Product Type: Garmin in GPS Navigation
Newest Review: ... my husband declared he wanted to get a sat nav. He had just got a new job and it involved quite a bit of travelling so he wanted a sat nav... more
Great Sat Nav system but known faults with the traffic receiver!
Garmin nuvi 300
Member Name: fayp
Garmin nuvi 300
Date: 09/10/07, updated on 23/10/07 (1730 review reads)
Advantages: Tiny well designed Sat Nav unit, easy to use.
Disadvantages: Traffic receiver doesn't work!
I’ve been borrowing my friends Tom Tom recently for long trips and found it so good that I decided to purchase my own Sat Nav.
I began doing much online research to see which would be the best unit for me. I found systems ranging from £89 up to £499 and beyond, so tried to decide which features I wanted. I don’t tend to speed (Much!) so wasn’t bothered about speed camera alerts either way, but I do travel lots of motorways so thought the traffic alert facility would be useful. After much research I found the traffic alert facility is free for life on Garmins and the reviews on their systems seemed good, so I ordered a Garmin Nuvi 300T on Amazon which was the cheapest price I found (£179).
The T after it means this one comes with a separate traffic alert bit…but more of that later!
On opening the box, the system is very small and light (about the size of playing cards) so great for pockets etc. It comes with a free carrying case, plus USB cable, and in car charger; which other systems often force you to buy as extras. No power cable but it charges in the car or via the USB. Mine was fully charged and it was simply a case of switching it on and following the on screen instructions, very simple.
I took it out in the car, found it easy to fit into it’s mount (attached to windscreen or dash) it quickly found a GPS signal and allowed me to enter a postcode. A clear voice guided me to me destination, while maps can be viewed in 3 different formats. You can download different vehicles (free) so have something similar to your own car on your maps (or just an arrow if you prefer) There is only one voice, which is clear, but a shame not to have choice!
It is very simple to enter your destination and the gadget makes suggestions while you do, but you can also search for a wide range of things, like local attractions, local garages, restaurants, car parks, etc. Very useful in a strange city.
The Sat Nav is set up to direct cars but you can change it to motorbike, or on foot, so it will navigate you, on foot around a city etc. Footpaths can be bought on a separate SD card, for country walking.
Mine came with UK and Ireland maps pre loaded, but for apx. £51 you can buy other countries on SD card.
Being a gadget freak I quickly plugged it into my laptop and put my own pictures and MP3 files on it, so have now personalised the start screen. It has 2GB of memory onboard, so plenty of storage, although doesn’t tell you, so I’d bought a 2GB SD card too!!! Ah well, I won’t run out of space in a hurry will I. The MP3 sound quality is very poor as plays through the tiny little onboard speakers. Audible books are available from the audible website (at a cost). The PC recognises the Nuvi as an extra hard drive so it is easy to transfer photos and music to it.
I’d used my friends Tom Tom before and the only major difference I can see is that with Tom Tom you can turn off the maps altogether, which I tended to do when driving alone, so just heard the directions. But with the Nuvi I just turn the screen away if I find it distracting. The Tom Tom too failed to tlel me road numbers which I found difficult on large roundabouts, as you need to see which lane you should be in sometimes, not just know 3rd exit. The Nuvi gives you road numbers which I like.
Once you register the Nuvi on the Garmin website, you can have 30 free days of speed camera activation, after that it is £29.99 a year. I actually find this feature quite annoying as you get loud beeps when there are cameras, but many, I know use this facility. You can disable it.
You can download webupdate software, which in theory searches for any updates when the Sat Nav is plugged into your PC. Mine worked initially and now fails to recognise the Nuvi (since it last updated itself actually).
The Traffic alert bit is a separate piece which you fit into the USB slot, then attach the other end onto the windscreen to pick up the silent FM signal which in theory brings you traffic alerts (and the facility to be guided away from them). Mine does nothing! Does not search for a signal, just tells me that there is no traffic information available, and that is on the Motorway where I know friends can pick up the traffic signal! I searched forums and to my horror have discovered that this is a well known fault with the Garmin systems! I emailed Garmin and they told me to update, I pointed out I had, and there was a known fault on their traffic receivers. They have now agreed to take my traffic receiver back for testing, but first are sending me a new car charger to try as some believe the charger interferes with the traffic signal! All very disappointing when you spend extra to get a feature, and then find out the company knows there is a problem yet still sell the product, and tells you to update as the solution!
So all in all, delighted with the Sat Nav bit, and would recommend the Nuvi to anyone just wanting Sat Nav, very upset that the traffic bit doesn’t work, so would recommend a different system if you want that feature!
I have now sent this whole system back and had a full refund from amazon and ordered a tom tom with their new TMC receiver (which they updated after their old one failed to work too!!)
Garmin offered to repair the Nuvi if I paid postage back and said it would take 4 weeks! Not good customer service for a system with a fault they know about! Wshould I pay postage and be without my new gadget for 4 weeks!?
Summary: Good Sat Nav, naughty company to sell goods with known fault!