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 Comparison of Garmin 760 vs TomTom 720
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2 Posts

Posted - 23 oct. 2007 :  05:18:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I originally purchased a TomTom 720 and used it for about a week. I work as a building inspector throughout the State of Texas and thought that the purchase of a GPS would allow for much more efficient use of my time. Unfortunately, many of the addresses I needed could not be found via the TomTom.

I decided to put some of the same addresses that the TomTom could not find into a Garmin on display at Circuit City. Most of the addresses not found in the TomTom were found in the Garmin. After doing some research, I discovered that the Garmin 760 had just been released, so I traded in the TomTom for a Garmin 760. After using the Garmin for a few days, these are my observations:

Observations of TomTom 720
1) Exterior case. The exterior of the unit is very sleek and nice. In my opinion, it looks better than most other GPS units.
2) Windshield Mount. The mount uses a push on suction cup. The unit attaches to the mount by sliding the back of the unit onto a type of D-clip on the mount.
3) Computer Voice. The computer voice seems much more human than the computer voice of the Garmin.
4) FM Transmitter. The FM transmitter worked great with little hiss or interference. However, the FM transmitter did not transmit the sound of phone conversations to the radio. Phone conversations were heard via the internal speaker of the TomTom.
5) Phone Connectivity. Both my Blackberry 7520 and my T-Mobile MDA connected fine. However, I could not dial numbers via the TomTom screen. It said that function was not supported with the phone. The TomTom did download the entire contact list from both phones and I was able to look up and call entries in the phone book via the TomTom screen.
6) Mp3 Player. The Mp3 player played music very clearly with very, very little hiss.
7) Screen modifications. You can locate the navigational bar to the bottom or the side of the screen. Moving it to the side of the screen was a nice option allowing me to see more of the screen in the direction I was traveling.
8) Route Information. I liked the ability to decide what information to display on the routing screen. I was able to see the current time as well as the estimated time of arrival. The compass not only showed the general direction (N,NE,E,SE, ect.), but it showed the degrees of direction (0=N, 90=E, etc) This allowed me to see the direction I was heading much more accurately.
9) Menus. The menus on the TomTom allowed for a lot of customization of things, but seemed clumsy to navigate in comparison to the Garmin.
10) Maps. My home street showed an incorrect layout on the TomTom. A collector street in my neighborhood was incorrectly named on the TomTom. I tried to rename the street, but ended up renaming another street at the same time that connected to the misnamed street at a 90 degree angle.

Observations of Garmin 760
1) Exterior case. In my opinion, the exterior of the unit looks much better than the 660, but not as good as the TomTom.
2) Windshield Mount. I preferred the Garmin mount. It used a suction cup with a lever to attach the suction cup to the windshield. The power cable connected to the mount. The unit simply snaps into the mount, supplying power to the unit and automatically turning it on.
3) FM Transmitter. The FM transmitter had more hiss than the TomTom, but it did transmit the sound of phone conversations over the internal car stereo. At 70 miles per hour on the highway, the superior sound of the car stereo was very useful to overcome the road noise.
4) Phone Connectivity. The Garmin had a few features not supported by the TomTom. I was able to transfer the conversation back to the phone in mid call. I could also enter touch tones from the Garmin screen. However, the 760 did not support downloading the contact list from the cell phone.
5) Mp3 Player. The Mp3 player display on the Garmin seemed much nicer to me. It allowed me to make my own playlists via the 760 and save them to the device.
6) Routing. The 760 allows for multiple locations to be entered and routed. This was very important to me because of the need to go to multiple locations each day. The TomTom did have the option to enter waypoints and even routed you to hit those waypoints; however, it was easy to miss the waypoint since there was no audible notice given when you were approaching or when you reached a waypoint.
7) Routing Screen. Although the information on this screen was much more sparse than the TomTom, the simplicity did have appeal. I also liked the ability to see the trip information screen indicating a trip odometer, max speed, average speed, average moving speed, total time, total moving time and total stopped time – something that was totally lacking on the TomTom.
8) Menus. The menus were easy to navigate and allowed me to easily operate the unit. However, customization was almost non-existent compared with the TomTom.
9) Traffic Info. The 760 comes with TMC traffic info that helped me to miss large traffic problems while driving to work this morning. It showed an icon on the route screen indicating trouble, I pushed the icon and the unit automatically provided me with an alternate route that avoided the traffic problems.
10) Maps. This was the overall deciding factor for me. The maps in the Garmin were much more complete than the TomTom. I was able to find many more addresses in the Garmin than I was in the TomTom. Additionally, the Garmin indicated the proper layout of my home street and the correct street name of all streets in my subdivision out of the box.

