The 860 also has RDS-TMC traffic updates built in, with a receiver aerial intended to be routed round your windscreen. This hooks up to the mount, as does the power connection. So all you need to do to get going is to slip the device into its cradle – it even powers on automatically. There is still a USB 2.0 connection on the 860, so you don’t need a special cable when you want to download updates using a desktop computer, although you will need to download the necessary app from Garmin’s website, as it’s not included in the box.
Traffic updates pop up with a message asking if you want to recalculate your route to avoid nearby jams. This isn’t as effective as TomTom’s HD Traffic, but at least it makes acting on the information provided easier than some traffic implementations we’ve come across. The safety camera warnings are also the right balance between subtle and intrusive, with a clear indication of how fast you should be going and whether you are currently exceeding the limit.
The usual premium extras are included as well. There’s a media player, which supports MP3s and audio books. In fact, the Tools menu is replete with applets, some potentially useful, others less so. The Where Am I? function tells you your current location and lets you find Hospitals, Police Stations and Petrol Stations nearby – as well as the AA phone number. There’s a Picture Viewer which can play a slideshow, a calculator, plus currency and unit converters. The World Clock can show five different time zones and there’s even an alarm clock.
A sampler of the Garmin Language Guide is included for bilingual travel translation. The most bizarre extra is the library of nine games – just in case you fancy a quick bit of Sudoku whilst driving. This might just be useful if you find yourself stuck in the car for an extended period but otherwise it feels like a feature Garmin included merely because it could.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.