Garmin may not have the ubiquitous branding of TomTom here in Europe, but the company has actually been in the navigation business a couple of years longer. Its experience is obvious in the solid build and careful design of its products. This is particularly true of the nüvi 765T, which is an update to the nüvi 760 we looked at earlier in the year.
For starters, the 765 marks Garmin's leap onto the ‘lane guidance' bandwagon. The corner graphic showing your next turning already illustrates quite clearly which lanes you should be in on a multi-lane carriageway. But Garmin has now also added a trendy realistic full-screen lane graphic to show more clearly where your car should be positioned on the road.
The 765 also allegedly sports 3D building graphics, using City Navigator's Europe NT 2009 3D database. However, as with Navman's implementation on the S30 3D, this doesn't include enough landmarks to be useful. In fact, we didn't come across any 3D landmarks during testing. One final new feature is the ability to navigate to geotagged photos that have been imported into the device.
So the updates are not major, but then the 760T was already a feature-packed model. Included in the price are full European maps and these are the 2009 edition of City Navigator Europe NT from Navteq, so are the very latest currently available. As this is the T version, it also includes built-in traffic updates via TMC-RDS, with a lifetime subscription. This information is helpfully displayed by colouring nearby jammed roads red, so you can easily avoid them, with a small icon showing expected traffic delay on your current route.
However, the Garmin's best feature of all is just how easy it is to use. Navman's interface does the job but can be cluttered, whilst TomTom's packs a lot in but isn't the most aesthetic and its menu system can be extremely complicated. Garmin, on the other hand, has created a simple but effective view where roads and routes are clearly distinguished. Onscreen clutter is kept to a minimum, with messages popping up only when needed.