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Garmin nuvi® 850

Portable car navigator with speech recognition

Item # 150NUVI850

Garmin's nüvi 850 portable GPS navigator incorporates the latest speech recognition technology — a smart...

Garmin's nüvi 850 portable GPS navigator incorporates the latest speech recognition technology — a smart...

Discontinued item

Item # 150NUVI850

About the Garmin nuvi® 850

Garmin's nüvi 850 portable GPS navigator incorporates the latest speech recognition technology — a smart choice for the discerning traveler looking for a wealth of features and the convenience of hands-free control.

Garmin's nüvi 850 portable GPS navigator incorporates the latest speech recognition technology — a smart choice for the discerning traveler looking for a wealth of features and the convenience of hands-free control.

Talk with your navigator
Garmin's advanced speech recognition technology allows you to give spoken commands to the nüvi 850 in a casual, conversational tone. Without taking your hands off the wheel, you can scroll through the menu options quickly until you've found the page you need. And it'll do more than understand a few basic words — you'll be able to enter addresses by state, city, and street with ease. Mount the Garmin speech-recognition remote control on the steering wheel or another convenient location, and engage the nüvi's voice commands with the push of a button.

Reliable guidance
The nüvi 850 features a 4.3" widescreen touch display and detailed maps of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. It comes with 6 million points of interest for locating nearby food, fuel, lodging, entertainment stops, and other attractions. You'll hear actual street names at turns and key maneuvers, so you can concentrate on driving instead of following the screen. You can also upload your own custom points of interest to mark favorite picnic spots or school and safety zones.

If you prefer to run all your errands in one trip, Garmin's route optimization software sorts multiple destinations within one route by the shortest distance between each stop, so you can save time, gas, and money. You can plan up to 10 different routes before you hit the road and save them on the nüvi 850 for further reference.

Packed with features
The compact nüvi 850 can go with you when you leave the car and it remembers where it was when you turned it off — a great feature if you parked in a large lot or on an unfamiliar street. The 850 displays posted speed limits on highways and major roads to keep you aware of how fast you can go. 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.

Check out digital music and photos from your micro Secure Digital™ memory cards on the built-in digital media player. The integrated wireless FM transmitter lets you hear music and voice prompts through your car's stereo. Explore the language guide, world clock, calculator, currency/unit converters, and other Garmin travel aids. A user-defined password keeps unauthorized users from using your navigator, so your personal information and itinerary stay private. You can add an optional receiver to the nüvi 850 to get subscription-based MSN® Direct information, including traffic and weather reports, local events, gas prices, movie times, and more, available in most metropolitan areas.


Product 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
  • speech-recognition remote control
  • car power adapter, USB cable, and built-in rechargeable battery with 4 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 4.3" (480 x 272 pixels) touchscreen control
  • 6 million points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • preloaded with maps for the entire United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico
  • accepts spoken commands and voice address entry
  • 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)
  • microSD card slot
  • compatible with MSN Direct service (additional receiver and subscription required)
  • compatible with FM-TMC traffic-info service (additional receiver and subscription required)
Other features and specs:

What's in the box:

  • Portable GPS navigation receiver
  • Suction-cup mounting bracket
  • Mounting cradle
  • Hard plastic mounting disk with self-adhesive base
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V/1100mAh)
  • Cigarette lighter adapter with attached 59" cable
  • 40" USB cable (with USB Type A connector on one end and Mini USB Version 2.0 connector on the other end)
  • Speech Recognition remote control
  • CR2032 Lithium battery
  • Remote control battery cover
  • Quick Start manual (English)
  • Quick Start manual (French)
  • Important Safety and Product Information
  • Travel Kit Plug-ins accessory booklet
  • NAVTEQ End-user License Agreement
  • DMTI Spatial End User License Agreement
  • Brochure for international maps
  • eMusic promotion
  • promotion

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More details on the Garmin nuvi® 850

Mark G.

Features & specs

Maps Built-in
Map Coverage USA (50), Canada, PR
Points of Interest 6,000,000
Multiple Destination Routing Yes
Screen Size 4.3"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable No
Photo Viewer ---
Digital Audio Playback ---
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control ---
Traffic Information No
Dynamic Content Services ---
Removable Memory Type microSD card
Battery Life 4 hours (1100 mAh)
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs


Product Overview: The nüvi 850 is a portable GPS navigator, traveler's reference, and digital entertainment system, all in one. Combined with detailed maps, the nüvi 850 provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, and touch screen control. In addition to these navigation features, the nüvi 850 can play MP3 files and audio books (available from, and display JPEG photos.

