GPS Novice - Magellen vs Garmin

Submitted: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 13:12
ThreadID: 34413 Views:3456 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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I am a novice to GPS units.
I have looked at both the Garmin and Magellin range (and found that the salesmen do not necessarily know enough). My quandry how to determine which is best.
The short list is Magellan eXplorist 400 vs Garmin GPSMAP 76C.

One has a Lithium Ion battery whilst one has 2 x AA batteries. Considering the possibility of a multi-day hike perhaps the AA batteries are better as they can be changed whereas the Lithium Ion can presumably not be re-charged without a vehicle.

Conversly one has an SD expandable memory whereas the other has a finite memory. Without access to a computer the ability to update and add to maps appears limited. This would presumably be an issue if undertaking a world trip across several countries.

Comments from people with experience in this field would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 13:13

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 13:13
AnswerID: 175630

Reply By: Stiphodon - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 14:52

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 14:52
Just a quick note about build quality for the two brands. I've owned two garmins, and both have completely died about 2 months out of warrenty. The last one lived in a cupboard the whole time and was only used twice! At work, we have magellens that date back to the very first GPS units produced, have been dunked in water and dropped numerous times, and are still going strong.
AnswerID: 175635

Follow Up By: Nav 8 - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 15:01

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 15:01
I too have an old Magellan 2000 XL about a 96 mod, it has had so much use that the letters are worn off the keypad, It has never let me down and has had plenty of knocks and scrapes. Magellan's also seem to be very user friendly compared with other brands I have used. Nav.
FollowupID: 431712

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 15:29

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 15:29
I have a Garmin GPS12XL which has operated perfectly for 6 or 7 years in many conditions, countries, temperatures, been submersed many times, been dropped and left in full sun in a car. You cannot draw conclusions about product quality with one or two (or even dozens) of units from a company which manufacturers millions of the things each year.

I would have full confidence both Garmin and Magellen produce units of similar high quality.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 431719

Follow Up By: Groove - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 16:35

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 16:35
I have owned both a Garmin and a Magellan for over 5 years. Both have performed very well. However I have to say Mike that if I had two products of the same brand fail within months of warranty that would be more than enough for me never to buy the same brand again and as such draw a conclusion. At the end of the day I guess its about perception.
FollowupID: 431726

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 18:03

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 18:03
Yep me too, Garmin 12xl is used everyday and still going strong. Magellan 2000xl used rarely these days but has been bashed around for years and still goes strong. Magellan 320, back up to the 12xl for moving map and used when out of the ute walking, been bashed and dropped still going strong.
FollowupID: 431742

Reply By: Michael Carey - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 17:39

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 17:39
I have had Garmin GPS's for years and have had nothing but sterling service from them. My old GPS45 is still going (according to it's new owner), I still have my old GPS12XL and my current Garmin, a GPSMAP60CS is fantastic. I find Garmin service (via GME) to be second to none, even to the extent that flat lithium memory batteries in long superceded models are being replaced "under warranty" many years after purchase.
I have had no experience with the Magellan range of GPS receivers, as they say... when you're on a good thing, stick with it. I'm sure Magellan is a quality product.
The company I work for sells Garmin to both pleasure and professional fishermen.
You only have to look at each companies web sites to see the types of GPS products each make. Gamin has a far more extensive product range, from handheld to marine, in-vehicle mapping systems to complete aviation navigation and communication systems.
Garmin is also releasing the (x) range of GPS units that have an improved GPS receiver and MicroSD card slots for expandable memory. You might find the Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx to be exactly what you want.
AnswerID: 175666

Reply By: Dirty Patrol - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 18:40

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 18:40
you forgot to put your bussiness name and phone number in the sales pitch,
I have used both and find Magellan better for me( meridian-platnum)
AnswerID: 175684

Follow Up By: Michael Carey - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 22:58

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 22:58
I'm not a sales person, I'm in the marine electronic service industry (~17 years, back in the day when a GPS cost you the best part of $20K). I see the problems with equipment that come in the door after people have been using and abusing them, they ask my opinion on products (not just GPS) every day, I base my comments on what I find AFTER the glossy sales pitch has dulled.
When you are about to buy a car, do you ONLY listen to the sales person, or do you go to an independent mechanic and REALLY find out about what you're in for?
You can take my comments on board, or not... it's up to you? I service Garmin (with help from GME), but I also own Garmin, I've flown in a plane equipped with Garmin Nav, Com, Transponder products, they really make good stuff! The fact that I see broken Garmin devices on my bench, doesn't mean that they are junk. It means that they are being used....
FollowupID: 431830

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 20:19

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 20:19
Both brands are good units the one with the Lithium Ion battery will far outlast the one with 2 x AA batteries for hiking but before you buy make sure to check out the Garmin Quest and forget Navmans. The Quest is small, and will work while in your shirt pocket all day
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AnswerID: 175719

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 20:34

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 20:34
Never owned or used a Garmin, so my comments are somewhat lopsided.

What I like about the Magellan Meridian I have is that it does use AA batteries.
I use rechargeables, so have spares on hand if necessary.

When running the GPS from the vehicle supply (all of the time it's in its cradle) it does not use or drain the AA batteries. Best of both worlds.

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AnswerID: 175725

Reply By: Gu_Patrol - Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 21:43

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 21:43
I have 6 Garmins at this moment, all work perfect.
What do you want to do with the GPS, are you looking for auto routing, do you want maps on the screen, or just do moving maps, they start from about $200 to $2000.

The eXplorist 400 is very good they use Hema maps the Garmin 76C can do auto routing, thats great for finding your way around a city .
I know you can get City navigator maps for the Garmin in a few countries, not sure about the Magellan. But if you need to show you the way through streets then your better of with the Garmin.

Ring a dealer like GPSoz and he can tell you more. He does sell both
AnswerID: 175744

Reply By: oz outback - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:47

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:47
Thank you one and all for the amazing amount of replies.
I have now made my decision, it is going to be a Garmin 60Cx - new off the production line. After due consideration I think it will do most of what I desire.
Of course without all the help offered I would not even know about this new release product so, thank you all once again.
AnswerID: 179322

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