Pros Good size display, built-in bateries and speakers, stores MP3's and pictures... i love it
Cons None so far....
Summary I've already owned a car with a factory GPS in it and after getting rid of it, I purchased the StreetPilot 2720, which I kept for 2 days.
The sheer size of that device was a huge turnoff for me. Sometimes I am forced to leave my car in a less than desireable spot and the NUVI fits right in my shirt pocket. Whereas the 2720 was about the size of a brick and impossible to stash anywhere.
Anyway, I took the NUVI on a 150 mile trip, through NYC, Long Island and back. The device performed flawlessly.. I was able to listen to a PodCast that I transfered to its internal memory and whenever the NAV needed to guide me, the podcast would mute and the voice prompts would guide me. When the voice prompts were finished, the audio volume would return to where it was.
The device is small enough to not obstruct your vision, but the display is more than large enough to provide the guidance that you need to navigate the cluster of highways that all seem to merge together on NY highways.
The speed at which the device calculates and responds is impressive, as is the POI's that are in the system. Not only does it list the common POI's within 25 miles(food, fuel, atm's), just to test it, I entered Compusa and the damn thing knew where all of those were too !
I love this new toy of mine, you will too !
"great gadget"on by gadgetsguy
Pros use right out of the box... very accurate... fast recalculating
Cons price is too high
Summary Recently I decided to get a GPS. After much research and when I was almost decided on one, I came across the nuvi 350 in an article from Garmin around October (before it was available) and fell in love with it. I patiently waited for a review finally finding the one by Craig Ellison in PC Mag. It was a great review. I then started searching for prices, found it for $682 at Beach Audio and ordered one. Before placing the order, I called them and they said they had 14 in stock. The next day they cancelled my order and removed the item from their web site. When I contacted them, they told me they were out of stock and not going to get any more. I checked their website and they carry just about every Garmin product. I'm sure they decided they had made a mistake in the price and decided not to honor my order, the bastards. Today I decided to shell out the $899 everybody is asking for it and got one. I opened the box in the store's parking lot and after setting up the time zone and language, I entered my home address and was on my way home. I intentionally missed my turn a couple of times and it recalculated before I got to the next corner. It was very fast and accurate. When I got stock in traffic and slowed down, it added more time to my “arrival time” and then took away a couple of minutes as I started to move faster. This is my first GPS but after riding around for a couple of hours with it I am finding that it was everything I expected and more. I just started to play around with the travel features. I speak two languages and when I tried the translation, it was very accurate. As I write this, I am uploading mp3’s and a couple of pictures into its extra memory.
I would definitely recommend this product. I think Garmin did a great job.
Pros Small form factor & Simple to use UI, Sturdy, Quick Release Windshield Mount
Cons Power Button Location, No external Volume Control, No Hold Button or Screen Lock,
Summary This unit arrived yesterday 2/2/06 via UPS. I ordered it from that major electronics chain; you know, the one with the big yellow price tag? Well, I will save my review of the “worst buying” experience from that place for another post. For now, let's concentrate on the Nuvi350.
As I mentioned, I have had this unit for about 24 hours. I took it out of the box, connected the AC adapter to charge the battery, then took it outside and turned it on. In just about literally 90 seconds, it was connected, and registered. Really very quick. (if anyone read my post on Socket Navigator Software, you will understand my excitement)
I popped the windshield mount onto the back, and I was on my way in about 8 minutes from when I took it off the charger.
After powering the unit on, (see my "cons" about the Power Button) the main menu provides 3 simple choices. "Where to?" "View Map" and "Travel Kit" Although I am not impressed with the Travel Kit, I have to say this is the simplest way to start navigating around the country.
I have been using my PDA as a GPS, so the small form factor of this little guy is key for me. It is very small, and extremely light. It comes with its own carrying case, so when I parked the car, it was a quick disconnect from the windshield mount, and into my pocket safely. Very nice feature! I was impressed.
Entering an address, or POI is very simple via the touch screen. Each letter gives you a quick and significant on screen click when entering, and they are large enough so you don’t have to worry about doubling up a letter during entry. The POI's are chock full of restaurants, banks, entertainment, fuel stations, and the like. I will say scrolling through some of them was a bit of a pain. A small improvement to make this easier would be a simple way to filter them even more.
