Garmin nüvi 750, 760, 770, 780 – REVIEW


 

Garmin has not stopped to rest following its successes with the immensely popular (and deservedly so) nuvi line. With the introduction of the 700 series, Garmin has redefined its top-shelf category, borrowing the sleek good looks of its entry-level nuvi 200 series, but packing it with its high-end features of the 600 series, and then some. The 760 has earned top honors from a number of reviewers, including Editor’s Choice from PC Magazine, which states, "The 760 sports a trimmer, slicker design and adds a number of cool new features and welcome refinements to the top-rated 600 series."

 


Ratings Summary
Includes ratings for Garmin nuvi 750, 760, 770, 780
nuvi 750
Owner Reviews
nuvi 760
Owner Reviews
nuvi 770
Owner Reviews
nuvi 780
Owner Reviews
nuvi 760
nuvi 760
nuvi 760,780
Editor’s Choice
Our Rating: 5 Stars

Most notably, the 700 series includes multi-destination routing. This feature allow you to enter up to 10 destinations at once and the nuvi will calculate the optimal route so you’ll spend the least amount of time on the road. Ideal for realtors and delivery professionals, this feature has the potential to pay for itself many times over in gas savings, especially at today’s ever-higher prices. The 700 series includes the popular wide-screen design of the 600 series along with text-to-speech capability which reads street names aloud, keeping your eyes on the road, not on the GPS. The 700 series also includes an integrated FM transmitter to send its voice-guided directions, audiobook or MP3 audio, or your telephone conversation via Bluetooth connection (760 and 770 models only) to your car’s stereo system speakers.

The nuvi 700 series includes Garmin’s new "Where Am I?" safety feature which helps you find the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations, nearest address and intersection. It also lets you see your exact latitude and longitude coordinates. Also new is the "Last Position" feature, which, among other things, can help you locate your car in a large parking lot.

Finally, the 700 series is both FM TMC Traffic-capable and MSN Direct-capable and provides strong integration of "location aware" features, like weather, gas prices and finding a good restaurant in an unfamiliar place. The integrated FM receiver is included on the 760 and 770 models. MSN Direct receiver is included on the 780 model. (These are additional options for the 750.)

 

 

 

 

 

[flv:http://rated4stars.com/images/nuvi760Demo.flv 320 182]

 

Pro
Con

Feature-rich & very portable, versatile

Extra wide, bright screen is easy to read, even in bright sunlight

Conveniently integrated traffic receiver and FM transmitter

Ideal for frequent or international travel with additional “Travel Kit” features

Expensive

Subscription required for traffic features; some “Travel Kit” features require additional cost

We’ve traveled the world with our beloved nuvi 370 with great success. Even the "wide body" nuvis are ultraportable and with their impressive battery life, create a truly versatile device that can double as a handheld. Thanks to the 370, the nuvi guided us on foot to a downtown parking lot in Luxembourg late at night when we couldn’t remember where we had parked. The 700 series is the sleekest nuvi yet, making it a great travel companion. The nuvi continues to better itself and we continue to award it our highest honor: 5 stars. [Review Date: 6 October 2007 © 2007 Rated4Stars.com]

 

 

 

 

 


Key Features at a Glance
Feature
nuvi 750
nuvi 760
nuvi 770
nuvi 780
Ready to Use Out of the Box?

Includes maps of US, Canada

Includes maps of US, Canada

Includes maps of US, Canada PLUS Europe

Includes maps of US, Canada
Spoken, Turn-by-Turn Directions?
Text-to-Speech? (Announces Street Names)
Voice Recognition?
Multi-Destination Routing?
Bluetooth?

MP3/Audio Player?

Plus audiobook reader

Plus audiobook reader

Plus audiobook reader

Plus audiobook reader
Live Traffic/Weather?

