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Garmin Nuvi 550

The Garmin Nuvi 550 is a portable multifunction GPS receiver with road maps of North America. It is an extremely rugged waterproof navigation system. This active device changes modes to accommodate an active lifestyle. It is fully loaded with comprehensive maps and delivers exact driving instructions to zillions of destinations.

The multi-mode feature allows customizing your method of travel whether driving, boating, cycling or walking. The interface allows the user to choose between modes so whatever no matter what the activity is the system can go along. This portable navigation system boasts cutting-edge features and a large 3.5-inch color touchscreen visual display with the durability that is expected in an outdoor handheld unit.

The Garmin Nuvi 550 is sleek and less than an inch slim so it can fit in a knapsack or pocket. The rechargeable battery allows up to eight hours of use, which allows for uninterrupted navigation on or off roads. In addition, it comes with a power adapter for vehicle charging. By touching the color display, the user can easily get voice-activated directions and look up addresses and services. This Nuvi 550 comes loaded with millions of points of interests and city street maps. The points of interests feature make it easy to find restaurants, gas stations and attractions.

A notable feature is the numerical altitude maps. The maps display shaded terrain profiles that allow the user to know when to expect such terrain as hills or mountains. It is gratifying to know that with this navigation system if the user gets lost or has an emergency the system responds quickly with the emergency locator. The emergency locator is a feature of this device that allows the user to find their exact location, the closet hospital, the nearest police station, the nearest address or intersection.

Easily navigate off road by conveniently plugging in optional maps on preloaded cards for any venture. The ruggedized case and screen, that make this model waterproof allows it to handle any job. The extraordinary receiver and satellite calculation finds your location and keeps the GPS position even in bottomless valleys. For travel, the Garmin Nuvi 550 is not only capable of navigation it features many extra travel tools such as a converter for currency, calculator and world clock. It features a picture viewer as well to show off photographs of recent expeditions.

One drawback in the Nuvi 550 is the limited ability to customize the settings. The customization of the setting options only allows being able to select modes for highway types and then only select between quickest or shortest route. The 550 will not permit customization of that setting. The user can only choose between shortest or quickest route and that will often put the user on city streets instead of highways.

A big disadvantage for boaters and clearly an oversight is that it is not possible to select the boat mode to obtain an estimated time of arrival to your destination. When using the boating mode the Nuvi 550 will plot right through land. It plots a straight line through terrain instead of the shortest path.

The Garmin Nuvi 550 appears to be the ultimate in convenient multifunction navigation system for active people. The Nuvi 550 is a GPS that helps with more than just navigation. This navigation system has the ability to guide the user while driving, walking, biking or boating. The Nuvi 550 seems to be a terrific all in one system and retails for approximately $279.99.