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Basic, but good value for money Sat Nav
on 5 May 2014
There are some newer Garmin's out in the entry range, but the price on the Nuvi 50 is hard to beat right now.
It's not the most feature packed GPS you will ever buy, but it gets the job done for modest outlay. I bought this for a friend who just wanted an affordable GPS and didn't need the advanced bits the higher priced models have.
While the usual Garmin interface is the same across the range, there are some differences in the models. As with all Garmin Sat Nav's you get the window mount and car charger included, you don't get a home charger (Garmin do a travel kit that includes this) but you can charge the device with a wall charger that has a "mini" USB port (not micro) there are plug chargers (or even power banks) available that can do USB charging, all you need is a mini USB lead. I rarely home charge the device
Quick summary of the good and bad points.
+ Decent 5" touchscreen, fairly clear and bright.
+ Bang per buck is good on the Nuvi 50 it's a pretty good deal
+ Simple and easy to use
+ It does have speed camera alerts
+ Has a micro SD slot so can be upgraded with larger map areas
+ Street name and postal code search, as well as GPS coordinates
+ Points of interest database (shops, hotels, fuel stations, local attractions etc)
+ Has the lane assist dual screen display (handy for motorway driving)
- No traffic trends, this isn't a massive downer but some Garmins use historical data for traffic (time of day etc) , and will avoid heavy congestion roads. This model doesn't have that option
- There is no "eco route" option either this allowed you to pick the most fuel efficient route
- Not compatible with the FM traffic updates, even if you have the cable for it, the Nuvi 50 doesn't support it
- No bluetooth (useful for hands free phone calls)
- No journey trip planner (this can be useful for longer extended multi waypoint trips)
You get most of the core basic features you might need, minus the above limitations. No world clock or currency converter, but few would need these extras. But you can save a home location and mark locations in the favourites section.
Navigation works well most of the time, do take a look at the Garmin express software, this can update the firmware of the GPS and Garmin have been improving it over time.
Only real reservation on this unit is you don't get the lifetime maps updates (on the UK and ROI version), if you are a frequent traveller that could be an issue. It's possible to buy that from Garmin as an add on but usually works out cheaper to buy it on the GPS model at the time of purchase. Go for the Western Europe lifetime maps version if you feel you might want updated maps.
The 5" display is larger than some of the super budget Sat Navs, performance is good overall though none I've used are perfect (either tom tom or garmin!)
If you want a decent low cost Sat Nav and don't need any fancy extras this is one of the better ones out there.