* Prices may differ from that shown
My garmin satnav was recently bought for the relatively cheap price of £120 and it appeared to an obvious choice for someone who wanted a satnav for a cheap price but noit one that lacks in features and build quality. The satnav itself looks similar to other garmin satnavs but more importantly has a larger than average screen size of x inches. Thickness wise it is no mac book air but isn't difficult to carry for small handed people and its weight at 908 grams makes it easier to carry in comparison to some competitors. The features include all that is expected of a traditional sat nav including options to take the shortest or fastest route among other options. The calculation of the route is average as it the case of the updating of your cars location. Maps are very accurate(e as expected and the inclusion of traffic features adds a welcome extra. Overall this budget sat nav is excellent and fulfils all my needs as a driver across the UK (I have driven it in Scotland where it was very good) and despite a few problems here and there provides an excellent option for most people.
This sat nav will not let you down if your simply looking for a sat nav that does uk and european mapping. Being a garmin it will last and will not give you any niggly problems that maybe a tomtom will give you. I have never had a problem with this, but have heard of peoples screens freezing, just to be fixed by pressing the reset button at the bottom. The actual operation of the unit couldnt be simpler, you just press a few button and then your ready to go, it has full postcode search so will get you to excatly where you want to go and this has never let me down whilst travelling in the uk. Another good feature is that it has an sd card slot, allowing for future maps to be added to the unit, whereas some other units, mainly tomtoms, do not allow this. The larger screen is great if you have a windscreen that slopes far away, or you eyesight isnt what it used to be, however if these arent problems then maybe go for the non-widescreen and save a bit of money.
Garmin nuvi 255W is GPS with advisable price and nice outlook. There is an Europe card in that and also there is a change to upload newest year 2009 card version with Baltic countrys. There are 1 000 000 loactions and Europe cards saved in that, so It's really easy to find even little locations in your country. As other 2xx series, also portable Garmin Nuvi 255W is with advisable price and It's really easy to use it. With Nuvi 255W wide screen you see big picture with good quality. You see details, drive directions, pictures and other things on glaring wide screen with good contrast and colors. Even at a sunny day, you see picture very well, readable from every angle. It's all the time ready to use. You see every hotel, restaurant or something like that in 2D or 3D picture. Voice director is really good help for you, so you don't have to watch the screen all the time and you can go exactly there, where you want to go. With HotFix satelites forecasting function, Nuvi evulates your location much faster, for that, you can arrive your location faster. as older versions ov Nuvi, also this version is wtih really good outlook and also this is really thin, so It's really portable, you can wear it in your bag or even in your pocket. Weight is only 147 grams, so It's not problem to to wear it. With this chargeable Li-on Battery It's comfortable to navigate with your car or even by foot. With "Where I am?" function, you know all the time where you are and It's really easy to find your location. Just touch the screen and you find out your location, and also you find out lenght-and width degrees, also you can find nearest shop, gas station or hotel. Also, there are many travel helpers, like JPEG pictures of loactions, world clock with time zones, valuta, measure units serializer calculator and much more. Also there is stealing protection function and much more, what helps you. + Outlook. + Great wide screen. + Voice director. + "Where I am?" function. + A lot of travel helpers. + Price - Battery durability. © iHate22 November 29 2008
I finally got fed up with my Road Angel 6000 sat-nav. It was becoming a source of great amusement for all my Tom-Tom owning friends, and it was indeed becoming hard to defend it, especially when it tells you to leave the A303 at Andover for no apparent reason when it's both the shortest and quickest route to north Dorset for me. It then tells you to leave the Lightwater exit of the M3 just to rejoin the motorway after going round the roundabout and down the ramp again - I can only assume that because of a left-hand curve to the motorway, going up the ramp and down it again is 6" less! It's either that or the day their map database was set in stone, there were long term road-works in these two areas. It seemed strange to me that it was eminently crass at guiding me over bits where I knew better, but had never failed to deposit me at a distant unfamiliar postcode with no trouble - very useful when locating country pubs using the code published in the Good Beer Guide! Its ability to work away from a power source had long since eluded it, so using it on bikes 'n' hikes was now out of the question too since the rechargeable battery had lost its ability to hold a charge for long enough. ENTER NUVI A change of car seemed like as good a time as any to change the sat-nav. Anyway, for our next holiday, we are flying to Madrid and hiring a car to drive to the coast so a sat-nav that covered Western Europe, not just the British Isles would be useful to find our way from Barajas Airport (Madrid) to Orgiva in Andalucia via an overnight stop halfway. Then up comes a Halfords sale, combined with an incentive site that gives me 3% off Halfords goods when I use my registered credit card, and the card itself currently giving me 2% cashback. There it was in the showcase - the Garmin Nüvi 255W. There is a daunting array of Garmin machines, many in the '200 series'. As far as I can tell, a 205 only has maps for the country of sale, whilst a 255 like mine has