920T impressions (coming from 10 year Garmin user)


Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
4
My 2 cents after about one week. Please let me know what I might have wrong.

regards tjc

Likes (relative to Nuvi)
? EPT
? Google integration
? Plus services
? Zip code entry
? Large POI icons on the map
? A-gps capable
Dislikes:
? Map too busy (like Garmin Nuvi better).
? Routline is hard to see (like Garmin Nuvi better).
? Road labels (like Garmin Nuvi better).
? Mount should have integrated connections and have easy one hand mounting (like Garmin Nuvi better).
? Need easier way to stop route.
? Cannot scroll map from ?home page?.
? No battery indicator on ?home page? and no battery indicator when charging (i.e. percent full).
? Non-usa phone number formatting.
? No automatic turn on with external power.
? Small roads ?flash? during map re-draws.
? Clumsy to add favorites ( too many menus to drill down / thru).
? Screen could be brighter (like Garmin Nuvi better - 680).
? Traffic map not as clear as with the Nuvi?s
 
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Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
23
add to dislikes:

tomtom does not know which side of the road the destination is. this can be akward, when the street is divided by curb or something. you need to drive around the block
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
240
Location
New Jersey
TomTom Model(s)
920T
• Map too busy (like Garmin Nuvi better).

You can turn off display of favorites and POI's to reduce clutter

• Need easier way to stop route.
• Cannot scroll map from “home page”.


Read the various threads about making your own custom menus. I have a custom menu on my 920T with Browse Map as the first item. Two quick taps and you're browsing. Or using the remote, just punch the center cursor button twice to browse. Have also added Clear Route as my second menu item, so again it only takes two quick screen taps.

I have to say that browsing the map on the TomTom is way, way faster than browsing on my Nuvi 650, and after playing for awhile in the store with a Nuvi 750, browsing seems to be even slower on that model.

• Clumsy to add favorites ( too many menus to drill down / thru).

If this function is important to you, go to the Quick Menu preference and select ONLY the Add Favorite function. Now your Quick Menu icon will change to a star with a plus sign, and tapping it once will create a favorite.

For the most point, I agree that your other points are well taken.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
11
I have to agree with tjc. I have also been a die-hard Garmin user for 10+ years and still own 9 different units. I thought it was time to explore the other side of the GPS fence being a bit disappointed with Garmin's apparent "dumb 'em down" marketing policy.

During the past month I have been ordering and evaluating several other brands - a Navigon 7100, TT720, TT920 and Mio C320. The Navigon already went back, the 720 is going to a nephew (since he won't know any better), the TT920 is about to go back, but I am going to keep the lowly Mio 320 (only $200). I had great hopes for the TT920, but all the items mentioned above and the absurd POI database just drives me nuts! Can anyone find a Lowe's, or Home Depot, or Macy's or your favorite local non-national chain restaurant? I can't. My Garmin 680, 2730, 2610 all can. The search limitation of 24 POIs in a dense, urban area just does not work. If you don't know which post office delivers a store's mail you don't stand much of a chance of finding it. (POI in City) The search method must be based on European locales which just does not work in the NA continent.

I like that the Mio is "hackable" (I know the TT is also) and it will be fun to play with for less $$$. It does a pretty good job of routing and while POI database is much smaller it does have many major national stores, restuarants, and local ones listed. Easy to add POI lists - as it is with the TT. I have already added TTS capability with no problem. Just need to find a good AVI viewer and we will be golden for the time being.

All in all, the "perfect" GPS just is not out there - yet, so the search continues. :rolleyes:

...JB
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
23
spyder: i'm used to be a garmin user and probably going to be again, because i'm not sure if i'm going to keep the tt920. i have no problem with POI. I actually find more POI on 920 than I had on Nuvi350. I live in Nevada/California.
The major problem I have with tomtom and I guess it's not just the 920 series, is that it does a very poor job routing. it sticks very stupidily to freeways when calculates routes. this sucks big time. this is very likely related to very poor ETA calculations.
most of the people i hear here are saying that if you know better, do itenaries. well with nuvi i was always driving everywhere like a local. did not have to do my research in the internet before each trip.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
93
Location
Maryland
TomTom Model(s)
720
Nasty Things

The major problem I have with tomtom and I guess it's not just the 920 series, is that it does a very poor job routing. it sticks very stupidily to freeways when calculates routes. this sucks big time. this is very likely related to very poor ETA calculations.
most of the people i hear here are saying that if you know better, do itenaries. well with nuvi i was always driving everywhere like a local. did not have to do my research in the internet before each trip.
That is interesting because this was the complaint I had with my Garmin. I guess the model makes a big difference, but mine was always taking the freeway, even for a 1/2 mile jaunt from my house. I wish you would not say these nasty things about the TomTom though because I just got mine and you will make me dislike it....and I own it now! I figure the technology will be obsolete in 2 years anyway. The Dash is already putting in something new.

joey
 
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Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
23
well its' easy.

do a route from:
carson city, nv -> fremont, ca
or
carson city, nv -> portland, or

or anywhere..then go onto mapquest or take a garmin and see what is the real fastest route. no big local secrets. just a simlpe faster route.

see on your own how smart tomtom is.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
4
Boyd,

Thanks for the tips!!!

