396 to XT

Having Garmin zumo XT problems? there is loads of help and advice in this forum
Cgltd
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396 to XT

Post by Cgltd »

Have any of you switched from the 396 to the XT? If so, is it worth it and what is the best feature on the XT when compared to the 396? I understand that the screen is much brighter on the XT. But how much brighter is it when compared to the 396? The only time the screen in unreadable on the 396 is when the sun is directly on it. Other than that it has a washed out look but readable. I wonder if the XT display is similar to the Garmin Drive series?
bicyclenut
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Re: 396 to XT

Post by bicyclenut »

I just switched from the Zumo 396 to the XT this past weekend. I also use a BMW Nav 5, which I think is similar to the Zumo 595? I've only played around with it a bit and used it for about an hour on a ride, so not extensive, but I have my initial thoughts. And after using the XT, I put my 396 up for sale this morning.

Yes, the screen is definitely brighter, more contrast and better to read than the 396. The 396 and the Nav 5 have a more matte and dull screen and just don't seem to pop the way the XT does. It sort of reminds me of comparing an older cell phone to one of the newer phones, the old one isn't necessarily horrible but the new one just looks better and sharper. There is a bit more reflection, but even with this, it seems the screen is more easy to see and read in any of the lighting I was in. A great improvement.

The XT is faster and more responsive in my opinion. It seems to respond to touch much more quickly and with no delays, no lag. When performing a search and navigate, the XT seems much faster. I searched for a local motorcycle shop, it found it quickly and when I tapped Navigate it went from 0-38% and then was ready to navigate within a few seconds. I transferred a route on Sunday from Bascamp and when I imported it, the speed was also faster. When I imported the same route to my Nav 5, the time to process was notably slower than the XT.

The screen size is not huge compared to the 396 but that little bit extra helps, especially when you get multiple items displayed on the screen, and overall the unit is not that much larger than the 396 as the 396 has a large frame around the screen.

The negatives...a mini USB charger, why?? yes same as the 396, but why not a micro USB or even a USB-C to charge. Even my NAV 5 has a micro USB and it is an older unit. The mounting system, meh, time will tell, I almost liked the 396 mount better, but still prefer the Nav 5 and older Garmin Zumo mounts, I guess they are bigger and more there when unit is not mounted but seemed more solid and I like the weather cap. The XT has a similar rubber plug like the 396 to cover the contacts for the power mount when not in use.

The initial Zumo XT I received had a bad power cable, wired everything up and mounted unit and no power. Unit worked fine but only on battery power. Rechecked everything and all way good. Using multimeter was getting 12V into cable but no 5V out at mount after power converter. Rechecked and rewired and same results each time. Contacted Garmin and they wanted me to send in bad cable and they would send replacement. I told them I tested all and problem was with cable and power converter. BS support and service for a brand new unit. Requested a replacement exchange for everything and had new one and working in 2 days.

Will get some more usage and testing now that I can get power from bike.
Cgltd wrote: 13 Sep 2020 14:15 Have any of you switched from the 396 to the XT? If so, is it worth it and what is the best feature on the XT when compared to the 396? I understand that the screen is much brighter on the XT. But how much brighter is it when compared to the 396? The only time the screen in unreadable on the 396 is when the sun is directly on it. Other than that it has a washed out look but readable. I wonder if the XT display is similar to the Garmin Drive series?
Zumo XT
BMW NAV 5
Navigating my BMW R1200RT
jfheath
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Re: 396 to XT

Post by jfheath »

If it is any help - I have the XT and my 590 mounted. The XT in the normal place, the 590 as backup - I still don't trust my understanding of the XT to be able to rely on it.

I have dabbled with BT connections to my 590 a number of times, but never really liked it. The background noise, the connect/disconnect hassle. I use a rider / pillion wired autocom, and the 590 has cable connections which work perfectly. The XT relies entirely on BT. So far I have not been able to get a decent connection. Spoke instructions are garbled much of the time. Music is not very good. I need to get my receiver mounted somehwere closer, to see if that improves things.

I'm just glad that I didn't trade in my 590/595 for the XT and can still use it.

The XT screen though is superb compared to the 590/5. The screen is a tad too sensitive - it recognises bare fingers before I have even touched, but much better with a gloved hand. I'm edging towards the XT but there are a lot of issues to sort out. How old am I now ? Will I have time ?

Today, I discovered something really important. I found another way that doesn't work.
cr0100
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Re: 396 to XT

Post by cr0100 »

You mention the sensitive screen - I did have issues a few times on a trip out through the Rockies, going through downpours (serious heavy rain with hail) that the raindrops would occasionally register as presses on the screen. It would only happen, though, in the densest of heavy rain. The occasional splash or drops from light rain have not caused me any problems. I'm about 5 months in with this device and it is superb.
Cgltd
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Re: 396 to XT

Post by Cgltd »

Thanks for the replies. I think I may just keep the 396. The main thing is that the 396 has the pandora built in. I initially thought that the XT had Pandora and Spotify, but was mistaken.
jfheath
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Re: 396 to XT

Post by jfheath »

Just to complete the picture for you.

The 595 has a Spotify App and it gets its information from Spotify via the BT connection to the smartphone. So it can search for artists and albums. But it doesn't access Spotify directly.

The XT will control any media that is playing on the smartphone including Spotify. Play, Pause, and if applicable, skip. So once a playlist is playing on the smartphone, or your own MP3 files, or radio - then there is some limited control from the XT, and the name of the track/program etc is shown on the XT media player. Its not as good as the dedicated app on the 595 which will communicate with the smartphone for searches of albums, artists, tracks and playlists - and it is subject to the quality of the BT link - but to be honest the only control I ever used on spotify, was skip - it was easier to set the thing going with a playlist when I was not on the bike.

At least the XT has a decent battery life, a very bright screen, and onboard speakers so that you can test things out away from the bike. Oh and of course, Spotify uses the WiFi or the phone signal in order to receive the files that it is playing. So get into the mountains and it will stop playing.

But it does have an MP3 player so that I can play my own music onto the SD card.

Today, I discovered something really important. I found another way that doesn't work.
Cgltd
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Re: 396 to XT

Post by Cgltd »

I looked at the XT at the Crutchfield store and yes you screen was.great and big! I just wish they kept the spotify app. I enjoy being able to change music genre's on a long trip. To me the 396 is great at the price I bought it for. $230 from GPS City on Black Friday. So I will be holding on to this for now!
BTW, if you have a Spotify subscription you can download music to your phone for offline listening and have the the option of listening to a higher bit rate. I need offline for when I am it sea!

Edit:. Somehow I recently realized that I could invoke google assistant with my Freecom 1+ (which is not advertised) by pressing a couple of buttons. Now I can switch between music/podcast apps and playlists by voice while having the info on the 396 display. My biggest complaint in now irrelevant!

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