The Garmin nüvi 285WT is a fantastic GPS device for any car. From the minute you unpack it the quality of the build is obvious, with the navigator feeling sturdy and like it was built to last. An initial setup was needed before the device could be
used, but this was quick and the device itself did all of the work, with input from the user.
A large screen is built into the device-at 4.3 inches and with a wide screen display it is lovely and clear to look at when driving. Yet it is not so large that it gets in the way of your driving view. The screen is bright too, in daytime mode being able to be used even in the sun, and dimmed at night so as not to dazzle you. The night time mode turns on automatically at sunset.
The touch screen on this sat nav is very responsive. A choice of either 2D or 3D maps is available. The 3D are somewhat useful in built up areas but are generally unnecessary to anyone who can read a map. In fact it can look more cluttered, but the 2D version is far simpler and more clear to read.
Satellites were easily found, far more so in fact than many competing GPS units. Initial routing was impressively fast, so too was the ability for the device to recalculate a route if you miss the turn. Missing turns though is not too likely as the device calls out clear instructions in plenty of time for you to make preparations to turn.
A particularly nice feature is the emergency locate feature. With a quick button press you are given your position (as latitude and longitude). This is to allow a rescue service to find you quickly and easily if needed, instead of you having to describe local landmarks.
The Bluetooth is a nice feature and works well, but isn’t needed on many phones today. With it enabled, it allows you to run your phone through the GPS unit, using the speaker and microphone on the GPS. Most modern phones have a good hands-free option, rendering this feature unnecessary.
A few errors cropped up during use. The first was with the speed warnings, which in two occasions were incorrect-the nüvi gave a higher speed reading than was legal. If followed when a person has no local knowledge, it could lead to them getting a ticket so should only be followed with caution. The other major error was with directions, with them being incorrect. Admittedly it was in an area where two towns had a street of the same name, but without local knowledge it would have led to the wrong destination.
Charging the device in car isn’t problematic, but does take time. It means too that you cannot charge it at home ready for first use, but instead must take it to the car. A wall charger is available but not included, instead needing to be bought separately. This and a case for the device are very useful accessories.
Compared to it’s predecessors, the 285WT is fast, has a powerful satellite receiver and general improvements that make it very easy to use. In its price range, it is a very good choice.