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October 24, 2008

Garmin nuvi 785T Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 4.5 of 5
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Verdict: Inches closer to navigation perfection

Garmin nuvi 785T Review

Map Screen 3D Buildings Lane Guidance

The nuvi 785T introduces 3-D lane assist, 3-D building view, faster screen redraws, route planning, and host of other new enhancements to Garmin's already top-notch nuvi product line. A few grievances aside, the new 7x5T series is a major update from previous nuvi models, and ups the ante in GPS navigation.

Table of Contents

  1. Garmin's Growing nüvi Product Line: Meet the 7x5
  2. Specifications
  3. What's in the Box
  4. Mounting the Garmin nüvi 785T in the Car
  5. Navigating With The nüvi 785T
  6. Entering A Street Address
  7. Finding A Restaurant
  8. Setting the Home Address
  9. Favorites
  10. Traffic Information & MSN Direct
    1. Traffic
    2. Weather
    3. Movie Listings
    4. Gas Prices
    5. Local Events
    6. News
    7. Stocks
    8. Web Favorites
  11. MSN Direct Traffic vs. FM TMC Traffic
  12. Night Mode
  13. Navigating to A Set of Coordinates
  14. Using the nüvi 785T In Pedestrian Mode
  15. Canceling A Route
  16. Where Am I? / Saving Your Current Location
  17. GPS Reception Performance
  18. Routing Engine Performance
  19. Screen Readability
  20. Speaker Volume & Quality
  21. Bluetooth & Hands Free Calling
  22. Playing Audio Through Your Vehicle's Speakers
  23. Media Player
  24. Pros
  25. Cons
  26. Conclusion

1. Garmin's Growing nüvi Product Line: Meet the 7x5

Garmin continues to expand it's popular nüvi product line, adding four new 7x5 series models to choose from. The 755T, 765T, 775T, and 785T all include text-to-speech, preloaded maps of the US and Canada, 3-D buildings, 3-D lane guidance, photo navigation, faster screen redraws, route planning, and Garmin Locate.

All four new models include traffic receivers, but service varies between the models: the 785T includes an MSN Direct receiver (built-in to the 12v power adapter), and requires an annual subscription ($50/year). The 755T, 765T and 775T ship with an FM traffic receiver, and include free lifetime traffic service.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of the differences between the new models

nüvi 7x5 Series Feature Matrix

nüvi 755T nüvi 765T nüvi 775T nüvi 785T
Diag. Screen Size 4.3" 4.3" 4.3" 4.3"
Text-to-Speech Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maps of U.S. & Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maps of Europe No No Yes No
Bluetooth No Yes Yes Yes
Live Traffic Included Included Included MSN Direct
MSN Direct Accessory Accessory Accessory Included
Retail Price $499.99 $599.99 $799.99 $699.99

2. Specifications

Physical size (WxHxD) 121.7 x 75.2 x 19.5 mm (4.79 x 2.96 x 0.77)
Weight 175 g (6.17 oz.)
Display 4.3 in. diagonal, 480 x 272 pixels; WQVGA TFT landscape display with white backlight and touchscreen
Operating Temperature range from 32 to 140 degrees F (0 to 60 C)
Charging Temperature range From 32 to 113 F (0 to 45 C)
Data storage Internal memory (4GB, 1.7 GB free space) and SD memory card slot
Computer interface USB
Headphone jack Standard 3.5 mm
Charge time Approximately 4 hours
Power input DC vehicle power using included 12 vehicle power cable, or AC power using optional adapter
Usage 10 W max.
Battery life 3 to 7 hours, depending on usage and settings
Battery type Non-replaceable lithium-ion
GPS receiver: High Sensitivity (Garmin won't disclose which GPS chipset the 785T is using)
Acquisition times Warm: <1 sec.
Cold: <38 sec.
Factory Reset: <45 sec.
(Average time for a stationary receiver with a clear view of the sky)
Maps Pre-loaded maps of the US and Canada (City Navigator North America NT + City Navigator North America NT 3D)

3. What's in the Box

Garmin nuvi 785T, Retail Box
Figure 1: Garmin nüvi 785T, Retail Box