Garmin vs TomTom 2022: Battle for the Best GPS

These days, driving has become easier. Even if you are in foreign soil and it is your first time to drive to a certain destination, there is no need to worry. Regardless if you are on your own, expect that you can get to your destination safe and sound. This is possible with your reliable companion on the road – your trusted GPS device.

If you are looking for a car GPS, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from the insights that I will be sharing. This post about Garmin vs TomTom will closely examine two of the most popular brands in the global marketplace, with the intention of making it easier for you to decide which among the two is the better choice.

A Comparison of the Two

In this section, we are going to take a look at some of the most important factors when choosing a GPS and we will see how Garmin and TomTom would fare in each of these things.

Price

When looking for a new GPS, without a doubt, the price is one of the most important considerations. A lot of people are on a budget, and hence, they will obviously prefer a product that comes at a cheaper price. Nonetheless, you should be more concerned about quality and functionality. If it can offer top-notch performance, the price of the product should not matter.

Both of these brands have models that are perfect for every budget. Whether you only have $100 to spend or you can splurge as much as $500, you will have numerous choices. Nonetheless, I personally recommend that you stay away from the more expensive ones. As long as it is from Garmin and TomTom, regardless of the brand and price, you can be assured that quality is superior.

Selection

No one would like to be limited in terms of choices. With this, it is no longer surprising that we choose brands with more choices, providing us with the freedom to choose which model is suited for our preferences. A wider selection would also mean that regardless of your budget, there is one that will work for your needs.

Both Garmin and TomTom offer a diverse selection of car GPS products. However, if we are talking about the product line, Garmin wins as the more diverse. This is because the sat nav devices of TomTom are exclusive for those that you can use in car travel. This is as against Garmin, which has GPS devices that can be used when biking or hiking, among others.

Ease of Use

Especially for beginners, using a GPS can be quite intimidating. Right out of the box, you might end up being clueless about what should be done and how to make it work. Good thing, manufacturers provide clear and comprehensive instructions to help you get started. In many instances, there are also online tutorials that are available so that you can get the hang of it.

One of the things that will be indicative of being user-friendly is the interface. Between the two brands, there is no doubt that Garmin is the clear winner when talking about user-interface. The icons are easy to read and the graphics have colors that will not hurt the eyes. This is unlike TomTom, wherein the screen always feels too full. Garmin has excellent fonts and commendable in terms of readability.

Ads are also a common consideration when it comes to ease of use. A device becomes annoying and difficult to use if ads keep on popping out of nowhere. This is one thing where TomTom has gained an advantage over Garmin. Displaying ads is not a rule in TomTom.

Maps

The main purpose of a GPS device is to provide you with a comprehensive and easy-to-understand map, which will make driving a snap, especially if you are on an unfamiliar route. That being said, you should also evaluate the two brands based on the quality of their maps, especially when it comes to accuracy.

The maps from TomTom are provided by Tele Atlas, which is a company based in Europe. On the other hand, the maps from Garmin are from NavTeq, which is an American company. With this, your location will dictate which is better. If you are from the US, Garmin can have more accurate maps. For those in Europe, meanwhile, choosing TomTom might prove to be a better idea.

Traffic Information and Updates

In the case of both brands, you can expect to be provided with real-time traffic updates, which will make sure of the accuracy of the information that is displayed on the screen. TomTom has TomTom Traffic while Garmin has Garmin Digital Traffic.

In one study from the University of Michigan, the findings indicate that TomTom Traffic is better in terms of accuracy. Based on the devices that have been tested, TomTom showed the highest level of accuracy in reporting traffic jams. It scored 67%, while Garmin only scored 22%. Nonetheless, there is one important thing to note – the study was funded by TomTom. Now, it is up to you to believe its findings or not.

Searching for Places of Interest

One of the best things about having a GPS device in your car is that it makes it easy to look for places that you might find interesting, such a restaurant where to have a meal after a long drive or a gas station where to re-fuel. This is another point where the two brands have a difference.

