Garmin Zumo 396 LMT
Well my trusty Zumo 550 finally started to die a slow death. Three different bikes, countless monsoons, freezing temps, continuous use when riding, 2 crashes......and my friend becomes wonky. I had already repaired the power button, the case was skinned up from flying off in a wreck and the internal battery was shot.
If you use a cell phone you can just shake your head and find another thread. I have a phone too, I know what they do.
I sort of got lucky. I was surfing about a month ago and was looking at the 395. I was about to buy one when I see that the 396 had replaced it. Then I see an Ebay coupon, and well the deal was done. List $400, with coupon $340. My old 550 was about $560 new.
This 396 LMT Zumo is better than the 550 in almost every way.
- It has a bigger screen.
- The screen is just as bright.
- The unit shows the speed limit where you are. This is a welcome change. It gives you a prompt when the speed limit is reducing.
- Lifetime map updates, 2 per year. Traffic warning capability (have not used this yet).
- The unit is much better looking, thinner, and lighter. Feels more durable. No buttons, all touch screen.
- The screen desktop allows you to personalize the settings to a greater degree.
- It was cheaper. Mainly because it only comes with what you need for using on a bike. No extra car mounts with it.
- More memory.
- Faster satellite acquisition.
- Better UI and easier to use keyboard.
- Very solid mount.
- There is no screw/security lock like a 550. It just snaps into the base. I like this better really. Some may not.
- The road number text is slightly smaller. Mine is mounted on the left handlebar and I can see it fine with old eyes.
- It did not have a travel case like my 550 did for "off-bike" storage. I am using the one from my 550.
- I started to buy the 595LM (the current top of the line Zumo model at $700), the bigger brother to the 396. I am glad I did not. I thought the larger display would be nice, but the 396 is actually just right for me. Personally, I thought the 550 was over priced for what it offered and the 396 is a much better value. The new unit is just as easy to use with gloved fingers or the thumb of my mitten as my old one was.
"If its not broke yet, it can still be fixed"