Need to buy a GPS.

So far I have looked at the TomTom XXL540 and Navman Ezy 200.

Both have mixed reviews.

Can anyone suggest a reasonable priced GPS that will do what it is suppose to do?

I am getting a bit frustrated when many reviews are almost the opposite to the companies description of the product.

I would go back to just paper maps but the navigator does not agree with that idea. LOL

Any good experiences out there? I don't need the bells and whistles like blue tooth and voice commands.



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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 19:58

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 19:58
Boo Boo,

I can only give you a biased opinion:-)

I have used CoPilot Live on both a PDA and my smart phone and it's not a bad product, however it is not sold as a "stand alone" device. Having said that it is a benchmark to compare with other devices I come across.

I looked at Route 66 which was part of the original Hema Navigator and found it to be "clunky".

I purchased a Tomtom Go 720 some 5 years ago and still use it as my primary street navigation device. It has undergone battery replacement and regular map updates and I find it simple, user friendly and flexible in providing accurate voice guided navigation in metropolitan areas, as well as some country trips along major routes.
When the battery next determines the need for replacement, I intend upgrading to another Tomtom and I have selected The Go Live 2050 World as the most likely replacement.

Now this unit probably has all the "bells and whistles" features you say you don't need, but just maybe, after using a device for a while you may find you wish you have such and such a feature and wish you had paid a little more for the extra flexibility.

As a comparison, the XXL 540 you mention is an OK device BUT:
It does not come with "life time" map updates and will become less accurate over time, as road constructions change.

My suggestion (again I'm only focusing on the Tomtom devices) is to look at as a minimum, the Via 220 which includes 4 map updates per year, or, if you want a 5" display, the via 280 or via 620, or one of the two Go Live models.

I am a great fan of the Tomtom device and do not need to change to another brand.
Some brands may give the added ability to run an "off road" app, but no device currently available will allow you to run 2 applications at the one time.
So if you are traveling the country and recording your route for future reference, you do not want to have to shut it down, to activate a street navigation program while in a major country town, then restart the "off road" application again.
(My old Dell Axim PDA enabled me to run both OziExplorer and CoPilot live concurrently, with the aid of GPSGate, enabling multiple applications to share the GPS input).

For this reason, I now run a Tomtom device for street guided navigation for both metropolitan areas of our major cities, as well as some of the major cities and towns throughout the Country, and at the same time, my Hema Navigator (or Galaxy tab 10.1) running OziExplorer for more complete countrywide travel, recording the track I take plus any waypoints I may enter along the way.

Think hard on not only what your current requirements are, but what the additional features (such a "life time" map updates) will give you for a little more investment.



Bill


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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 20:07

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 20:07
Boo Boo,

Just as an aside, whatever you buy will be soon superseded by something with more features and at a lower price, but at least you can make your investment last for a reasonable period of time, before you need to upgrade.

In my experience, my Tomtom has been (and still is) a great device with the majority of features I need and with lifetime map updates, but as I am progressing in age (eg more limited eyesight) the 5" sized screen for both my original Hema Navigator and the Tomtom Go 720 will see me investing in 5"+ screens for both in the near future.

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 20:18

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 20:18
Like Bill, I've been a fan of Tomtom's gear. The upside is that they are cheap and dead easy to use. The downside is that they charge the earth for map updates unless it is a model that comes with updates included.

But the main reason I use Tomtoms is that you can add an aftermarket freeware program called TTMAPS. You can install it and I run both the Auslig 250k mosaic and .ecw versions of the Hema maps. Great back up to my computer mapping. Not all Tomtoms can take this program but I've got it working on the base models - the XL and the Start10. I expect it shoud work on the XXL540 but haven't actually tried it with that device.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:23

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:23
Sandman and Phil

Thanks for the replies.

Would you believe I have a TomTom Go 720, its about 3 or 4 years old and as you said the tomtom does a reasonable job.

However the suction mount died a while ago and bought a universal mount that is next to useless but have tolerated it for about 8 months.

I am now thoroughly ticked off with it and thought I would get a tomtom mount from tomtom.

So went online to the tomtom site and found the mount was around $50 and postage was $33.

Then looked at a new GPS and found it was not much more for a new GPS.

However the reviews give me some concern.

Perhaps I'll find a mount a suitable one day?

