If you are looking to buy a GPS device for your car, the safest bet is to go for those devices in the $200 to $250 range. Providing that you get the latest models, you should have plenty of nice navigation features to help you drive safer and reach your destination sooner. Some extra features may be included too and could come in handy during certain situations. There are plenty of GPS devices to check out so you can evaluate these extra features yourself. Garmin is one of the companies that believe that mid-range devices aren’t for everyone. People that are simply looking for something a little bit more powerful and reliable in doing basic things, shouldn’t spend more than $200. What makes Garmin interesting though is that offers multiple budget models depending on your specific needs. For instance, the Garmin nuvi 44LM is the device to get if you want US and Canada map coverage on the cheap.
The Garmin nuvi 44LM doesn’t boast any fancy looks but it doesn’t really need to. But since the internals and 4.3-inch screen size are a lot like the Garmin nuvi 40LM which was released a year before the Garmin nuvi 44LM was announced, Garmin decided to go with a refreshed look with the 44LM by doing away with the rounded rectangular design and going for something a bit edgier. Build quality is average but it should be good enough for windshield or dashboard mounting. Secure mounting is always the most important design feature and the Garmin nuvi 44LM provides just that by including a vehicle suction cup mount along with a power cable so you can charge within the vehicle. With a battery life of just under 3 hours, charging is a necessity for long trips.
This Garmin device isn’t all about what it cannot do compared to the more expensive models but how easy it is to use the basic features and how well it performs in navigation. The 4.3-inch widescreen is just enough for the Garmin nuvi 44LM to show off a simple and intuitive interface. The main menu explains it all because it basically gives you the choice to view the map so you can see your location or set a destination so the Garmin nuvi 44LM can plan an appropriate route. In fact, as long as you are looking for those 2 basic features, the 44LM has you covered.
Once you enter a destination, you can proceed to focusing on the road while the voice prompts help you. These voice prompts tell you when to turn and what direction. It also has the ability to speak street names using text-to-speech technology so you know what exactly street you need to make that turn. Glancing at the screen can still be helpful as you can see the estimated time of arrival on your destination as well as your current speed. However, you need to consider a more advanced GPS device if you plan on putting multiple destinations and expect the device to automatically sort them all.
Fortunately, one of the features that the Garmin nuvi 44LM does get is a feature that benefits anybody that frequently drives on the highway. It is a special view that has two components which helps eliminate possible frustrations when driving on the highway. The Junction view puts the map view on a 3-D perspective and displays the junction signs so you can easily see them. This feature works with the lane assist function which brings up flashy arrows pointing at the lane you need to be in so you can take the right highway exit. It only works in the US but it works well and the junction view graphics look pretty detailed.
If you want to check where you are right now without entering your destination first, there is an icon on the home screen that directly takes you there. If you live in a crowded city in the US or Canada, you will immediately notice the many points of interest preloaded on the Garmin nuvi 44LM. Literally millions of places are plotted on the map and the content can get even better if you update these maps. There is nothing to worry about in updating the device because maps are always free. Just make sure you look for the 44LM model and not the plain Garmin nuvi 44 which is attractively cheaper so you have free lifetime map updates. If you want real-time traffic monitoring as well, you should consider getting one of those Garmin nuvi LMT models. In addition of having the privilege to let Garmin update your map, you can customize your map as well by manually supplying custom points of interest.
Some customization options are available too thanks to the Garmin Express device management service. You can do things like transfer your favorite points of interest to and from other devices. It is also possible to use an alternative vehicle graphic on the map. Garmin Express offers plenty of custom vehicles for personalization purposes.
The Garmin nuvi 44LM has the same features as the Garmin nuvi 42LM. With the high-sensitivity receiver, locking into satellites is speedy. There is a small $10 price gap between the two. This is only because the Garmin nuvi 44LM comes with more preloaded maps. As mentioned earlier, the US and Canadian residents and travelers will fit right in with the Garmin nuvi 44LM. But if you don’t think you’ll ever go to Canada, you can go for the Garmin nuvi 42LM which only has the US map. $10 can put you closer to getting one of the many accessories, mounts and cables. For a device with so much cap coverage and dedication towards map updates, the Garmin nuvi 44LM definitely stands out in the budget zone. Compare the GPS with any smartphone being sold rate now and the Garmin nuvi 44LM can still find its way on the top because of the wide variety of car mount accessories available and powerful circuitry.
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