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MissA's avatar

What is the best GPS device?

Asked by MissA (7391points) October 29th, 2010

I’d like to find one that I don’t have to fiddle-fart around with while I’m driving. And, I’d like the option of a voice telling me where to proceed. Any experience here?

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11 Answers

Lve's avatar

We have a TomTom. It is easy to use, gives clear directions and is very accurate. I love it.

jerv's avatar

I would avoid most Garmins like the plague. Tomtoms tend to be too sssssssslllllllllooooooowwwwwwww to do anything with while the Garmins I’ve tried are easily confused.

That leaves Magellan and the Android smartphones with their free Google Navigation. All offer voice prompts so you know when to turn without looking, but Magellan and Google/Android do so in a timely, set-and-forget manner.

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

I own a Magellan works great.
I have used Magellan since 2001 with Hertz “NeverLost” on rental cars. Still the best turn by turn “talking directions”.

rooeytoo's avatar

We have a Tom Tom in one car. And I forget what kind in the other car. I don’t notice that one is slower than the other, but maybe they are both Tom Toms??? Anyhow, I like them both.

I have a Garmin Gekko handheld, it doesn’t have maps, it is primarily for the bush, but I like it when I go running in any strange area, city or country. It has helped me find my way home on numerous occasions and tells me how far I have gone in the process.

jerv's avatar

I should expand a bit on my reasons for disliking Garmins and Tomtoms.

Every Garmin I’ve used had a touchscreen that didn’t like to be touched; you had to press on it hard enough to risk knocking it off the mount (or ripping the mount of the dash). And if you miss a turn or decide to avoid a traffic situation that it doesn’t know about, it takes a long enough to re-route that you’ll probably miss the turn on the new route and enter a loop. Panning and zooming on a Garmin is also a bit funky to the point of being practically random.

As for Tomtoms, the ones I’ve tried as recently as last month were kind of like trying to run Win7 on a 386SX. I mean, there are times when it took 5–10 seconds to register a keypress and then a lot longer to actually act on it, assuming it didn’t hang completely. I cannot abide by that! I know it wasn’t a faulty unit or a bad model either; it’s happened with all but one of the Tomtoms I’ve tried/borrowed.

Also, both sometimes have funky ideas about navigation. I am not about to take a left turn through a Jersey barrier, across three lanes of highway traffic, and over the edge of an overpass!

I had a cheap Magellan Roadmate; one of their basic models. Even that thing had quite a few features and was quite intelligent. It never tried to kill me the way the others did; that aforementioned left was replaced by going one block South, three blocks West (bypassing two dead end streets), and then turning right and going under the road I was on. When I pressed a key, the screen changed before I took my finger off. If I “missed” a turn, it’d reroute me before I had even gotten completely through the intersection. And it was great at planning alternate routes with the turn-by-turn “avoid” options; very handy when you live in a city that likes to rip up roads at random.

The Google Navigation app that comes with Android phones isn’t as nice or full-featured as the Magellan, but my Magellan couldn’t make calls, play games, or view movies in HD, so my expectations were lower. It is quick, and it isn’t bad at planning a route, though it isn’t always savvy about traffic conditions and isn’t nearly as good at planning alternate routes, especially due to the lack of the Magellan’s “Avoid Manuever” option.

If I actually wanted to pony up for another GPS instead of just dropping my Droid X in it’s car dock, I would go for another Magellan in a heartbeat. The catch with Magellan is that you don’t get free map updates, but the way I see it, the competition has to throw in the free updates to justify being the same price as a superior unit.

rooeytoo's avatar

@jerv, okey dokey, you convinced me, next time we need a new one, I will try a Magellan.

My handheld Garmin does not have a touch screen, it has buttons. But I don’t believe it when it tells me how far I have run because it seems to me I run the same route but the distance changes day to day. It also has problems on cloudy days or when in my pocket too long, can’t find satellites. But as I said it has saved my hide a couple of times so I can’t complain too much.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I second the Magellan. I received one for Christmas last year, and it’s proven to be on the short list of best gifts I’ve received. It was the low-end version, without a lot of added features (read – the cheapest one) but it makes using it extremely simple. It has a touch screen, pleasant voice that’s loud enough to be heard over the AC fan, and makes traveling a breeze.

MissA's avatar

I was in a Costco store before the trip, and when I asked about a Magellan Roadmate…a clerk steered me toward a larger screen TomTom instead, which ended up working very well for me.

I like that the voice is not chatty or obnoxious, as in constantly saying “recalculating”. If you miss a turnoff, she quietly and quickly re-routes and never calls you a moron or dumb ass.

Thank you for your experience.

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