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Garmin quality?

Old 07-08-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default Garmin quality?

I know that a Q like this could start a war and that is not my intent. I have been away from any electronics discussion for a couple of years and am just looking for some (hopefully unbiased) insight. I'm an old guy and have found Garmin to be the best for me because it is so user friendly for a non tech type. I remember that the last time I was paying attention to electronics discussion the was a growing buzz that Garmin was headed in the wrong direction quality wise. (maybe sold or different assembly outfit, etc)
Have those concerns been addressed, confirmed or shown to be unfounded? I'm in the market again for a GPS/sounder. Thanks for any insight. Granpa
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:27 PM
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Garmin are user friendly and units like the 700 series have an excellent track record...and very popular.
The 4000 series has been around for a good deal of time for a very simple reason...they work and are cost effective.
Add the new GSD24 sonar module with any 4000, 5000, 6000 & 7000 unit .....an excellent sonar system...with reliable MFD's.

Last edited by semperfifishing; 07-09-2012 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:49 PM
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We have a Garmin and northstar on the hatteras. Hands down the Garmin is much better. Easier to see in the sun and very user friendly with great charts. We also have a Furuno Navnet on the albury (not the 3-D) and I love it to, however for the price this up coming fall were replacing the unit with a Garmin instead of another Furuno. With all that being said I think its more of a personal opinion.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:42 PM
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No evidence of problems with Garmin Quality. In fact I find their units even easier to use than 15 years ago...
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:46 PM
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Garmin is not Amy worse than other brands when it comes to quality.
Definitely user friendly and simple to use.
That being said, I feel that Garmin is a little outdated. Their current system rely on the 4xxx/5xxx technology that is now 7 years old.
The best price/feature/reliability/ease of use currently on the market IMO is the Simrad NSS line.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeBador View Post
Garmin is not Amy worse than other brands when it comes to quality.
Definitely user friendly and simple to use.
That being said, I feel that Garmin is a little outdated. Their current system rely on the 4xxx/5xxx technology that is now 7 years old.
The best price/feature/reliability/ease of use currently on the market IMO is the Simrad NSS line.
Not to quibble, but their current line is the 6xxx/7xxx and it was just released last year.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:28 PM
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I have owned 10+ Garmin units over the last several years. Easiest to use by far. Not one problem.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gerg View Post
Not to quibble, but their current line is the 6xxx/7xxx and it was just released last year.
that is simply not correct. The 6000/7000 series was launched in November 2009 (so almost 3 years ago). The 4000/5000 series was launched in June 2007. (so 5 years ago). The 7x0 series was launched in January 2010 - so 2 1/2 years ago.

So I think we are due a major refresh very soon. I guess the new models will be launched sometime this year - together with the "wifi" remote control products like Bluecharts Mobile.

On my santa wish list is a 10 inch touch screen model :-) There is a huge gap in the Garmin range from the 8.4 - 12 inch. Only thing in between is the 4010 and that is very outdated by now.

But despite being so old - I still thing the Garmins hold there stance pretty well. So we can blame the other manufactures for not being innovative enough to put pressure on Garmin to release new products. If it was mobile phones the product cycle would be 9-12 months. Garmin has a product cycle of about 2 1/2 to 3 years. That is incredible when you talk electronics.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:32 PM
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Go Garmin and never look back. Great products. The refurbs are a good buy and backed by Garmin Factory Warranty.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by gerg View Post
Not to quibble, but their current line is the 6xxx/7xxx and it was just released last year.
Like I said, the technology is old. The 6/7xxx series is nothing but a glorified 4/5xxxx.
They added another processor to speed up redraw time, because let's face it, it sucked otherwise with a G2 vision card in it.
The software is exactly the same with the same limitation as the 4/5xxx units.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:24 AM
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My Garmin 441 works great! Common sense plus my Garmin keep me safe!
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:10 AM
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Yes, Garmins are simple to use, but there are limitations. Some common sense features are missing (cant customize data bars anymore, cumbersome to change settings, waypoints are not shared between units automatically, sea state control is buried in menus, I could go on)


Their pricing for the 4xxx, 5xxx, and accessories are fair. For the 6xxx and 7xxx price point, I think there are better choices.


