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recommendations please for portable sat nav


mint

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After getting lost in a largish town near home two days running, I have now bowed to the inevitable and am going to buy a sat nav.  As we have 2 cars, it would be useful to have one that can be moved from car to car.

Thoughts, comments, advice, all will be greatly needed and appreciated.  Thank you.

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Stating the obvious, but I think it all depends what you want and what your expectations are.

I had my sat nav nicked about 6 years ago, and because I needed one in a hurry I bought the cheapest I could find, as a stop gap pending doing my research and deciding which model to replace it with. From memory I paid less than 40€ for it. And guess what - I still have it and have no plans to replace it. It doesn't sing and it doesn't dance, but it gets me from A to B and it's not noticeably more stupid than the previous, far more expensive one.
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Indeed, as Euro trash said it depends on how much you would like it to do. My brother bought a cheap Mitac and it is very quick at re routing compared to my Garmin. One feature I think is worth looking at is free map updates for life. Garmin has great customer service but the map data is 3rd party. That means no matter how many times I complain the 50mph limit on the M25 both and south ended 3 years ago they still haven't corrected it.

It is quite good with the traffic updates so accidents on motorways are flagged up slowing re routing. However at the weekend my friends built in Lexus unit seemed to save us from a 50 minute delay with heavy traffic whereas my Garmin suggested it was a 5 minute delay. Other friends without sat Nav confirmed a wait around 30-35 minutes to get through.

TomTom are terrible customer service wise, once they have your money they don't care anymore. The units are quite good though. Their mapping is through the company they own.
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If you have a smart phone, I would suggest you see whether you can use that. I use the free program and maps HereWeGo https://wego.here.com (owned by Audi/BMW/Daimler). You can download country maps (or just regions for large countries). The mapping is good and updated much more frequently than TomTom etc. So oyu don't need an internet connection for maps when in the car - but you do if you want traffic information. It also has walking/cycling/public transport options. I often use it if walking around a new town.

Another free phone app is Waze (owned by Google). But that needs an internet connection in the car so you are going to use up your dat allowance.

I use HereWeGo and also have a lifetime subscription to Sygic http://www.sygic.com/fr/gps-navigation (currently 12€ for their basic European maps option) Very similar in coverage but they have differnet databases when trying to locate somewhere and places might be in one but not the other.

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I agree with pomme. If....if you have a smart phone.

Teapot wrote: "Garmin have great customer service". Not Mr Betty's experience the last couple of weeks. He has a Garmin thingy (admittedly for his bicycle, not the car) and has spent a week just trying to get through to them after an update upload failed and left his Garmin unusable. He finally,got through yesterday after trying daily and spending up to half an hour on hold each time he tried. Admittedly, when he did get through to a person, he said they were helpful and above all very knowledgeable, but he has other things to try only after which they've agreed to potentially give him a free replacement, which will be a bit late and frustrating as he was downloading new European maps for our forthcoming trip to France and it's unlikely to be resolved in time for him to get a new unt before we leave.....if comes to that.
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[quote user="You can call me Betty"]I agree with pomme. If....if you have a smart phone.

Teapot wrote: "Garmin have great customer service". Not Mr Betty's experience the last couple of weeks. He has a Garmin thingy (admittedly for his bicycle, not the car) and has spent a week just trying to get through to them after an update upload failed and left his Garmin unusable. He finally,got through yesterday after trying daily and spending up to half an hour on hold each time he tried. Admittedly, when he did get through to a person, he said they were helpful and above all very knowledgeable, but he has other things to try only after which they've agreed to potentially give him a free replacement, which will be a bit late and frustrating as he was downloading new European maps for our forthcoming trip to France and it's unlikely to be resolved in time for him to get a new unt before we leave.....if comes to that.[/quote]
He got a result even though a tad delayed, try that with Tomtom!

I did use waze, excellent community help with traffic, speed cameras, etc. It also had some unusual routes, not bad but unusual. I stopped using it because if you get caught touching your phone (which is a satnav at the time, you get nicked)  My garmin has a workable voice control.

Sygic was once good, now not so apparently, haven't used it in two years and the last journey it tried to take me through a main town at peak time traffic when that was obviously the worst route.