Subscription required

Subscription requiredIntegrated TMC-FM Receiver

Subscription requiredIntegrated TMC-FM Receiver

Subscription requiredIntegrated MSN Direct Receiver
Suitable for Offroad Use?
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Portable?
(internal battery)
Other Features:
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features

 

 

Additional Specifications
Weight 6.2 ounces (190 g)
Dimensions 4.9"W x 2.9"H x .9"D (12.4 x 7.4 x 2.3 cm)
Screen  3.81"W x 2.25"H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3" diag (10.9 cm)
 WxH: 480 x 272 pixels
WQVGA color TFT with white backlight
Chipset SiRF Star III with 20-channel all-in-view; WAAS
In the Box nüvi 750/760/770/780, Preloaded City Navigator® NT for North America (plus Europe on 770 model), FM traffic receiver with vehicle power cable (760, 770, 780 models), Vehicle suction cup mount*, Dashboard disc, USB cable, Quick start manual
Warranty One Year Limited Warranty
uSell

Comments

  1. My wife and I have been using Garmin C320 GPS in each of our cars since 2005. It was time for an upgrade. I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 760 and we love it. Here is a little overview about how I decided what to get and some of the key features we had to have.

    My “must haves” in the new GPS were “Text To Speech”, Traffic, Bluetooth, no flip out antenna, and a 4.3” screen.

    I did a lot of research on Magellan, TomTom and Garmin models meeting my “must haves”. My conclusions were as follows: The Magellan incorporates AAA and that I feel is a really nice touch. The TomTom’s come pretty loaded but seem a bit more complex. The Garmin’s interface hasn’t changed form the C320 but Garmin has added a slew of additional features in comparison to my C320.

    Since the new GPS wasn’t only for me but for my wife, I decided to keep the learning curve to a minimum and decided I would choose another Garmin model since we are both experienced with them. Now, which one? I looked at all Nuvi units. I narrowed my choices down to the 255W, 760, and 780. Each of these include 4.3” screens, “Text To Speech”, Bluetooth, no flip out antenna, and are Traffic ready. The 255W does not include either the FM TMC Traffic or the MSN Direct power adapter. The 760 includes the FM TMC Traffic power adapter while the 780 includes the MSN Direct power adapter.

    When I started to check pricing I was noticing that the 255W is the same price as the 760 but did not include any Traffic power adapter. I also noticed the 255W power is connected directly to the unit. More on this in a moment. I decided it was off my short list and my choice was now between the 760 and the 780. I decided on the 760 since the price was more that 100 dollars cheaper then the 780. I can always ad the MSN Direct power adapter later and I will have the FM TMC Traffic power adapter as well.

    Another reason I decided against the 255W is that the power is connected directly into the unit and not the mount. It is so much easier to remove the unit from the mount and not have to worry about disconnecting the power cord as well. Convenience is another key factor I should have mentioned.

    The first thing I did once I got the 760 was register it at the Garmin web site. Once I did I was able to update the unit’s software and Maps. Garmin has a “Web Updater” software download on their web site. Connect the 760 via the supplied USB cable and run the Web Updater Software. The software will check for the latest version of system firmware/software and update the 760. That worked very well I might add.

    The 760 came with 2008 Maps but the 2009 Map update is available via Garmin’s web site. If you buy the 760 now you can call to get the 2009 Maps free if it does not come with them. Garmin uses NAVTEQ Maps and from what I have read, are more accurate for the USA. The web site was telling me to buy them but I made a quick phone call to Garmin and verified my purchase via email with one of their support staff. A few minutes later I was able to either download or get a DVD with the 2009 Maps. The DVD is $10 and that is for shipping. I opted for the download. The 2009 Map file is large, around 2 Gigabytes so it took about 20 minutes to download via my cable modem. Once downloaded I ran the setup and it updated my 760 to the 2009 Maps. It was pretty easy but including the download it took about an hour. I also created a DVD with the 2009 Map file for safe keeping. The map is the Complete North America Maps. On the C320 the maps had to be uploaded and not all of the USA would fit. The 760 is fully loaded with the USA and Canada. Very nice!

    While I was online I looked at the Garmin “Extras” available for download and decided to add a few new Vehicles. Pretty cool.

    Once I finished updating the 760 I took it to my car and mounted it. The mount is just a couple of pieces and the 760 mounts securely in seconds. The power cable connects to the mount and not the unit so that the unit can be removed from the mount easily with no wires to disconnect. The mounting is excellent. I also purchased the optional “Portable Friction Mount” which sits on the dash. I highly recommend this so that you can easily hide the 760, mount and all, on the cars floor. Very easy as compared to the supplied suction cup mount and doesn’t leave that suction cup ring on the windshield. Seems thieves love to smash and grab navigation units so the Friction Mount is great as it leaves no evidence visible you have a 760 in the car.

