Buying a GPS is very scary experience lol

Submitted: Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:10
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I have been looking tomtom and garmin Gps's for the past 4 days and am now worried about the negative reviews most seem to have.

I don't need all the bells and whistles so I have been looking in the price range up to $200.

Many of the reviews are around 1 to 2 yrs old which also add to the confusion.

So, I thought I'll get more confusion from our forum and also some up to date comments.

Over to you. lol



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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:04

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:04
Get on to ebay and buy a 7" GPS, see item 120886377459, install Oziexplorer and you have full mapping as well as turn by turn.
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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:54

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:54
Spot on Peter.
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 14:32

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 14:32
I was also interested in this unit.
That is until I read the sellers negative feedback, particularly relating to this 7" GPS.
Mike
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Follow Up By: WBS - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 08:03

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 08:03
Before you rush off and buy this GPS, remember that you will also have to buy OziExplorer for PC as well to use it properly. Then If you don't already know, you'll need to learn OziExplorer.

Are you going to use this for road trips or around the city? If its only for the city stick with Garmin or Tom Tom.

If you intend using for road trips, remember you will need to switch between OziExplorer and whatever street navigation software it uses for city navigation. You can't use both at once, its one or the other.

Also from a quick read it only has an external memory card (SD or MicroSD card) which is not very clear on the advertising with a capacity of 8GB. My cheap Chinese 7" GPS purchased in 2010 runs with a 32GB SD card.

I've known people who bought these cheap GPS units and had nothing but trouble trying to get OziExplorer working properly. It kept hanging.

If you buy this unit and it all works fine and you are already or can be come an expert in OziExplorer then you'll have a lot of fun using it. Just be aware.

WBS
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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 09:58

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 09:58
WBS

clearly you're not aware of the twonav unit which does in fact show topo and street maps on the same screen

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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:02

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:02
like this screen

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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:37

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:37
Fell's I don't need bells and whistles.

I just need to get from point A to B and find shopping centres for the dried arrangement.LOL

Call me old fashion, but the night before I want to go somewhere like a 4wd shop I put the address into the GPS.

It works for me.

I can leave my phone home for a day, or not use a computer for a week and not worry about it.

I don't want a bells and whistles anything. lol
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Follow Up By: WBS - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 15:52

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 15:52
Wicket,
Clearly I was not but, you've enlightened me so thanks for the education. More investigation to follow.

WBS
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 20:03

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 20:03
Does OziExplorer do turn by turn? I thought not?
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Follow Up By: WBS - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 08:01

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 08:01
Bonz,
You are right. Technically, you can however go through a lengthy process of creating a Route in which you can record your own voice saying "Turn Left , Turn Right" in a voice recording app and putting it into the route at waypoints you create. I did it once for interest but gave up and bought a Garmin Nuvi instead.
WBS
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Reply By: landseka - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:12

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:12
Hi Boo, you realise that if you have a smartphone you already have a GPS? They all come with a navigation program of sorts, if not there are free app downloads.

The maps are frequently updated for free too.

I have a Garmin but don't use it anymore, the phone is always with me. I usually know where I am going & just turn it on when in unfamiliar territory.

I don't need it on for example driving across the Nullarbor as the Garmin as the Garmin was.

Cheers Neil
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:41

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:41
G'day Neil

I bought the garmin 2597 and so far it is streets ahead of my old tomtom.

As mentioned above I don't feel the need for technology, I'm comfortable with what I do.

Frances and I must get over to the West again and drop in.

Seeya

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 20:04

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 20:04
Thats a great unit BooBoo you should be pretty happy with it
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:24

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:24
Gidday

I reckon at that price point it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. Sure you can go to ebay, buy software, use your phone ... But if you just want a simple city navigator, which it sounds to me like you do, either would probably be OK. Both brands will have their devotees and knockers and there are sure to be people with stories about how their Garmin lasted a week and then failed ... but i would be happy with either. It might come down to what's on special this week and things like map updates. Or maybe even something as important as the Voice!

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Stevesub1 - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:07

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:07
Had 2 Garmins, one is still going after who knows how many years in my wife's car, 2nd Garmin gave all sorts of trouble and got my money back. I use Google maps on an Android phone if I do not have the Garmin with me (internet reqd) or Maps with Me using the free Open Street maps if I have no net (Tom Tom maps optional and you pay). I used to use Navigon but it was too buggy on my phone.

I would not buy another dedicated GPS unless it had a feature/map that I wanted that was not available on a phone.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:18

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:18
What you might buy depends on what you want to use it for/where you will use it. More info = better answers.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:44

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:44
Boo Boo I was thinking the same as Val - I have again been searching for something better than my 8yo 276c , its gotta die soon.

But I need real navigation features and things like when is high tide before I go on a beach.

Finding nothing - I sent email to those in the know and they came back with 2 key points.

1/ There is nothing that matches a 276c

2/ Do you wish to sell yours ? I got serious buyers ?
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 08:35

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 08:35
Very true.

