Garmin Satnavs

I have been toying with the idea of finally getting a 5" modern car satnav but am finding it a bit tricky distinguishing between the specs.
In particular I can't spot from the published data what there is about the 3597 (£235) making it nearly twice the price of the 2595 (£125). Plots supermarkets chains and McDonalds seems to be it.
Deleting features like bluetooth seems to even make the price go up!
Somewhere in between are a bunch of others like 2597 (£160). What I would really like to know is which ones or rival models offer the best price performance in terms of realtime traffic congestion avoidance.
What do others recommend based on real world experience?
Which model(s) offer the best price performance for mostly UK and a small amount of Western Europe? Thanks for any enlightenment
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Martin Brown
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On 07/10/2013 12:05, Martin Brown wrote:

I am on my third TomTom. Halfords usually have some good deals. Good support as well via an 0845 number.
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Peter Crosland

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Gradually it seems that sat nav maps and real time data are going subscription based and I forsee a future where its on your phone and you pay part of your contract for the updates etc for the satnav bit of it. I guess there will always be stand alone ones but maybe for specilised usage. Certainly the European sats that are about to go up will be backed up with terrestial based signals for awkward to navigate indoor areas etc, ad I suspect it will all get very complicated!
Brian
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In many ways its quite the reverse with sat nav maps with a move to life time free map updates now.

Can't see that ever happening while ever google.maps is free and while ever Apple continues to include their mapper for free with their itoys. They have just now included their office equivalent for free with their itoys too.

Maybe, but I can't see much of a market there now that any decent smartphone has gps capability now.

Very specialised in fact like surveyors etc maybe.
It isnt even hard to make your smartphone fully waterproof with a case now.

And likely very precise navigation to the precise point on a shelf in the supermarket etc too.

But handled auto for the user like the complications in the mobile phone system are.

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On 09/10/2013 22:46, Rod Speed wrote:

I don't have a smart phone but what I do have is two hand held GPSs for hill walking in addition to a Tom Tom to get me to my start point.
The now rather elderly Garmin etrex vista has map screen that is completely useless as a map should a map be required but it does what I required of it by providing a record of where and how far I had walked, how long it took and the amount of ascent. The go-to facility makes navigation all too easy but that means my traditional navigation skills are getting more than a little rusty which can't be a good thing. The Garmin has removable AA batteries and battery life good enough to last for a couple of days walking should I ever manage two days on the trot and I carry a pair of spare batteries as a matter of course.
The memorymap adventurer 2800, a more recent purchase turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. The one advantage over the Garmin was a 1:50000 map on the map screen but it has a built in battery with a battery life of significantlyless than 8 hours so even for an old fart like me at the end of a walk the GPS is dead and absolutely no use as a navigation device. There are other irritating quirks such as losing the last segment of the track if not saved before turn-off and I have yet to find how to extract amount of ascent from the track. The only reason I still have it is that I can't decide whether to give it away or to get some satisfaction by addressing it with my sledge hammer before consigning it to the bin.
The latest Garmin handhelds do detailed mapping as well so if I ever get another I will probably return to that company. Better the devil you know...
Incidentally one of the reasons I opted for a Garmin nuvi for the car was because it was the only one on the market that took grid references. Tom Tom requires latitude and longitude which is a bit more of a faff and easier to get wrong but it is at least extremely accurate. I am happy with my Tom Tom and have no plans to change it any time soon.

I suppose hill walking is a specialised usage.

I happened to have a discussion with an Ordnance Survey surveyor a few years ago when he was at work. IIRC he had a differential unit in the boot of his car which was needed to get the accuracy of position of his hand held pole mounted GPS down to 2cm. He was having trouble getting the required accuracy with just a bit of tree canopy above him and unless his unit told him he had that accuracy he could do any surveying.

In your dreams. The OS surveyor needed a nearby base station to get that sort of accuracy and as a general rule GPSs need a good view of the sky to get a lock on sufficient satellites.