    I am amazed at how quickly the 760 acquires Satellites. When I did the software/firmware update it installed SiRF Star III Quick Fix. This allows the 760 to acquire satellites very quickly. So far every time the unit has been off to powered on it has acquired satellites as soon as it is booted up. Total time from off to “Ready to Navigate” is about 30 seconds.

    The Nuvi 760 has a beautiful, bright, and crisp looking 4.3” display. The fonts have been updated and the graphics are much better than my C320. I really like the new Automatic Zoom in and out based on distance to the next turn and destination. You can see the destination Checkered Flag and Via Point Flags are Orange. A nice touch is that your Personal Addresses display on the Map.

    The 760 speaks street names “Text To Speech”. Nice feature instead of turn right in 200 feet. There is no maneuver Ding like on the C320 but I’m not sure it is needed with the additional spoken information.

    The 760 includes Bluetooth so I was able to pair the wife’s phone in about a minute. Really simple. The Phone Book from the Phone transfers to the 760 along with Recently Dialed, Recently Received, and Recent Missed calls. Very cool. Once you start populating the 760 with your “Favorite” destination addresses you can manually add Phone Numbers to your Favorite addresses if needed. This is very nice since you can touch the Favorite you want and touch the little phone icon and dial that number. You can talk “Hands Free” via your 760 and I was pretty happy with the voice quality. I read a few instances where people say it doesn’t work well or sound good. This isn’t the case for us as I find it to work very well and sound really good. A valuable and convenient feature. On our first trip together we needed a certain item and we were able to pull up stores we thought would have it and simply touched the phone icon and called them to see if they carried what we needed. Once we found the store that had what we needed we were able to easily navigate to it. Very convenient and easy to use. I recommend the 760 with Bluetooth. Very nice.

    Searching for any of the included 6 million Points of Interests is easy and the POI Search displays Names and Addresses in the results. The additional address is a nice touch to see just how far away a result is if you know the town and how far away it is from you. The keyboard can be set to QWERTY and that makes typing so much easier if you are familiar with a PC keyboard. And who isn’t now a days. Another nice feature is there is a drop down that will allow you to access and insert recent Searches without having to retype them since they are remembered by the 760. Another nice feature.

    Another very nice feature is you can create multiple destinations and have them automatically sorted for the optimal route. You can keep adding stops or via points and you can even remove them. You can manually reorder them to your liking or let the 760 automatically reorder the best route for you. Great if you need to run some errands at two or three different stores. The 760 will get you to each in the most efficient way.

    The 760 has a “Where Am I” feature that is very nice. It will show you Hospitals, Fuel, and Police stations that are near to where you are at. It will also indicate the nearest Address and nearest Intersection. This is great to see just where you are and can be provided to law enforcement in an emergency or to tell someone exactly where you are in an unknown area. Your Elevation is also indicated.

    As you drive there is an icon that will display the Speed Limit for the road you are on. A little reminder to check your speed and keep it safe.

    Maybe on of the best features are the Real Time Traffic updates. The 760 comes with the FM Traffic power adapter. The Traffic adapter is in place of a regular power adapter so the only thing different is it is it has some LED’s and it is a little larger where it gets plugged into the car’s power. Of course you need to be in an area that is covered by FM Traffic. If you are in a covered area than it can take about 10 minutes to get traffic data. Once data is in the 760 it will display on the map and on a separate Traffic screen. One bad thing is once power is lost so is the traffic data. It may take another 10 minutes or so the acquire traffic data again. Traffic issues are displayed on the main map screen with different colors and an appropriate traffic icon on your route as you approach them. An icon in the lower right will also show you how much time traffic is causing your delay. This time is automatically added to your current route. If the traffic is deemed too much then the 760 will recalculate a new route almost seamlessly to divert you around the traffic. There is plenty of traffic related detail on a separate screen if you want to access it. You can also touch the “Avoid” or “Detour” to force the 760 to reroute around traffic. The included FM Traffic comes with a 3 Months free Trial then it is $60.00 per year. Worth it if you are on the road a lot and your travels are within the covered areas.

    I think I am going to get the MSN Direct (separate power adapter) after the 3 month trial expires. The MSN Direct includes Traffic, Gasoline prices, and Weather alerts. There is more to MSN Direct but these features make it more worth it to me. Another nice thing about the MSN Direct is that you can opt for a one time lifetime payment and you’re done.

    These are all the features for us that make the 760 a really nice GPS unit. There are many pluses and only a few drawbacks. Two drawbacks are; no House AC Adapter and no Carry Case for storage. But, if you have a USB cell phone then you can probably use your AC charger for the phone as I do.

    I recommend the Garmin Portable Friction mount for the dash. Easy to put in place and hide on the cars floor. I also recommend getting the Garmin Carry Case.

    I was able to shop the web and find the 760 for about $350.00. The Portable Friction Mount and the Carry Case were another $50.00. So for about $400.00 I got a very nice Navigation unit. For us the 760 is a wonderful GPS. It is beautiful and sleek. The features it includes are a valuable addition and make traveling even short distances easier and more enjoyable. I highly recommend the 760 to anyone looking for a new personal GPS unit.

  2. Rated4Stars says:

    Mark,

    Many thanks for your post. Very comprehensive, thoughtful and especially helpful to be able to follow your decisionmaking process and logic. Keep us posted along your travels — we’re always interested to hear how these units perform under real-world conditions! Again, thanks.

    …David

  3. Stephanie says:

    WOW! Now there’s a comment! Thanks Mark 🙂
    This REALLY helped me and I love that you’ve owned a couple systems and used them often.
    PS. Can I get your email since I have a few questions for you mine is simonsaiz@hotmail.com
    Stephanie

  4. Mark,

    I currently own the Nuvi 650 unit, this was an upgrade from the StreetPilot series. I miss the convenient volume button that sits on the side of the StreetPilot models so you can adjust the volume quickly without having to touch the screen several times. Garmin took that away in the Nuvi series. I do most of my driving in the same city so I find it very annoying that I have to spell the city name every time I enter an address. All Garmin models remember the last state that you entered, it would be nice if they also remember the last city you entered. Does the Nuvi 760 have this feature? If it does, I’d like to upgrade.

    Thanks,
    Uyen

  5. We bought the Nuvi 760 after reading a number of favorable reviews and have been sadly disappointed. It took 12 hours to download and install the 2009 maps, and the unit keeps crashing. It apparently attempts to download “Bluetooth firmware”, but locks up and is useless without rebooting. The most recent time I had to do that (yesterday, in the midst of a trip) the unit rebooted, but no longer has any voice. Customer service via the internet is slow, and has not yet been able to solve the problem(s), despite instructing me how to find a number of “secret” screens, etc. We need a RELIABLE GPS unit., and this Garmin is NOT it. We will be returning it.

  6. Just purchased the Garmin 760, walmart has black friday special for $248. It’s suppose to be loaded with the new 2009 map per customer service.

  7. Rated4Stars says:

    Thanks for your comment, Pam. Even if the unit you buy does not have 2009 maps preloaded, Garmin will provide a free upgrade. Happy shopping!

  8. Best Buy replaced our Garmin after all the grief we experienced (see “John” on 10/20/2008, above.) The new one has 2009 software installed, and although we’ve had issues with the “voices” disappearing without notice, the map software works fine. Garmin was fairly helpful — told me to return the unit. Not sure I’m looking forward to installing any other updates, or anything ELSE, as they release them tho.

  9. which garmin gps models have interfaces or software to upload directly from your computer multiple addresses so you dont have to manually input into unit?

  10. After having to reboot the Garmin countless times and being unable to easily download updates thru my MacBook Pro, we finally gave up on the Garmin and returned it to BestBuys. We now have a TomTom. Which appears, at least so far, to be more Apple-friendly. We’ll see.

    At least BestBuys was user-friendly. With the 5 year warranty we bought, we simply took it back to the nearest store and replaced it……..no questions asked. That part was easy.

    But we have not been impressed with Garmin — neither the product nor Garmin’s customer “service”.

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