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Garmin nuvi® 780

Portable car navigator with Bluetooth® and MSN® Direct

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  • Garmin nuvi® 780

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  • Garmin nuvi® 780

    MSN Direct menu

Item #: 150NUVI780
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Garmin nuvi® 780

by Dominic Devito
Garmin

Who needs a portable navigator?

Portable GPS puts you in touch with the world when you're on the road. Tap the restaurant icon, and it asks you what kind of food you're looking for. Type in "Mexican," and you're eating a burrito before you know it. A portable navigator not only gets you to your destination, it can also find museums, theaters, and other spots along the way. Many navigators receive traffic reports, so you can avoid jams. Other cool features range from hands-free calling to 3D graphics and lane guidance. Best of all, you can move a portable easily from car to car, a big plus for multi-car families.

nüMaps

Garmin built the nüvi 780 portable navigator with a big 4.3" widescreen display and a bevy of features to help you find your destination quickly and easily. Built-in Bluetooth wireless capability lets you talk hands-free using your compatible cell phone — you'll be able to make calls and access menu functions while your phone stays safely stored away.

Keep track of traffic problems
Garmin offers a solution to road woes in many major metropolitan areas. The included MSN Direct receiver gives you live updates on traffic situations along your route, so you can avoid backups. The updated MSN Direct service also includes weather information and local events listings plus gas prices and movie times, news headlines and stock prices, and other valuable content from the web. You get the first three months' subscription for free when you purchase the nüvi 780.

Reliable navigation
You'll enjoy instant access to preloaded with maps of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, along with millions of searchable points of interest. Follow the maps on the nüvi 780's screen as the text-to-speech voice prompts speak actual road names for turn-by-turn guidance. If you're in the mood to explore, Garmin's "Where Am I?" button finds the points of interest closest to your current location in an instant. The trip computer keeps track of your progress so you can see if you're making good time.

The nüvi 780 remembers where it was when you turned it off — a great feature if you parked in a large lot or on an unfamiliar street. Use the custom point-of-interest loader to indicate school zones, red light cameras, and other safety areas along your route. To prevent unpleasant surprises, the 780 displays posted speed limits on highways and major roads.

Handy added features
Check out digital music and photos from your Secure Digital™ memory cards on the built-in digital media player. The integrated wireless FM transmitter lets you hear music, voice prompts, and phone conversations over your car's stereo. Explore the included Garmin travel aids like the language guide, world clock, calculator, and currency/unit converters. A user-defined password keeps unauthorized users from using your navigator, so your personal information and itinerary stay private.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • GPS satellite navigation unit with built-in antenna
  • suction-cup windshield mount and dashboard disk
  • MP3/audiobook player and headphone jack
  • wireless FM transmitter for broadcasting audio information over car stereo system
  • JPEG picture viewer
  • car power adapter, USB cable, and built-in rechargeable battery with 5 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 4.3" touchscreen (480 x 272 pixels)
  • 6 million points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • preloaded with maps for Canada, Puerto Rico, and the entire United States
  • includes MSN Direct receiver with free 90-day subscription to MSN Direct service included (additional subscription required after trial period)
  • text-to-speech technology lets voice prompts announce road names over the built-in speaker
  • built-in travel kit including world clock, currency and measurement converters, calculator, and more
  • security feature allows you to disable most functions with a user-entered password
  • multi-destination routing: route optimization (allows 500 waypoints and stores up to 10 routes)
Expandability:
  • Bluetooth technology for making and receiving hands-free calls with your compatible cell phone
  • SD card slot
Other features and specs:

