Time to ditch my Garmin and use the phone?

 

I've got a 2689 that I've had for about 6 years, and in the beginning it served me pretty well. But lately it's sending me on wild goose chases. It's happened the last 3 or 4 times that I've used it, but this last trip a few days ago took the cake.

I was on a short trip to an area that I was only slightly familiar with, and had entered the address for a restaurant that I wanted to try. After getting off the exit that it told me to, it said to take a right turn, then go a few blocks and make another right turn. Already I could tell it probably wasn't sending me where I needed to go.

It then told me to proceed a few blocks and make another right turn ... into a neighborhood of homes. I dutifully followed directions, thinking maybe somehow there was a shortcut or something to my destination. After going through this tract of homes it had me take another right into another tract, then a left, and eventually back out onto the street that I had just been on, but going in the opposite direction that I had just come from.

It then told me to make a left turn and get back onto the freeway in the direction that I had started out from. I knew better, and instead continued straight and saw the area which looked like it probably was where I wanted to go. Thankfully, after listening to my own intuition instead of that Garmin, I found my destination.

It's done similar things some of them for a while now, to the point where I've turned off the Garmin and went with my phone for directions instead, and it's almost always been more reliable.

I've always leaned in the direction of using a stand alone GPS, but the latest frustration has really made me wonder if it's time to make the switch.

Fixing That

You might want to reset your GPS. It hasn't happened lately, but I remember a time when my nuvi generated some strange routes. A reset fixed that.

Also... in my experience, a smartphone works well in urban areas and along the Interstates. But if you deviate too far off the path in an area with no data service -- and haven't preloaded the map in your phone -- you will be "flying blind." A standalone GPS works well in these instances because the maps are all preloaded.

Ok

Thank you beagle.fan, I'll give that a try and let you know how it turns out after my next trip. Thanks again!

Time To Ditch My Garmin And Use The Phone?

BSideTheCSide wrote:

...I've always leaned in the direction of using a stand alone GPS, but the latest frustration has really made me wonder if it's time to make the switch.

This is not, or at least shouldn't be, an EITHER-OR decision.

Use BOTH. Or, at least have the ability to use both.

My wife and I made a trip from the Minneapolis Saint Paul MN area to the Bayfield WI area a week ago. I used Garmin and she used Google Maps. When they pretty much agree, we are good. When they don't, I ask her (if I am driving) to determine where and why they differ.

I use both all the time

There are numerous places where there's no cell tower so the phones capabilityin those instances becomes dismissed.

The standalone GPS, still sees the satellites so the GPS works without fail.

I can't attest to how good the maps,are in some places...

That's why we're supposed to only use / rely on them as a "navagational" aid.

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

Love My Garmin!

Literally, having traveled to all 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces, I'm committed to Garmin.

With a onetime investment in the GPS, free lifetime updates and no line costs, my travels were without the use of maps. From major cities to deserts, forests and swamps, Garmin never failed to keep me well on course.

Bravo Garmin!

Yup

Can't beat the.. place it for easy viewing.. easy to program a destination.. free/simple map updates.. no costs to operate, and cheaper than most smart phones.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and now (since June 20 2021) uses a DS65 to find his clients.

Yeah

I loved my Garmin too for a long time, until it started giving me bad directions. In addition to the absurd directions that I posted above, there have been other instances where it's failed me.

From my house instead of telling me to go straight down my street and make a turn (the fastest, shortest and most direct route) it tells instead to go one block, take a left turn, go two blocks, make a right turn, go two more blocks, and then finally make my turn, two blocks further away from where I was going in the first place. And it's done that for years giving me the wrong directions, even though the street where I could (and should be driving) has been open for about 20 years.

I'll probably still use my Garmin, at least for a while longer, but will always keep my phone handy just in case.

Re directions, I still think

Re directions, I still think one needs to look at the overall route before going. For a variety of reasons, computed route may not be optimal. Gps is just a tool.

Hmmm

BSideTheCSide wrote:

And it's done that for years giving me the wrong directions, even though the street where I could (and should be driving) has been open for about 20 years.

Guess you've never bothered to report the error to Garmin then

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

bit bucket

sussamb wrote:
BSideTheCSide wrote:

And it's done that for years giving me the wrong directions, even though the street where I could (and should be driving) has been open for about 20 years.

