Garmin nuvi 50 GPS unit
Garmin nuvi 50 review: A 5in portable navigation device that's functional and easy to use
- Big, responsive touchscreen
- Ease of use
- Great navigation experience
- No Bluetooth
- Can't adjust volume from map screen
- No advanced features
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.
Price$ 189.00 (AUD)
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.
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.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology
- Elon Musk: Teslas could drive themselves, today
- Nvidia unveils $10,000 autonomous driving computer
- Driverless cars in the UK gets the OK from government
- Spotify hijacks Uber speakers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTAGILE Training Manager/CoachNSW
- CCICT Project Manager - Contact Centre/Telephony FocusNSW
- CCSenior Financial Crime AnalystVIC
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCAnalyst Programmer (JAVA/Windows Programming) 160422/AP/544Asia
- CCApplication Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCWindows Server EngineerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst- TreasuryNSW
- CCJava Developer / DevOps | FINEOS Application | Long Term ContractNSW
- CCData AnalystVIC
- FTSolution Delivery Manager ( RTTM)NSW
- CCIT Network SpecialistVIC
- CCITIL Environment, Configuration, Release Manager- Banking/GovtNSW
- FTTechnical Lead (Guidewire Policy Center)NSW
- CCTransition Program ManagerNSW
- CCSenior IT Business AnalystVIC
- CCBusiness Project ManagerAsia
- CCSenior Technical WriterVIC
- CCAnalyst Programmer (JAVA/Windows Programming) 160428/AP/143Asia
- FTManager; Enterprise ArchitectureNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect (Security)NSW
- FTITSM Head of Service Desk & SwitchboardACT
- CCSr. Project Manager - Six SigmaVIC
- CCSAP BASIS ConsultantVIC