Garmin Nuvi 760 vs 780

One of the big differences between the Nuvi 760 and 780 is MSN Direct traffic information. The 780 is expensive, but Costco had the 680 on sale for $349, and that includes MSN Direct, so I picked one up to try it out.

For me it was the 680 or the 760, so the decision really hinged on the quality of the MSN Direct data. And so far, at least in Ottawa, that quality is not good.

The weather data works fine, but really that’s not something I use the GPS for. It was cool to have it show the weather at my destination, but if I’m taking a long trip chances are the weather will change before I get there anyway. Movie times work too, but I have the iPhone for that. What matters most is traffic data, and in 2 days of playing with it, when I’ve had traffic information at all, it hasn’t been useful.

For example, here in Ottawa a large chunk of a particular busy street (Preston) street is currently under construction. It has been for weeks, and will continue to be for weeks more. This is the kind of data that should be easy to migrate into the GPS through MSN Direct, but the 680 routed me right down Preston, and when I checked for traffic data, it said there was none available. FAIL.

So I’ll be trading in the 680 for a 760.

Why get a new GPS at all? After all, I only picked up the Mio C520 back in August last year. Here’s my list of reasons:

  • The Bluetooth handsfree support in the C520 doesn’t work with the iPhone. At least I can’t get it to work.
  • A newer GPS will have newer maps. There are newer maps available for the C520 but I’d have to pay to get those.
  • Ability to find waypoints along the current route. This is a huge feature for me. Finding the next gas station along the route is much more useful than finding the closest gas station, because I might not mind if it’s 20km ahead, but if it’s 20km behind me, I’m not interested.
  • I’m upgrading while C520 is still worth something. It’ll end up costing about $200 out of pocket, which seems reasonable for the stuff listed above.

My original complaint with the Garmin Nuvi 350, slow boot time, doesn’t seem to apply to their newer GPS’s.

I’m expecting the 760 in a few days; I’ll post a brief review when I can.