Do you only want street navigation or do you want to go off road. Then again do you want it portable to take it for a walk in the bush and thwen back to the car or installed in the car for just the driving navigationor to use with rear view cameras and blue tooth.

I have an issue walking for distances, so ours in mounted in the car and since we hate cluttered cabins or stuff stuck on the windscreen we paid a little more and got one installed in the dash and is fully integrated with the cars entertainment, blue tooth and rear etc cameras.

The options are endless and maybe even a smart phone one will do you.

Confused? Turn the internet off and just jot down a wish list and then come back here and let us know what you want. I know you said only around $200 but if that does not do what you want in six months time then it's a total waste.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 08:37

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 08:37
Forgot to add. Our son bought one and mounted it on the dash. He was quite miffed when he heard that ours also played the radio and DVD etc etc at the same time that Oziexplorer was running.

Just something to be mindfull of.

Phil
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Reply By: Bazooka - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:23

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:23
I just bought a Garmin 2597LMT to replace my old TomTom BooBoo (lol). On special atm from the Good Guys for $165. Has Bluetooth which I won't use and voice command which I haven't yet tried, but which apparently works very well. I was after a mid-range unit and after reading some reviews this came out as a pretty good all rounder. Free LMT updates is handy depending on where you're going.

Couple of things which are minor annoyances. Speed limit warnings are hit and miss. I tried this yesterday and got no beep but later on a different suburban road it worked. The visual spped display (hardly useful) always works - the speed is surrounded by either a green or red cloud. Don't know if this lack of consistency is a software or mapping issue, maybe both. Also, so far Garmin's implementation of the quickest route (which should be based on the mapping) has been relatively average. It obviously gets you there but not necessarily by the quickest or "most direct" route. However once you ignore it it quickly recalculates a new route based on your current heading. I would also say that the camera and speed alerts could be louder/more distinct. I don't like the volume up but I like to hear those clearly, especially when I'm in unfamiliar territory in a city. With so many signs and distractions in places like Sydney and Melb every little bit helps.

The 2597 is much more responsive than my old TT and acquires satellites "instantly".

Here's a review: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-car-gps/

Oh yeh another thing. The Aussie girl's voice is okay but she has no idea of how to pronounce some basic names (eg Kingsford, or as we all know it Kingsfd is, according to "Karen", Kings ford) so I'm going to give Aussie Lee or a Pommie voice a go.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:06

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:06
Thanks for the prompt replies.

I try not to let technology rule my life.

Therefore my phone is an old Samsung A411, only used for incoming/out going calls, and messages. It does not have a GPS or blue tooth etc. We also do not want facebook and tweeter.

We travel the country for work and I only want a GPS that gets us to where we want to go, and shows us where petrol stations and shopping centres are located.

I will have a look at good guys this afternoon, thanks for that.

I hope my technology comments don't upset anyone. lol
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:24

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:24
Boo boo

I knew I was on the right track. As a fellow samsung 441 owner I salute you!

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 14:08

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 14:08
Another A411 user with a brand new back up one in the draw.

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 06:20

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 06:20
And another A411 user, with a few in the drawer..............
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 12:59

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 12:59
Pronunciation: AFAIK it's not Karen it's the algorithm that uses syllables rather than words in order to keep file size down.
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:06

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:06
I can't believe people are still buying a stand alone GPS. My phones do the job just as well if not better with Asssisted GPS and I don't have to pay for software upgrades. In fact you can use Whereis or Google for free.! I also like the fact my phone stays with me so it's not a target for thieves. Anyway that's my 2 bobs worth.!
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 16:48

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 16:48
Understand Terra, but not everyone wants a 5" phone in their pockets.

Always have a chuckle when people talk about the free apps on their PEDs ('portable entertainment devices' - they long since stopped being phones). 'Phone' data certainly is NOT free unless someone else is paying for your phone/downloads/plan. How much did/does your phone cost? I'll bet my life it's three, four or more times what my separate GPS and phone cost. 'Horses for course's and 'different strokes' as they (used to) say.

Daughter's boyfriend agrees with you though. His iphone is his best friend, and hang the cost.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:19

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:19
for starters google maps uses very little data and navigon uses no data

and yes its horses for courses. my phone will voice guide me round the city as well as use a host of maps on ozi explorer.

actually I forgot google maps can be used with no data. all you do when youve got free wifi is download a map to be used off line.

I do have a standalone GPS but theres just no need to use it anymore
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:39

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:39
Bazooka, You are incorrect. Any data I use on my phone is included in my monthly allowance, data is required for email and internet access, it's the 21st century mate, get with the times..! LOL

Now let me tell you I use Tom Tom, occasionally Google Maps or Whereis and they are free. I paid once for Tom Tom years ago and have never had to pay for updates since. I also use a range of marine plotter apps and my personal entertainment device is more of a very powerful navigational tool for me, far better than a stand alone GPS and you only need to carry one device around with you.

