Garmin Nuvi 200 Review - Features and Profile

Page content

I Used To Not Know My Way Around My Own Hometown

Yeah it’s pathetic, I know…but I admit it. I used to get lost in my own hometown – a hometown in which I have lived for over 15 years, and still I would manage to get lost.

That’s not really the most embarrassing thing either. See, there is a Target store just 2 towns over, and no matter how many times I have been taken there by other drivers, I still for the life of me, could not figure out how to get there on my own. Thankfully, it’s an embarrassing secret of the past, because ever since I was given the Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS navigation receiver I have, for the first time ever, been able to drive my rump wherever I wanted without fear of getting lost!

The Garmin Nuvi 200


The Garmin Nuvi 200 seemed like it was the best in the range my brother was looking to spend on me for a gift. He spent $199.99 at the time when the unit first hit shelves.

The Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS comes with a thin 3.5 inch touch screen, a mount for placement on the car’s windshield, and of course a car lighter charger.

Special features built into the Garmin include a menu button called special interests. Choosing this on the main menu on the Nuvi 200’s screen allows you to enter store names. When you plug in a store name it will display a list of stores that have that name. You can choose whichever one you want by tapping it on the screen.

There is also an address menu where you can plug addresses into the Garmin Nuvi 200 using the qwerty touchscreen keypad to type out your destination address.

Besides this, you also have your favorites menu where you can store in stores or addresses of places you frequent. I suggest plugging in your home address to save you time later on.

The touchscreen features a full qwerty keypad that responds to even the lightest of taps, which was pretty sweet.

Appearance (5 out of 5)

The Garmin Nuvi 200 was right up my alley when it came to its appearance. I’m an electronic freak, and the moment I opened the box to discover my new toy I was thrilled at its slim and sleek design.

Although I am more of a high gloss black finish type of person, I did like the silver sleek frame that surrounded the Garmin Nuvi GPS’ 3.5 inch touch screen.

At the very top of the GPS’ frame there is a power button that slides to power on the unit. You can use it to also power the unit off if you no longer wish for it to be on while driving. There is also an SD slot located on the left side of the GPS’ frame, I and others who looked over this model found the feature to be pretty useless considering it does not play MP3’s.

There is also a very small slot to plug in the car’s charger. It is located at the back of the Nuvi 200, which is an odd placement for it.

Continue on to the next page and learn more about the ease of assembly and signal strength of the Garmin Nuvi 200.

Ease of Assembly (4 out of 5)

Setting up the Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS was seriously a cinch. The mount in particular was very easy to set up, and only required that I click in the suction mount to the GPS. What I like was the ball joint in the mount that allows you to rotate the screen around once you have it suctioned to the windshield.

As far as the suction strength goes, it packs a powerful suction and you don’t at all have to worry about it falling off the windshield.

One thing however that is rather annoying is the placement of the power cord connection. The power plug is located at the back of the unit, which is annoying for when you unplug the unit and want to quickly plug it back in later on. In order to plug it in, you consistently have to remove the entire unit from the windshield to see where the small connector is.

Removing the GPS itself off of the mount is also tedious because the mount has a nice tight strong grip on to the sides of the units frame. It’s actually really, really hard to separate the two.

Screen Clarity & Signal Strength (5 out of 5)

The 3.5 inch touch screen is basically flawless. Even in extreme lighting situations the screen was always very easy to see. The maps that load into the Garmin Nuvi 200 are also drawn out very nicely, and even display bodies of water that are nearby. I especially liked this feature because I was able to find hidden lakes and creeks in my town that not many people know of.

Being able to zoom in and zoom out also gave me the option to set how the route looked. If I wanted to know where turns were far before I got to them, I could. If I wanted to really zoom in and view the screen that way, I could. Personally, I enjoy zooming out so my destination route is all written out and easy to see.

As far as the signal strength goes, I will say I have never had the GPS drop a signal. The signal is relatively flawless. I do notice though that in some areas that maps tend to take longer to load than usual.

Read on to the next page for the conclusion of Bright Hub’s review of the Garmin Nuvi 200.

I plugged my GPS into my car lighter socket, mounted it up on the windshield and entered my destination. I was looking to finally drive my way to Target by myself.

The touch screen works flawlessly and displays a Qwerty keypad for you to enter the name of the store you are looking to go to, or you can enter the address if you know it. It worked pretty flawlessly but took around 40 seconds for a list of other available Target stores nearby. Once I found the one I was looking to go to, I chose it.

The maps took a few moments to load, the driving directions finally popped up on the screen and I was ready to go.

The GPS is capable of estimating how long it will take for you to get to where you have programmed the GPS to go. There is a womans voice that sounds relatively robotic, but it does in fact loudly and clearly get you from point A to point B. Once you get used to having the GPS in your car you will barely even have to look at the screen, as the voice commands are dead on, while giving you enough time to respond with turns.

I was also able to raise and lower the sound for the voice that plays commands, which was nice.

Besides just voice commands, you can also look on the Garmin Nuvi 200 at the map to get a better understanding of when you will need to make turns. At the top of the map you will also see a text display of your directions as you go.

What I especially liked about the GPS was that if I missed a turn it would re-route itself and give me new directions on how to get to my location even after missing the original route. However the reaction time is a little delayed. The unit would tell me it was re-routing, but it would take around 15 to 20 seconds for new directions to upload on to the screen.

The route provided to me on the screen was pretty much dead on, but I have, since owning it encountered a few quirks where the GPS would command me to turn a certain way that was wrong. For instance, when making my way to a store, I could see the store was on the left side of the road, and the entrance on the left side of the road. The Nuvi 200 told me to turn right, which would have landed me in the woods!

Another time, it also decided to skip on my exit in to town. Instead, it tried directing me to go to the next exit up, which would have added a lot more time to get to my destination.

Overall (4 out of 5)

The Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS navigation receiver is a pretty good unit. It gets me to where I need to go by providing driving directions on a map, in text, or by voice commands. The screen is very easy on the eyes, bright, and easy to see even in high sunlight conditions.

Without it, I’d likely still not know my way around my own hometown. I am able to get to stores I need to get to without getting lost, and it works like a charm for me. For some it may be rather basic, but I truly am thankful for the GPS.

The price when it was first released was a bit overpriced in my opinion, especially considering it’s quirks. The Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS navigation unit has since been reduced, and can be found online selling for less than $120.00 – a price well worth it in my opinion.