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|Featuring speech recognition, the Garmin nüvi 855 lets you keep both your hands on the wheel as it not only tells you where to turn, but also listens to your commands. Get the big picture with this GPS device- it comes with a 4.3 inch widescreen display that you can read from any direction. With the route planning feature of this Garmin automotive GPS receiver, you can save 10 routes, specify via points and preview simulated turns. You can navigate unfamiliar intersections and exit with ease, thanks to the lane assist feature of this Garmin automotive GPS receiver. Your ideal companion at unfamiliar spots and crowded lots, this GPS device remembers where you parked and gives you directions to the nearest hospital, police station, fuel station, etc. What’s more, with various entertainment and travel tools, the Garmin nüvi 855 gives you more than just ease of navigation.|
|MPN||010-00577-31, 010-N0577-31, 100057731, 81007, NUVI855|
|UPC||165185290902, 457116007391, 718208660857, 753759096533|
|System Type||Fixed, Portable|
|Map Capabilities||Internal, Map cartridges / Data cards|
|User Interface||Touch Screen, Voice Command|
|Display Size||3.81 in. x 2.25 in.|
|Display Type||LCD TFT Display|
|Resolutions||480 x 272|
|Features||Audio Book Player, Calculator, Converter, JPEG Image Viewer, MP3 Player, Remote Control|
|Audible Features||Clock Alarm, Spoken Street Names, Voice Navigation Instructions|
|Trip calculator||Avoid toll roads, Detour Feature, Lane Assist, Points-of-Interest (POI), Route Recalculation, Shortest distance, Shortest time|
|Included Software/Maps||Canada Maps, City Navigation Maps, North America Maps, Puerto Rico, USA Maps|
|Compatible PDA OS||Windows 2000|
|Battery Type and Quantity||Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery|
|Battery Life||4 Hours|
|Expansion Slot Type||micro-SD slot|
Average review score based on 185 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I have used a Garmin GPS V for over 5 years in my Motor Home. While it was still functioning it has a 3" Mono display, no voice prompts and would on occasion freeze up. Another factor, I had upgraded my computer to a Dell Studio laptop running MS Vista 64 bit software and without a RS 232 port to connect to the GPS V and my version of Garmin’s North American Cities map software would not run on the Vista. Then add advanced age, with poor hearing and vision brought about the need for a new GPS unit.
Some of the improvements that I have noticed beyond the obvious improvement with the much larger color display, and voice prompts. First the sensitivity of the receiver in the nuvi is better then the old unit. I had to install a rooftop antenna to use the GPS V in my motor home. It would not receive any signal because of the RV overhang. The new nuvi works fine (full bars) sitting on my desk in the RV, in the middle of the living area. The Windshield mount, a big improvement over the old GPS mount, gives full signal indication and I do not need to use my rooftop antenna with this nuvi. (Though I will buy an adapter cable, BNC to MX, to use the antenna since I already have the antenna.)
The ease of operation of the nuvi with it’s touch screen, is far superior to the old unit. Menus are much easier to navigate with the larger lettering and color back-ground. I have not used it much since I only got it a couple of weeks ago and am using it in my Jeep while the RV is parked. But I am very happy with it’s ease of operation and clarity of display. Since I now have the Vista compatible map software, I have been able to install all my old map routes into the nuvi. The new version of the Garmin map software is compatible with all my old files.
A couple of cons: First the GPS V allowed me to connect to my laptop and run the map display software on the laptop with a 15" display. The nuvi does not allow connection to the laptop as an active gps unit. It only allows transferring routes and way-points, etc. between the two units. While the larger display is nice, 4" is a lot smaller then the 17" laptop screen. I have not used it enough to find out if the 4" display will be adequate when I get lost. Another con for me is the ‘Speech Recognition’ voice menu operation. It will not work with any back-ground noise, like a radio being on. So if you have to reach over and turn off the radio to use it, you might just as well manually touch the on-screen menu. I found the voice recognition to be difficult to get to work and was far easier to just use the touch-screen to enter the command(s).
I am not sure how the FM broadcast feature will work out. I use an XM radio with the same feature but the XM has a user frequency selection readily available while the nuvi requires resetting it in the software. I know that I often have to change freq. on the XM when going through larger cities, sometimes more then once, so that may be a problem with the nuvi. Of course the local speaker option on the nuvi will solve that problem.
Overall I am very happy with this unit.
My 855 is my third Garmin, after the venerable military-grade brick "GPS V Deluxe", and a more recent Nuvi 350 I received as a Christmas gift when the GPS V could not compete with San Francisco navigation. My writeup incorporates my experience with my previous Garmins ease of use, adaptability, capabilities and etc.
The 855 was a top-of-the-line unit with an MSRP of a cool $500 a few years ago. The unit now sells for less than 50% of that. This is a good example of buying last year's models for greatest benefit. The 855 includes features which other, newer, Garmin units have foregone even though they are the same price range or more. Namely a few nice things such as:
- voice recognition
- removable battery
- external antenna input
- lane assistance (where available)
- exit diagrams (where available)
- capability of backup-camera integration (with compatible backup camera and VIB10/11 "Vehicle Integration Box" (now discontinued)
- routes and route waypoint optimization
- "guided detour" (specify your own avoidances if you don't like the route picked)
I have found the navigation/routing capabilities of the unit are completely on par with my excellent Nuvi 350. The mapset is fairly up to date, and the custom detours is a function I had _always_ wanted on the 350. (No, I am _not_ going to take the 101 in the SF Bay area, dear Nuvi, because that road is crap.) The voice recognition works actually pretty well once you train yourself to the "secrets", and the lane assistance has proved to be useful more than once. Coverage for the lane guidance has been good in the SF Bay Area, with most major multi-lane roads supported, and about 50% of all highway exits I've seen documented with the exit pictures. BTW, not sure how Garmin "did it", but the exit pictures are often uncannily accurate, showing not only the over-passes you'd see at the exit, but also often hills, embankments, retaining walls and other features which aren't strictly related to the road. This could be called gimmicky, but it gives a nice level of assurance when navigating unfamiliar exits. Multi-point routing works as expected... which is fine.
