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  1. #1
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    Garmin 705/800 For Vehicle Navigation

    Garmin advertises that the 705 and 800 with City Maps can navigate to most anywhere in North America by address, city, desired service,etc. Certainly a handly feature for the traveling cyclist to be able to use the bike computer for car navigation.

    What has been your experience? How satisfied are you with this feature?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  2. #2
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    On the 705, it's slow and tedious to pan and zoom the map to look ahead on the calculated route. So it's hard to see where the auto routing is going.

    Picking a city name is slow. I use Open Street Maps, and if I try to pick a city by name, all it shows is a list like Springfield, USA repeated for each matching city--there's no state name shown. Scrolling down the list, each city shows a N/S/E/W direction, and a distance in miles, so it's fairly easy to guess. Maybe the pay City Maps are different?

    But, I like it a lot for two different uses while driving:
    1. showing where I am at the moment. I can zoom in and out easily to see more area or more detail. And it can display headings, N, NE, E etc. That helps.

    2. recording the route when I'm out exploring side roads, so I can view it when I get home. And I can see the grade % when test driving a future bike route.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 12-18-10 at 10:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    On the 705, it's slow and tedious to pan and zoom the map to look ahead on the calculated route. So it's hard to see where the auto routing is going.

    Picking a city name is slow. I use Open Street Maps, and if I try to pick a city by name, all it shows is a list like Springfield, USA repeated for each matching city--there's no state name shown. Scrolling down the list, each city shows a N/S/E/W direction, and a distance in miles, so it's fairly easy to guess. Maybe the pay City Maps are different?

    But, I like it a lot for two different uses while driving:
    1. showing where I am at the moment. I can zoom in and out easily to see more area or more detail. And it can display headings, N, NE, E etc. That helps.

    2. recording the route when I'm out exploring side roads, so I can view it when I get home. And I can see the grade % when test driving a future bike route.
    I think there is a significant difference between what you are using and Garmin's City Maps. Perhaps performance would be more satisfactory with City Maps vs. the Freebie?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I lay out my rides on websites like GPSies, MapMyRide, BikeRouteToaster, etc., then download them to my 705 as either GPX tracks or TCX courses. I have and use Citymaps on SD card but recently started experimenting with open source maps and laying out rides on Mapsource.

    If you ask the 705 to navigate you to an address, it will definitely do it, but not necessarily over the route you would chose.

    I agree with the previous poster that it's difficult to figure out what's going on using the small low resolution display on the unit.

    For more in depth discussion and assistance, get on the official Garmin 705 forum: https://forums.garmin.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21

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    For this thread not interested in the Garmin web site. I've been there.

    What I want is user feedback and suggestions.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  6. #6
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    My husband has used his 705 for vehicle navigation. He likes it enough for that purpose, but he has to look at it from time to time to check the route and it doesn't have voice navigation, so that can amount to distracted driving. It's easier to check it on the bike.

    I don't have a Garmin myself, but I love the voice navigation on my Droid phone. I search for my destination, select the option to navigate, and the voice tells me where to turn -- even alerts me of an upcoming turn X number of feet before I arrive.

    In the car, I much prefer a GPS device with voice navigation so I don't need to look at the map while I'm driving.
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    For this thread not interested in the Garmin web site. I've been there.

    What I want is user feedback and suggestions.
    Yes. The Garmin FORUMS are chock full of user feedback and suggestions. https://forums.garmin.com/forumdisplay.php?f=20

  8. #8
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Why? Automotive GPS navigators have gotten inexpensive and are so much better for the purpose. The Garmin would be reasonable in an emergency, but the lack of audio is really a problem in a car. I really like the 705 for its intended purpose, but even cycling I don't use the turn-by-turn directions as I've never gotten this feature to behave the way I'd like. I enter a track and use the "blue line" and elevation profile look-ahead.
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    I posted on your other thread that I prefer a dedicated automobile navigation unit for driving with a Smartphone as an alternative.

    Another poster suggested the Garmin 705/800 were as good as a smartphone. My smartphone has a better display than the Edge 800 and is better for navigation than the Edge 800.

    I forgot to mention that either a dedicated navigation unit or a smartphone has the ability to show traffic conditions. The Edge 800 can't.

    I love my 800 for the bicycle but have no desire to use it in the car except to retrace a route.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtragitt View Post
    I love my 800 for the bicycle but have no desire to use it in the car except to retrace a route.
    Yes. That's very commendable and it's heartwarming to hear of your love for the 800. I did however, on recent trip the Europe, use my 705 for auto navigation and it worked very well. No exorbitant data fees that using my iPhone would have incurred and no need to take my auto GPS along for a trip that was going to be over 90% biking. The only real inconvenience was trying to drive and look at the small display. Fortunately a passenger read off the display and and provided voice prompts, including condescending corrections when I didn't do as told.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Yes. That's very commendable and it's heartwarming to hear of your love for the 800. I did however, on recent trip the Europe, use my 705 for auto navigation and it worked very well. No exorbitant data fees that using my iPhone would have incurred and no need to take my auto GPS along for a trip that was going to be over 90% biking. The only real inconvenience was trying to drive and look at the small display. Fortunately a passenger read off the display and and provided voice prompts, including condescending corrections when I didn't do as told.
    The 705 will work well for driving in Europe. My Garmin Nuvi works better in an automobile. I haven't tried to use freeware maps on a smartphone, but they may work for Europe. I would not pay subscription fees to use a smartphone in Europe. I don't turn my smartphone on outside the US. I also don't use my smartphone for navigating because I prefer my Nuvi. My Nuvi doesn't take much space in my luggage. My Edge 800 or Forerunner 305 are great for walking anywhere in the world; whereas, the Nuvi is lousy for walking.

  12. #12
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    While certainly not a broad based response y'all seem to reflect my experience, except for smartphone use. The 705 does a decent job of navigating in a car. But the small screen size and no voice prompts makes the evolution a bit more challenging than it needs to be.

    Summary: It does what Garmin says it will but the full size units with voice prompts and larger screens do it better.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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