Voice Guidance/Text-to-Speech: This unit provides turn-by-turn voice directions during navigation. When a maneuver occurs, the nüvi 850 will announce the directions clearly, including the street names and/or the exit names.

Speech Recognition: The nüvi 850 comes with a wireless Speech Recognition remote control that can be strapped onto the steering wheel or mounted in a convenient location. Using Speech Recognition, you can speak voice commands into the remote control or a "Find Nearest" command, and the unit will respond. Commands include:

Audible Player Go home Volume Down
Cancel Route Hands free Volume Up
Detour Help Where Am I?
Find Address Main Menu Where To?
Find City Music Player Find Nearest Gas Station
Find Favorite Stop Listening Find Nearest Grocery Store
Find Place by Category Tools Menu Find Nearest Bank
Find Place by Name Trip Computer Find Nearest Movie Theater
Find Recently Found View Map Find Nearest Restaurant

Internal Memory: The nüvi 850 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 850 is recognized as an additional drive (USB Mass Storage). Note: The nüvi 850 is compatible with Windows 2000 or newer.

microSD Memory Slot: The nüvi 850 can display photo images or play back MP3 audio files or audio books from an optional microSD memory card.

Map Software: The nüvi 850 comes loaded with City Navigator North America NT 2009 software, which contains mapping detail of the entire United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The maps feature more than 6 million points of interest (POIs), such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions.

Satellite Status: Once the GPS receiver in the nüvi 850 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.

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 850 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 850 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 850 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 850 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

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.

Where Am I? The "Where Am I?" feature gives you instant access to important information in case of an emergency. When you select "Where Am I?" from the menu, you get the coordinates (including elevation) of your current position, plus the nearest address and intersections. There are also buttons to help you locate the nearest hospitals, police stations, gas stations, and roadside assistance. You can also save the location for future reference.

Car Locator: The nüvi 850 will automatically mark the vehicle's position when the unit is removed from the windshield mount. This allows you to easily find your vehicle at a later time. This is a helpful feature to help you locate your vehicle when visiting large amusement parks or parking lots.

Avoid: 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.

Multiple Destination Routing: You can enter multiple destinations and the unit will automatically sort the destinations, providing the most direct route. This is a helpful feature for those working in real estate, making sales calls, making deliveries, or visiting multiple sites. The routes can be saved to the built-in memory for later recall. Up to 10 routes can be saved.

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

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.

Games: The unit features eleven electronic games to help you pass the time. Built-in games include: Solitare, Sudoku, Space Shooter, Temo, Rock Slide, Interceptor, Boxing, Bubbles, Video Poker, Crumble, and Brick Breaker.

Travel Aids: The nüvi 850 gives you access to the following travel aids:

  • 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

FM Traffic: The nüvi 850 can receive traffic information broadcast over the FM Radio Data System (RDS), when connected to an optional Garmin FM TMC (Traffic Message Channel) receiver. When you are in a coverage area, the traffic delays are rated by severity with color-coded icons. If you encounter severe traffic along your route, the unit will automatically recalculate the route for you to avoid traffic delays.

Power Requirements: The nüvi 850 operates on your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter power adapter, or the supplied removable Lithium-Ion battery. The Lithium-Ion batteries provide up to 4 hours of use. Stored data, such as waypoints or unit settings, are not lost when the unit is disconnected from a power source.

Note: The nüvi 850 does not come supplied with an AC adapter. An optional AC adapter (150ACNUVI) is available separately.

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 850 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.

Music Player: The unit has a built-in music player capable of playing MP3 music files (from the internal memory or optional microSD cards) over the built-in speakers or out the headphone or line output jack. In addition to music files, audio books can be loaded into memory or onto microSD cards for playback through the nüvi 850.

Inputs and Outputs

Left Side of Unit:

  • Headphones: mini-jack headphone or audio line output
  • Card Slot: accepts microSD cards
  • USB: USB Mini-B Type 2.0 that allows you to connect the nüvi 850 to a computer using the supplied USB cable

Bottom of Unit:

  • 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.
  • Antenna: MCX-type jack allows you to connect an optional external GPS antenna

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