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
Next crucial is Routing.
Without detailed analysis, TomTom looks better.
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.
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.
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.
Garmin- 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.
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.
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 has an option- Guidance Using Recognisable Landmarks. Sounds great, has to be checked in real action. It is like- Turn right after Bus stop.
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 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, map
School Zone Warnings
Both have, but in slightly different mode
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 has, and its add a hands-free option.
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.
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.
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.
Any comments, feedbacks, questions and proposals, feel free to leave it bellow.