Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 02, 2016, 04:28:15 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?  (Read 4674 times)

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« on: November 17, 2010, 12:48:25 PM »
Hi everyone, I'm looking into getting a portable GPS device.  I don't have a data plan on my cell phone (blackberry pearl), but I want GPS.  I was thinking of getting two things: the Garmin mobile app for my cell phone ($100), and a dedicated portable full size GPS device.  So I just wanted some advice on the devices available, what you guys think of them, which ones you prefer, etc.

My first point of confusion is regarding the Garmin high end and low end products.  The low end stuff is under $200.  The high end stuff is over $400.  What does the $400 really provide that is so much better?  I can't tell what that is.

Also, what is the verdict on Garmin vs. TomTom?  I don't want generalities.  I want specifics.  If there is some little feature that is particularly annoying, I want to know about it.  Those things usually make it or break it for me.  As usual, my primary focus is ease of use, speed (I hope these things aren't slow in response), nice interface.

Thanks!

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,366
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 02:39:55 PM »
My first point of confusion is regarding the Garmin high end and low end products.  The low end stuff is under $200.  The high end stuff is over $400.  What does the $400 really provide that is so much better?  I can't tell what that is.
Almost nothing.

FWIW I've had a 5-inch Garmin nüvi 760 for some time and find it excellent


Were I to buy another today (I almost just did so) it would be the 1490W LMT, which is around $250CAD where I live.

L means lane assist
M means free map updates
T means free traffic info

I pefer a 5-inch unit to the smaller ones.

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 03:28:30 PM »
Have you also seen the thread GPS Unit Recommendations?
(Tomtom get a slating there from Renegade*)


* EDIT/ lots of specifics on his blog lol
http://renegademinds...yID/195/Default.aspx
Tom
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 03:30:30 PM by tomos »

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 03:34:05 PM »
Have you also seen the thread GPS Unit Recommendations?
(Tomtom get a slating there from Renegade*)


* EDIT/ lots of specifics on his blog lol
http://renegademinds...yID/195/Default.aspx
Nice find!  (Thanks for not being snarky about it.  I'm bad about using search).  Those are two awesome links.

skwire

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,664
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 04:12:08 PM »
I just bought my wife a Garmin nüvi 1450T for her birthday and she loves it.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 04:56:49 PM »
OK...answer me this:
What's to stop me from using an unlocked Android device and loading some really nice third-party software for GPS on it?  Do nice third-party software exist?  Once again, the way I look at it, I just need some kind of operating system (android), a gps chip inside (should be on all phones), and a nice, configurable, little known software by a cool developer....maybe load some maps into it.  No?  That would be the ideal solution for me.

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,366
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 05:55:07 PM »
OK...answer me this:
What's to stop me from using an unlocked Android device and loading some really nice third-party software for GPS on it? 
Try reading that as you're driving. Free magnifying glass with every model?

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 06:10:34 PM »
I just bought my wife a Garmin nüvi 1450T for her birthday and she loves it.
I'm debating between the 3790 model and the 1490 model right now.  The 2790 sounds good, but I HATE the fact that there are ads on it.  I'm actually shocked to hear that.

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,129
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 07:05:03 PM »
I just bought my wife a Garmin nüvi 1450T for her birthday and she loves it.
I'm debating between the 3790 model and the 1490 model right now.  The 2790 sounds good, but I HATE the fact that there are ads on it.  I'm actually shocked to hear that.

There are ads on it?  How so? ... Like, if you drive by McDonalds it whistles the theme tune at you?

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 07:43:58 PM »
I just bought my wife a Garmin nüvi 1450T for her birthday and she loves it.
I'm debating between the 3790 model and the 1490 model right now.  The 2790 sounds good, but I HATE the fact that there are ads on it.  I'm actually shocked to hear that.

There are ads on it?  How so? ... Like, if you drive by McDonalds it whistles the theme tune at you?
If you go here, you can read about it in the 2nd review (it's a long one).  He says that it's designed to have a popup when the device is stationary.  It shouldn't happen while driving.  but the guy says it popped up while driving also.  he called to complain about it to Garmin, and they said it can't be disabled.  I find that extremely shitty.  Don't do that to your top of the line device!

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2010, 07:45:05 PM »
Another quote about the ads from the same amazon product page:
Quote
this is a compleate rip off i thought i was buying top of the line GPS unit,but no every time i come to a stop they shoot adds at my map.If I want to get rid of it I have to buy a new cable for life time trafic update. On the website of Garmin they talk about life time trafic, but not a word about adds ge I wonder why?? if you want to look at adds on your new gps buy this one and oh by the way the safty camera that comes on some times as a warning is nice but to get them all its extra as well I have waited for two months for the 2360lmt was told all orders have been cancled for at least another month. I remember when garmin was sate of the art now there in the add business as if i cant see enough adds while driving?

