Pros Compact, well made, well designed - a Garmin
Cons No SiRF receiver, no WAAS - A lower performance Garmin
Summary To be honest, the Nuvi 250 works OK.
And if this is your firs Garmin, you will probably be very happy with it.
It is compact; it has all the good features of a Garmin: clear screen, intuitive operation, good routing engine and it is very well built.
The Nuvi 250 is actually very similar to the Street Pilot C530 that was stolen from my car last August.
And by the way stolen: always remove the GPS from the windshield BFORE you arrive to your designated parking spot.
Mine was hidden in the car, but somebody saw when I removed it and where I put it. So they broke the window and went directly for the GPS.
But let’s go back to the Nuvi.
As I said it works fine. But after owning the C530, you can see a BIG difference.
The 250 has no SiRf chipset for receiver and no WAAS capability (SiRF=the highest receiving sensitivity available on the market; WAAS=a system enhancing the positioning resolution from 10 to 2 meters).
So the 250 is slower to react when you miss your turn, it may “think” you are on the service road when you really are on the highway and much worst, there are locations where the C530 had no problem to lock on satellites at 3-4 green lines and where the nuvi 250 will NEVER lock whatever you do. And this, in my opinion is BAD.
It means Garmin cut the price but they also cut badly on performance and went back to the pre-SiRf era of low performance GPS receivers (like the Street Pilot C330).
I believe Garmin can do whatever they want, but what I do not like is the fact that they are deceiving us by not stating this reality. On the 250 they state: high sensitivity receiver (?!). It is like saying: This car has a very big engine. Wow, very convincing!
I think we should be the ones deciding how much we want to spend and for what level of performance. They should state that the 250 is an entry level GPS with an acceptable chipset that is less performing than the SiRf, and as such the lower price. This is a simple and fair statement.
Personally, I bought the nuvi 350 for comparison and I found that for 100$ more, it is by far a better GPS, even if I don’t like too much the flip antenna feature; so I am returning the nuvi 250.
I hope this helps.
Pros Ready to go, out of the box. Loaded with points of interests, very intuitive to use.
Cons Hard to see in bright sun if you wear polarized sunglasses.
Summary I live in Canada, and the Nuvi 250 I purchased came loaded with both Canada and U.S. maps.
I had this unit working minutes after I bought it. I was in the store parking lot and was plotting routes very quickly with its intuitive interface.
The search interface is easy. While I was in the store parking lot I asked it: "Find me Chinese Food restaurants closest to my location." It starts spilling out restaurants closest to farthest, and lets you set any one of those as your destination. Amazing.
The voice is loud and clear (I had it set to 8 out of 10 on the volume scale.). It doesn't read out the actual street names -- you would need to pay more $$$ for that for an upgraded model. But it does tell you of upcoming turns (left or right) and how far ahead that turn is on your current route. The unit will display the upcoming turn-street name at the top of the display though if you really want to know that street name.
I did notice that some local points of interest that are less than approximately 3 years established aren't in the current database. But I assume that there will be upgraded maps available at some point (I haven't figured that part out yet.)
Garmin also has a "POI - Point of Interest" Loader utility that allows custom points to be downloaded to the unit via a PC. I've looked on the web and have seen some user data files available. This includes "Red Light" cameras and "Radar Trap" hot spots. The unit will notify you if you approach one of these points of "interest".
You can set the map to be 3d, or 2d overhead view -- your preference.
The map automatically adjusts the LCD colors and contract (favorably) at night when it's dark, so that the map isn't shining bright in the car cabin. That was a nice touch. (You can also disable this option.)
The touch screen interface is responsive. The unit can disengage from the mount and slips easily into your pocket (comes with a leather case.)
The one con I noticed is that in bright daylight -- if you're wearing polarized sunglasses -- it will be hard to see the display. But if you take the sunglasses off, you can see it OK. I don't think think this is unique to this unit. Those people who regularly wear polarized sunglasses probably notice weird optical effects with any type of LCD display (car display, your digital watch, etc.) My wife doesn't wear polarized shades, and had no problems seeing the unit with her sunglasses. I don't think this is a big deal.
At this point, the unit will do everything I need it to. My wife was surprisingly impressed, as she sees this as a gadget that she can easily use by herself. I have absolutely no regrets, and I'm eager to go on long road trips now that I have this unit.
"good but not great"on by gmnguyen
Pros sensitive receiver, small size, picture viewer
Cons bad route recalculating in residential area
Summary I had a chance to test the Nuvi 250 against the C330 and C530 from Garmin. The Nuvi 250 is a good GPS. It does everything right at a slower speed than the C530. The Nuvi 250 satellite reception is better than the C330 and worst than the C530. The nuvi250 main advantage is its slim size. I was about to keep it even its performance was just average because of its small size. I took it and the C530 to the road and they both performed well although the C530 was always faster in route recalculation. One day, I took both nuvi 250 and C530 to a residential area to find my friend's house and I found a big problem with the Nuvi 250. The nuvi 250 did not recalculate route when I made a wrong turn in small streets and it kept thinking I was in the right track. It did not do anything, not even a voice prompt. The C530 actually guided me to a new route in a sec after I made a wrong turn and it guided me to the destination very well. I then took a few more test with the Nuvi 250 in other residential area and the Nuvi 250 was completely lost when I made wrong turns. The Nuvi 250 simply did not know what to do. The C530 always worked in all condition even down the basement. The C530 is superior to nuvi 250 in satellite acquisition. I finally had to return the Nuv250 and keep the C530.
Pros quick map upload, easy to hear, easy to see in sunlight, Nice size. can recharge from your pc(you can buy a ubs cord)
Cons None at all
Summary we bought this and it works great. hasent got us lost at all. the voice is nice and clear. and some have said you cant see in the day light. I can see fine. a few said that they are told to get off at the wrong exit? maby they put the wrong map down, all I know is this thing works great. No it dosent have text to speach but I really dont care. it has the street name on the screen and the voice says to left turn right. when I pick a map it take no time at all to search. I would buy another in a heart beat. well worth the buy
"atrocious!!"on by kpadre77
Pros Can find addresses 95% of the time. Small and easy to use when it works.
Cons It gets lost a lot. Doesn't take fastest routes when on fastest route setting. Has roads that don' exist in database. Slow to capture satellites.
Summary I see the Garmin's have the highest ratings. If this is the best then none are of much value. It seems to think that one busy city thoroughfare is faster than another just because of a state Hwy. designation, so ignores other faster streets. It is slow to capture a signal when you turn it on in a new city; sometimes you have to turn it on/off several times to get a signal. Streets that don't exist come up as a route to drive. You would need a bulldozer (not just a 4wd) to take some of the streets/roads that come up on the screen as the route to take. I am a power user. It is also annoying to have to re-enter the city name every time I am looking for a new address in the same city. Good product as a toy; terrible as a work tool.