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I've had one of these Garmin Nuvi sat navs for quite a few years now. It doesn't get used too much but has been used enough over the years for me to get really fed of of the ladies voice that gives the instructions.
These can be picked up for about £20 second hand these days as technology is getting more advanced so this is an older model which probably isn't like the all singing all dancing ones you can buy new now, plus cars have them built in now too.
I feel I am quite good with directions and having been to a place once can easily find my way back there again. This has been used when in a new area or a rabbit warren housing estate that we don't know.
I do find that this sat nav does tend to take you back roads rather then motorways a lot of the time. One time I was travelling up to Dartford in Kent a route I knew well up the M3 motorway then onto the dreaded M25 and round to Dartford. On this particular visit I thought I'd put the sat nav on to see what way it took me as a change of scenery would be good. Well it took me through think it was Guilford then over the M25 and into London, I was a bit worried I'd go into the congestion charge area not knowing where it began and ended up pulling into a garage to ask for direction as I had no idea where I was, anyway the lad at the garage comes to car and "says is that not a sat nav you have there? how can you be lost?" I felt so stupid. In the end I followed the sat nav as it took be right round the outskirts of London which was an hour longer to reach destination. Lesson learnt if you know the way don't trust a sat nav lol.
Since this trip I learnt the sat nav can be zoomed right out from street level view on screen to show you a larger area which would have been more helpful to me.
This plugs into a cigarette lighter in the car and this charges it up too. When you turn the car engine off the screen says switch off or stay on so if it is charged then you can still use it before needing to start car.There is a fiddly on switch which you slide on the top of it to bring it to life. Once it is on you choose yr destination by town, city or postcode. You can type in words then touch 123 button to swap to number pad part if inputting a postcode. It then displays options of the address with door numbers and you press the relevant address.
When I say press button I am referring to the button signs on the screen as it is all touchscreen.
The screen itself isn't huge about 3 1/2 inches wide but can clearly see whats on it without straining your eyes too much. It fits onto a holder on the windscreen and allows you to see it clearly from driving position.
Once you have submitted the required address you enter it and then can select the route size, so if you like to see a few roads in advance like I do you can or you can view it literally as you reach roads or from a further away view. The screen displays a road map and a little car imagine which moves when your car moves.
The display with the map also shows you the expected arrival time at your destination, if you go slower or make a stop the time will change.
As you reach parts of the journey when you need to turn into a different road the lady sat nav voice will say for example in 200 metres turn left and when on the turning will say turn left. If you choice to ignore the sat nav because you know a better way or miss the turn off then she says recalculating a couple times and finds another route that still gets you to your destination. It also shows on the screen that you need to turn in what ever distance.
This sat nav also gives you a warning alarm to any speed cameras that are on the roads and also gives you speed warning too.
You can control the volume by using the slide button on the side of the device, this is handy is you are on a long journey and only need to hear what is being said until nearer your destination, but the direction also show up on the screen what is being said anyway.
This comes with maps already installed into it for the Uk and parts of Europe but after having it a while some areas may have changed, i.e new housing estates, road closures so the sat nav won't pick up on these.
This is a small device and not heavy so can easily fit into a handbag if you don't want it left in your car.
On the whole I did once upon a time manage with just a map but a sat nav is much easier and always handy to have.
I got this sat nav over a year ago, i bought it at £100 and it was definitely worth the value considering the amount of use it gets!
When I first installed this sat nav, I needed the manual, and I'm the sort of person that doesn't need a manual to install anything. The things that got me with this were, pardon the pun, navigation and layout of the menus. The icons were suitable, but everything is where you least expect it. Instillation took about 10 minutes, and bearing in mind this is a basic sat nav!
A good point though is the charging time and battery life, for me it lasts 4 hours without charge and then takes a couple hours to get back up to full charge again. This for a small budget sat nav really isn't that bad, and you have options to use even less charge by dimming the brightness, volume, and putting it on standby.
The sat nav is not 100% accurate however, I did once get sent round in a complete circle and to this day it has asked me to perform more u-turns across junctions that don't exist than I can remember. It also takes a good 2-3 minutes of valuable time before work, picking out a route around a road I've told It is closed, and then still takes me the longest route possible around it.
For durability, well it easily passes a harsh conditions test. It's been left in the car on days when it hit 31*C (and much more inside the car) and even when it got to -11*C overnight, it still worked the next morning. This then is a durable little thing, and for this kind of money, is most certainly a well built piece of kit for the money.
Overall, I think the hardware is top notch quality, but the software is rubbish, hard to navigate, and doesn't do a good job of getting satellites and routes. It's another 50/50 product, so I can only say three stars.
I bought this to replace my previous Sony NAV-U50 as I heard this had better map coverage for Northern Ireland. Managed to pick it up in an Xmas sale at Harvery Norman for £62, bargain!
The Nuvi 250 is very compact and sits very neatly on the windscreen. Finding addresses is very straightforward. Simply tap in the postcode then a house number and away you go. If you don't know the postcode there are other search options available.
When you are arriving at your chosen address the Nuvi will alert you and tell you what side of the road the property is on. I found this to be very accurate almost every time.
