|Garmin n¨¹vi 680 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator
|List Price: $964.27
Our Price: Too low to display
Travel throughout North America without loading any more maps with the Garmin n¨¹vi 680 Personal Travel Assistant with MSN Direct. Plus, you can receive door-to-door directions while staying on top of local weather, traffic, and more with n¨¹vi 680. The device features a colorful widescreen, hands-free calling, and an FM transmitter, then takes it up a notch by adding dynamic content from MSN Direct, as well as a convenient digital travel kit that includes an MP3 player with sample MP3s, audio books, a picture viewer, a world clock, currency and measurement converters, a calculator, and more.
This pocket sized personal travel assistant has a super bright, sunlight-readable color screen. See side view.
Despite being loaded with features, the n¨¹vi 680 still allows you to navigate with ease. This unit comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded NavTeq City Navigator NT street maps for North America, and includes a hefty points of interest (POIs) database with hotels, restaurants, fuel stops, ATMs and more. Simply touch the super-bright, sunlight-readable color screen to enter a destination, and the 680 takes you there with either 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. This navigator voice even announces the name of exits and streets so you never have to take your eyes off the road, and can concentrate on your driving to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. In addition, the 680 accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras, and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs that require your special consideration such as speed zones and safety cameras.
Easy control via the simple touch screen.
Weather reporting available with bright, colorful graphics.
Speaking of keeping you safe, the n¨¹vi 680 lets you make hands-free calls so you can talk freely during your worry-free driving. By integrating Bluetooth wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker, you can pair your n¨¹vi with any compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free while staying focused on the road. You no longer have to fumble with your phone's handset to answer a call or dial a number, just tap the 680's screen and you're instantly connected. And with 1-touch dialing for your POIs, you can quickly and conveniently call ahead to make reservations or get needed information.
The new n¨¹vi 680 lets you get localized information with dynamic content from MSN Direct, making it one of the most resourceful navigators available. Using the included receiver and free trial service to MSN Direct, you can check your local weather, avoid traffic backups, compare local gas prices, and even check movie times and locations, all while you travel. Easy and virtually fool-proof to use, the MSN Direct receiver is plug-and-play portable so you can quickly connect to your navigator unit when you are out and about. All of which can be customized with configurable vehicle icons that let you choose individual car-shaped icons in a variety of colors that show your position on the map.
Simply insert a memory card to enjoy pictures, songs, and audiobooks.
You can also use the mini-USB port for tranferring files directly to the memory card.
In additional to all this functionality, the n¨¹vi 680 includes many must-have entertainment and travel tools such as an MP3 player, an audio book player (subscription to Audible.com required), and a JPEG picture viewer so you can take your favorite music and pictures with you wherever you go. This unit also features a world travel clock with time zones, a currency converter, a measurement converter, and a calculator so that wherever you travel it will be easy to know what you are getting and keep track of your costs. The MP3 player lets you browse music by artist, album, and/or song, while the optional audio books may be purchased from Audible.com which features over 70,000 hours of audio programs. What's more, the n¨¹vi 680 allows further customization via optional software such as a travel guide, savings programs and language translation on plug-and-play SD cards for all your travel needs.
The Garmin n¨¹vi 680 comes with a built-in, high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, and lets you view and operate it via its bright, LCD TFT touch-screen, wide-screen display that measures 4.3 inches (diagonal) and has a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels with 64,000 colors and a white backlight. As a whole, the n¨¹vi 680 measures 4.9 x 2.9 x 0.9 inches (W x H x D), and weighs only 6.2 ounces for easy portability. This unit provides you with from three to seven hours of battery life (depending on use) via its rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and comes with Garmin Lock, which is an anti-theft feature to protect your investment. While you can add software via the SD card slot, the Garmin n¨¹vi 680 also lets you interface via high-speed USB for loading data, though users should note that, like most USB mass storage devices, this unit is not compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me.
The n¨¹vi 680 comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator NT street maps, including a hefty points of interest (POIs) database with hotels, restaurants, fuel stops, ATMs, and more.
What's in the Box
Garmin n¨¹vi 680 with MSN Direct, City Navigator NT maps for North America (preloaded, full coverage), MSN Direct receiver with integrated vehicle power cable, 1 year of free MSN Direct service, vehicle suction cup mount, an AC charger, vehicle power cable, dashboard disk, a USB cable, leather carrying case, quick reference guide, and owner's manual.
- Pre-loaded with complete Navteq Maps for North America
- 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions; Accepts custom points of interest (POIs)
- Bluetooth wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker allows for hands-free calls
- 1 year free subscription to MSN Direct Traffic, Weather and Entertainment Service
- Super-bright, sunlight-readable color screen
- Nice GPS
I used the 680 for a month now. Very happy with it. Just a few minor issues. It seems to take a bit longer than my Dad's Nuvi 350 to get a GPS signal. The 350 will pick up a signal in my basement, not the 680. Still not that big of a deal. The 680 will lose the GPS signal when driving through the Fort Pitt tunnels (Pittsburgh, PA). The 350 does not. Bluetooth connects fine. If you live in a big city MSN works fine. I live 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, and cannot pick up the signal. The map shows I should. This feature would be nice if it covered more area, but it's useless on the PA Turnpike, or other major highways. I will not pay for this service when my free subscription runs out. Overall, is simple to use, and trustworthy....more info
THIS YEAR I'VE PURCHASED 2 OF THESE NUVI'S. EVERYONE IS JUST SO EXCITED THE WAY THEY WORK. ALWAYS SO MUCH BETTER THAN A MAP, AND GETTING LOST. WITH THE NUVI THAT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN....more info
- Fun Gadget, but perfect by no means, Take a map too.
On its maiden voyage, I traveled about 20 miles from my home, I live in the country. I then touched the "Go Home" box, thinking that it would back track what I had just traveled since it was the fastest route home. With in 30 seconds it misidentified the county road I was on. A minute later it told me to turn left onto a gravel road that ran along the paved road for a few miles.This happen a few times. And yes it did route me the long way home. And yes places are no longer there that the 680 say are. Yep just what most of the reviews say! But I think that's the nature of the beast of most GPS systems. But I can't tell you how many times I've stopped at a busy intersection looking for a street sign and couldn't find one. This will help and the hands free "Bluetooth" worked well.I also liked the "View Map" feature, it gives you the the map, the streets and the direction you are traveling. Overall, with a good map and the Garmin 680 it will make the trip more reliable and for sure less stops at the gas station asking for directions. Do you need all the bells and whistles this has? Really , most of us don't. So save yourself a couple hundred bucks and get a basic GPS. It will get you there just as good. But by all means, don't forget the map....more info
- Garmin 680 with dated maps
Nice and what I expected (not had a GPS before) but the maps are dated and never did receive the warranty information I was told had been mailed. I have trouble seeing road signs and this should be a huge help and I like the large screen. ...more info
- A great navigator
The garmin is great. Easy to use, easy to see and a much better buy for a navigator rather than one that comes in your car and costs 3 - 4 x's as much. In sharing our garmin with others, they now have gone out to get one as well. The unit is quick to make adjustments and is extremely handy in finding resturaunts or other locations on the fly. The larger 4.3 inch screen is a must for these while the smaller screen is more difficult to use. The touch screen works well and the menu/search program is easy to navigate. The only negative we've found is sometimes maps aren't as up to date as we would like, but this has happened only a couple times. We aren't big travelers either but still use it enough that we are very happy to have it. ...more info
The GPS gives some really stupid routing directions, the MSN direct service does not work well, but I think it is the GPS unit or cable, to find out I have to pay shipping to send the unit back to garmin and in a month they will have it fixed and sent back, would be nice if they could just exchange it espically since I bought it new a little over a month ago. The GPS is easy to use, lots of POI but some stores have been closed for 3 years and still list them. ...more info
- Easiest to use ~ very inuitive
I purchased this model NUVI to replace a 2008 Toyota NAVS system. It has found addresses when the Toyota's could not. The instructions are clear, it recalculates fairly quickly. I cannot compare it against more expensive Garmins because they have features I did not need.
PRO's. It takes an SD card which can be loaded with MP3's and Pictures. Interestingly it provides good background music in a hotel room when we travel so long as we use a power cord. Because the battery lasts so long we use it as a hand held rather then a mounted unit. (Our choice)
CON's. The voices that guide the traveled route are not as clear as they should be, however they do give you several choices of voice to use.
All in all I am glad we bought this unit. Rather than fight over who gets to take it for the day my wife bought her own NUVI 680 :)...more info
- Not My Favorite GPS
I have owned by Nuvi 680 for about six months, and it gets me where I want to go. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes me the worst possible route. I have the most recent map updates (which cost way too much). Recently, on a trip from Las Vegas to San Diego, it wanted me to leave the freeway to spend five miles on a frontage road and then return to the freeway. There was no obstruction or traffic that would justify this. In San Diego, it frequently sent me the long way around. In one case, it wanted me to turn left when I could clearly see my destination on the right. On more than one occasion, I was directed to leave the freeway, when there was an exit closer to my destination (even though I had programmed it for fastest route.)
I am also disappointed in the points of interest. We recently asked for a list of nearby restaurants. We found one about a mile away and found out that there was a well-know restaurant within walking distance. We have had other experiences where major restaurants are not listed.
I previously owned Magellan GPS units, and they gave more helpful directions and showed more useful information on the main screen. My next GPS unit will probably be a Magellan....more info
- Love the books from Audible.com for long trips
I've owned 5 other GPS receivers and this is by far the best one yet. It's operation is very intuitive. Although I don't live in an area covered by the MSN service I activated the free trial period for a long trip to Florida. It saved us a hour delay through Atlanta taking us through city streets and dumping us back on the interstate on the other side of the traffic jam. While in Orlando it warned us of an impending strong thunderstorm and told us what was playing at all the area movie theaters starting with the closest. Just wish it was available where I live.
I love to eat, so the POIs, specifically resturants are a very important feature on the GPS. Very often the POIs are way out of date, but so far only one POI no longer existed when we searched it out.
My favorite feature is the ability to store audio books. Nothing seems to shorten a long trip more then listening to a good book. I use to listen to them on CD which required changing CDs all the time and often missing instruction from the GPS or part of the book because they were playing at the same time. With the book on the GPS the story pauses and even steps back a second or 2 when the GPS gives instruction, so nothing is missed.
On the negative side, people on the receiving end of a phone call through the Blue-tooth connection couldn't understand my mumblings because of the road noises.
I think this GPS will last me awhile....more info
- Garmin NUVI 680
I bought this unit for a trip to the Washington DC area and a trip to the mountains in W. North Carolina and on to Savannah. Overall I am pleased with the performance. One address that we entered for Arlington, VA it could not locate. At other times it didn't know where the address was located on a street when the address was new. In the first case, we knew an address that was close and we knew how to find the address from that point. In the second case, it was a simple task of looking for the name of the business as we drove down the street. The Garmin worked very well in taking us through a maze of twisting streets to our location. On the freeway it would warn which side of the road to exit or which lanes to be in for a split. The MSN service worked well for traffic congestion in metro areas and we didn't use the service for gasoline prices. The blue tooth would not work with our LG phones. Garmin nÃ¼vi 680 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator...more info
- Garmin Garbage
I bought the Nuvi 680 expecting a significant step up from my few years old Mio C310X. Let's jump to the one positive thing about the Nuvi, it uses Navteq maps. Now on to the reasons I find it unacceptable. The suction mount will not stay fastened to the windshield. I tried everything, cleaning first, dry install, wet install, and so on. It stays perhaps an hour, then it falls off. The 680 has a flip up antenna; great except that when the antenna is down it turns the gps off. Dumb. So you can't really put the unit in your pocket and use it when walking around town. My Mio gets great reception without needing such a silly protruding antenna. The unit is slow to start up when powered on, and then you have to tap an annoying "I agree" button before it will go to work. There is virtually no useful customization available in the software. Either Garmin decided this would be a GPS for dummies or they created this dumbed down design to cut down on customer service calls. My 5 year old Garmin GPSmap 60cx has far more customization capability than this thing. Why would one need that? Well, for example, with Garmin's design, your speed is not displayed on the map when you are in navigate mode. You see time to destination instead. Curiously, speed is displayed when you are in map mode, not navigating to anything. This is stupid. I always want to see my speed. I can easily configure the 60cs or Mio to do this, but not this "sophisticated" Nuvi. Another thing, the instructions say you can search for a city by postal code, but it does not work. Any attempt to enter a zip code just brings up Search All. The MSN direct antenna is built into the power cord, which is very bulky.
So how does the routing work? Not very well. Going from Newport News, VA to a business near the VA Beach Expressway took us through the I-64 tunnel. I thought that strange because the tunnel and I-64 past it was showing a lot of red on the MSN Direct traffic, and the other way around via I-664 is only about 10-15 min longer. The Nuvi is suppose to take traffic into account when it calculates the route. I decided to trust it, and found myself in stopped traffic 2 miles before the tunnel that would have taken at least an hour to get through. I managed to bail out at the downtown Hampton exit. Okay I thought, I'll let the Nuvi get us back to I-664 and we'll go that way. I used the touch screen to locate a point on I-664 South of Hampton, , verified the little tag that came up did say "I-664 S", and pushed Go. The route was calculated, and it was clearly wrong. It was taking us in the wrong direction to a ramp for I-664 North, directly opposite of what I asked for. It was no help at all. The MSN traffic is disappointing because the traffic highlighting is not displayed on the Garmin map. You have to switch to a separate MSN map. How dumb is that? As we went along I-664 we ran into a couple of moderate backups. Neither was called out by MSN. The places it did show are the predictable rush hour backups one experiences every day in the Norfolk area. I did not see a whole lot of value add. I used the unit to check for gas stations. It found a bunch, listed prices and distance, but the name of many stations were listed as "unknown". What good is that? Map zooming is frustrating. The switch from 2D to 3D view is clumsy, and the zoom level is never correct.
I summary, I found this Nuvi to be a clueless design that has not been thoroughly tested and does not deliver on its promises. I am looking forward to returning it for a refund.
- Disappointed by Garmin
I chose the Nuvi 680 over other comparable devices based on the Garmin reputation. I should have known better. This product consistently gets me lost and comes up with head-scratching routes for me to take. The only options I have to tweak the route calculation settings are faster or shorter route. You can't adjust the sensitivity for freeways or surface streets, etc. I assume the faster route gathers traffic info from the MSN Direct receiver but since the receiver does not appear to accurately receive updated traffic data unless it is always plugged in to an outlet (even when you are nowhere near your car or gps unit) it is not surprising the faster routes seem pretty slow. The short route option is simply zig zagging through streets to reach your destination since driving diagonally toward your destination is usually not an option.
Now back to the MSN Direct receiver. If you do not keep your MSN Direct receiver plugged in and draining your car battery, it will take about 45 minutes to sync up. By then you will have already reached your destination.
One of the reasons for purchasing this product was the 1 year free MSN Direct subscription. What a joke this feature is. While driving on the freeways of Los Angeles (the 10 or 101) it often gives me flash flood warnings. OK. Or it directs me to a freeway route and the traffic data is actually correct--there is traffic! Thanks for suggesting this route.
The navigation through the menus is not the best either. Though the menus are simple, you often have to hit the back button several times before returning to the main screen. There isn't a main screen button. This can be distracting when you are driving. :P
Also, the map displays all freeways as RED. Hmm, that's a good color for freeways. Makes me think all freeways are heavily congested all the time. Even in LA that is not always true. If you are going to put traffic data on a map, better make it straightforward. Green for no traffic, yellow for moderate traffic, and red for bumper to bumper. It would be nice to show the sections of freeway with traffic as well, like Google maps. Instead, the nuvi 680 only displays a little sign that represents traffic and only for your immediate location. Yeah, I can see that there is traffic right in front of my front windshield but where does it end and where is there no traffic? Let me reiterate the traffic sign only shows up when you are already in the thick of it. You can't look at a bird's eye view of an area and see where the freeways are congested. This is where I pull out the iphone and check Google maps.
The only reason I am giving this unit 2 stars is for the physical design and bluetooth phone feature. Though, the speaker is horrendous for a $400 piece of equipment (think iphone).
Perhaps if I had no experience with a GPS unit I would have given this unit 3 stars. Perhaps if I lived under a rock and never used Google maps with traffic I would have given this unit 3 stars. The fact is, I also have an outdated unit from Lowrance. At least the Lowrance always gave me good directions with an easy to use interface. I never regretted buying the Lowrance. Can't say the same for the Nuvi 680. I curse it every time I get lost BECAUSE of it. ...more info
- best gps for the price
Love this product,easy to use.But i do think the tom tom 930 would be better but it cost alot more. Tom tom have free updates to Poi and maps through all of there customers....more info
- Excellent product
We are very happy with this product. It is easy to operate and has many capabilities. We shopped long and hard before deciding on this particular Garmin, and we weren't disappointed!...more info
- nuvi 680 great, mapping software is not
I bought a Garmin Nuvi 680 quite a while ago. Prices have plummeted since then, and probably will continue. This is a great device, and has helped me many times. We even took it on a trip to Baltimore and Philly (we're in SoCal), and it is totally portable when you buy a beanbag (friction) mount. It took us to every historical site, and even to the local Baltimore McDonalds (you can take it on walks, by setting the Pedestrian mode, and it will route you even the wrong way on one-way streets, since you're walking). It did its best to figure out the bizarre maze of streets in older sections. It knew the layout of Valley Forge and Fort McHenry. It took me right to my mother's birthplace in Washington D.C., and Babe Ruth's birthplace in Baltimore. The Marine Memorial at Arlington is hard to find, but it found it. I would have never found half of these places without it. It even knew where every alley was, and called them "alley".
The 4.2" touchscreen is great, and the text-to-speech very clear. It interfaced via Bluetooth to my cell phone effortlessly, and downloaded the address book automatically. Makes a great hands-free device. In simulation mode you can tell it to go cross-country, and it will start out on its trip, and just keep going (until it runs out of power because it's sitting on the bed, not plugged into the car).
I have one criticism, and it's a big one. Garmin doesn't really care about you after the sale. I fell for the Garmin email that told me to update my mapping software "today!" No mention that within a week their distributors would be selling it for $15 less than their $70 price. When I got the software and loaded it, I found that this "2009 Update" added next to nothing. A Marine Air Station which had been leveled, and turned into a major shopping center over two years ago, was still listed as the air base. Major streets which had been extended through there were not shown. A local shopping center which has been here for five years is not shown, even though other, smaller shopping centers are. Garmin's only comment to this was that they depend on the same source of mapping information as everyone else. I though these companies had people keeping their software up-to-date, and that you could keep updating your maps for much less, if not free. So much for their industry leadership. If I find that something I need to find is not on my Garmin, I'll be checking out Tom Tom and others to see if they can do better. Hopefully they try harder.
I agree with the reviewer who liked the Garmin friction (bean bag) mount. That and the car power adapter/MSN receiver work well (even if every time there is a drop of rain, MSN lists a flash flood alert in the OC). But the mount did slip off my dash several times, and so I fashioned a simple little metal hook and attached it to the mount, and that hooks into a defroster vent to keep it from sliding. Easy to do.
I love "Miss Garmin" (as we call her), even if she does sound a bit put out when she is "recalculating" (when you don't follow her directions to the letter). She won't let you get lost, even if some times she takes you in strange directions....more info
- there are a couple lacking features but it works well
The 680 works better than a few other gps's i've used and had alot of features but needs some work on the usability. If garmin had just made the menus customizable so you can decide what is shown on the map screen and put a "go back to map button" on every screen i'd likely give it a 5, for example, if your deep in the menus you have to hit the back button over and over to get back to the map. Also, you can't see the speed or the time when in route to a destination. I am still happy with my nuvi but would probably not buy it again unless (cough cough to any garmin guys reading this) garmin makes a few simple software changes. ...more info
- I love this device
I've had my 680 for quite a while now and it has served me very well. Even the movie times and weather feature which is sort of a gimic has come in handy on several occasions. Roads are a mess in the area I live in but the maps have always been enough to get me to my destination. I've also used it on several trips around the US with much success. The wider screen is nice and the interface is easy and intuitive....more info
- Great Product
Works great, the MSN direct works exactly as they advertise and the software is very intuitive. Yes the FM transmiter is weak-guess what they all are weak and yes the navigation will do some strange routes- again they all do.