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I have three Garcin devices and they all work perfectly. Two are for my cars and motorbike and are easily transferable between them. The third is hand-held and has marine charts loaded on it. All excellent, dependable quality. I agree about the free updates, only one of mine has it and paying to update the other would be expensive. Having said that 99.999999999999999% of the time, at least, the unupdated maps are fine.

I have also started to use Google maps on my smartphone as a GPS when I’m in the car without a Garmin and it works really well too.
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Must admit that, although my car has a built-in satnav, I sometimes run google maps alongside it just in case.....but the tiny drawback is that quite often I'm halfway to somewhere and my phone will happily announce that it's lost the signal. Not helpful!
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I use google maps on an android phone. I download a map of the area I need (anywhere in the world). It's simple but fairly good and of course free. We have a good laugh at the american pronunciation of french names.
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Waze routing is OK if there are no traffic problems. Otherwise it has real-time reporting by other road users to indicate slow sections and holdups. So it can start re-routing down less familiar roads/country lanes, etc. There is a lot of information at wiki.waze.com/wiki/Routing_server

The Waze information is now being integrated into Google Maps to update routing there.

Sygic has recently updated routing so it is predictive https://www.sygic.com/blog/2018/faster-route-calculation-with-predictive-routing based on historical traffic data with the downloaded maps so even if you do not have an internet connection the routing should be better than in the past.

However, you do need a data connection on your smart phone to get realtime traffic information/updated routing etc. for Waze and Sygic.
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[quote user="Graham and Brenda"]Here we go is great, it is free, it works offline if you haven't got a data package. It is also useful in towns when on foot. I wouldn't be without this app!![/quote]
What about traffic updates, some of the queues in the coffee shops can be very long [;-)][:)]

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Mint,
I cannot confess to the great experience of sat navs which others who have already posted seem to have, but I have just replaced ny TomTom which did me OK, when it said it oculdbe updated anymore.  Whilst in the UK, I bought the cheapest Garmin with European maps that I could find (Argos, just over £100) as guys on here have said Garmin was lifetime.  We'll see.  Don't find it as easy to update as TomTom, but I have yet to use it in real life as I've only just got my new car after the accident, and that too has a sat nav in it, which I have yet to use, as I've gone nowhere I didn't know yet since my return from the UK. 

I suspect that you win and you loose, you get a Monday or a Friday model.  I was like you about 6 years ago, setting off for pastures new with cataracts developing, so bought the cheapest I could find which was the TomTom, and whilst it has it's idiosyncracies it has helped me out on more than one occasion.  In fact on my return to France after the accident the hire car had a sat nav in, which was an annoying American voice, saying merge to the  ... actually turn off !  So I put my TomTom against it, and managed to get home safely (if still then very tired!).  Weird to have two going, but sometimes it does help.

Wish you luck, I am sure anything will help out... it did for me, especially on strange roads and motorways!

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Thanks everybody.  I have been reading, digesting and pondering all your suggestions.  Have also been speaking to friends and family and have decided that a smartphone is the way to go.

I have even had an offer from someone to send me their old 5G phone from the UK, for free!  Why is life so full of decisions?[8-)]

Apologies for the late response.  Couldn't get on the forum and I am only here after help from kindly folk so I could perhaps publicly thank Emma Rawle from Archant, Hoddy our incomparable mod and, of course, Idun who always finds a solution and is good to have on side when you are in a fix[:D]

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[quote user="mint"]
decided that a smartphone is the way to go.

I have even had an offer from someone to send me their old 5G phone from the UK, for free!  Why is life so full of decisions?[8-)]

[/quote]
Just remember mint, if you get seen touching it whilst driving it becomes a phone not a satnav.

You be able to download all the different apps suggested and try them for free or almost free until you find the one you like.

Friends have an old 5G phone, that's flash most of us with new phones are only on 4G [;-)]

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100% with here we go. Did a 10,500 km trip upto the Artic Circle and then across to the Russian border last year on our motorbike with my wife navigating across 14 countries with very few problems. All on a motorola smart phone.

The fact that you can download the counties in advance negates the need for wifi.
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