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:32

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:32
The most basic Tomtom Start 10 - cost me $88 about a year ago - finds all the new freeways in Sydney and Brisbane fine and works the TTMAPs program - which is just OK on the small 3.5" screen. But I don't use bluetooth or anything else apart from navigation. The Start 10 however has fewer features (naturally) and will only give visual warning when exceeding the speed limit. The XL series gives audible warning of these. Not sure what extras you'll get by keeping the GO720, as the features improved with newer units.

I'd go for a new Tomtom and you'll get the newest maps etc.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:44

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:44
Phil

I think you're spot on.

I rarely do anything but punch in addressess and a few other things with the 720.

In other words a bit above basic will probably do it for me.
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Follow Up By: Ian J1 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 15:10

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 15:10
Hi Boo Boo,


Have you considered the Mud Map M7? It is both an On-road and Off-road GPS.


- Comes with a 7" touch screen
- 4WD maps from 3 map publishers
- turn by turn with latest NAVTEQ street data
- over 3000 caravan park and camp site POIs
- plus it lets you plan, record and share your trip


Very good value for money. I found it roughly 300 bucks cheaper than the Hema.


This is their website:
M7 Website
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Reply By: 2517 - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 20:29

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 20:29
Working in the Sydney C B D and surrounds have found Garmins products to be the best at finding address and giving you plenty of warning about turning and what lanes to be in.
AnswerID: 504265

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:46

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 21:46
Thanks 2517

I'll have a look at Garmin as well.

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Reply By: graham B9 - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 22:03

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 22:03
I am a Garmin voter as well. I have a tom tom at the moment but a garmin before and in the US, I have a Garmin as well. Easy to use and much easier than a Tom tom. Both my cars have in built GPS and they are to complicated to use.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 22:21

Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 at 22:21
Thanks fellas.

I went back onto ebay and accidentally found a mount for the tomtom,
it will be delivered on Monday and cost the princely sum of $11.99.

The tomtom lives a little longer. LOL
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 13:43

Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 13:43
Another approach might be that Dick Smith and others now sell 5 inch units at $98 dollars so they are throw away / give away to the kids items now after a year or 2 and just get a new one.

Saves a lot of the hassles I see with upgrades etc and allows me for instance to kept my Garmin 276c with its unmatched features for off road use - and also have a basic backup - I like this idea Boo Boo.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 21:40

Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 21:40
Hi

"..allows me for instance to kept (sic) my Garmin 276c with its unmatched features..."

Crikey – you must have reviewed and keep on reviewing a lot of GPS units to come up with that bold claim :)

I assume by your comment you mean that ALL previous or current GPS units lack at least two "features" the 276c does have. Don't get me wrong the 276c was a good unit but it has some "feature" shortcomings that I'm not sure any "unmatched features" would compensate for, but anyway...

I suspect I know the answer but out of curiosity, what are the "unmatched features" of the 276c (discontinued, unsupported GPS model) and how are you carrying out this ongoing GPS "unmatched feature" assessment ? Both hands on the keyboard please :)

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 09:29

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 09:29
Hello Greg

Yes we have answered that question before and I believe you know some of those features like the ability to make your own track and actually navigate it as opposed to having a map underlay which you follow visually.

But I do lament the fact that I cannot buy a 7 inch version etc.

There are plenty of new features in the current systems but wether or not you would have them is an individual preference manner just like ones car - I don't think even the latest U-beaut Patrol can match the feature that I want and have in a car - but I sure wish I had some of the toys they have.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 12:14

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 12:14
Hi

That it one feature ..what are the others? I am honestly unaware of what they may be.

I don't think the "ability to make your own track and actually navigate it" is unmatched/unique to the 276c. My TwoNav Aventura has the ability ("feature") to load a track file (either one you have created or one previously recorded). Once loaded you can set unit to navigate along it - no voice prompts but it does provide directional arrow and distance to next corner/bend/deviation and also provides custom set alarms if you stray too far off course (10m 20m etc).. among other things. Maybe not the exact same setup as the 276c (?) but end result is the same. I also have TwoNav program on my android phone and Ipad so there's another two GPS units with the "unmatched feature" of the 276c :)

TwoNav also has "trackback" option i.e. you can navigate back along a "track" you just made (this feature is common on many handheld GPS units).