My cons are price of unit and then still will have to pay for subscription when free period expires. The traffic portion on MSN works well but is not intergrated with rest of system as well as I think it should be. And lastly materials used on unit could be little nicer, I also have a Harmon/Kardon 810 that is beautiful and feels more solid but the Garmin is easier to use....more info
This is my first GPS and I am very happy with my choice. Clear/bright display and accurate directions. ...more info
- 4.5 out of 5
Wonderful unit! Love the new features such as gas stations with prices & traffic reports. I haven't used the Bluethooth yet so I can't tell you how it works. The fact that you get 1 year of MSN free was what decided it for me over the 660.
The only drawback for me was that my old Magellan was easier to switch between screens. I suspect, given time, that it will become a non-issue.
The screen is bright and very responsive to the touch. It has many options including the bluetooth technology to encourage handsfree cellphone use. The Nuvi 680 comes fully loaded with MSN Direct and all other accesories that other Nuvi models do not such as the leather case. Addresses are found with ease with some exceptions. One exception is finding FL-40 in the state of Florida. Type it whichever way you like and it won't find it. A great improvement in the future would be to copy the turn by turn routes given by services such as Mapquest. The Nuvi navigator does NOT find the most appropriate route in certain instances. Quickest route and shortest route not necesarily mean the same thing, but the Nuvi seems not to know that as of yet. Perhaps in a future update. Outside of the minor shortcomings, the Nuvi 680 is the most complete in its family vs. cost. If the fancy extras do not interest you, then perhaps you should consider the Nuvi 260W. The two models are identical in the basic features such as spoken street names and screen size. Garmin has done it right....more info
- O.K. But not worth the generally high price
I've owned several GPS units over the years, and while I've updated models because they have evolved, The Garmin nuvi 680 is a step back.
While the GPS works fine, it has some very bad annoyances that I wouldn't expect from a unit of this price. First, it doesn't default to the map screen, rather you have to select maps everytime, otherwise it just stays in its menu mode. In fact almost all screens eventually will go back to this page. I feel, that if you don't press any buttons for an extended time, it should return to the default map display, but it doesn't.
Second, the real function of this unit, navigation, is a bit sketchy at best. There are only two navigation settings, "fastest" or "shortest" and neither really accomplish their goals.
I live about 5 miles from work, and because of obstacles, there are basically three ways that I can get to and from work; the east way, the west way, and the center way. The center way is both the shortest and the quickest, but no matter what the setting, the 680 NEVER takes that route. And the road sizes are all about the same, generally 2 lane roads.
That alone wouldn't be so bad if the 680 truly thought that the other routes were shorter or faster, but it doesn't. Let me explain. I set the setting to "fastest route" for a test, and routed to work. On the bottom of the display is an ETA screen which estimates your arrival time. One day I followed the suggested route and got there about two minutes after it predicted. Not bad.
The next day, I repeated the drive, but instead of going the recommended way, I went the "center" way. The ETA was the same as the day before, but the instant I deviated from the planned route, the 680 said "recalculating" and the ETA dropped by about 5 minutes. I eventually got there 5 minutes sooner like it projected. So, in other words, the Nuvi knew that the center route was faster because when I turned on to it, the ETA reduced by 5 minutes, but yet it never recommends that route. How stupid.
Other routing decisions are plain stupid as well. When I need to make a left, it will often tell me to make a right then a u-turn, then back!! Other times it tells me to drive past my destination, make a u-turn, then drive back, almost like it doesn't think there is a turn lane in the road.
The MSN part of this device is O.K. but I don't know if its worth $40/year. Gas prices and movie times are helpful, but the traffic is a waste. I don't think it has ever given me traffic info that has saved me time. Either it reported accidents I never saw, or it doesn't find accidents that are there, and only SOME major roads in Phoenix (5th largest city) are even mapped. Nothing other than major highways are.
Other annoyances. When driving a routed course, the 680 gives you the distance to the next turn, and your ETA, but that is it. You CAN'T display the total distance to your destination, or the length of your trip, only the time you will get there. This is lame.
Its almost like this device was designed for idiots, that were too stupid to ever want more.
Here is another example of poor design. I live in AZ and we don't change our clocks for daylight savings. When the clocks did change in the rest of the world, my 680 time was off an hour, so an easy fix, right? I went to setting and there was a "Time" setting, so I pressed it and was offered two options "12-hour" or "24-hour." It was set to "12-hour" and I wanted "12-hour" so I just pressed cancel. There was no time-zone setting I could see.
I called tech support at Garmin, and after 60 minutes on the phone, we solved the problem. On the time screen, for "12-hour" and "24-hour" if you press Cancel instead of OK, you never get to the timezone screen, you have to end it with OK, even if you aren't changing the setting. How stupid and unintuitive?
After my experience with this unit, I don't think I would buy a Garmin GPS again. ...more info
- Added features worthwhile
I have several other Garmin Nuvi GPS devices that are smaller and do not have the MSN features. All are excellent GPS devices and have become essential in finding meeting locations and baseball fields where my son plays, especially when the directions provided by the other coach are flawed or sketchy. The 680 is larger and easier to see, but the best addition is the MSN traffic. We live around a large metropolitan area so it is helpful and has already allowed me to avoid certain roads because the Garmin indicates there is a high traffic volume. If you live in a remote area of the country it is not much value. All in all I would prefer this device over the smaller 350 and 360 because of the bigger screen. It is not heavy though so it can still be carried around for walking tours....more info
It is a great navigator system, a great value for the money, easy to use and very accurate, I would highly recommend it.
- Garmin 680 very impressive so far
I am new to GPS, with my only other experience being Onstar that was included with my car. I'm taking a month-long driving trip this summer, and had a 500 mile (one-way) jaunt to warm up. The Garmin handled it expertly. MSN Direct picked up on a freeway closure and guided me around it. The device detected in about a second that I had deviated from the recommended path, and gave me new instructions in a just a couple more seconds. The points of interest were accurate, the few times when we needed a suggestion.
The negatives? I need to find how to get it to repeat instructions that I didn't catch. The menu-only system is efficient, but can't be safely navigated when driving. I got tired of cleaning the suction cup and window, and just opted for the Friction Mount Base. It cost me $40 vs. $28 through Amazon, so consider just buying it at the same time. Also, a friend told me that a knowledgeable local would have gone a different way than what the Garmin told me, but it got me there without me having to print maps and try to read and drive at the same time....more info
- Best Nav system you can get
check out reviews on Cnet, I did, there is no comparison. I also have 3 friends with the Garmin 680. 700 series is not showing a ton more for the extra dough. works right out of the box, no fuss. I have not looked at the manual once....more info
- Perfect GPS
This is one of the few products that I ever bought that exceeded my expectations. I am a perfectionist and tend to second guess and agonize over things that I bought when they are not perfect. The only time I have referred to the manual was to determine how to adjust the voice volume for the verbal directions. The volume could also have more discreet volume increments. High setting is OK for highway but too loud for local driving. The next lowest setting is OK for local driving but too low for highway driving. The volume adjustment should be a easy to get to button rather than into multiple menu levels. A minor nit and the only nit that I have found. Even my wife who is a non-tech type is amazed that how easy it is to use. The 4.3 inch screen is a perfect size and the brightness is great even in bright sunshine. Direct sun on the screen does somewhat reduce readablity which is rare but expected. I had a Nav system on my Toyota Avalon which I liked but this Garmin convinced me never again to pay a premium for a dash installed unit. Garmin got it right on! I paid for the weather and traffic info which is good in certain large cities. I was disappointed that the coverage is spotty or non-existent in medium size cities. I should have gotten the one year suuscription to try out rather that the one time five year subscription. When I need another GPS, I will buy a Garmin. ...more info
- Great Item - Stolen Within a Week
Great item - new car broken into just for the garmin - $425 for he unit and $850 for car repairs - Don't buy one the cops say they are breaking into cars if they see a cell phone cord thinking there might be a GPS inside. It is like putting a red flag on you car - break into me! Not worth the headache - I will get lost - it is cheaper....more info
- Good GPS, forget MSN Direct
I purchased this GPS a month ago on the recommendation of a friend, mostly. I researched these devices and determined that none of them work perfectly so I was resigned to some shortcomings. And there were shortcomings. We live in a mostly rural area and I found that the maps in the Garmin often ignore main roads in favor of less traveled, even unpaved roads. While it may be the shortest route, it is often the route that takes the longest. In one case it directed me down a two-rut lane that I was sure had to be someone's driveway. It wasn't. I eventually arrived at the location and the owner of the business told us that MapQuest also always directs people through that weird little route. When using it as an initial test to get to my daughter's, it located her home over a quarter mile farther down the road. This, again, is the same mistake that MapQuest often makes. Then, on the way home, the satellite couldn't find me even though I was traveling on an interstate running down the middle of Michigan. There were scattered thunderclouds but not a solid cloud cover by any means.
I also tried to activate the MSN Direct feature. First of all, activating it was silly. You have to have the GPS plugged in to your 12 volt outlet in your car and have the GPS running to activate it. The activation process then directs you to the website. (?) I called the toll free number and again had to listen to the message direct me to the website before I could speak with a person. I was also informed that the wait to talk to someone was longer than usual and I could also activate via the website. Since I don't have satellite reception on my laptop, I waited. Forget it. No service was available unless I was within about 20 miles of a major metropolitan area. (The representative named three areas in the state of Michigan where it IS available.) (The state capital was not one of them.) There is no service on the interstates between those areas. I purchased this upgraded model specifically so that I could get updated traffic reports when traveling so this pretty much negated my major reason for selecting the 680.
On the positive side (and yes, there is a positive side) I found that the GPS itself it was easy to use, easy to program, easy to save addresses and insert selected points within routes, and USUALLY gets me exactly where I want to go. The screen is large enough and well lit so that I can easily see it and select locations while driving. I haven't tried the DETOUR feature yet, but we are entering construction season and I have no doubt that I will be thankful for it. On the whole, I have been happy with my choice of GPS and feel that I could happily recommend it to others. And do....more info
- Outdated maps,, which is the essence of a GPS, isnt it?
After so much research, I bought this item and was terribly dissapointed when I tried to use it in New Jersey.. First, its a world renowned fact that there is no LEFT turn in New Jersy,, but this little dangerous unit asked me to take a left turn on Route 1!! Also, it called New Jersey Turnpike another name, showed roads which existed 10 years ago, took me to places I had no clue where I was and turned me few times around a shopping complex when I could clearly see where I couldve entered without wasting my time. In Washington, Issaquah area,, the map shows me I am off the highway on a service road ( that doesnt exist) when I was on Hwy90 going West. To me defence, I did try to update the maps and it told me there was no updates available. I even bought the MSN subscription,, which was okay but not giving me traffic information when I am driving,, rather I had to go to MSN menu ( while driving) to look for traffic information what a joke!! I tried to save a location and it took me a while to figure it out,,, its not like a regular navigation where you can mark the point. The POI never comes up while you are driving,, you need to know where you want to go first and it will take you just there but wont show other POIs around the location. All in all, one thing that works good is the bluetooth pairing and the dumbed down menu, which frankly, I didnt really care about. I am really dissapointed in this GPS and would ask the company employees to use it themselves and feel how it is to take a left turn on a highway!!...more info
- Great Item
This unit has all the bells and whistles.....also had a great price....I've been using mine for about a month and love it. ...more info
- Nice unit.
Overall A good product.
Maps have some slight inaccuracies (dead end street near my house is shown as going through to the next cross street), but good detail generally.
Routing choices are very good, unlike some others that I've seen, this one doesn't gravitate to the freeway.
The MSN feature is a nice addition, but service for it is spotty, go to
( https://www.msndirect.com/Coverage/Coverage.aspx )
to check your coverage before you buy one specifically for this feature.
Unit doesn't take forever to locate itself maybe 30-45 seconds with clear view to the sky.
Bluetooth speaker phone is among the best i've heard. I can hear it clearly, and others can hear me well. (actually the mic is so sensitive I am sometimes asked to please stop yelling when I haven't started yet)
FM Transmitter is a little weak, I live just outside NYC and have a hard time finding a channel where the transmission doesn't get squashed.
Generally, I thought this was my best choice from my research, and still think so after having owned it a month.
I have other Garmin products, and in my mind, nothing else compares....more info
- Best GPS money can buy
If you've ever wanted an amazing GPS that can get you where you need to be aswell as easy to use right out of the box the Garmin Nuvi 680 is you only GPS. Great signals, great mapping and layout, helpful voice commands that actually help, auto re route if you miss your turn off etc. this little gem has it all. Never be lost or ask for directions again!...more info
- Great but still has issues
This is my second Garmin, my first is the 2720 street pilot. that is a good unit, but very bulky. This I liked because of the size and I assumed it would be far superior to my old unit. Our first use was when we flew to Oklahoma to drive a new motorhome back to California. It did not know about campgrounds that I passed on highway 40. It took me to restaurants that did not exists (actually into a residential neighborhood for a BBQ restaurant that did not exist.) It took us to gas station in California that the unit said were in the fields. As for the MSN direct, if it wasn't free, I would have cancelled it. You have to be in a city (that has service) for 2 to 3 days before it knew anything. In this day and age, that is pretty unacceptable. This is an 85 percent GPS. I love it 85 percent of the time, not exactly what I was expecting from Garmin. It also has a problem doing a route. When we were driving, I wanted to tell it where I wanted to stay along the route, you can't do that. You can only add one stop along the way. See those three stars up top of this review, remove one of them. This thing cost over $400.00 and should work better.
Pros. It is fast, you can see the screen all the time, it works on the California Delta.
This is my second unit, so it is not like I have to get used to using it. I am only telling you experience. And to be honest, I don't know how anyone can go without a GPS.
- GPS Navigator - A Great Value
I have driven from Richmond VA to North Chicago, Illinois as part of a job relocation. I used the Garmin not only in this effort but once there used it often to find local places. It works GREAT. Excellent visability in direct sunlight. During the darkness of the evening when driving in the horrendous I-90 Chicago traffic, I could not take my eyes off the road, but was able to very easily navigate with the voice instructions. I now use this Garmin in my wifes car. If she gets lost, it will very easily navigate her home. I strongly recommend buying this product....more info
- garmin nuvi love it
we recently took a road trip from Florida to the Mountains of Georgia. We were looking for some "Geo caches" ( objects hidden by others and we are give the GPS coordinates to find) The garmin Nuvi 680 took us up national forest roads that we would never even known where there. Re calculated very quickly if we stayed on a different route. The MSN was not in all areas but when it was it let us know where there was traffic ahead and we could select to avoid delay. We love it....more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680
Works very well for stuff that's current. Get very hooked on it. Having a little trouble with the updates from MSN....more info
- Great GPS
This is the second Nuvi680 I have purchased. First one was stolen, but I liked the product so much I bought another. The hands-free bluetooth interface works great. ...more info
- Buy a cheaper model
The exta features of this unit over the 650 are all questionable, starting with the big one, MSN direct. I supposedly live in the coverage area. That is iffy. The traffic data is very poor in the Dallas area. Even if it were better, the updating is too slow for a commuter who doesn't keep it hooked up before leaving. I echo the other comments about inaccurate gas price data. I won't renew when the free year is up.
I tried once talking to my wife using the Bluetooth, she said the echo was so bad she wouldn't talk to me if I used it again. The FM transmitter is useless in a city.
The route planning isn't great, but it will get you there. The logic doesn't account adequately for traffic or traffic signals.
Save your money and buy a 650....more info
- I Love This Thing!
I already had two conventional GPS devices before I got the Garmin nuvi 680. To be precise, I should say before I won the nuvi in a raffle. Yes, I'm a lucky bastard.
The reason I bring this up is because I would never have bought what I called a "driving" GPS, not when I had two other perfectly acceptable devices (a Geko 201 and an eTrex, both Garmins). Mainly, I used these for Geocaching and if ever I needed a real-time map, hooking the GPS to my laptop running Streets and Trips was all I needed.
I'm so glad to say I was wrong--the Garmin nuvi 680 is a technological wonder that goes beyond anything I expected. First, the screen is bright and beautiful, the colors simply pop and it all stands out for readability in everything but the most direct sunlight.
Second, the features on it are incredible (a built-in MP3 starts things off nicely and three free audio books from audible.com are included). Featuring a vast database of data, one can easily search for, and more importantly, find just about anything nearby: food, hotels and motels, theaters, ATMs and banks, entertainment. And with the purchase of an MSN Direct subscription--there is a one-year free subscription that comes with the GPS--you get access to the closest gas stations *with pricing*.
I don't need to bore you with the feature set because that's easy to find, but I'll relate my experience in using it. Starting the device is easy: either push the power button (duh) or simply attach it to the car charger/mounting platform which is held to the windscreen by means of a pretty good suction cup that locks into place. If the car is on and providing a charge through to the charger, the device will turn on. How clever and convenient! By the way, I've had rather good performance from the suction cup, but you need to make sure that both the surface of the cup and the windshield is clean.
Actually using the nuvi is easy: the screen is touch sensitive (although I wish it were more sensitive because I feel like I need to almost bang on the screen sometimes to get a result) and the device works by touching "buttons" shown. If you're not a reader of manuals like me, diving in to using it is also easy and very self-explanatory. Grandma shouldn't have too much trouble with this thing. It presents you with a logical flow to things: first, where do you want to go? At this point, that database comes into play.
If it knows the city you're in (hey, it's a GPS!), you can choose to go either to an address, or you can search for other establishments and even parking. All by touching the screen. Now, for safety's sake, you understand this can get a bit distracting while driving and it's not like I haven't changed options and such while driving myself, but care needs taking when you're working the nuvi. It's dangerous to divide concentration like this and in fact, the nuvi shows a warning about this on each boot up to which the user has to acknowledge.
The Bluetooth feature is incredibly useful. It offers a hands-off connection to your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone with all the usual features (voice dialing, etc.). I really found it useful because the driver actually sees the incoming phone number while driving. One pairing exercise is all that's required and from then on, anytime the two are in proximity of each other, they connect up. The sound is excellent and I found I didn't need to raise my voice when using Bluetooth. The really amazing thing is, the nuvi can broadcast to one's car radio.
This means that instead of the small (although powerful) built-in speakers, you can converse with your pesky friend and hear sound throughout your car! MP3s and audio books can also be broadcast through the radio. This features is hit-or-miss for me though; there are times I can't get the transmission to work and others it works great! I'm still experimenting with this and with the various frequencies to find the best.
As a GPS user, I know that GPS signals are attenuated or degraded in certain conditions--like buildings in most downtown areas. Heavy overhead tree cover will also attenuate signals, but in my experimentation so far, the logic built into the nuvi seems to handle these problems quite well: it simply "knows" which street you're on, even if it's only receiving a partial set of satellite signals. I'm not 100% sure about this, but it seems to make sense.
A word (the last) on the turn-by-turn guidance and instructions. This is one feature I LOVE. Why? Well, say I have a turn coming up to the left but right afterwards, I need to be in the right lane because either my destination is on the right or the next turn is coming up on the right. Well, the nuvi handles this perfectly by giving you this exact information. That right there is the reason I'll be buying another nuvi if this one, hopefully not for a while, bites the dust.
Excellent, REALLY excellent....more info
- A look at the Bluetooth on the Garmin Nuvi 680
There have been lot's of reviews regarding the GPS side of the Garmin Nuvi 680. Here's my review of the Bluetooth features:
With California banning the holding of a cellphone to your ear while driving, you're stuck with either a headset, a hands free Bluetooth unit, or using your phone's built-in speaker. I don't want to try and put on a headset in time to catch a call or try to hear the speakerphone over all the road noise. Plus the Bluetooth hands free sets are currently overpriced in my opinion.
This is where the Nuvi 680 shines.
When a call comes in, the Nuvi 680 shows the number. And even better, it will show the name I've assigned it in my contacts. A simple press of the touch screen and you're talking hands free. I use the FM transmitter to beam the conversation over a radio station so I can hear over the outside noise. It also handles a second call coming in (like the flash option on your home phone) so you can switch between callers easily.
You can also use the on-screen dial pad to place calls. If you're on a call that requires the pressing of an extension number, the dial pad screen works for that too.
But Garmin didn't stop there.
When you use the points of interest (POI) to find a place (restaurants, hotels, stores, etc.) and there's a phone number for that place, you can call it just by hitting the phone icon on the screen. I've used this feature many times to get things like movie times, place food orders, and see when a store is closing. I found this feature very handy when I'm traveling.
Another feature I liked is how my contact list from my cell phone shows up on the screen. This is a nice feature as I don't have to re-type them into the unit. Simply press the 'Phone Book' icon on the screen to access the phone numbers on your cell phone.
The Nuvi 680 also supports voice dial tags. It will use the voice tags that you created on your cell phone. This could be a mixed bag depending your cell phone's voice tag quality. I use Microsoft's Voice Command 1.6 which has the ability to simply say the phone number I want to dial. This is handy when I can't press the individual numbers to dial out. My only complaint is the screen doesn't show what's happening until the call starts. This can be a problem if the cell phone misinterpreted the voice tag and starts dialing the wrong number.
There are other options on the Nuvi 680 like a quick call home button. I also like the Call History button as it shows calls I've missed, dialed, or received. Again this information is gathered from your cell phone so it's always available whether the Nuvi was being used or not.
The Nuvi 680 can also handle text messaging if you're phone supports Bluetooth 2.0 too. I could not test this feature as my phone doesn't support bluetooth 2. I currently have the Cingular 8125. It's a little old but you can't beat the battery life compared to other smart phones!
Overall I've been very pleased the phone options on the Garmin Nuvi 680. I don't have to use a headset! Plus having the phone conversation beamed to the radio for increased loudness is great. While Bluetooth Hands free systems are nice, the high price you pay for one can be applied to the Nuvi 680. You'll get far more features than a simple speaker attached to your sun visor....more info
- Save Your Money, Do Not Buy This Product
My advice is to save your money and not buy the 680. The MSN feature is worthless and unreliable. I live in Minneapolis (where there's supposedly a strong signal) and yet the MSN system has gone "inactive" seven times in the six months I've owned the 680. Each time means a long wait while MSN re-sends the signal, and the inconvenience of not having the feature work. I have updated the software, pushed every button MSN has suggested, and still the device continues to fail.
This is the worst major purchase (defined as a product over $500) that I have ever made. So do yourself a favor, and don't make the same mistake I made buying Garmin....more info
- Garmin 680
The equipment is amazing. I love this thing. the heads up on traffic and weather works great, as long as you are in the coverage area. MAKE SURE you check on that first. The product I have no problems with the company I got it from on the other hand not so much. Amazon.com said shipping and delivery was free but the company that sent it out charged me for it. When I tried to get my money back that just kept sending me back and forth between the two.
So in conclussion:
The Garmin excellent
The companies not so good....more info
- Great Produce!
I needed a GPS unit for my car but got really confused with all the options out there. I read some comparison reviews and settled on Garmin. I chose the Nuvi 680 cause of the bluetooth, MP3 player and screen size. I really do love this GPS unit. It does what it's suppose to and it re-routes really fast. Its a really high-quality product.
I would say my only problem has to do with the bluetooth option. The bluetooth built into the GPS allows you to talk on your phone hands-free via the GPS's internal speaker, which is pretty darn good by the way. I thought it was going to be horrible sounding, but I was impressed. But I already have that option built into my car. I wanted to use the bluetooth to get the voice part of the GPS to go through my car speakers like my bluetooth phone does. I don't know too much about this technology, but its really annoying that the bluetooth on this Garmin is so limited. The FM transmitter doesn't cut it for me as I live in a big city and can't find a frequency that works flawlessly. Garmin, if your listening, please give us the option to pair the GPS with our car's bluetooth option so I can hear the GPS directions through my car speakers via my car's built-in bluetooth hands-free option.
All in all, a fantastic product. I'm very happy with the purchase!!...more info
- A Brilliant Piece of Work
The Garmin Nuvi 680 is my first true auto unit on top of handhelds used for work. This is my real experience out of the box.
A friend and I traveled 300 miles in a rare trip to Atlanta, GA to see "Lord of the Dance", staying with area family. Truth is truth, I am a LOUSY road warrior who DESPISES driving in Atlanta. Computer map printouts are near useless around the perimeter because one must know about and PLAN lane changes, sometimes very quickly. I have NO experience with locating the Marietta theater, which already has me sitting on nails, and we unexpectedly discover some Atlanta friends are also going to the show. This creates dinner plans to a restaurant within a half-mile of the theater, but it may as well be 100 miles because I don't have a clue where IT is, either. Now I'm sitting on knives, knowing we better leave for dinner and the theater at 12-noon if we are going to make the 8:00pm show at all.
Instead, we spend daylight at some I-85 shopping centers where I buy the Garmin Nuvi 680 to raise our odds. Here is what happened.
Out of the box, Nuvi immediately locked on to the 'birds' INSIDE our host's house ... impressive. In 10-minutes, I had it ready in the car. Nuvi's street address entry is VERY easy and ABBREVIATED, displaying the correct address with minimal entry! Cool! It only took moments for Nuvi to calculate the route and off we go for the hour ride to the restaurant. Before leaving, I touch our host's street on the screen and Nuvi lets me enter and permanently save full details about our starting point for easy call up when it is time to return.
After 20-minutes, I threw our paper maps away. Apart from the basic route, Nuvi WARNED ABOUT WHICH LANES to use ('Stay Left' or 'Stay Right') and announced the turns in PLENTY of time. It even announced which side of the road to find the restaurant, which was hidden by a hill until the last moment. Bingo-bango-bongo-bam ... THERE IT IS ... right where Nuvi said, arriving within 1-minute of Nuvi's prediction for the hour ride. Nuvis 'text-to-speech' is very good, backed by top-line screen instructions.
Our friends are late and the restaurant is packed. We finish with 10-minutes to make the theater, park and hike it to our seats. Oh, man, I still don't know where we are going and I'm sure we are NOT going to make it. It took 30 seconds to enter the theater address, racing off. My confidence rises as Nuvi guides us through multiple turns straight to the theater parking lot, a new facility only 6 months old. We get to our seats with 1-minute to spare; 6th row ready to enjoy the marvelous spector of Irish dance.
My friend falls in love with the violinist. I'm not so selective wanting to take ALL the talented, beautiful girls home. I'm sure the ladies felt the same about the guys. The performance was teriffic, candy for the eyes and ears with arrival guaranteed by Nuvi.
Charged by the performance, I tell Nuvi to take us back to our hosts house. Nuvi's first route is to enter I-285 on the right side with an immediate exit to I-75 across 4-lanes of heavy traffic on the left. NOT POSSIBLE! Nuvi quickly knows the turn is missed, reports 'Re-calculating', and guides us to a quick and easy turn-around exit that was MUCH safer. This was a lesson not to BLINDLY follow a first pick by any GPS.
It gets better. The term 'Atlanta expressway' is an oxymoron, so I generally take the lesser back roads home for the 5-1/2 hour trip. Nuvi agrees rural roads are better and calculates a route I have never considered before. To my amazement, Nuvi cuts the trip time for the 300 mile trip to 260 miles and 4-hours 50-minutes. 40 minutes FASTER on superior roads which I would have NEVER noted on a paper map. We pulled onto the driveway at the EXACT time Nuvi predicted ... to the MINUTE. The display can be zoomed in/out, while a wide angle route view will AUTOMATICALLY zoom in as a turn is approached, with excellent detail.
While Nuvi 680 has standard and optional features for which I have no use (e.g., Bluetooth), a few really appeal to me. Download your favorite MP3's and Amazon Audible audio books for a more enjoyable trip. The fidelity is very good when Nuvi is told to play them through a quiet, fully selectable FM frequency on your car radio, interupted by Nuvi's brief turn instructions. If you have a car stereo aux input, Nuvi can use it with an optional (Radio Shack) cable. Nuvi will run for an unknown-to-me amount of time on a lithium battery. FM broadcast is through Nuvi's 12-volt adapter cable as a transmit antenna, therefore likely required for the FM feature. When cable powered, Nuvi shuts off with ignition after a 30 second warning that offers the option to stay on with battery power. Nuvi also has a security lock feature that I have not used, yet. When away from home, a 4-digit code would be required to activate the GPS. When at home, Nuvi knows it and bypasses the code requirement. If the unit were to be stolen with this feature in use, the ONLY known way it can be unlocked is by sending it to Garmin. If you have registered your Nuvi, Garmin will know it's a stolen unit.
You can touch the screen on an IDENTIFIABLE point to make an unplanned route change as a new destination or 'via' stop. Gadget geeks may like the MSN traffic, weather, gas-station, 'points of interest' features but I cannot conceive how that can be made to work well as some reviewers opine. Some things still require judgement and brain power.
I don't think it is reasonable to expect any GPS to tell YOU where an unplanned destination can be found and always be accurate. Download Garmin's map updates timely, plan the trip with STREET ADDRESSES in hand and Nuvi WILL confidently guide you right to it. Does it ALWAYS choose right? Not for me. Nuvi wanted to take us down Georgia's I-95 for the last leg home. With on-going (decades) worth of construction amidst very heavy traffic with copious numbers of semis squeezing through narrowed lanes, it is an inordinately DANGEROUS highway which, despite MSN, Nuvi can't judge. Local knowledge prevails. What is marvelous is how quickly Nuvi detects the detour and recalculates the route (a whopping 3-minute difference). When it does detect a 'wrong' turn, it may first try to get you back on the original route. If you purposely miss the second turn, Nuvi gets the idea.
With a Nuvi 680 on board, you can put your road maps in the trunk for emergency use and let Nuvi guide you while entertaining with your favorite music or audio books in the bargain. And if you are a true road warrior that cannot stand to be disconnected from the world with one of those goofy things sticking in the ear ... well, you get your wish, too.
I suppose states that have banned windshield mounts can make the case that a driver may look too much at the GPS, despite a view into the hood, and not enough at the road. I make the case that it is far more dangerous to mount it away from the windshield, forcing one to fully look away from the road. Nuvi's verbal instructions are usually adequate and good judgment dictates looking only when necessary. Display brightness is plenty adequate day and night and fully adjustable. If you need to make ANY meaningful setting change, the socially responsible way to do it is by pulling off the road, first. If you try to do it while driving you ARE being IRRESPONSIBLE and become a danger to everyone else. It is NOT possible to do this, responsibly, while driving. Yet another of our local citizens lost their life in a head-on collision talking on a cellphone with a laptop computer running in the passenger seat. Give me a break!! The worse news is that the driver of the car he hit is also paying the price for this stupidity with a very lengthy and painful hospital stay. No one has this 'right' on public highways.
Well! In the end, I did manage to 'kidnap' a beautiful doll in Atlanta and take her home ... the voice of the lady whom is now known as 'Miss Nuvi'. I shall hold her for a ransom none can pay, such is the beauty of her intellect. Indeed, the charm of Miss Nuvi's excellent features are such that I don't think it's practical to consider buying a car with a built-in unit. Why do that, when the Garmin Nuvi can be transplanted to any car any time. ...more info
- Best Yet
Ordered a Magellen and was totally disapointed. It would not work off of adaptors that came with it. Had to keep recharging the battery to use it. Battery got low, it would not work until it was charged back up. Called their Tech surpport and got someone in India that only understood part of what I was saying. Sent it back and ordered the Garmin 680. It is great. It was easy to learn and I've had no problems with it. Called Garmin for info before I ordered and got a person in the USA not India. She was able to answer all of my ?'s and assured me that they will support my 680 even when it is discontinued (Magellen does not, IE: my old 760). Keep it up Garmin and I will buy your products again when we update our 680....more info
- Software interface needs more work
Bottom Line: GUI needs a lot of work. [...]
Garmin nuvi 680 is a good piece of hardware, but the software needs work. Below is a set of key features that I've grown to rely on in other GPS devices, but the nuvi 680 is lacking. The list is in no particular order:
o. Compass and direction of the destination (or next waypoint) on the main page
o. Indicator to show if the next turn is on the right or the left. The user can work this out by clicking a button or two but its important for it to be part of the screen so that the driver knows what lane to take as they approach the turn, without having to fiddle with the GPS.
o. Distinguish between planned route ahead and what has already been covered. So the driver can see where they've been and where they need to go. Different color path perhaps. This becomes important on a multi waypoint route, where routes can overlap each other.
o. Split screen with a map to clarify the next turn automatically. Again the user can get this to show with a button press or two, but its important for this screen to come up automatically as you approach the turn, especially when there are several turns in succession on a fast moving road, e.g. road splitting almost immediately after the exit from the highway.
o. Mileage and elapsed time since start of journey and the current estimates of mileage and time to the destination. At present the user only sees the estimated time of arrival.
o. Ability to search a list when entering the address. This is important for those of us bad at spelling!
o. Itinerary management. List of all waypoints as well as the destination and ability to manipulate the list. I really miss this ability.
o. More control on the Detour functionality
On the good side I find the nuvi 680 is pleasantly accurate on the time of arrival. I dont use the mp3, photo viewer or the travel kit functionality and dont really expect these to be a part of GPS device.
- GPS Navigator
This product is fantastic. It performs and them some and I have to say, is fun to play with because of all the extras, music and books, languages, etc. Great product. Easy to set up and easy to use. Very user friendly...more info
- My 3rd Garmin in a month, and I'm still missing that Nuvi 650
I recently received a 650 as a gift. It was a beautiful device. I then decided to get more bells and whistles and got a nuvi 750. Big mistake. The 750 was buggy so I returned it, too many updates to it, etc. POI's were missing. I then decided to return the 650 and get my wife and myself the Nuvi 680. It's has the same beautiful screen as the 650, all the POI names show up, parks, golf courses etc. However, the 680 bluetooth for some reason is not compatible with the bluetooth on my Treo 755p (Sprint). I did get it to work but it freezes my phone the first 2 attempts, then works on the 3rd attempt. My wife has a Blackberry Pearl-8100, from t-mobile, which is on the compatibility list but the Nuvi 680 never finds it or recognizes it at all, go figure. The phone that shouldn't work now does, the phone that should work never has. MSN Direct is typical Microsoft bloatware and undelivered promises. It takes days to receive any data, then looses it if you turn your 680 off for 2 days or more. Microsoft hasn't done anything right since Office '03 or XP. They are all talk and don't really deliver much of anything. MSN Direct gives me movie times for Oakland and SF, 45 miles away, but has never found the AMC-15 exactly 1 mile from my house! Explain that. Gas prices usually show up with no gas station name and no address. Very useful. Traffic reporting is another joke, I won't even get into that. It does give weather info, but I could get that every 12 minutes on my local AM CBS news station. I'm giving it 4 stars only because I love the screen, the color and sharpness of the text and the great job it does as a GPS unit, displaying POI names, etc. It's a great GPS but does everything else rather poorly, and MSN Direct is not free forever after the free trial. I should have stuck with the nice, simple Nuvi 650. Get one at the big box store online while you still can for $299. I got the 680 in their store for $399, it was recently $479 (and still is online). If I weren't so tired returning and buying these things I would just go back to the Nuvi 650. It doesn't require any updates and works great. Also, remember this. I have found that with the bluetooth feature, as simple as bluetooth should be, still continues to be a pain, either crashing my phone or not finding another phone at all. These companies sometimes offer more than they can realistically deliver, but overall the 680 is a nice machine that would be better if it were not for the bluetooth problems and the MSN Direct. I should have known to stay away from anything that Microsoft was involved in. If you want a GPS device without too many gimmicks get the Nuvi 650, or a 6XX series without the MP3 player.
After using a couple of months, I found a new problem. When using the bluetooth feature with my Palm Treo phone, I notice old address book data on my Nuvi. It's like it brings in the very first address book it ever synced with my phone. I have deleted numbers, corrected typos on my phone, but the Nuvi 680 still shows the old data and numbers. I called Garmin and they say it's coming from my phone, but it's not possible because I completely erased everything on my phone (phone software update). I believe the Garmin has a hidden file somewhere that stores phonebook data and it is not updating. My phone had a major firmware update that wiped out everything, so how did the Garmin find an address book that was wiped clean from my cell phone?...more info
- So So Item.. a New Yorker review!
I got the NUVI 680 after reading many reviews both on here and at other sites. Not all of them were on the money, and while I did not have to purchase this unit as I got it by using reward points, I would have returned it had I paid for it.
First of all.. it does what is was built to. Get's you to were you're going if you DO NOT know the way. That being said, it leaves alot to be desired.
I got this unit because I live in Queens NYC and have to get to Newark airport and back a few times a week. I know how to get there without the unit, but figured that with the Traffic alerts, it would save me time. Plus, figured it would show me shortcuts within manhattan.
I was wrong!
First, no matter what time of day, the unit will show 18 miles distance and about 30 mins drive! The only way it could be 30 mins would be between 11pm and 5 am. This unit told me 30 mins drive when I left my place at 4pm on a Wed. Needless to say, it took 0ver an hour and 15 mins. It seems that the unit doesn't figure in different times of day and traffic conditions that should exsist.
Next, the unit will have me drive through side streets when I could go back one block to get on a highway. Seems it figures that going backwards adds to a trip so it doesn't do that. Instead, it will have me drive via a route that has 10 to 15 lights instead of getting me on to a highway earlier.
Something else that has happened numerous times is that I get the icon that shows Weather on the screen, but when I touch it, it says there is no information!
I have downloaded speedtraps and red ligh camera's from a POI site but not sure if it's in my 680. It's not user friendly when it comes to this.
As stated earlier.. if you don't know where you are going, this is a cool unit. I have not used the bluetooth yet, though tried to download some songs from my Itunes and real audio and they don't work! Guess the only way to hear mp3's is if you actually own the cd and transfer the songs that way.
The audio is loud enough, and haven't used the FM transmitter.
Hope this helps. My advice would be to actually buy two or three models and keep the one that works for you. My friend got a Tom Tom and loves it. Wish I had tried that out before choosing this model but then again, basically got this unit for free!...more info
- great product
We took this GPS to Hawaii and it exceeded our expectations. We entered our destination addresses, and it guided us there with voice prompts that were timely and clear. It lets you know how far you will be going on a given road, which direction you'll go when you do turn, and it tells you when the turn is coming up. It also tells again to turn when you come to the intersection. It tells you the name of the street you are turning on, too. It also gives you them in writing at the top of the screen. This is all particularly helpful when the street names are unusual and many are similar to each other (as the Hawaiian ones are to me). At night it is not always possible to read street signs, and the GPS is helpful here because it lets you know you are approaching your street when you are. The map also gives you a pretty good picture of the roads, so you know how sharp a turn is, etc. This can be especially useful on winding roads.
If you don't follow its instructions, it is quite prompt in recalculating and telling you how to get back on track.
It was also very helpful for finding restaurants and shopping.
We haven't used the MSN much yet, as Hawaii didn't have coverage where we were (Honolulu does though). In covered areas, it seems to work fine (though I have yet to be in an area that has traffic reports).
Before I got the device, I was not sure if it was Macintosh compatible; it is. Also, the product info I saw didn't tell me you can set it to pedestrian mode, but you can. I'm not sure how much difference it makes, but we tried it off road, and it seemed to work. ...more info
- Nice travel companion
The Garmin 680 has proven an excellent navigation tool. I am in the business of field sales and the 680 has found every location I have thrown at it. The bonus, contrary to expectations of poor performance, has been using the 680 as a hands free phone interface via bluetooth. I have the 680 paired with a Blackberry Curve phone and the handsfree, contact lookup and voice dial features on the phone are nicely integrated into the 680 user interface. I have yet to get a complaint about the sound quality from anyone on the other end of the phone when using the 680 handsfree feature. On occassion, I have to reset the 680 to see the phone once I have left the car and returned.
I have a Toyota Prius with a line-in jack to the car stereo. Using the line-in feature for the sound output of the 680 has produced excellent audio quality for both phone and MP3s played from the 680. Surpisingly, the audio quality of the 680 is every bit as good as my iPod nano. The auto mute for phone is very convenient. Even when blasting music, the 680 will mute the music to provide you navigation voice prompts.
