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I bought this Sat Nav a few weeks ago for £130 from currys, it was not the first Sat Nav I have had as my other was stolen last year. As we are moving out away from london, we want to get to A-B in the fastest way possible. So we bought the Garmin nuvi 255WT.
A very helpful sales assitant helped us compare various Sat Navs and this came at the top of our list, plus we had thought about purchasing a Garmin as my relative has one. I recommend to anyone who is not sure which Sat Nav is for them, Go online, read reviews like this one and go instore to electronic stores like Currys or Comet.
We travelled to colliers wood to buy the Garmin and from our house its a 15-20 minute drive, but when we tested out the Garmin on the road it took us a completely different route where there was little to none traffic and cut the journey by a few minutes. When on the motorways it would beep like most Sat Navs when they detect a speed camera ahead. I have heard about Sat Navs having traffic alert functions with monthly subscriptions, but I think its a waste. Put on a traffic radio station, they give an update of local traffic all the time.
I found inputing addresses into the Garmin to be fairly easy, put in a simple postcode and it should find the address your looking for. I could input addresses and save them to the Favourites catergory. When driving you can press the POI option giving you all kinds of places interesting with how far it is and how long it should take. Changing the factory settings is proved easy as it is all shown in a big font and you can scroll up or down the options.
Sometimes but not all the time it takes too long to find satelites meaning you will be waiting a while before knowing where to go. I have to admit that my old one was the same but i think there must be a Sat Nav out there that can find your location fast. I have taken it down a few closes and cul de sacs and has no idea of where i am, telling me that I am in the middle of a field. Holds battery for a long period of time but I always plug in the adapter.
Overall i give the Garmin nuvi 255WT (4)****out of (5)*****stars
I bought the Garmin nuvi 255WT a few years ago ahead of an anticipated trip around Spain. Since then, this satnav had come some 25,000 miles and been to a whole host of European destinations before it was sadly stolen when our car got broken into a couple weeks ago.
The exterior design of the satnav is superior to that of TomToms, its natural competition pool. The lines are sleek, the screen is bright and clear and the suction mechanism is of high quality.
The quality of the Garmin maps is excellent and the expert opinion is that these are the best on the market. Moreover, this satnav allows you to personalise things like the accompanying voice & picture of the car, which can incidentally be 'upgraded' to anything from a ship to a reindeer.
The directions are clear and the screen showing statistics & your speed is great for monitoring your journey. Moreover, the device is capable of storing your photos and music through having an SD card slot.
The main direction screen is easy to follow and unobstructed. The only minor downside of the device is that is does not provide a lot of detail on the map screen unlike TomTom devices and so things like time & distance remaining are not shown there. The Garmin does, however, have lifelong travel assistance as standard.
The nuvi 255wt is one of the most useful pieces of tech I have ever purchased. The widescreen models are worth the extra expense and give a good clear image and good layout of all the essential information needed for your journey, including speed, ETA, distance to turns etc. The European mapping also came into its own on a trip to Belgium and France (no need to change any memory cards like some Sat Navs, the transition into Europe was seamless).
The nuvi acquires a satelite fix very quickly, so I don't sit in my car waiting for several minutes like previous sat navs I have owned. Once a fix is acquired the journey is calculated within a matter of seconds. If you happen to stray from your route the nuvi will also quickly recalculate to get you back on track. Voice prompts are also clear to follow.
The nuvi is one of the easiest units to set up and operate with onscreen buttons that are big enought for even the fattest of fingers.
The nuvi is also very useful for finding where you've parked your car. By saving your location into the nuvi you can set the unit to pedestrian mode and it will give you clear directions back to your car (the pedestrian mode will allow you to walk down one way streets the opposite way etc.). I have also found that in many cases the nuvi will also keep its satelite fix and guide you when it's in your pocket.
Other features that the nuvi comes with are downloadable vehicles from the Garmin website, an SD slot that can be used for viewing photos, speed camera alerts, downloadable Eco Drive (monitors your driving and advises the most economical route), a good range of POI etc.
On the slightly negative side, the nuvi does not come with a usb llead to connect to your PC (although these can be purchased quite cheaply) and the Traffic information has so far been of little use (it has on occasions told me of a traffic problem whilst sitting in the traffic jam and has also warned me of traffic jams that have been non existant).
