StreetPilot C550 Review

The StreetPilot C530 from Garmin is a basic, no frills, easy to use GPS, perfect for the newbie. It comes basically ready to use right out of the box, with preloaded street maps and points of interest such as hotels, ATM’s, gas stations, and others. You can also program your own points of interest, such as school zones and traffic stops. Some users did feel that the points of interest database is badly outdated. Some businesses that have been closed for years are still showing up. You do have the option to add new points of interest, but not delete the old ones. This is not really a problem with the device’s technical aspect, but may be frustrating, just the same.

It powers up with a rechargeable lithium ion battery that will stand up to 8 hours of off the charger use.

Navigation is in 2D or 3D maps, and you simply enter your destination on the screen to receive your directions. You’re also able to hear voice turn by turn directions. The C530 does not, however, announce street names, as some of the other models do. The street names are shown on the display, and the picture is crystal clear, and in large lettering, so it is easy to see. Turning directions are given in ample time to prepare, no more getting stuck in the wrong lane, because you found out too late that you needed to turn. And if you take a wrong turn, and get off your route, it will quickly re-navigate your position, and get you back on track.

While this device is larger somewhat compared to the Nuvi line of Garmin products, it is still small enough to carry with you from car to car, or to take walking or hiking. The friction base is easily moved to make it more convenient to take on the go, and to reposition if it interferes with your driving.

Although the Bluetooth technology and MP3 player that is included in a lot of Garmin’s products is not included with the StreetPilot C530, it is still a good device for the cost. If all you need is a navigational device that is going to get you where you need to be and back again, without all the frills that accompany many other products, and you don’t want to spend your small fortune doing it, then the C530 is a good option.

Product Description

The StreetPilot c530 comes with preloaded maps and optional traffic alerts. Whether you choose the StreetPilot c530 or the European c510 or the c550 with hands-free calling, MP3 player and traffic alerts, the c500 series is easy to use with plenty of options.

Navigate With Ease

StreetPilot c530 comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator® NT street maps and a hefty points of interest (POIs) database, including motels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. Simply touch the super-bright sunlight-readable color screen to enter a destination, and the c530 takes you there with 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. In addition, the c530 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.

Add Traffic Alerts

Avoid traffic jams with the addition of an FM TMC traffic receiver and traffic services. By adding these to your c530, you are notified of accidents or road construction ahead on your route. Simply touch the screen to view traffic details or recalculate your route to avoid traffic.

Take It With You

The portable StreetPilot c530 conveniently moves from vehicle to vehicle with an easy, adjustable mount. Its compact size makes it convenient to take along on business trips and use in rental cars. c530 also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for out-of-car route planning.

Enjoy the Extras

StreetPilot c530 is packed full of additional features that make it the perfect navigator. Its high sensitivity GPS receiver acquires satellites quickly and maintains signals even as you drive under heavy foliage or near skyscrapers. c530 also comes with Garmin Lock™, an anti-theft feature, and configurable vehicle icons that let you select car-shaped graphics to show your location on the map. Customize your c530 with optional software on plug-and-play SD cards.

StreetPilot c530: Yes, it really is that simple.

Physical & Performance: 
Unit dimensions, WxHxD:4.4″W x 3.2″H x 2.25″D (11.2 x 8.1 x 5.7 cm)
Display size, WxH:2.8″W x 2.1″H (7.1 x 5.3 cm); 3.5 diag (8.9 cm)
Display resolution, WxH:320 x 240 pixels
Display type:16-bit antiglare TFT LCD with white backlight
Weight:9 ounces (255 g)
Battery:rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life:up to 8 hours
High-sensitivity receiver:yes
RoHS version available:yes
Maps & Memory: 
Preloaded maps:yes
Ability to add maps:yes
Built-in memory:internal solid state
Accepts data cards:SD card (not included)
Voice prompts (e.g. “Turn right in 500 ft.”):yes (internal speaker)
Speaks street names (e.g. “Turn right ON ELM STREET in 500 ft.”) :no
3D map view:yes
Auto sort multiple destinations (provides most direct route):no
Auto re-route (fast off-route and detour recalculation):yes
Choice of route setup (faster time, shorter distance, off road):yes (no off road)
Route avoidance (avoid highways, tolls etc.):yes
Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest):yes
Hands-free calling with Bluetooth® wireless technology:no
FM traffic compatible:yes
XM Navtraffic (includes basic weather) & Radio for U.S. compatible:no
MSN® Direct for U.S. compatible:no
MP3 player:no
Audio book player:no
Picture viewer:no
Configurable vehicle icons (select car-shaped icons for map navigation):yes
World travel clock, currency & measurement converter, calculator:no
Remote control:no
FM transmitter:no
Headphone jack/audio line-out:no
Dead reckoning:no
Garmin Lock™ (anti-theft feature):yes
Additional:This USB Mass Storage device is compatible with Windows® 2000 or later and Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

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