Product Type: Garmin in GPS Navigation
Newest Review: ... car windscreen (although this is a more minor and more easily-fixable issue). When we contacted Garmin, they quoted us £160 for the Zumo... more
Was good until the audio packed up!
Garmin zumo 550
Member Name: GizmoPig
Garmin zumo 550
Advantages: Great for bikes, waterproof, MP3 player on the bike, good clear directions
Disadvantages: Seems to break quite too easily
I love gadgets, but in this case, all I wanted was a simple sat nav to get us from a to b. However, I understood that my husband, for whom the bike is his only transport, would need something that was durable and waterproof.
The main attraction of this to me is that is can be used on a bike. The packaging says that it is rugged, waterproof and has a sunlight friendly touchscreen display which responds to touch even through gloves. Massive selling points for bikers and I can't fault it on any of these areas. It was dropped from the bike a couple of times - once on the move - and the unit survived intact! (more on this later).
The coverage provided is good - all the more common European countries that might be visited from the UK (France, Italy, Poland etc) are covered in detail, with countries like Hungary and Slovakia getting coverage in most urban areas, countries like Romania and Estonia getting major urban areas, and places like Ukraine and Albania not included (this is a gross simplification, but you get the idea - the further south-east you go, the poorer the coverage). This may now have been updated, but we are still using these settings as we used the sat-nav in the UK only, and I think its been used a couple of times in France.
There are a few nice touches on the interface - at the right time of day the screen will turn from a day map to a night map. I found that this cuts down on glare at night as the display shows darker colours. Also it will name roads on the audio - so instead of saying - 'take the next road to the right' or 'turn onto the B5567', it will say 'take the next right turn onto Channing Road'. I found this especially useful where A and B roads also have names and you want to know if Channing Road is also the B5567!
Now as to when we don't use it anymore - the charging panels at the back of the unit have stopped working. This means that it won't charge on the vehicles anymore and fully charged only has a 2 hour battery life. We also cannot get any audio from it for either vehicle any more. The car unit sucker has failed as well so it will no longer stick to the car windscreen (although this is a more minor and more easily-fixable issue).
When we contacted Garmin, they quoted us £160 for the Zumo to be replaced with a reconditioned unit. At the time it was barely 2 years old. I know it's had a couple of drops from the bike (I think my husband failed to attach it properly as he wasn't going at speed - the first time was at about 20mph and the second time was when stationary) but it should be rugged enough to withstand this possibility. Also, it was not after these incidences that it stopped working - it seemed to be entirely random.
Given the amount that we paid for it (over £400), I'm not happy at the offer of a reconditioned unit for £160. I would rather have this unit repaired for a lower cost. We've needed the money in recent months more than we've needed the sat nav as we rarely go away now, so it's still awaiting replacement.
I'm not saying that the Garmin Zumo is not worth the money - for a biker I would say its one of the best systems around. What I'm concentrating on in this review is to highlight that it may not be as rugged as you might hope, and could fail when it is relatively new. I'm not advising not to buy it, but just wanted to make people aware that things can go wrong with it, and this was our experience. Where the blame for this fault lies - with us or Garmin - I'm not sure.
Summary: When we have the money we will get this repaired, but I'm not sure where the issue has come from
More reviews in the field of GPS Sat Nav
- Forerunner for budget GPS.
- Best Sat Nav around!
- A highly recommended tomtom from me!
- Tom Tom Start 2- not too bad i must say
- Well worth the money!
- Get one up on those people that tell you to get lost
- North, south, east or west, is this Garmin the best?
- Gets you on the road, but not only that, in the right direction too!
- No Wrong Turns
- Just watch me run!