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Garmin NuviCam LMTHD vs Tom Tom GO 5100

What to do, Garmin NuviCam LMTHD or TomTom Go 5100? Help Me Choose.

Time is come to replace my good old friend TomTom 720 Go. It is still in good condition with latest available map updates, but I want car GPS navigator with latest technologies so sorry my dear friend, you’ll be always in my glove box on standby.


Recently I made some my personal reviews about car GPS navigation systems either only from my private experience or car GPS devices which people are interested, and information was obtained from Google search results.


Now I am stuck on searches for reliable GPS navigation system for my needs. I have spent hours on the internet to investigate pros and cons, but still in confusion, what is the best car GPS navigation system on the market today. Price this time is not a point. I’d like to have durable, user-friendly, helpful and in all other ways suitable device for my personal use.

One is clear, have to take a look on Garmin or TomTom. There is the third competitor as Magellan and even fourth Becker, but I exclude those, just exclude to be easier to reach the goal.

Let’s begin. I’ll be honest and say that like TomTom brand more. Why, maybe because I already own one and until now have a real experience. I will try to keep clear of addictions and sentiments to find the best device for me. It doesn’t mean that it could be the best solution for others.

As mentioned above, the price tag is not so important, but I set a ceiling $400.

First and more important is the high quality of maps.

TomTom is only car GPS navigation manufacturers who have their maps as far as I know. This could be counted mainly as good feature no crowded with users data which often leads to misunderstandings (like WAZE used to happen).

TomTom-9 out of 10

Garmin– 7.

Well, as we making comparison let’s include prices:tom-tom go5100

TomTom Go 5100garmin nuvicam lmthd

Garmin NuviCam LMTHD 

Next crucial is Routing.

Without detailed analysis, TomTom looks better.

TomTom-9.5

Garmin-7

Map updates.

TomTom- Lifetime TomTom Services including map updates at no extra cost, real-time TomTom Traffic updates and speed camera alerts.

Garmin-Free lifetime map updates. Safety (speed) cameras could be downloaded Cyclops $0-$24.99 depending on location. For me, Eastern Europe $24.99 one year subscription. USA and Canada $0.

TomTom-9

Garmin-7 (because for me speed cameras are for extra charge)

Real-time traffic information

Garmin- Lifetime HD Digital Traffic, Live Traffic, Garmin Traffic available for the USA. For some regions in Europe $25-$50. For me in Latvia not available.

TomTom-Lifetime, TomTom Traffic via built-in SIM. Coverage, see below. My region not yet included.

Garmin– 6

TomTom-6.5

I cannot give feedback not TomTom or Garmin Live Traffic utility and real value as never use it. When it happens to drive in rush hours, I listening local radio stations or better try to avoid traditional traffic jams.

Mounting

garmin navicam lmthdGarmin- Vehicle suction cup mount and magnetic mount (in box). A great number of claims from users, not hold a device and evil design. I think that suction surface not clean, but the design is a subjective rating.

TomTom- Magnetic Click & GO mount. I didn’t found any claims until now.tomtom go 5100

Garmin– 7

TomTom– 9

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Now about Garmin NuviCam LMTHD main Extra- Built in Dashboard camera. Yes it sounds really cool. From first look-no question this only feature must outweigh TomTom competing device.

Yes, and no doubt that dashcam is an almost must-have device in a car. You can check my recent post to get some prove of it. Not so many manufacturers offer such a feature in stand-alone car GPS navigators. There are two or three Magellan devices I found and, I guess, you can find such in Chinese scrap maker’s market.

Am I usually announcing that stand-alone devices are better than all in one so maybe this an exception? Let’s take a look at this Garmin masterpiece as combined GPS navigator.

What benefits offered this device?

Firstly, HD video continuously recording all traffic and environment in front of your car and as an option you can connect rear safety backup camera (sold separately about $160).

Video quality is good enough even in night vision up to HD 1080px as well as recorded in car conversation is loud and clear.

Some users claim about camera view, but it depends on car and position on the windshield. In any case, you can adjust it just sometimes, it takes a bit more time and do not panic after first unsuccessful attempt.

The existence of camera leads to some cool features, which could be typically found only in luxury automobiles.