As an entry level I think the Nuvi 250 has a decent spec. Main features are pre-loaded points of interest (loads), currency converter, UK and Europe coverage etc.
There are however a few shortcomings. Firstly the robotic sounding voice can become tiresome after a while. Sometimes the Nuvi will alert you just as you are passing a turn off and by the time it does its too late and you have to come round again.
There is an option of speed camera subscriptions, which comes with a 1-month free trial then roughly £30 a year after. I gave the trial a go and found most speed cameras were picked up.
The battery will last for around 4-5 hours and there is a car charger in the box that plugs into the cigarette lighter.
For an entry level Sat Nav the Nuvi 250 is excellent and will do all the basics motorists will ever need. If you are on a budget this comes highly recommended.
Satanic Navigation systems have become a common everyday item for many people who drive on a regular basis, but as with anything else technological there are hundreds on the market and a bewildering array of options to choose from.
Luckily for me I bypassed this confusion by winning a satnav in a raffle at work last Christmas, so after 12 months of near constant use it was time to review the unit.
I have the Garmin Nuvi 250, Garmin have a well established reputation for making good quality GPS receivers and many of my military and outdoor activity loving friends have them for use when hiking, boating, or even just a short ramble throug unfamiliar territory (though one friend has his soley to record the locations of his favourite pubs). So I had high hopes that my little unit would be a good product to use.
In terms of its looks typically for a satnav it is a dark grey colour with a silver inset around the screen, the screen itself is I would say the most important part of the unit and is a decent size with no buttons around it - unlike my fathers older satnav - as it is a touch screen model. On one side there is a slot for an SD memory card so you can download new maps to increase its range, though stored in its internal memory are maps of the entire UK (and EU according to the box but I havent tried this yet). The on off button is a slider on the top of the unit, though when you plug it in to the cars power socket it is turned on automatically.
Removing the unit from the box setting it up is very simple, a short calibration test ensures that the screen settings are working correctly, then a 'Warning' screen which suggests you make alterations only when stationary, then on to the planning screen.
Clicking the 'Where to' icon gives you the option of inputting an address - postcode and house number, recently found - if you have to return to a location you have visited previously, food, hotels, etc to find the nearest cafe, restaurant, petrol station lodgings, airport/train station etc, or shopping centre among others and favourites. Once you have selected your method of finding the destination it simply confirms that this is where you want to go and plans a route, this can take from a few seconds to a few minutes once the unit has aquired the satellite feeds.
Once you start driving it will predict the time you will arrive at your destination, generally I find this is a pretty generous estimate arriving a couple of minutes earlier than it predicts even on relatively short journeys (and without speeding), but throughout the drive it will recalculate this information which is great in free moving traffic but if you get stuck in a jam it reasonably obviously cant calculate accurately so tends to blank out until you are moving again.
The power cord plugs in to a slot on the back of the unit, I find that in my car it is very long and the dangling cable is an annoyance when changing CD but in my other halfs somewhat bigger car its less of an issue - moral of the story small cars are a pain! The cradle it sits on is the easily removed suction cup to the screen type and there is no permanent fixing option on this model (at least none that I know of).
Since having it I have had to drive almost the length and bredth of the UK and on journeys to places are far afield as Lydd, Stirling, Skeeby (a tiny village near Scotch Corner), and even on drives through Manchester city centre (where I almost always get lost) it hasnt sent me the wrong way once, yes admittedly it does occasionally miss mini roundabouts but this could be due to them being built since the last update of the stored maps, but vitally it has never missed a turn and has always taken me directly to my destination address, on journeys where I know other routes it quickly recalculates the routes according to the turnings I have chosen mid drive though you can set it to avoid certain roads, types of road or towns if you want it to.
Personally I have a loatheing of the A1M which is unsurpassed by virtually anything else so the Skeeby drive was one I dreaded but when asking it to not put me on 'that' road it suggested a route via Harrogate avoding the majority of 'it' which was around 10 miles shorter but 20 mins longer which suited me just fine!
The display is big enough and bright enough to see clearly, and automatically switches from day to night mode at an appropriate time - I presume triggered by a satellite signal as it is a different time in summer and winter.
My single complaint about it is that the voice instructions arent loud enough, when driving my rattle trap of a car along a motorway or fairly bumpy road with the radio on at even a lower than normal volume it is hard to hear what the nice lady is telling me to do, which at times does mean I miss turnings when it isnt safe to look at the display. It doesnt have things like jam avoidance as other high end models might but thats what we have traffic bulletins for.
Overall I have to say I cannot recommend this highly enough, it is an entry level unit which I has all the functions the typical motorist might require on a day to day basis, while being small enough and light enough to fit in the typical handbag or decent sized jacket pocket without being obvious. While I will never drive long distances without my road map on my passenger seat as a back up and a general idea of the overall area I'm in I also wouldnt want to drive anywhere new with out my satanic.
As this model is around 18months old now you can pick one up for around £100 - £150 which to my mind is an absolute bargain.
Simple navigation at an affordable price - that's nüvi 250. This entry-level Personal Travel Assistant comes with preloaded maps. Like all nüvi 200-series members, the 250 features an easy-to-use colorful touch screen and ultra-slim design - perfect for everyday navigation.