Guess you've never bothered to report the error to Garmin then

Last century I sent in a few of what I thought were map corrections. I believed that they went onto what was called in the data-processing business, the "bit bucket". OTOH I've had very good help on product support from Garmin customer service. I'd like to believe that things have gotten better in map support since sometimes things get better!

That's correct...

...since that particular error would likely only ever affect those few people who live on my street.

But..

minke wrote:

Last century I sent in a few of what I thought were map corrections. I believed that they went onto what was called in the data-processing business, the "bit bucket".

Odd what "corrections" the map makers will respond to. A few years ago I pointed out a typo.. which prompted a response and fix with the next update. Pointing out speed limit errors go undone for.. now 8 years. And, every once in a while I play the game again but nada.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and now (since June 20 2021) uses a DS65 to find his clients.

Speed limits are fed to the

Speed limits are fed to the map builders by the state and local Guvmints and aren't likely to be accepted from error reporting,

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

I still like my Garmins in

I still like my Garmins in my cars. But I use waze app more these days for better traffic updates and then re-routing to less congested streets. I keep Garmin running in the car as well for better map view. When I navigate back to my Home on Garmin. If I am driving from West then it will always take me home from the longer route but those are main roads. I remember it never used to do like this. I did reset on the device but no luck. I may change routing in Garmin to see it if makes any difference. If I use Waze, it does correct routing.

--
Iphone XR, Drivesmart 61,Nuvicam, Nuvi3597

I use my Garmin in

I use my Garmin in conjunction with CarPlay. Lately Garmin has been better or equal to Waze or other options. I enjoyed Waze as a supplement until it kept bugging out after I every other update. Garmins traffic is consistently getting better and more accurate than it’s competitors. I’m sure this is because of its HERE partnership. HERE also partners with some car manufacturers for their real time data so it’s added to quicker and more accurate traffic data. Also, multi stop routing is very convoluted with the traditional apps. Garmin has a leg up on this point for sure. The challenge is the 30 waypoint limitation and lack of real time dynamic optimization. This will put Garmin miles ahead of the competition and already has the baseline software to implement. Even if this feature is only available on the premium version of the product it would build on the need required for both heavy users and commercial customers.

I’m better off with my

I’m better off with my Garmin than without it.

--
A 2689LMT in both our cars that we love... and a Nuvi 660 with Lifetime Maps that we have had literally forever.... And a 2011 Ford Escape with Nav System that is totally ignored!

Two U-turns

While navigating back home on a cross country trip last year, the Waze app wanted me make a U-turn, then directed me to immediately make another. Yes, (I have the screen shot) it wanted me to drive in a circle. Of course, I blew those directions off, and continued through.

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

Both

I have both my smartphone and Garmin units with me when I travel. Each have their good & bad points.

I find the Garmin, with it's bigger screen, easier to see and program. Unlike the smartphone, it will also allow a large number of waypoints to be uploaded.

It's been my experience that it depends on location as to which is better for navigation.

Erroneous direections

I've only ever had erroneous directions twice in a Garmin. Never again. But what I think may have happened since the units were set for shortest/fastest route I was directed off the Hwy I was on through a town and then back onto the same Hwy I had just left at a point further down the road.

In those cases there was a long bend in the road and going through town was "Shorter" though not faster.

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

probably iPhone for travel in my future

Not only do I always have my Garmin on the dashboard and turned on when I drive around town, but for many years I have carried my Garmin and a beanbag mount on the airplane to use in rental cars on trips. Now that I finally own a smart phone, I think I'll skip taking the Garmin on trips. It looks like a simple small lightweight air vent mount will be the only thing I need to add to my smart phone and it's charging cable to use a smart phone for navigation. Most rental cars I assume have a USB charging port. It is not that I strongly prefer smart phone navigation to the Garmin, but that I expect it to be less stuff and less weight to carry.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

Lame Deer, MT comes to mind

BarneyBadass wrote:

There are numerous places where there's no cell tower so the phones capabilityin those instances becomes dismissed.

The standalone GPS, still sees the satellites so the GPS works without fail.

I can't attest to how good the maps,are in some places...

That's why we're supposed to only use / rely on them as a "navagational" aid.

