Pros Easy to use, great screen, good navigation, AAA POI's, POIs, Predictive Typing, a lot for the money
Cons Lousy customer support, freezes up sometimes, limited bluetooth
I bought the 4250 and was excited as it's a beautiful device packed with a lot of features for the money. I haven't seen TomTom's up close (the 920 looks good online), but to me, the 4250 is far more attractive than the Nuvi 680.
The 4250's screen is sharper and brighter, although, the Nuvi has larger easier to read fonts when driving. Overall, I think the 4250's screen is great.
The 4250's voice prompt functions are fun and somewhat useful. You may have to repeat yourself several times, but you can keep your eyes on the road and say "Magellan, distance to destination" and it will tell you how far you have to go, and when you will arrive. That's actually pretty cool.
The menu system is good, very intuitive. The predictive text is great.
The POIs and AAA POIs are very cool. Garmin charges $69 for their travel guide.
Unfortunately, the 4250 froze up on me a few times. It was frozen over 3 minutes under clear skies so I don't know what was going on. All I could do is shut it off and turn it back on. It found sats within seconds after rebooting.
I had a problem signing up for the free 3 month traffic subscription that comes with the 4250. The bottom line is the foreign CSR was unable to help me register for my free subscription that I rate and said I needed to pay for an annual subscription if I wanted the traffic service. That's a deal breaker to me.
Customer service is farmed out overseas and the CSRs cannot help you with anything more basic troubleshooting. Even though you can create an account online and enter all of your personal information, the CSR doesn't have access to your account. You have to speak slowly, and repeat the very same information that you already entered online.
There's no email support of any kind either.
I sent a letter to them just after Thanksgiving, and I still haven't heard back from them. I don't expect to.
If the 4250 were to stop working I don't trust Magellan to support it. Garmin on the other hand has a fantastic reputation for customer service.
The 4250s list of phones supported for bluetooth is very limited. I have a Sony W300i, there is no way to sync my contacts, and no automatic pairing. I can manually pair it and it works for basic hands free use, but thats it. Magellan is way behind on this compared to Garmin.
I want Magellan's features/hardware with Garmin's customer service and bluetooth functionality (and smaller windshield mount).
Since I can't have both, I decided to buy the Garmin Nuvi 680 and return the 4250. The 680 cost me more than the 4250, but it automatically pairs with my phone, and my contacts automatically synchronized too. The 680 has worked flawlessly.
It's too bad, because I really liked the 4250, and I normally don't worry about customer support, but these things are expensive and I'm not going to support a company that doesn't support their product.
If you do buy the 4250, get it from a warehouse store in case you need to return it someday.
Hardware 8, customer support 0, that's why they get a 5. Sorry for being so wordy, but this is a real eval.
Pros Graphics, blue tooth, menus, trip scheduling, POI's, and easy to use
Cons nothing major...very nice unit
Summary I reviewed all the top products that Garmin, Tom Tom, and a few other companies put out and this one caught my eye. First off, the wide screen is great and very clear. The menu is very easy to navigate through and it only takes a few minutes to setup even without reading the manual.
I read a lot of reviews about the blue tooth options on several other units and I was not expecting much but the bluetooth worked on my Sprint Treo perfectly and the listener on the other end had no problems hearing me.
The one feature that stands out is the AAA reviews of restaurants, hotels, etc. Depending on the POI you choose, you can find out a little about that location including telephone and hours of business.
Those are just two options but what most people are looking for is a easy to use GPS...so far, this is very good. You type in the address (it may complete it or give you options as you type) and choose which way you want to go (fastest, shortest, etc.) and off you go. You can alter your route on screen real easily and the map even gives you the option of a split screen when you come up to turns.
You can adjust the volume right on the screen and the graphics are very clear.
While at the store I debated on the Tom Tom but had a hard time navigating through the screens and it would never pull up the sats...I do understand we are in the store but the others pulled up the sats perfectly.
The other option that this unit has is voice commands. This is so easy to use and it gives you another option in changing routes or finding a destination while on the fly.
It is under $500 so it is not cheap but if you are lookng for a quality gps with options that actually work, this is a good choice.
Pros Design, Looks, Size, Graphics
Cons Bluetooth, Phone Functions
Summary I got the 4250 @ Costco for $350. Absolute best price at the time, according to my research. Circuit City selling same unit for $500. I thought I was getting just what I wanted at pretty good price. I wanted a GPS with bluetooth capability without all the other needless extra features like MP3 player and JPEG viewer. This was going to fit the bill perfectly. Well.......
OK, I knew from Cnet review that the unit didn't synchronize phone list, but I was willing to let that slide because I thought as I make calls I would save to the 4250's contact list. Wrong! You have to manually add "addresses" for a phone list. I don't want addresses, I want a phone list. I have phone contacts that I don't even know addresses for. For instance, to add my wife & son as separate listings, you have to enter the city, then street, then street number. Then a screen comes up that you can add home, work and mobile number. Come on Magellan, get with the program!
Then the bluetooth would sometimes pair and somtimes not pair. I have a Motorola E815 phone. I only had the unit 2 days and it was just a hassle to try to use. First time using it took the wife shopping, so I'm in the car not moving, windows up, radio off, I call the house and leave a message. When I get home I play the message and all I hear are pops & cracks and static. It is supposed to have SMS texting. Doesn't work with my phone. When I did get the bluetooth to connect with the phone and received a text message it would disconnect the bluetooth. Then I might be able to reconnect or not. It was a crap shoot on that. This was the deal breaker for me. I returned it to Costco and picked up the Garmin Nuvi 680 for $480. So I shelled out another $130 for extras I don't really want.
As far as graphics are concerned, I thought they were great. The unit was sleek and stylish and compact. I just wished the features would work as advertised.
Pros Built in Antenna, Good Satellite read, timely traffic prompts
Cons Freezes from time to time
Summary I am comparing the 4250 and the Nuvi 650 real time currently in my car. The flip antenna for the 650 is annoying. The 4250 built in means that it is ready to go and lays flat inside my car (didn't mount either and they work fine). But the flip antenna seems flimsy. The 4250 has been more exact with prompts when I actually needed them. The 650 actually had me go a bit out of the way - which is contrary to what I have read in other reviews. AAA feature is very nice - I will update this as I conclude my test
Pros Beautiful screen. Easy to use. Great price.
Cons Voice control does not include address entry. Mount is a little big for my taste.
Summary The good: Beautiful screen. You can operate some functions with voice commands, which work well and are very easy. It features text-to-speech functionality, integrated Bluetooth which I will not need (I don’t want my GPS to be my phone, PDA, TV remote, iPod, etc), and traffic capabilities using the same FM system as others available (which work, but are far from perfect at this point). The system provided accurate directions, as expected and seen in the past when using the Hertz Rental Car Magellan systems. The maps are the same for the areas I reviewed in FL, NY, and CA as seen with Garmins. This is no surprise since they use the same map supplier (NAVTEQ).
The bad: Voice control does not include address entry. Mount is a little big for my taste.
The bottom line: Beautiful screen and very easy to use. If you are familiar with the unit in the Hertz cars and liked it, this fits like a glove as it works identical. At the Costco price of $249.00 (with a $100.00 off coupon for 2008 March 17th -23rd), this unit is awesome and does everything and more that I would want from a portable GPS. Buy with your AMEX and get additional 1yr warranty free!