The MSN feature is a nice novelty but not something I have found useful for real life driving and navigation. I did download red light and speeding camera POIs which have proven useful. When approaching a signal with red light cameras, the unit beeps and the screen displays a red alert dialog box.
All in all, I am pleased and recommend the 680 for those that can take advantage of the feature set. ...more info
- Great tools
Can't wait for my first big trip. Works great and is even helpful around here....more info
- Great GPS! Well worth the price.
Accurate and easy to use. It also had more functions than advertized. You won't be disapointed....more info
- Best GPS out there
This Garmin is probably the best GPS out there money can buy. Easy to use, the buttons on the touch screen are large enough that even big fingers like my own can accurately enter information. My second Garmin Nuvi, I would buy it again if my new car didn't have GPS built in- but still great to take with you on vacation. ...more info
- Helpful but not without its quirks
I bought the Garmin 680 because to save time -- time lost when finding a location and time lost when rotting in traffic. The other features are more like a bonus to me. The 680 is excellent at navigation and its screen is super bright and readable even in the Arizona sun. The screen also responds well to my touch, to my surprise. The voice prompts are nice as well as are many of the configurable navigation options.
Now for the bad. I am most frustrated with the MSN Direct part. It's more of an after thought than a smoothly integrated feature. The problems with the MSN Direct feature are well documented:
- Requires the FM Adapter so you can only use it in the car
- Data updates (especially traffic) can take up to 10 minutes or more. Keep in mind when you start the car that you have no traffic data, so by time you hit the freeway, you may not have the data.
- The MSN Direct overlay icons are small and unclear.
- The MSN Direct info only overlays on the lame map instead of the primary map.
- The Garmin routing algorithm does not factor in traffic when routing an optimal route. (Note it does factor in road closures.)
I really need that traffic data since there are multiple routes in Phoenix area. When the traffic data is there, it has been pretty accurate thankfully. The good news is that about 90% of the time that I need traffic data, it is there.
As for the gas data, some people argued that this data pays for the MSN Direct subscription so it is worth it. Bah! My observations is that the cheapest gasolines stations consistently remain as the cheapest gas stations. And when you can find a cheaper one, it is out of the way not worth the time to get to it. If you can afford the price for this unit, then you are probably more interested in saving time and not saving $0.04 a gallon by driving 10 minutes out of the way.
I'd really like to see Garmin pipe the traffic, gas, etc. data over satellite or cellular instead of FM. Anyway, I doubt I'll renew my MSN Direct unless they give me a nice deal.
A few other complaints... If you load up a fast memory card (2Gigs) with MP3s, this unit takes a super long time to show you the initial map. Why wouldn't Garmin give priority to the navigation and then worry about MP3s afterwards? The points of interest as also missing a lot of established businesses. I'd also like to see a better pedestrian mode such as showing a trail that you walked (great for returning from a hike).
In the end, for automobile navigation, the Garmin is a great product. They need to think through some of their little features and also figure out how to better integrate real-time data like traffic however. With rumors of Apple thinking of adding navigation to the iPhone, Garmin needs to step it up and offer Apple-like usability in all areas or they are going to get smoked.
- High hopes, mediocre results...
I've been using gps since 2003 when I purchased my first Garmin unit, the GPS V. It was limited in memory and the serial cable was tedious for downloads. Then I wait listed for the Streetpilot 2610. It was expensive but wow what a great GPS. It was big and bulky but had loads of features, more then I could ever use. Some of my favorite features included preference choices, you could rank Major Highways, Secondary road and local roads to avoid the types of roads you didn't want to travel. I travel frequently and travel long distances for play, I race motorcycles and the local track is 300 miles away, second closest is 500 miles and I travel as many as 1100 miles each way. I liked that when spelling out a name of a hotel or restaurant the unit would search for the closest location first and then continue to find further away places. I liked the ability to create a route and loved the ability to map out routes on the computer and make changes and download the routes to the unit.
The size of the Nuvi and MSN direct were enough to get me moved over to the 680 unit and I was very excited, I contacted MSN direct to ensure my area was covered by their service. I assumed based on the price I would be gaining all these great features and not be giving up the features I had come to love.(I received one of the first units well before any reviews had been written)
Upon receiving the unit I quickly realized many of the features I came to love were GONE and many of the new features did not work or work well and the worst thing was most of the mapping preferences had been removed and last there wasn't any computer routing capabilities, well there wasn't any routing ability at all.
MSN Direct- even though I'm in a covered area in Northern New Jersey, it does not get coverage most of the time. I drive to NYC every day and I do get coverage when I get a mile of two from the city, WAY WAY too late to help me. DOESN'T WORK
Bluetooth - No friends or workers will allow me to talk to them on the speaker phone because the quality is so bad. USELESS
FM Modulator - I use a Sat radio so this feature does not work.
So now most of the new features either don't work or don't work due to my setup. That is OK because as long as the unit works better at generating directions, I'm fine with MSN being a work in progress.
Interface is extremely easy to use, I'll say that but it has been dummy'ed down so much that many of the great features I had grown to love on my 2610 are not present on the 680.
Shortest time works OK on short distance travel but on long distance travel the mapping is a joke. The unit is constantly trying to take you off major highways for secondary roads and local roads. Most of the secondary roads are infested with traffic lights or take you through the heart of a city where traffic and stop signs are found all over the place. I rarely if ever make my destination anywhere close to the ETA shown in the begining of the trip, even when speeding and not hitting traffic.
Road preferences that were present on the 2610 are GONE
Computer program for designing directions - GONE
These critical key features missing on the 680 are a huge disappointment. Garmin service has been fantastic and have agreed to take back the unit. I'm upgrading to a Magellan Maestro 3250 unit. This unit has the ability to choose multi mapping settings, routing, tap on a road to avoid the road and is smaller then the Nuvi. Hoping this will be the unit for me.
- Thank You Santa!!
I just received the nuvi this christmas, and I LOVE it! [The first 2 reviews are very detailed and described everything well.]
The bluetooth connection allows for a clear connection when talking on the phone. MSN direct is a great plus! I activated the first free year immediately. The nuvi 680 is a very very easy GPS, user friendly, bright, light and slim too. I appreciate the slimnest and the leather case that came with it, so that you take it out of the car. This is my first GPS and I did not have to use the manual other than to change the voice (could have find it without it but was eager to put a male voice instead of the standard female voice). I set up everything w/ the touch screen buttons - marvelous. Buy it and enjoy!...more info
Love it. The MSN gas prices do not include Arco gas stations which are usually the cheapest in the San Diego area. They seem to have only certain stations that must pay MSN to be included. This is the only disapointment. ...more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680
I purchased this Garmin Nuvi 680 about a month ago. I've been using it almost everyday going to and from work. It has shown me many alternate routes at different points in my trip to and from work (80 miles roundtrip) that I didn't even know existed. The directions have been perfect, and when they say you can use it straight out of the box they weren't kidding. I ran across some backed up traffic due to an accident and simply turned off to a different street and the Garmin lead me around the accident and recalculated my trip so that I didn't have to spend 20 to 30 minutes waiting to pass the accident site. The MSN direct function for finding the cheapest gas in the area is a plus, as is the weather alerts. I could personally do without the area movie listings an theatres, but I could see how it could be a plus as well. The only problem I have with the MSN Direct is that it takes a while to load and you lose some of the information when you disconnect it. The only problem I've found is that the suction cup mount (to the dash or window) isn't always effective. Nothing worse than driving and having it fall down by your feet. However, there are alternate mounts to buy or you can have it in the seat next to you. I personally plan to attach some industrial strength velcro to the mount and no longer worry about that problem. I would definitely highly recommend this device. Another outstanding plus is the abilitly to download audio books from audible.com. If you have a long commute, this definitely aids in making the trip seem to go buy that much quicker....more info
- Great GPS Device
This is really an excellent GPS unit. It picks up the satellites within seconds and its navigation is generally always correct. My only complaint is with the MSN traffic and weather add-on. They are both pretty worthless. Everytime it has predicted traffic slowdowns, no slowdowns existed while I've been stuck in traffic elsewhere on the freeway and, of course, the unit did not pick that up. The weather is also unreliable. Two days in a row under cloudless blue skies the "current weather" said it was raining. The MSN traffic/weather feature is not particularly reliable. It appears that MSN still a lot of work to do....more info
- Awesome GPS at fantastic price through Costco
I was planning to get Garmin GPS for quite a while, but didn't feel urgency to do so. In the middle of December I noticed that Sharper Image runs special promotion $449.95 for Garmin Nuvi 750. Research revealed that 750 model doesn't have Bluetooth. Comparison through Garmin.com shows that 680 is probably the best model for USA. "The COOLEST Gadget".
I got ready to order 680 model through Amazon for the best Internet price of $555, but luckily went to the local COSTCO store. Believe it or not, it was there for $479.99.
I have played with it for only a few hours, but so far it is great. The only disappointment is that GPS didn't transfer Phone Book from our two cell phones PPC-6700 and HTC Touch. Otherwise it seems to be very easy to use and really helpful....more info
- An excellent device!!
I bought the Nuvi 680 after first trying the Nuvi 660 for about a week. While I loved the 660 as well, I decided I would actually really appreciate the MSN features that the 680 has to offer.
I was immediately impressed with the many features of the Nuvi 680. The speaker was loud and clear, and seemed louder than the Nuvi 660. Directions were easy to understand, and I love how the screen adjusts according to the time of day. The MSN features were as I had expected and hoped. It gave an excellent overview of movies in my area, starting times, etc. Gas prices were clearly marked if they were from that same day or one or 2 days old (though I would say about 95% of them were prices from that same day, some were indeed one or two days old and had not been updated). MSN traffic was also fairly accurate, and as accurate as the updates I received from the transmitter on the 660. It does an excellent job of re-routing you around problem areas and of recalculating if you choose not to take that option.
All in all I would highly recommend the Garmin Nuvi 680. In my opinion it has the best of 2 worlds. It includes MSN but you have the option of adding the FM TMC traffic receiver if for some reason your travels take you to an area that is not covered by MSN....more info
- One of the best!
I bought this product 4 weeks ago and love it! It is a very capable GPS unit with all the features one could ask for in a stylish package.
-Compact, attractive design
-Efficient routing engine
-MP3 player with integrated FM transmitter is great
-Long battery life
-MSN Direct traffic steers you clear of accidents
-FM transmitter does not work well in my area (central NJ)
-MSN direct coverage spotty
-Bluetooth phone does not sound good
-No playlist creation in MP3 player
-Only allows 2 destinations in a route
This is one of the best GPS units out there. It looks great and has pretty much all the features that are offered. The FM transmitter makes listening to MP3s great and pauses for turn-by-turn directions. However, in several vehicles I had trouble getting the signal to come in strongly. It seems to work best with front-mounted antennas. The directions were always accurate and got me where I was going quickly. The MSN direct feature with weather, gas prices, and traffic is cool but I didn't get a very strong signal in most of the places I traveled. I hope this network is growing and service will improve. The The screen is big and bright and quick to respond to each touch. Overall, this is a great unit offering all the bells and whistles but a little pricey. I was really looking forward to using this as a handsfree phone in my car but the poor sound quality has generated many complaints from the people I have been talking to so I have stopped using it for that.
- How did we ever live without it?
This is a fantastic product. We have used it in multiple parts of the country and there is simply no better way to navigate unknown places. You can tell it where to go or you can search for a restaurant by name or type of food. My only complaint is the MSN service-- I am no convinced it is all it is cracked up to be. The accident notices are delayed, so you really can't avoid a traffic delays early, but it can't be perfect! It takes a while for it to download current data if you haven't used it in a while. Other than that-- it is a wonderful addition to our travels. Minor other issues: sometimes it cannot decide what to call an exit with two names (i.e., exit off one interstate to another interstate North/South-- it will randomly chose one then instruct you to take whichever one you need once it forks again), sometimes the route choice is not the best. Nice loud voice and clear instructions. Warns you nearly always (yes, every now and then it forget to say turn in 300 feet or whatever) BEFORE a turn. Recalculates quickly if you miss a turn. Saves recently found places as well as home address. Has a PIN option to keep it locked as a theft deterrent. We recently moved from Boston to California-- it was a godsend during that nightmare move. We would have never found a couple of our hotels without it. I would not give this little device up for anything in the world. Switches to night mode to reduce the light at night but still very clear, easy to see screen. Great verbal instructions so you don't always have to look at the map. Four stars because it is not perfect-- but I think it is the best GPS device made right now! Definitely buy it....more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680--why did I wait?
This is a great GPS. It has made my life so much easier I wish I had one earlier. It can find anything I'm looking for, has never led me astray. The only problem is the MSN connector seems to be a flawed design and breaks easily. I hope Garmin is redesigning it so a replacement will be available soon. ...more info
- Who wants these pricey options ??
I looked at all the Nuvi models. Unless you love gadgets and can deal with complicated add-ons there is no reason to buy anything more expensive than the Nuvi 650. No blue tooth, no crappy MSN and no FM radio (how stupid).
The 650's processor, GPS receiver, screen, case & battery are IDENTICALL to all of the more expensive Nuvi 6XX series.
Hey I love gadgets folks but we are not helping the people who read these reviews for some common sense answers to basic questions if we do not point out which models for basic functionality.
Originally I even questioned the larger 4.2" screen - Why?: because you should not be looking at the damn thing when your're driving. Set your destination before you start and just listen to the excellent voice instructions.
For those who just want a very good GPS navigator spend no more than what the 650 costs.
PS: I thought everyone already had a bluetooth headset for the cell phone?Garmin nÃ¼vi 650 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator ...more info
- go for nuvi 660
found good review from everyone and i ended up in getting myself in trouble. msn traffic was not working, accuracy of the points is less than the average...more info
- not what I expected
After purchasing this unit I took several trips trying to use the GPS to guide me. I will never buy another Garmin unit. For most of my trips, I wouldn't have been able to get there using only my Nuvi. There were several streets that the Nuvi couldn't find, streets that were there for decades. For example it was a nightmare trying to guess the Garmin abreviation for County Trunk V. I tried Cty V, Cty Trk V, V, etc. Luckily it was a location I have been to so I was able to drive there without directions. Once I arrived, the street did show up on the map as County Trk V. I constantly have problems in MI with the mile roads, for example trying to enter 6 1/2 mile road etc. I can never figure out the specific spelling or punctuation of a road. Sometimes I had to zoom to it on the map and then tell it to go there--this only works if you already know where you are going and then why would you want a GPS? I found the traffic/weather updates only worked in downtown Chicago, no other place in a 200 mile radius had signal. Another thing that bothered me is the directions along a US highway I was told to take an exit and follow a county highway that weaved through towns and then get back on the original US highway 40 miles later. On the way home it saved me 20 minutes to ignore the Nuvi and just stay on the US highway! ...more info
- Garmin nuvi 680
Garmin nÃ¼vi 680 Travel Assistant
Great value for the money. Performas better than expected...more info
- GPS Super Great, MSN Not So Great!
I'm very happy with my Garmin Nuvi EXCEPT for the MSN part. (After countless phone calls & updated downloads, I've only gotten MSN Direct to work ONCE. Whenever I click on the MSN icon it says that I haven't activated my membership yet. To bad I already paid for that 1 1/2 year membership like the moment I got it. Oh well, it might be because I live in such a small city... LOS ANGELES!?) But I digress; The Nuvi (sans MSN) is great. I've taken it all over the East Coast & it was invaluable! The size is perfect, & even the pedestrian mode works like a charm. I'm going to buy one for my mom this Christmas. The 660 that is.
I also got the air-conditioning car vent mount off Amazon & I highly recommend it. It works perfect. You just close off the airflow in whatever vent you want to mount it on, then just pop in the prongs & holder into the vent & you are good to go. It's super ease to pop the unit in & out of the holder as well, all the while keeping the mount plugged in. It really couldn't be easier & I think it's a lot cleaner looking than having it mounted on the dash. I have an Infinity G35 & it seems as if it was made for my car. ...more info
- nuvi 680 is tops
I agree with previous reviews. 680 easy to use. accurate. Lots of bells and whistles. MSN Direct..ho hum... not all it is cracked up to be. Maybe new features if added before my one year anniversary will convince me to buy second year service. At this point I see little use except for weather forecast.
I used it on a trip to Boston and when we left it took us North with no problems at all. In fact it was a breeze. That is saying a lot because Boston traffic and streets are a real maze.
I would buy the 660 if I had my experience now. It has blue tooth and travel functions just no MSN Direct. No loss. Save the $75.00 or so. But Garmin did a great job of making things easy to use....more info
- Garmin nuvi 680 Travel Assistant
Garmin nuvi 680 Travek assistant, We just had it installed in the car, with blue tooth for as many phones, works great, traffic works great, gas prices, everything you want to know at your fingertips, really love it....more info
- Maps not as good as IQUE3600
Since Garmin is known for its mapping, I thought the nuvi680 would have the same if not better mapping features as my IQUE3600. Wrong! The surrounding street names on the map are not populated until you get off the route you're on and start driving on a different road. That's not the case if you've selected a route to a destination, then that route has the various street names you'll be traveling on. I would think that Garmin would have built on the previous technology and added that to the nuvi series. I tried taking the SD card from my IQUE and placing it in the nuvi, but the nuvi could not open the maps installed on the card. This is something I think Garmin could correct very easily. Other than this mapping problem, as a PDA the nuvi680 has some interesting features. I do like the Bluetooth capability and locating restaurants near your location as well. Although, some updating needs to done in that area too. Some restaurants in my area that have been out of business for the past 6 years are still named in the nuvi directory.
So, I have mixed thoughts on the nuvi. The color of the screen is much improved and much easier to see in the daylight, the directions using street names is a plus and capturing satellites is much quicker. It's just the mapping that I don't like. ...more info
- Travel with the nuvi 680
Garmin nÃ¼vi 680 Travel Assistant
Used it several times. Once from Buffalo NY to Pontiac MI.
It functioned as expected except for one little glitch - on the way from MI to home, it decided to get off the main track. after stopping at a familiar place near home, I reinserted home & it got back on track. Other than that it functioned to expectations....more info
- Senior Citizens and We love it...
It's so easy to use that even my blonde wife can use it (her statement). My wife isn't really that blonde, but she finds the 680 much easier to use than the GPS V, and far easier to see. The ability to find POI along your current route really comes in handy. I also like the way it restarts after a stop. We are also finding the mp3 player handy to listen to prerecorded radio shows, and it automatically pauses while the GPS provides verbal directions. If you Pause the mp3 player before stopping the GPS it will be waiting to start again where it left off. All of the functions have been intuitively obvious, with the exception of miles to destination. My GPS V always displayed Miles to Destination on the main screen. I had to ask Garmin Support how to find it on the 680 - Hint: Green bar at top, List of turns, go to Bottom turn, Double Click and the Miles to that point are displayed.
The MSN Direct seems to work very well also. Wish it covered the entire USA and ALL construction. The GPS automatically routed us around a construction area in our home town, but at the same time kept directing us to use a major neighborhood street that had been closed for two months for widening. While traveling through Indianapolis it told us about delays along our route. Going South, a 5 minute delay 30 miles ahead. It cleared before we got to it. Going North a 1 minute delay that also clear before we got to it. The GPS also has displayed "Severe Weather" warnings on two different occasions. A lightning bolt in a circle appeared on the main screen, when touched a display describing the event came up. I didn't know if that is another part of the MSN Direct, but I like it.
Closing comment from his wife. We were traveling along the highway when I spotted a billboard advertising a candle company outlet. I didn't have time to make note of the location, so pulled up shopping, specialty stores and there it was less than two miles for our current location. Ladies, this feature alone increased the value of his new toy. Plus the fact he no longer threatens to send me away for an 18-month map reading program! :-) ...more info
- Good GPS Unit, needs some polishing
Like many other people reviewing this unit, I thought that this is the best GPS unit out there. Now don't get me wrong, this is a very good GPS unit and works well, but there are a few features that could use a bit of polishing.