All the unit settings are done via the touch screen. So while you are using the GPS, and need to adjust a setting i.e. volume, brightness, language, you will need to tap the on screen menu and click through to the setting you need. I found this a bit unorthodox and cumbersome especially while driving. If the unit volume is too loud, and your phone rings, there is no easy access to the mute button, so you will need to get pretty quick with your index finger before answering the phone.
Other cons I found a bit frustrating for a $900.00 unit are the location of the power button. To power on the unit, you simply press and hold the power button. The same to turn it off. However, it is in the exact location of where you would hold the unit, to place it into the windshield mount, or to remove or place it into the carrying case. In the few hours I have been using the unit, I have mistakenly powered it on or off six times. This might have been resolved with either a different location, or a simple 'hold' switch on the side, next to a volume dial. (I know I already mentioned that one)
As far as the MP3 player, Image viewer, Audiobook player, and language translator (aka Travel Kit), I would rather see these items in separate devices, as it may bring the cost a bit lower. Better yet, simply make them as available upgrade options. I have not had the pleasure or displeasure of using any of these items yet, so I will refrain from reviewing the quality of the Travel Kit. I will only comment on their potential usefulness.
In summary, this unit receives my recommendation for a great all around GPS tool, with some bonus features. It's small size will encourage you to take it with you when leaving your car. The quick release windshield mount will amaze you (especially if you have ordered a mount from _rkon.com and found vibration to be a major problem) The simplicity of the UI, and on screen entry will make using the unit a joy. So far, I am very impressed and look forward to using it every day.
I will continue my review after about a month of using it, but right out of the box, it gets a 9 from me. Hope this helps - good luck with yours.
Pros Simple, Great screen, fast, easy to use, trip monitering functions are superior.
Cons Map Needs upgrading, Takes too long to find sattelites sometimes, could do without mp3 and picture viewer.
Summary I purchased my Nüvi about 2-3 weeks ago. I feel in love with it out of the box. Ill talk about the problems ive realized since nobody usually writes about them. Most People just say how awesome it is and etc. I agree to it being awesome, but I feel I should
also talk about the problems most people leave out.
First of all, if i turn it off while driving and turn it back on in a different location, it takes forever to acquire the sattelites. Sometined you need to restart it a few times. Another problem is its guidance system, I mean, the path it selects for you. you have the option for chosing the fastest time, or shortest distance, however, sometimes it will chose a long way in fastest time mode, and I will have to switch over to shortest distance.
Another Issue I have is that the search function takes a while if you are searching for something by its name. I figure that it has to search the entire map of the USA, however its a bit frustrating when you are sitting in your car waiting for a listing for about 5 minutes.
Third, Garmin needs to update its maps. I Find that many street names, are wrong, many businesses arent showing up, and many addresses i look for arent there. Alsofor instance, if you are going to a location, like when I go to my school, it will guide you to the intersection and tell you which side it is on (very helpful), however, it wont tell you where exactly where it is, it just shows the waypoints on the street.
Next, i feel some of the features are useless, perhaps because i have a Ipod Video 60G, but I feel the picture viewer and the mp3 player are useless. The audio quality is just plain horrible. It is great in theory though, but I would rather have improved speed and tracking versus a picture viewer, mp3 player, coupon book, etc...
And Ultimately, I feel it is a bit high on the price scale. The size and simplicity are impressive, but Im not sure if they are worth the $700-900 price tag.
Pros Nice hardware, God size, god recalc.speed.
Cons Bad routing, Speed not shown on main driving page. only one via point, no Lat/Lon input or display...
Summary Nüvi 350 Europe, firmware 2.70 Jan/Feb 2006.
I needed a god, very small and very portable GPS to use in my own car. More importantly i wanted one to be used when I rent a car in foreign airports.
I wanted a navigator with "All Europe" included, the SirfIII GPS chip and easy to use.
I upgraded the software to version 2.70 This was absolutely needed, but also very easy to do.