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Roger Chapman

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On 10/10/13 07:18, Roger Chapman wrote:

I have had two Garmin GPSs for walking, both have been very good. The first (a GPS40, I think) I purchased 18 years ago when they were still something of a novelty outside marine use. It had no map, but recorded my tracks and provided a grid reference to locate on a map. It still worked but was less than weather resistant after forgot I had left it on the roof of the car and drove off.
It was replaced by a GPS60, just the basic world map, which is of little use for navigation, but it will record the tracks of over a month of walking as well as a thousand mile drive from London to Italy. The usb connection used to download my tracks has become loose and temperamental but so far that seems a feeble excuse to ditch it for a new one. When I do it will likely be replaced by an updated version of the same.
For driving I have an M&S branded satnav with some variant of windows OS and Navteq maps, there had to be a reason it was £50 in a sale: for finding an address in an unfamiliar town it does the job— provided, that is, the address is recognised. For finding my way to said destination it is not to be trusted: it has sent me across green fields and streams in Italy, on strange detours from motorway through villages in France, and as for England, I know better and it is best ignored.

Now that is a useful plus point.

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On 10/10/2013 16:22, djc wrote:

As I mentioned earlier, CoPilot (for Android) takes OS grid references. There's even a free version that's the same as the full version except voice-guidance is disabled after 14 days.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alk.copilot.mapviewer&hl=en_GB
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. .

. . .>Roger Chapman
Which Nuvi model is that? I thought only the Nuvi 300 did OS grid references - current models only do lat/long. Presumably Garmin don't think it's worth catering for every country's local grid system.
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On 10/10/2013 19:07, Dave W wrote:

I can't remember the number but it would have been purchased a long time ago, perhaps as long as 10 years ago. <checks records) 2006. The Garmin Vista was 2004 and the Tom Tom 2010. I can't remember what model the nuvi was but it cost the earth - £300. The Tom Tom was less than half that price. Both at Halfords.
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All the smartphones can do that now. I use MapMyWalk for that myself.

I don’t find that myself, but then I have always had excellent navigation skills and never have bothered with maps and compasses etc because I don’t need them.
I do find the modern smartphones very handy for stuff like marking where its easy to get thru a barbed wire fence or for the photo of the obscure track that heads off from the main track in dense scrub etc that I hardly ever visit.
And for stuff like where the car has been left in very dense scrub coming down a ridge line with the car at the bottom of the ridge to minimise the farting around picking where to head down off the ridge in the trackless scrub when the car isnt visible from the top of the ridge etc when you have never been there before.

I find that the smartphone lasts fine for that.

But would work fine for me because I would have it off most of the time and only turn it on when I needed to use it.
Tho I normally have it on all the time because I listen to podcasts while walking and use it to record where I have been, more for academic interest than for navigation.
I just don’t ever need any map assistance except for the situation where you need to see where the cliff face ends etc instead of walking it to find out etc.

The only thing I have to watch out of is that I have told it to stop recording when I get back to the car. It would be better if it worked out for itself which bits were in the car and do that auto.

That’s easy in MapMyWalk, its just one alternate display of the walk.

That's one very big advantage with the smartphones, you can just try one of the other walk logging apps instead.

Going to be interesting to see if they can survive the move to smartphones now. Bet none of them can.

Why do you need grid references ?

I was very happy with mine, but don’t use it anymore now.
I used to do the garage/yard sale run google.maps on the PC the evening before, mostly to get the run sequence right with the locations I didn’t know where they were on a map. Then moved that to the TomTom for use in the car during the run itself.
Now we coordinate the run by phone with the regulars so where you actually go is much more dynamic now so there isnt any point in a full itinerary on the TomTom anymore.
Its better to just put all of them into the mapper on the iphone and just get to to route you to a particular sale which you cant remember the best route to or where it has an exact street number of the sale, which is uncommon. And with google.maps on the smartphone you get the actual streetview picture of the place on the phone.
I have my own facebook group that I put the garage/yard sale ads into the day before from the newspaper online and from the local facebook buy sell swap garage/yard sale ads that don’t get into the paper because they charge $40 for the ad.
I get free facebook access in my phone so that works very well indeed.

Sure, but the smartphone does so much more and you really need to have a phone with you in case you break your leg etc.
The local SES manager is a mate of mine and he recons that if I ever did need to ring them up and say I had just broken my leg at Lat and Long etc they'd love it because that would be so unusual for them.
Once you have the smartphone for that, you might as well do everything in it and get the dramatic advantage of being able to try all the apps to see which one you prefer for no cost instead of buying specialist devices and discovering that they have real downsides.

Yeah, that sort of thing will certainly continue.

We'll see...

No reason why the supermarkets can't each have one.

