Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

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Garminista
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Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by Garminista »

I am in the UK and I was wondering if any one has had a chance to compare the traffic data they get on the Zumo XT vs that of TomTom or Waze, especially in cities, ie outside of motorways.

I remember comparing TomTom and Garmin a good 10 years ago and finding that TomTom's traffic data was better, but that was a very long time ago.

I had made a generic post viewtopic.php?f=46&t=973 about Garmin vs TomTom and Waze, but, since there are different data sources for Garmin (e.g. some models use an FM radio receiver, while the Zumo Xt relies on a smartphone connection) I thought it might be best to ask the question specifically wrt the Zumo XT. I trust this is OK with forum rules but, if it's not, apologies, and, moderators, please delete.

Thanks!
XIKO29
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Re: Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by XIKO29 »

For what i already read, TomTom traffic is still better.

Waze is a different player here since not only it's own by Google that improves more than Here Maps but also because Waze users are more actively (and have more, and easier options) to inform about traffic conditions.
Garminista
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Joined: 15 Sep 2020 15:22
Great Britain

Re: Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by Garminista »

XIKO29 wrote: 16 Sep 2020 20:01 For what i already read, TomTom traffic is still better.
Do you mean in Portugal or in Europe in general? This is actually one of the reasons why I am wondering if it wouldn't be better to just buy a cheap, second hand rugged waterproof phone and use that as satnav. I wouldn't use my main phone as it's not waterproof, vibrations can damage the camera, and if I put it in a waterproof case it overheats.

What I noticed comparing the TomTom Android app vs Waze is that:
  • Waze is more likely to send you down small backroads to avoid traffic; this is great if you are on a motorcycle can be counterproductive in a car, because many of these roads would often be narrow two-way streets where you can get stuck if you find another car in the opposite direction
  • Waze is more likely to report recent road closures
XIKO29
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Re: Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by XIKO29 »

Garminista wrote:
XIKO29 wrote: 16 Sep 2020 20:01 For what i already read, TomTom traffic is still better.
Do you mean in Portugal or in Europe in general? This is actually one of the reasons why I am wondering if it wouldn't be better to just buy a cheap, second hand rugged waterproof phone and use that as satnav. I wouldn't use my main phone as it's not waterproof, vibrations can damage the camera, and if I put it in a waterproof case it overheats.

What I noticed comparing the TomTom Android app vs Waze is that:
  • Waze is more likely to send you down small backroads to avoid traffic; this is great if you are on a motorcycle can be counterproductive in a car, because many of these roads would often be narrow two-way streets where you can get stuck if you find another car in the opposite direction
  • Waze is more likely to report recent road closures
I read in Europe. If it's true or not, i don't know.

Yes, that a very good option.

I see (and know) several people that prefers to use the smartphone because it's faster than a GPS unit and have a wider range of navigation apps but they use their main phone which i think it's ridiculous. Not only you can damage the gyroscope (one of my cousins already sent to warranty 3 iPhone 11 due to that) but also if you decide to go ride alone (with the main phone on the bike), you fall down and the bike goes off a cliff. How will you are going to ask for help? Using smoke signals? [emoji38] (that's what i tell them)

I use an XT but if you prefer to have more reliability/options/features, i think you're thinking well: buy a cheaper smartphone (but one that has a good GPS/Galileo/Glonass chip) and attached it to the mount. That way you keep your main phone always with you.

The only problem i can find in that solution, is using the smartphone with gloves. OK, there are gloves that are "screen touch capable" but if the display is too small, it will be difficult.
Garminista
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Joined: 15 Sep 2020 15:22
Great Britain

Re: Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by Garminista »

Yep. The way I see it:

a rugged smartphone (not your main phone):
- you need a separate sim with data to get traffic
+ you have more options: Waze, the TomTom app, Google Maps, other apps, etc
+ you don't have to worry about a temperamental connection with your phone to get traffic data
- you won't see notifications from your main phone on screen (but that's probably a good thing as they can be distracting and dangerous)
- won't work with gloves

TomTom Rider 550:
+ good traffic data
+ easy cloud-based solution to plan routes, save locations and sync to all your devices
- planning not as advanced as Basecamp (which, however, many describe as user-hostile and which the average user would probably not need)
- no option to avoid a road or an area
- Bluetooth Low Energy can be very temperamental with some phones

Garmin Zumo XT
- apparently, traffic data not as good as TomTom or Waze
+ bluetooth connection better than TomTom
+ some cloud-based stuff but probably not as intuitive as TomTom
+ options to avoid specific roads or areas
UK Bloke
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Re: Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by UK Bloke »

Garmin is useless, pretty much every ride I have done with the XT tries to re-route me because it thinks roads are closed when they are not, I've turned Traffic off altogether.
XIKO29
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Portugal

Re: Zumo XT: how does traffic data compare vs Waze or TomTom?

Post by XIKO29 »

UK Bloke wrote:Garmin is useless, pretty much every ride I have done with the XT tries to re-route me because it thinks roads are closed when they are not, I've turned Traffic off altogether.
It can be Here Maps fault because Garmin uses the maps provided by Here and, at least in Europe, the maps from the android app HereWeGo, are not truly updated.

In my opinion(!), Garmin has been not very good to their XT clients in some situations, but regarding the maps i don't know if it's entirely their fault.

It would be good seeing Garmin using Google Maps [emoji16]

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