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Features
Maps
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Built-in
Map Coverage
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US/PR/Canada
Points of Interest
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6,000,000
Multiple Destination Routing
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Yes
Screen Size
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4.3"
Widescreen
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Yes
Bluetooth Capable
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Yes
Photo Viewer
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---
Digital Audio Playback
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Text To Speech
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Yes
Voice Control
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No
Dynamic Content Services
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---
Removable Memory Type
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SD card
Battery Life
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3-7 Hours
Warranty
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Portable car navigation receiver
  • Mounting cradle
  • Suction-cup mount
  • Hard plastic mounting disk with self-adhesive base
  • MSN Direct receiver/cigarette lighter power adapter with attached 65" cable (with proprietary multi-pin connector)
  • 40" USB cable (USB-A connector on one end and USB Mini-B Type 2.0 connector on the other)
  • Quick Start Manual (English)
  • Important Safety and Product Information
  • NAVTEQ End-User License Agreement
  • audible.com information
  • Travel Kit plug-ins SD card information
  • Accessory Guide
  • Information on MapSource data for other countries
  • emusic.com information

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Inputs and Outputs

Features

Product Overview: The nüvi 780 is a portable GPS navigator, traveler's reference, and digital entertainment system, all in one. Combined with detailed maps, the nüvi 780 provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, and touch screen control. It can provide up-to-date traffic and travel information (subscription required). In addition to these navigation features, the nüvi 780 can integrate with your Bluetooth-compatible mobile phone, play MP3 files and audio books (available from Audible.com), and display JPEG photos.

Voice Guidance: This unit provides turn-by-turn voice directions during navigation. When a maneuver occurs, the nüvi 780 will announce the directions clearly. With the Text-to-Speech feature, the voice prompts will include the street names and/or the exit names and numbers.

Internal Memory: The nüvi 780 comes with an internal memory for storage of supplemental maps, photos, MP3s, and audio books. When the unit is connected to your computer, the nüvi 780 is recognized as an additional drive (USB Mass Storage). This USB mass storage device is compatible with Windows 2000 or later and Mac OS x 10.4 or later.

Note: The nüvi 780 is not compatible with Windows 95, 98, Me, or NT. It is also not compatible with Mac OS 10.3 and earlier.

SD Memory Slot: The nüvi 780 can display JPEG photo images or play back MP3 audio files or audio books from an optional SD memory card.

Map Software: The nüvi 780 comes loaded with City Navigator North America NT software, which contains mapping detail of the entire United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The maps feature millions of points of interest (POIs), such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions.

On-Board NAVTEQ: NAVTEQ maps provide a highly accurate representation of the detailed road network including up to 204 attributes like turn restrictions, physical barriers and gates, one-way streets, restricted access and relative road heights. NAVTEQ digital map data offers accuracy, detail, reliability, and flexibility. The nuvi 780's on-board NAVTEQ digital map data not only enables door-to-door routing throughout North America, it contains millions of Points of Interest (POIs), making it easy to locate everything from restaurants to hospitals and gas stations.

Satellite Status: Once the GPS receiver in the nüvi 780 has collected the necessary data to calculate a fix, the status field indicates a 2D or 3D status. A 2D status means that at least three satellites with good geometry have been locked onto, and a two-dimensional position fix (latitude and longitude) is calculated. A 3D status means that at least four satellites with good geometry have been locked onto, and your position is calculated in latitude, longitude, and elevation.

GPS Receiver: This unit's is equipped with the SiRF Star III high-sensitivity GPS receiver. GPS positioning capability is accurate to less than 10 meters (32 feet). When WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) is enabled, accuracy is less than 5 meters (16 feet).

WAAS: WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) is a system of ground reference stations across the US that correct for GPS inaccuracies caused by orbit and clock drift, as well as signal delays due to atmosphere and ionosphere conditions. WAAS can be turned off if you prefer.

Garmin Lock: Garmin Lock is an anti-theft feature. You can set a 4-digit PIN and a security location (such as your home or office). Every time the nüvi 780 is powered on, you must enter the PIN, or drive to your security location.

Touch Screen Display: The unit features a bright, 4.3" (diagonal) LCD with touch screen controls. The display has a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and 64,000 colors. The screen has a manual brightness adjustment.