own country plus the rest of Europe, and the W stands for Widescreen, it being a 4.3" screen of 16:9 proportions. Inside the box, there's not a lot to report. The sat-nav itself, the car charger, the mounting arm and a self adhesive base for a non-windscreen installation (some countries make it illegal to block part of your windscreen). Instructions are surprisingly scant, and you don't even get the USB lead for connection to a PC, which is something you'll need to do to register it for speed camera updates and access to the latest maps. Fortunately, I was bequeathed one by the Road Angel. There's no need for any kind of CD-ROM since accessing the web-site gave you all the software add-ons, Java modules, what have you, that you need to 'talk' to the Garmin. It's almost as if they are assuming, that this isn't your first dabble with GPS/sat-nav. In fact, the most relevant instruction was to contact http://my.garmin.com to register the beast. It was from here that I registered the Garmin, got the latest version of European maps (a process that took a good two hours by the time it was installed in the sat-nav) and updated the speed cameras on a one-month free trial basis. A year's subscription cost £30 compared to Road Angel's £4/month. The device itself is made of a pleasant to handle hard charcoal grey plastic, and is quite slim although nonetheless rigid with a reassuring monolithic feel to it. It has one single on-off switch, and the rear panel is interrupted only by a mini-USB port. It has no provision for an external antenna so those with metallised film windscreens (largely French cars, like Citroen or Peugeot) had better look elsewhere, since they block out the very radio waves we're trying to let in! Rather than stick it to the windscreen by suction, which in my new car is quite a stretch away, I used the glossy plastic disc with very strong 'once-only' adhesive on one side. This you position on the top of your dash, making sure that the sat-nav can still 'see' the sky. This is much neater system, leaving less of a clue that there's probably a sat-nav in the glove compartment, when it's demounted. OPERATION Charging can be done through most mini-USB cables, either directly from a PC, the 12v lead supplied or a typical phone charger using USB, e.g. the Motorola offering. The duration of the charge depends partly on how bright you set the display, but that's about the only power saving you can make short of switching it off when not wanted (i.e. when you know where you are!). After a relatively quick boot-up, halted only by the optional PIN number process* you come to the main screen from where you choose "Where to?" or "View Map". You can also set volume levels here and play with settings such as your route preferences, like 'quickest' or shortest'. If you travel to the Isle of Wight, don't forget to set a preference to ferries otherwise you'll only get to the sea front at Southsea! (*Advisable as a security measure if you have 'Home' set up as a special entry rather than just one your address book entries) There are some useful added features on this machine such as the 'Where Am I?" key, which immediately presents you with a screen of your known location, including the precise 'eastings' and 'northings' needed by the AA if you break down quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Likewise, you can check the area out for petrol stations, police stations, ATMs and the like, depending on the nature of your predicament. Setting new journey is simple - choose between a partial address, starting with town name, or just input an entire postcode. I'm told that this works in many of the European countries also listed where postcodes apply. All you then have to do is agree the location, and if adding it to favourites, maybe give it a sensible name. The "GO!" button doesn't really need explaining - this starts the process of route calculation. The map reappears with your car (yes, you can choose your 'player' like in Monopoly), orientated in its last known position, with a current speed display and estimated time of arrival. I've always found the latter really useful, especially when phoning ahead. Of course, it reworks the figures every time your speed drops below the known speed limits for the remaining roads on the route. It would seem to suggest that it assumes that everyone drives ON the speed limit. (Not unreasonable) Even when not plotting a route, you can still have the whole map displayed, unlike my last machine which obscured it half with icons. This is still valuable for one of those 'Where Am I?' searches for petrol stations etc. Likewise, you still get speed camera warnings that way. Navigational instructions are clearly spoken either by Hilary Clinton or Joan Bakewell 'sound-alikes, and given well in advance. It would appear, if my experience of two such machines now is anything to go by that a curve in the road cannot be discerned from a turn. You frequently get told to turn right even if the road continues round what is merely a right-hand bend, although it only does so when there's a side road. Maybe this is there way of making sure it's still up to date if the road layout changes. Likewise, it's best to look at the on-screen map at roundabouts. It seems a bit equivocal over what constitutes an exit and what is, for example only a site entrance. It's not uncommon to be told "At the roundabout, take the third exit", only find that it's really only the second, but an entrance to a drive-in McDonalds got in the way. By downloading your own jpeg files, or by visiting an approved site, it's possible to navigate by pictures, for example seizing a photo of your house and telling it to find its way there. In the case of the proprietary photos, these have built-in routing information and so don't need to be appended to an existing address. If you wish, you can by an FM receiver which will feed through traffic warnings, mainly from those sensors you see facing you on motorway over-bridges. This uses up your cigar lighter socket and the means to charge the Nuvi 'on the hoof'. COUNTRIES COVERED There's