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Garmin Nuvi 650

Mar
15
2007

The Garmin Nuvi 650 should be available soon and marks a new entry point to the Garmin Nuvi widescreen series (600 series). Widescreen GPS devices are commonly only found in the upper end of GPS devices. But many people who are looking for a widescreen don’t necessarily want a device loaded with advanced features they […]

276 Responses


  1. I have a Garmin 650. I’ve owned it for about fifteen months.
    I consider the performance to be UNSATISFACTORY. The Map Data Base appears to be the core of their problem, leading to either “not found” or leading to wrong directions. Massively wrong, like you really will get lost.
    For those who wish to check it out, look for directions to Seven Springs Resort in PA. Try starting at I 70 at Somerset PA. You’ll find yourself making a left onto Tower Road….Tower Road is a gad gravel road leading to ………ahem…..guess what……….a Fire Tower for the Forrest Ranger.

    An even more massive error exists for you if you are going to Stratton Mountain in Vermont. If you want correct directions, call the resort. They even send notice to incoming guests warning them of the GPS misdirection.

    Worse than that, and totally irresponsible is the fact that Garmin makes no valid effort to correct their data base. The “help desk” was not in a position to forward corrections to get them into a Data Base Update. (Note, a yearly release of a new Data Base is made by Garmin and is available for around $50.00….but it has not made three error fixes that are well known) I was not able to find out what they do include in data base updates.

    I consider my Garmin 650 to be a toy. Worthless and unreliable for bona fide Auto Navigation.
    I suspect that the same flaws are in the other Garmin GPS models.

    Eugene - June 19th, 2008
  2. Eugene – What map version are you running?

    Tim - June 19th, 2008
  3. Information from on screen “System and Copyright Info”:

    nuvi 650
    Software Version 4.20
    Unit ID 336738241
    Audio Version 1.30
    GPS SW Version: 3:00

    ——————————————————————————–

    There have been quite a number of other discrepancies noted by me.

    Several times I have compared Map Quest routing with the nuvi…………Garmin fails.

    In Hagerstown MD the Broad Axe Restaurant is not listed in the Garmin Data Base. The restaurant exists, it’s quite well known, it’s been there for around forty years.
    On the other hand a number of Restaurants are listed which have been closed for quite a few years.

    Do you know of a means to put a reliable Data Base into the system ???

    Gene Lee

    Eugene - June 20th, 2008
  4. Eugene, that is your software version, not map version. Go to Tools -> Settings -> Map -> Map Info to find your map version.

    That isn’t how POIs work, unfortunately. GPS manufacturers don’t list every restaurant, or hotel (or any POI) known. They only include a small sample. Most include only 5-20% of all known POIs in their databases.

    Tim - June 20th, 2008
  5. City Navigator North America NY 2008
    That’s from the unit, your instruction sequence.
    Hmmmm.

    Anyway, Seven Springs PA and Stratton Mountain in Vermont are way more than a “POI”. Have a look with Google or whatever. The person at Stratton with whom I talked this past March expressed annoyance and almost disbelief that this error could be so.

    Here’s the fix:
    1) Garmin steps up and makes itself responsible for a working system.
    2) When a fault is called in or sent in to the Garmin Help Desk the problem is logged.
    3) A responsible person (AIC) examines the veracity of the problem.
    4) If verifiable information for a Data Base update has been provided by the caller, the information shall be set to paper and scheduled for inclusion in the next Data Base release.
    5) Garmin should say thank you.

    Eugene - June 20th, 2008
  6. Navigation.

    That’s purpose.

    Not music via an SD card via the car radio. A bit of messing with this function of my GPS nuvi 650 makes me very pleased with the car radio/CD player as it is.

    And who on earth want to go through the nuisance of loading photos onto an SD card to look at them on this second rate media.

    Navigation, Garmin should get focused on it.

    Eugene - June 20th, 2008
  7. Eugene, I actually do find the photo viewer useful. I use it to check out pictures from several trail cameras while still out in the woods.

    Playing music… not so much.

    Dave - June 20th, 2008
  8. Eugene, if you have the map named “2008″ then it is based on the most current map Garmin’s map supplier (a separate company) had built as of the second half of 2006. And at that point it isn’t as though they had a perfect map. The world isn’t as well mapped as many people think, and is many, many years behind in some areas.

    You can report map errors at mapreporter.navteq.com, which largely follows the process you identified.

