Garmin - How can something so bad be so expensive?

Koncordski
Koncordski Posts: 1,009
edited May 2013 in Commuting chat
Aaargh, got serious buyers remorse. New 810, very exciting.....only it isn't. Firstly how can something that costs north of £350 come with a screen from a mid-90's Nokia? I mean seriously, that's just lame. Secondly how come the base model of a sat-nav doesn't even come with a map that you can actually use, that's extra you say, YGBSM!

Ok it's my fault because i didn't do my research but no matter, there are free community maps available or the Garmin UK and Ireland for £30. Ever tried to download the maps from Garmin? Don't bother, connect the the device, pay your money, insert a micro SD card and click download. Now sit back in amazement as the download hits 56% and then just stops, it says it's downloading but it isn't. Maybe the server is busy, i'll leave it overnight, nope that doesn't work either. What a piece of junk, anyone solved this or should I use the old distance selling regs to dump this steaming turd of a unit. So annoyed right now. :x

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Comments

  • junglist_matty
    junglist_matty Posts: 1,731
    LOL.... Love the rant!!!

    Although I've not seen or used the 810, I'm guessing the screen is not HD to try to maximise battery life, as for the maps issue :roll:
  • menthel
    menthel Posts: 2,484
    I went for the 800 as it was much cheaper and my friend with an 810 has had nowt but arse ache from it. I accept the slightly cruddy interface and terrible garmin software but now get on quite well with the thing and the free maps that I use! ;)
    RIP commute...
    Sometimes seen bimbling around on a purple Fratello Disc or black and red Aprire Vincenza.
  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,545
    I agree about the screen (although a great screen would come with a trade off in battery life obviously), and found trying to set up specific routes with turn by turn instructions one of the worst things I have ever attempted on a computer.

    Maps - get the free ones, they are great.
    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I've got the 800. My conclusion:

    Great because of the lack of recognisable competition. I don't understand why TomTom hasn't made a bicycle SatNav/GPS system.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Koncordski
    Koncordski Posts: 1,009
    I want to like it, i really do. Anybody got an idiot proof guide as to how the free maps work. Garmin can keep their stupid non-working official ones.

    #1 Brompton S2L Raw Lacquer, Leather Mudflaps
    #2 Boeris Italia race steel
    #3 Scott CR1 SL
    #4 Trek 1.1 commuter
    #5 Peugeot Grand Tourer (Tandem)
  • menthel
    menthel Posts: 2,484
    Koncordski wrote:
    I want to like it, i really do. Anybody got an idiot proof guide as to how the free maps work. Garmin can keep their stupid non-working official ones.

    There is a decent guide to garmin setup on ridewithgps if that helps. I have links to map setup but they are at home!
    RIP commute...
    Sometimes seen bimbling around on a purple Fratello Disc or black and red Aprire Vincenza.
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    Koncordski wrote:
    how can something that costs north of £350 come with a screen from a mid-90's Nokia? I mean seriously, that's just lame.

    Thats in part due to the fact that they want to maximise battery life and allow you to use it with gloves. Its also a bit unfair, its more like a mid-2000s Nokia...
    Koncordski wrote:
    Secondly how come the base model of a sat-nav doesn't even come with a map that you can actually use, that's extra you say, YGBSM!

    This is just market forces - they can get away with it, so they do...
    Koncordski wrote:
    Ok it's my fault because i didn't do my research but no matter, there are free community maps available or the Garmin UK and Ireland for £30. Ever tried to download the maps from Garmin? Don't bother, connect the the device, pay your money, insert a micro SD card and click download. Now sit back in amazement as the download hits 56% and then just stops, it says it's downloading but it isn't. Maybe the server is busy, i'll leave it overnight, nope that doesn't work either.

    Use the maps from Talkytoaster - free, routable as long as you dont need proper postcode routing (which you dont generally on a bike as you plan routes in advance usually). Just download the .img file to a memory card, plug it in and go.
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    i have a Mio Cyclo 305 UK and Ireland. It's ok but I find myself wishing i had a got the Garmin instead. Now I'm not so sure.... Two biggest issues for me with the Mio are Battery life with Nav on is only about 6 hours, and it's insistance (at least in London) to go via every back street and quiet cycle path and add an hour to the journey. Basically I don't use Nav. There are also some minor things, like only two screen for data which while configurable it would be nive to be able to add more screen for different views, also there is no lap function which is very annoying. Must get round to sending them a feature request email...
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    Also I had update problems with Mio, turned out to be my Virgin super hub blocking it at firewall after a set the firewall settings to high!
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    edited May 2013
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    The Garmin is both the clear market leader and at the same time pretty poor. Given the standard of modern smartphones, you would think somebody (either Tom Tom, or why not Samsung / HTC etc) could come up with something lightyears ahead of the 510/810. I'm guessing there isn't the money in the market at the moment but hopefully somebody will come along and give Garmin a good kick up the ar*e before too long.
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    BigMat wrote:
    The Garmin is both the clear market leader and at the same time pretty poor. Given the standard of modern smartphones, you would think somebody (either Tom Tom, or why not Samsung / HTC etc) could come up with something lightyears ahead of the 510/810. I'm guessing there isn't the money in the market at the moment but hopefully somebody will come along and give Garmin a good kick up the ar*e before too long.

    To be fair Mio are giving it a go. Although they seem to be taking a more big shinny simple button approach to use, which may or may not be a mistake as a lot of people in the current Garmin market are tech people who want options, toys and lots of config options etc. The cyclo 305 is quite a bit simpler than the Garmin Edge....
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • davmaggs
    davmaggs Posts: 1,008
    I've been banging on about it for years. Garmin is a hardware company, they don't do software and they don't do interfaces. Now, they did seem to be finally learning, but still I would say that everything the user at home does is an after thought and they have that engineer attitude that says "good enough" or "people will work around it". The engineer attitude also looks down on thinking like the customer.

    I worry that they'll go the way of Nokia. They must already be suffering (like TomTom and alarm clock makers) from people using their phones.
  • ooermissus
    ooermissus Posts: 811
    pangolin wrote:
    I... found trying to set up specific routes with turn by turn instructions one of the worst things I have ever attempted on a computer.

    +1 - though I have not used a newer generation Garmin and had hoped things had improved.
  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    ooermissus wrote:
    pangolin wrote:
    I... found trying to set up specific routes with turn by turn instructions one of the worst things I have ever attempted on a computer.

    +1 - though I have not used a newer generation Garmin and had hoped things had improved.
    Nope, they're atrocious really when you consider the price.
    I imagine a middle of the range smartphone with battery kit and the ANT plugin could do away with the need for a Garmin entirely, for probably half the price and with far better performance.
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
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  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Bike riders are suckers.

    I own a 200.

    But I do wish that there was more competion. What narks me is that garmin, Tom Tom or whoever can knock out a good car sat nav for under a £100 where as a decent mapping smaller bike sat nav costs 3 x as much, at which point i refer you back to the 1st line of the post.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    I have to admit that when i used a 810 recently I found it seriously less useable than my 705 with free maps, touch screen is soooo rubbish and as you say the maps are a joke.

    I should imagine the way forward for these sports gps is to take all the processing out of the unit and just turn them into a dump head unit gps with a smart phone as the real computer, I think garmin are trying (badly) to do this.

    Spot on with the assessment of market interest from mobile and gps providers, this is still a very small niche sector, now projects like the pebble iwatch that's worth looking at, they really have the right idea.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • ooermissus
    ooermissus Posts: 811
    I can plan a route in about 5 minutes on a site like this: http://www.mappedometer.com/

    All I want is then to be able to have it loaded up and ready to go 30 seconds later - does the Mio do that?
  • TheStone
    TheStone Posts: 2,291
    I think their hardware is really good. The screen shouldn't be compared to a phone as it's a different type of thing. 20hrs+ of screen, gps, recording is quite impressive. The gps is very accurate.

    What lets them down is software. It's like they don't care. Throw any old rubbish on there and hope for the best. Garmin Connect is getting better, but still nowhere close to Polar stuff from 8 years ago.

    I've bricked my 510 trying to do a firmware upgrade. Waiting on support.
    exercise.png
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    If you have a gamin I can recommend this guys OSM contour routable maps http://talkytoaster.info/ukmaps.htm

    Ace quality, certainly the most accurate i've used, i'd also recommend setting routing options to car/motocycle and recalculate to off, I also avoid unpaved roads, highways, toll roads & u-turns.

    those changes and my unit is pretty handy.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • wongataa
    wongataa Posts: 1,001
    Koncordski wrote:
    I want to like it, i really do. Anybody got an idiot proof guide as to how the free maps work. Garmin can keep their stupid non-working official ones.
    Visit Scarlet Fire. There are walkthroughs there. It's easy though. Go to Talkytoaster. Download the map toput direclt on GPS units. Put the GMAPSUPP file in a folder called Garmin on the SC Card. Make sure the file is named GMAPSUPP.img. Then you are good to go.
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    ooermissus wrote:
    pangolin wrote:
    I... found trying to set up specific routes with turn by turn instructions one of the worst things I have ever attempted on a computer.

    +1 - though I have not used a newer generation Garmin and had hoped things had improved.

    Garmin Connect - click, click click, send to device, done. Just need to switch on turn by turn instructions (2 clicks) on the device when setting off.

    Alternatively, you can in theory copy GPX files to it, but I have never done so, or upload to the device from other software but I havent tried that either. When I have a GPX or have plotted a route on bikehike etc then I save the route as GPX, upload into Garmin connect (also means it is there for future use) and send to device. Only hassle here is that Garmin Connect doesnt seem to allow upload of many GPX files as there must be something about them it doesnt like - so I run them through TCX convertor software and resave as a GPX that Garmin Connect likes for some reason...
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    wongataa wrote:
    Koncordski wrote:
    I want to like it, i really do. Anybody got an idiot proof guide as to how the free maps work. Garmin can keep their stupid non-working official ones.
    Visit Scarlet Fire. There are walkthroughs there. It's easy though. Go to Talkytoaster. Download the map toput direclt on GPS units. Put the GMAPSUPP file in a folder called Garmin on the SC Card. Make sure the file is named GMAPSUPP.img. Then you are good to go.

    Doesnt even need to be named GMAPSUPP on 800 or newer devices - I have several maps, all with different names and can switch between them on the device.
  • DrLex
    DrLex Posts: 2,142
    <crosses fingers that google glass might get a decent navigation app>
    Location: ciderspace
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    Software is fairly dire both the web and firmware the 200 reminds me of 80's Casio watches!
  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,545
    DrLex wrote:
    <crosses fingers that google glass might get a decent navigation app>

    Little HUD built into your sunglasses / helmet etc would be amazing. Not far off hopefully!
    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • hstiles
    hstiles Posts: 414
    There is certainly competition. I have the Bryton Rider 50T. The POI/Address search isn't as slick as the Garmin, but the navigation is good, the display is very clear and the BrytoinBridge software/website is very good with nice clear maps and lots of useful data. Battery life could be better, but you'll get 8 hours out of it.
  • daviesee
    daviesee Posts: 6,386
    bails87 wrote:
    That's the solution I used.
    It is a PITA but once set up as you like, you forget about it. :P Which isn't much help when others ask... :oops: :wink:

    As to why they cost more - Market forces and cyclist gullibility no doubt but they are also more rugged than a smart phone or car sat-nav, and waterproof. I have dropped my 705 more times than I'd like to mention :oops: , try that with a smartphone :shock:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    pangolin wrote:
    DrLex wrote:
    <crosses fingers that google glass might get a decent navigation app>

    Little HUD built into your sunglasses / helmet etc would be amazing. Not far off hopefully!

    Ride in ski goggles? :lol:

    http://uk.oakley.com/airwave