This Christmas, Santa presented us with a TomTom XL 340s. One of Santa's Elves was able to purchase it from Target on Black Friday for the $99 door buster price. I haven't opened it yet. That's why this is a review about the Garmin nuvi 365 wt.
I decided to head to Costco to purchase the Garmin nuvi 365 wt for $169+ tax because I was really interested in having a GPS navigation device that supported Bluetooth handsfree calls since the city of Honolulu is a "handsfree driving city". Some of you may wonder, "Why do you even need a GPS having been born & raised in Honolulu & driving for almost 20 years???" Realisticly, the only time I do have the desire to use a GPS navigational device is when I'm looking for houses that are new listings. It's very helpful to find small streets in neighborhoods rarely visited.
Well, to cut straight to the point, I'm heading back to Costco to return the Garmin nuvi 365 wt. (I really appreciate Costco's no-hassle return policies.) The reasons that I am returning it are because I am not satisfied with:
- The lifetime traffic service that it comes with does not seem to even be available in Honolulu, Hawaii (a city that just received the ranking of worst rush hour traffic beating LA!). *update* just received email reply from Garmin Support stating that Honolulu, Hawaii is covered. Doesn't matter since I can't get it to work!!! & for the reason below this. - For the unit to receive traffic service the power cord/traffic receiver needs to be plugged into the unit and connected to power. This is annoying because the cord will be hanging down from your window or dash area to the cigarette lighter. It's very distracting. - The GPS receiver appears to be rather weak. The unit needs to be mounted on the top of the dashboard with the permanent sticker thing or on the actual windshield with the suction cup mount to receive the GPS signal. These locations block the view of the road and I don't think it's safe. I wanted to have the unit lower on the center console. This could be resolved by an external antenna, but I don't think it should be necessary since a cheaper TomTom unit I've used was able to receive signal without problems sitting on the passenger seat. - The Bluetooth handsfree works, but... when the Bluetooth makes the connection, there is some sort of glitch on the device that causes the volume of the unit to drop making the navigational direction too low to hear. You are able to correct this by going back to the volume setting where you will notice it already is at "100%" then exiting out. Doing this will bring the volume truly back to 100%. Honolulu being a handsfree city makes this process rather annoying to do evertime you get back into the car. *A side note, my phone is a Nokia N82 & is not on the official supported devices list.* Otherwise, the Bluetooth handfree works fine. - This unit doesn't provide lane guidance. Using the unit for the past 3 days around town to see how it tells me to get to places that I know how to get to has made me decide that this would not be effective if I was in a city that I was unfamiliar with because it doesn't let me know what lane I should be in on multi-lane roads. - The voice directions are too delayed. By the time it announces, eg: "turn left on Kuamoo Street", I would have already been turned onto Kuamoo Street. This is while at a full stop prior to turning left and not like I'm traveling at 50mph or something. - The unit comes with a short usb connector to charge the unit or transfer data to your PC. It's a great way to charge the unit if you're not in the car, but while it's plugged into the usb, the unit is not functional. This prevents you from having it connected to your usb/PC and punching in your desires at the same time. This is rather silly. - It also seems to recalculate the routes unnecessarily. This is probably because the GPS receiver has such poor reception.
Those are my reasons why I'm not keeping the Garmin nuvi 365 wt. I'm going to open up the TomTom XL 340s and see how I like that one even though it doesn't have Bluetooth handsfree. For the price, it's a great bargain. Besides, I'm anxiously waiting for the Google Nexus One Phone to be released and that's expected to be next week! If I have that phone, I probably wouldn't even need a GPS unit and shouldn't need the GPS unit with Bluetooth either. =) I can't wait, I'm so excited!! Sorry Nokia N82, you take great photos and do very well for almost everything, but you are a little behind the times already. I just hope I'm satisfied with the Google Nexus One Phone's photos!