As a car unit, this GPS works well. The screen is wide and has a decent resolution and contrast levels. This makes it easy to read at most times while driving. The touch screen also works well; it is not calibrated so sensitively so that the slightest brush would invoke a menu, nor is it calibrated so that you need to poke a hole through the screen to get it to work. The menu options are laid out quite well, once you get the hang where certain options are located. Most of the time when entering in information about where to go to, the nuvi will only need a few letters to figure out where you're going. However there is one caveat during this process. The nuvi has the ability to search its database according to the whole name or parts of the keywords. This process while nice, doesn't always work when you're beyond a certain range. For example, in New York City while mapping a route to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and History, the nuvi could not locate the museum. I entered in Metropolitan Museum thinking that it would find it, the nuvi did not. When I reduced the keywords to museum, it still did not find it. Only when I entered the entire name did it find the museum. Later on when I was within 15 miles of the museum, I did a search for the museum again, this time it found it quickly. Strange if you ask me.
Although the nuvi seems like a portable unit that can be used in the car or in your pocket, it's more at home in the car. The unit, far from being big, isn't all that small either. It also isn't heavy, lighter than my cell phone. However it definitely will not fit in your shirt or pant pocket and activating the GPS receiver requires you to flip up the antenna. While not a bother to flip up the receiver, it adds extra dimensions to the unit. In addition, sometimes it takes a while for the receiver to lock on to the satellites. In Atlanta, the GPS unit works fine, picking up the satellites within a minute or less. In places like New York City, more often than not I could not acquire a satellite lock. The average time it took to lock on to a satellite was 5 minutes or longer. While 5 minutes might not be much sitting in a Starbucks, it is an eternity when you're lost. Sometimes on the highway, especially on the New Jersey Turnpike, the unit said to turn left or right, even though the road is straight with no exits. This probably has more to do with the maps loaded in the unit rather than the unit itself.
So it seems like I'm ripping the nuvi for its shortcomings, but there are good points to it too. When you miss a turn or go the wrong way, the unit will quickly recalculate your next route. The mp3 player functionality is an added extra, however this drains the already short battery life. The photo album is more of a gimmick, but if you're traveling around and want to show people pictures, this definitely helps to reduce extra electronics that you would need to carry on. As an all in one travel assistant, the nuvi probably succeeds in being a good GPS unit. Being the best of the GPS units leaves much to be desired. The 2-D maps can be interacted with, allowing you to drag the map to a certain location. So there are a few good points about this unit. It is a very good unit, but if you're looking for a personal GPS unit that you would carry in your pocket and expect a fast response time to lock on to the satellites, look somewhere else. ...more info
- Navigation unit fine - let down by Microsoft
The unit is very easy to get to grips with and the routing system seems to be pretty well optimized. It also plays nice with my iPhone as a bluetooth handsfree unit. The only gripe I have about it is the speaker is not very good compaired to the TomTom Go unit I previously owned.
However the MSN traffic system is useless. Although I live in the coverage area, and my place of work is pretty much in the centre of the coverage area, the MSN unit refuses to pick up any information unless I unplug it and pass it up and over the top of the passenger seat, which is impractical as best, seeing as how it also doubles up as the Nuvi's power cord & charger..
If you want a Garmin unit, i suggest buying the Nuvi 650, or perhaps the 660 / 670 with the FM traffic option. They are pretty much the same hardware as the 680, but without the MSN headache. I would give the unit 5 stars, but the MSN thing drags it down to 3....more info
- Great travel assistant
This portable GPS is very intuitive, quick and easy to use. After some experience with several Pocket PC based GPS programs, a few portable units, and OEM installed car navigations the Garmin 680 is the easiest to use.
The screen is bright enough to see in bright sunlight and changes automatically to night mode (if option is selected) but you will most likely have to manually darken the screen some more if traveling in dark areas without street lights. The traffic delay information is hard to read and I don't think very useful. Perhaps if you pull over, stop and study the map with the red slow down areas you might be able to select an alternate route. It is not obvious at a glance if it even covers the road and direction you are traveling. The shopping and restaurant guides work great if you are very close to the area you want to find them. Looking for a restaurant fifty miles ahead in a different city was not easy (unless there is some function on the unit that is buried in the options). If you have more than two places to go this Garmin can't create the most efficient route for you.
The first two weeks I had the unit I used it in Hawaii, the West Coast, and Maryland and never had to refer to a paper map. There was only one spot near the Baltimore airport where I missed a turn because the instuctions from the Garmin were a little confusing. A word of caution, it is very easy to get so dependent on the Garmin that you can't make it to your local grocery store without it....more info
- Far from perfect...
If you've never owned a mobile GPS before, this unit may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Granted, it does have lots of nice NON-GPS related features (like MP3 or photo album), but after having owned a Street Pilot III, and several handheld GPS units, I find the Nuvi 680 quite lacking in good old-fashioned GPS functionality.
Let me explain.
I do use it in my car, but many times drag out the older Street Pilot, which does a far better job, especially when I need to track my route. There are no tracking features in the Nuvi, so I can't hook it up to my PC after a vacation and see where I've been.
I also can't upload any routes to the NUVI. I do a lot of geocaching, and plan my routes ahead of time. Instead of just punching in the route and telling it to go, I have to look up the next POI (point of interest) and send it there. Then look up the next one, and so on. Quite cumbersome.
Speaking of waypoints, they can be loaded from the PC in 2 different ways, to 2 different locations. One is by using the "POI Loader" program provided free of charge via a Garmin download. This is the best way, but has one major drawback - you can't see the POI's on the screen until you search for one, then go to it. To access these waypoints, go to "Extras", then to "Custom POIs". The POI loader will delete all your old POIs before installing new ones.
The other way is to download directly from Map Source, Garmin's proprietery mapping program. The nice thing is that you can see these custom locations on the screen. Access is through the "Favorites" button. The downfalls here are that you can only delete one at a time, so if you bring in 300 custom geocaching waypoints, you will have to remove them one at a time... unless you know how to start the unit in Utility mode (press the upper left corner of the screen while turning the unit on). Then the only choice you have is to delete "all" your data, including custom locations, and any other location data you have put in (Fodders), plus many of your other setup choices. So you have to set your choices up all over again. Massive pain!
I do give it 3 stars, though, because of all the other nice features it has. I won't go into detail here because the rest of the reviewers have covered them. Despite it's geocaching and other GPS drawbacks, it is still a good unit for the average driver on the road, and is very easy to use. All in all, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have purchased the Nuvi 680, and would have stayed with my Street Pilot III. ...more info
- Amazing GPS
This is a truly amazing GPS system. It's accurate and fast with calculating and recalculating routes. With all it's ability to give points of interest and the MSN connection for gas prices and weather, it's a must have when traveling. Very easy to use, I highly recommend this unit....more info
- Awesome GPS!!!
This GPS is way above the others but not without its shortcomings still. The MSN live update is why I wanted it but it does so much more!!! The MSN live update does not ALWAYS give you the traffic report but when it does, it can save you tons of time. It is so nice to have the other features too like the picture viewer and language translator. I got it before going to Central Europe and used the Europe maps which did not always have everything I needed, but compared to the GPS that comes with a rent-a-car, it did just as well (my friends in Germany had one). The language translator is great because if you cannot pronounce the phrase or word it will do it for you!!! Used THAT a lot in Germany!! The only place it really did not work that I tried was Norway. It would not list the hotel I was staying in which had been there quite a while. The cards for Europe and Translator are extra but nice options to have. I love it so much and travel with it everywhere. My parents liked it better than their built in models so I got them each one as well as presents!! Really for a GPS it does great and so much more than the average model!! I love mine and will not go anywhere without using it!! (Even around the corner some times!!!So my boyfriend says and it is true ;)!)...more info
- Not quite ready for primetime RV-ing
I used the Garmin Nuvi 680 GPS on a five thousand mile six week RV tour of National Parks in seven states. Bottom line: the Nuvi has room for improvement for RV drivers.
I was frustrated when I tripped over inaccuracies in the Garmin's maps, especially since I had updated the unit just before my trip. I was routed to several businesses that failed over two years ago that are still listed. A couple of RV parks had bad addresses that took me touring the town at the end of a long day. There were a small number of bizarre but obvious misroutings that looked like the old Vermont farmer telling Nuvi that "you can't get there from here", and we drove on 3 or more roads that looked more than a year old which Nuvi didn't know. In general, I estimate that the map database contained an error for every 250-300 miles we travelled. Garmin would do well to have an easier method of reporting these errors to help alleviate user frustration - maybe a "thumbs down" button to tell Garmin/Navteq that there was something wrong: even if users don't have time to detail the error, maybe enough problem reports will help locate inaccuracies and give users some recourse other than getting angry at the GPS.
I wanted the product to be more "RV friendly". Nuvi has several automobile service categories, but I could never figure out how to look for an RV park as easily as I could look for a motel, nor could I find repair shops specializing in RV repairs unless there was "RV" in the name (and Nuvi's search function threw in many red herrings such as names including "seRVice".)
I found a woeful lack of detail in National Parks (e.g. for seasonal services.) There were many roadside attractions missing altogether. Nuvi has a "truck route" navigation preference, but no "scenic route" for those of us willing to drive farther and slower for prettier roads. Altitude information is hard to locate, and slope information doesn't seem to exist (which is important when you're towing a load). I couldn't figure out how to download any routing information to allow the unit to keep track of where I went on my vacation (even the "Recently Found" waypoints would be useful). I wanted search categories for pets/vets, and for "Doc-in-the-box" businesses separated from hospitals.
The MSN Direct coverage is almost useless for the RV kind of cross-country driving we did, and its lack of comprehensive movie theater coverage makes it disappointing for local use as well. I'll be looking for WiFi features in my next GPS. Specifically, I want a WiFi locator that can tell me if I'm in range. And once Nuvi connects to WiFi, it should update information useful to me, such as podcasts and traffic info for my commute.
Most of the user interface is useful and optimized for getting places, but there are numerous rough edges. For example, looking up by address requires spelling out the city each and every time (yuk!) And why can't Nuvi import my address book from my email? The "Nearby" and "Spell" buttons seem to be magically implemented (now you see them, now you don't). Looking up a City doesn't sort the list by closest match, so it can take some time to scroll down and find the one I'm looking for. And you should abandon hope for phonetic spelling: if you can't spell where you want to go, you'll struggle to find it.
The map display needs some attention, especially for the long stretches of cross country travel. With almost nothing else on the screen most of the time, Garmin could do well to tune the route display to be more useful (e.g. next feature plus next town with services). For routing lists, Garmin could also break up the long stretches of interstate highways with intermediate towns (e.g. "100 miles US-15 to Provo UT" might be divided into ""50 miles US-15 to Salt Lake City UT; 50 miles US-15 to Provo UT").
For all these minor weaknesses, the Nuvi product line is solid and easy for auto touring. Garmin simplifies and optimizes the user interface to facilitate getting you wherever you want to go. As of this writing, the Nuvi 680 attempts to be the most comprehensive "Digital Travel Assistant" in the product line, and begs for the kind of enhancements tuned to distance traveling and to be polished to justify the premium price....more info
- Garmin NuVi 680
Overall I was exited to have this gadget. But I didn't have a chance to use it long enough before I replaced my car with a new one which comes with a buil-in GPS. I highly recommend for anyone who dosn't have a GPS. The MSN traffic service is a little tricky...I haven't figured out how the traffic info will impact on the route yet. Again, I think MSN Direct service is great and it will only get better. The weather, the gas prices are very up to date. Hey, GPS - a new necessity....more info
- TRAVEL SMART !!!
This thing makes finding your driving destination IDIOT- proof !!! I will not leave the house without it !...more info
- Never again with Amazon
I have ordered before with amazon with no problems, until now. I ordered the garmin nuvi 680. as i grabbed the box i heard some rattling around inside and noticed that there was no tamper tape on the cover where we open the box. I opened the box and the msn plug for my automobile was broken. "Ok" i thought. i called C.S. and spoke to someone who said "no problem, mail it back and we'll ship a new one." The next day i noticed nothing had been shipped so i called C.S. again, they tell me they don't even know about my call the day before. I realize im talking to someone in the philippines and he sounds like hes talking under water. I immediately say cancel my order i don't want it anymore. Problem solved right?????/ You would think. i come home the next day and notice i have a garmin already being shipped to me so i call C.S. You know what, this isn't worth my time and neither is amazon. good luck to all you people out there and screw you amazon. you deal with Americans and you should have Americans deal with us. screw you ,never again...more info
- Nuvi 680 is nice but Garmin is not
1) Point of interest information (City Navigator North America NT v8 Deluxe) is horribly wrong and out of date.
2) MSN, Bluetooth, and FM modulator functions were not implemented well and are not worth the money.
3) After spending nearly $1000 on their product 6 months ago, Garmin will not provide a free POI update.
- Garmin Nuvi 680 Personal Review
The Nuvi 680 is a great device, surprisingly useful features on the Nuvi 660 platform with the inclusion of the MSN Direct service. Garmin has incorporated these additional features in an easy to use way that does not detract from the overall aesthetics of the operating system.
I have issues with the Bluetooth feature, were it doesn't always notice my cell phone. The MSN direct traffic feature is nice to have, but after the free year is not worth the cost for a membership. Additionally, the MSN function only work when the cable is plugged into the cigarette lighter, why...I have no idea.
- Get There and Back
Great Item..not perfect but as good as you will get so far. Clear simple directings. Bright screen. It's maps will get you through even small towns and out of the way places, with ease. It could use a return feature. I used one to travel around the country and it rarely made a mistake, 'cept in places where the road or entrance had recently been changed and the maps had not caught up. You need to use common sense with any such machine. I also found tech support to be patient and helpful. I recommend this product and just gave one to a buddy for his birthday....more info
- Nuvi 680 GPS the best
I previously owned the Magellan 670 and thought it was good; but in next to the the Garmin Nuvi 680 it is not even close. First the reception on the Nuvi 680 (even w/o an external antenna is great) the Magellan would lose the satalite all the time even with an external antenna. Then the Nuvi tells me of traffic problems ahead of time and the ability to down load books and get weather. The Nuvi 680 is better that the units in the new cars. Garmin 010-00540-25 Nuvi 680 Travel Assistant...more info
- Get the StreetPilot 7200 if you want traffic
My sole reason for this unit was to have good and reliable traffic report system. MSN is not the answer for two reasons - spotty reception in areas I need to travel and really poor coverage of incidents. In the many years I have been an Amazon customer, this is the first item I ever returned. By the way, Amazon makes it easy to return items.
Most important lesson - buy from Amazon.
Then I ordered a StreetPilot 7200 and XM antenna. What a difference. Excellent reception, even with the antenna inside the car! Incident coverage is massive and detailed. Huge improvement over MSN. Best part, the 7200 will also accept an FM antenna.
A bonus is the excellent XM radio interface (radio channels can be subscribed separately from traffic). It is a BIG unit and it may not be right for your car but it is really easy to see while driving. I found I struggled to see the Nuvi screen and information while driving.
Stay away from MSN! Note the newest Garmins do not have MSN!...more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680 ROCKS!
Pros - and lots of them:
Set-up a snap. Tried a TomTom 1st but it froze up from the start. The Nuvi is so easy to use a 'cave-man' could do it! Great display - even in sun. Huge database of points of interest, too! And the MSN Direct for local traffic & weather is great (but only when you're in a major metro area). Updating by computer is also a snap.
Only one I've found is that the 'add-on' Entertainment Guide (x-d card) froze the unit. I had to copy the card contents from my computer card-reader to the Nuvi to use it - but that solved the problem. (However, the Savers Guide saved nothing on our 1st two trips)....more info
- Garmin 680
The product is great overall. Lots of options. MSN Direct needs some improvement. I would buy it again and recommend it to others who looking for a full feature GPS. ...more info
- Nuvi 680 by Garmin
Great GPS unit. Used Quest for a few years. Made the switch and asked myself why not sooner. Drive about 55,000 miles per years. Covers rural areas very well. Would highly recommend this product. Great blue tooth; can play phone and MP3 and audio books through the vehicle speakers. MSN Direct is limited but a valuable tool as well....more info
- Nuvi review
I used this device on a 2500 mi trip right after I got it and really enjoyed it. It did a few odd things (trying to route me onto some backroads off the main road, on a route I knew) for some reason that was unclear, but overall it did the job well. Easy to enter destinations in unfamiliar areas, and it does pretty well at getting you around, though sometimes it seemed to miss the interstate in favor of adjacent streets/roads. It is very easy to use and has a lot of nice features. Recalculates rapidly and updates directions. Display/touch interface are very good. I like how it projects your arrival time -- on a 850 mi 14 hour leg it projected an arrival within 2 minutes of actual arrival, when I first entered the destination!
The traffic update feature worked well, where it worked (a limited number of metro areas), and it works well at home, when I pay attention to it!
Some of the less expensive units probably have many of the same nav features, but I like this one. One feature I would like to see (and it might be there) is a pause feature for when you get off the road to get gas or eat -- that drives it crazy trying to make you get back on the road and it gets kinda annoying listening to it tell you to turn around, etc.
Nice unit, strong recommendation....more info
- Okay but not perfect
Unit can generally give good directions.
Occasionally wants to send you down road that doesn't exist or go through to the street you are on.
Sometimes sends you down county road which parallels state highway only a quarter mile away.
Look-up for lodging/stores is cool.
For basic functionality the TomTom seems to be as good at half the price....more info
- Garmin 680
My Garmin arrived on time and in good condition..there were alot of reviewers that had issues with the MSN Direct and I agree it has some issues. I live in Dallas and just took a trip with it me to Houston where it also worked. Overall, I'm satisfied with it....more info
- A Big Hit and a Little Miss
Purchased in May, 2007, have used the Garmin Nuvi 680 for short and long trips, near home and across the country. It is an expensive, top-of-the-line GPS, but mostly justifies this cost with its slew of helpful features.
The Screen is bright, colorful and crisp. It's large touch screen is easy to view when driving and even automatically switches to display differently for night and day. The touch screen is accurate, though users with big fingers may hit a couple wrong keys on the touch keyboard, especially when the car is moving. Menus are easy to navigate and most items appear in the logical, intuitive place. The included mount works well, but has fallen off a few times. There are many voices to select from and all sound clear and easy to understand. The leather case included is nice for stowing or carrying the GPS without worry of scratching. Overall, very polished product with little oversight.
The Nuvi 680 is loaded with features. Some features are common to most GPS - Points of Interest Database, travel related software tools, multiple stops en route, option to take a detour at any time, preview of route, zooming in/out & changing view of map. I cannot compare to other devices, but these features all work quite well. Though the POI database can be slow to find a particular place by spelling and occasionally a place is found in an incorrect sub-category. Anyway, the main feature that sets this GPS apart is the MSN Direct Service...
MSN Direct - Traffic:
Traffic reporting is the big draw here above other models. However, it can take 15 minutes or longer (around 20-25% of the time not working at all) for the traffic information to update when you plug in the GPS. If you keep in plugged into your car, often your wait time will be less, but you will still occassionally be left in the dark. When traffic reporting is functioning, you will get a semi-realistic estimate of the time delay and acess to brief details regarding all delays in the area. It's tough to say for sure, but I believe the rerouting usually saved me a good 10-30 minutes at least half a dozen times. Yet, it seems like there were as many times or more where I should have been rerouted and was not. Hopefully the firmware update I just received will fix these issues. One simple suggestion I'd have is to let the user know when they've been automatically rerouted and to show both routes and ETA's on the map screen.
To illustrate - On a normally 3 hour trip we hit 2 hours of traffic, while 30 minutes were predicted by MSN and only after an hour into the trip (but before the traffic jam). We were rerouted around some of the traffic (maybe 30 minutes time saved), but if the correct delay had been predicted, we probably would have been shown a detour shaving off even more time. So while certainly better than a regular GPS, left some room for improvement.
MSN Direct - Weather, Gas, Movies:
Unlike traffic reporting, Weather, Gas and Movies information is useful even if it is several hours or even a day or two old. Usually gas prices are correct or within a few cents. Movie showtimes I haven't used much, but seem correct. The weather, I've tried the most, and is probably 90% accurate, maybe more. These features can be pretty helpful, though I rarely drive out of the way for gas.