    Many people purchase GPS devices due to the multimedia capabilities in addition to navigation. The devices that don’t have multimedia capabilities have the same routing quality as those that don’t.

    Tim - June 20th, 2008
  9. Tim,

    The E Mail address (mapreporter.navteq.com) is not a recogized address. If this process really exists, it is crucially important to Garmin and to me as well.

    Is there a telephone contact ? A Web Site ? How does one get complete and accurate information into the GPS ?

    Eugene - June 21st, 2008
  10. Eugene, Honestly, if you want “complete and accurate information”– GPS isn’t for you. The mapping process takes years, not days. I can show you paved roads in ANY GPS on the market today that have existed for over 25 years that are not in the mapping database.

    The address I gave you is not an email address, it is a website. It is a real website, you can see it exists here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site:mapreporter.navteq.com

    Again, if you expect complete and accurate mapping you can purchase a map update from Garmin since yours is not the most recent available, but it sounds like GPS isn’t for you.

    Tim - June 21st, 2008
  11. Tim,

    I do not accept the “not for me” notion. The GPS just needs to be better implemented. Of course, I do want “complete and accurate” information. I cannot imagine that anyone would want less. But how about something a bit better. There are resources out here, such as myself, who would give time and technical help to get data into the Map Data Base. Where is Garmin ???

    Missing a major ski resort isn’t akin to a missing road as per your note

    Eugene - June 21st, 2008
  12. Okay, Eugene.

    Tim - June 21st, 2008
  13. Hi Tim, I was wondering if the Mp3 player function on the GPS unit can be used concurrently while navigating, such that when there is no instructions, the device would play music, but when there is an instruction, the music would dim down and the voice would speak.

    Thanks!

    Justin - June 29th, 2008
  14. Yes, Justin– in fact that is exactly how it works. :)

    Tim - June 29th, 2008
  15. I just bought a 650. On the 1st time use, it takes 5 min. to acquire satellite signal. Then it is much faster. Is it normal?
    I wonder if there are any software out there for 650 to play mpeg video. My friend downloaded a software on his Mio & now it can play movie & music.

    Eddie - June 30th, 2008
  16. Yes, that is normal — you may wish to read our Tips for Acquiring Satellites. No video players that I’ve ever heard of. Garmin uses a closed operating system on that Nuvi.

    Tim - June 30th, 2008
  17. im thinking about getting the garmin nuvi 650 or 260w is there any big differences? which one should i get? i found a place that has the 650 10 bucks cheaper than the 260w.

    derek - July 1st, 2008
  18. The 650 can be connected to an optional traffic receiver, has a slightly longer battery life and has an MP3 player. The 260w is a little thinner, doesn’t need the flip up antenna, has a slightly better screen, and is a “newer” model.

    Tim - July 1st, 2008
  19. well i dont care about the traffic receiver or mp3 or bluetooth. so would the garmin nuvi 260w be best or is there a better choice?

    derek - July 2nd, 2008
  20. If you don’t need a traffic receiver, the mp3 player, nor a longer battery life then the 260w is the better pick.

    Tim - July 2nd, 2008
  21. how is the 260w to the 350?

    derek - July 2nd, 2008
  22. Derek, the 350 has a 3.5″ screen, compared to the 260w’s 4.3″ screen.

    Dave - July 2nd, 2008
  23. Tim,
    Just got the 650 and thought that the text to speech feature included the verbal names of streets. It does give verbal instructions but no name for anything???????
    Did I misunderstand? Thx

    Gino Milani - July 4th, 2008
  24. Gino, yes it does have TTS. See our article on How to Enable Text to Speech. The Garmin section is in the lower half.

    Tim - July 4th, 2008
  25. Thanks Tim!
    Garmin on line manual and FAQ site leave a lot to be desired. I had no luck searching there, very,very poor.
    Thank goodness for gps review….
    Have a good holiday.

    gino - July 4th, 2008
  26. Hi everyone
    I just purchased a garmin nuvi 650. One of the reasons that I purchased it was the fact that, it speaks the street names. Unfortunately my unit is not speaking the names do I need to do something for it to do that? So instead of it saying turn right on elm street it just says turn right? What do I do?

    Mysel - July 12th, 2008
  27. Oh wow I’m really blind I totally have the answer to my question in the previous post. Sorry. Thank you I’ll try it tomorrow and see what happens.