Data is becoming cheaper and cheaper and because you can now do more with it, Tom Tom uses no data unless perhaps you were using the optional traffic program with it.
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 19:18

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 19:18
Bazooka you also need to put things into perspective before you talk about the cost of a smart phone. The apps I use on my smart phone are very powerful, when you consider its a phone, a navigational device on land and water , a weather routing device, a utilities device, a video recorder, the list goes on. Certainly the value of having
A one does it all device makes it a very powerful tool, nowadays you can spend $400 to $700 for a powerful smartphone that does so much that it pays for itself over and over. Oh and yes it also makes a great entertainment device, a games player, a foxtel player, a sports information powerhouse, an unbelievable music player, there's so much entertainment going on I don't know where to start. LOL..
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 13:29

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 13:29
The prepaid mobile phone I have works well if I remember to charge it.
We have an emergency only sat phone for emergencies only.
The in-dash GPS suits us for both street and off road navigation and no download costs.
If I want to know if it is raining I ask my wife.
We already have an excellent still and movie camera.
We have a pack of cards and a box of travel games in the car.
We don't have a boat.
The GPS is fully integrated with the cars radio, TV, DVD and walkman/USB player.
We have a good compass and paper maps and are both well versed in map reading.

I know which one I prefer. And that is definitely NOT a smart phone.

Couldn't help it Terra. We never were ones for upgrading and keeping up with technology. It's like the 30+ year old Masport 4 stroke lawn mower that still works. Why change it. There is nothing in that phone that I either need and don't have already. We didn't even get a colour TV until 1987.

But we are only two of many sir. Enjoy your technology and the bills it incurs.

Phil
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 14:22

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 14:22
Good on you Phil, like a lot of people some just don't like change. I understand your logic but it isn't mine, LOL. Agree with you on the mower though, my old Briggs & Stratton is 20 years old and still going strong.

P.S. With the weather mate off shore cruising can be a matter of life and death, certainly not going to listen to my wife, I trust Science first.!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 14:30

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 14:30
That was lucky I just asked the mods to delete my post because if you didn't have a sense of humour you could have been offended.

Phew

Phil


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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 14:34

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 14:34
Awesome Phil, your showing some technology off there mate..! LOL
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Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:11

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:11
spot on with the phones I get the choice of using Navigon or Google maps

both do a good job. thing I like about google maps is its far more intuative than stand alone gps for finding things

little things like addresses suposedly in one suburb but are actually in another due to that suburb being adjoining and better known stops normal GPS dead but google maps still finds them
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Reply By: Member - johnat - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:58

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:58
Unless you are full-time on the road, doing the "big lap" or whatever else takes your fancy, 99% of the driving you will do will be places where you don't need instructions.

So, it makes sense to install a unit that you can use for "other stuff" when you do not need the GPS capability.

You could certainly do far, far worse than use a 7 or 8 inch android tablet, with "Navigator" software app (which uses free, user supported/editable maps) for the GPS functions and then the other stuff you can do - I have Mahjong, Chess, crossword apps as well as the usual suspects like email and web browser on mine.
This means that you can find your way to a Maccas for a semi-decent coffee, and check the emails while you are there! Then you can stop for the night anywhere you want, park or freecamp matters not, and have a game of mahjong while you wait for the pizza delivery (just joking ;) ) and then kick up the GPS kit on the following morning and continue on your way.
You can also track expenditure, keep a diary, etc etc etc using, often free, apps - take fairly reasonable (not studio or competition winning) photos, and vids as records of where you've been - and any number of other apps - mind blowing, really!
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 14:01

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 14:01
Oh, and I meant to say that this doesn't tie up your phone, so you can use the GPS WHILE SheWhoMustBeObeyed is chatting to the neighbours (provided that you have coverage, that is - P) )
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:34

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:34
I have 2 Garmins an old 4 inch and a 1490T with voice/bluetooth and congestion warning
The red and green on the speed are whether you are under or over the speed limit as understood by the Garmin. My maps are old now so not always correct.

The Garmin maps are good in the country but if you want small tracks you need Garmin topo which will load into the Micro SD slot.

Both of mine have been trouble free for years except the 1490T had a dummy spit once and needed a reboot which is explained on their site.

You have to clear the memory ie "Recently Found " and favourites every now and then or it becomes slow to calculate a route.
I am very happy with them and find them very intuitive to use. I recall that I had a Tom Tom in a hire car in ZA and I never did figure out how to work it, whereas you can use a Garmin from minute one.
Regards Philip A

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 17:19

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 17:19
Thanks for the prompt Philip. I'd forgotten about Garmin topo. Have a copy in my handheld GPS but thought it was locked to just one device.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 21:50

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 21:50
I just bought a Garmin 7" screen, 2797 for $240, the smaller version is the 5" 2597 $180 if you want a smaller screen. It has lifetime maps and traffic for the actual life of the unit. I just retired the old Garmin 760, it was locking up every 15 minutes, driving me crazier than normal. I bought a current Garmin Topo Micro SD on Ebay for $22 and has turn by turn. With paper maps and Garmin Topo should get me out of trouble. On sale at DSE at the moment and so much better than the 5 yo Garmin 760 in features and thinking!! Michael
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