Ease of Use:
The startup time (to acquire satelites) is a fairly quick, almost always under 5 minutes, usually under 2 minutes. The route calculation is even faster, almost always under 1 minute, usually under 20 seconds. GPS is highly accurate, despite my regular driving through crowded criss-crossing streets. Once in a while, it may take a few seconds for the GPS to register a turn, but hasn't caused me any problems. Recalculating of route is very quick when you miss a turn, enough to make the next turn. Guidance through directions are easy to pay attention to, with well placed reminders and clear graphical presentation when there are many places to turn off or road splits. It certainly beats mapquest!
I'm glad I bought this GPS. While I would highly recommend it, I believe for some, the much cheaper Nuvi 350 is a better buy. The traffic reporting is currently hit or miss and so you may find yourself listening to the radio for traffic anyway. However, if you can't stand traffic and are planning to use this for many years to come, you'll eventually get your money's worth. And hopefully some time in the future the firmware will be optimized and MSN Direct will have a comprehensive reporting system....more info
- Nuvi 680 Great - but MSN Direct Stinks
I love my Nuvi 680, but I think I would have liked the 660 better. My only dissatisfaction with the 680 is with MSN Direct not really with Garmin. Although Garmin did accept my premium dollars for the MSN Direct features. Garmin should offer to swap the MSN Direct receiver/power cord with the TMC FM receiver power cord so those of us that purchased the 680 for the real-time traffic features can actually receive them. The problem is with MSN Direct.
MSN Direct reception in the Chicago-land area is pitiful. MSN Direct tells you that when you call them with difficulties registering and downloading. Isn't it odd that no one tells you about this known issue BEFORE you purchase this item for delivery to a known reception trouble area? So even though you are not receiving a reliable MSN Direct signal, your "free" subscription (which is really included in the premium price you pay for this unit) continues to expire. Until MSN Direct can give me green bar signals on a reasonably regular basis, my subscription should not be decremented on a daily basis.
From what I have read since, the TMC traffic reception is in fact better. But now I would have to purchase, at more additional cost to me, the TMC power cord / receiver just to get the same functions provided in the 660 out of the box. OK, I would not have movie times, gas prices, and weather, but since MSN Direct can't seem to transmit those to me anyway, at least I would have updated traffic. Had I bought the 660 in the forst place, I would even have some spare $$$ in my pocket.
If you look at the Garmin site, it seems they are also unhappy with MSN Direct, as the new units coming out this fall will use TMC.
The Garmin 680 unit itself is excellent. I love the main GPS features, the Bluetooth mobile phone connection, but all of these are available in lesser priced units. I paid a premium for the MSN Direct features that CAN NOT BE RECEIVED, at least in my area. MSN Direct could not possibly be more arrogant on the phone. Garmin assistance personnel on the other hand, could not be nicer, although they can not be expected to fix the MSN Direct issues.
Just as a note, the audio output to an FM channel "works", however in my area there is no decent FM station to utilize for this function, so we are stuck with unit audio.
Call MSN Direct BEFORE you buy the 680 or any other unit with MSN Direct to get some assurance that there is adequate reception in your area to make use of the features you are paying a premium for. Otherwise, buy the 660, or wait for the newer models coming out this fall that will offer a nice mark my parking spot feature, helping you find your way back to your car in large parking areas.
- Another great Garmin product
This is another upgrade for me as far a GPS's. This is replacing my 60GSx and I have owned all of the (plus) products, and have never been dissapointed with Garmin. I was on the fence between the 660 and the 680, but this price at amazon is too good to pass up and I am glad I went with the 680, the MSN service seems to be working out well so far after a week, where all of my GPS units would have been staying home I use this one every day for the traffic, it changes the road color to traffic flow, red for very slow, yellow and green for normal speeds as well as construction and accidents, so it's a very cool toy, cough cough I mean device that I need haha. Anyway if you are thinking about a TomTom? I don't know if they have changed something in the past year, but I am thinking that the only people who like them are people who have never owned a garmin because TomTom's are simply not accurate in the US, I had one for a week, the reason I bring this up is because the 680 is kind of like a tomtom with all the bells and whistles, but it will actually get you to your destination. If you are on the fence between the 660 and 680 and have the extra $90.00 I would say go for it, but the 660 I think is the same unit without the MSN, oh and I used the gas price option yesterday and it worked, saved 10cents a gallon, so this thing will pay for itself in 180 fill ups, thats about 5 years lol. ...more info
- Happy Camper
I just received my Nuvi 680 last week. So far so good. I've only made one 45 minute trip to an area I was unfamilar with and worked as advertised. The MSN direct services seems to be working well also (after update). I'm approx 20 miles from St Louis and seems to connect within 3-5 minutes with updates. I am taking a 13 hour trip next weekend so will update my review after the "honeymoon" is over if any issues arise....more info
- Don't leave home without it
2,500 miles into a summer driving trip, our new 680 has transformed our route planning, swept away the challenges of navigating unfamiliar territory and unexpected detours, and has made exploring side roads enjoyable. The user interface is very well executed, with lots of convenience at your fingertips. It relegetes the book of maps to secondary importance.
Tapping in a bunch of favorites for a trip, directly into the GPS can be a bit tedious. So I entered all our key stops (Points of Interest) for the entire trip into "My Places" on poi-factory, and downloaded them as one file, first onto the PC, then onto the GPS. The Bluetooth interface with your cell phone is slick, making the GPS a hands-free speakerphone, with your entire cell phone directory displayed on the GPS screen, and voice dialing intact.
While driving along, if someone needs to make a pit stop, just search for fast food restaurants or a gas station, and it'll list them in order of distance from you, and indicate whether you're approaching or have passed them. Choose one, touch the "Go" button, and it'll guide you directly to it, then put you back on the road to your destination.
The MSN Direct service functions only in major metro areas and is imperfect, but can be a time saver. One time, because of a construction zone traffic tie-up, it routed us off an Interstate for about 4 miles, then back on. It's not perfect, but it's amazing. Every once in awhile, it gets confused, but then, so do I. If you don't need the MSN Direct service, get the 660 for less money, but otherwise the same features....more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680
I am extremely pleased with this product and Amazons price. Two of my relativies are following suit by purchasing their own "Nuvi680"...more info
- It finds everyplace!
I had a Mio that could not even find my home and I made the mistake of taking it to Chicago with me...for any of you who have a "not so good" GPS Navigation system - the turn right the U TURN WHERE POSSIBLE voice is very annoyoying - my Mio had me lost all the time. The Garmin 680 has been fantastic - I love the "take next right on Washington Blvd" instructions that make finding your way in a city you don't know so much easier. I will be back in Chicago shortly and am expecting to be able to find my way around with no issues. Unit is a little pricey but worth it if you love to travel and hate to be lost....more info
- MSN traffic useless in New York City
MSN traffic is very inaccurate for New York City and takes a long time to load. Signal also seems to be very sporadic in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It always gives erroneous information for inbound Holland Tunnel due to some MSN mapping issues. Four times it took me to Holland Tunnel only to find myself stuck in worse traffic than GWB or Lincoln. I gave it a good try for 2 months and I gave up. The gas price, movie, and weather info are also inaccurate or out of date.
I ended up buying the GTM 20 receiver and was able to hook the Nuvi 680 to use TMC Clear channel traffic. The traffic info on TMC is MUCH more accurate. The FM signal for TMC is much stronger.
If you live in NYC, you would be wise to get the Nuvi 660 instead (it uses the TMC Clear channel traffic info). I have no issue with the GPS itself....more info
- It is a Garmin
This is my 2nd Garmin GPS. So easy to use. MSN Direct, I'm on the very edge of the coverage map. Yes works like a charm for me. Make sure to download latest firmware, without it MSN and Bluetooth seemed to have a few problems. ***** Stars...more info
- Very useful
A very useful tool for getting places. The traffic information displayed on the device with the MSN receiver was more helpful that I would have realized before I bought it. The maps are good and the interface is intuitive. I signed up for a subscription to Audible which also surprised me as a nice way to do something useful on a long drive. The only downside was that the radio station transmitter was too weak to work very well in my car (I switched back to the internal speeaker). ...more info
- NUVI 680; Beauty and the Beast
I passed my Nuvi 350 onto my college bound son and thought that I would "treat" myself to the bells and whistles offered by the 680. I was looking forward to the MSN feature as I live and work in the NY/NJ Metro area and am always concerned about traffic issues. It took almost 1 week to get MSN working - countless call to MSN, who wanted NO responsibility for their product and told me that Garmin would resolve the issue. Garmin ran through the standard Q&A and told me that as soon as I spotted the "green bars" to stop and wait up to 20 minutes while MSN booted itself. The prospect of stopping on the Turnpike or Route 80 for 20 minutes was laughable. Anyway one morning I tuned on the Nuvi and MSN was working!! The coverage on Staten Island and directly west of Manhattan, including NJ Turnpike, Rte 80, Rte 78, Rte 287 and Rte 280 has been very good and 3 days ago it save me a 90 minute wait on Rte 287. However on a trip to Delaware (DE) and yesterday to Boston it was USELESS! Delaware I can maybe get over, but Boston - you have to be kidding me. All the way through Connecticut I was getting nothing; on I90 towards Boston nothing. However when I left Boston and headed back to NY after about 50 miles on I90 all of a sudden dozens of icons appeared in and around Boston. I was still seeing the Boston icons as I was crossing the Whitestone Bridge and seeing NOTHING for NYC - I even turned the unit off and on in the hope that it may help. Also traveling from Staten Island out to Brooklyn, there is never a problem, even though the Belt Parkway is at a standstill all the way to JFK airport.
The Bluetooth feature is first rate and I like the Audio Books feature - BUT - I can get these features on cheaper models.
I will be returning the unit to Amazon this week as I cannot justify almost $700 for a device that doesn't deliver what is most important to me, the traffic in and around NJ and NYC - basically it's no better than my XM-Radio standard coverage on the NY Traffic Channel....more info
- Excellent but with a few things missing
This is cool it works pretty good. The FM transmitter has an annoying hiss on low sounding songs. When you select detour it provides a different route, unlike other versions that let you detour by miles. Overall this GPS is cool....more info
- Nuvi 680
Well designed for easy use - pretty good user interface. My unit had reliability problems that necessitated returning to Garmin for repairs - unit would stop detecting satellites, after 'master reset' would work for a few minutes then lock out satellites again. ...more info
- Review of NUVI 680
Very good product over all. Only one complaint-
1. I am not impressed with the MSN direct. It only works in certain areas and it is not always current. I will probably use it sparingly with the one free year of service. But after that, unless it improves dramatically, I won't renew it....more info
- great features
i used the 680 when I went to Iowa for a tourament. It was so easy to get around. if I wanted to go to get food I would just search and find a place and hit go and it would get me there. We wanted to go to a movie the MSN showed the movie theater and the movies along with the times they are playing. Before i left i saved in my favorites file the address of the hotel and the field, so when ever I needed to go there i just went to my favorites and i was off. It is great also when you go somewhere else and you need to get back to the hotel or field it is no problem at all. The only downside is that the MSN network takes sometimes hours to be updated to your location, if this was quicker it would be a get plus. ...more info
I recently moved to Dallas. I bought the Nuvi so I wouldn't be lost all the time. It works great. However, since I already have an iPod and Bluetooth headset, I would have been better off spending less money and getting a lower end model without those features. All in all a good purchase!...more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680 Defective !
Bought this after owning many streetpilots decided to jump to the best Nuvi. Everything worked great as exp[ected until all of a sudden the GPS did not detect the satelittes anymore and it has no bars when it should be full as far as signal strength so the unti is Dead, now Ive got to call Garmin and get this thing replaced...what a PAIN!
What the flip antennea guys it is a real piece of garbage! ...more info
- The MSN Traffic is a disaster
You could not pay me enough to go through what I have with my Nuvi 680. I mainly bought it to help with work commute. The advertised idea of instant traffic reports was highly appealing to me as the commute can be a problem. I paid a lot more for this unit solely because of that capability through MSN direct. I have now had the unit four months and the traffic report has only worked for maybe 10 days. Even when it worked, it was unacceptably slow.
My first problem was out of the box. The entire unit froze when I activated it online. Calls to Garmin resulted in a finding I had a defective unit, so I went back to Best Buy and they replaced it.
The replacement unit then worked for about five days before I went on vacation. I was able to see traffic reports for Phoenix, and I did get movie times, gas and weather. I was unhappy, however, because it was taking 15 - 20 minutes to download this information each morning, so I was already committed, traffic wise, and so it was of no help.
I was then on vacation for three weeks. When I returned, I found it would no longer connect to MSN Direct. No data downloaded. It took three calls to MSN Direct and two to Garmin to figure out that the antenna was defective, so I had to wait for a replacement (an annoyance is that you have to send in the bad piece first and then they send you a replacement). It still didn't work! More calls revealed that because I had signed up (and paid money to) MSN they had to cancel my account and reactivate with the new antenna's activation code.
It worked for three days. I was traveling and then tried it a few days later. It has now stopped working again! Again, I find myself without data.
I am trying to decide whether to demand a refund, toss it in the trash or try again to get them to help me fix it.
I estimate I have made ten calls to MSN Direct and five to Garmin. I have spent a dozen + hours just trying to get traffic data - the data I bought the unit for. This unit is a disaster if you are buying it to see traffic. Ironically, the rest of it is nice and workable and does what it promises. But I would buy a lesser unit for a third of the price if all you want is navigation.
- Great Product
I love it! It has very nice features. You can use it as you are walking or driving. ...more info
- Good product that works
The product works perfecly,the MSN service is great , the unit is clear and easy to use, BUT forget about the FM transmitter the signal is weak and like others who bought this unit it works poorly in this area. If thats yur reason for purchase then dont.
Aside from that everyhing else works very well and I love the unit....more info
- Nuvi 680 Review
Very easy to use. Battery holds up very good. The windshield mount works great. The screen works great with your fingers and it is very legible.
The design of the device is very nice, professional, and small enough to be adaptable to any conditions. I can easily transfer it from one car to the next.
My only complaint about the device is it does not give you enough notification that your turn is coming up. It notifies you to make the turn less than a mile which is not enough especially when you are on the freeway doing 65 mph. ...more info
- Wonderful product
The Garmins Nuvi 680 is a wonderful product. Exceeded my expectations. MSNDirect is cheap and wonderful, very accurate information. Amazon price was great. Delievery as promised. I'm not sure now how I will get along without it ... makes me a little nervous. Reduces anxiety in a strange city. You can find things quickly and be directed there. WOW!!!! David...more info
- Very good!
This GPS is my first and I'm very pleased with it! It took us from Boston to Disney Orlando very easily with lots of detours. When we detoured we would search its extensive database for a restaurant or supermarket and press GO. It would prompt us if we wanted to insert it as a detour and we would say yes (or no if it were a mistake).
The only thing I didn't like but wasn't that bad since we could afford to wait to the next big city was that the MSN Direct service providing current traffic and gas prices wasn't available unless at big city areas. The first year of service is free. So I'm testing it for now. MSN seems to improve itself with time. Hopefully, this will be true for this service as well and they'll extend the coverage somehow in the near future....more info
- money well spent
I was concerned that I was spending a lot of money on hype, but for once the money was well spent. Have used the Garmin up and down the east coast and the directions have been outstanding.The fm transmission is useful when using the unit in a convertible with the higher wind noise. Even the MSN movie guide has been useful.
I like how fast it recalculates a new route when I miss a turn,coupled with the ability to eliminate u-turns.
I would like a software update that allows easier remote POI processing.
I have also purchased the flexible dashboard mount which is excellent when moving the garmin from one vehicle to another....more info
- Good but not great navigation, traffic feature meh
I upgraded from a c330 streetpilot model after the 2008 maps were released on the 680. I live and work in NW Atlanta where there is alot of traffic, and was intrigued by the traffic feature. I also wanted a handsfree bluetooth speaker for calls in the car.
Navigation- 4/5-noticable improvements with the upgraded maps, however still somewhat lacking for areas with frequent construction (i.e. Atlanta). The Garmin has difficulty with large shopping malls and strips with long paved roads leading away from an intersection. Example is a Costco that has been present for a few years listed on the map as being right off a large street; this is not true however, as the store is situated a quarter mile up the road among several other stores/resturants. It also occasionally recommends long routes instead of simply turning at an intersection; this typically happened on 4-lane streets/state highways. Unit doesn't have a feature letting you program a favorite route. Points of interest not very reliable for shops less than two years old or been closed within the past two years. For locations that are not experiencing rapid urban sprawl it is very reliable.
Bluetooth-5/5-required a firmware update to my treo 650, however afterwards worked flawlessly. You can dial and receive calls through the GPS. Much safer than fumbling with the phone.
MP3-5/5-works fine as a podcast or MP3 player through the built-in speaker or FM transmitter to your car stereo.
Traffic-2/5-most disappointing part. The feature is limited strictly to the basic interstate highways. That's not too bad except the time estimates are also way off in my opinion. As an example the unit displayed road construction causing an estimated 1 min delay with the highway listed in green (green for light, yellow medium, red heavy) so I decided not to detour. This resulted in 15 minutes of sitting in stop and go traffic for 3 miles. Another major goof is the lack of traffic coverage for I-575, a major 6 lane highway in NW Atlanta used by thousands of commuters but not covered. Forget traffic coverage of major secondary roads used as alternates for commuters. So your stuck being unable to compare the traffic conditions to let you pick your poison each day. I guess it's better than nothing and would be useful if there was a major accident, however in its current form it is minimally useful in avoiding stop and go traffic. Take the 6 months additional discounted MSN service for $10 when you first sign up and pass on the lifetime service as it is tied to the unit and not the owner.
My suggestion to Garmin for future updates is for the unit to display two routes whenever you select a location. This should be incoporated with the traffic function which needs to include at least major side roads used by morning/afternoon commutes. It gets annoying when I select a route to work and the unit every single time picks the same route that goes through the heart of traffic which I always ignore. Better yet how about the unit remembering and updating trip times based on time and day of the week? You could at least teach the unit of how silly some of its suggested routes are in real life....more info
- Great Except for MSN Direct
I purchased my Garmin a couple weeks ago and took it down the East coast from NH to South NJ two weekends in a row. I got a great chance to play with it and found some pros and cons.
Pros: Was able to recalculate quickly and accurately. Lets you put in waypoint to redirect your route (in my case I wanted to go over the Tappan Zee bridge instead of the GW so I got a lot of practice in using this feature.) Was pretty accurate with only 1 time during the weekend it tried to get my going the wrong way down a one way street. The POI database was large and seemed updated. Great search features.
1.) MSN Direct is absolutely, positively useless. First of all, it is buggy and one time when I plugged it in, it didn't synch up with the car and the vehicle had to be shut off in order to get the service running again. But just because the service is running does not mean you will actually get reception. It seems like the reception is down an awful lot, and it took me over two weeks just to get the service activated because I was never in an area with reception. When I actually did get service (maybe 10 miles outside of NYC) the traffic updates were absolutely useless and incorrect. Apparently I never had reception long enough to even use the other features because I kept getting a message that the service was downloading information.
2.) Sometimes you have to enter in a waypoint in a couple different places in order to get the unit to recalculate correctly.
3.) Most of the other cool features like Fodors are services you need to pay for. I just spent $700 on a Nav system, at least give me the Fodors data for free.
Why did I give this 2 stars? Because the only unique feature on this unit as opposed to all the other units is the MSN direct. And that doesn't work at all. I get the feeling that I would have been better off using the 660 with the XM NavTraffic subscription. I am definately disappointed with this unit and will probably trade it in for the 660 soon....more info
- GPS is Great; MSN Direct Works Poorly; Don't Buy Nuvi 680
GPS part is great, works well, touch screen is very sensitive, display is sharp, controls are intuitive and route calculation is quick. MP3 player and Bluetooth work like they are supposed too. POI database is reasonable but not extensive. Windshield suction cup does not stick very well, comes off midst of driving.
MSN Direct part is hit and miss and does not work consistently. MSN FM receiver is built into the vehicle power charger which is supposed to power and charge the unit while driving; but it does not do that. I have to bring it inside to charge on the AC outlet. Battery life is 6 hours and if you are on a long driving day, you are out of luck, as recently happened to me in LA. After working for about 30 minutes or so MSN Direct will lose connection. GPS gives an error message that FM receiver is not connected even though all the cables and connections are in place. But Microsoft works on a different paradigm, that things do not work all the time!
