Garmin 6" GPS Navigator w/ Lifetime Maps

I bought a Garmin with “lifetime maps”. When I went to download them it asked for a credit card… Died after about 3 years. Now when I turn it on it says Garmin and won’t load. Don’t buy use a Phone app.

Who doesn’t have a GPS on their phone?

Per the vendor: Continental US only.

If I read this right, it said it last only one hour on battery? Am I reading that right? Also, when the battery does die on this thing and not holding any charge, can I replace it or do I have to send it back?

WOW! … What a Joke! Don’t buy this crap! Use the GPS on your phone!

I don’t. Believe it or not, I have a non-smart phone (and I’m not elderly!). I rarely use it and I’ve been contemplating a GPS navigation system but know nothing about them.

My mom likes to have a GPS in her car for backup, in case she runs into an area that doesn’t have cell phone coverage.

A GPS is superior for providing direction when you are not in the big city. Otherwise, I don’t see much difference between the directions from a smartphone and a GPS. Be sure to plug in either device as GPS coordinates really run down a battery. Traveling in the west or out of the city in the east, you begin to lose cell tower coverage. That means no more directions via your cell phone. If you can’t call, you do not receive directions either. The GPS works off of satellites and generally you have coverage all the time.
This is a six inch screen which is pretty good size to provide a screen of the road. Also, you can view the legal speed and the speed you are traveling at any time. If you exceed the legal speed, the speed box will be lightly highlighted, it is not dramatic though.
You can update several times a year (how often is the road changing), however unlimited does not include daily updates, I believe I have three - four free updates a year, then they request a credit card.
The battery is charged and runs off the cigarette lighter socket, although you can leave it unplugged about an hour on the GPS battery and receive directions.
In the settings you can select to avoid toll roads and that can add to savings over time and I often find myself going as fast and parallel to toll road traffic on a two lane highway (one way) instead of a six - eight lane crowded highway. Sometimes you are routed into a road that is forgotten as it was an artery of the past, like the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Any GPS system can lead you astray, so keep your wits about you and “never trust a computer you can’t pick up.” It is always instructive to have a real map and plan out your general route ahead of time (whether you are driving or backpacking). If you have an address, it is very accurate; however if you are using their gas stations, restaurants, theaters, etc, that business may have closed and they might not have updated their business listing.

This model from Garmin does not include voice command (so the driver does not have to use the touch screen while driving to change something, although it does give you verbal driving instructions like lane changes and turns).
Nor does it include traffic avoidance (real handy to automatically avoid a traffic jam). This saved me a 40 minute delay last time I was heading into DC. Instead you have a fairly large display (6") to identify the road ahead as a trade-off.

Can you buy maps for Europe on this device?

Thank you; this is helpful!

You can download a route to/from anywhere from Google Maps to your phone and no cell coverage is required.

Take a look at the Garmin site

Click on maps - then select the map you want - there is a tab for compatible devices, looks like this is compatible with the Europe maps. (although - it is much cheaper on e-bay!)

The problem with my phone GPS is that when it loses the network signal it loses functionality as a GPS. That can be a problem trying to get through rural areas. It added a couple hours to one trip to Panama City Beach. And my phones always feel like they are about to burst into flames if the GPS runs longer than 15 minutes.

I have owned two garmins and used them on a daily basis for my commuting and trips. I now use google maps almost exclusively on my phone. To address some of the statements above. Google maps allows you to download maps for offline use so you can use it when cell service is lost or weak, so not really an issue if you know ahead of time where you are going. :wink: I recommend this for anyone who used google maps on the phone because it also cuts way down on data use as the map is already stored on the phone. The location of the vehicle is from the gps satellites, also not requiring cell service. The reason I switched to google maps is that it is much more likely to route me around traffic or accidents then garmin ever was and is much more accurate on arrival/travel times as well. It is much more real-time in its traffic analysis. And it is free and I never have to update the maps, it is all done in the background automatically.

I do think garmin is a good choice if you do not already have a smart phone, but I rarely use my garmins anymore because I do own a smart phone and google maps is much better. And yes you really need to keep the phone plugged in during use as it really does drain the battery. I lose about 10% on my phone for my 30 minute commute. Good Luck everyone.

wrong! lifetime is for the life of the unit. Where did you come up with that idea?

You are the mercy of your cell phone service. Navigation also uses your battery at an alarming rate. Your phone probably doesn’t have a 6" screen. Some navigation apps aee inferior to Garmin. No one is tracking where you go.

Waze is superior to google maps because it gets data from other Waze users on the road.

Nobody seems to get that you don’t have to have cell service to navigate with Google Maps!!

I do! Heck, there are even downloadable map applications. People seem to confuse GPS function with maps. Google maps downloads the maps as you go over cell signal (and your data plan). You can download a google map for a period of time. So, you can actually use GPS and downloaded maps without cell service, either Google Maps or others like MapsMe.

Google maps lets you download the data for any area so it will be available even if you lose data and wifi coverage. You are right about the heat issue. One thimg I’ve done on longer trips is to set the app to turn the screen off between sets of directions. It knocks down some of the heat.