, hiking, offroad, etc. functions. So like DorkusNimrod said in his post, the case and shape is designed for style, the large screen and the best adaptibility for the mount, not for battery life.
The handheld units on the other hand are designed for durability and offroad use like hiking and hunting that require long duration power. Their screens are smaller, taking less battery power and the cases are thicker and bulkier, allowing for larger, replacable batteries with longer battery life.
Really? I have Nuvi 760. It's nowhere near "thin". My battery runs less than 1 hour (if I recall correctly) at 100% brightness. Are you saying the latest model battery run time is worse?
Like OP, I expect it to last longer (8 hour, for example) but I kinda accept it because the device was designed for use in an automobile with an external power source.
My 755T could get 3 to 4 hours with full screen brightness after I put a new battery in it. My new 3597 can only get about 1.5 hours on a full charge. But I will say it has a larger and much brighter screen and is much better suited to its purpose than the 755 was. So IMO it is a good trade off since I don't use either unit for anything other than car navigation.
All of the GPS units lose battery life with age. I have changed out the battery in a Nuvi 765T and it increased the runtime from minutes to several hours.
Garmin did not make the Nuvi very easy to change batteries in, and at least the 765T was not considered user-serviceable. Not a hard job, but necessary every five years or so.
It is odd that my smartphone can go 9 hours on a charge with heavy use, but the Nuvi can only go 1 or 2.
Given that these devices are supposed to be plugged into DC for most trips, the fact the batter lasts only a couple hours isn't a major issue. Especially on the new devices which no longer include the pedestrian mode.
Maybe the better battery is why the smartphones cost so much. I always thought they charged so much because they could but maybe they have a few reasons (Although my 750 way back when, cost me $700.)
I agree. It is very rare that I am not connected directly to my vehicle.
Will last 6-8 hours. My 3590, 2-3 hours. But the 3590 is slimmer, has better graphics, and reacts a whole lot quicker than the 350. It would be nice if the battery on the 3590 lasted as long as the 350, but considering everything, I'll take the 3590.
etrex 30: all day hiker, have never had a reason to change Eneloops mid day.
Oregon 400: 5 hrs is pushing it
Oregon 600: Unacceptable. Lucky to get 3.0 hrs
Figure the consumption ratio: 1:2:4 for AA Eneloop
(Goto unit is the eTrex or both Oregons together + a sleeve of back up batteries)
I once used a Nuvi1450 for an on foot pawn shop ramble in Chicago. Unit does not have a screen saver like the newer 2555. I was able to execute the mission by repeatedly turning off the unit. If I were going to do the same today (or any other City) it would be eTrex30 w/OSM (and yes a flip voice phone only, including the trails).
If I were making a list of grievances for the above units battery life would not make it to top 5 problems, not even for the 600.
My gripe is Garmin keeps adding useless (to me) features that add cost, things that can go wrong and yes drain the battery. A GPS is for navigating, not making phone calls, playing music and such.
There are many factors in battery life. Screen brightness and GPS use immediately come to mind.
The Garmin GPS navigator is probably operating at a very bright screen compared to typical phone usage. And the smartphone battery life mentioned by the original post may not even be using GPS. In the case of the smartphone, the usage affects battery life significantly, including apps running in the background.
My Garmin eTrex HCX, which I use for hiking (very rarely) and foreign travel get something like 20 hours operation on a pair of nickel metal hydride AA batteries. I consider that to be quite good, and on that model I seriously do care about the battery life.
My 3790 LMT which lives in my car and gets used every time I drive at your home and travels with me in my briefcase for domestic car trips and rental cars only needs to run out of the battery socket connection for minutes at a time. The supplied battery is adequate to that purpose, and a higher capacity one would add cost and weight.
So my answer to the question as posed is that I think Garmin has done a reasonable job of matching the battery to the application, at least in those two models.
I have used my 3790 a few times if I am wandering around on foot in a strange to me city. I set my hotel as a waypoint and off I go. There is really no need to have the GPS running while I am ogling some sites or going through a museum etc. I will turn it back on and use it to guide me back to the hotel.
I have yet to run out of battery.
I used my Nuvi to walk a route around in Rhome. I did as you do, use it to get to each attraction, turn it off but don't stop the route, then turn it back on when ready to go to the next spot. The battery worked just great when doing the route this way.
