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Garmin vs. TomTom – Which is Better?

Feb 22

Both Garmin and TomTom satnav devices are excellent choices. They have standard features as with all types of satnav systems; hence you can buy either of them based on your specific requirements.

Notably, although the two brands are identical in so many ways, they have slight differences which would make you choose one over the other. You can use this quick comparison of the two brands in this post to help you make an informed decision when choosing between either.

Garmin Vs. TomTom

The following are crucial factors you should consider when comparing or planning to purchase a Satnav, and you are presented with two choices - Garmin and TomTom satnav.

1.    Usability

The functionality of both Garmin sat nav units and TomTom devices is nearly identical in terms of usability. This means that if you want an easy-to-use device, then either of them can do well for you. However, Garmin is easier to use compared to the TomTom brand. The icons on the screen are clear and easy to understand.

On the other hand, although TomTom does not have a clear display, it provides detailed information. For instance, it displays the current time and the estimated time you can take to arrive at your destination. Importantly, TomTom devices are quicker at finding locations and calculating distances.

2.    Maps

Both Garmin and TomTom manufacturers provide regular updates of maps in their devices to ensure that you get a fresh idea of your surrounding areas and routes every time you turn on your unit. When comparing the two, the TomTom brand provides accurate recommendations for European areas, while Garmin provides better directions for American locations.

Therefore, when comparing the devices based on the accuracy of maps, the choice of the brand will depend on the region you are located.

3.    Traffic Information & Updates

You can always access traffic information and updates using Garmin or TomTom satnav devices. The updates help you get an accurate idea of road conditions and traffic congestion along different routes.

Importantly, TomTom devices provide better real-time traffic updates. If you are looking for a device that will let you know traffic jams in the route you are taking, then TomTom might be a better choice.

The device provides you with helpful information when deciding whether to take an alternate route or wait it out.

4.    Places of Interest

Usually, you can use any satnav device to find places of interest, such as shopping malls or hotels. Garmin and TomTom devices provide different experiences to users when searching for a specific area of interest.

While Garmin devices provide general information for a specific place, TomTom devices include detailed information. The device offers different categories for the places you are searching for.

5.    Additional Features

Garmin and TomTom manufacturers have continued to include new features in their devices. They have released many additional features, especially for their premium devices. 

Some of the additional features include:

  • Speed camera alerts - This feature is crucial when you want to avoid taking routes with speed cameras.
  • Bluetooth - The feature enables you to pair up the device with your phone, and you can use it to make calls via the device's speakers.
  • Voice recognition - Voice recognition feature allows you to operate the device using your voice. When you use it while driving, you don't have to use your hands to operate the device.

Although additional features are essential, they are sometimes available at an additional cost at the time of purchase, or you have to pay subscription fees to access the extra features. Therefore, you may not need these features unless they are crucial and are willing to pay the additional cost.

6.    Budget

When searching for a device to buy, your budget determines the device you can afford. Garmin and TomTom brands offer a wide range of products priced differently. Importantly, you should set the budget first, then search and compare various devices that can serve your purpose without paying exorbitant costs.  Remember, you can get a decent sat nav for less than £100 that will work great and get you from A to B without being stock in traffic.

Importantly, to save time, you can filter devices from the two brands within your budget range and compare their different features.

Bottom line

From the above comparison, we can conclude that both brands produce fantastic sat nav units. Both have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day, they are pretty much equal in many ways.

While Garmin devices are superior at some features, TomTom devices are better at others. Therefore, your brand choice should entirely be based on your specific needs and tastes.

Lastly, in our opinion, Garmin is slightly better than TomTom in terms of screen display and navigation. In contrast, TomTom has a slight edge in providing detailed information when you do a simple search.