Customer Review

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended Sat Nav!, 16 Sep 2008
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This review is from: Garmin Nuvi 255W Traffic Widescreen Satellite Navigation System with Full EU Mapping (Electronics)
I have to admit this is my only experience of a satnav system but I thought I'd review the product I put my hard earned cash towards as other reviews were very helpful at comparing the overwhelming choice of models.

First off - is the widescreen worth it? Well maybe not for the map itself but I imagine the touchscreen keypad must be very very fiddly on the smaller screen model, so it's probably a big benefit in that respect.

I used this product on a huge journey round Scotland and the UK and the unit performed extremely well, just as comfortable with country lanes in the highlands as big city streets. It takes common sense to use the combination of listening to the vocal instructions, glancing at the map on screen and using everyday road-sense to navigate accurately and safely, but it doesn't take long to get used to the units quirks

One thing that does happen quite frequently is the unit will mis-read a sharp turn in the road for a give-way junction, but you soon learn to ignore these commands.

The traffic update system works pretty well, giving you a good idea of the seriousness of the delay and re-routing you if it thinks necessary. I have to say I've never had to use this feature, so can't comment on its re-routing accuracy. The unit must have it's power cord plugged in to use the traffic feature and does depend on the traffic info output by local radio, so not all traffic queues or holdups will be detected.

Mapping seems to be around 6 months or so out of date but these can be updated via the website. The trial subscription to safety cameras is spot-on for camera locations, and areas where mobile cameras operate. You do however need to subscribe to keep this feature upadted. Some may find the slight blip the unit emits when you go over the speed limit (even by a few mph) in camera areas annoying, but it can be turned off and well, it does encourage you to watch your speed!

Satellite acquisition only takes a few seconds on start-up and all the menu screens are easy to use. Pre-set attractions and locations (eg food, parking, attractions, petrol sations) are a little hit and miss (some major companys eg. Morrisons stores aren't listed) but they're a good basic foundation to start from when searching for something. One detail I particularly like is how the unit automatically zooms in close on the map when navigating through city and town streets, and also displays a red tint when traffic is detected. The anti-glare night display is cool too.

Perhaps the main thing to bear in mind when using any satnav is that you do have to input have an accurate address to get directly to destinations. It's not much use when you only have a vague idea of where you want to go. I sometimes know the general area of a destination, but have to use a regular street atlas to find an address nearby. Zooming out on the map to see an overview of your journey is a little fiddly, but the map is quick to refresh itself. Estimated journey arrival times are often quite a long way out to begin with, but these update once you're on the move / stop / slow down in traffic and are then generally pretty accurate.

To summarise I can't think of too many things this unit doesn't do that are honestly of any use. Bang up to date maps on purchase would be nice. I know there's a fuss about this European model not reading out road names but I'm not sure how much of a help that is - sensible reading of the map screen makes most turnings pretty obvious.

Finally, the protective accessory case is a must have, but if you own a digital camera you shouldn't have to buy the usb adaptor accessory as many camera ones work fine.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Oct 2008 22:18:38 BDT
Teebs says:
Slight update - route calculations have been a bit shaky in major cities. Taking you long way round, or just constantly recalculating.
Some postcode / house number destinations have been inaccurate by a good few hundred metres.

Still impressed but just proof that you shouldn't 100% obey satnav! Use some common sense and have an atlas anyway!

Posted on 11 Feb 2009 15:05:58 GMT
patnelle says:
Very useful review, thank you.

Posted on 19 Jun 2009 18:10:28 BDT
john says:
i thought that the european model could read out street names ?

Posted on 28 Aug 2011 08:50:46 BDT
Geoff says:
Bought it 2011... has some good points..but loses the plot completely every so often and the map spins...the route continuoulsy recalculates...I know this is an old model now but its a problem..I have donwloaded the so called up to date maps. When it works it works well. I`m going back to my 2004 tomtom..Small screen but sophisticated.
I miss the ability to plot a route from a to b beforehand and check the mileage...!! this Nuvi just routes you from where you are and thats it..ok for occasional use but not for every day to look after my customers orders..
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