My StreetPilot c340 was able to last around 12 hours on battery alone. The problem is how small the devices have become, less room for the battery, which means they have to make them smaller than they were before. The screen is on 100% of the time when in use, compared to a smart phone which turns the screen off to save power.
Remember that the greater the battery capacity, the greater the cost. When was the last time you said "My GPS is too cheap, I want to pay more"?
It is somewhat surprising they have not shortened battery life even more in order to reduce cost.
My MotoX's battery last for a couple of days with my normal usage pattern. If I use it as a GPS device for navigation, the battery would drain in less then 2-hours based on my extrapolation with a short 30-40 drive. Maybe somebody verse in the GPS functionality could chime in and educate us on why it is.
Nuvi's are no worse in this respect compared to the cell phones.
from turning on another radio but most importantly from having to illuminate the screen. The processor cycles also plays a factor.
I have a 3760, which has pedestrian mode and is intended to be used off the mount. The battery life is terrible on it...maybe 2 hours at best if in constant use. The battery life is so bad on it, I don't even see how using it for pedestrian mode would be feasible. By the time you walked anywhere, the battery would be dead!
On the older units (5 years old?) would replacing the battery give it more hours life off life support? The new battery vs the old battery when it was new, years ago. It would seem that all new batteries are made stronger and last longer.
Mine only lasts about 30 minutes and its new.
People demanding thinner, more compact cases leaves less room for the batter, which also has to be thinner. Battery capacities are better, but size still matters.
As I mentioned before, I do not feel the need to have the GPS on all the time. Do you need it when sitting in a guided city tour bus? Do you need it walking around the zoo?
Turn it off and just use it to get you back to the hotel.
The few times I have used my 3590LMT on battery it has lasted at least as long as I needed it to. I don't think I've used it on battery for more than 1.5 hours. If I need a GPS away from my car I usually use my phone.
Really? I have Nuvi 760. It's nowhere near "thin". My battery runs less than 1 hour (if I recall correctly) at 100% brightness.
My 750 quit holding charge, where it died after a few minutes. After I replaced the battery, it lasts four hours with more than half the charge left.
If it lasts less than an hour, it may be due for a battery replacement. I found a replacement kit at Amazon.com
I have a Nuvi 765 and the battery is only good for 1-2 hours. the battery was changed about a year ago so it is a relatively new battery. In my opinion, it should last longer.
I have a Nuvi 360 and it lasts at least 3 hours. I think just a couple of hours is sufficient and over 3 hours is particularly useful enough. I don't usually drive over 3 hours and, if I were to, it is likely that I would have the GPS unit connected to a power source.
Note too that a GPS screen is on full time once you turn it on. A smartphone's screen typically times out and goes dark in 1-3 minutes to save on battery life. The screen is a big part of the battery current draw.
I wish Garmin made some sort of Universal snap-on case that supplied extended battery time fro the Nuvi's.
I used to try to use them for walking in some cities, but the battery died too quickly to make them useful.
What about those battery chargers that let you charge things on the go. Could one be adapted to a Nuvi?
It would fit in a pocket or handbag.
EDIT: Just read this
" Also compatible with other USB-charged devices. <<< NOT COMPATIBLE WITH iPod nano, PC tablets, some GPS and some bluetooth devices."
I don't think it is a problem of how long a battery will last when fully charged. I think the major problem is Garmin uses cheap batteries that eventually die within a short time period. I have had five different Garmins and they have all had battery issues.
Even one for campers
It also would be nice of Garmin return to the days of when you were able to remove the battery very easily. It helped when the unit locked up, just remove the battery for a short time and the unit would return to normal operating
I don't think there is much of anything wrong with the Nuvi's battery life. If I set my Samsung Galaxy's screen to stay on all the time and use the GPS function, I get about the same life as my Nuvi's; 3-4 hours. My wife's new iPhone 5 is the same. Keep the screen on and GPS active, and she needs a recharge within 4 hours.
I have two older Nuvi's and replaced the batteries in both when the capacity dropped to 1-2 hours. Lithium batteries typically only last 2-3 years before they won't hold a charge like they originally did when new.
In the past I have owned two Garmin GPSs. Both of these devices only hold a charge for a few minutes and only work when plugged into a power source. I may have the batteries replaced at BatteriesPlus. From my experience, I think the Garmin batteries are inferior and need to be updates.