The Nüvi 350 hardware has a very nice "look and feel" and its satellite tacking was very OK. I will look for a SirfIII chip in my next GPS too.
Within 700 meter of my house it routed me 3 times via "dead end" roads, and asked me to turn left or right at least 2 places where this was not allowed. One such place was a right turn into the local "Main street"
I live about 12 km from the center of Copenhagen and all of the traffic restrictions has been in place for a least 5 years, some for more than 30 years.
When I entered a destination in the center of Copenhagen and it should have selected the main highway from north into the city, it selected a nearby street with lots of speed restrictions.
This routing would have been OK 35 years ago before the highway was built.
If I changed the routing parameter to fastest route, it selected the highway from northwest into the city - All wrong.
It must be said, that when I ignored its directions, the Nüvi was very fast in recalculating a new route.
The Nüvi supports one via point, but I had some problems getting the Nüvi to accept that it had passed the via point and it should move on to the destination.
The routing problems may well be a combination of less than perfect road information and the fact that on the Nüvi 350 you can only select shortest or fastest route.
Maybe a route selection of "shortest, but not too slow" and "fastest, but not too long" is needed.
When you drive without a route the speed is shown in the lower left corner, but when you follow a route the arrival time and not the speed is shown. You have to press the menu bottom to read the speed.
With the present strict speed limits and speed/radar cameras, I need the current speed displayed all of the time.
I entered a number of favorite destinations, home, work etc. and downloaded some POI's including speed limits and speed/radar camera positions ( www.radarfalle.de and a few Euros)
The menu system with just one "folder" for favorites and one for POI's, with limited grouping into subfolders made it very difficult to find the destination you wanted.
Speed limit POI's are not real POI's and you will never search for them via the menu, but they sure make it difficult to find that real POI menu entry you are looking for.
The Nüvi 350 can simulate a route, when the antenna is closed, but I found no way to control the simulated speed.
After downloading POI's with speed/radar cameras I made a simulated route through a small town, and got a very nice warning 400 meters before reaching the camera, driving into the town.
I was however also warned 400 meter before leaving town on the other side. I will bet the second camera is NOT pointed in my driving direction.
Whether this is a problem with the Nüvi, with the downloaded POI's or both, I don't know.
If the navigator is shared by more drivers, I think some better system to organize the favorites into groups like work, private, ours, hers, mine and even by state, country or region is much needed.
I think it would be nice to be able to lock your private favorites with a pincode, if someone from work needs to borrow your car.
Loading and saving favorites from/to your PC seems possible, but I found no information about this in the manual.
The Nüvi 350 do not support Lat/Lon coordinates ( except if you dump the favorites files on your PC) and I think that is a very bad design decision even for a "Car only" GPS product.
In Europe where a lot of countries are not yet covered or only the main roads are included in the Nüvi maps, geographical coordinates can be very helpful.
Likewise, reporting accidents is much safer and more accurate if you can easily read out Lat/Lon.
This should be easy to include in a software update.
I am not much into the extras like the "Travel kit" stuff. I have loaded one jpg picture, one mp3 file and downloaded one book from Audible.com just to test it.
It is OK, but for me it is of very limited value.
The audio quality is just OK for "reading" audio books, but for music the quality is not nearly as good as that of my car radio or an iPod.
You may connect the Nüvi to the car radio, but that adds yet another cable to connect and disconnect when leaving the your car with your Nüvi.
The currency translator seems to convert everything via US$ and this is of limited use at least in Europe.
If it was easy to keep the local EU exchange rates updated - maybe via the PC, I think it could be very useful indeed.
The picture viewer was rather slow when loading the thumbnail menus and you should test this if you plan to save more than a few menu pages of pictures. I can see cases where a saved picture could be useful - like a picture of your destination or of the person you are about to meet or of a scanned business card or ....
But just about every mobile phone can do this these days.
The extras you have to buy separately -the Language Guide and Travel Guide - I just don't think so.
I have returned my Nüvi 350. Its is likely better than a lot of other GPS systems, but with a price of about US$ 1000, I found just to many points that was not "just right".
In the end it was the routing problems that made me return it, and these routing problems may or may not exist in other areas.
I did not think I wanted the accept them.