FM Transmitter: In addition to the built-in speaker, the nüvi 780 has an FM transmitter which allows you to hear turn-by-turn directions on your vehicle's FM radio. You can set the transmitter to any FM frequency not currently occupied by a local FM station.

Custom Points of Interest: The nüvi 780 will accept custom points of interest (POI) databases, available from various companies on the Internet. Some custom POI databases contain alert information for points such as safety cameras and school zones, and the unit can notify you as you approach one of these points. To download custom POIs, you will need the Garmin POI Loader software, available on Garmin's website.

Information Pages: The information provided by the nüvi 780 is found on various display screens called pages. The pages give you the following information:

  • Map:
    • Indicates real-time moving map illustrating your current position and intended route
    • Shows map scale and geographic details such as lakes, rivers, highways and towns
    • Allows you to zoom, pan, and point using the touch screen controls
    • When you are following a route, your arrival time is displayed in the lower left corner, the distance to the next turn (Turn In) is shown in the lower right corner
    • When you are simply driving while viewing the Map page (not following a route), your speed is shown in the lower left corner, the direction you are driving is shown in the lower right corner
  • Trip Information:
    • Shows current compass heading while moving
    • Indicates current speed, average driving speed, overall average speed, maximum speed
    • Calculates driving time, stopped time and total time
    • Displays overall distance traveled (odometer) and distance to your final destination
  • Current Route:
    • Displays a list of turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route as well as arrival information
    • Shows direction of each turn and distance
  • Next Turn:
    • Shows the next turn on the map and the distance and time left before you reach the turn
  • Turn List Page:
    • Displays turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route and the distance between turns

Where To?: During navigation, you can search for places by pressing "Menu", then "Where To?" You can select an Address, Go Home, Points of Interest, Recently Found, Favorites, Intersections, Extras, Cities, Routes, Browse Map, or Coordinates. You can also access Spell Name for direct entry of your new destination. You can search for locations near your present location (default), or select a different city, your current route, or your destination.

  • Address: enter a destination by address, city, state and/or zip code
  • Home: save your home address for quick route calculation
  • POIs: allows you to search for points of interest in the following categories: Food, Fuel, Bank/ATM, Lodging, Shopping, Parking, Entertainment, Recreation, Attractions, Community, Hospitals, Transit, and Auto Services. The "Spell Name" feature allows you to enter a point of interest by name. When searching for a point of interest, you can choose one of the following proximity settings: Where I Am Now, A Different City, My Current Route, or My Destination.
  • Recently Found: this unit will store the last 50 of your most recent destinations
  • Favorites: save places in your Favorites to quickly find them and create routes
  • Intersections: entering two intersecting streets as a destination point
  • Cities: allows you to search for a city
  • Routes: you can create and save up to 10 routes before your next trip
  • Browse Map: tap the on-screen, touch-screen map to pick a destination
  • Coordinates: use the GPS receiver to navigate to any location using its latitude and longitude coordinates

Customizing Route: The GPS receiver features several settings which allow you to customize the unit to better calculate your routed based on your preferences. You can specify whether you will be traveling by Automobile, Bicycle or as a Pedestrian. You can also choose for the unit to calculate the Fastest Timed route, Shorter Distance route or an Off Road round (point-to-point route w/o roads). In addition, you can program the unit to avoid certain things that may be undesirable on your route. Examples of things that can be avoided include U-Turns, Highways, Unpaved Roads, Toll Roads, Ferries, Carpool Lanes, and Traffic.

Auto Reroute: If you depart from the original route calculated by the GPS receiver, the unit will recalculate the route and provide new directions to your destination.

Detour: If a road on your routed is close, you can use this unit to create a detour. The GPS unit attempt to get you back on your original route as quickly as possible. If the route you are currently taking is the only reason option, the unit might not calculate a detour.