    Mysel - July 12th, 2008
  28. Hi Am trying to decide between the Garmin Nuvi 360 and the Nuvi 660. There is about a $60. price difference. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

    Vickie - July 16th, 2008
  29. I like spending other people’s money.. go for the $60. There are a few advantages to having a Widescreen, notably a bigger set of buttons to make input easier, and seeing more of the road to the side during turns.

    Tim - July 16th, 2008
  30. Tim,
    I am new to GPS units and planning to get a 255w for all the improvements… but the threads about poor sounding speech have me looking at a 260w. Does the 260w allow users to input locations via Mapquest or Google? What about the 750 vs the 260w for performance?

    Richard - July 20th, 2008
  31. The 260w will allow individual locations to be sent from MapQuest or Google. The 750 will allow full routes to be sent from MapQuest.

    Tim - July 20th, 2008
  32. hi, i’m new to gps, my friend tell me tomtom XLS has a function to avoid high way that need pay for, does 650 has it?

    qing - July 21st, 2008
  33. The TomTom XL-S and the Garmin Nuvi 650 both have functions built in (no additional cost) that allow you to avoid highways.

    Tim - July 21st, 2008
  34. Tim,
    I’m looking at purchasing the 650. Since the 650 lacks the FM transmitter to play the nuvi over the sterio can I simply use the headphone jack on the nuvi and insert a tape into the cars player to play the mp3 and the directions over my cars sterio?

    kyle - July 24th, 2008
  35. Yes.

    Tim - July 24th, 2008
  36. I’m new on the Garmin 650 GPS System and need to kow how to recharge my battery. Thanks, in advance, for any help received.

    LV - July 27th, 2008
  37. LV – The battery charges when you plug it in.

    Tim - July 27th, 2008
  38. LV,

    In addition to plugging into the car’s power port, you can charge the gps while connected to the USB port of your computer.

    Dave - July 27th, 2008
  39. Locally I can buy the Garmin 650 or 750 at
    the same price (two different stores). What
    do you recommend.

    ann - July 28th, 2008
  40. The 750.

    Tim - July 28th, 2008
  41. I am deciding between the new 255w and the 750. I can get the 750 $20 cheaper than the 255w. Do you think the new 250w is better than the 750? I don’t really need the extras of the 750 but it’s actually cheaper than the 255w. Which would you go with?

    Karen - August 1st, 2008
  42. Tim,
    Thanks for the links. I was just wondering why alot of people really like the turn arrow on the 255w if the 750 tells you way in advance and a few more times that you will be turning?

    Karen - August 1st, 2008
  43. I love the arrow because I don’t have to remember it. With the voice I might forget the instruction while I’m concentrated on driving. With the arrow it is always there at a glance. I consider the arrow one of the most important GPS features and the one you can’t live without the most.

    Tim - August 2nd, 2008
  44. Read everything and still can’t decide.Don’t need the extras,price basically the same what do you recommend 750 or 255w?

    Karen - August 2nd, 2008
  45. Read everything and still can’t decide. Needing only the basics but price being equal do you reccommend the 255w or the 750?

    Karen - August 2nd, 2008
  46. 750.

    Tim - August 2nd, 2008
  47. Thanks Tim – I needed that!!!!!

    Karen - August 2nd, 2008
  48. Bought the 750 and glad I did for the multiple rout use.

    Steve - August 4th, 2008
  49. I was wondering if anyone can tell me what might be the better GPS unit. I realize that there are more features in one of them, but from a GPS standard, which would hold up better for accuracy: The Nuvi 260W or the Nuvi 650?

    Scott - August 5th, 2008
  50. Virtually identical.

    Tim - August 5th, 2008
  51. Hi, I am new to GPS world. Bought a Garmin 650 and travelled to US from Canada via Niagara. Worked great and on my return the map was constantly telling me to come to Toronto via the 1000 Island bridge whereas my shortest route is via Niagara. In fact even from Buffalo to Toronto it told me to go all the way to the other end of Lake Ontario. I promptly returned the unit. Has anyone else experienced a similar issue?

    Sarah - August 7th, 2008
  52. Sarah,

    Hmmm, that does seem a little weird. (Ok, a lot weird.) I tried simulating going from Buffalo to Toronto on my 650, and it correctly took me around the left side of the lake.