Forward Collision Warning alerts if you drive too close to the car ahead.

Lane Departure Warning alerts if you drift off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Garmin Real Vision displays camera view when approaching select destinations.

About how these functions are useful it can be said only by real user or one who is faced with something similar in other cars.

My opinion is that Forward Collision Warning alerts and Lane Departure Warning alerts are almost useless. It is only to increase the value of the equipment. Real vision is the cool feature as when you are approaching your final destination map view switches over to camera view with an arrow pointing right gates, house number or so. I like it because nowadays to find house number plate’s location you have to be a magician.

Garmin– 8.5

TomTom– 2

Voice commands.

Both have such an option useless in non-English speaking regions and need some practice to use. Honestly, I almost do not even use  Siri in my iPhone.

Garmin– 7

TomTom-7

Garmin has an option- Guidance Using Recognisable Landmarks. Sounds great, has to be checked in real action. It is like- Turn right after Bus stop.

Garmin– 9

TomTom-2

Navigation in complex interchanges.

Both devices have very advanced abilities. Which is better hard to say. Both have good and not so good responses.

Garmin-8

TomTom-8

Smartphone connection.

Garmin Smartphone link – show where car is parked, POIs and your destination

TomTom- MyDrive. The device has a built-in sim card, and you are always connected with TomTom services. It’s mean that you can send your destination to your GO 5100 before you get into the car even abroad with no roaming charges. Coverage see, maptomtom traffic

Garmin–  8.5

TomTom– 7

School Zone Warnings

Both have, but in slightly different mode

Garmin-8

TomTom-7

Updates

When it comes to map updates, there are many complaints towards both brands, like new maps are available too late or downloading takes hours to complete. I could say from my experience about TomTom and not a big disappointment.

 My colleague has Garmin Nuvi device. He said that even after the update is still left turn to a central street, which a year ago was prohibited and so on. Naturally, the manufacturer is blaming local authorities and so on. Who cares? It could lead to the accident. So even after updates keep a sharp look out to avoid sad stories.

Garmin– 7

TomTom-8

Bluetooth

Garmin has, and its add a hands-free option.

TomTom- no

But according to poll and my thinking, it is not a big lack, as almost all cars have factory installed Bluetooth. My old good TomTom 720 GO has this function, but I used it just in the very first days. I do not even remember why stopped using it. Who knows, for someone it could be a very cool feature.

Garmin-6

TomTom-1

Well, maybe I missed something, but these are main features, cons and pros I found after a journey in Internet fields, my and my friend personal experiences.

I began this post with the purpose to find, which car GPS navigation system device better fit to my needs, one from two chosen?  As I mentioned above that my favorite brand is TomTom, but let’s sum up the scores. It is even interesting to me.

After summing up my valuations, result is:

Garmin NuviCam LMTHD has 96 points

Tom Tom GO 5100 has 85 points

Sorry, I forget that Garmin has Foursquare integration and Direct Access to get you to a specific location within a larger destination address (like a GPS store in a mall). Sounds cool.

Conclusion?

I did not make the final one. I have to try Garmin navigator to see maps and routing. I’ll borrow one tomorrow and drive around for three days to feel Garmin’s soul.

Hi again! Today is Tomorrow.

I made first 70 km (43 miles) trip, TomTom still leads.

Today is the day after Tomorrow. I made another short trip to the forest to take a rest and breath fresh green air and see wonderful wildlife.

I want to show that it is important to me and why I use the TomTom every day even driving along familiar roads. As can be seen, in the picture on the screen TomTom Right turn it is well expressed, but on Garmin’s screen is not. Such information has helped me many times to choose a safe driving style both in dark and winter on slippery roads.

Tomorrow I have to give back this Garmin GPS navigation system, so one more night drive left for me.

My final decision after visit to GPS shop next week.

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Any comments, feedbacks, questions and proposals, feel free to leave it bellow.


15 Comments

  1. Chris

    I used to use a tom tom regularly to get to different jobs when I was working in the security sector. I eventually stopped using it due to my smartphone providing me with a free sat nav app in it’s system. My question is this – how do these stand alone navs differ from the free and effective versions given out with smart phones?

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Chris and Thanks for stopping by!