Via Points: You can add additional stops (via points) to your original route. The GPS unit give you directions to your additional stops and then to your original destination.

Waypoints: You can manually mark and name any map position as a waypoint for later recall. Up to 500 waypoints can be stored in this unit.

Map Orientation: You can select one of three map orientation displays:

  • 2D Track Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on the screen
  • 2D North Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays North at the top of the screen
  • 3D Track Up: three-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on the screen

Screen Color Mode: You can select one of three color modes for the display screen:

  • Daytime: has a lighter, brighter background
  • Nighttime: has a black background, easier to see at night
  • Auto: display automatically switches between daytime and nighttime at sunrise and sunset

Configurable Vehicle Icons: You can select a customized car-shaped icon that shows your position on the map. You can choose from the following: race car, monster truck, hatchback, or 3-D arrow. You can download additional icons from Garmin's website.

Bluetooth: Many Bluetooth-capable cellular phones are compatible with your nüvi 780 and can use it as a hands-free car kit. The nüvi 780 has both a microphone and speaker, so no additional equipment is necessary to integrate your Bluetooth phone. Available options will vary by phone, however, generally these apply:

  • accept or ignore incoming calls on the touch screen
  • dial your home number
  • enter a number manually
  • call a POI (Point Of Interest)
  • dial a number in your phone book
  • call a recently dialed number
  • dial a recent caller
  • send or receive text messages

Indoor Use: When indoors, you can activate the built-in simulator and practice using the unit. This turns off the GPS receiver so it's not searching for satellites.

MSN Direct: MSN Direct is an optional service that sends traffic reports, gas prices and more to your navigation device through an FM signal. MSN Direct is available in 100 of the largest cities across the United States. Using the supplied MSN Direct receiver and free 3-month trial service to MSN Direct, you can check the weather, avoid traffic backups, compare local gas prices and check movie times and locations when you travel with the nuvi 780. The MSN Direct receiver is integrated with a plug-and-play cigarette lighter adapter, making it easy to connect to the unit when traveling. It can take several hours to receive all the content to your nuvi 780 the first time you use it or after you have traveled long distances and after you have not used the nuvi 780 and MSN Direct Receiver for several days. There is a non-user replaceable rechargeable battery in the MSN Direct Receiver that allows it to receive and store updates for several days, even when not connected to external power.

Note: After your 3-month trial, you can choose one of the following options to extend your service.

  • One-Time Payment Plan: The One-Time Payment Plan includes all of the services from the free-trial for a one-time payment of $129.95 plus applicable taxes. Some restrictions apply.
  • Annual Payment Plan: The Annual Payment Plan includes all of the services you came to love during your free year of service for $49.95 plus applicable taxes per year. You may cancel at any time.

FM TMC Traffic Receiver: The nüvi 780 is compatible with the optional Garmin GTM 20 FM TMC Traffic Receiver for receiving traffic information broadcast over the FM Radio Data System (RDS). When a message is received, the unit displays the event on the map and can change your route to avoid the traffic incident. In addition to the optional TMC Traffic Receiver, this feature requires a subscription from the Garmin website. TMC Traffic information is available in select cities in Europe, and in the following North American cities:

Albany, NY
Albuquerque, NM
Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Birmingham, AL
Boston, MA
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Columbia, SC
Columbus, OH
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
Denver-Boulder, CO
Detroit, MI
Fort Myers, FL
Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC
Hartford-New Britain-Middletown, CT
Houston-Galveston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, KS/MO
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, KY
Memphis, TN
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL
Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ
Milwaukee-Racine, WI
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Montreal, QE
Nashville, TN
Nassau-Suffolk, NY
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA
Omaha, NE
Orlando, FL
Ottawa, ON
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, OR
Portsmouth-Manchester, NH
Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, RI
Raleigh-Durham, NC
Richmond, VA
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
Rochester, NY
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT
San Antonio, TX 
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Sarasota, FL
Seattle-Tacoma, WA
Springfield, MA
St. Louis, MO
Syracuse, NY
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
Toledo, OH
Toronto, ON
Tucson, AZ
Washington, DC
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
Worcester, MA

