Garmin nuvi 50 GPS unit

Garmin nuvi 50 review: A 5in portable navigation device that's functional and easy to use

  • Review
  • Specs
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  • User Reviews (2)
  • Buy Now 2
Garmin nuvi 50
  • Garmin nuvi 50
  • Garmin nuvi 50
  • Garmin nuvi 50
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.00 / 5 (of 2 Reviews)

Pros

  • Big, responsive touchscreen
  • Ease of use
  • Great navigation experience

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • Can't adjust volume from map screen
  • No advanced features

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a basic GPS unit without any extra bells and whistles, the Garmin nuvi 50 should definitely be near the top of your list. It may lack some extra features like Bluetooth, but it's large screen combined with an excellent overall navigation experience makes it highly recommended.

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When it comes to most new tech products it seems bigger is better and GPS units are clearly no exception. The Garmin nuvi 50 is a navigation unit that has a large 5in screen and it also boasts now-standard features like lane guidance and junction view. The nuvi 50 is also easy to use thanks to Garmin's well known interface.

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With the exception of the stylish nuvi 3790T (the thinnest portable GPS in the world), most of Garmin's GPS units look similar both in hardware design and software interface. Garmin is clearly living by the philosophy "if it's not broken don't fix it" and we tend to agree with them.

The nuvi 50 is no exception. Its straightforward and bland, black design won't win any design awards. The plastic build feels well constructed though and the 5in screen performs well in direct sunlight and is easy to read. It's also responsive to touch when entering destinations, but text does appear a little jagged if you look closely. This isn't a huge issue as your eyes should be on the road most of the time.

The Garmin nuvi 50's user interface is simple and very effective; menu items are accompanied by either large boxes with text or clearly labelled icons, and the map screen is clear and uncluttered. You can now swipe on menu screens to see more icons (instead of having to touch an arrow button), which is a new software feature. Oddly, you need to delve into the main menu to adjust the volume: we would have appreciated a way to do this without having to leave the map screen.

The key navigation features of the nuvi 50 are all excellent — street names at the top of the map are clear, safety alerts include an audible alert and voice warning, and voice guidance is loud. The Garmin nuvi 50 includes an Australian text-to-speech voice that pronounces most street names accurately, while the unit is quick to find a GPS signal, and reroutes swiftly when you take a wrong turn.

Garmin uses WhereIs maps for its nuvi units, and although the nuvi 50 missed a few 'no right turns' during some our test routes, the maps warned of all the known red light cameras we passed during testing. Like most GPS units the nuvi 50 prefers to use main roads rather than faster back streets. It has maps of both Australia and New Zealand preloaded.

Garmin's lane assist and junction view features remain the best we've seen on any GPS unit. The nuvi 50 displays an image of the road and its surroundings, along with road signs identical to those used in the real world. The static image appears on the screen in the lead up to turn offs and is especially useful on busy freeway and motorway junctions, particularly on long trips.

The Garmin nuvi 50 is a basic unit so it lacks Bluetooth for hands-free calling and live traffic updates. Given its low price tag and the fact that these two features aren't huge deal breakers when it comes to GPS features, they aren't really missed. The nuvi 50 also lacks Garmin's "ecoRoute" feature, a function can display a fuel report and choose an economical route. We suspect most users won't miss this feature, but it's ability to keep driving logs may make business users opt for a more expensive model.

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Bob

1

I have found the touch screen not as responsive as it should be, having to click on characters a number of times to get an input. The screen is clear and displays most needed info. Have experienced wrong info on 2 occasions, one in Canberra and on Sydney Harbour Bridge

paul

2

Have owned this for 4 months and have used in uk and Europe, simple and easy to use, low cost, does exactly what it is supposed to! Never had a wrong turn yet!

Susan

3

This GPS saved my life while travelling solo throughout the States. It makes travelling peaceful when you are away from home. Found this one simple and easy to use

Warren Charlton

4

This is a waste of money! It worked ok until 3 months out of its warranty period. I had to switch it off to refuel & that was it - the screen has siezed & will not do anything except display the Garmin screen. Not even sales reps can get it going. Result - I will think very seriously if I have to buy another Garmin product - perhaps preferring to go to another brand.
NOTE - it is not in permanent usage.

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Hank

5.0

1

Pros
Great basic GPS. Large easy to use screen.
Cons
none, as long as you understand you get what you pay for
• • •

Great basic GPS. Large easy to use screen.
If you're looking for a good reliable bargain GPS this is it.
If you're looking for Bluetooth, traffic, and bells and whistles
dig deeper in your pocket and buy something else.

Maggie

0.5

2

Pros
Nothing
Cons
Useless
• • •

I really can not recommend this product ,previously I had a Tom Tom so possible spoilted. To me this is a toy no different sounds for spped cameras unless you pay. Downloading maps are a rip off

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