GPS standalone unit for car

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mal, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #1
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    I'm looking to get a GPS unit for my car, and wanted to see if I could get some recommendations from those who have used them. I don't have an iPhone, and I've been told to pass on the Magellan unit for the iPod for now.

    I want a simple unit that just works well. Don't need Bluetooth or an MP3 player, battery life isn't a huge factor, but I will likely move it between two cars, so a simple mount would be nice. The reviews I saw liked the TomTom XL, and a couple Magellans that said they were high on features, but the sound quality was poor, which is a trade-off I'm not willing to make.

    Any suggestions?

    EDIT: I should add, I'd rather not spend more than $200, and that only if it's really worth the premium. $150 seems more reasonable.

    jW
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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  3. 184550 Guest

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    #3
    I have the exact same unit. Highly recommended.

    IMO, Garmin makes excellent GPSs, can't go wrong with a Garmin.
     
  4. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Thanks, of note, it's only $109 direct from Amazon new, it's just not the default for some reason. That's a promising candidate.

    jW
     
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #5
    You won't go wrong with it. I never though I needed one till I got it. Now I use it a good bit. My GF and I swapped it around until I decided we both needed one :)
     
  6. dazed macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    we had a Garmin which was stolen so we thought we try a tom tom as a replacement and were very disappointed (it was a 550 XXL).

    Lets just say the tom tom is going back and a Garmin will be purchased soon :)
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #7
    Same one in my car. It has worked very well since I bought it. I think there is a huge advantage for a standalone GPS vs an iPhone GPS - once you buy the standalone GPS it costs you nothing to use it. If you have an iPhone then you have the monthly fees.
     
  8. Mac'nCheese, Dec 18, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010

    Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040

    Mac'nCheese

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    #8
    Another vote for garmin nuvi. See if u can find a deal that gives u free map updates for Life. That way u will never have to pay to update ur gps again.
     
  9. andiwm2003, Dec 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010

    andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #9
    same unit, highly recommended

    however you should know that updating the maps costs $49.90 each year or $89 for lifetime updates. this brings you in 2 years to the point where buying a new GPS costs about the same as updating the maps.

    in addition to that if you want another map (e.g. europe) it's another $99.90 and again you need to pay $49 for every update (usually per year or so).

    it's not clear to me if you can transfer these maps and the updates or lifetime updates to a new device in case you device breaks shortly after you bought new maps and upgrades.

    so in a nutshell the devices are good and cheap, the upgrade policy for maps just stinks. you are the judge if you need a gps and want to swallow the expensive upgrades or buy new devices every few years.
    i won't upgrade my maps anymore because I can get by with my iPhone and google maps just fine.

    also be careful: there are old nuvi 255W and the updated version with FM traffic out there. make sure you get the new version otherwise you not only miss out on the traffic FM but are also stuck with an old map and I'm not sure if you can update for free in that case.
     
  10. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #10
    Where are you going to use it?
    USA only?
    Europe?
    Other areas of the world.
    I bought a TomTom 930 1.5 years ago, because their european maps are better.
    One thing I don't like about it is that is not easy to stop a destination, and for that the Garmins are easier to use. Maybe the new TomToms are better. The Garmin have a keyword search feature and the TomTom only have it for POI.
    Anyway the TomTom have been very good, and when you know exactly where are you going to, with the address it is very good for international traveling.
    The update fees are also kind of a rip off.
    One friend recently bought a Garmin model that is out there with free traffic updates so it is worth if you need that feature.
    So for the US Garmin might be the best choice, and if you need to travel/or live in Europe TomTom.
     
  11. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

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    I will be using this in the US, although if it works in Japan I may use it there, but when I go to Japan I don't expect to have a car, so maybe not an issue anyways.

    I found on Walmart the Nuvi 255LMU, which says it comes with Lifetime Map Updates (hence the different suffix). Any idea if that's otherwise the same unit? Looks like a good deal if so.

    jW
     
  12. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Navigon just updated their apps for the iPad, and they are on sale (some editions haven't appeared yet, but will soon). This is the best navigator I've used. I dumped my Garmin Nuvi in favor of it a long time ago.
     
  13. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Don't have an iPad and don't plan to get one, so not really interested in the Navigon solution. Don't really care for integrating it with my iPod for various reasons too.

    jW
     
  14. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #14
    the walmart one is a 3.5inch screen, the nuvi 255W is a 4.3 inch screen. in my opinion the larger screen is far better.

    one important feature is that the nuvi 255w speaks the street names ("left on hugh hefner street" instead only "left"). I'm not sure if your walmart one does that. check for it because it's very useful IMHO.

    update:
    seems it speaks streetnames:
    nüvi® 255
    Affordable, full-featured navigator
    speaks street names (North America version only), preloaded street maps for North America, optional FM lifetime traffic, Where am I?, photo navigation
     
  15. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Hmm, good catch. I'll keep watching for the 255W.

    jW
     
  16. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #16
  17. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Ok, so I just passed up an opportunity (though I could still reverse this possibly) for a Magellan RoadMate 2036. Haven't seen Magellan mentioned, just wondering if I might have made a mistake? Like I said, I could get that virtually free...

    jW
     
  18. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #18
    I have the 265, and it has been very good. The no lifetime maps sucks, though. $50 to update maps, $90 for the lifetime updates. Next time, I will get a model with the lifetime map updates.

    Magellan is pretty good. One of my friends bought one a year or two back (I forget the model), and it has worked really well.
     
  19. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #19
    Updating maps on GPS

    The maps on the GPS are not updated that frequently; usually only once per year, and even then the map data is usually 2 years old or more. Garmin, tomTom and the others all obtain the map data from suppliers such as NavTek (sp?). I bought the subscription update, but I don't think it really made that much difference.
     
  20. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Right...Garmin, Navigon, and others use NavTek. TomTom uses TeleAtlas maps. TelaAtlas is a wholly owned subsidiary of TomTom.
     
  21. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #21
    Just a quick follow-up, I ended up getting the Magellan RoadMate 2036, since I was able to get it free (family gift exchange, I didn't actually grab it in the exchange, but traded the $100 gift card I got for the GPS, and yes I know that's crazy gift exchange stuff). Can't really complain if it's not good, but Magellan does the traffic service for free, at least on this model, and the maps should be fine for us without updates or at least only occasional ones.

    jW
     

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