On the maps point:
* to many background colors
* train tracks look like the route line
* I actually like the big POI icons - I wish Garmin had this.

I second the arrival side of the street issue.

POI searches are static! I like the Garmin's where the POI list changes as you move. Please let me know if there is a way to change.

thanks everyone
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
7
920 vs Nuvi660.

User interface: 660 is much much more user-friendly
Finding POIs: With the 660, I was able to search POIs by much more deeper categories than the 920. For instance, I could go under "restaurants" and pick from "American, Chinese, Fast-Food, Barbeque, and much more." With the 920, it's just restaurants for example.

Map Detail: With the garmin 660, I could select the level of detail of my displayed map. Meaning, when I'm not using the GPS, I could see more details like for example rivers, cross street names, ponds, etc. With the 920, all I saw in detail was the street I was on. What? Am I in the middle of nowhere away from civilization? I can appreciate learning steets, POIs, and such when I pass them by. Again the 920 map is soooo horribly withou detail.

Main GPS screen. 920 screen is wayyy to busy with numbers towards the bottom. This takes away map space. With the 660, only important specs were on the main GPS screen like distance to next turn, time of arrival, and current speed. The trip counter, max speed, avg speed, and a whole lot more is a click away in another screen.

Automatic on/off: With my Nuvi660, it turned off automatically after I turned off the car and turned on automatically when I turn on the ignition. Of course, I can always do that manually as well.

Night display: This is automatic with the Nuvi660. The nuvi660 has black background with white roads which is a lot better than blue background of the 920.

Oh and the suction cup. It has dropped on my dash 3 times already. The garmin660, the suction cup is like super glue.

Saving POIs by coordinates. With the Garmin660, I could save a POI by coordinates since there is no address. Although there are no streets to get to the coordinate due to map limitation, it would at least take me to the nearest location of the coordinate. Well guess what, I saved a coordinate in the 920 (my work) under favorites. I then tell it to take me to that location and the 920 tells me it is unable to because the address does not exist. Are you kidding me?????? I thought that's why you have the coordinate function. Isn't that what it's for when you don't have an address? You have got to be kidding me. Even my Lowrance500C was able to do that.

Will be returning my 920. It really really disappoints
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
40
Location
Madison, WI
TomTom Model(s)
GO 910
Good to hear the likes/dislikes, though my view varies on a couple points.

• Routline is hard to see (like Garmin Nuvi better).
Change your map color scheme! I don't like the defaults either for day and night, however this is a simple fix. Esp. the night view needs to have a more distinct color for the routeline.

• Small roads “flash” during map re-draws.
Can't say I've ever noticed this. The TT920 is perhaps the fastest unit for re-draws and route recalculations. Anyone else noticed this?

• No automatic turn on with external power.
I actually prefer this feature. For example, I only need to use a GPS in the car 1/4 of the time. I'd prefer to just leave it connected, rather than having to hook it all up when I use it. With the TT 910 I had to disconnect the power to prevent it from turning on all the time. Though this setting would be nice to have in the preferences page, right next to "turn off unit when ext. power is lost".

I would add another minor dislike. I like the idea of a bluetooth remote compared to IR (not needing to point right at the unit), however you have to click the buttons 3 or 4 times to get it to connect. Wouldn't RF be a better option? Plus I'm starting to wonder about the responsiveness (i.e. sluggishness) of the BT remote.

Also I agree the car mount has taken a step back, obviously to cut costs. The twist action of the 910 mount made it pretty secure. Though so far it hasn't fallen off and does the job.
 
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Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
240
Location
New Jersey
TomTom Model(s)
920T
The TT920 is perhaps the fastest unit for re-draws and route recalculations. Anyone else noticed this?
I agree Ryan, the 920 is noticeably faster than the Nuvi's. In 3d driving mode the screen updates at a much faster rate which makes the movement more fluid. Surprisingly, I find that this makes 3d view much more effective on the TomTom - I hardly ever used it on my Nuvi because of the jerky motion. The custom color schemes also make it more pleasing in 3d view. And I also think the autozoom works better on the TomTom, again because zooming is more natural and fluid than the jerky motion on the Nuvi.