As great as the 855 is, there are some definite shortcomings that can only be attributed to "progress" in the product line. My biggest gripes in comparison to older Garmin units would be as follows, and aren't necessarily specific to the 855. Many of the newer Garmin units seem to have similar faults:
- menus/interface could do with some polish/rethinking, my GPS V was ergonomically amazing, always felt intuitive, the 350 coped well in interface design, the 855 menus feel "overloaded" sometimes, but workable
- touch screen is not nearly as sensitive as the 350, but this seems to be common across all Garmin's newer units, more of a "fingernail drag" rather than a finger touch
Ultimately it comes down to "would I buy this unit again?" and I would give that a qualified "Yes". The set of features on this unit is a good one, and from my research not available as a package on any other unit. From a feature standpoint, the capability is dead-on, and certainly on par with any unit I've used to date. That being said, there are certain things noted above that still make me like my Nuvi 350 a little better. The 350 was Garmin's very first Nuvi, and I think they spent extra time with the fit, finish, and interface, getting it right. "They don't make them like they used to." ;)
Garmin International's nüvi 855 is a GPS navigator and personal travel assistant featuring voice-activated navigation and lane assist with junction view. Navigate with confidence while nüvi directs you to the preferred lane while driving. Also, see realistic images of upcoming junctions where available.
If you have the money to buy a brand new model do it. To start with this GPS was not recognizable to my pc, after over 2 hours of jumping through hoops, I reached no satisfaction(with regards to interfacing with my pc). I could not update maps, because My pc could not detect the GPS unit. I want to be clear, as long as you don`t have a problem plugging it in a running it as you recieve it..that is to say the unit did work in my car on a short trip I recently made...I just got some "unable to find" messages when I put in some common destinations for my wife and I (Like our workplace addresses). At some point this will render the unit useless if the destination is one that it doesn`t have in it from the day you open the box. When I first plugged it in it found satellites with 5 bars of strength, showed the position of my home(which was a good thing because I live right on a town line and fed-ex can never seem to find us. This Garmin did.
I am content to use this unit with the maps it was originaly programmed with and I know that I will be on a trip somewhere, sometime, and it will not be able to guide me. I only wish to save you the anguish and relentless internet run around that I experienced with this model,No updates helped and after almost 4.5 hours of trying everything the Garmin website had to offer, I simply gave up. If it were not for the reduced price that I payed, I would have been enraged by the fact that this was a convoluted fiasco to say the least.
You get what you pay for, It was annoying to find that after I recieved this unit I could not update the maps(the paperwork that comes with the model says you get one free map upgrade at the time of registration)I was not even able to do that,register or upgrade. So save your money for another month and buy a BRAND NEW CURRENT model so you don`t feel as helpless and defeated as I did.
I liked the features it comes with , but not inspite of the fact that it`s working off maps that are 3 or 4 years out of date. Hey look on the bright side, if you are behind me in your car looking at that GPS on my windshield..you would never know what an outdated,crippled, pretender it actually is ! This GPS would be a wonderfull accessory to a 1978 Chevy Nova,then,and only then,would it seem as though you were on the cutting edge of technology. good luck in your search. I hope that this helps you.
One more thing... Garmin makes an excellent product, just stay away from the discontinued models would be my advice.
The 855 has a big advantage and big disadvantage.
Big Advantage: Voice activation.
Commands can be spoken instead of being entered on the touch screen, so it is not necessary to stop. For a RVer pulling a travel trailer, this feature is very useful when approaching a freeway on-ramp and not knowing whether to use the right or left lane. The average motorist would rather die than allow you to pull in front of him at the last moment, and if you guess wrong in heavy traffic, you must continue down the road and make a U-turn, Blocks ahead of the on-ramp, I push the mike button and say “where to”, “cities” and give the name of a town or city in the desired direction. After entering the freeway, I say “stop navigation”...............................................................................................
Voice navigation commands are listed in the user’s manual. Voice commands work fine in my car, but the ambient noise level is too high in my truck. Mike gain is provided in a hidden screen. Access this screen by going to the screen giving distances, times, etc., and press the speedometer screen for about 10 seconds to reach the hidden screens. I reduced the mike gain and hold the mike close to my mouth when speaking..................................................................................................
Medium advantage: Removable battery.
The battery will fail after a while. I will not purchase another Nuvi that does not have a removable battery. The GPS works with a bad battery, but…......................................................................................................
Big Disadvantage: Overheats and malfunctions.
When kept on the dashboard on a warm day, operation slows down to a crawl, and the voice activation stops working. Operations other than voice activation return after the unit cools down, but the last update must be reinstalled for voice activation to work again. I used a Nuvi 750 on the same dashboards without heating issues....................................................................................................
I resolved this problem by purchasing an aftermarket vent holder. I used the Akron mount (search for Arkon). It’s flimsy, but holds the GPS ok. However, you need a separate mount for each car. It clamps to the vent fins with long plastic fingers (horizontal fins are required). After repeated removals, the fingers stay in the open position. Fortunately, the 855 can easily be removed from the base......................................................................................................
The air conditioner does not need to be running for adequate cooling; the fan on low speed works fine......................................................................................................
I added periods to force paragraph spacing. I don't see spacing in the preview screen.