The Garmin nuvi 215 is a basic GPS device without much premium offerings but it does what it's supposed to do without fail.

Garmin nuvi 215: features & design

The Garmin nuvi 215 is a compact device which can easily be slipped into your pocket. It has a 3.5-inch, 320x240 pixel resolution touchscreen. It also has a sturdy build and the screen offers good visibility outdoors. The back of the device has one miniUSB port for charging and data transfer while the microSD card slot is on the left side.

There are not many features on this entry level PND. However, it comes with some extra apps like Picture Viewer, Unit Converter, World Clock and Calculator. Bluetooth is also present to let you use the device as a hands-free for your phone. One nice feature on the nuvi 215 makes the device simulate the drive while the GPS radio is off.

Garmin nuvi 215: performance & usability

The Garmin nuvi 215 was tested in the PCWorld.in labs.

Despite its rather basic features offering, the Garmin nuvi 215 scores high on usability and performance. The device started in 13 seconds which is average. It has an interface which is very simple and straightforward. It presented us with two large icons - Where To and View map. Other icons are Volume and Tools.

‘Where To' gives various options to specify destination. You can enter the street address, pick from POI or go to favourites. The icons are large and the screen responded well to our touch inputs.

Upon starting our navigation, we started by entering the street name. Here, the device's onscreen keyboard responded well and entering text was not an issue. Once we entered our destination address, the device took around 5 minutes to get the signal in cloudy weather and 3 minutes to the same location on a sunny day. Once the signal lock happened, routing calculation took just 2 seconds.

Options include the usual faster time, shorter distance and off road. While we were driving, the signal reception was good. The voice guide was also very loud and clear which would be easily heard even on a busy road. The screen visibility outdoors was not great but manageable.

The map shows the speed (which also has option to show the trip details) and the estimated arrival time. It also has the dual screen mode which can be enabled by touching the next turn distance information showed up in the upper right hand corner of the screen. The overall map response was smooth and we did not see any noticeable delay while the map was moving along while we were driving.

The handy ‘Where Am I' feature not only displays our current geographical location but also the nearby Hospitals, Police Stations and petrol stations which would be useful in case of emergency.

The SatGuide Map was accurate, and it just got better with the latest map updates from SatGuide. It let us sailed through the city with great voice guidance and simple to follow geographical maps. Even for pedestrians, the compact Garmin nuvi 215 fits the bill. The battery lasted for approximately 3 and half hours with the display brightness setting at 50 percent. The package contents include device holder, car charger, dashboard disc and owners' manual.

Overall, the simple and compact Garmin nuvi 215 is costly if you compare with what other brands are offering. But, its hassle-free navigation experience offering deserves consideration if navigation is all you need. Otherwise, you can opt for the much more power-packed SatGuide Moov 200 which has better features and equally good guidance on the road.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Garmin nuvi 215: Specs

  • GPS receiver
  • USB
  • 3.5in 320x240 touchscreen, anti-glare TFT
  • Voice navigation instructions
  • Built-in aerial
  • Hands-free calling via Bluetooth, built-in microphone, built-in speaker, calculator, clock, JPEG photo playback, speed limit warning, 2D/3D map perspective, TMC (Traffic Message Channel) ready, Garmin Lock, photo viewer, custom POIs, preinstalled POIs, automatic routing, measurement converter, currency converter, Garmin Garage, Garmin HotFix
  • MapSource City Navigator NT
  • Garmin Travel Guide
  • Lithium Ion battery
  • 97x20x71mm
  • 147g
  • GPS receiver
  • USB
  • 3.5in 320x240 touchscreen, anti-glare TFT
  • Voice navigation instructions
  • Built-in aerial
  • Hands-free calling via Bluetooth, built-in microphone, built-in speaker, calculator, clock, JPEG photo playback, speed limit warning, 2D/3D map perspective, TMC (Traffic Message Channel) ready, Garmin Lock, photo viewer, custom POIs, preinstalled POIs, automatic routing, measurement converter, currency converter, Garmin Garage, Garmin HotFix
  • MapSource City Navigator NT
  • Garmin Travel Guide
  • Lithium Ion battery
  • 97x20x71mm
  • 147g

OUR VERDICT

It may not be the cheapest GPS device for what it offers but its excellent guidance on the road means the Garmin nuvi 215 deserves consideration.

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