With TomTom, the search results are more generic. Garmin, on the other hand, seems better because the results are narrowed down. So, if you look for restaurants, TomTom will show the large and popular ones. With Garmin, you can further lessen the search results.

Garmin vs TomTom: Popular Picks in Canada for 2022

Now that we have compared the two brands, in the next section, we will have a run-through of some of the best models that are available and I will share with you the features that make them notable.

Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD

Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD
BrandGarmin
ColorSilver
Are Batteries IncludedYes
Screen Size5 Inches
Human Interface InputKeypad, Touchscreen with Stylus Support
Display TypeGlass
Item Dimensions LxWxH3.1 x 0.5 x 5.4 inches
Connectivity TechnologyBluetooth
Map TypeNorth America
Battery Life2 Hours

This was recognized by CNET as the Best GPS that you can find on the market these days. It comes with a premium price tag, which can easily discourage a lot of people from having it chosen. If you take a look at its features, however, it will be easy for you to realize that the cost is easy to justify.

The product comes with a 5-inch capacitive screen, which can deliver clear display, whether it is day or night. The thin metal chassis is also a plus, which provides the screen with an elegant look. It has an intuitive interface and impressive voice commands.

Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S

Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S
BrandGarmin
Are Batteries IncludedYes
Screen Size5 Inches
Human Interface InputTouchscreen
Display Type480 x 272
Item Dimensions LxWxH0.8 x 5.5 x 3.3 inches
Map TypeCity Tour, Street
Battery Life1 Hours
Memory Storage Capacity1 GB
Scanner Resolution480 x 272

Wire Cutter, which operates under New York Times, ranks this as the best GPS that is available on the market today. It is a winner in many categories, especially in terms of affordability and usability. For those who are looking for a user-friendly and economical product, this is sure to hit the spot.

Looking at its features, one worth noting is the fact that the company offers free lifetime update on the maps. This means that you can be assured of its accurate results all the time. This is unlike in the case of others wherein updating the maps would mean having to pay a price.

Another good thing about this model is that the display can also be used for your wireless reverse camera.

TomTom Go Live 1535M

TomTom Go Live 1535M
BrandTomTom
ColorBlack
Are Batteries IncludedYes
Screen Size5 Inches
Human Interface InputTouchscreen
Display TypeLCD
Item Dimensions LxWxH1.8 x 7 x 7 inches
Connectivity TechnologyBluetooth
Map TypeNorth America
Battery Life2 Hours

A solid-performing device, this is another premium model with a price that is justifiable. It is compatible with various searching apps, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. It also offers social sharing through Twitter integration. This makes it easy to share your locations without the need to text your family and friends.

Nonetheless, based on some reviews, searching can be quite clumsy and not intuitive. Aside from this, another drawback of this device is that HD traffic can be too expensive for most users. This is on top of the already high price of the device. An occasional buzz from the speakers of your car’s sound system can also be experienced.

TomTom Go 50 S

TomTom Go 50 S
BrandTomTom
ColorBlack
Are Batteries IncludedYes
Screen Size5 Inches
Human Interface InputTouchscreen
Display TypeTouchscreen
Item Dimensions LxWxH0.93 x 5.68 x 3.56 inches
Map TypeStreet
Battery Life2.5 Hours
Memory Storage Capacity8 GB

If you are looking for a GPS with basic functions at a price that won’t hurt the wallet, this should be on the top of the list. With a price that is less than a hundred dollars, this no-frills device has basic functionality.

Even with its affordable price, users will also be able to enjoy free lifetime update on maps and traffic alerts.

Another good thing about this product is that it comes with an excellent battery life.

Nonetheless, because it is a very basic product, expect that it won’t offer connectivity to your mobile phone or backup camera. Also, the information displayed on the screen is quite limited. But, if all that you want is to get from one point to another, this will be more than enough.

Conclusion

Now that you have reached the end of this Garmin vs TomTom post, there is one thing that is apparent – the two brands are both superior in terms of quality. At the end of the day, it is not just all about the brand, but the model. Look at each product available from the two and evaluate the features to make it easier to decide which one can provide the best bang for the buck.