Garmin needs to make it easy for the consumer to replace the battery. This would also help them when a unit has battery issues. It has to be less expensive to send a new battery than to replace the whole unit... Don't understand there their engineering and design reluctance to design units to be able to do this.
Garmin needs to make it easy for the consumer to replace the battery. This would also help them when a unit has battery issues. It has to be less expensive to send a new battery than to replace the whole unit... Don't understand their engineering and design departments reluctance to design units to be able to do this. I guess they expect you to invest in a new unit after the warranty is expired..
Over the past eight years, I have replaced the batteries on the 780, my partner's 780, a 1490 and a 1450. The replacement batteries are still running.
All came from flea bay and all were quite easy to replace, though it takes patience.
Garmin's BS batteries are crap, and that is unfortunate, but at lease we can get at them and change them...
Try changing the battery on an HP TouchPad!
Replacement batteries would be nice. When I take the bike, I put my GPS in a water proof case an go. I don't plug it in. Most bikes don't have a plug. It would be nice if it lasted longer or you could carry extra batteries.
That's what I do when I use it. I find the battery is not very good when unplugged.
I disagree. I was upset when Garmin quit playing MP3 files, audiobooks, and using a jack so I can play across the vehicle stereo system. I only use my Garmin for cross country travel, and it is nice to be able to listen to other things that will be interrupted when the Garmin needs to give directions.
I wish Garmin gpsr's would last a true 5 or 6 hours, unfortunately, you're lucky to get 1 or 2 hours, if it states 3 or 4. An hour or two just isn't reasonable and if you have had your gps for a year or two, you're lucky to get 30 minutes out of it. Batteries are almost useless unless brand new. Also, I liked it better when they were user replaceable, but they did away with that. I may have to start using my phone gps, so when the battery runs down after a few hours, I can just pop a fresh battery in and I'm ready to go.
Many cell phones do not have replaceable batteries, but the charge in them lasts much much longer than the Garmin batteries. Garmin needs to take lessons from the cell phone manufacturers.
What's amazing about the 350 battery is that I'm still using the original battery that came with it at purchase. That's simply amazing to me.
I only plug it into the dash when I'm using it & careful not to leave it on charge when I'm not. Overcharging kills batteries.
Since GPS unit consume a lot power. It need constantly power source.
Battery life is always a sour point when it comes to devices. People want a *thin* device, especially with cell phones. The built-in battery on devices can only be made so big to fit the device. At what point is thin, too thin?
External batteries are a great but cludgy work-around but it's all that we have for now.
My experience with external batteries has been very good. I use external batteries from a company called New Trent (Google or search on Amazon).
A year or two ago, I was involved with beta testing a Disney-related (but not Disney-produced) iOS app which lets you check and enter wait times (how long a ride's line waiting time is) among other useful things such as verifying ride entrance locations and POIs using the phone's internal GPS. I spent many an off-day visiting Disneyland and California Adventure for a couple of years here in SoCal, entering/updating wait times and checking the stability and usefulness of the app...yes, we had passes so we could come & go as we pleased. iPhone 4's and iPhone 5's were used in my testing and were constantly on with a high screen brightness level for visibility in the sun. GPS was also on constantly as the app used GPS to tell where in the park you were located and would sort the nearest rides to you according to your GPS location. Using only the phone's internal battery would only last me part of the day. Using the external battery pack, I was able to get 10-12 hours of continuous use, sometimes from the park's opening at 9am until closing at 10pm.
Hand-held GPS (nuvis) usage with an external battery in my experience has been similar. The main thing about the external battery is that if the device is already fully charged, it will pretty much run off of the external battery first (since the device's battery does not need to be charged). When the external battery is depleted, you now have the full battery charge on the device to use/fall back on...in effect, you are now using your device's internal battery as a backup.
They could use better batteries and more efficient case design to maximize battery time. For auto GPS, however, I suspect they assume it will be operated plugged in.
Battery life is always a sour point when it comes to devices...
...My experience with external batteries has been very good. I use external batteries from a company called New Trent (Google or search on Amazon)...
...The main thing about the external battery is that if the device is already fully charged, it will pretty much run off of the external battery first (since the device's battery does not need to be charged). When the external battery is depleted, you now have the full battery charge on the device to use/fall back on...in effect, you are now using your device's internal battery as a backup.
Good to know, that's pretty cool!
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