I've played around with the newest version of the Nuvi, the 7x0 line quite a bit in the stores recently. And I was very surprised that it's even slower at scrolling the screen than my Nuvi 650. That's a real step in the wrong direction. I've also noticed that the touch screen on the Nuvi's requires more pressure than the TomTom, which also makes it more awkward to drag the map around in Browse mode.

Also agree pretty much about the remote. On my StreetPilot 2620 I used the remote a lot, so I really missed it when I got my Nuvi. But it was a pain to have to point it directly at the GPS. The delay while the remote bonds to the GPS is very annoying though. I wish they had implemented it in the opposite way, so the GPS would initiate the bonding when you turned it on.

However I've learned that there's no reason to push buttons "3 or 4 times" - that doesn't help at all. The first time you push a button on the remote, notice that the blue LED comes on. That means it's trying to connect to the GPS, so just sit back and enjoy the ride for about 30 seconds and you'll discover that it's connected. I've gotten in the habit of punching a button on the remote as soon as the GPS has booted up, and then it will be ready for use by the time I need it.

I think the issue about the small roads flickering has to do with the fact that they're only one pixel wide. Because of the limited number of horizontal lines on the screen, when a thin line is nearly horizontal it will appear to flicker if it rotates slightly. I've noticed this sometimes myself but it doesn't really bother me.
 
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Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
4
Boyd,

Good comments above.

I would add that I think the touch screen acurracy is way better on the 920.

I should have said I use the maps in 2D.

Another gripe on the 920 it does not take advanatge of the screen realestate. I find buttons and text small at times with alot of "white space" around.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
240
Location
New Jersey
TomTom Model(s)
920T
Another gripe on the 920 it does not take advanatge of the screen realestate. I find buttons and text small at times with alot of "white space" around.
I have yet to find any GPS that doesn't have this problem. I think Garmin had a good idea with the old StreetPilot 26x0 series. It had collapsible data fields which appeared as blue tabs on the right side of the screen. When you touched them they opened up, touch the field again and it collapsed. But of course, the screen on those units was very low rez so they had to make good use of the available real estate.

But there's one thing on the TomTom which doesn't use quite enough of the screen IMO - the + and - zoom buttons. They're really tiny and hard to hit while driving. That's one good reason to use the remote.

However, the Browse Maps screen on the 920 (and other TomToms) is the best that I've seen. It really gives you most of the screen just for the map. And if you use the remote then the side zoombar also vanishes which gives you even more room for the map. This was one of the main reasons I got the TomTom.

And also, which other GPS'es will let you do this? :)




 
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
4
wow i think that browse map feauture just sold me.
Does the tomtom xl or le include this.
How about the garmin nuvi 200 ?
 
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Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
240
Location
New Jersey
TomTom Model(s)
920T
I'm not aware of any way to do this on the Nuvi units, although there is a program which lets you create your own maps that I haven't tried myself.

I should probably be a little more clear though - I made those maps myself by taking advantage of a built-in capability of TomTom's operating system - they were not pre-loaded on the GPS. But try this; make sure you have enabled the display of images using the options button in the browse screen, then zoom way out. You will see some really low resolution (they look pretty bad) satellite photos which are pre-loaded on the 720 and 920 -maybe other models have them too?.

I used the same technique, but replaced them with higher resolution jpegs I grabbed from Google Earth, and forced them to be displayed at higher zoom levels. You could just as easily use scans of USGS Topo quads, or images from a site like TopoZone. Basically you just need to know the coordinates of the top left and bottom right corner of the image, and you include this info in a little text file with the same name. The text file tells the TomTom how to scale the picture and at which zoom levels it should be displayed.

This gives you most of the info you need: http://groups.google.com/group/alt....bb4915f5a9/cdeb1632d4e3f1fd?#cdeb1632d4e3f1fd

If there's general interest I'll try to put together a more detailed "howto" in the Tweaks forum.
 
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Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
23
lec510:

:) right. how smart is that unit. you just have to know which alternative, other that fastest, is the fastest :)))
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
63
Location
NJ
TomTom Model(s)
GO 720
1. One thing I HATE about the nuvi's is that when it calculates a route there is no way to edit that particular route as in to avoid a certain street or highway you don't want to travel on. You're forced to go with whatever the nuvi plots out. With TT you can edit.

2. Also the Nuvi windshield mount sucks! That thing used to ALWAYS fall while I was driving would scare the mess outta me! So far no issues with the TT mount.

3. Lastly, I hate how the nuvi maps just trot you along the route whereas the TT looks 100 times more smooth like the satelite is actually tracking you in real-time as opposed to 1 frame per second with the nuvi.

4. There really is no such thing as a perfect GPS every one has pros and cons, but all in all (and I've tried them ALL) I like the TT best.
 
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