My job takes me to the deepest darkest corners of Lancashire and having decent directions is so important. I had been relying on good old Google Maps - printed off originally but then using the built-in app on my phone but each came with its own bad points. Paper versions are impossible to read whilst actually driving and the app wears down the battery on your phone really quickly so you can often find your way there but not your way back!
Tesco Compare have asked me to be a safety and security tester for car accessories and sent me the Garmin Nuvi 50 SatNav to review.
First impressions are that it is chunky without being too heavy and it fit perfectly into my existing windscreen device holder (although a screen holder is provided). The screen on the Garmin Nuvi 50 is a huge 5in which was a massive improvement on the much smaller screen on my phone.
I scrolled through the settings initially and programmed some personal settings into it. My Top Tip is to never "name" destinations because if the device was ever stolen then your "home" or "work" address would be immediately accessible. However, if you do store addresses or favourite destination the there is a catalogue of icons you can attribute to each one which is a nice touch. You can also change the "car" on screen and choose one of three map views.
Navigation to an address can be determined by street name, town or postcode or via a list of recently found destinations, which is handy if you are returning to an previously visited address which wasn't saved in your 'favourites' list. You can also include standard additions such as petrol stations, places to eat and speed cameras.
There are two very handy screen features. The first is a reminder of the current speed limit with your actual speed recorded next to it in real time. The second is a 'lane assist' feature which shows you which lane you should be in at a roundabout or motorway junction. The only downfall I have found from the Garmin Nuvi 50 is that there is no readout to show you how many miles away your destination is although it does give you an estimated time of arrival, also updated in real time dependant on speed. The screen feels very cartoon-like but there are no feature distractions which I have occasionally found using the previously mentioned Google Maps app. Speech direction is clear although there are the occasional comical mispronunciations of street names but that's pretty standard generally on satnavs.
All in all the Garmin Nuvi 50 is a great SatNav and does what it says on the tin with a few additional features. It is powered by an in-car adaptor although the battery life is very good when fully-charged. It retails for just under £100 which is a great investment for a gadget that is going to get you from A to B when you need it to.