The Garmin Zumo 220 is a motorcycle GPS that can also be conveniently put to use in your car. Although somewhat light on features when compared to other models in Garmin’s Zumo series, the 220 still has plenty to offer, and being an entry level model, will appeal to those on a tighter budget.
As regards overall performance and accuracy, the 220 compares favorably with any of its competitors. A high-sensitivity GPS receiver allows for faster satellite acquisition while Garmin’s HotFix technology calculates your position with greater speed and efficiency. Responsiveness in terms of map rendering and route calculation is excellent, and the routing software scores high marks for accuracy.
So what do you get over and above a standard sat-nav? Like the other navigators in the Garmin Zumo series, the 220 is a rugged, all-weather device. Besides being waterproof, it is also resistant to the corrosive effects of fuel spray and UV radiation. Another adaptation to the outdoor environment in which motorcycle navigators operate is a screen designed for optimal readability in sunlit conditions. The screen is also glove friendly allowing easier navigation of menus and data input while wearing gloves.
Overall Design and Build Quality
The 220 is relatively compact, and unlike the 4.3” screen common to other models in the Garmin Zumo series, has a 3.5” screen. Being lighter and less bulky means the 220 has a slight advantage in terms of portability and is less likely to obscure the instrument panel, or at least to a lesser degree, when mounted on a sports bike. Overall, the build quality of the 220 is good, and it feels sufficiently robust to stand up to the harsh conditions of life on the road. The on/off power button is located on the top of the unit and a small rubber flap at the back covers a mini USB port used for charging and for data connections. Also located at the back of the unit is the speaker and the housing for the removeable battery, which also contains the MicroSD card slot. The inclusion of a speaker is in keeping with the 220’s dual purpose and is most useful for hearing spoken directions in your car. When used in its primary role, however, those same directions are best delivered via bluetooth to a compatible helmet or headset. No wired option is available, however, as a socket for a headphone jack is absent on this particular model. Furthermore, with regard to bluetooth, it is worth noting that there is no cell phone connectivity.
Installation and Accessories
Installing the device is not particularly difficult and can be achieved with just a view basic tools. In addition to the motorcycle mounting hardware and power cable, there is a power cable, cradle and suction cup mount for your car which can be either attached directly to your windscreen, or to your dash using the supplied dashboard disk. The RAM mount assembly for your bike can be installed on the handlebars or brake/clutch reservoir. A third option involves mounting the device on the steering stem which has the advantage of positioning the device directly in front of you rather than to the side. Unfortunately, the mounting assembly provided by Garmin does not include a steering stem compatible base, which can, however, be purchased separately.
Display and Navigation
The 220’s interface has a simple layout with large, easy-to-read text, and a logically structured menu system. The uncluttered display makes for easy viewing at a glance, helping you stay focused on the road. Entering data on the non-QWERTY keyboard can be slow, and is even slower if you choose the enlarged glove-friendly version which is split into multiple screens. There are, however, several easier options for selecting a destination depending on the particular circumstances involved. On the map screen you can, for example, be directed to a location by simply tapping on it, or, by using the “Where Am I” function, select the nearest hospital, gas station, address, intersection, or police station. Alternatively, you can search from among the thousands of preloaded points of interest. With Garmin’s powerful BaseCamp software you can also plan routes on your computer before uploading them to the 220 which can store up to 10 pre-planned routes and 500 waypoints, with additional storage on a MicroSD card (sold separately).
Although the 220 does not have as extensive an array of features as the other Garmin Zumo models, it still has more than enough to satisfy most casual riders. These include Lane Assist, which provides lane-specific directions at major junctions, a speed limit indicator for highways and interstates, and a travel kit with picture viewer, calculator, world clock, and currency and measurement converters. Data from a variety of sources is displayed in the motorcycle console which features a digital compass and fuel gauge, and a trip computer recording mileage, maximum speed, total time, etc. Besides using the device in your car, a pedestrian mode can be selected as required.
The 220 is a relatively affordable option for those seeking a dedicated motorcycle GPS, and as such represents good value for money. As we have seen, it also has a reasonable number of useful features and the cost of purchase is at least partially offset by its versatility in not being limited to just a motorcycle navigator.