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Garmin and the Emperors new clothes...

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by KaytM, May 27, 2017.

  1. KaytM

    KaytM Just a fella.

    Joined:
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    I've had Garmin for 7 years, first a 550 then a 660.
    I loved them for many years but now I'm not so convinced.
    Yes they're a good device for getting from A to B in a efficient manner but they are not a good motorcyclist tool.
    Common free phone apps for motorcycles have features such as "quickest route" "curvey route" "curviest route" plus features such as round trip where I can pick a point, say home, a distance, say 100 miles and the software will find a nice - motorcycle orientated - route with that data.
    Try telling your Garmin you ant to go to where you already are...
    I have their issues with the unit but my point is this -
    Garmin are dated, they were the first big name on the market and to some extent corner the market or captured a large portion of the market, they've rested on those laurels and not improved their product.
    By today's standards I'd go as far to suggest they're actually crap.
    I'm a long distance runner too, my GPS watch has many features my GPS doesn't - Google Earth video (animation) playback for example. (See video link).
    In short let's say it how it is, Garmin haven't done much to improve their product for about a decade, it's time to move on and leave them behind.
    I welcome your opinion on other GPS brands as my experience ends with Garmin.



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    #1
  2. smbjm

    smbjm Been here awhile

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    The 660 was released in 2009. You are comparing an 8 year old consumer electronic to what's availabe today? Yeah that makes perfect sense that all Garmins are crap.
    #2
  3. KaytM

    KaytM Just a fella.

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    I have no knowledge of "all Garmins" what I said was the 660 is dated and by today's standards is crap, it is - as I said my watch has more functions.
    You missed my point though which was - although Garmin were once the standard in motorcycle GPS units now they are no where near and could someone point me in the right direction of a better unit.
    Muppet!


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    #3
  4. AZgman

    AZgman Addicted to curves

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    I would say even a Zumo 660 is far from "crap". Mine worked flawlessly for several years and during that time I became quite fond of Michelle... I have since upgraded to a BMW Navigator V so that the wonderwheel on my new GS would work with the GPS.

    Use whatever navigation method you choose, but for me, a dedicated GPS is the best tool.
    #4
  5. jmarleau

    jmarleau Been here awhile

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    Seems similar to Garmins 3D Terrain View found on the new Zumo 595 and Nav V.

    #5
  6. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    i completely agree garmin is crap. this year i "upgraded" from my garmin streetpilot to the 660lm (which is currently selling for $450USD). how bad does it suck? let me not bother to count the ways. and the Basecamp software? I am sure it would work just great but i need to watch hours of videos or take a class to figure out how to use it. :baldy

    i got my iphone 6 for $0USD from my cell company and it can do about 450,000 times more, using only free apps, than the 660, and is also VERY user friendly.

    the garmin lovers are suffering from cognitive dissonance: since they paid out their ass for their garmin device they have to love it. :nod
    #6
    Dolly Sod and KaytM like this.
  7. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    I hear all the complaints about Garmin but I have yet to find a suitable replacement that runs on my iPhone 7.

    I want to be able to download routes, paved and dirt, gravel or dirt roads on the map, single track not necessary.
    I do mostly paved with occasional fire roads.

    I've tried inRoute, Scenic, and several others and they all screw up well made routes I get from others. Often it's because of map differences. Most of the routes I get are from basecamp. I use Furkot myself and like it. It's easy to load routes from Furkot to Scenic but scenic doesn't do a good job following them. I'll do without the curvy road functions, not interested in driving around the block in town. I've yet to determine the routing 'rules' for efficient setting in scenic. I also can barely see the road names in scenic and my iPhone is mounted on my handlebars. I'd like to be able to zoom in and out, like I can on a Nav with the wheel. Sometimes I want to zoom out and get an idea where I'm at and then zoom back in.

    I also like the way the Nav stores daily tracks that are easy to access in archive folder.

    I had a Nav 5 and it got broken in an accident. I'd love to avoid $950 for a Nav 6 but haven't seen it's replacement.

    A lot of these programs work well sitting on couch but fall short on the bike.
    #7
  8. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    That would be neato if they figured out how to kill the lag.
    #8
  9. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Here's a short 14,000 km route I just whipped up with an inferior app on a two year old, mid range phone.
    Screenshot_2017-05-31-21-04-11.png

    It takes about three seconds to display or hide its 5mb gpx file (attached to post ) but there is no issue at all if/when I change map sets.

    Does the nav 5 or 6 display it without errors?

    Attached Files:

    #9
  10. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    That's why I bought an Android phone for navigation. Apple products are way too limiting.
    #10
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  11. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    So, name some android software that meets my needs.

    My wife has an android phone. I'm not interested in the learning curve. Yes, I know it's just different, not worse, I'm familiar with the iPhone.
    #11
  12. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Why would you make a 14,000 km route? It is easy to break into days. Have you followed that route on the bike?


    I don't want to turn this into a pissing contest. I just haven't found a phone app that works for me.
    #12
  13. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I use 3 apps, Locus Pro, OSMAnd, and Here We Go. As for which ones meets YOUR needs, that's for you to answer.

    My preference for the Android phones is simply because Apple refuses to allow me to expand memory, change out the battery, and have easy access to any files. I prefer an iPhone for every day use though. My Galaxy S5 is a stand alone GPS, that's all I use it for. Cost me $200 brand new when they first came out, and I even have free insurance coverage on it by paying my cell phone bill with a particular credit card. Cost me $25 for a replacement when the original phone hit the pavement at 90 MPH.

