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Nuvi 200 VS Nuvi 350


Despite not being the best GPS for bad spellers, the Garmin Nuvi series continues to dominate GPS sales. And for good reason, these devices are compact, simple to use, and offer great performance. Recently with availability of the 200 series Nuvi devices we’ve been getting lots of questions comparing the Nuvi 200 with the 350. While the 250 might be a better comparison with the 350 due to the similar map coverage, that isn’t the comparison most people have been looking for as they consider the lower cost Nuvi range. So here is the bottom line between the 200 and 350.

Physically, the devices are very similar in size. The 200 is actually a tiny bit smaller coming in at 8.51 square inches while the 350 is 9.79. Despite the smaller size, the 350 is one tenth of an ounce lighter at 5.1 ounces. You won’t notice the difference, honestly.

If you are planning on using your Nuvi frequently for pedestrian use, you will probably prefer the design of the 200 series. It doesn’t have the “flip-up” antenna on the 300 series and the power button also serves as a hold switch so that screen input is ignored while it is in your pocket. This makes the 200 series one of the best GPS devices out there for pedestrian navigators.

Pedestrians might want to look at battery life too. The 200 will last up to 5 hours while the 350 will last a few more miles and get up to 8 hours.

The specifications of the screen show the same size and pixel dimensions, however I’ve found the screen on the 200 series to be much brighter. The screen on the 350 isn’t bad… it just isn’t as good as the screen on the 200 series.

As we mentioned above, the map coverage is different, the 200 comes with maps of the continental contiguous USA, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico while the 350 covers North America.

Those are the smaller differences. Perhaps the biggest difference, and the reason many people will opt for the 350 is that the 350 includes text to speech. The Nuvi 200 has voice prompts, but lacks text-to-speech.

Other differences are that the Nuvi 350 includes an MP3 player and the associated headphone jack. Should you think you might want live traffic reporting in the future, the 200 series doesn’t have any compatible traffic receiver while a traffic receiver can be added as an option on the 350.

I often hesitate about comparing GPS devices on price for a variety of reasons. Comparing MSRP prices is difficult because the MSRP price can change over time. “Street” prices change even more rapidly. There is also an element of service from your choice of store that is difficult to factor into the price.

But price is what makes this comparison so interesting right now. When the Nuvi 350 was first announced it came with an MSRP of $969 while the 200 was stamped at $428. The MSRP price on the 200 hasn’t changed (yet) but the current MSRP of the 350 is down to $535.

Looking at some street prices at major retailers the 200 is down as low as $335 while the Nuvi 350 is down to as low as $330. (No need to tell me you’ve found lower prices elsewhere, I’m just referencing some low averages and the prices on these things change almost daily.) The bottom line is that the current prices on these two devices are nearly identical.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that while the prices are nearly identical on these two devices, you do get more features on the 350… Text-to-speech, and MP3 player, optional traffic, an included case, longer battery life, and you also get an AC adapter. The 200 lacks those features, but does include a nice “hold” feature pedestrians will appreciate. Unless you have plans to use the Nuvi frequently for pedestrian use, the 350 is probably a better deal for people today.

You can use this link to compare the 200, 250, 270, 350, 360, and 370 on specifications and current prices.

One Response

  1. I am a new driver in Malaysia planning to buy my first GPS. Just don’t know how to choose one unit that is fit to work in Malaysia. Please advise if Garmin nüvi®200 or nüvi®350 or Tom Tom a better choice for me?

    Thiess - July 2nd, 2008

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