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 07:48:13 PM »
and yet another:
Quote
And right on top of the map was a damn Red Lobster ad, hiding the info I needed. Couldn't make it go away, couldn't see my map underneath. Let loose a stream of profanity. Then the light turned green, I began to move, the ad went away and I found I needed to be in another lane, but my moment in traffic to plan the lane change had passed.

Garmin takes the only safe moment to check your map away from you--the moment you are stopped. So the only times you can check your map are when you are in motion and should have your eyes on the road.

Who is the genius that came up with this garbage?

I knew this problem was going to be bad in NYC traffic. But this POS had me steaming before I even entered the city. Inside the Lincoln Tunnel, once again hoping for lane info to get to my hotel, up comes a great big ad, WHILE THE CAR IS IN MOTION, obscuring the directions I paid my $450 plus tax to have. I damn near caused an accident with the "tourist slowdown" needed to find the right lane in time to get there.

Once in the city, this thing was the very definition of useless, with ads obscuring the map every time I was at a standstill and able to look at it. When I realized I was going to be more of a problem to surrounding traffic with this thing than without it, I put it in my suitcase and went to electronics alley and got the cheapest Tom Tom on the shelf--$79.

The Tom Tom outperformed this POS Garmin in every respect. If you must have the latest and greatest advertising-delivery technology, you can bid on mine on ebay.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 08:39:24 PM »
OK...I think I found the one for me:
http://www.dealextre...details.dx/sku.22369
It's a no-name Chinese 7" device.  So far, I've read that it is great and is very quick and responsive in all ways.  Since it's not a big name, it sounds like it has a lot of ability to tweak and customize to your needs...I love that.  And i love that I'll avoid any of the bullshit these big companies are always trying to pull.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2010, 02:26:40 AM »
As I advocated in the other thread, I do think Android is a great option these days, but I don't actually know how well it would work without a data plan. And buying an unlocked Android device is going to run you the same as a nice GPS anyway, so might as well go for the dedicated GPS. I do think the phone option is the way to go though, if you already have a cell phone and are eligible for an upgrade. You gain so much. I use my Android phone for so much more than a phone, and the GPS/nav functionality is awesome.

- Oshyan

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Advice on portable dedicated GPS devices?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2010, 10:42:59 PM »
I hope this is helpful for you... I've written a bit about some of my own experiences.

TomTom XXL 540S Review

Garmin nüvi

I am currently using the Garmin 3790T. I like it. But, it plots some stupid routes sometimes.

Now, I must say that in retrospect, I was harsh on the TomTom.

The TomTom actually outperforms the Garmin in several areas. Generally, it plots better routes than the Garmin.

Still, the slowness of the TomTom and it's inability to plot some routes and it's confusing interface make it unsuitable for use by itself for me. I find it dangerous in some situations.

Now that I have several months of usage with both the TomTom XXL 540S and the Garmin 3790T, I can say that I think one of the problems is the actual map data. It seems like it's just far inferior to the map data you get in North America. This kind of makes sense as Australia is a smaller market, so I can see less effort being put in there. I would then forgive the TomTom and the Garmin for some of their idiocy in route planning.

In North America, I used 2 GPS devices: an SUV built in model, and a Garmin. Both were spot on in all navigation with good route planning.

I've used a Garmin in Malaysia with free map data. It was difficult to get used to and difficult to use because the map itself and the layout of Kuala Lumpur are simply complete disasters. If you've ever driven in KL, it's a big spaghetti disaster on the highways and freeways. You end up with 5 turn-offs on the left all within 100 m or so (literally), and can't react in time to read the map properly and look where you are going -- you miss your turn and take the wrong one. I don't really blame the Garmin unit for that.

The 3790T is beautiful. You don't even need to look at it. Its voice instructions are solid and you can navigate by them alone pretty much. With the TomTom XXL 540S if you try that, you'll instantaneously get lost. I mean that literally. You'll get lost immediately. If you listen to it, you'll end up turning all the time far before you need to. It instructs you to turn when the turn is 2 km ahead or 1.2 km ahead (depending on your speed).

I'd say go for the 3790T as it's the best unit available right now, and you're unlikely to find anything that performs better. I would however worry about the ads. You may be able to purchase the service to avoid ads. Not sure. (I was SHOCKED to hear that. It's bloody dangerous!)

Anyways, I hope that helps.

I should stop screwing around now and get back to work! :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker