Which satnav?

I know this question crops up from time to time, but I’m going to ask it again anyway - which satnav do people recommend?

Currently I use a Nokia N79 smartphone for all my OSM work using Whereami for tracing and MGMaps for viewing. The N79 works well in a car but is pretty hopeless on foot/bike under trees, in hilly areas and round buildings.

I was thinking about one of the Garmins as they seem to be popular but why, and what is it about them that people like/dislike?

I’ve had a quick look on Amazon at the Vista HCx and the Legend HCx but what’s the difference?

I’m looking to spend £150-£200.

I don’t use the Nokia for routing as Nokia Maps makes some pretty strange routing decisions, but am I missing out not using routing? Are the Garmins any better?

Any advice or other suggestions?


Think the only difference between those two is the electronic compass and barometric altimeter of the Vista.
If you want to use the gps for OSM those two are excelent.
If you want routing, you also have to buy a map like City Navigator, it’s not included in the Legend or Vista.
Garmin maps also can make strange routes, but most of the times the routes are as they should be.

Of course, Garmin GPS can also route using free OSM data (via mkgmap).

Finally got my head round all the different models!

The difference between the Vista and the Legend seems to be the compass and altimeter as Gollem says, and about £20 on Amazon

The difference between the GPSMAP 60Cx and 60CSx also seems to be the compass and altimeter and about £20.

But, on paper, the Legend and 60Cx are the same, except the Legend has better battery life, is lighter and £50 cheaper. The Vista and 60CSX also appear the same expect the Vista too has better battery life, is lighter and nearly £60 cheaper.

Does anyone know what’s so good about the GPSMAPs to cost so much more?

I heard that they had very sensitive GPS chips (Sirf something). Certainly, my GPSMap 76CSx can get a lock pretty much anywhere.

The display of the GPSMap is bigger, GPSMap uses SirfIII chips and the Etrex Hxx uses someting like Metak??? but almost the same sensitivity, GPSMap has a serial and a usb connector, Etrex only usb.

Have you considered the Oregon? It’s a brilliant bit of kit and you’ll get a 300 for £200. Run the OSM maps on it which talkytoaster updates every week or so - see this thread on the Geocaching UK forum

Thanks FollowMeChaps, that’s certainly an interesting thread. I’m not a big fan of touch screens as a rule, but I’ll have a look, thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks Gollem, a serial link is certainly an interesting feature on a new device! Do any PCs actually come with them now??

It would seem, then, that there isn’t much of a difference between them all despite such a big variation in price. The benefits of the newer and higher spec models seem marginal at best.