      To fully answer your question you gave me an idea for next post. Why stand alone GPS (not only GPS) is winner vs. smartphone apps. In short, most important reason-Safety first. All attention on road and driving, no incoming messages, no music etc.

      Reply
  2. Rhys

    Andrejs,
    PersonallyI believe go for the Tom Tom. I have used them for years and they are so reliable. My theory is, with the Sat nav, you are concentrating on the road and no street maps, therefore less accident prone. The Dash cam really is for capturing video evidence of any accidents you may or may not be involved in. So, it’s real function may only be an asset once a year. Other than that it’s just a fade toy.
    Stick with the Tom Tom – far more useful. Nice info and well thought out.
    Cheers
    Rhys

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Rhys! Thank You for advice. You know, as I mentioned in my post TomTom is my favorite but I’d like to prove myself once more that It IS! And when it comes to dashcam, my car already is equipped with one of the best DVR available today Blackvue Wifi DR500GW-HD. I still try to find nuances in those two brand GPS navigators.

      Reply
  3. Nicki

    I was really excited to read this review. I use a garmin and my husband uses a tomtom. There is constant debate about which is the better gps. I was disappointed to see my beloved garmin lost this time. With the products being so similar, do you think that people will choose by familiarity? I know and love my garmin… What do you think is the main reason for me to switch?

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hey Nicki! You makes me smile. It is great that you favorite navigator is Garmin. I do not think you need to move to TomTom. You know me is like you just my beloved is Tomtom until now and try to prove myself that I am right. Today I made another short trip and found that am on right path.

      Drive safe!

      Reply
  4. Martin

    Hey Andrel! I stumbled upon your website, and it really helped me out. I am looking for a GPS to my car, but there are so many to choose from. And some of the costs a good amount of money. Iv’e also tried alot of different GPS apps like Garmin and Tom Tom, but they can be buggy at times.

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Martin!

      Yes you right about smartphone apps. You could use those just in case of emergency or for street walk in unknown city. For safe driving have to look toward stand alone car GPS navigation systems. Actually both Garmin and TomTom are top brands. I prefer TomTom. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  5. Lee Zhi Wei

    Hey there

    You have laid out a great article relating to GPS Navigation Systems. It relates to people like me who relies alot on GPS while driving.
    The quality of the map & the updating of traffic condition definitely matters the most to me.

    Thanks for the review!
    Zhi Wei

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for stopping by Zhi Wei!

      Yes, real time trusted traffic information is money worth.I live in place where the traffic can not be compared with a metropolis like New York or Paris, but even in my beautiful city Riga can escape congestion if there is reliable information.

      Reply
  6. Johnson

    The GPS navigation system i believe is a more advanced and reliable system for car.

    It’s earlier to navigate. I do appreciate your post on the GPS navigation system and i believe other readers to will appreciate this as it will serve as a better understanding for the and it’s use for cars

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for comment!

      GPS and other SatNav systems onboard devices are very common today, but I suggest to keep deep in glovebox old good paper road map. Maybe you will never use it, just for peace of mind.

      Reply
  7. Robert

    I have used GPS in the past, but only in my car that had it. I no longer have that vehicle, but I have also used my phone GPS as well. I like it when I need it for pin point directions to a location I’m looking for when I’m in an area I haven’t been.

    I ride a motorcycle and have thought about it on it as well, but have decided against it. I felt it was too much of a distraction while riding my motorcycle, so for me I will still stop and consult my Rand McNally maps. I will also still use my GPS on my phone for fine point but only when stopped on the motorcycle as my phone is in my saddle bag or jacket pocket.

    Safe driving,
    Robert

    Reply
    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Robert! Thanks for comment!

      I am not a big fun of riding motorcycles today. Years ago, when I was …een, but this is another story. I think that stopping some time while motorcycling is not so bad, you take a rest a bit meantime checking your position by local height of trees or smell of air (joke). But what about if you are rushing to rendezvous? The best choice is GPS for motorcycles. So many great offers today. Safe roads and offroads!

      Reply
    2. Andrejs (Post author)

      It’s me again Robert.
      Thanks for new research idea. I have to make honest post about GPS navigation systems for motorcycles. Hope to see you on my next post comment area.
      Have a great day!
      Andrejs

      Reply

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