"OK, but Garmin nuvi 350 is better"2.5 starson by pctx
Pros: Price, weatherproof
Cons: Slow, poor Mac support
Summary: My wife calls me directionally challenged. Since I started a new job that required a bit of travel, I decided that I should get something that would help me at home and in my travels. This is my first GPS so I wanted to test a similar Garmin unit vs. Magellan. Both use the Navteq maps (which I understand is better in the US), rather than the TeleAtlas maps. I did some research on all the other brands (MIO, TOMTOM, etc.), but did not have the time to test them all. My criteria was something that I could use in a car and possibly on foot. Therefore, I wanted a portable unit that was reliable/accurate, had good battery life, and was not too expensive. I kept my budget at $350. Again, after some intial internet research, I chose to test the Magellan 2200t and the Garmin nuvi 350. Also, since I have both a PC and a Mac, I wanted to have something that was compatible with both (without having to use too many 3rd party apps)
MP3 player built in.
Text to speech (speaks the street names)
SiRFstarIII chip (faster and better sat. lock)
Fairly compact(Garmin is smaller and lighter)
Rated battery of 4-8 hours
Sub-$350 (Magellan was less expensive)
Screensize (3.5”) touchscreen
External SD memory slot
USER INTERFACE/SCREEN: advantage - GARMIN
Garmin had the better interface. It just looked more “polished” and smoother in the map renderings. Lines were more jagged on the 2200t. I was also able to choose an icon for my vehicle for the nuvi and found that there were more free ones available for download. If there was a way to change it in Magellan, I could not find it. Also, it was nice to see that the nuvi calculates the expected arrival time and shows it on the screen – very useful if you think you are going to be late for something so you can call. I could also touch and drag the map on the screen like I was grabbing a google map. I don't recall being able to do this on the 2200t.
EASE OF USE: advantage - TIE
Both were easy to get up and running. I did not find one easier to use over the other.
SPEED: advantage – GARMIN
This was a peculiar one. For the Magellan, the initial speed to boot up to the user screen was faster, but the time to acquire the satellite signal was slower. The Garmin initially boots and loads the maps, but it was like it was acquiring the satellites at the some time it was loading the maps. So while I had to wait a little longer to get to the user screen, I found that the satellites were locked in by the time I had enterd a destination. So from initial boot to navigation, the edge went to Garmin. Also, while navigating, the Garmin was quicker to recalculate the route if I missed my turn/exit. I missed 2 re-routed exits on the Magellan because I had passed them before the 2200t could tell me.
SENSITIVITY/SATELLITE ACQUISITION: advantage – GARMIN
I was able to keep a signal indoors on the nuvi where I lost it in the 2200t. Maybe it was due to the external antenna on the nuvi. I also noticed that if I was moving and turned on the units, that the 2200t would take much longer to lock. I'd be almost a mile into the drive before the 2200t locked. The nuvi did it in less than half the time.
ROUTING ENGINE: advantage – TIE
Both units did a great job getting me to where I was going. I did read on the internet that the Garmin does a slightly better job. My test was not long enough to notice much of a difference.
TEXT TO SPEECH: advantage – GARMIN
There were some instances where the 2200t did not mention the street name that the nuvi did mention in the directions. I also liked that I was able to choose from the different languages and accents on the nuvi (male, female, British, Australian, American English, etc.). The 2200t had one voice. If there were others, I did not find them.
PORTABILITY: advantage – GARMIN
The nuvi was smaller and lighter. It was easy to slip in my pocket and came with a leather holder to protect it. The 2200t was slightly bulkier. I did like that the 2200t was weatherproof.
ACCESSORIES: advantage – GARMIN
Both came with car and wall chargers, suction cup window mount, dash disk mount, usb cable. Garmin did a better job of designing the mount. Attaching and removing the nuvi to the mount was an easy one handed maneuver. I needed to use 2 hands to remove the 2200t from the mount.
PRICE: advantage – MAGELLAN
The 2200t was $100 cheaper than the nuvi. But looking back, the nuvi is a much better investment and value.
SOUND QUALITY: advantage – MAGELLAN
The speaker on the 2200t was louder. When I turned up the volume on the nuvi, there were some slight cracking.
POINTS OF INTEREST(POI): advantage - GARMIN
Garmin had way more POI locatoins (6million vs 1.5million). Also, I found that it was much easier to import custom POIs from the web with Garmin. Most of the files I found were formatted for the Garmin (just simple .csv files) and I never had to do any conversions. I had to convert .csv files into a Magellan file format before I could load it to the 2200t. Also, the Magellan application did not support the Mac.
SUPPORT: advantage – GARMIN
Never had to use it, but at least they listed a number to call for GARMIN. Magellan needed me to create and account before they gave you that info. Why make it hard for customers to find a way to contact you for support?
MAC SUPPORT: advantage – GARMIN
I could not use the Magellan with my Mac. No issue with the nuvi.
Overall, I feel that the Magellan 2200t does an OK job. I just felt I made a better purchase(even though I paid more) with the nuvi. There were several deal breakers for me with the 2200t:
1.Slow response in recalculating routes 2. General slowness from moving from screen to screen 3. Lack of Mac support 4. Size/weight (vs. nuvi) 5. POI database 6. User Interface
If you can budget another $100, then I'd go with the Garmin.