Unfortunately, I am beyond the return period, otherwise I would trade it for Nuvi 660. Or look at Navigon 7100 which provides lifetime of free traffic. My advice is not to buy Nuvi 680, instead look at these 2 and other alternatives....more info
Couldn't be happier. We love this navi system! Simple to use and bluetooth compatible with my phone (katana) even though it wasn't on official list. Thrilled with purchase....more info
- Well designed GPS, but too expensive w/ useless features
The Nuvi 600 series GPS's have very clear and bright widescreens. They're the perfect shirt-pocket size. The menu's are intuitive and the touchscreens make using them easy. Navigation is generally very good. Overall, they are well designed products that are highly useful.
The negatives: The MSN Direct feature on the 680 is worse than useless. It routes _to_ traffic jams by sending you off major roads to even more severely clogged secondary roads. I've been repeatedly stung by this and finally gave up and turned off the navigation option to bypass heavy traffic. Also, the MSND data is untimely and erroneous: it'll show heavy traffic ahead that has already cleared or won't show it when it's there.
Weather data is also untimely: I've experienced two storms (one quick and fierce where it'd have been good to get off the road) and the 680 showed a weather alert _after_ these storms had passed! Listening to the radio or looking at the sky provides far better weather info.
The FM audio output is also useless. There are rarely usable frequencies in major metro areas, and if you travel any distance, you'd have to fiddle for a long time on the side of the road to get a frequency in a new area. Listening to static gets annoying real quick. And of course, you can't listen to the radio... just static.
I haven't used the bluetooth.
Save a couple hundred $ and get one of the cheaper 600 series Nuvi's, like the 650. I'm a techie who wants all the features, but, this is just being honest. Europe's Galileo GPS stuff is coming on line in a year or so, and better traffic data services will also arrive soon (i.e. HD radio). Apply the savings towards the next generation of GPS....more info
- Pricey, but worth it.
We have a built in GPS units in both our Mercedes and Sienna. Why purchase another GPS unit? This unit provided us with all the features we wanted: turn by turn directions, which we can preview, estimated time of arrival, alternative routes, real time traffic, real time weather, movie times, ability to add USGS terrain maps (you can use this unit hiking too), ability to save current location with one click, ability to add travel information and more. We also like the portablity to add our favorites at home rather than in the car. It also gives you 7 hours of battery life. ( We have not tested this)
- navigation is great, POI interface clumsy
I've enjoyed using several versions of Garmin products and they are simply the standard setter. The nuvi 680 is small enough to go with me on business trips and it finds satellites faster than any other navigation system i've worked with. Finding places of interest can be challenging since you have to know the store name exactly or the address or the city name -- for instance to get to a "mall" you might need to know its' name is "the plaza" which is a pain if you're in a strange city. Also the MSN info seems rather limited in covered areas and not always accurate with traffic details......more info
- Great GPS - Okay Traffic Info from MSN Direct
As far as a GPS (or "Personal Travel Assistant" according to Garmin) goes, the Nuvi 680 is awesome. The GPS gets great satellite reception, the maps are comprehensive for all parts of the Midwest I've driven, and the points of interest are extensive. I've always found the restaurants and gas stations I've needed. The user interface is about as easy as it gets.
The primary reason I purchased this GPS was for traffic information. I live in Chicago and drive extensively. However, the coverage area for RECEIVING the FM radio data feed is not as great as the maps on MSN's website show. Hopefully, the data coverage will get better as more people use the service.
The traffic information does match the website coverage map. I have found that the traffic info is accurate and detailed when you do receive the signal. The GPS shows a delay icon with the minutes you will be delayed. Touching the icon then brings up the detail information on the delay, and another touch of a button will have the GPS re-route around the delay if you want. Traffic information appears to be limited to major roads like expressways and large primary roads at this time.
The other MSN Direct information has been more useful than I imagined. I've found the weather, gas prices, and movie times to be very accurate all over the Midwest.
There are a number of other parts that make it fun, like the MP3 and audiobook player. But don't have much use for these.
Overall, a great purchase and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If traffic information is important to you, I would read reviews for the Nuvi 650 and others GPS units that use FM TMC traffic updates (instead of MSN Direct) and see what people are saying. When I purchased mine, there was not a lot of good information from reviewers that indicated one traffic service was better than another....more info
- 1 Flaw, in an otherwise Flawless Product
This is the ultimate GPS. I have the msn direct working great, I have the GPS working great, all these things going right and one small issue that wont affect most people. If you are a Treo 700P user, the bluetooth has an error, that displays the last number called instead of the current number called. Called Garmin, they say no fix in place. But with the exception of that one thing, this is hands down the greatest GPS I have ever touched. Big bright screen, responsive buttons, accurate mapping, voices that pronounce correctly(tom tom users eat your heart out). I considered the 660 but for a year of MSN Direct and its features, it was clearly worth it.
If you update Sprint phone software for the treo 700p to 1.10 your bluetooth issue will go away....more info
- Great system
We love our GPS system however does have some hiccups with the directions. There are some places for what is around you that have gone out of business for years and have not been updated. New businesses are not updated either. At times it does take you a longer way instead of the shortest. But all in all good product. Easy to use. Love the bluetooth feature. ...more info
- MSN Direct service ruins this equipment
This unit is beautiful to look at but has major flaws in the MSN Direct implementation. I bought this unit mainly for the Traffic feature - which has proved useless and terrible.
* Big beautiful screen.
* Speakerphone is excellent, although Bluetooth can be buggy.
* Satellite acquisition is very fast.
* Before you purchase, do a search to see if your area is covered by MSN Direct - and do NOT trust the MSN maps on their website. Coverage in NYC, NJ, and Staten Island is terrible - basically non-existent and useless - even though the MSN Direct website shows full coverage. I am on my third MSN Direct receiver after being sent 2 replacement cables by Garmin, and all three have had the same issues. California seems better.
* MSN Direct Traffic (when it is actually receivable) content is often completely wrong in and around New York City - particularly on weekends, and especially for the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
* Charger cable needs to basically be attached to the unit (which is only possible by using the vehicle mount) continually for content to be updated. This makes removal from the vehicle undesirable in order to get updated content, but of course leaving the unit in the car raises that danger of theft. A catch-22.
* If the charger is disconnected from the Nuvi unit for more than a day or two, a reconnection process appears to take place and the Nuvi does not have new usable information for 20-30 minutes.
* Cannot program custom avoidances for undesirable roads/areas.
* No saving of routes.
The unit looks beautiful, but it's features are sorely lacking and definitely not worth the premium price charged for the MSN content....more info
- overall good
all features great and worth extra $ for this model. The map logic seems off on some routes but always gets you there. I think that is common in gps. Sound quality and volume good. Power not in GPS mode good,but drains fast if not plugged in your car....more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680
Awesome product. I have both the Nuvi 680 and the 350. I think the 350 is a much better value. The screen size difference (Nuvi 680 is 1 inch larger)is nice. The other bells and whistles on the 680,unless you live in your car 24/7 are not worth the significant price increase....more info
- Nuvi 680 Rocks
Excellent Product that is without a doubt the best personal navigator available. Now the downside it's very expensive the MSN information seems limited, out of date or just plain useless. Sorry not done complaining yet, I would like to have in memory or an add on card WAY more points of interest so rather then constantly inputting addresses, I could just simply punch in that I want to go to Wal Mart and the Gamin would then report every single one in the country that's close to my current location. These are the grips; Now what it does very good is take you everywhere you want to go if you have an address, that is, I never got lost not once!!! Remember at the end of the day that's why you really want one to never get lost or miss-directed and the Garmin never has failed me yet!!!
If you want my opinion I might recommend buying the Garmin products without MSN such as the Nuvi 660 or the smaller screen Nuvi 350 and save yourself some serious cash if you must purchase the Cadillac Nuvi 860 just remember the MSN information is spotty and out of date
- Nuvi 680 Rocks!
The Nuvi 680 rocks! After driving to Los Angeles for work from Huntington Beach for years I finally decided to get a GPS unit.
With the MSN Direct traffic updates this has cut my trips by a half hour on average. It redirects you when the traffic delays are excessive. It will take you off of the freeway onto streets in order to get you onto another freeway (as most of you know in LA the interchanges are where a lot of the problems occur). It actually makes driving interesting because you don't neccessarily take the same route everyday. I had to learn to trust the unit though. For the most part it knows the way.
The only problem I have noticed is when it puts me on the Santa Monica Freeway (10) West, which is always backed up, there were no delay notices on the unit. Other than that this is an amazing unit and I have yet to use all of its other offerings....more info
- BEWARE old map versions from old stock. Wait before purchasing
Received new Garmin 680 from Amazon in early July and discovered map versions were already out of date. 680 was running V8. Friend had purchased a 660 from a local store in June which had V9 updated maps preloaded. Called Garmin who told me it would cost me $80 to purchase the new maps. Needless to say that I have returned my 680 to Amazon and will be buying the 660 locally for $499 plus taxes....more info
- Garmin Nuvi 680 - Real World Experience
Like a lot of the other Amazon Nuvi 680 reviewers, I too did a lot of extensive research before spending nearly $700.00 for a GPS. After a lot of weighing of the "pros and cons" I purchased this unit. I have to admit, this is by far the best GPS available. I've owned the Nuvi 680 for a little over a month and have been in total awe of its power and performance. I travel for a living and need a very reliable GPS to get me around town, airports and hotels. This unit has been terific in terms of the display, GPS functionality and "add on" features. I now love the Bluetooth connectivity with my Treo 700P Smartphone (after loading the 1.10 firmware release on my phone...before that, it was intermittent). The display is so vivid and detailed while the GPS tracking is very responsive. Lastly, the MSN Direct works well with gas station prices, weather and movies. The traffic may still need further refinement, but I think it's a work in progress. I live in the Portland, Maine area and the MSN Direct signal seems to work well up in Northern New England. All in all, I have not regreted my decision in purchasing this amazing product! ...more info
- Nuvi is Great ...
Whatever superlatives you would ascribe a product, I'd apply them to the Nuvi.
That being said, here are some complaints:
1) Inability to easily import Playlists from iTunes. They should have a simple application that sucks the playlists out of whatever your MP3 player de jure is and make it so that the 680 can play it.
2) Issues synching up with the Treo 650. Support was helpful, but the Nuvi still disconnects from the Treo shortly after it makes connection. It receives calls fine, comes to life fine when I go to dial, but the phone icon keeps disappearing before I can access the rest of the phone features on the Nuvi.
I'd buy it again in a heartbeat and have been showing it to all my friends ...
Can't wait to go out of town and use it where I don't know where I'm going ...
- Garmin Nuvi 680 is the best!
We researched before we bought and weren't disappointed when we spent the extra money to buy the 680. It is the best. We are dog show people and travel up and down the coast of California, and elsewhere, and are therefore always going to new places. The Garmin tells us where to go, how to get there, how to avoid traffic and where to eat, anything we need to know. It is truly amazing and we don't know how we did without it. We know that we have only begun the learning process as there is so much more. We learn something new everytime we take a trip. I would recommend this product highly....more info
- No good,
I got problems with the speakers one week ago after starter to use it, go to mute automatically some times, the FM does not work properly, the sound is very low quality, the main difficult that I find for practical use the Bluetooth's Tech block my cell phone, also my partner's cell phone in my car, I need to desconnect the GPS to talk by phone. I setup 20 times the cell phone with the Nuvi, I needed to call technical support two times, with very bad Customer Service(30 and 40 minutes waiting for talk with the Garmin's representative), finally they said me your equipment has problem with the speakers, send us to repair in 10 days. Meanwhile I have not my "wonderful" Nuvi 680, I need every day to visit home around Florida's State. Really I will not recomend to my friends. Ed Prida
Ed Prida...more info
- Garmin Good - MNS Direct Very Poor (1 star)
I love the Garmin Nuvi 680 except for the MNS direct component. I live in the far western suburbs of Chicago (Geneva, IL). MNS coverage maps show that I should receive a signal from MNS Direct. Nada, Nothing, Zipo, Zilch. I had a 45 minute talk with MSN trying to get it to work and several other conversations over the next week and a half. They finally told me they would escalate the call and have someone call or email me within the next week. Nada, Nothing, Zipo, Zilch. I've given up. If given the opportunity again I would buy the Nuvi 660 and save my time and money....more info
- Good GPS
This is a very good GPS. Quick at calculating the route. The satelite signal is also good. Some times it is a little bit late in re-calculating, but less than 5 seconds, normally. Generally it will remind you to turn in 1.1 mile or 0.7 miles and keeps doing so frequently. The voice is very clear. The only thing that I am not satisfied is the charge port behind the antenna. Because you have to take it away from the car, which mean normally you have to detach it many times. But it seems that the charge port is not solid enough. The metal chip seems to be so fragile.
- Disappointing Performance
I was looking forward to using the Garmin Nuvi 680 in my area of Calif. It sounded so fantastic! We live in the Sonoma-Napa county north bay area of Calif. Population approx. 157,985 in the city proper. County population is much bigger. This area is north of San Franciso and has a lot wineries with thousands of tourist. However, the MSN.Contact part of the Garmin does not work in any area codes north except Marin County or very far north east of San Francisco. It works better in the south, or San Jose south-east end of the city. So, I really find MSN.contact useless this far north of San Francisco. Considering the population of this area that was totally a surprise.
Yesterday we took the Nuvi 680 out for a drive. It does not have our local Wells Fargo ATM listed in the directory. This ATM has been inside the Raleys grocery store we frequent for over 9 yrs. However, it did find the Wells Fargo ATM inside the Safeway store 2 miles further east on the same road. Odd.
When we programmed in the street and number for our favorite lunch spot (which is not one of the food places listed) This restaurant has been in this spot for 15 yrs. or more, It took us right by the main entrance to the restaurant and into a side entrance road instead and never warned or said a word as we drove on by.
For shopping search, it does not list some of the shop in one of the oldest and most well known shopping centers, Coddingtown Center here locally for years.
I don't feel confident in using the unit to take me any other destinations at this point. I also am under the impression this unit has an older version map. NT V8. I did some research on some of the GPS sites and found this out. Updates to this particular Garmin are not going to be free I've read. When I contacted Garmin about this they sort of avoided the question indirectly and simply stated the new maps to upload would be out in approx. 3-4 weeks. I see they are charging for some updates on their site, so can only assume they will charge for the newer update for the 680 as well.
I've returning the Garmin Nuvi 680, and am looking at other brands now. ...more info
- Love It
I just bought this item 2 weeks ago and love it. Fairly easy to set up right out of the box. I live in New Jersey and it has been great on all street directions. I did find it takes me about 50 feet past the exact address, but directions are always right on target. If you drive past a turn it REAQUIRES quickly and gets you a new route to your destination. The American female voice even sounds a bit upset as she announces "reacquiring."
Satellite acquisition is fast and the system loads up very fast. The voice quality is very good. I do like the American voices more than British or Australian. The Bluetooth phone link is great and once I set up my phone it recognizes it right away when I get anywhere near the car. It works great as a hands free speaker phone and I can speak in a normal voice and I am heard by anyone I speak to. I have read some reviews that said the speaker was not good. Mine is great and I can easily adjust it to the level I want. It even lists my phone menus on the screen with my phone book right at eye level. How great is that? If you have voice recognition on your phone, it works through the Garmin as well.
As for linking the system with your FM radio , I have not been able to make that work. Good luck with that.
I love the fact I can look up restaurants in my area simply by looking up by type of food. Scroll through list and click on restaurant you want. It takes you right there. How cool is that?
It works so well that my son has already taken it on his trip to NY where he is working for 3 weeks. He is driving to different locations every few days and he reports it is working like a dream. He never has to worry about when to turn as the Garmin Nuvi gives you advance notice when you have to turn and which way you will be turning.
I hope I get it back from him when he gets home.
The only other thing I would like to see change is a better way to mount it to the dash. The suction cup works great on the window, but dash device is not great. I only use the window mount.
- Good GPS, MSN not as good, know these issues before buying
This is my first GPS, and I was excited that it looked like GPS's had evolved to the point they are now. I wanted the top of line and maximum coolness, and that looked like the Nuvi 680. I've had it now for 2 months, doing mostly local driving along with one vacation. I do enjoy what I got. However, it isn't as good as I had expected.
Mostly in this review, I'm looking at what makes the 680 special, the MSN direct features - are these worth the extra $150 or so you pay over a nuvi 660? I have my doubts. This feels like a first generation feature - there's minimal content/presentation and it doesn't work that well.
MSN Direct features:
- My MSN FM antenna built into the charger works poorly. I got quite used to seeing "no signal" even after many layouts of the cable and re-seating the plug. I would frequently do a 45 minute rush hour commute in the SF bay area down 101 from San Mateo to Palo Alto and not get a signal the whole time. Finally, with much experimenting, I found that if I unplug the charger, and lay the cable out in a straight line from my dashboard to the back seat it does reliably get a signal. Of course, that means it's not charging the battery...
- Possibly due to the prior issue, I do not get good updates while the unit is off and attached to the charger/antenna. Typically, it looks like it's starting fresh each time I turn it on.
- Even if I did get good updates while it's off, most of the time I don't want to leave it in the car or attached to the mount. There's been enough articles about GPS smash and grab thefts, and even Garmin recommends removing your unit and not keeping it in the glove compartment. I can stick the Nuvi in my pocket, but not with a mount and strung out antenna attached. The only place this feature is good for is in my garage.
- Keep in mind the mount is practically required to be attached for traffic and weather data. That data expires quickly, and if you are out without the mount attached, you can't even view recent data.
The content - traffic:
- I'm definitely disappointed. The data seems 15 minutes or so delayed, or at least it's not reliable enough to outright trusted. Today, with a signal a good 30 min before getting on 101, it showed 3 miles of yellow and 5 miles of green. For the yellow, it was 65 mph, and then right as I transitioned to green, it went to 40 mph, eventually down to 25 mph for the first 3 miles of green. Having issues like this is very common - at least half of my yellows are wrong, although I usually travel on the tail of the rush hour commute. I kept checking until I got to my destination and even with a reboot, the colored status did not change. If the status is red, I've found that to be fairly reliable, consistent with a ~15 minute delay.
- An annoyance until you learn you can't trust it is that the traffic time estimations for traffic delays are inaccurate. It looks like it assumes a fixed speed for a red (15 mph?) or yellow (30 mph?), and there's a huge time difference between a 20 mph red and 5 mph (or even stopped!) red.
- The incident alert detail is laughable, it's summary you'd see from the map, plus a word or too. If there were the detail you'd hear in a radio news report (5 car pile-up, road block, vs. minor bender off the side), it would have been so cool.
- If there's an incident it will usually flag where the backup for that incident begins, not where it actually is. This is fine, but surprising until you realize what's going on.
- It does give you a fair general idea of what the traffic situation is, but is not suitable quality for making 5-10 minute delay level decisions.
The content - gas prices:
- I knew going in that it only has ~50% of gas stations listed. Unfortunately, many of the ones not listed are the independents which have cheaper prices. The Arco at the Delaware St and 92 in San Mateo doesn't come up, and is often has the best in the area.
- I really wish it would let you sort by price. That would have been cool, and it would have been so easy to do.
- The gas prices are mostly reliable, although it's not beyond an error or two. That Shell station $0.20 cheaper than everyone else was not correct. Kudos for listing how recent the price is, although I found that old prices are equally reliable. It just means the station hasn't changed its price.
- How I use it, is that I look at all the prices to get a feel for what's a good price now and not. Then I look around at the ones I'm passing and see if I can beat it. Around here, Arco is almost always the cheapest (they don't take credit cards), along with a independents (which vary significantly). In a hurry, it's good to know I'm not getting a bad price.
- Around home, the gas stations I used previously were really the cheapest ones, so not as much benefit there as I hoped. It's definitely good for finding the cheap ones in a new neighborhood.
The content - weather
- Works reasonably as advertised, but for someone spoiled by weather.com, the content does feel small. Current/today, and the next three days, no more.
