Review of Garmin Nuvi 57LM 5 inch Satellite Navigation
So you want a better car navigational device than your phone using Google maps? We review the Garmin Nuvi which is a sub £100 car sat nav with a 5" touchscreen that come with Lifetime map updates for your satnav.
This is an advanced satnav which can get you from A to B with many added on features. This is the 5 inch version but there is a 6 inch version available by Garmin as well in the same model range.
When we received the gps sat nav it came preloaded with street maps by Garmin for the UK, Ireland and Western Europe, this is a total of 24 countries.
This device comes with some awesome extra features which aren't usually included in cheaper alternatives.
- Free lifetime map updates
- Speed camera alerts
- Lane assist and junction view
- Bluetooth compatible
- Active lane guidance
- Photoreal junction view
- Link to your smart phone
Out of all of the above features, the one we want to highlight the most is the photoreal junction view. This by far has been the best update we've seen on any recent sat navs we have used. We have come from using Google Maps on a smart phone and Maps.me and neither come close to solving the complexity of motorway junctions were you merge lanes, junctions that you have never been to before and other crossings that can seem quite confusing on other sat navs.
The second best feature we liked, which we have not seen before is the real directions voice directions you get when making decisions on where you have to go. When you are told to turn left, it is usually by how far you have to travel to that junction or turning and then it is just said "turn left". Now, if there are two left turns coming up which are only a few yards between, the real directions will differentiate between the two with landmarks and points of interest. If there are traffic lights at the second left turn, this will be stated as "at the traffic lights, turn left". Which as you can imagine would make driving somewhere new, much easier.
So How Is It To Use?
I'll be comparing this Garmin satnav to older satnavs I have used and also to navigating with a smart phone on Google Maps. I wouldn't have thought that a sat nav from a few years ago and ones now would be too different, but they are. The new satnavs, this one particularly, feels and looks like it has moved on quite a bit. I think this has helped with tablet and new smart phone technologies that they are sharing. Better touch screens, faster processors, longer lasting batteries, etc.
The display on the Garmin Nuvi is 800 x 480 pixels which is ample for viewing from a couple of feet away, you can place this even on the other side of the car, infront of the passenger seat and we think you'd be fine with navigating with it, although it would be hard to reach. One thing we liked compared to the chinese tablet style satnavs we have seen is that it comes with a back-light which makes driving around in bright and sunny conditions a pleasure, no hard to view screen.
Whats In The Box
- Sat Nav
- Car power adapter
- USB lead to plug into a computer
- Windscreen suction mount
- Basic quick start manual
Buying a Garmin means that you get the maps offered with the sat nav, in this case, UK, Ireland and Western Europe, which comes to 24 countries in total, all already built in and ready to go. If you wish to change any settings, this can all be done on your computer at home, just plug the device in and you can edit and amend quite a few things.
Icons can be changed if you would prefer to have something different. You have a choice of voices available which you can change in the settings of Garmin Express and most importantly, with getting lifetime map updates for this area, you will get new roads that have been built (which does happen). Any changes to tolls, routes to take and other improvements. The maps will only ever get better so having the lifetime map update is worth the money in my opinion.
One thing we noticed which you would likely benefit from changing is to set the device to quickest time rather than shortest route. You will get the time in hours/minutes rather than the actual mileage to that destination. I'm sure you can imagine that a B or C road takes you as the crow flies but there is a motorway or dual carriageway just a few miles parallel to these small roads that these will get you to your destination much quicker.
We are really happy with the large touch screen on this Garmin sat nav and the features that come with the device. As anything, you will have to get used to the difference in map looks and voice commands and routing compared to other map providers like Google, especially if you are used to using a phone to get you around and not a standalone gps navigation device.
- Sub £100 for lifetime full European maps and a big enough screen at 5"
- This isn't a normal tablet/phone screen, the contrast has improved and sunny periods won't stop you from seeing the sat nav
- Trip planner is included in this version so you can do multiple stops on route to your final destinations
- Real directions worked really well, very happy with these voice commands and understanding when and where to make turnings
- Speed camera alert is good, especially if you've been driving long distances and are tiring
- Driving on a motorway is easier now with the lane assist feature, it shows you exactly which lane to be in and is easy to understand
- It has the other usual features you'll see on any other mapping software, avoid tolls, avoid motorways, etc
- You can't access your phone via this sat nav so phone calls can't be taken through it, find a different one with bluetooth
- No traffic updates which you get on Google Maps and others
- You will have to have this plugged in most of the time, due to it using GPS you will drain the battery so you might not even get 1 hour when its unplugged
An awesome little sub £100 sat nav device by Garmin. Very pleased with it, missing out on a couple of features that would make it more than just a sat nav, but for the price, it felt good quality, we really liked the maps and the real directions with Garmin.