    The POS Garmin Montana was the final straw for me. It was so buggy and flawed I lost all desire to spend another penny on Garmin crap.
    #13
  14. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    I know this has all been discussed here, but humor me.

    I want:

    Easy import of gpx routes from friends. Routes from Furkot or Basecamp.
    I want those routes to be able to follow dirt roads. Not tracks, off road, but forest service roads, etc.
    I want easy to read screen. Big enough font on road names, and road numbers.
    Be able to zoom in and out as desired.
    Keep track of where I've been. Easy access to those tracks. Convert those tracks to routes.
    My NAV 5 did all those things quite well.

    You still live in SC? We should get together and ride sometime.
    #14
  15. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Not meant to sound smartalecky at all :-)
    ....

    1 the long route is just a way of displaying the power and flexibility of how quickly a long (or short) route can be produced in a few seconds, right on the device.
    2 I could have broken it into 100 mile sections, color coded by difficulty, with different route markers, turn by turn directions (or not) but was hoping the part of #1 would be better displayed by one long track.
    3 No sir. My desire to ride long distances on highways died years ago, cars are a lot more comfortable.
    4 Agreed. See #1 for the why, please :-)
    5 understood. There are a lot of them, and people have preferences that define which is better for them. There ain't no "best", just differing levels of suck. ;-)

    1 yes, you can import/export via Bluetooth/Wi-Fi direct/email/sdcard/usb-otg/usb/all the normal file transfer methods... Assuming they have a device that is also capable. There are no track point count limits (the 14000 mile track was a demonstration of that capability) or file size problems. Load n go.
    2 yes, sure, although this really depends more on how they are generated, than importing.
    3 big is relative. I like 4.5" screens. Others like 7" screens. Then you get into tablet sized areas, and i think the current limit there is about 10" ?Totally up to you.
    4 of course, yes. Auto zoom by speed usually means you don't need lunch to zoom, but yes , still.
    5 yes, you can record gpx tracks as you ride, save and share them as mentioned above in #1
    6 yes, you can save/keep hundreds of thousands of miles on the device, I don't think it's possible to fill a 5gb space, let alone 32gb space with gpx tracks. My 25,000 mile database is about 120mb.
    7 yes, of course. With our without turn by turn instructions? Either way equals yes.
    #15
  16. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

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    I would very much like to replace my Zumo 550 with an Android device which is waterproof, works great with gloves, and is visible in bright sunlight with sunglasses on. Does that exist yet?
    #16
  17. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    I'm sure this would be ok too. I'm reluctant to spend more money on an android device and software with the bad experiences I've had with iPhone software.

    Which device and software would you recommend? Your thoughts mean a lot to me. I know how many people you've helped here and don't question your expertise.

    I ride on road, GS. Some gravel. Exchange routes often. Just want the damn thing to work on the road,
    I've listed my wants.
    #17
  18. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    I love to hear that Garmin's consumer products are all crap, that a smartphone app and a tough smartphone is better. The consumer market is all about smartphones, apps and such. Who needs a dedicated GPS unit when a smartphone is so smart?

    Now tell me how the aviation and marine markets would work on a smartphone app you know those commercial markets that depend on a dedicated device. Better yet tell me how the military would use a smartphone based GPS to do what they do.

    Then tell me that it's Garmin's fault for not pleasing you. I think they might be doing other things, maybe they told you already where to go?
    #18
  19. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Location:
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    Hardware:
    Depending on how large a display you want....
    Kyocera duraforce ,duraforce xd, or duraforce pro model. The xd and pro have replaceable batteries, the regular does not. The duraforce model does not have external charging points, the xd/pro do. The xd is 5.7", the pro "only" 5" and the plain duraforce is 4.5". They are very well appointed when it comes to RAM and processor speed. The screens are bright, but since I've never touched a BMW nav5 in the sunlight I can't give an honest comparison.

    The Samsung line of phones is very good also, like the s5 neo/active line.

    For a bargain basement setup, the
    Kyocera hydro air or hydro shore are about $49 at Walmart, 5" display, bright, and totally waterproof. I used one and it's very good but too big for pocket/everyday use for me.



    Software:
    Osmand
    Navigon
    Locus
    Oruxmaps
    There are more but I generally only use locus. The software is a very heavily influenced thing when it comes to personal preferences. Some people hate one but love another, which is very similar.

    Don't forget Google maps can do a pretty dang good job of street navigation. I know, we're talking DS/adv, but it's good for street stuff.

    But..... It is not apple / iOS! If you love ios and are familiar with it, be prepared to either get a slight jolt, or completely hate android, once you use it daily. Just like you would if you had to change from Magellan to gamin, or back the other way.
    #19
    scfrank likes this.
  20. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    Last year I dropped my Garmin handheld in favor of running Back country Navigator for hiking and hunting. It turned out to be far superior for me.

    Based on that, this March I started looking for moto GPS apps, and have read a ton of Ohgood's and Albie's info on the subject. I have been running both Locus and OsmAnd (the two paid versions cost less than $20 total).

    My preferences seem to mimic those of a lot of others on here running Android GPS. Locus is better on the dirt and has a ton of features that let you do things you never thought you wanted to do with a track or route. OsmAnd is much better on pavement, has better rerouting and turn by turn.
    #20