No problem stick with what suits your requirements - but I think you will find there are other GPS units/GPS mapping programs out there that will achieve the same end result (and much more in many cases) so proclamations of "unmatched features" maybe slightly misleading without a detailed review and explanation.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 14:00

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 14:00
Hi Greg

I note you picked up on the cursor following a user defined track its one of the things in our last discussion
and for me is a must , voice prompts aren't so important - while 276c has them I actually removed voice capability
from my 276c as it can define multiple beep type alarms which a enough of a prompt for one to have a glance at the screen.

Because of another of the 276c abilities (inbuilt voltmeter - with user defined alarm settings) it has even
woken us up out of a sleep when the car battery got low.
This isn't really that useful but whats is ,is that you can set a user defined proximity ring around a user
waypoint and a bell will ring when you enter that zone - this is particularly good for camera and other hotspot locations.

The 276c can change its personnality at the touch of a button and become a marine unit with lots of cross track
type info and it autoloads different map types as this happens if you wish - it can even take a sonar input which sounds
a bit useless until you use it on a boat - but the rest of the marine features are really good for true cross country driving
or even to know when the tides in for beach driving.


I don't know your " TwoNav Aventura " model but it sounds like it has some of the 276c features I need.
( I presume its not phone signal dependant - our galaxy 3 hasn't proved to be so hot when there isn't a signal)

I would like to investigate it further if you have any links - I would love to replace the 276c as they are getting old now and will fail electronically and if I can find something better then I would rush to aquire one.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:50

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:50
Hi

Oh yeah the voltmeter - I remember that now - fairly unique I think (though I would guess that some of the similar units in the 200 series would also have same feature..but not sure)

All the latest Garmin handhelds (e.g. Oregon, Dakota, Colorado) have option for you to set up "profiles" whereby you can choose preferred features for task at hand ...so easy to have a Marine profile that loads a marine "bluechart" (subject to you having purchased a copy of bluechart) which also includes tides along with the ability to customise various nav pages suited for marine activities...so don't think feature wise the 276c is unique in that aspect...though don't know all available nav options available for comparison.

The TwoNav Aventura is a GPS and is therefore not in anyway dependent on phone signal. It may or may not suit you needs. Probably would suggest a more car base unit for yourself with bigger screen.

The TwoNav program has a number of variants for use on ipads/tablets etc - its a bit like OziExplorer but has vector type street Nav as well (same as say a Garmin Nuvi) so you get the best of both worlds - Raster mapping and vector mapping...though Vector mapping may not be up to same standard at available Garmin products (Oztopo/Garmin topo) but I am lead to believe a TwoNav Oztopo version is being investigated.

Cheers
Greg

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Reply By: bgreeni - Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 15:40

Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 15:40
Why go for a dedicated GPS.

I use a Samsung tab 7.7 (model not now available but their are lots of others.)

With it I can use either the auto routing software that comes with Android, or OziExplorer

The supplied software is fairly basic but does the job OK, and I have lots of other software including phone, email, web browsing etc etc all in one unit.

I have a Seasucker to mount it on the windscreen and the 7" screen is a good size I find.
AnswerID: 504324

Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 16:25

Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 16:25
Just buy a Garmin nuvi 50 and an Garmin TOPO Australia NZ MicroSD V4 . Put the card in the GPS and you have turn x turn mapping for the whole of australia with 1:100 000 map . I dont bother with updates . When a new TOPO Australia NZ map comes out i just buy that . The advantage of the MicroSD rather than the DVD is the MicroSD is transferrable to other garmin compatible devices . I just put the MicroSD card in and the GPS is ready to go .
AnswerID: 504325

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 20:50

Friday, Feb 08, 2013 at 20:50
Gentlmen

What I like about this site is the great variety of answers with great ideas.

However I have spent my 2 cents on the mount, but will keep my/your options open for next time, thankyou.
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Follow Up By: Member - nick b - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:10

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:10
Hi BooBoo Does tomtom have life time map up dates for free ?

I have a garmin but wouldn't agree with atta boy because of $$$$$

what do you want to do /use/ it for ?
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 22:09

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 22:09
Nick

I think some of the later models have free maps, but not 100% sure.

Any way the new mount is doing well and I'll keep the tomtom for a while longer :)

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