    The only thing I can think of is maybe you inadvertently set a via point over by the East end of the lake. The gps would then take you to the via point before going on to Toronto.

    Did it try to take you to the 1000 Islands the whole way back to Toronto? Or did it finally snap out of it?

    Dave - August 7th, 2008
  53. As a salesman covering WI & MI, I have weekly routes I follow (8 in total). Can I load specific routes? Is the 750 the only unit that allows routing capability?

    Dan - August 8th, 2008
  54. Dan, correct, you would want the 750 or higher for that.

    Tim - August 8th, 2008
  55. I was wondering does the 650 have the capability to show the best semi-tractor/trailer routes; if not which do you recomened?

    Johnny - August 9th, 2008
  56. It does have a ‘commercial’ routing type, but it is primarily for things like avoiding parkways. It doesn’t incorporate bridge height restrictions, intersections that are too sharp, etc.

    Tim - August 10th, 2008
  57. Routing Selection:

    Is there a way to bias route selection so that Interstate Highway is used?
    I have run into situations with my Garmin 650 where in town streets with bad traffic and driving conditions were selected when an Interstate Routing could have been selected by the 650 routing algorithm, selected at little or no increase in mileage.

    My unit is set on “Shortest Time”

    Is there a “Try Again” ?
    Or a “Take the Interstate, Please”

    Eugene - August 10th, 2008
  58. Eugene, you can add a via point to try to force the route you would like. Otherwise you will have to agree to disagree with your GPS from time to time. :)

    Tim - August 11th, 2008
  59. what is the correct procedure for entering the street/road for (county highway b east).i have tried several different ways,and it keeps telling me no matches found

    Jeffrey - August 13th, 2008
  60. What is the city/state?

    Tim - August 13th, 2008
  61. maplewood mn

    Jeffrey - August 13th, 2008
  62. Jeffrey, try “county road b”.

    Dave - August 13th, 2008
  63. thanks dave,i will try that

    Jeffrey - August 13th, 2008
  64. Tim,
    I’ve been thinking about getting the 650 but am concerned because it has been discontinued. Is there any disadvantage or problems associated with purchasing an outdated model? How can it be listed msrp at $749 but now sell for $269?
    thanks

    Nate - August 20th, 2008
  65. Tim-
    I am trying to decide between the nuvi 650 and the nuvi 260w. Doses the 650 has “where am I”?
    Which is better?
    HELP

    Gary - August 22nd, 2008
  66. The 650 doesn’t have the where am i? feature although most of the same features are on it, just not organized in one spot. The 650 has been discontinued, so is more likely to come with old maps. I’d go for the 260w.

    Tim - August 25th, 2008
  67. Do all the Garmin’s and the WAAS capability now? Trying to choose between the 650 or either the 255w or 260w.

    Michael - August 25th, 2008
  68. No, WAAS is unnecessary for an auto GPS so they don’t enable it to save battery life.

    Tim - August 25th, 2008
  69. So you would recomend that WAAS is unnecesary then? So I guess I’m looking at the 255W or 260W. Minute differences really but I guess the 255W has some more features?

    Michael - August 25th, 2008
  70. Yes, WAAS is unnecessary for an auto GPS. As to the 255w versus the 260w, see comments number 202-206 on our Garmin Nuvi 260W page.

    Tim - August 25th, 2008
  71. Nate, see our article on Garmin Discontinued Status.

    Tim - August 26th, 2008
  72. Hi Tim – I want to buy a new portable computer – Do you know of any that have built in GPS ?

    Rick - September 1st, 2008
  73. I don’t really keep track of computers.

    Tim - September 1st, 2008
  74. Tim,
    If you have to choose between 255W and 650, which one you will prefer ?

    Thanks

    Wicky

    wicky - September 12th, 2008
  75. 255w

    Tim - September 12th, 2008
  76. that makes me feel real good about my decision i made 3 weeks ago on a 650

    jeff - September 12th, 2008
  77. I purchased my Garmin 650 in anticipation for our east coast on Sept. 10, 2008 returning on the 23rd. I had done quite a bit of comparison between it and other Garmin models such the 255, 360 and 370 and also the TomTom One XL. I chose a Garmin mainly because of the longer battery life and superior window mount and I chose the 650 specifically for its larger screen which was a good choice as I enjoyed the added screen real estate. Here’s a report of my impressions and experience using the 650 GPS Navigator for the first time.

    Things I liked

    Word recognition of course greatly reduces the amount of typing

    The Favourites menu seems to be location aware in that it always placed the favourites most needed at the top of the list for easy selection.

    The amount of verbal dialogue was just enough when I chose ‘guidance only’ i.e. you heard nothing until a direction change is required. This is important as it minimized road distraction.

    During navigation, I liked the bright purple line that overlaid the map, clearly indicating the proposed route and the big white arrow placed on top of the purple line whenever a turn was indicated, all very easy to take in visually while driving.

    I liked the fact that since it had it’s own battery power I could, while driving, detach it from its window mount hand to my wife who could then do a search for fuel, food, lodging or whatever and then press GO and hand it back to me to begin navigating to that point.

    I also like that the unit powered up immediately once plugged into the car outlet and acquired satellite location quickly and reliably using the famed SiRF technology and was ready to go when I was. However I did have to remember to shut it off whenever I left it in the car unattended, as the cigarette lighter in out 2000 VW Beetle remains on even when the ignition key is removed and this could have run down our battery if I didn’t.

    The car window mount was excellent and worked as advertised and it was one reason I chose Garmin over TomTom. The other reason was the much longer battery life which was normally never an issue since I used the unit mainly in the car and it was powered continuously during use. So I never really got a sense of how long the batteries would last otherwise.

    Even when I wasn’t using it to help me navigate, I kept it running as a visual guide to the road ahead – i.e. is there was a bend ahead or intersection and even my wife would keep an eye on it to see what was ahead. Since it also displays the local terrain, albeit in a simplified way, I always enjoyed knowing if there was a lake or stream ahead that we might get to see.

    I loved to ‘finger drag’ the on screen map and zoom in and out at will. I used that feature many times to figure out where I was and where I wanted to go.

    Things I didn’t like

    Word recognition – yes it did made name entry swifter but sometimes it would not give me the choice I required and repeating the procedure didn’t help so I would be forced to use the Spell City option and do a lengthy universal search of all names which sometimes worked but not always. Maybe it simply did not have all locals in its data base.

    Since I bought this unit just before my 4000km trip out east, I was eligible for the 2009 map update which I downloaded and installed. Although the installation procedure is somewhat convoluted, if you do everything exactly as instructed it does update ok.

    When I got Saint John, New Brunswick late in the afternoon and simply wanted to get to our B&B, I selected the B&B that I had previously added to my favourites and pressed GO! No problem right – wrong – it sent the wrong way on a one way street and kept trying to force me do so again and again while I took an alternative parallel street far enough to be able to return the right way down the street to our B&B. This could have dangerous seeing how I was tired from a long day of driving and not paying complete attention and yes, relying a little too much on the 650. Being ‘One Way Street’ aware I don’t think would be big deal for navteq.com.

    Things that didn’t work

    I did experience on “freeze up” alas welcome to anther computer passed system but only one. Powering down and up fixed the problem.

    Although I downloaded the most recent 2009 maps for North America, it still didn’t have the new highway in New Brunswick Canada and kept directing me the preexisting highway location. Another good reason to have a Pause/Resume button because it kept Re-calculating continuously – read very annoying!

    On occasion when I was using the touch and drag method to see more of the current mapped area in would zoom out. Not sure if I was responsible or if it was a glitch.

    Things that surprised me

    Odometer discrepancy 114 versus 120km/hr – now who do I believe especially on American highways where speed limits are strictly enforced.

    When we left Burlington Vermont by ferry to Plattsburgh, New York the device took us on a very convoluted route rather than what seemed to be a more direct highway route. Although I have to admit that I didn’t understand its initial direction prompts and may have missed a crucial turning point and it had to recalculate which may be why we ended on the alternate route. It did get us to where we wanted to be eventually.

    We crossed one time zone heading east and the unit’s clock did not change accordingly something I had assumed would happen with no attention on my part – not sort.

    Features I would find useful and like to see added
    The maps to recognize One Way street and direct you accordingly.

    Why can’t the unit give you an addition Auto choice for Kilometer versus Miles reporting
    and auto detect my location as in either Canada or the US and switch accordingly unless I choose otherwise?

    Would like a Pause/Resume touch button on main map screen. It can be semi transparent so as not to further clutter the screen. This would allow me to Pause the unit to avoid hearing “Recalculating” over and over again as I choose my own route. Yes if you return to the Main Menu you will find a Stop button but I don’t like to have to go through another level for a function that I was regularly using taken my attention away from the road for another second or so.

    Learn mode if I find a preferred route other then the one the unit has chosen.

    Under Fuel I would the unit to indicate which fuel stations are on the road I am currently on so I don’t have to go off road any distance if I prefer not to leave the highway for any length of time. Fuel stations the unit finds may be several kilometers away from the main highway and you don’t know how far you are going out of your way until you begin following the unit’s directions. Yes the unit gives you an mileage estimate to each fuel center but there is no way to know whether that is 14 km ahead on the road you’re travelling or 14 km off road that you will have to retrace in order to get back on your journey.

    At times I wanted to be directly simply to the next major center and each time I was asked to enter the location the unit required that I enter the exact address of which I had none. So I simply entered the first street number and street simply to get us going. I t would be nice in these instances if the very choice you had for an address was the City Center. Using more work around method worked well until we go t close enough to the city and realized we were now being directed to the false address and simply turn the unit off – here’s where the Pause/Resume button would help.

    Along the same topic I would a feature where I can simply enter a highway number rather than an address. Often I simply want to navigate out of town using a specific highway and not what the unit might choose for me.

    Work arounds

    If for some reason the unit couldn’t recognize what I know was a good address which happened when I was using the 2008 map or if I didn’t have a good address to input, I could use the on screen map to find where I wanted to be roughly, then touch the screen once near that location to place a flag there. Now I could save and name it for future use.

    When I simply wanted to be directed to the next major center with no specific address in mind I would press Done twice when asked for an address and choose the first address that came up on the list. This worked ok but I am sure Garmin could do better.

    General comments

    My wife who is not a great lover of these types of electronic gadgets at the best of times and for good reason I must admit myself, was determined not to like it. So I had an uphill battle before I even left the driveway and it was new to me so I wasn’t prepared to defend it just then either. However by the middle of our two week trip she was asking what “Emily” recommended – she was reluctantly being won over.

    I still you should have a good map with you and we obtained several along our journey. There is no substitute for being able to see a large area all at once in planning the broad strokes of your trip. I also began to think of the 650 as a coach or an assistance i.e. to be consulted but not completely trusted unless you have no other information to go on. However I also have to say it saved a lot of anguish when we arriving in a new unknown town with no lodging booked ahead and no idea where to eat.

    The pronunciation of Emily TTS was mostly ok but there were a few pronunciations that were quite funny once I figured out what she was trying to enunciate. For example when we had to turn left on King Street she would say what sounded to us like “Turn left Honking street”. At these times it was very helpful that printed above the map were the directions for easy confirmation.

    There was a distinct odometer discrepancy where the 650 read 114km/hr versus 120km/hr on my cars odometer. I tended to believe the 650’s speed indication over my car’s – right or wrong. So who do you believe and would the discrepancy stand up in court if I used the 650 as my speed reference and got a speeding ticket as a result??

    This was a small annoyance – when entering a city or town the unit intuitively switches from capitals to minuscule letters automatically which for the most part is fine. However there were several occasion when its choice to switch was wrong and there seemed no way to override it. A case in point when I wanted to label a “Favourite” location as US Hwy. 81 to Canada. I would be forced to write Us Hwy 81 to Canada. There is of course no punctuation possible and that’s quite acceptable.

    During my trip a got to briefly compare my 650 against my friend’s 370 and accept for the larger screen they seemed to work pretty much the same. The larger 650 screen was however a good choice as in meant the main Menu screen could fit all on one screen versus 2 screens for the 370. I did compare the 650 mainly with the 360 however as the 370 had more bells and whistles that I didn’t need.

    All in all I was very happy with my 650 and I feel I haven’t yet explored all of its potential for assisting us in our travels. Final comment: it was a very great and fun product to have our vacation and easily paid for itself on this one trip! I look forward to its continued use and I give it a 9 out 10.

    Gary - September 30th, 2008
  78. One correction under Things I didn’t like: it should read “alas another computer based system”. Also I am notorious for dropping words in my written text – my apologies in advance.

    Gary - October 1st, 2008
  79. Tim, you indicate that you prefer the Garmin Nuvi 255W over the 650. I am considering buying a
    650. Why do you prefer the 255W ?

    Don - October 9th, 2008
  80. Because the 650 has been discontinued.

    Tim - October 9th, 2008
  81. Hi Tim, Thanks for the quick answer. Now for a tough question: I liked the features of the 650 (I don’t need bluetooth, don’t care about battery life since it will only be used in my car, but I like the voice turn by turn with street names etc.), so what is your pick now for the best GPS under $ 250 ? Still a Garmin ? Still the 255W ? I’m open to suggestions. Many thanks.

    Don - October 9th, 2008
  82. Hi, I am new to the GPS world. I have been looking at the Garmin nuvi 255w and the Garmin nuvi 650. Which would you say is better? Garmin has no many decide from. I want the Garmin, I just do not know which one is better overall?

    Ida - October 26th, 2008
  83. Ida – the Nuvi 255w is probably the better buy at this time.

    Tim - October 26th, 2008
  84. Thanks Tim for your quick response. I was thinking the same, the 255w. I like the where am I feature, which the 650 does not have. One other question, where would you recommend me getting the portable dashboard mount and carrying case at a reasonable price? Thanks

    Ida - October 26th, 2008
  85. Ida, I’d look around BizRate for reputable stores that sell cases and mounts.

    Tim - October 26th, 2008
  86. I guess I messed up. I just bought a 650 off of [snip]. Would I be better served by paying the extra $40 and buying the 255w?

    Bill - November 10th, 2008
  87. Personally I’d consider the 255w instead, yes.

    Tim - November 11th, 2008
  88. I recently tested out a 255 and a 260 and discovered that the 255 speaks street names as well as the amount of miles before the next turn. The 260 only spoke out street names and displayed the distance instead. I really like how the 255 speaks street names and distances. My question is, does the 650 speak street names and calculated distances like the 255?
    Thanks in advance!

    Charles - November 12th, 2008
  89. Charles,

    I have a 650 and 260, and both speak the distance to the next turn in addition to the street name. I’m not sure if the 255 is able to do more.

    Dave - November 12th, 2008
  90. Dave- really? that’s interesting because both the circuit city rep and myself were surprised that the 260 was not speaking the distances. I wonder if it has to do with the in store model being a 260c vs a standard 260.

    Charles - November 12th, 2008
  91. I also wonder if it was just a bug in the simulation mode..?

    Charles - November 12th, 2008
  92. I wouldn’t expect the GPS to operate the same way in simulation mode– lots of strange things can happen there.

    Tim - November 12th, 2008
  93. actually, now that i think about it, i remember the 260 telling me to turn in so many meters, right before my turn. The 255 would say for example, take i96 for 25 miles to exit whatever. The 260 would just say take i96 and then 24 miles later it would tell me to take an exit in 1 mile. Can anyone confirm that this is true?

    Charles - November 12th, 2008
  94. im sorry for the previous posts. for anyone who read them, please ignore what i said because the 255 and the 260 speak the same directions. The only difference i noticed is that the 255 has the speed limit indicator when looking at the map view but the audio on the 260 sounds much better. The 255w has better audio than the 255.

    Charles - November 13th, 2008
  95. hi tim,
    I am a driver of a semi and have been on the phone with garmin. They told me the nuvi 650 660 680 and the street pilot c550 c580 has a truck option on them. I know these are not for semis as far as low bridges and restriced routes, the atlas is for that. My question is wich one should i go with. I have also been looking at pcmiler new nav430 and world nav please help a trucker and give me your imput thank you very much

    Dave - December 23rd, 2008
  96. Dave, the Nuvi 650 660 680 and the StreetPilot c550 c580 have all been Discontinued. While they still are a decent value, I’d try to look for something a little more recent.

    Tim - December 24th, 2008
  97. thanks tim

    what new models have a truck setting on them? I dont need a full blown truck gps but it is nice that the models i talked about do have a truck setting. Any info would be helpful…thank you and have a great and safe holiday

    Dave - December 24th, 2008
  98. No truck setting on them, but for people who have used the truck setting on the models that do have it– they will likely tell you that you are not missing anything. :) Generally the “truck” data on these devices is consider so poor people that have it (and are truckers) don’t end up using it.

    Tim - December 24th, 2008
  99. tim
    well thank you for your response. I guess i will go and take a shot with one and hope for the best. Either way i will not have to use the trucker atlas as much so that will be nice. Merry christmas and have a safe holiday

    dave - December 24th, 2008



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