Garmin Zumo XT - Short Term Review - North East USA

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by _jonoz_, May 23, 2020.

  1. _jonoz_

    _jonoz_ The guy on the Grom.

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    Hopes this helps. First real post.

    *Garmin Zumo XT - Short Term Review*

    At this point I've used the Zumo XT GPS for a few trips and joy rides. HIGHLY recommend it.

    Pros I've found so far:
    • Tracking is very easy to use. With 2 touches of the screen you are recording you track.
    • gpx file sharing is fool proof and very quick. The Zumo XT can share to your phone via Bluetooth and after receiving the file email can be sent with the file for others to use all within a minute or two.
    • gpx files stored on the device can be always shown on the map. Useful for things like BDR. I have the BDR tracks set to always show for when I do get out to ride them. Also Wade's Ride (North Berwick ME to Fryeburg ME) and NEAR BBH and BBE 1/2 are always on because I'm close to them all.
    • Screen can be used with ANY glove. I have tried 5 pairs of gloves varying thicknesses and materials, from winter to summer to work gloves. NO problems, ALL worked.
    • Screen is legible even when in direct sunlight.
    • Fuel tank tacking is thing. My bike is... well, a KTM. I don't trust the dash AT ALL. Not to mention I don't have a fuel gauge on the dash.. But fuel tracking is programmable and will allow for warnings at a desired range left in your tank. SO i have mine set to a max range of 200 miles and a warning of 30 miles left in tank. (This is all done in the Zumo XT nothing tied to the vehicle)
    • Bluetooth connectivity. As you suspected from a previous point Bluetooth is a thing. The Zumo can play music from your phone (or SD card) and display incoming texts or phone calls and you can have them played through the GPS or connected coms unit. Mine is going through a PACTALK Bold. Side note: My PACTALK, Zumo XT, and phone are a love triangle and all talk to each other. I wonder how many zoomies I'll get from that.. Everything works well together. *this might be different depending on your coms. Mine has a separate GPS Bluetooth channel/freq from the Phone*
    • Dust / Water tight. From my experience. I had water come up over my windscreen and a shhhhhh load of dust of the few times I've used this. All is totally fine and working. The GPS got soaked, didn't submerge for any time but it was SOAKED and worked flawlessly afterword. Also not worried about rain. I've had it there too. NO problems.
    • Great screen size. Almost the same size as my phone (S8 Active) but actual is about 5.5 inches x 3 And it can be mounted vertically or horizontally.
    • Maps of the US are included. I say this because I was asked. I didn't know people had to buy maps for the country they bought any gps in. That's a scam and a half.
    • Satellite view is an option and so is Topographical.
    • Zoom in/out is crazy. From fully zoomed out to fully zoomed in its something in the range of 200mi out (basically a global picture like google earth and all the way down to 50ft up from the unit. The zoom levels make sure you can basically see which side of the single track you went to when dodging your buddy that crashed while reviewing your trip. lol You could use this as a hiking GPS if desired. The zoom is crazy and the detail in tacking is pretty dang good too. They also offer a carrying case which seems like they thought about what motos and overlanders want to do. Go out trail or ride or travel and then hike a mountain. I'm buying the carry case soon.
    • gpx upload to the Zumo xt is maybe a 1 minute process if you have the file on your phone already. Download the Garmin Drive app and pair it with your Zumo XT. After you've done this select the three, linked dots icon for sharing and choose the Garmin Drive App. It'll ask which device you want to send to and boom done and sent. It's actually amazing how fool proof this set up is. importing and exporting files is a breeze even you old farts can figure out.
    • Easy snap in and out, one button release mounting. - If you are buying the Zumo XT it comes ready to roll with a hard wire or ring lug to battery option. I hard wired mine. It also comes with a handlebar ram mount and it's SOLID. I also purchased a "Automotive Mount" for $50 more. and it's a suction cup ram mount and a 12VDC line for your car. I'm sure you could hard wire it into your vehicle if you wanted to.
    Cons I've found so far.. I'm sure there are more but this is actually, pretty much it in my opinion:
    • The Keyboard. UGH.. it's a weird split down the middle of the QWERTY keyboard. T, G and V, and left are one one screen and Y,H,B and right are on another. It does leave room for fat fingered gloves but its weird to get used to and slows down typed in information like navigation by address or searching for destinations.
    • Bluetooth... I just raved about how good this was... well I don't know why but I had my phone and coms hooked up to the "love triangle" and i couldn't hear music or my phone call when I had my wife call during a testing of it. Well, the Zumo XT has an external speaker on it and was playing all incoming sound and nav through it's own speaker instead of my coms headset. It's happened *twice* during initial testing but I can see it happening down the road again. However has not happened since I have my phone and Zumo XT pairing automatically now, this gremlin hasn't shown its face again.
    • Only about 3 hour battery life. Seems kinda short with modern tech but I'll rarely use the battery as the main power source.
    If there are any questions or things you are curious about feel free to ask. This is my first dedicated GPS and I'm in love. Best money I've spent on electronics for any vehicle.
    #1
  2. simon crewe