No cell phone service around this place. We were through there last month. Cell phone service within 10 miles or so of Broadus, MT., outside of that area, nothing. Just a good reason to have a stand-a-lone GPS handy.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

IPhone for Travel

archae86 wrote:

Not only do I always have my Garmin on the dashboard and turned on when I drive around town, but for many years I have carried my Garmin and a beanbag mount on the airplane to use in rental cars on trips. Now that I finally own a smart phone, I think I'll skip taking the Garmin on trips. It looks like a simple small lightweight air vent mount will be the only thing I need to add to my smart phone and it's charging cable to use a smart phone for navigation. Most rental cars I assume have a USB charging port. It is not that I strongly prefer smart phone navigation to the Garmin, but that I expect it to be less stuff and less weight to carry.

Make sure you carry a backup power supply or a way to keep you IPhone charged while using it as a gps, because it eats up a battery fast. Ask my how I know Started a trip with 100% power two hours latter was down to 50% power.

--
johnm405 660 & MSS&T

Offline Maps

maddog67 wrote:

No cell phone service around this place. We were through there last month. Cell phone service within 10 miles or so of Broadus, MT., outside of that area, nothing. Just a good reason to have a stand-a-lone GPS handy.

Just download an offline map like I do.

No more Garmins for me

As much as I like my Garmin GPS's, I won't be buying a new one. Time to move on like the majority of the people but it's hard to convince anyone here on a GPS forum.

Well

I've tried my wife's car inbuilt Android Auto and a smart phone in my car. Neither as good as my Garmin and nothing to do with me being on a GPS forum wink

The others are ok if you simply want an A to B route, but if you want to plan where you want to go etc the Garmin wins hands down.

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

Yeah, what he said ^^.

Yeah, what he said ^^. That's been the biggest draw, even 15 years ago. No more paper route sheets taped to the tank.

I'm not geographically challenged and rarely need gps in the local area. Traveling out of town sure - inbuilt does the job. Garmin for the scenic route to the destination.

It's not even so much the garmin but the offline planning on a nice large screen (early gift to myself - https://www.costco.com/lg-32%22-class-ultrafine-uhd-ips-moni... $450 clams 2 week ago).

I will say this, smartphone gps software has come a long way since even 5 years ago. Look up Gaia and Locus. Both I believe support gpx.

Some people just want to get there. For others getting there is half the fun.

Don’t count on rentals having a USB

archae86 wrote:

Not only do I always have my Garmin on the dashboard and turned on when I drive around town, but for many years I have carried my Garmin and a beanbag mount on the airplane to use in rental cars on trips. Now that I finally own a smart phone, I think I'll skip taking the Garmin on trips. It looks like a simple small lightweight air vent mount will be the only thing I need to add to my smart phone and it's charging cable to use a smart phone for navigation. Most rental cars I assume have a USB charging port. It is not that I strongly prefer smart phone navigation to the Garmin, but that I expect it to be less stuff and less weight to carry.

Recent (Hertz) rental of a Toyota Camry from Oakland CA airport had the ports but were for updating the vehicle systems, not supplying power.

--
John from PA

Camerabob: We had the same

Camerabob: We had the same thing happen with phone as well! Wife was searching for a restaurant on phone, while Garmin was doing a route. We also went in a circle when a straight line was needed. Of course we were in a strange town, so I followed phone full circle before I realized what was going on……

--
A 2689LMT in both our cars that we love... and a Nuvi 660 with Lifetime Maps that we have had literally forever.... And a 2011 Ford Escape with Nav System that is totally ignored!

did it have an accessory socket?

John from PA wrote:

Recent (Hertz) rental of a Toyota Camry from Oakland CA airport had the ports but were for updating the vehicle systems, not supplying power.

I just took a Tesla "virtual test drive" yesterday, and was surprised to learn that the only USB ports provided were C-type. However they did still have a 12 V accessory socket. Not that I would be renting a Tesla, but if the Camry was equipped that way, then one of the little gadgets I just bought which plugs into a 12 V automobile port and provides a couple of standard USB power outlets would be adequate.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

What I do

BarneyBadass wrote:

There are numerous places where there's no cell tower so the phones capabilityin those instances becomes dismissed.

The standalone GPS, still sees the satellites so the GPS works without fail.

I can't attest to how good the maps,are in some places...

That's why we're supposed to only use / rely on them as a "navagational" aid.

