Garmin Nuvi 50 GPS Review

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New and improved does not have to mean different, and Garmin’s success in the field of GPS technology proves it. They have developed a new GPS unit that uses the same familiar Garmin system and interface with updated features but the same simple design, a basic navigation device that is both affordable and easy to use.

Basic Features
Don’t let the simple standard black design fool you. The durable plastic construction houses a powerful and user friendly navigation tool that will make trips less stressful and more fun. A 5-inch screen provides easy viewing even in direct sunlight while the ability to swipe the menu screen affords quicker and safer access to the menu items than traditional scrolling arrows. There are just two choices to select from, “Where To?” and “View Map.” Both feature menu items with large text boxes or labeled icons. Clearly displayed street names, safety alerts, and voice guidance complete the package.

Special Features
The Garmin Nuvi 50 adds a new meaning to “basic.” This GPS unit not only features 5 million points of interest; it also has lane assistance and junction view for those tight traffic spots that can make you miss your turn. Garmin uses Wherels maps in its navigation device and features special alerts such as an over-speed warning and a school zone alert as well as speed and red light camera alerts. All these features come standard in this basic GPS device.

Missing Features
The Nuvi 50 does lack some features that some may consider a necessity. A couple of very minor complaints include the seemingly jagged text that shows up on close inspection and the necessity of going into the menu to adjust the volume. A larger issue may be the lack of Blue Tooth technology for hands-free talking, or the fact that there are no live traffic updates to alert the driver to possible traffic jams, obstructions, or construction projects. The Garmin Nuvi 50 also does not include the ecoRoute feature, which those needing to log miles and driving time may require.

Despite a few missing features, this GPS navigation device is still more than useful and quite affordable. For just over $100, a Garmin Nuvi 50 provides a reliable navigation tool for the Continental United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; and for just a few dollars more, maps and directions for Canada can be added as well. Garmin proves again that there is no need to fix what is not broken. Getting back to the basics is simple yet fun.

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Hillary Mayfield

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