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Old 07-14-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
22,190 posts, read 22,670,745 times
Reputation: 10920

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I'm thinking of buying my husband a GPS for his birthday and know literally nothing about them, in terms of what features I should look for and which brands are the best. Could anybody here help me get started in knowing what I might want to buy? I can't even tell you how much I want to spend, because I don't know what a decent one would cost. I'm really starting at Kindergarten level here, so don't be afraid of talking down to me. Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 38,430,824 times
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What does he want to use it for?
I use mine for geocaching - Garmin Oregon. It is water-resistant and has been dropped (many times) with no repercussions!
I would not recommend it for driving directions.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
22,190 posts, read 22,670,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
What does he want to use it for?
I use mine for geocaching - Garmin Oregon. It is water-resistant and has been dropped (many times) with no repercussions!
I would not recommend it for driving directions.
He would probably use it mostly for driving directions when on road trips to and in unfamiliar cites and states. We both retired fairly recently and may want to do some traveling. On a trip to Boston a few years ago, our hotel was literally 20 minutes away from someplace we wanted to go but could not take mass transit. We used Google maps. What a laugh! We arrived at our destination over 2 hours later.

Geocaching actually does sound kind of fun, though, especially since we often go to national parks.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
19,117 posts, read 19,973,511 times
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Katz,

What is the intended use (car or hiking)?

If by car, Garmin and Magellan seem to be the most popular makes in my area.

Here is it gets confusing, both companies have so many models from low to high pricing with similar and overlapping features. It kinda gives you a headache reading about the differences.

I would think about what you need it for and the intended use, then visit their web sites and then you might want to look and some GPS reviews here, which may or may not get conflicting info.

Google

Another thing you could do is head to a place that sells them and do the touchy/feely routine and pump them for info.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
22,190 posts, read 22,670,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motormaker View Post
Katz,

What is the intended use (car or hiking)?

If by car, Garmin and Magellan seem to be the most popular makes in my area.

Here is it gets confusing, both companies have so many models from low to high pricing with similar and overlapping features. It kinda gives you a headache reading about the differences.

I would think about what you need it for and the intended use, then visit their web sites and then you might want to look and some GPS reviews here, which may or may not get conflicting info.

Google

Another thing you could do is head to a place that sells them and do the touchy/feely routine and pump them for info.
Hi, motormaker. See my previous post (#3). It would be exclusively for driving in and to places we haven't been before.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:15 PM
 
700 posts, read 1,694,148 times
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I prefer my Garmin. Although it's older (Streetpilot C330) with the map updates it works very well.

I do not like Tom-Tom at all - just this past week with experiencing it and and with the attempts at pronouncing city streets -- holy cow, I had to keep looking at the screen anyway to figure out W-T-PHONETIC she was trying to say.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:19 PM
 
9,198 posts, read 22,163,309 times
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Some basic features to look for:

A large screen - easier to see (4.3 or 5 inches)
Free map updates (ideally lifetime)
Free traffic updates

A GPS just needs to be a GPS. It doesn't need to connect to your phone (bluetooth). It doesn't need to play music and pictures. Don't get distracted by features that have nothing to do with using a GPS.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:43 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
19,117 posts, read 19,973,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Hi, motormaker. See my previous post (#3). It would be exclusively for driving in and to places we haven't been before.
Hi Katz,
Saw your post after I submitted mine and got called away and when I got back it was too late to edit it.

Another thing I forgot to mention, the GPS market seems very volatile to me, meaning there are too many models in both Garmin and Magellans offerings and pricing can vary on models from store to store. Sometime competitive, sometime not so much.

I also agree with the above two posters.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
22,190 posts, read 22,670,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
A GPS just needs to be a GPS. It doesn't need to connect to your phone (bluetooth). It doesn't need to play music and pictures. Don't get distracted by features that have nothing to do with using a GPS.
I can definitely see your point. I have no need for useless bells and whistles. I'll be sure to keep that in mind when I go shopping.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
22,190 posts, read 22,670,745 times
Reputation: 10920
So if I'm looking for something with a large screen - easier to see (4.3 or 5 inches), free map updates (ideally lifetime) and free traffic updates, but no unnecessary frills, how much money am I likely looking at?

Also, two people so far have mentioned Garmin, but one of them said they wouldn't recommend it for driving directions. Any input on that?
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