Not anymore. My iphone 5 works fine inside my house with a full metal decking roof and a massive steel wall structure. The TomTom 710 doesn’t.

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On 10/10/2013 21:35, Rod Speed wrote:
snip

As a matter of interest how much does the typical smart phone user have to pay (per week or month) to make constant use of the apps when out and about?

I would not be comfortable walking in unfamiliar territory without my map, whistle and compass. I don't think I have ever actually been lost when out on my own (I usually walk alone) but there have been times when I have been more than a little uncertain as to where I was particularly in my youth in mist in the Scottish Highlands with just an inaccurate 1" map to tell me the topography. Last time out I did walk off the edge of the map I was carrying without any ill effects unlike the runner who came out of the valley behind me who would have had a very long run back to his base if I hadn't given him a 10 mile lift in the right direction.

Battery life in excess or 16 hours when on all the time?

That's where we differ. My primary use for a GPS was to record where I had been, not as a navigational aid. It gets used as a navigational aid of course as it makes navigation easier in mist but if I want to orient the map I use my compass, not my GPS. Indeed I have the GPS compass turned off as it eats batteries.

A GPS is no different unless you don't have to turn the track on initially.

My etrex Vista gives the total ascent as a figure. The MM gives nothing more than a profile and that AIUI only when the track has been saved and then uploaded to the PC.

They seem to be doing well atm. Garmin have just updated their range and I am tempted but the cost is a significant issue.

To waypoint the start of a walk in the middle of the back of beyond where there is no road name, no habitation and the postcode area even if available may extend to several sq miles. Grid refs are easy to take off a paper map. Lat/long next to impossible to do accurately. With a digital map it is as easy either way and only a bit more laborious for lat/long.

Are you in the USA?

That's interesting but is that just the phone or does the GPS function work as well? It was my understanding that the satellite signal was so weak that the GPS manufacturers struggled for years to get reception good enough to work even under tree cover.

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Is that meant to be a plus point?
tim
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On 07/10/2013 17:56, tim...... wrote:

Of course. I started with a cheapo one then bought a better model. After five years faultless service I decided to get the latest model.
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On Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:45:17 +0100

Does it drive the car for you? If not whats the point of upgrading other than for the sake of buying a new toy if the old one works perfectly?
NJR
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On 08/10/2013 20:38, snipped-for-privacy@the.shed wrote:

Are you usually so stupid or just on Tuesday evenings? The old one was not longer supported by TomTom.
Plonk!
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On 07/10/2013 12:20, Peter Crosland wrote:

Never tried telephone support but email support was rubbish and one particular journey (both directions) destroyed any idea that it was good at devising the fastest route. Didn't think much to their website either. Route instructions were very good however.
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I only ever had the need to get support the once and the support I got was hopeless. The problem was with roads outside the towns in the area. The TomTom couldn't find the road that wasn't in a town. Turns out that you just use a pseudo town which is the area the road is in. 'Support' didn't know that and I only found that out by asking in one of the forums.
That's one very big advantage with the majors, lots of people know about the quirks like that in the forums.

There will always be some quirks like that, but the systems that allow the users to enter update info that optionally gets disseminated to other users should do better.

Yeah, leaves quite a bit to be desired.

And I just prefer the general user interface approach over that of the other majors I have tried.
I now use both google.maps and the apple mapper on the phone instead tho.
Cant justify spending almost as much as a dedicated satnav for the tomtom phone app when it doesn't even do the very desirable stuff like being able to tap on an address and have it handed to the phone app for routing to there.
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On 07/10/2013 12:05, Martin Brown wrote:

There are two ways of getting on the net for live traffic..
A: BT to phone and using your phones data contract.
B: built in GPRS, no phone needed.
The BT option is cheaper.
They may also use BT for handsfree.
The tomtom devices still appear to have the edge in routing and live traffic.
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On Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:21:05 +0100, dennis@home wrote:

Three, TMC. Transmitted in the RDS data stream of many commercial FM radio stations. I thought some of the stand alone, rather the vehicle built in, Satnavs used that and it was free but wonkypedia doesn't support that idea.
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On 07/10/2013 12:43, Dave Liquorice wrote:

They do. My venerable Garmin Nuvi 610 does.

No, there is a subscription, but some satnavs (mine included) came with the option of a lifetime subscription.
SteveW
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