GPS for Cars Review

Garmin nüvi 500 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator Review

Garmin nüvi 500 3.5-Inch Portable GPS NavigatorGarmin nüvi 500 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator is ideal for crossing over the threshold from the city to backcountry.

This device has waterproof exterior specially built with robustness which can be used while biking, boating or hiking.

Garmin nüvi 500 portable GPS navigator has the capability of quickly locating your position and to maintain its GPS location even in heavy cover or deep canyons whether out in the wilds or in the city.

It has microSD memory expansion and geocaching GPX file capabilities for complete cache descriptions and hints. The battery life of this device lasts up to 6 hours depending on use.

Outdoor Switch Mode
Garmin nüvi 500 navigation mode can be switched to driving, boating, walking or biking mode depending on your activity to fit your active lifestyle. With this device, you’ll enjoy and spend more time outdoors and less time searching for information.

This device is equipped with digital elevation model (DEM) mapping which displays shaded contours at higher zoom levels and it gives you a big picture of the surrounding terrain.

Map Data
Garmin’s nüvi 500 is preloaded with City Navigator NT North America and Canada map data. It contains almost 6 million of points of interest such as restaurants, hospitals, gas stations, etc. The map data is powered by NAVTEQ, a renowned maker of premium-quality digital map data.

The City North America NT provides the necessary road data to travel North America as it provides the most detailed street maps which enable you to navigate with accurate road directions.

Text-To-Speech Feature
This device has Text-to-speech feature which automatically calls out specific name of streets. Instead of saying the usual ‘turn right in 200 feet’ alert, it specifically says ‘turn right on Main Street’.

This awesome feature allows drivers to have their eyes focused on the road while they are navigating through tricky roadways and heavy traffic.

Garmin’s nüvi 500 has 3.5-inch super-bright backlit touch screen. It has anti-glare feature which makes you see clearly under bright sunlight and it automatically shifts its color profile at night or in dim light.

The screen is beneficial in showing the nearby restaurants, parks, gas stations, ATM machines and the like. It also alerts you when there’s a detour ahead and it has 2D or 3D display.

HotFix™ Satellite Prediction
For a device to navigate effectively, it needs to get a ‘lock’ on three satellites. With Garmin’s HotFix technology, GPS becomes capable of remembering the position of all satellites it is tracking when it is turned off. Upon turning it on, it easily locates the satellites that it previously tracked.

Garmin Connect Photos
With the use of Garmin Connect Photos from Garmin website, you can choose from millions of geo-located photos which are provided by Google Panoramio photo sharing community.

These photos are downloadable to nüvi 500. By using these pictures as a guide, you can enjoy richer navigation.

Play Wherigo
Nüvi 500 GPS device is compatible with Wherigo (pronounced as “where I go”). It is the latest GPS-based activity from Groundspeak, the geocaching pioneers.

Wherigo is a toolset used in creating and playing location-based multimedia experiences in the real world. Wherigo authors can build exciting historical tools, innovative games and adventure activities using Wherigo platforms.


  • User modes: Driving, Boating, Bicycling and Walking
  • Expansion: microSD card slot for optional mapping and data storage
  • Wherigo player
  • Geocahing: Supports GPX files for complete cache descriptions and hints
  • Dimensions: 4.21 x 3.35 x 0.9 inches (WxHxD)
  • Display size: 3.5-inch QVGA color antiglare TFT screen (320 x 240-pixel resolution) with white backlight touchscreen
  • Weight: 7.6 ounces
  • Battery type: user replaceable lithium-ion
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours depending on use
  • Waterproof standard: IEC 60529 IPX7

What’s in the Box
Garmin nüvi 500, preloaded City Navigator North America NT Lower 48 U.S. states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico plus topographic maps, lithium-ion battery, vehicle suction cup mount, vehicle power cable, dashboard disc, quick start manual

Below are the pros and cons of the Garmin nüvi 500 portable GPS navigator as experienced by its users.

Users’ Positive Comments

  • It is waterproof. Garmin provides personalized mapping experience and three different voices to spice up the trip.
  • It’s super easy to switch between road maps and topo map feature with all roads and most trails.
  • You’ll love the unit’s big display.
  • It’s small enough to fit in a pocket yet it’s big enough to see the display without squinting.
  • It has longer battery life comparing with other nüvi models. This is good for you to carry it around without worrying too much about running out of battery.
  • It has a very good satellite acquisition capability. Satellite locks in about 5 seconds.

Users’ Negative Comments

  • This device doesn’t come with the latest map and the latest operating system. You have to get a free map update if you need one which takes 4 hours to download.
  • Nüvi 500 has a higher border around the touch screen which results in difficulty in pressing desired the icons near the border.
  • The compass doesn’t work for hiking navigation under or near any cover.

Customers’ Ratings
5 Stars 44%, 4 Stars 34%, 3 Stars 8%, 2 Stars 7%, 1 Star 8%

Get 56% discount and more details of the Garmin nüvi 500 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator here.

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Prices are accurate as of July 23, 2017 8:43 pm. Product prices and available are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.

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