I chose the 255WT after previously owning the excellent Garmin Nuvi 200W which sadly broke after being dropped on a hard floor. I decided to upgrade i.e. traffic and Euro maps.
This unit is a fair improvement on the 200W, having a slightly higher res and brighter screen with more info on the main map page. It shows you your speed, ETA, direction info and on A roads and motorways it will display the speed limit. On approaching "safety" cameras, a red bar will appear if you are above the limit prompting you to slow down and it will turn blue once at or below the threshold. This is a good idea but I found the bar could do with being bigger to show up more. If you are on a main road/motorway and the traffic is clear, a green symbol will appear top left that will go red in traffic. However I am not impressed by this utility as I was stuck in crawling traffic for about an hour on the M25 last week and it was green all the way. Driving to work along the fast moving A2 tonight it was red all the way.
Re EU maps, it would be good to check if the country you wish to visit is covered before purchasing. Basically, the further east in Europe you go, the less the coverage, if any. I planned to use this in Cyprus (which is in the EU) but there are no maps for the Island whatsoever. My unit was delivered in May 09 with 2008 maps and 90 days free map updates (after registering).
On a more positive note, the POI database is much more comprehensive and a new fuel calculator function will give a very approximate cost for any given journey which you may find useful for work. You must enter your car's profile i.e. urban and extra-urban consumption and the current price per litre of your chosen fuel for this to work. The voice is nice and clear but I rarely have it on to be honest. The "numbers" page is very informative for stat lovers and I find it very useful on my frequent trips to Wales.
Clear bright screen
Easy to use menu system
Good build quality
PIN code security
Excellent POI database
Not so good points
Poor traffic warning
Does not cover all "EU" Europe
Instruction manual is very small
Overall it is a good and reliable unit but I'm not sure it's worth the extra for the reasons mentioned above.
(note - this review appeared on my amazon profile also)
Sat nav's seem to have become so common nowadays that I'm sure even thieves' are sick of them, where once it was a "luxury" item to be hidden away in your glove box, they seem to have become as common as actually owning a car. There appears to be to major brands when it comes to the handheld units; TomTom and Garmin, both will get you from A-B in the most direct route possible, so really it is just the added extra's that you pay for. I found that on paper similarly spec'd TomTom's came out more expensive than their Garmin equivalents, so I decided to spend a little more and go for a Garmin model with a few little extra's; the 255WT (W for Widescreen, T for Traffic). It is a model with European maps pre-installed, along with a widescreen display and has support for traffic data - so that you can automatically be re-routed.
I'll start off with the things that aren't so good about this model, they aren't really big issues - just some thing that I think that could be better, or maybe have been improved with more modern developments.
Firstly, something that I think is continuously being improved with GPS chips is the time taken for them to "lock" a signal - i.e. the time before it will tell you where you are. With this model it can often take a few minutes, even in open skies, to lock a signal. This is fine if you are in no rush to get anywhere, but an annoyance when you want to just enter your destination and be taken there immediately.
The screen is very clear most of the time, although in direct sunlight it can be somewhat difficult to see - especially if you are looking for a junction on the screen which you know you need to turn in to, although the voice navigation usually makes up for this, so you shouldn't get too stuck. A final thing is that there is no case supplied, no doubt in a way to cut costs, since not everybody would want one, although Garmin to make one that fit's perfectly, only cost me about £10 so not too bad.
The battery life of the unit is fairly good, although given that it is intended for use in a car this doesn't really matter too much, as I usually just plug it in using the supplied car charger. There is also a supplied USB cable, which can be used to connect to your computer and charge the device, although there is no mains adaptor, but you can achieve the same function as this by purchasing a USB mains adaptor - available pretty cheaply.
The user interface is very good on the Garmin - something which TomTom's are often praised for too, when you switch the unit on the main screen appears giving you two large "buttons" to press, "Where To?" and "View Map". For the basic operation of the device this is all that you will ever need. "View Map" takes you to a birds-eye view of your current location, the type of display used during navigation. "Where To?" gives you a simple navigation menu, from here you can enter a destination through a variety of methods, including favourites, point of interests (POI) and an address (with postcode support). The interface is very simple, once you have found the location you simply hit "Go!". The device then immediately starts to calculate the route, taking you to the map screen, and highlighting your route with purple roads. In addition to the navigation there is a informational display available, this will show you a variety of data including speed, direction, and average time/speeds.
