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Old 01-28-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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GPS Extra Features

I've read the old GPS threads, most of which end in a left turn so decided to start a new one. I'm planning on replacing my 4 yr. old Garmin 255 rather than spend the money on a map update--I'm still using the original map. The Garmin 1350T is my first choice. I'm interested in what experience other members have with a couple of its features--lane assist and live traffic updates. Lane assist is a bunch of arrows in the upper lt. corner to represent lanes in an interchange with my lane highlighted. Sounds pretty useful. The 1350T does not have what is now called junction view--a lovely graphic display of the highway interchange right down to the overhead signs.

For those of you traveling Interstates especially... do you always have lane assist or junction view or is it spotty like some reviewers say? Do you have lane assist in the city? Does it come up soon enough to make a safe lane change with a trailer?

How useful is live traffic updates, especially for someone not commuting? Is there coverage on rural Interstates or just city/suburbs? Can you turn off live traffic? I understand it comes with annoying pop up ads every time you stop.

I know from my 255 that Garmin's features don't cover the entire US let alone Canada so am curious what works where you live and travel. I'll probably still get the 1350T as the CDN model includes map updates and is a really good price right now on amazon.ca compared to the lesser models without map updates and lane assist.

Thanks,
Henry
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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Hi Henry

I do not have the model your looking for, I have the Trucker Nuvi 465T. It has lane assist and the traffic.

The lane assist is for sure a nice feature when you are in areas you do not know and your towing the camper. It gives you some time to get into the correct lane.

The traffic, well I have not yet found that to be useful yet. It may be that we do not tow in rush hour when we can at all avoid it. It does go off once in a while, we get a tune of some kind of ding ding... followed by a yellow line next to the route where the traffic or construction zone is. Some times I have no idea why it went off as there really is not heavy traffic in that spot. It may be triggered by the construction zones and they assume there could be a traffic alert.

For the maps, they had life time maps marked down when I bought mine so I have that service.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:04 AM   #3
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Hey Henry,

First let me state I am not “knowledgeable” on all the GPS technology, brands, and what products can do or not. So this is not a technical answer, but actually my opinion and experience only…and slightly off your direct subject….so I apologize ahead of time.

I have 2 GPS's, both Garmin’s, one is about 3 years old the other older and they haven’t been used in many months. My "smart phone" (hate that term) has a built in GPS that is Google maps, and in my opinion far superior to my Garmin. Think about it, Google has had great internet maps for years, now layer that into driving/location "GPS", and for me wow. Its feature rich, will do everything you mention in your post...not sure about traffic update. You can add layers, like gas or food or many others. I love how it switches to a street view at turns and destinations. Google is taking over the world, remember they have a car that’s “drives” itself using video/maps/satellites somehow. I'm in sales and on the road allot, so I have used Google quite a bit, and very happy. It's not perfect that’s for sure. Plus I don’t have to type the address, I just speak (speech to text), and then navigate, which is very nice as I jump around all day.

Not sure if it’s an option for you or not, but if you can I would at least research it if you haven’t.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:09 PM   #4
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Joe, I couldn't agree more that technology is converging--look at TVs. Unfortunately, for us, the cost of cross border cell plans plus the cost of a smart phone don't make sense as we are casual travellers plus very casual phone users. Since I won't need a new cell phone for a couple of years, I think I'll buy one more GPS and see where the market shakes out. I am curious though, is the GPS component in your phone fully functional even without a cell signal? We travel lots of places in Canada where there is no cell signal, never mind all of the US, so a GPS in a phone that didn't work everywhere a stand alone GPS does would not be of much value. From FL to the Northwest Territories we have never been out of range of a GPS satellite, which, of course, is the intent of the system.

John, according to maps on Garmin's website live traffic is available in most large cities. For example, both sides of the Greater Niagara area right through Toronto has coverage. We live just outside the coverage area, but do a lot of driving there so may even find that feature useful at home. I wouldn't be too comfortable exiting an Interstate in a big city unless I could see that I was in a decent neighborhood. But from your comments it sounds like another feature that you have to "know your GPS" and take its advice only when it makes sense.

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Old 01-30-2011, 09:44 AM   #5
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Henry, although I have and use the trucker 465T my wife has the 1350 model that you are looking at. We purchased this unit for DW as it had lifetime map and traffic updates. I have used the 1350 when travelling in DW's vehicle and here is my experience with it:

1. Overall the unit is good and is very quick at recalculating.
2. The lane assist does work and it will tell you about 1.5kms in advance as to what lane you need to be in for the turn.
3. I did notice this unit does not have feature for saving routes. Therefore you can only build and use your current trip on the unit. It does not appear to have the ability to save routes. This is a feature I like on my 465T and something I would greatly miss if I did not have it.
4. The traffic reports do work in all major cities and yes you can turn it off. Where I find this hand is when travelling thought Toronto. If the unit says there is traffic on the 401 I take the the 407 toll road. If there is not traffic I proceed through on the 401. Just using this feature once and taking the 401 across Toronto and not the 401 makes the traffic reports pay for itself.
5. Now my experience with the traffic reports is that it about 70% correct. When I say this I find that sometimes it will report traffic but when I get to the area there is not traffic. Never have I found where it has not reported and traffic and I ended up sitting in one. Now you still may have traffic your route but this is because the unit has determined it is still faster to deal with the traffic than route around it. However, you always have the option to tell the unit to avoid the traffic anyways and take the longer route.

Hopefully this helps with your discussion. Now besides Amazon.ca for this unit, may I also suggest you check out gpscentral.ca in Calgary as we found it to have the best price when we were looking.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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Bill, thanks for all that "hometown" detail. It's good to know what to expect beforehand, but it sounds like I'll find the traffic info useful too although lane assist was the big upgrade I was looking for. You're right about gpscentral.ca, this unit is $10 less and it also has the lifetime maps promo that amazon is including. We'll be heading to FL with the new GPS in Mar. so I'll post back how it's worked out on a long haul.

Henry
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:10 AM   #7
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Henry,

Yes, the GPS continues to get a signal even when the phone does not. I always select the "stand alone GPS" mode when using it, and to my understand that means it is tracking from satellites, not cell towers. I get google map updates pushed to my phone all the time, so the maps are updated very often. Another interesting bit of info, is since I have an Andriod phone (Google phone), the Google "mother ship" tracks my phones movement for more personal data mining and uses it to market to me, or sells it to someone else that wants to market to me.

As for the cost...yes very hard to justify. Luckly, my monthly service is paid by my employer, BUT there are 3 other phones in my house all of which have data plans that I do pay for...and it hurts sooo much every month I pay it!
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