- Page 1 Garmin HUD+ Review
- Page 2 Installation, Menu, Navigation and Verdict Review
Garmin HUD+ – Installation
The HUD+ is basically a specialised projector that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth so it can receive its navigational information. The projector portion is a flat device, similar in size to a regular sat-nav, which is permanently attached to a base via a hinge. The base has a wide adhesive slab, and you can further secure it using a couple of screws. So it will essentially be permanently installed in the host vehicle.
As with the original HUD, the HUD+ offers two options for viewing the instructions on your windscreen. The windscreen itself is not directly used. Instead, you can attach a translucent rectangle of plastic where the HUD will be projecting. This rectangle doesn’t obscure your vision through the glass at all, but it does drastically improve the visibility of the projection compared to the bare glass. Your other choice is a transparent hard plastic screen that attaches to the HUD+, providing similarly good vision of the projected instructions.
The HUD+ doesn’t have a battery, so you will need to have it plugged into its car power adapter to use it. The device’s power jack is proprietary, rather than USB. This is slightly annoying as it means you have to be in your car to follow the initial setup routine, which is necessary before you can download any maps. However, on the plus side, the car power adapter also incorporates a USB socket, so you can charge your smartphone at the same time as using the HUD+, which will probably be essential if you are using it for extended periods of navigation.
Since the navigation is being supplied by your smartphone, this is where you set up your destination. The HUD app interface is similar to Garmin’s standalone sat-navs, with two major icons and a series of minor ones in the primary menu. The Where To? option is your main choice. You can either search across address and points of interest (POI) databases simultaneously, or drill down via the traditional address entry method, or via points of interest categories.
You can also call up a list of favourites, recently found destinations, junctions between roads, town centres, addresses from your smartphone contacts, coordinates, or exit services along your current route. We didn’t find the contact search very effective, as it wasn’t tolerant of minor inaccuracies in the address. There are also options to create a multi-waypoint trip. You can navigate to Foursquare check-in locations, too, and also set the app to check you in automatically on arrival at your destination, for those who like to over-share their travel plans.
There is a selection of extras that can be added to the Garmin HUD app. PhotoReal Junction View is a free add-on, which gives you the now-familiar realistic image of sign posts and lanes to look out for at an interchange, although this slightly negates the point of the HUD+ as it would mean looking at your smartphone screen. Wikipedia can be added on for free and used as a travel guide, too.
The remaining add-ons require an in-app payment. There’s 3D Traffic Live for £15.49, which will be handy if you’re a regular rush hour commuter. Sound and 3D adds spoken street names alongside 3D landscapes and buildings for £11.99. Urban Guidance, costing £2.99, integrates public transport into your routes when the app is used for pedestrian navigation.
Of course, the HUD+ is aimed at car navigation, and whether you like its navigational style will depend on whether you prefer turn-by-turn instructions or a holistic map view. During regular navigation, the left-hand half of the display illustrates the direction of your next turning, including lane guidance if appropriate. On the right, the distance to the turning is shown, with the estimated time of arrival beneath, and a traffic warning if available beneath that. The final row shows your current speed and the limit, with a red symbol indicating when you are exceeding the limit. A safety camera warning will also pop up when necessary.
Should I buy the Garmin HUD ?
The Garmin HUD+, like the HUD before it, will be naturally attractive if you like clever gadgets. But whether you actually want to buy it for serious navigation depends on how you like your sat-nav experience. If you want to see the map, giving the wider context of your route, the HUD+ won’t be for you. But if all you want to see is the next turning and your arrival time, this could be the minimalist experience you have been looking for. Garmin’s list price of £159.99 is a little pricey, but the HUD+ was available from some vendors for under £100 at the time of writing, which makes it reasonable value considering that the app comes with full European mapping.
The HUD+ is Garmin’s second attempt to provide fighter pilot-style heads up display navigation, and the bundled smartphone software makes it better value than the original.
Next, read our Best Sat Navs Roundup
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