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Recent reviews for this item:
Jason, March 10, 2011 I've read some pretty positive reviews about Garmin
navigation products but after having used this device for a
few weeks now, I am disappointed with my purchase.
Installation was quite easy and the quick release mount
system works well and holds well - I travel on some bumpy
roads and the mount has held strong. The power cable has an
integrated FM traffic antenna and about 6 inches from where
the GPS attaches to the power cable is a small inline box
where you can attach an external FM traffic antenna, should
you need one (There was not one provided with my purchase).
Additionally, from the inline box down to the cig lighter
plug, the cable is pretty chunky (it's actually two cables
bonded together) so if you were planning on hiding the cable
by wedging it in your trim or however, you might have some
issues and may require a permanent install kit.
This brings me to my next point, FM traffic. During route
calculation, even after defining the "avoid traffic" option
to yes, the unit will put me onto a route that a) either has
traffic on it or b) thinks that there is no traffic on it
(Green traffic Icon, Traffic information up to date and in
range), yet the route is backed up and had been slow for
some time. Case in point, the traffic is unreliable.
Traffic warnings are also latent. For example, If I am
approaching a highway on-ramp, the unit will not warn me
about the traffic on the highway. It is only after I get
maybe 200-300 feet onto the ramp (and no way to get back
off) that it pops up and warns me (sometimes....)
Route calculation is very slow compared to other GPS devices
I have used. Was is more disturbing is that even if the
place you want to go to is close, it will still, in most
cases, take some time. Route recalculation speed is not bad
but I have seen better.
The route calculation is odd and I am not sure if there is a
software defect or map problem (my device is up to date) I
have my profile set to take me the "fastest" way home and
yet it has me driving in the opposite direction to an
intersection where I am supposed to turn and backtrack on a
side street. Very confusing.
There are pauses every so often, the screen just stops
scrolling, then it "jumps" to the current location. This
becomes most notable during multi-tasking, such as search
for a location, then going back to the map view. Zooming
in/out sometimes causes a pause as well.
The Eco-Route feature is neat in concept but delivers
unreliable results and mis-reports your driving habits (Eco-
Level). An example would be take the fastest route home,
which usually means taking the highway. As soon as I get to
highway speed, I go right down to and Eco-rating of 8 or 9.
As I slow down, the eco-rating increases (meaning better)
Now, eco-rating is basically a determination of your route &
speed to provide the best fuel economy and environmental
impact reduction (pollution). Trouble is, I burn less fuel
travelling on the highway than I do in the city, and get to
my location faster, which means that the car is not running
as long, but the system seems to tell me that I am not
getting a high eco-rating.
What is more confusing is if you set your preference to
"fuel efficiency" rather "fastest route".
The GPS will having you driving on backroads and through the
city, adding time to your trip, and of course using more
gas, but it gets a high eco-rating?
Operating the device is pretty easy through a simple menu
structure. The text to speech is nothing special and it does
mispronounce some names. Some pronounciation seems "jagged"
and raspy, but otherwise ok.
The bluetooth system linked to my phone with no problems but
you may find the volume a little weak, as I did, with the
cabin of my vehicle being average for road noise.
Voice recognition and operation is so-so. I would say it is
about 80% accurate. There is a noticeable pause between
commands (indicated by a red icon in the top right corner)
which basically means don't speak yet.
There are some commands that should have been added to the
voice recognition menu but are missing. Commands like "Power
Off", "Traffic Map". In addition, if you do a find, let's
say by name, it does not give you the option to ask "where".
For example, If I'm in Toronto and I want to go to a store
in Oakville, I have to keep saying "Down...Down..Down... as
it scrolls through the stores available further and further
away from where I am currently located. Frustrating. If it
would just ask you "In what city" or "Closest to you" would
save a lot of aggravation. For these sort of trips, your
better off manually entering the details using the keypad.
Battery life is about 2 hours, but when you run on battery,
you cannot use the traffic feature.
In summary, Not what I expected from Garmin.