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Which GPS is worth the value?


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Hi guys, I'm planing to buy a new GPS. Do you have any good suggestion? My requiments are simple:

1. good price

2. can not be easily stolen, maybe a portable will do

3. update map easily

4. Bluetooth is better

Among Garmin nüvi® 1250, Tomtom GO 540 LIVE with new google map, or this cheapest Eonon 825A, since I've bought a DVD player from them and it's good to use. about GPS, which of them is better? Or do you have better recommendation? Thanks in advance!

Edited by JustinW
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I got a Garmin Nuvi250 and I'm quite happy with it. Very simple easy to follow menus and commands, no need to read the instruction booklet. It is an old unit so lacks many features of newer units but paid like $170 for it.

While at the national meet the combined brain power of Tats, Silvabullit and myself only managed to fluke what we wanted to achieve on M_Ms tomtom unit.

I can't comment on those specific models though.

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it all depends how and where u gonna use your navi..

i can see that you put 'good price' as the first priority on the list, so meaning u wont b willing to spend more than $400.. *i guess

if u r in city, tall buildings all around, portable ones are most likely very inaccurate.. hard to get signal/all the 8(or 6) satellites.. so, u probably better off start looking at road signs ><"

portables ones are not tat useful/good when u r tooo far out into country side as well, which is in my case, i am always looking at rural lands..

even if u spend top dollar($1k-2.5k) for blaupunkt, pioneer, eclipse, kenwood....(HU tat read map from CD, not memory card-sd card) with the function that they can calculate where u r even with minimal signal, as it is reading your ACTUAL on-road speed (not the speed reading thru satellites), u still hv problem like.. cant upload the speed and red light camera into the POI (which many ppl will find tat very useful..) Not that the disc which cost $2xx-3xx to update, doesnt include the POI for speed and red light, is tat the HU itself is not design/program to show those POIs..

tat's why i have 4 different navigators on 2 cars, including 2 portable and 2 built in. (and map on each car, overkill?? :toast: )

but if u just using it like normal ppl do, u like spending as little as u can, downloading updating maps online for free, and get free POI for updated speed/red light cam (or mayb just little cost, go ebay~), then portable is your way, dont worry too much on brands.. same thing

it is still always good, to keep a map in your car, which i find it very useful..

p/s: in dash ones are really good, but prepare to spend a lot if u wanna update it.. which is only once in 1-3 years??

experience: owned 4 different portable ones(kept 2), and 2 in-dash

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oh, recommendation..

i even used the navig8r tat cost less than $160 on ebay, they do work~ tried update the map with the downloaded ones, it worked as well, played with poi, it works~ mp3, photo, all shxt as well tat i didnt care to use.. only thing tat i don like, is tat the design isnt as pretty as the tomtom, navman.......... (tats all!!)

out of tat 3 choices, i would go for garmin, then tomtom, dont bother the eonon..

both garmin and tomtom are easier to find updates.. go google search~

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My preference has always been for portables as they are generally cheaper, have more features, and are easily upgradeable. I've been a dedicated TomTom user as I've found they had the most features and were always the most highly recommended. My unit is a TomTom GO 910, which has since been superceeded. I recently purchased a TT XL 340 for SWMBO which is a good unit, although it doesn't have bluetooth. I have used TomTom Navigator on my PDA, however I wouldn't recommend doing this for every day navigation as I find it always takes a while to get a GPS signal and doesn't have the same features.

My recommendation would be to get a TomTom GO 730. It has the all the features you require, with the exception of cannot be easily stolen, which no portable unit will offer. While it is a little more pricey than some of the other units out there, it does have a number of advantages:

  • There is a well established community on the net providing maps, firmware hacks, safety camera updates and other add-on apps for the unit (http://www.ipmart-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=382). This has enabled my old 910 unit to run the latest firmware despite TomTom not supporting it anymore.
  • Has a feature called MapShare, which allows you to make changes to the maps including speed limits, blocking/unblocking streets, traffic direction, turns at intersections. I've found this invaluable as the whereis maps are full of errors.
  • Traffic antenna is available for the unit (buy a european one off ebay and it wil cost you $60-$80 compared to the $200+ Tom Tom want here in Australia).

A quick comparison betweem in-dash and portable units is given below:

In-dash units:


  • Look a lot neater
  • Integration with stereo system so that audio can cut out when GPS directions are being given or in telephone calls.
  • Harder to steal
  • Better GPS reception
  • Dead-reckoning (ie will still give you position when GPS signal is lost).
  • Big screens
  • No wires running across the dash.


  • Unit and add-ons are expensive
  • Expensive map upgrades
  • Limited GPS features
  • Some units only have coverage of major cities and highway.
  • Can't take it with you if you don't travel with your vehicle.
  • No regular speed camera updates.
  • No regular firmware updates.
  • No traffic updates
  • Will the GPS unit still be supported in 5-10 years

Portable units:


  • Units are cheaper
  • Cheaper map upgrades
  • Firmware regularly updated to provide new features or bug fixes
  • Can take the GPS with you if you travel.
  • Some units can now have TMC-RDS traffic data for Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney.
  • Generally have more GPS features
  • Most units have regular safety camera updates.
  • Map coverage is generally quite good.


  • Smaller screen
  • Portability makes them easier to steal.
  • Generally can't integrate with car audio system.
  • No dead reckoning, although some units such as the TomTom 930 have begun to implement it.

Edited by Kesawi
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

I've had my Garmin 255 now for 18months, and with all the road building in Brisbane, it's way out of date. I just looked at Garmin website, $195 for a new map. Is there a better alternative to this, because $195 is what i paid for the unit itself?

I also need maps for USA and Canada for an upcoming trip... i'm assuming with right maps my Garmin will work fine over there, USA cars have cigarette lighters as well?


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epic thread revival :lol:

i'm downloading navigon on my iphone atm... see how this goes...

edit: didn't cost me a cent :spiteful:

Edited by Kenshin X
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anyone got an answer, i don't feel like shelling out $195 unless i really have too


My maps are about 2 years out of date and Garmin think $110 is a good price for the maps <_<

And people wonder why we are a wasteful consumerist society.

If I'm outside Australia I'll just use the GPS on my phone, Google maps are free and up-to-date :D

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you dont' get download charges using google maps in a different country?


There is, but I buy a sim in that country when I arrive. The call charges in Australia are outragous. For example the phone rates in Thailand are criminally cheap.

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TOMTOM all the way! bought my TomtomGo730 about 1.5years ago now $350 (bargain at the time) very easy to use compared to other brands, easy layout, (only con: bad battery life need to keep it charged all the time and if not used the battery will die,then u need to charge it for a while and takes a while to turn on- anyone else experience this?

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Personally, I think buying an older/used model (TomTom is my preference) with a large screen (Small screen are totally useless imo) <$200 is the way to go. Battery life as DemonRolla mentioned can occur depending how the unit is used. If you overcharge it, the battery life will decrease overtime but a good charge now and then should keep it healthy =)

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