Garmin showed off several new products at its stand in expo hall 2. The new 7 series with its 4.3” display gives clear audio directions and shows upcoming maneuvers in great detail, including direction changes. The detailed display also includes traffic signs and arrows as well as lanes and lane changes.
A feature that is still specific to Garmin’s models is the option of loading up topographical maps for bike tours and stays in difficult terrain. However, this type of map material does not exactly carry a bargain price tag, starting at €149.
We were able to get a hands-on feel for the new Garmin 765TFM and how it compares to the TomTom Go 930. Where the competition uses an extra cable, Garming integrates the power supply into the mounting bracket.
More of a gimmick than a real feature is the option of displaying transparent 3D views if buildings in certain cities, giving the driver a more realistic feel for the current location. The nüvi 7 series possesses faster display and route-finding capabilities that make zooming even smoother. Like the competition, the nüvi 765/775 also come with a hotfix feature allowing for faster satellite detection.
The Bluetooth support can almost be considered a standard feature in this class today. It allows the new 765TFM and 775TFM to be connected to over 400 compatible cell phones and used as a hands-free device. The refined audio amplification now also allows stereo reception.
Garmin also once again showed its nüvifone, a smart phone for which the company has great plans. Currently, Garmin is looking to partner with a carrier in a similar way that Apple has with its iPhone.
Speaking of phones: Users of smart phones using Windows Mobile will be interested to hear that Garmin now offers version 5 of its software. It will be available as of October 2008.