Although I did not want to spend an extra $200.00 on the Garmin 760 ($700.00 vs $500.00 for the TomTom 720), I decided if I was going to spend $500.00, the extra $200.00 for the Garmin was worth it considering the big difference I saw in map completeness as well as accuracy. I also like the simplicity of the menu system and overall features slightly better than those of the TomTom.

formatting edits by gpspassion



7895 Posts

Posted - 23 oct. 2007 :  06:01:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great first post Dale. Thanks for taking the time to put this comparison together. I know our members will appreciate it.

Rick James - Nuvi Forum Moderator
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Craig W

21 Posts

Posted - 23 oct. 2007 :  06:29:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yes, nice write up. I just wish i could find the 760 for $700 in stock somewhere.

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1269 Posts

Posted - 23 oct. 2007 :  08:49:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Neat post, indeed...

BTW, most of the phones can download the contact list to the Nuvis.
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94684 Posts

Posted - 23 oct. 2007 :  14:21:53  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Great write-up indeed, moved to the..."Comparison" forums ;-)

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7494 Posts

Posted - 23 oct. 2007 :  15:13:01  Show Profile  Visit danham's Homepage  Reply with Quote

What a great contribution. Many thanks. As smiley noted, be aware that Bluetooth pairing is a minefield strewn with casualties and each phone/nuvi combo behaves differently.

The big news for me was that the FM transmitter will route cell conversations through the car stereo. This will make a huge difference in my setup, if I can find clear channels (always a challenge and the reason I never even tried it).


- Nüvi forum moderator -
Nüvi 760 in a '14 VW GTI & zumo 660 on a BMW F800 ST
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1 Posts

Posted - 26 oct. 2007 :  17:56:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How would you rate the Garmin screen in daylight and have you used it at night?
Also, what about the TTS voice of the Garmin. Is it easy to understand?

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2 Posts

Posted - 27 oct. 2007 :  22:41:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I personally couldn't tell much difference between the Garmin and TomTom screens. Both are bright during the day and can easily be seen at night. The TTS for the Garmin is okay, but I thought the TomTom was more clear and easier to understand.

I deleted and set up a new bluetooth connection between the 760 and my Blackberry. The phone book icon now appears on the menu and I can see phone book entries on the 760. I thought that was interesting. Also, to add to Danham's comment regarding the FM transmitter, sometimes it works great and sometimes it is awful. It seems to work best when the vehicle is not moving. It also requires changing the station when moving more than a few miles when you move into the range of stronger radio stations. I found that the TomTom transmitter appeared to have a stonger signal and did not have as much problem with interference from radio stations. In the Dallas area, I tuned the TomTom to 106.5 and it worked great. With the 760, there are many times that I have to press the option to transfer the call to the handset. This transfers all audio to the handset for that call only. Subsequent calls have the audio routed through the 760.

I also read a post from GPSpassion about the maps being about a year old. When in the Austin area this past week, several of the new highways were not in the 2008 North America map that is preloaded on the 760. It showed me driving through a field. Those roadways opened around January of 2007.

After using the 760 for a couple of days, I called Garmin and told them I did not get the Map Source program. They said it was not included in the package, but would send the CD to me anyway. I also ordered the leather case for $18.00. Both arrived in the same box 4 days later. So, I am very happy with Garmin customer service at this point.
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Maximus XXIV

13 Posts

Posted - 28 oct. 2007 :  20:56:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I own a 720 (with defective screen out of box) and a Mapsource City Navigator enabled Garmin hand held. I find pre-planning on a PC much easier with the mapsource software than any of the TT compatible software I have used. I also agree with the addresses on the Garmin being better. I have used both side by side and can usually find it on the Garmin while the TT is hit and miss.
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214 Posts

Posted - 26 nov. 2007 :  20:38:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you have the 7.05 or 7.10 maps?
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149 Posts

Posted - 28 nov. 2007 :  19:23:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I find pre-planning on a PC much easier with the mapsource software than any of the TT compatible software I have used.

