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Garmin nuLink! 2320 Review

Pros

  • Huge range of nuLink! services
  • Base unit good value
  • One year Garmin nuLink! live services included

Cons

  • Many nuLink! services trial only
  • Complete set of nuLink! services expensive
  • No voice control in this model

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £159.99
  • 4.3in widescreen
  • UK and Ireland maps
  • Garmin nuLink! live services
  • PhotoLive traffic camera images
  • Fuel and parking prices, flight status, weather

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.
When Garmin released its first live-enabled sat-nav in the UK, the nuvi 1690, it seemed like finally TomTom had a heavyweight competitor. But Garmin hasn’t followed up that promising start with further devices, until now. The nuLink! 2300 series represents Garmin’s latest foray into the world of sat-nav interactive data services, and it has a couple of unique tricks up its sleeve. The 2320 is the baby of the range, with UK and Ireland maps, whilst the 2340 extends coverage to Western Europe, and the 2390 adds more European maps and extra features.

The basic live services are as expected. There’s Google Local Search on hand if you can’t find the destination you’re after in the onboard Points of Interest database. This provides a keyword-searchable database that extends well beyond the one stored locally. The search uses a tabbed system integrating the two together, so you can switch between them easily if you want.

There’s a six-day weather forecast available, and the temperature is also permanently shown at the top of the interface. You can also subscribe to an Advanced Weather option, which provides animated radar map images, but costs £1.99 a month. This shows you precisely where the rain clouds, or any snow showers, are occurring. Garmin also retains the Flight Status system, which lets you check whether a flight to or from a particular airport is currently on time. In order to use this, however, you first need to activate it via a desktop system running the myGarmin software, despite the fact that it’s free.

The feature that is most likely to grab your attention, though, is 3D Traffic. Since 3D is coming after HD in the television world, Garmin seems to be implying this is the next level of traffic updates after TomTom’s HD Traffic. But it’s actually a rather different approach. Although 3D Traffic does keep track of gridlock on your route, and suggests alternatives if the estimated delay caused by any jams means your current road choices will be too slow, there’s an innovative new option.

Called PhotoLive, this taps into the network of traffic cameras around the country and lets you see exactly what they can. This isn’t a real-time feed, just a still-frame snapshot every so often. But it can tell you if junctions are clear or congested, and provides a general idea of real traffic load. You can peruse specific cameras, or set up a selection as favourites and view these as a grid, calling up one for full-screen perusal with a single touch.

It’s potentially very useful, but not something you can take advantage of when on the move, unless you’re a passenger. Unfortunately, you only get a month’s trial of the PhotoLive system, after which it costs £3.95 a month.
Garmin nuLink! 2320
You can also check the fuel prices for nearby petrol stations. Sadly, here too you have to activate before use, and there’s no free trial, so you have to pay 95p a month straight away even if you just want to sample its abilities. In fact, many of the services require activation before you can use them, but some are actually free. These include the aforementioned Flight Status, and a currency converter that uses live prices between a fairly comprehensive range of world currencies.
Garmin nuLink! 2320
The Telephone Directory is another unique Garmin nuLink! feature. Again, it must be activated prior to use. This then enables an extra option in the Where To? menu for a Phone Book, which allows you to search by surname and optional first name. You can navigate to an address, and it even lists the phone number, although you can’t call this directly. Instead, you will have to punch the numbers into your phone manually. You can try the Telephone Directory out for 30 days, after which it costs 95p a month.

When you reach your destination and need somewhere to leave your car, Real Time Parking also includes prices with its POI information, and even spaces available, where this is supported (we couldn’t find any UK lots which were, though), and whether the car park is open or closed. There’s Garmin’s Last Spot system, too, which saves your location when you unhook the 2320 from its mount or turn it off, assuming this is where you’re stowing your vehicle before heading out on foot. You can then find your way back.

And that’s not all you get with Garmin’s nuLink! services. The Tracker system can follow fellow Garmin users, but also lets you announce your location on Facebook and Twitter, in a similar fashion to ALK’s CoPilot Live Premium. You can even send locations to your device wirelessly from Google Maps. This isn’t the most seamless of processes, but only requires the login and password of the relevant myGarmin account, and opens up the possibility of trip planning from the comfort of a desktop computer.
Garmin nuLink! 2320
The usual array of sundry features are also in evidence. There’s ecoRoutes, to help you plot the most fuel-efficient course. There’s a 30-day trial of the Language Guide translation aid, a picture viewer, world clock, calculator, and unit converter. You can even download Audible talking books to listen to during your journey. Annoyingly, one feature which Garmin has left out of this particular model is its excellent voice control system. The £70 dearer nuLink! 2390 will be required if you want this.
Garmin nuLink! 2320
Despite its many bells and whistles, the nuLink! behaves very similarly to other premium Garmin sat-navs during navigation. Routes are calculated using Garmin’s trafficTrends, which is the company’s answer to TomTom’s IQ Routes. However, in our testing, trafficTrends doesn’t yet have as accurate a picture of road speeds, so the 2320 will still tend to underestimate journey times and send you along routes that, in an ideal world, would be quickest if you drove close to the speed limit, but in reality are slower than some back roads – thanks to frequent traffic lights, regular congestion, or horrendous speed bumps. The base 3D Traffic updates also don’t appear to cover as many roads as TomTom’s HD Traffic, from our testing.

Verdict

The Garmin nuLink! 2320 is absolutely brimming with features, and the breadth of its portfolio of live services puts TomTom’s in the shade. Adding up all the possibilities, though, you could be paying £6.86 a month on top of the £44.99 a year for the basic nuLink! services. So, even taking into account that you get a year of the latter out of the box, this could work out a very pricey sat-nav to run, if you want to take full advantage of its capabilities. The base device is very reasonable value and full of functionality, but you need to choose carefully which extras you want to keep using after the trial periods are over, or your wallet won’t thank you.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Value 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Design 9

Features

Screen Size (inches) (Inch) 4.3in
Display Type Color
General Features UK and Ireland maps

Physical Specifications

Live Services Yes
Battery life (Hour) Up to 2.5 hourshr
Height (Millimeter) 75mm
Width (Millimeter) 122mm
Depth (Millimeter) 16mm
Weight (Gram) 0.162g

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