I traveled across the country a lot for my job recently and thank goodness I had a Blackberry with GPS. The bad part about it was that it ate my battery up like nobody’s business. By the time I arrived at my destination I had to quickly find a plug to recharge it.
I almost always declined the navigation systems that you have to pay extra for with the car rental because I had my own. The one time I did get it – boy, what a disappointment. So, since I really enjoy writing reviews I thought I’d take a look at some of the GPS navigators on the market as I know they can’t all be as clunky as the ones they offer you at those car rental places.
I was pretty shocked to find that there is more to these little buggers than I would have thought. Much more than is available on my Blackberry that’s for sure. As I got into it, my research finally led me to the Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator.
What to Look for When Buying a Portable GPS System
It didn’t take me long to realize that there are a few basic things to consider when buying a portable car GPS. They are:
All the other bells and whistles are gravy. Any there is a LOT of gravy with this one. But, I will focus on the basics.
If you just buy the first portable navigation system you see based on price alone then you are destined for trouble particularly if you are going to be using the GPS on a regular basis. So stick with me here as I will be explaining each of these in relation to the Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator.
Bigger is Better
The 4.3 inch diagonal widescreen of the nüvi 255w is larger than previous versions. A wider screen allows you to view a larger map area through which you are driving. To minimize the difficulty of daytime viewing of the screen Garmin has added anti-glare to its 2D and 3D perspective views. What this means is no more squinting or having to pick up the device for a better look. With the brighter, larger screen you can view the map and driving directions in greater detail. It also adjusts to a dim light for night viewing.
Left. Right. Left – Right – Left.The directional guidance offered with the nüvi 255w includes a variety of options: turn-by-turn voice directions, 2-D, and 3-D maps. A voice prompt not only tells you that you need to turn soon but it also tells you the name of the street on which you need to turn. In the maps mode you can also adjust zoom levels to get an idea of the surrounding terrain.
You CAN Take It With You
So you arrive at your destination and you want to do some sightseeing, right? Remember, this one is portable. Take it off its vehicle suction cup mount and start walking. This handheld portable GPS is small enough to fit in your purse or pocket. Also, you don’t have to worry about accidentally touching the onscreen navigation and messing up your settings. There is a screen lock feature that allows you to pause your navigation instead of having to completely turn it off when you want to take an extended pit stop.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay For A Garmin Heart Rate Monitor?The Garmin nüvi 255w is available on the Garmin website for $179 but you really shouldn’t be paying any more than $130 for this unit. The cheapest I have seen it is on Amazon who consistently sell this GPS for under $120.
What’s Included With The Garmin 305
• nüvi 255W
• Reloaded City Navigator NT for North America or Europe (full coverage)
• Vehicle suction cup mount
• Vehicle power cable
• Dashboard disc
• Quick start manual
Does it include a Warranty?
Yes, the Garmin nüvi 255w includes a 1 year warranty.
What Others Are Saying
Over 1,800 Amazon reviews of this product culminating in an average of 4.5 out of 5 star overall rating means a lot of positive feedback. It’s pretty tough to keep a high rating with that many reviews.
Here are some of the comments to date:
• “ Love it! A GPS skeptic now believing…”
• “ Great product- very happy”
• “ Great widescreen, street naming unit at a budget price”
• “ LOVE the Garmin Nüvi 255W”
• “ Great GPS for Cheap!,”
• “ Best In Its Class – Great For Traveling”
• “ This gave me more that I was expecting…,”
The complaints I found seemed to mostly center on refurbished models. A variety of operational issues were reported on the refurbished ones. I recommend only buying the Garmin nüvi 255w new if you can afford it.
Where Can You Buy the Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator?You can buy this Garmin nüvi 255w from Amazon. At the moment they include free shipping and when comparing prices with other online merchants, Amazon currently has the best deal especially with the free shipping option. Click here to view on Amazon.