I have one like this. Garmin is still the best stand alone GPS unit out there by far. Your smartphone isn’t going to give you the second screen for clearer directions. If I am walking in city I don’t know I like the Google maps on my iPhone but if I am driving I think it is just plain stupid to use a phone as a GPS unit. There are too many advantages of having a stand alone unit and Garmin is by far still the best one out there.
Agreed. I travel a lot (including to Canada). There are some places where having a phone in your hand (even for direction purposes only) is illegal. I have a garmin that I use for that reason. Having the lane assist is a great feature by itself; however, traffic is nice to have.
Is it perfect? Nope. None of them are. You still need to drive the car yourself. But it is really nice to have a copilot that can help you out.
Superior in what way? If you mean, will it show you travel time and distance remaining? yes.. Can you search for an address that has existed for 30 years? yes.. Can you copy and paste from an email or text message? **depends on the apps available for your phone **
Let me put it this way… It would not have that brand new store that just opened 2 weeks ago added by name (like Google maps would). But it will get you where you need to go if you have the address. I’ve never had a problem finding a business that existed for more than 2 years by name. I can almost always find what I am looking for by address. If you want to get completely crazy, you can search by lat/long…
Depends on where you are. It is not alway up-to-the-minute, but is similar to Apple maps and Google maps. My experience (and this is just my opinion) is that big cites (Los Angeles for example) are a crap shoot because traffic changes so quickly. “Medium” cities (Dallas, Atlanta, etc) are fairly accurate. Small towns towns don’t even register.
Guys, as Stevef pointed out the most important difference here is the phone requires cell signal where the GPS requires access to the sky for satellite reception.
If you are walking or driving around a city with good cell signal the phone is a great choice. It is both simpler and more up to date being that it is pulling maps from a server rather than cached on your GPS. The GPS usually requires a PC to update and download maps. If holding your phone as a GPS is a problem get a RAM (or similar) mount.
However, if you drive out into remote areas, camp, offroad, etc the GPS unit becomes the better choice. I take lengthy motorcycle trips and when we get out into the boonies I’m treated with a mapless grid because the phone has no signal. Both have advantages but I prefer the purpose-built GPS for road trips and the phone for general in-town directions.
I tried using my phone as a GPS on cross country trip last year and found that there were a lot of places (i.e. most of Wyoming & Nebraska) that I would lose data signal, and therefore lose my maps. The Garmin is good as long as it can “see” the satellites. On a more recent trip I had both mounted to my dash with the phone on Waze for traffic updates. Waze traffic (and police) updates were much more accurate than the Garmin.
IME, no! I have an Android phone that uses Google Maps. Google Maps does a better job of being aware of construction (a recent project near my house took 2 months, and Garmin never did catch on that that road was closed, while Google figured it out in about a week). Google Maps does not track traffic accidents. Garmin does not track them WELL. I’ve never had Garmin notify me of an accident that affects my drive time. Once, it notified me of one that was cleared before I got to that stretch of road, and the rest of the time, it simply fails to notify me of them at all.
Google Maps’s navigation choices are also much more efficient. Garmin tends to send me the loooong way around to my destination, ignoring much shorter routes for no apparent reason. Garmin is also confounded by roads with medians, and doesn’t know where the turning lanes are on them.
Garmin is less likely to lose its signal for more than a minute or two. Garmin does have trouble downtown, where the buildings are tall, but it’s never lasted long enough to get me lost. My phone, OTOH, has had significant trouble with its GPS signal in a place that would have gotten me lost. I could have used the Maps feature without the real time, spoken instructions, but it’s hard to do that WHILE DRIVING.
Garmin’s touch screen is pressure sensitive, so I don’t have to take my gloves off to input like I do on my phone.
I usually choose to use the Garmin over my phone. 1) Google Maps is a battery hog. If I were using my phone that way, I’d need a car charger that works better than the one I have. 2) I like to run other apps in the car, like Audible or Pocketcasts, and they don’t always play well with Google Maps. 3) Garmin knows the speed limit for most main roads, which is nice for those long stretches between signs where you think, “Is the limit 55 or 65?” It also tells me how fast I’m going, which is nice in my husband’s car where the speedometer isn’t accurate.