Travel Aids: The nüvi 780 gives you access to the following travel aids:

  • Language Guide: the optional Garmin Language Guide puts data from Oxford's multilingual resources and five bilingual dictionaries in the palm of your hand, a sample version is preloaded on the nüvi 780 and the full version can be purchased from the Garmin website
  • World Clock: the world clock allows you to display the current time for four locations throughout the world, you can also display a map of the world
  • Currency Converter: this feature allows you to update the currency rates manually so you are always using the most current information
  • Unit Converter: you can convert area, distance, speed, temperature, volume, and weight
  • Calculator: the calculator allows you to perform simple arithmetic

SaversGuide: The unit is compatible with the optional SaversGuide (item #150SAVERSG). You can use the SaversGuide membership card nationwide to get discounts at participating hotels, restaurants, and other merchants. An SD card is included which allows you to search for SaversGuide merchants and easily obtain directions to the merchant.

Travel Guide: Much like a paper travel guide, the optional Garmin Travel Guide provides information about places, such as restaurants and hotels, the guide can be purchased from the Garmin website

Power Requirements: The nüvi 780 operates on your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter power adapter, or the built-in Lithium-Ion batteries. The Lithium-Ion batteries provides between 3 to 7 hours of use. Stored data, such as waypoints or unit settings, are not lost when the unit is disconnected from a power source.

Antenna: The built-in antenna is located in the unit's back panel. An optional external antenna may be needed when operating the unit with a coated windshield or an in-screen heating system, which can block the GPS signal. The unit has an external GPS antenna jack with an MCX-type connector.

Mounting Options: The unit should be securely installed when used in a vehicle. The unit comes with a mounting bracket that includes a suction cup. The suction cup can be used to mount the unit to the windshield or to the dash (using the plastic mounting disk). Once the nüvi 780 is mounted, it can be adjusted on the ball-and-socket bracket for best visibility.

Note: If you're not using a remote antenna, the unit must be installed where it has a relatively unobstructed view of the sky.

Interface Capability: This unit can be connected to a PC via the supplied USB cable. This interface allows you to download additional map information to the unit's flash memory.

Safe Mode: When you your vehicle is moving, Safe Mode disables all functions that require significant operator attention that could become a distraction while driving.

Inputs and Outputs

Left Side of Unit:

  • Headphones: mini-jack headphone output
  • Card Slot: accepts SD cards

Bottom of Unit:

  • USB: USB Mini-B Type 2.0 that allows you to connect the nüvi 770 to a computer using the supplied USB cable
  • Cradle Connector: a proprietary connector that allows you to dock the unit into the supplied cradle. The cradle has a proprietary connection for plugging in the supplied cigarette lighter adapter or optional traffic receiver.

Back of Unit:

  • Antenna: MCX-type jack allows you to connect an optional external GPS antenna
 
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Garmin nuvi® 780 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Easy to use with many extras

Written By Mike, Sudbury, MA on Monday, October 20, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Nuvi 780 was easy to set up. MSN direct information was available within minutes of first-time use. Menus and user interface are excellent. This is a good unit for people who fear technology but like all the features. I find I need to mount the unit on the windshield within view of the sky. It has trouble locating satellites if I mount it too close to the driver on the dashboard of a Suburban. Bluetooth works well.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nuvi 780 Rules

Written By Anonymous, Jerry from Plainwell, Michigan on Friday, February 08, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really love this GPS. Has everything you could want and more. My House address was a little off but besides that almost everything is spot on. Finding Gas stations and Resteraunts and Movie show times and where they are playing. Also the severe weather alerts. Top Notch Garmin way too go worth the extra money.
41 out of 47 people found this helpful
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