    simon crewe Been here awhile

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    Great write up, thanks for taking the trouble to post this.
    With regards your comment about the keyboard being split, I think you may have large typeface/buttons enabled causing it to split the display. I have just checked my unit & it is completely normal with all the characters on a single page.
    #2
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  3. _jonoz_

    _jonoz_ The guy on the Grom.

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    you are correct! Thanks! lol I feel like a derp now. small buttons look too small for gloves now.. :hmmmmm
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  4. SCPancho

    SCPancho Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    I had a lot of trouble going through the settings, at my desk, without gloves. Lots of repeats, etc. Keyboard touch seemed very sensitive. I had to slow down and be very deliberate. When in other screens it seemed normal.
    #4
  5. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at?

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    I suspect the battery is just designed to let you fiddle with it without turning the ignition on (at least I have it wired to ACC2 on my KTM which is a switched connection).
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  6. AliveDK

    AliveDK Long timer

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    The Zumo XT obviously comes with the maps for your region preinstalled...in my case Europe.
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  7. turtlespeed

    turtlespeed Been here awhile

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    Does XT allow you to pick up whatsaap calls? My TomTOm 550 lets me pick up normal phone calls with a swipe/tap, but does not show notification of whatsaapp calls, so I cant pcik them up.
    #7
  8. simon crewe

    simon crewe Been here awhile

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    In the UK it comes with the following maps:
    City navigator Europe
    Topo Active Europe
    Parkopedia
    Birds Eye Direct

    Not sure for your part of Europe.
    #8
  9. _jonoz_

    _jonoz_ The guy on the Grom.

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    Yeah i barely use battery unless I'm setting it up at a stop or pre ride.
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  10. _jonoz_

    _jonoz_ The guy on the Grom.

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    I would imagine so.. but you might have to have your phone and gps in front of you to activate the whatsaap call on the phone. but if you run a pactalk or other coms unit then it would just go through your phone and headset anyway. the gps reall yonly interfaces with already turned on music or mp3 files stored on an sd card or interal memory. I can download and try or try the facebook messenger app and see if calls work that way.
    #10
  11. _jonoz_

    _jonoz_ The guy on the Grom.

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    I realize that is the case. However, my friend purchased some higher end garmin unit that required him to buy maps for the US.. and this was a pro i felt was needed in the review because that question came up.
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  12. AliveDK

    AliveDK Long timer

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    That's strange, I bought mine at Sportsbikeshop in the uk as is was cheaper than locally. But there is no Parkopedia map ?
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  13. _jonoz_

    _jonoz_ The guy on the Grom.

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    So my friend bought the 276Cx not the Zumo XT. And he had to buy regular US maps from what I understand. The Zumo XT (us) comes with:

    National parks V2,
    CN North America NT (parkopedia),
    CN North America NT (Foursquare),
    North America DEM,
    TopoActive PS Americas North,
    TopoActive PS Americas Central,
    CN North America NT(all)
    #13
  14. AliveDK

    AliveDK Long timer

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    Aha i see now that it’s a parking app. Thought it was a secret ‘end of the rainbow’ map :-)
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  15. simon crewe

    simon crewe Been here awhile

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    I don't even know what parkopedia is for. - parking sites I assume! There is also one listed as Foursquare, both of these seem to be derivatives of City Navigator Europe. The unit down loaded them all when I set it up following purchase.

    Perhaps it is unique to the UK, I would have thought all the updates come from US based servers, sorry I have no idea.
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  16. simon crewe

    simon crewe Been here awhile

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    All you will ever need to know - https://www.parkopedia.com/faq/
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  17. AliveDK

    AliveDK Long timer

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    And I just realized that I DO have the parkopedia maps on my XT - SORRY !
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  18. sati8d

    sati8d REALLY?? Eh! Oh! ca va pas non??? Supporter

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    Outstanding review.
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  19. Exurban

    Exurban Long timer

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    Re: battery life. What was the screen brightness set to? The specs say 6 hours (up to 3.5 hours at 100% backlight.) It doesn’t say what level is used to get 6 hours though.
    #19
  20. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    so you have to have the Garmin app installed on the phone to transfer files over Bluetooth ?

    it can't transfer normally to other devices over Bluetooth without the app ?
    #20
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