Many GPS devices are priced at more than $200 because they come with plenty of neat navigation features that should appeal to frequent travelers and mobile workers. Common examples of mid-range and high-end features include Bluetooth functionality and voice commands. Some of these GPS devices also have real-time traffic monitoring so even better routes can be calculated. But if you are the type of driver that simply goes out to get groceries, do simple errands or occasionally goes to neighboring towns or cities, you could do just fine with a cheaper GPS device without those extra features. It is even possible to go for a bigger screen and still save some money if you don’t happen to have that $200 budget. The Garmin nuvi 52LM is just one of these budget devices and it could be a great purchase as long as you are aware of its limitations.
The Garmin nuvi 52LM is a plain and simple device that doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the Garmin devices. But it is one of the Garmin’s first devices for 2013 and it managed to make some slight changes so people can see the difference between the Garmin nuvi 52LM and the older 50LM released the previous year. Gone are the rounded corners so the bezel appears more rectangular. The weight is still maintained at just over 6 ounces so it should feel lighter than just about any typical 5-inch smartphone.
The Garmin nuvi 52LM comes complete with a vehicle suction cup mount which makes it easy to mount the device on the dashboard or windshield of your car. A vehicle power cable is also provided in case you want to charge the device. The large screen comes at the cost of battery life (less than 2 hours) so it would be handy to have this cable in your glove compartment.
The Garmin nuvi 52LM gets the short end of the stick when it comes to features and smartphones may even have more features thanks to the wide availability of third-party apps. But the main strength of the Garmin nuvi 52LM lies on its ability to plan routes quickly and guide you to your destination while maintaining a simple and clean user interface. Unlike smartphone interfaces where you are greeted with a bunch of icons, all you see on the Garmin nuvi 52LM is just 2 big icons representing the main tasks along with a single row of smaller icons if you want to change any settings or make volume adjustments. No swiping or scrolling through long menus is needed and that goes to show that even cheap GPS models have their advantages.