There are a couple of nice little features included, one being that the colour scheme of the unit automatically changes at night - meaning that the screen isn't so glaring, this appears to work by the unit knowing sunrise/sunset times. Also there is a "Where Am I?" function - available by pressing the car on the screen - this will give you some information about your location, and access to directions to local services, such as hospitals.
The POI database contains virtually anything that you would every want, making it easy to find services in a location that you aren't familiar with. The POI's are categorised so you aren't overwhelmed by a whole load of locations. You can also search through the POI's, making finding something 100% easier. Additionally the database also contains locations throughout the whole of Europe, so it's like having a huge travel guide in your pocket.
I have used the unit a couple of times abroad, and it works just as well as in the UK. When you first turn it on it does take a while to start up though - presumably because it has to load up a different set of maps, and is a little confused as to why it is thousand's of miles from where it started.
The device comes with 30 days worth of free speed camera database updates, although after this time the camera locations are still stored in the device - you are just unable to update them. The notifications work well, alerting you when a speed camera is approaching and then again if you are breaking the speed limit. The noise is a little odd at first, sounding like the seatbelt notifications on planes, although it is something you soon get used to as an alert to check your speed. The noise when you are breaking the speed limit is slightly different to this, meaning that you don't need to check your speed all the time - only if you hear the dreaded "you're going too fast" beep.
Like with most devices today, doing what it is sold for isn't quite enough. This unit also packs in quite a few additional features, including a Photo Viewer (which read's pictures from an SD card), world clock, calculator, and converter. Of these I think the converter has the potential to be most useful, working with virtually any units and is simple to use. The only problem with this is the currency converter, it is possible to update the exchange rate although all rates must be relative to USD, so you can't just put in a rate for GBP to EUR for example, this seems somewhat backwards as it adds some unnecessary steps to the process.
Overall this is a nice little unit for a good price, just £150, the addition of some features like European maps and Traffic also adds to the value. In addition to this the navigation seems more "life-like" than other Sat Nav's which I have used, it seems like it is programmed to recognise road's which are near-impassable.
This Garmin Sat Nav is well worth its price. The maps you follow are quite brilliant and basically an exact match of any road I have been on using it so far. You just have to type in an adress or postcode and away you go. The Garmin will find the best and quickest route all the time making it a nice journey wherever you are going, unless theres a traffic jam. Then you can be taken a different route to save time. You are able to up date the garmins map on the Garmin website. Therefore meaning your Garmin will always be of high quality use.
The only issue I have is that sometimes the voice telling you where to turn comes on quite late and you can sometimes end up in the wrong lane. However this is the same problem I have noticed with all sat navs. You just have to think a bit ahead of the garmin sometimes. Also it rings an alarm when you are going over the speed limit, this can be switched off but i personally found it hard to find where to turn it off.
Hard to go wrong with this unit. The maps are awesome both overview and 3D. There are too many features to mention but they all work well and are easy to use. You never have to open the manual or instructions for this one. Even the multi languages are easy to switch back and forths. The only thing that gets a little frustrating is in a big city the voice never seems to shut up. With pre warnings on top of other warnings like keep left then stay left then turn left at every stop light. On the other hand the pre warnings are very useful and 70 plus miles per hour. The travel log is also interesting and easy to follow. The coloars are perfect fo vehicle with all black interiors and the automatic brightness is really a plus. The only bad thing is looking up major locations like the statue of liberty take forever unless your in the same city as the taget you want. The restaurants it picks are also kind of generic with many smaller diners going unpublished. But all in all it kicks the crap out of the Tom Tom.
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.
This sat nav is excatly the same as the nuvi 255w, however the T indicates traffic and this is an essential item to have for anybody doing any high amount of mileage per year. It isnt 100percent accurate but is better than having no warning of any traffic hold ups on the road and for the small amount you are paying extra for this ahead of the 255w, it is money well spent.
Go wide and get peace of mind with nüvi 255W. This affordable, widescreen navigator leads the way with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions that speak street names 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 sleek nüvi 2x5-series, this portable navigator is priced right and ultra-easy to use.