full street-mapping for; UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Andorra*, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg*, Liechtenstein, Austria Poland and western half of Czech Republic. (* I assume as there were no blanks in the map!) In addition, there's coverage of most urban areas in eastern Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. Major urban areas are covered in Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. Major roads alone are covered in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. Now I see why the update took well over an hour in total! NIFTY BITS I particularly like the way it uses date and time information to decide whether to use a 'night screen' or not, thereby preventing you from being half blinded by the day time settings after dark. My old machine had to be switched manually. The camera warnings are just discrete little bongs, with a depiction of the speed limit in road-sign format. When programming an address in other than by postcode, it lists alternatives to what you have typed in as soon as it can make some sense of what's been typed. Hence if you start to spell out Blackberry Avenue having already settled on a town, and there's only one street with a name beginning with BLA, then it gets listed at that point and all you have to do is confirm it. This screen doesn't need a stylus to press 'key's. It's new 'Hotfix' software does something very clever in lieu of waiting for a sizeable number of satellites to be acquired before it shows you your last known position. I'm not sure how it would fare though if you arrived home by car, transported the thing 20 miles whilst switched off, and then expected it to perform the same trick. I suspect it would take a 'back to square one' approach taking about 45 seconds to get its fix. ANNOYANCES? Well they say comparisons are odious, and in general this performs so much better than my previous sat-nav. However, and it's a big 'however', once you accept the 'safety' camera database, you get it all, including warnings of areas liable to being checked by mobile camera vans. Since this seemingly includes everywhere near me, it's a trifle annoying to be constantly on a state of alert. Yes, even driving below the speed limit prompts a quiet 'dong' from the thing. At least with the Road Angel, you could switch this variant off. However, one of the advantages of many GPS manufacturers adopting a standardised format for 'POI', (i.e. Points of Interest) is that anyone is free to write their own database, and there's no reason why a Point of Interest shouldn't be a speed camera. So it was with some glee that I came across the site www.pocketgpsworld.com, where after signing up for £19.00 per annum (notably less than Garmin's £30 and Road Angel's £49), I was able to take an updated database of POIs that included cameras. All I had to do was download a little utility from the Garmin official site, which enabled me to load them up to the sat-nav, into the POI subdirectory. The only other operation was to switch off the Garmin camera database in the set up menu to avoid double reporting. I can even change my POI database briefly whilst in Spain, and revert it to a UK one once returned. What attracted me to this web site in particular was a clear statement that they get rid of mobile camera settings after 12 months, unless sighted since, which overcomes my major beef with this machine. Thanks to this independent utility, I have been able to 'cherry-pick' from a list of other POIs, so much so that I now have a full list of where all the branches of Boots are in the UK, as well as a huge list of ATM locations - I can see this is going to be really useful, possibly as much when out for a stroll in a strange town as it is in the car. CONCLUSION This is a well-featured mid-range piece of kit with no major vices when it comes to guidance. It has some interesting new features, and can pick up satellites very quickly, working with the bare minimum, but getting more accurate and instantaneous when more are 'acquired'. My early reactions to the lack of instructions or connectivity now seem ill-founded as it's pretty easy to get working and can be charged from just about anything with the mini-USB socket on it. BOYISH FASCINATION I know this is the second one I've had but I still can't fail to be mesmerised by these pocket marvels. Using a tiny signal from as few as three GPS satellites about 11,000 miles away (there are 24 in orbit, but you'd never get to 'see' more than half of them), they can triangulate your position on the Earth's crust to within a few feet and tell you how fast you're shifting your position and in what direction. The easy bit is in applying that to a map built into the sat-nav aspect of the machine.
For peace of mind on the go, nüvi 255 leads the way with voice-prompted turn-by-turn and optional MSN Direct to get you there on time and keep you informed. It's packed with millions of destinations and maps for North America or Europe. Like the rest of the compact nüvi 2x5-series, this portable navigator is priced right and ultra-easy to use.
nüvi 255 comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator NT street maps, including a hefty points of interest (POIs) database with hotels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. It even announces the name of exits and streets so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nüvi takes you there with turn-by-turn voice directions, 2-D or 3-D maps and and smooth map updates as you navigate. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. In addition, nüvi 255 accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs. With HotFix satellite prediction, nüvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.
Like the rest of the nüvi 2x5-series, nüvi 255 sports a sleek, slim design and fits comfortably in your pocket or purse. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or foot. With its "Where Am I? " emergency locator, you always know your location. Simply tap the screen to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations.