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Garmin StreetPilot 2820


Garmin has released the StreetPilot 2820. The new 2820 features a 3.8 inch touch screen display and a 12 channel WAAS enabled GPS receiver. (No SiRFstarIII here.) This GPS is marketed towards both motorcycles and cars. For motorcycles, the StreetPilot 2820 can connect a bluetooth helmet and Bluetooth phone to the 2820. Therefore voice calls coming in to your phone can be operated through the GPS and audio sent to your helmet. In addition, motorcycle drivers will like that the 2820 is IPX-7 waterproof.

Auto users can also take advantage of the Bluetooth hands free calling features. You can dial your bluetooth phone directly from the StreetPilot 2820 as well as initiate calls to POIs.

The Garmin StreetPilot 2820 comes with maps of North America. 2D and 3D map views are supported as well as voice directions with text-to-speech to speak street names.

There are various options to allow connection to real time traffic information with optional subscriptions to services like XM Nav Traffic. The Garmin StreetPilot 2820 can also receive basic weather information via the XM Nav Traffic service. If XM isn’t your game, you can also use Garmin’s FM-TMC traffic receivers to get traffic information.

Multimedia also comes to the StreetPilot 2820, it can play MP3 music files as well as optional XM Radio. There isn’t a photo viewer, however.

One of the best features in the Garmin 2820 is that it does support multiple vias per route to aid in route customization. Now if only the Nuvi line would get that feature….

If you’ve been shopping for GPS devices and have been looking at other devices like the Nuvi there is one big thing you need to know about this GPS… it is big. It weighs nearly a pound and is 5.6 inches wide, 3.2 inches tall, and 2 inches deep. Over four times larger than a Nuvi and weighs nearly three times as much. This isn’t a GPS that you want to be frequently transferring between vehicles and it certainly won’t fit in your pocket when you go out for dinner.

Another big thing is the price. The original retail price is $1184.60. But with the exception of the chipset, this GPS is loaded with most every feature available. Bluetooth, multi-destination routing, MP3 music, XM traffic capabilities, XM radio capabilities, text-to-speech, and it even comes with a remote control.

If you want a GPS loaded with features and intend to mount it and forget it, this could be a fantastic choice. If you think you might want something portable, consider any of the much smaller devices available.

36 Responses

  1. Looks like a very solid device! Interested in hearing more as people start to use it… Is XML radio XM?

    Julie - May 4th, 2006
  2. Oops. Yes, XM. Typo corrected. 🙂

    GPS Review - May 4th, 2006
  3. dose it come with any kind of battery?

    seth - June 1st, 2006
  4. I don’t think it comes with a battery. I think it just has the 12 volt power cable and an AC adapter.

    GPS Review - June 1st, 2006
  5. It does come with a battery per the review here:

    See the first few comments at the bottom of the review.

    John B - June 7th, 2006
  6. It could have a battery and I hope it does. All of the documentation I have seen so far for the StreetPilot 2820 doesn’t mention a battery where documentation for the other StreetPilot devices do mention their batteries.

    GPS Review - June 7th, 2006
  7. Seth & John – I spoke to tech support and the 2820 does NOT have an internal battery. Any reference of batteries and the 2820 would be referring to its remote control.

    Rich - June 20th, 2006
  8. Rich: I can confirm you are correct. I just recieved mine today. No sign of a batter in the unit itself. Without an AC or car adapater attached, there is no power. Too bad, but the unit is still darn cool!

    John B - June 20th, 2006
  9. Does anyone know if the 2820 or 2720 have the came connector as the BMW Navigator? I cannot find any pictures of the connectors on either device. I am replacing a BMW NavII that was stolen (from my car not motorcycle) and a $300 savings from the 2720 to the BMW one would be nice if it works.

    Peter - June 22nd, 2006
  10. Peter, which connector are you referring to?

    GPS Review - June 22nd, 2006
  11. I, too, would like to know if the 2820 will replace my BMW Nav II. Please, somone, look into this. Thanks.

    John Blowitz - June 24th, 2006
  12. Peter & John, I would be glad to look this up for you. Which connecter are you referring to?

    GPS Review - June 24th, 2006
  13. The specs indicate that audio for navigation prompts and phone are transmitted via Bluetooth.
    Is audio from MP3 and XM transmitted via Bluetooth also?

    Bob - June 25th, 2006
  14. Thanks. It’s the optionalo BMW Navigator II mount. Although the GPS is labeled that way, it’s clearly a Garmin. Bob’s question is also a good one re: Bluetooth audio.

    John Blowitz - June 25th, 2006
  15. Peter & John – I can’t say with 100% certainty, however having looked at pictures of both they appear identical.

    GPS Review - June 26th, 2006
  16. Bob – I’m not 100% sure since I have not used this device yet, but looking through the manual it appears MP3 audio can be transmitted. Sorry I don’t have more definitive answers yet.

    GPS Review - June 26th, 2006
  17. Looks like Garmin has a new motorcycle GPS due out in October, check out the Garmin Zumo! Much smaller than the Garmin StreetPilot 2820.

    GPS Review - July 19th, 2006
  18. whats the basic differences between streetpilot 2820 and c550? they look very much the same in terms of features side by side test to speech, traffic, poi, mp3. i’m a newby so anyone that can summarize basic differences. i will be using in car only.

    thanks boyd

    boyd - July 23rd, 2006
  19. Boyd – The first difference is size, the Garmin StreetPilot 2820 is larger, heavier, and has a larger screen. Therefore it is also less portable.

    The StreetPilot 2820 also includes support for XM Radio and XM NavTraffic services.

    The StreetPilot c550 includes a more sensitive 20 channel receiver versus the 12 channel receiver in the StreetPilot 2820.

    There is also a pretty big difference in the MSRP. The c550 is $857 and the StreetPilot 2820 is $1185.

    GPS Review - July 24th, 2006

    abe - July 27th, 2006
  21. Boyd – I bought the c550 and really love it after 2 days. its pretty accurate redirecting. the blue tooth set up took like 2 minutes, much easier than i thought and speaker for car works very well. easy to pull on and off dash for security. totally worth every penny. thanks for the response above. BB

    boyd - July 27th, 2006
  22. The new BMW Motorrad Navigator III does not have XM radio. What’s with that? And I’d still like to know if the 2820 will fit into the BMW Natigator II mount on my R1200GS? Thanks for any help.

    john Blowitz - August 12th, 2006
  23. Does anyone know if the 2820 recalculates/reroutes you if go off track like the 7200 does? I am debating between these two models. Thanks so much.

    Mary - August 15th, 2006
  24. Mary – Yes, the StreetPilot 2820 will recalculate your route if you go off track.

    GPS Review - August 15th, 2006
  25. Does this play thur you radio speakers or do you have to have an FM Transmitter?

    Paige - August 15th, 2006
  26. Paige – If you want to use your radio speakers you would need to setup an FM transmitter. The StreetPilot 2820 has its own speaker.

    GPS Review - August 15th, 2006
  27. Paige: The unit does have a line out jack which you can use to connnect to a car stereo with Aux In. That’s how I’ve set mine up.

    John B - August 15th, 2006
  28. I replaced my Nav II on my BMW K1200LT with 2820 but am having a bear of a time finding a Bluetooth helmet sold in US that is compatible with the device. Anyone know what helmets work with 2820 (besides BMW System V)?

    Gregg Garrison - October 4th, 2006
  29. Dainese makes a beautiful helmet, both 3/4 and full face with Bluetooth and even a mic.

    Sadly they don’t fit my fat head!

    John Blowitz - October 4th, 2006
  30. Have one and agree that Dainese are good helmets unfortunately I have had no luck connecting them with the 2820. All looks normal finds device, connects then immediately disconnects. Garmin tech support (support term used loosely here) has been absolutely no help nor have they been any help in getting a list of compatible helmets that actually work with thier Nav system.

    Gregg G - October 5th, 2006
  31. john Blowitz not sure if you got your answer on fitting the Nav II mount but answer is yes. The buttons on the left side of mount no longer work and you will need to remove if you need access to audio jack on left hand side of 2820.

    Gregg G - October 5th, 2006
  32. I’m looking for a dash GPS that will allow bluetooth connection to my cell phone AND would also permit simltaneous bluetooth connection to an earpiece(to use if my audio sounds too much like a speakerphone to my caller). This 2820 unit appears to allow the double bluetooth connection. Right? Any suggestions of which earpiece would allow this 3-way connection?


    David U - November 23rd, 2006
  33. David, to my knowledge the 2820 will only allow you to have one Bluetooth connection at a time. I could have incorrect info on this though, where did you see that wit would allow multiple simultaneous connections?

    Tim - November 23rd, 2006
  34. Tim, Here is the text from the Garmin site:
    The StreetPilot 2820 integrates wireless technology with a microphone and speaker that lets you make hands-free calls on a compatible Bluetooth phone. Motorcyclists can connect a Bluetooth-enabled headset or helmet* simultaneously with a Bluetooth phone to the StreetPilot 2820 to talk hands-free on the road or receive wireless navigation audio prompts…
    Am I reading that wrong?

    David U - November 23rd, 2006
  35. Hi David, good catch. Now that I read it that does sound familiar. I haven’t used it that way before so I’m not sure what restrictions the profiles have with the devices they connect to.

    Tim - November 23rd, 2006
  36. Hi Tim,

    Well, I’m weakening, and will probably buy one. I rationalize that the speaker phone will save me from dying in a crash . Good enough reason for a new gadget, I suppose. My fear is that the transmitted audio will be unpleasant to listen to, so I’d end up using the phone in the normal way.
    If the bluetooth would also work to an earpiece, I’d just grab that if I got an audio complaint. (Too bad there is propably no way to attach a mic on the visor.) Nice to talk with you.

    Dave U

    David U - November 23rd, 2006

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