For many years I had Garmins and they seemed indestructible. My 10 year old GPSMAP 210C still works great. However, in the last couple of years I have had a 4210 fail, an autopilot pump fail, and a VHF 100 fail. All within 2 years of purchase, which makes my MTBF experience poor. Now with this latest update, the 4210's will not turn back on after you turn them off with the power button until you remove input power. Still waiting for an answer on this one.


Yes, they are very nice and willing to fix things out of warranty, but waiting 30 minutes on hold is not a pleasant experience and not having the gear for the better part of a month is also not good.

After telling me several times I did not know how to work it, they finally admitted the 4210 has a design issue with the backlighting that they would not/could not fix.


So yes, I think Garmin's quality is not what it used to be.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:53 PM
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Downgrade the software. My Garmin rep told me yesterday not to use it t all. They are having a lot of issues with it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:52 PM
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Now you are quibling.

The press release was 2009. http://garmin.blogs.com/pr/2009/11/g...nchId=newsroom

It wasn't due to release until 2010 and in reality it wasn't shipping until 2011.

No matter. I'm not a cheerleader. But, the 6xxx/7xxx is not the same animal as the 5xxx/6xxx, outside of a similar sw suite. But that's like saying a new pc is the same as a 5 year old one just because it runs the same os.

I'll leave the coke/pepsi war to you guys though.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:23 PM
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I love my Garmin 5212 BUT

I have a Northstar 952 and a 10.4 Furuno NavNet on board as well.

The 5212 is the easiest to use, has the most features, and breaks down the most

I can't trust it like my Furuno the Furuno unit is bulletproof, the only issue I ever had was the trackball sticking but as there are ways to use the unit without the trackball so that issue was not fatal

The Garmin.. Well it freezes always has and even with the latest software it stil does, drives me nuts as I use it with NMEA 2000 as the brains of the boat with fuel data and course intel so when it freezes and I do not notice.....I lose how many gallons I burned, was it out 1 min, 5 mins? Etc. I have back up fuel monitoring but the freezing is unacceptable to me and as such has me second guessing the quality of Garmin. I also have had issues with my Garmin Autopilot and XM weather module, both resolved now

Compared to the "plug in and turn on and work" Furuno the Garmin "plug in and update all the time to work out bugs" has me a bit sour but I still like it enough not to replace
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:07 AM
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one of the best units for the money
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeBador View Post
Garmin is not Amy worse than other brands when it comes to quality.
Definitely user friendly and simple to use.
That being said, I feel that Garmin is a little outdated. Their current system rely on the 4xxx/5xxx technology that is now 7 years old.
The best price/feature/reliability/ease of use currently on the market IMO is the Simrad NSS line.
Sorry Mike, but I could not be comfortable telling anyone to to use a Simrad product, even if their technology is newer. Their customer service and support are horrendous, many dealers won't even sell or service their stuff. It is a disgrace what those people have done to what used to be a great company.

Cutting edge is fine - if you want toys, not if you want a piece of important equipment. Garmin has a solid produuct and their charts are by far the best in the Bahamas and I have used Northstar (old and new), Furuno (several different models), Raytheon, and Simrad. If you want a reliable, easy to use and understand product, backed by a company who understands customer service (although Raytheon has the best customer service) GARMIN has stood out in recent years.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobee13 View Post
Sorry Mike, but I could not be comfortable telling anyone to to use a Simrad product, even if their technology is newer. Their customer service and support are horrendous, many dealers won't even sell or service their stuff. It is a disgrace what those people have done to what used to be a great company.

Cutting edge is fine - if you want toys, not if you want a piece of important equipment. Garmin has a solid produuct and their charts are by far the best in the Bahamas and I have used Northstar (old and new), Furuno (several different models), Raytheon, and Simrad. If you want a reliable, easy to use and understand product, backed by a company who understands customer service (although Raytheon has the best customer service) GARMIN has stood out in recent years.
I would have agreed with you a few years ago. They however turned things around and their customer service is much better.
They will ship a replacement unit within 48hours of calling them (without having the bad unit).
Raymarine seems to be the new Navico when it comes to repairs these days. :-)
And yes, Garmin's support is great!
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:50 AM
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My most recent bad experience with Simrad was this past Winter, so I cannot see any change. Oh and obviously you realized my coments about Raytheon were actually aimed at Raymarine-sorry after 30 yrs in the industry some of the names blend together.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:55 AM
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Garmin has great electronics, but I love my hds gen 2.
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