Note with this.
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149 Posts

Posted - 28 nov. 2007 :  19:35:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
7) Routing Screen. Although the information on this screen was much more sparse than the TomTom, the simplicity did have appeal. I also liked the ability to see the trip information screen indicating a trip odometer, max speed, average speed, average moving speed, total time, total moving time and total stopped time – something that was totally lacking on the TomTom.

Me, on the contrary found that the Status Navigation Bar of TomTom is much superior.
Be it 100 km away, or 100m away, left or right, next exit in a rotary - with TomTom you know exactly what to do next.
Yes, TomTom display speed , current time, time of arrival ... obviously you didn't know how to.

Edited by - cleo43 on 28 nov. 2007 19:36:15
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1880 Posts

Posted - 30 nov. 2007 :  04:38:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On the TomTom you can also use this very clever way to plan your route with google maps. It works great, but you have to follow the directions exactly:

Coming from the Garmin nuvi 650 to a TomTom 920T (basically the same hardware as the 720), I'm very happy but of course nothing is perfect. The TomTom zooms and scrolls much faster. Using the "browse map" feature really shows this difference; my Nuvi struggles to keep up as I drag the map around the screen (especially with detail set to Most), but the TomTom responds instantly. And in driving/routing mode the screen is refreshed faster, it rotates with smooth movement and it autozooms smoothly.

But I really miss being able to have Topo maps on the same unit like I could with the Nuvi. And I also wish the TomTom had some choice of map detail display, because when you zoom out everything but the major roads disappear in driving view (but in "browse" mode there's much more detail). A tracklog feature is something I really miss on the TomTom (and also the Nuvi 650); glad that Garmin has added this to the Nuvi 700 series.

I'm a very visually oriented person though, so I really like all the different display configuration options and color schemes on the TomTom; the maps are much more attractive than Garmin's. The TomTom 3d view renders haze in the distance in daytime mode and items fade into the dark in the distance in night view, maybe not all that useful but it does look nice :-) And when you zoom way in on an urban area you see a texture which looks like buildings on the ground.

There's also the option to build your own custom menus on the TomTom and add 3rd party software. Since these units are linux based there's a lot of potential to hack them if you're into that. All around you have many more options to control the appearance and behavior of the TomTom than the Nuvi. The TomTom also opens up on exactly the same screen you saw when you shut it off (menu, browse map or driving view). And the "quick fix" feature is very clever. When you connect the GPS to your computer each time it downloads a little file which tells it where to look for the satellites. This really seems to help; my 920 gets a fix really fast in downtown Philadelphia where my Nuvi sometimes took 5 minutes from a cold start.

I still like the Nuvi's, and the 700 series seems like a nice upgrade to the 600's. I've had 4 different Garmin GPS'es over the years and don't have any big complaints; I still use my GPSMap 60csx for the topo maps but I'm giving my Nuvi 650 to my daughter for their trip cross country at Christmas time. But for now I'm enjoying my TomTom 920T.... until something newer and cooler comes along! :-P

Edited by - Boyd on 30 nov. 2007 04:40:59
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172 Posts

Posted - 01 déc. 2007 :  15:51:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought about the 920t, but couldn't get beyond the jagged lines represented as roads. How do you feel about the compression issues with the TomTom maps? The jagged lines of the roads would annoy even the least discriminating driver. The other devices on the market render the roads pretty clearly and even. Can't understand why TomTom won't correct this.

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1880 Posts

Posted - 02 déc. 2007 :  02:09:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess I don't know what you're talking about there. To my eyes, the TomTom maps look nicer than the Garmin maps. The screens on the Nuvi 760 and TomTom 720/920 are the same resolution, so I don't know why one would be jaggier than the other. And I don't think compression comes into play since you aren't looking at JPEGS (unless you're talking about the low resolution satellite photos, which can be turned off).

Some screenshots here, including side by side with the Nuvi:
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172 Posts

Posted - 02 déc. 2007 :  04:38:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Boyd

Look at the 6th photo on this website of the TomTom map (the one with just a "Y" intersection). You can't see that the road rendered by the TomTom is jagged? That IS a file compression issue. That sure isn't a straight line, even the arrow is jagged. I'm not trying to nit-pick here, but the road lines are not rendered in a straight pattern. They are jagged. Just look at that photo and compare that to any other GPS device (Garmin, Navigon, Mio, HP). It's pretty obvious. At least to me.


Edited by - JohnCougar on 02 déc. 2007 04:41:55
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