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Garmin vs. TomTom

Garmin vs. TomTom

At a Glance

Garmin and TomTom GPS devices are so similar that it’s difficult to recommend one over the other. In the end, you should select the one with the screen size and interface you’re most comfortable with.

Garmin and TomTom are both credited as being the best manufacturers of GPS devices in the market. While Garmin may hold the lead in sales, both brands offer similar features, prices and routing accuracy. The lower end models from both Garmin and TomTom are available in $100 to $200 range while the high end products go up to $350. The ones that are priced lowly offer features like text-to-speech conversion, comprehensive points of interest, automatic rerouting and 3D maps view while the expensive GPS devices offer some luxurious features like high resolution displays, glass capacitive touch screens, terrain mapping and faster frame rates. Now that we know what we can expect to have in common between Garmin and TomTom, let us take a look at their basic differences.


Pictured at top: TomTom GPS With Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates

Garmin’s interface has remained unparalleled over the years. With clear, colourful and easy to read maps and icons, Garmin has set a standard that TomTom has been trying to match for a long time. TomTom displays show more information simultaneously but this may cause inconvenience to someone who is focusing on the road. However, TomTom’s GPS devices offer real time high definition traffic services that is not only more accurate than Garmin’s but also more affordable. Garmin devices also display ads that TomTom devices don’t so if you like to keep a tab on advertisements Garmin may work for you though it doesn’t please most other drivers.

Points of Interest

Facing competition from phones that incorporate GPS trackers, TomTom entered the phone app market years before Garmin decided to do the same. Thus, most of TomTom’s iOS GPS apps are far ahead of those designed by Garmin. However, Garmin does not bundle all searches under the same heading. Its points of interest feature keeps updating in real time while you drive so that you can see the places you are approaching instead of having to check how close you have gotten to your desired location after driving up a few miles.

Expansion Plans

Both Garmin and TomTom are branching into other markets like GPS devices for hiking, fitness, swimming, golfing and in-car infotainment systems. Because of increased competition, these devices are available for dearth cheap prices but offer more or less similar features. With the emerging trend of this new market, GPS device manufacturers are now targeting the athletic industry since there seems to be a lot of potential for profits.

Garmin vs. TomTom: Final Verdict

Both Garmin and TomTom are losing customers for their stand-alone GPS devices because most tablets and smart phones offer GPS tracking features anyway. However, there are still those users who believe that a car must have a PND since it is a device dedicated solely for the purpose of tracking routes. By investing in a quality PND, not only can you go for a drive without carrying your phone or tablet, you can also be sure of the GPS app not draining the battery of your phone! Since both brands offer similar features for comparable prices, if you are looking to purchase a new GPS device, your choice should really depend on the interface that you are more comfortable with.