new GPS Garmin nuvo 860T

Following my post about cyberpunk-style satellite communications I’ve found, that we just bought a 4th satellite-technology device in our family – GPS Garmin nuvi 860T.  The other 3 were – GPS-receiver for my old Nokia e61i, GPS in my car and satellite dish for Russian TV for my mother in law.

many years I mostly use TomTom mobile software for Nokia and I was happy about it. Nice clear map and voice from a woman called “Jane”. Except a couple of cases, when Jane for example lead us to impossible Chowchilla Montain Road, it worked just fine.

So I’ve assumed all modern GPS devices should be fine. That was a mistake.

My wife bought this GPS Garmin nuvi 860T (sorry I don’t know where to put a link, there is no easy-to-find description on Garmin site) for €240 (discounted from €400). This device, which I immediately called Susanin, has the following features:

  • He speaks a LOT. Even tries to pronounce the names of the streets according to English grammatical rules ( OK, this part could be fun at first, when he tries to pronounce “Diependaalselaan” for example)
  • Actually information about name of the street doesn’t help with navigation, it’s seldom clearly written in Belguim or Netherlands. It only divers your attention from driving.
  • Susanin can not even pronounce correctly. somehow he doesn’t have enough processor power to generate a simple voice (in 2009!)
  • The map is unclear and looks really strange. It may be nice in USA, where the most cities are build in squares, but try to use it in a place like Hilversum, for example. You’ll lose yourself in a sticky web of small gray lines.
  • He has very annoying notification about speed control cameras. According to him, all the highways in Belgium are full with cameras (in reality there is may be 1 per 100 km and even those seldom work). But Susanin beeps every 5 minutes with huge stupid warnings.
  • Apparently the map from Navteq he’s using is very old. It has made a decision to use old and slow A12 from Brussels to Antwerp instead of fast E19. Really strange, I’ve just updated the map via Internet.

Worst:

  • Susanin constantly loses the car in the city. it a crowded area every 3 minutes it founds the car on the next small street, recalculates and gives advices which have nothing to do with the real position of the car. Apparently it doesn’t use SirfStarIII, which almost never has such problems with my TomTom
  • And he can not be returned (some strange rules about GPS devices activation). So, we’re stuck with the annoying bastard.

Fro me Garmin is not an option anymore. Why didn’t I stick with TomTom!

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