- At times it will report "San Mateo" instead of the more detailed Redwood City/San Carlos, etc. Probably it needs more time to download.
- Occasionally, it will come out with a "Severe weather warning", and the time that warning expires. That's cool, but what isn't there is detail on what the warning is about. I got one on a sunny clear day that was staying that way. Maybe it was for high winds? Something specific to Half Moon Bay? Not a clue.
The content - movies
- I thought I'd never use this, but lo and behold there I was, vacationing and wanting to see Ratatouille. Sad to say it never was able to pull up all the nearby theaters, even after I left the GPS in the car all night with the antenna attached (the manual claims 6 hours to download everything - ugh). I wound up checking the times on my Treo.
- It would have been cool if there was a sort by time/next showing feature. It's 1pm, and I want to catch the next available showing. What I had to do, is look at the each of the theaters to get the times and after looking at the nearest 8 or so, figure what the best time was. It would be so much better to see when the next showing is on the right side of the line that is showing the theater name.
MSN direct conclusion report card:
- Hardware/delivery mechanism of content to the device: D
- Completeness of the content: C
- Accuracy of the content: non-traffic B; traffic D
- Presentation of the content on the device: B
Non MSN direct features (i.e. Nuvi 660 equiv):
Regular GPS functional is very good. It has worked indoors, so it's great at keeping a signal, and usually warm boots to have GPS location within 30 seconds or so. Cold boots are more like 5 minutes.
Routing is good, with caveats. I use "faster time" for route preference. The caveat is the routing appears to use a fixed speed based on the road size. So it has no knowledge of traffic lights or local off-major highway traffic hot spots that can seriously change what route may be desired.
The map is good, but you can encounter one-way streets or road breaks that aren't on the map. GPS does not replace looking at the road.
- Bluetooth speakerphone - although it does have trouble staying connected to the when the phone is not a call
- Surprisingly, I love the ETA feature for a route, and it is extremely accurate if you mentally add the time you'll be sitting at red lights along your route.
- I love having an MP3 player in this, but see the notes about it under Annoyances.
- Great form factor
- Screen is nice bright and visible
- MP3 player playlists/searching - The songs/albums/playlist are displayed as a list, 4 at a time. No problem if you've got 10 to look through but put a $15 2GB card with 400 songs and 50 playlists. Some type of foldering/hierarchy setup would have been nice.
- A LOT of places of interest aren't listed. Just going down a main road, it has something like half of the restaurants and a third of the stores. It is better with the major chains, but not perfect.
- I wish the points of interest had a mode where they could display bigger on the screen. Say I'd like see all post offices near my route over the next 20 miles. Right now, I can only see all POIs in near max zoom in, and even then they are 8x8 pixels or even worse a 4x4 pixel dot. I have to try 3 or 4 times at my desk to get my finger exactly on that icon to get the info. Garmin could take a clue from Tomtom here.
- The FM transmitter is all but useless - The SF Bay area has no suitable blank spots, but even away from that, it didn't overcome the static suitably to make it an enjoyable listening experience. Best if you have a car that can use the audio out port.
GPS functionality: A
Other features: A
- Nuvi 680 Good but Needs Improvements in Several Areas
This is our second automotive GPS. We also have a 2 year old Lowrance Iway 500c. We have been using the Nuvi 680 for approximately one month both locally in the Tallahassee, FL area and on a trip to Indianapolis, IN.
Pros: Fast satellite acquisition. Bright display. Internal battery permits operation out of vehicle as well as in vehicle with supplied cigarette lighter adapter. Intuitive operation for anyone with GPS experience. Lots of features. 12 month free MSN Direct traffic delay alerts and automatic re-routing works well for those cities covered. Built-in FM transmitter for routing audio driving instructions through a car radio. Bluetooth enabled.
Cons: Mapping not as current as latest Lowrance mapping for Tallahassee area. Noticeable (3-4 seconds) delay in re-positioning when making turns onto intersecting roads. MSN Direct service limited to major cities. Internal speaker not as good as Lowrance internal speaker. Voice driving instructions, specifically street names, sometimes unintelligble/mispronounced. Supplied suction mount works well on windshield but supplied dash-top mounting adapter tends to eventually pull loose with weight of unit.
- Mostly a disappointment
I wrote a much larger and more comprehensive review, but Amazon somehow dedicded not to publish it. Let's try again.
I rate the device as two stars for the following reasons:
- The navigation functionality of the device is by far the best feature. (go figure) For the most part, it works well, reads street names correctly, and has generally good ideas about navigation. This is where my likes for this device end.
- The device, either when it gets lost or when you make a wrong turn seems to quickly recalculate a new navigation plan. The problem is, it makes impractical turn requests, such as turning in 100 feet when you are driving at 40 MPH! Of course, you miss that turn having not had the chance to cross 4 lanes of traffic in such little time and at that speed, it recalculates again, and the cycle repeats. Eventually you pull over or simply turn the thing off.
- The device gets lost, a lot. It frequently puts me on Main St instead of Elm (I live in Dallas, TX), or thinks I'm traveling north/south when I'm actually driving east/west. And, then the recalculation cycle begins, etc, etc.
- The device takes forever to find the satilites and seems to loose them easily within Dallas proper. It seems to take a lot longer on the high precision mode, but in low precision mode the device is so in accurate it can think I'm blocks away from where I actually am an the navigation becomes absolutely worthless. It works better in the suburbs.
- The Nuvi 680 has an annoying penchant for recommending you drive against traffic on one way streets the wrong way, in particular Continental ave in downtown Dallas. Ignoring the device's request to endanger myself and break the law, this, of course, begins the never ending recalculation cycle mentioned above.
- Unless set to "shortest path", the Nuvi will *always* direct you to a navigation involving expressways, even if it's miles out of your way. In Dallas, this is almost never the "fastest way" as we have many major surface streets that offer "green wave" stoplights and are better for navigation, in particular during busy weekday hours. Set to Shortest Path, the Nuvi does much, much better, but will recommend side streets with tons of stop signs and turns instead of a reasonable compromise of using a major avenue like Ross, Gaston or Live Oak that are only a block or two out of the way. I can only imagine the device has the same failures in other cities if it's this bad in Dallas.
- I bought the device to help me avoid traffic. Using the MSN direct and following the device's advice, I've been jammed in more bad traffic than I ever did before I owned it. Mid day last week, the Nuvi recommended 635 between the Tollway and 75. Now, anyone that's been in Dallas for 2 months knows this is a stupid move -- take Forrest instead. Well, no traffic problems were shown, so I took the Nuvi's advice and promptly sat on the roadway for 20 minutes. This is unacceptable that a decade-old piece of knowledge about the city isn't in the database. $10 says next month when I'm in Boston it routes me right through the big dig.
- The MP3 Player is a travesty. First, it will only play classical and jazz CDs that have a "low level". Pop CDs play very, very distorted. The output level to the FM transmitter is also very low, so you will find yourself *cranking* your radio to hear anything. Don't switch stations if you like your ears!
- The FM Transmitter is really weak. My antenna is only about 3 ft from where I mount the Nuvi, but the reception is noisy, has interference, is waaaaay less in level than other radio stations (I know that's unavoidable to some extent) and sounds so bad I just can't stand to use it. This is a real disappointment in the device.
My recommendation is to purchase a basic navigation system without the frills and MSN direct, which mostly don't work in a satisfactory manner, and save yourself the extra money....more info
- Excellent device -- hard to beat
I think this product works just as a GPS should work -- accurately and simply. The screen is outstanding. The computer is fast doing recalculations and so far, no misdirections. The only fault I find is that the device MUST be plugged in to the cigarette lighter to use the MSN traffic and weather functions. I did not realize the FM receiver was in the charger and not the device itself. This somewhat defeats the "cordless" aspect of the device. But it's so much better than OEM systems in cars -- not to mention quite a bit less expensive.
Update -- a little con: there is a flaw in the text to speech function. The computer voice reads "Dr." as "Doctor" not "Drive" -- that's understandable, except when refering to traffic directions!...more info
- Super Unit
I live in central Florida and travel up and down the east coast. The gps is great and usually finds the shortest routes but sometimes it can be fooled by new construction. Found everything in Disney World and seems to be pretty up to date. I love it. My friend with a built in Lexus GPS is very jealous of it and is buying a unit for his second car....more info
- Very, very, very nice GPS system.
This is a nice little unit. I used to program GPS applications so I have used a few. The software running this unit is great. The GPS algorithms for finding the shortest or the longest route work excellently. I tested with 4 separate routes. When you deviate from your route the unit is a little slow to pick up on it, 2 or 3 seconds depending on how far you have moved, but then it starts recalculating and gets you back on track.
The maps are easy to read and the views (2d and 3d) are easily switched and zoomed.
The MP3 player works great. It plays music and when it needs to give a voice command it pauses the music and tells you what it needs to tell you. The FM tuner works well too. Although if you come in range of a station the station takes over.
The hands free calling works great. As soon I as I get in the car it finds my phone. If music is playing, it is puts it on pause until you are done on the phone and then turns it right back on.
The user interface is very intuitive and user friendly. I have hardly needed to use the manual or help.
The MSN direct features work good also. They take some time when you first turn it on to download all the information. The traffic feature has worked well. The data has been up to date so far. If it tells you a road is closed, LISTEN TO IT!!!!! We decided not to and sat in 4 hours of traffic because we thought "No way could the turnpike be closed." We could have totally avoided it.
The movie data in my area have all been up to date and have included some theaters I didn't know existed. The gas feature usually has data (prices) that is a day or 2 old, but it did list all the gas stations in my area.
At first when I used the suction cup mount I thought it was defective because it kept falling off. After reading the directions, I discovered that I need to clean all the dust of the window before trying to use it. Since I have discovered that little trick it has worked great. We have used it in our 2 cars and truck.
We do yard sales on Saturday and my girlfriend had to make maps with MapPoint every week. Now we just put the addresses in as we go.
Having a GPS like this definitely changes the way you travel. Running errands is great. I type in the name of the store I want to go to and go to the closest one. Then type in the next one. I have discovered a lot of store locations I didn't know about.
Over all the purchase was definitely worth it.
- Best one yet
If you can get one, do it. The very best GPS you can have....more info
- GARMIN 680 IN BRAZIL
I LIVE IN BRAZIL, TRAVELING IN US LAST MONTH THE 680 WAS VERY USEFUL WITH RELIABLE AND PRECISE INFORMATION. HERE IN BRAZIL IT IS ALSO USEFUL, BUT THE NUMBER OF CITIES WITH ALL INFORMATION IS STILL SMALL. I HOPE THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE THE COVERAGE HERE CAN BE AS GOOD AS IN US. ANYWAY THE PRODUCT IS EXCELLENT....more info
- Garmin 680
This is a marvel.
I travel the roads trying to avoid major Interstates and the Garmin 680 has never let me down.
I download books and enjoy them as I drive.
This is a great product....more info
- Nuvi 680 a big disappointment.
I've had four Garmin GPS units over the years (1 aviation, 2 auto, 1 marine). Each unit has been terrific and Garmin's after sales support is, without question, the very best I've received from any company. Garmin has always proven to be the "ideal model" in my customer experiences with the company. Given my wonderful experiences with Garmin products and support, I was excited to use the Nuvi 680 in my extensive travels.
My enthusiasm was short lived and was quickly replaced with frustration. The 680 was continually lost, directed me to a hotel it thought was located on the median of a major interstate (1/2 mile from the actual hotel), wouldn't find major cities or close restaurants and hotels. It wasted far more time than it saved. While the MSN Direct was interesting, in the end the information it provided was marginally helpful at best.
Things I liked in the 680: beautiful screen was easy to read in all light conditions; touch screen worked very well; menus were easy to use; all the pieces fit together nicely; the unit is thin which is what initially attracted me to the Nuvi--very nice for travel.
Cons: the 680 was totally lost and I used it in several states over many hundreds of miles of driving. I flew into Memphis and when I typed in "Jackson," the 680 gave me cities named Jackson all over the US, but wouldn't list Jackson, MS (200 miles away--and the state capital of MS, for heavens sake!).
When I typed in "Hilton" it gave me a list of Hilton hotels 250 miles away from my current location. I gave the unit plenty of time to acquire satellites and know where it was. I tried all the menu options, e.g. "from current location," etc. to no avail. I hit "GO" to a BBQ restaurant and the 680 took me 15 miles to a large public park without a restaurant anywhere to be found in or near the park.
I'm a Garmin fanatic, but I regrettably returned the unit as it was completely unusable and sent me on wild rides. Perhaps I received a bad unit--I hope so! Now I'm out shopping again, . . .
- Garmin Nuvi 680 GPS
I have three hand-held GPSs and two cars with factory installed GPS. The Nuvi 680 beats them all.
Once you get hooked on using a GPS, it becomes indispensible.
I like the 3D cartoon-like display on the Nuvi 680. It is much easier to read at a glance. The 2D displays on the other GPS units cannot display the names of all of the cross roads because there is not enough room on the display and they are written along the road at odd angles. The Nuvi 680 gets around the problem by showing the name of every road as you approach it on the banner bar at the top. That way it does not need to show every minor road, only the major ones. This is a great improvement.
The other features on the Nuvi 680 are: Bluetooth hands-free cell phone (my factory-installed GPS units have this also - a great feature), MP3 ( I have over 300 hours of music recorded on the SD card), JPEG ( I have not used this, and I am not sure this is a safe feature anyway), POI ( These are easier to access on the Nuvi than on other units and are very helpful), and MSN Direct( It displays storm warnings automatically- this was helpful in Chicago while I was there), Sound output on the car's speakers (this is good, but you must select an unused frequency and it is is very hard to find one in large cities. I would like to see Garmin extend the frequency range below the FM band like my car is capable of to get highway messages).
If it was not for the fact that GPS is bundled with many other good features in factory-installed cars, I would opt for the Nuvi 680 as the preferred GPS unit....more info
- Very Impressive with some caveats (updated)
The latest Garmin is very impressive. However, I don't like the fact that finding some of the accessories is so challenging. For example, I purchased this GPS because I was taking a trip to California. Unfortunately, the laws in California prevent you from attaching the Nuvi directly to the windshild, so you've got to purchase a separate accessory, which I did, the Garmin Portable Friction Mount. It works great in terms of not sliding around the dash. I was on San Francisco streets and if it was going to fly off - it would have, but it was rock steady. The problem is that I didn't know that you need more than just the friction mount. There is another accessory that goes between the Nuvi and the friction mount. Because I found out about the California law just before I left, I had no time to figure out what that extra part is - so I just used a series of rubber bands to affix it to the Friction Mount base.
It would have been easy for Garmin to spell this out, but I could find no information to let me know which part to purchase to go with the "Universal" Friction Mount or even that you needed an extra part. I still don't know what that part is. The rubber bands worked OK, but it's lame.
As far as the MSN Direct, it works pretty well for the Weather & Traffic, and it does let you know about some movie theaters - not even close to a complete list - at least not in the NYC area, and then the gas prices.... At one point, when my rental car gas indicator was on E, I thought No problem - I've got the Nuvi. Well, it took me to a non-existant gas station, which was harrowing considering I was about to run out of gas and didn't know the area. It gave me a ghost gas station two different times and locations. So I'm on the fence about renewing. Also, I know of some local stations that have better gas prices that don't even show up on MSN, so it hasn't got a complete list of stations/prices.
Even though, I purchased this right after it came out - it has come down in price over $160 since I purchased it less than a month ago - I am happy that I bought it. It was invaluable in getting me around S.F. and the Wine country. But, I could have been just as happy with the 660 had I known about the hiccups with MSN Direct. So, I learned that I can't totally trust the MSN, but it does still give some information. It also would have been better if you could download the MSN info without having to plug it into the car cigarette lighter.
A big plus is the Bluetooth. It's invaluable - the only way to make phone calls in the car - it couldn't be easier, and a great connection. Of course, you get that with some of the previous versions of the Nuvi.
All told, the 660 would have been the better purchase for me. You could take a chance that the MSN will get better in accuracy on the 680, now that the price has come down so much from when I purchased it - it might be worth the extra $.
Since I first posted this review in May, Garmin wised up. The only Garmin Portable Friction Mount I could find when I purchased mine, does not go with the 680. At least not without 2 parts. From what I can glean from other reviewers, I could purchase another item to go with what I already have, but my total cost for both would be over $50.
Garmin now has the correct Friction Mount in the accessories section for the 680 on their website. List price: $40.00 (#010-10908)- Amazon price: $28 (at this point).
Don't be fooled by the CUSTOMERS WHO BOUGHT THIS ITEM ALSO BOUGHT section on Amazon.
Check the Garmin website to be sure.
- Simply Outstanding!
The Garmin 680 Nuvi does it and does it so well. The MSN Direct is very well intergrated into the units functions - the gas pricing is especially helpful - just tune to gas pricing and stations in the area are listed with milage, price and direction.
The Bluetooth phone system is my favorite - it downloads your phone's contact list and also keeps records of phone calls and even has a text messaging function.
The SD card once loaded with books, jpegs, and MP3s works very well.
The FM transmitter also works well.
All around a hard to beat GPS system with all the bells and whistles....more info
I have enjoyed this device greatly in my recent travels. It has been invaluable in business. It has also been wonderful on weekend "leisure" trips. When I take those trips I love to avoid the highways. I can set the avoidances in the navigation menu to try to avoid highways and it'll keep me off the interstates and more on the backroads. I've discovered some great restaurants this way! If I'm on a timetable, though, I just tell it to take the highways and I'm off on the fast track. It can route differently, depending on timetable and situation. In short I would be lost without it now that I own one. The only thing I don't like is the suction cup mount for the windshield. It does not hold that great or long, but there are alternatives....more info
- Very Impressed
Overall very impressed with the Garmin 680. The maps and display are very easy to read, the tts sounds great, and it seems very accurate. So far the MSN Direct has proved valuable, routing us around stopped traffic, helping us find the best gas prices, and accurate weather. Yes, it is pricey, but proves you get what you pay for. If you don't need/want the bluetooth, fm transmitter, msn direct (680) or integrated traffic receiver (660), then just get the Nuvi 650 and save some money. Despite the price, I am really happy with my purchase. I wasn't expecting much from msn based on other review, but in Atlanta it has worked great! Also, I wasn't really anticipating using or being interested in the bluetooth, but I'm hooked, very convenient. Call Garmin tech support, not only do they usually pick right up, they are friendly, helpful, and knowlegeable about their products, unlike some competitors....more info
- long time gps user - nuvi is a major failure
I've used magellan tech for years. Garmin has been all the rage, so I got the 680. My first take was possibly prejudiced by the magellan, but I could only choose fastest way, not most or least use of highways. OK, it's different. Took it on a road trip to DC. It always skipped the freeways. Always. I could understand skipping due to traffic, but it took us in one way and out another, and they weren't even close to each other. Took 45 minutes and 45 turns to leave dc. Leaving it took us the wrong way down a 1 way street. A clearly marked local access only during 3 hours of the day street. One of the times I missed the turn (there is an occasional delay and it can be hard to tell where to turn with lots of smaller blocks) and went behind our hotel. We still had a circle and some other 1 way street issues to get to the right place. Waiting for the light, I steered away from the hotel in my lane and it said I arrived. Frequently it had us following the route for several (up to 10) seconds when we had made an obvious wrong turn. Accuracy was generally around 300 to 500 feet and start up time was up to 5 minutes. This was with the external antenna and no line of site issues. The msn traffic and other info is useless. It is only good for yesterdays info, takes hours to download and is only useful in major metro areas. Pass on this technology for a good while. Pass on garmin software as well. This lost on start up, accuracy and routing. Oh, and it gets mad when you make it recalculate route. It was actually funny. Like I was frustrating it. I could almost hear it mumbling and swearing....more info
- It's really nice GPS, But Pricey
I think this is the complete GPS device what I really want. The feature I like...
1.Very quick detection if miss a turn, Better then Nuvi 360.
3.MSN Direct Traffic, Weather and .... This feature requires improvement.
I don't like the Price as well as the size. Another thing there is no way to change the battery, so if battery dies you are stuck.
Thanks Shahin...more info