The Garmin nuvi 550 represents Garmin’s foray into the “crossover” GPS market, aiming for a device that functions well whether used for driving, hiking, cycling or boating.
UPDATE: Here’s a post I did about dual-use GPS, and how well they work for both road and trail.
The 3.5″ touch-screen nuvi 550 comes pre-loaded with highway maps of the entire U.S. and Canada. The other model in this series, the nuvi 500, has both topo and highway maps, but limits coverage to the the 48 contiguous United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Neither unit has text-to-speech, so you’ll hear “drive one-half mile, then turn left” instead of “drive one-half mile, then turn left on Main Street.”
There are other nice features found on the nuvi 550 though. Based on the nuvi 2×5 platform, the 550 offers:
- A redesigned map screen with an extra data field showing your current speed
- Speed limit display
- Tracklog display
- Recent cities and streets can be accessed from search screens
- Where am I?
- Photo navigation
- Terrain modeling
- MSN Direct or FM/TMC traffic (optional)
You can read about these features in more detail in my Garmin nuvi 205W review.
There are also a couple of features found on the nuvi 550 that are not present on the 2×5 series nuvis — multi-destination routing and a removable, li-ion battery rated at up to 8 hours.
I’ve posted a hands-on review of the nuvi 500, so rather than repeat myself, I’m going to refer you there for lots of screenshots and details on the other features and performance of the nuvi 500 series.
More Garmin nuvi 550 reviews
- Consumer-authored Garmin nuvi 550 reviews are being posted at Amazon
- There is a Garmin nuvi 550 review thread at GpsPasSion
- A nuvi 550 review from a motorcyclist’s perspective
- And another biker gets into the act with a review of the nuvi 550
- I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…
Other Garmin nuvi 550 resources
- A PDF version of the Garmin nuvi 550 owners manual
- Confused about so many models and choices? Use this Garmin nuvi comparison tool or check out my own Garmin nuvi comparison chart
- There is a dedicated Garmin nuvi message forum at GpsPasSion
- The official Garmin nuvi 550 web page
- How to access archived nuvi trip logs
- Five tips for nuvi newbies
Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 550 at these merchants:
- Check the current Garmin nuvi 550 price at Amazon.
- Get the
Garmin nuvi 550 Portable Multifunction GPS Receiver with North America Road Maps
at TigerGPS, where you get free shipping on orders above $250.
- Buy the
Garmin nuvi 550 GPS
at REI.com, where satisfaction is guaranteed and members get 10% back on eligible purchases.
- Get the Garmin nuvi 550 for an amazing price on eBay.