When we are going somewhere I download the map I need from google maps to my phone and tablet.
That way if the cell goes out I still have my route. It doesn't have traffic or things like that but I still have my route on the map.
My tablet doesn't have cell so this is where I first started using the downloaded Google Map. I later found I can turn on my hotspot from my phone to my tablet and I have traffic and warnings. This works great for me, and if the cell goes out I still have my maps downloaded.
Of course we do have the navigation on our car with the route in it plus if I zoom in I can see fast food places so I guess I am over kill but I like to know what's is coming up and look for fast food in areas that are not around where we are.
Have a great day and we hope everyone is doing as great as we are.

Mary

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

Both have their uses

Both have their uses

Yes

riveroaks wrote:

Both have their uses

I always think of where I grew up when I see your post.
I grew up in River Oaks, just outside of Fort Worth.
A nice little place.
Mary

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

Both Garmin and phone based gps have uses

I deliver fuel and some stops are in an area or a road that Garmin doesn't show so I use my phone. I always look up the address first in my garmin and if it doesn't show up I look it up on google maps. Sometimes it is just that the address/location hasn't been mapped yet in garmin but once I save the location it will be available from now on in my garmin. If you're in an area that does a lot of new road construction then garmin will probably fail or if you travel to different cities google maps will frequently do a better job for you. As others have said they both have their uses and 5-10 years from now it will probably be the same.

Garmin is the way

When I can, I look on Google Earth to see where I'm going. This way I know, when I arrive, if I'm at the proper place. Sometimes addresses aren't easily visible or it could be in a strip mall.
I've used them for a couple of decades and my Garmin's haven't let me down.
I don't have data on my phone, and the Garmin, once purchased, is free to use.

Offline maps

I have used my Garmin for years and more then happy with the results. There are occasions when the phone comes in handy.Like running around town and someone tells you about a place you may want to go.

Lots of Apps out there that have offline maps so you don't have to use your data. MapFactor allows you to download all of the USA maps on a SD card. When you click on a phone contact with a address, it will give you option to use the MapFactor map instead of Google app. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor....

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. MapFactor - Offline Maps & GPS.

Phone app.

I have yet to find a phone app that measures up to the features of my Garmin devices. It is too bad Garmin discontinued the Viago app a few years ago. For the apps I have tried, Viago came the closest to having the features I wanted. There were a few things missing like custom POI's, but otherwise Viago worked almost like the stand alone Garmin.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Off line maps

Yes Viago and worked well. Navigation apps have and are starting to make many improvements. MapFactor can do routes and custom pois and includes cameras. Looked at other apps that also do the routes. Not as easy compared to Garmin. MapFactor has done custom pois for a while and like stated not the easiest of process to deal with. Using it like I do for short trips having the cameras and access to their pois works well enough. They also claim to do a monthly map update.

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. MapFactor - Offline Maps & GPS.

MapFactor.

charlesd45 wrote:

Yes Viago and worked well. Navigation apps have and are starting to make many improvements. MapFactor can do routes and custom pois and includes cameras. Looked at other apps that also do the routes. Not as easy compared to Garmin. MapFactor has done custom pois for a while and like stated not the easiest of process to deal with. Using it like I do for short trips having the cameras and access to their pois works well enough. They also claim to do a monthly map update.

Thanks CharlesD45, I haven't tried any apps recently, so I need to take a look at MapFactor.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

crazy routes

I have found the same issue with the crazy routes. there have been times when the Nuvi directs me to exit a highway only to direct me to get back on at the next entrance. Bizarre.

Both

I carry both, but for the naysayers, you can send maps, and routes to your phone for the rare times of zero signal.

Or... download HERE, and the maps you want. Easy peasy, no signal except a GPS signal required.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

Yup

bsp131 wrote:

I have found the same issue with the crazy routes. there have been times when the Nuvi directs me to exit a highway only to direct me to get back on at the next entrance. Bizarre.

That's another issue that I've had happen a few times, and it happened to me recently. Same thing, I was cruising down the freeway and it tells me to exit, then tells me to get right back on the freeway again. It seems things like this are happening more frequently than they used to.

Do you look at the map too

Do you look at the map too or just listen?

I became so accustomed to using the garmin on the bike for a number of years. While possible to get audio it was more hassle than worth, so I always used it visually. Now all garmins are muted. If it tells me to get off, but the line continues on the road/highway, I don't get off.

Long Ago

For me, nav capability on my iPhone replaced my Garmin years ago. My Garmin hasn't been in the car in years.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone 12, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.