Garmin Zumo 220 Review

Written by | Garmin Zumo, Motorcycle GPS Reviews

Garmin Zumo 220The 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.

As of 15/11/2017, this item is listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon.com.

Features

  • Lane Assist
  • Digital fuel gauge and compass
  • Speed limit indicator
  • Vehicle mount and power cable
  • Replaceable battery
  • Picture viewer

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.

Pros
  • quality materials and construction
  • simple and easy to use interface
Cons
  • display difficult to view in bright sunlight and has a narrow viewing angle
  • light on features when compared to more recent models

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).

Notable Features

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Last modified: November 15, 2017

8 Responses to :
Garmin Zumo 220 Review

  1. Maarten says:

    This review is a joke. I have a Zumo 220 and it is the most expensive piece of junk I ever bought.
    I have had several GPS-receivers, but the Zumo 220 is the worst.
    The keyboard is ABC instead of QWERTY so it takes a long time to type in anything as you have to search keys. Not somethiong you want to do while on your bike (or even in your car).
    The fuel-indicator is totally worthless are the distance is printed OVER the gauge, so you basically can’t see neither.
    The altitude (in metric setting) is given in whole KILOMETERS (No, this is not a joke).
    Every route that you make on your computer in Basecamp or Maosource, is recalculated when it enters your GPS, and it is never the same. Often it is replace by a straight line between 2 points.
    The best thing about it is the cradle/mount… but ohh.. That was not made by Garmin but by RAM.
    Garmin: Never again.

    1. admin says:

      Hi, sorry to hear you were disappointed with your purchase. Our goal in publishing these reviews is to enable people to make an informed decision when purchasing a motorcycle GPS. Therefore, we endeavor to maintain as impartial and objective a standpoint as possible, regardless of the particular model or brand being reviewed. Furthermore, we do not receive any form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from Garmin or any other manufacturer, in return for publishing favorable reviews.
      Based on our own research and the comments we have received from various contacts, we continue to stand by the above review but we do appreciate your feedback.

  2. Anthony teo says:

    My Zummo 220 having some problem after purchase of 3 years. And I call to singapore service center ( navicon technology pte ltd ) they told me Garmin Taiwan not support this Zummo 220 GPS anymore and any problem of the GPS they only can send to Taiwan !!! So is sound like buying this Garmin GPS is mean to throw cos Garmin at Taiwan office not support this model anymore !!! Just 3years and I paid a lot to buy this GPS, just one word ” not more support this Zummo 220″……money goes!!! Company of GARMIN do you guys think is rights !!!!

  3. Anthony teo says:

    And I do Agee what Maarten said on the review.

  4. Patrick says:

    I am on line to purchase a 220. I wont now. Thank you for these reviews.

  5. Kevin Slover says:

    I’ve been using my 220 for off-road adventures for 5 years now and I’ve found that it performs very well despite the critical reviews I’m seeing here. That said, because Garmin effectively has this market cornered the quality of their software is very low when compared to the GPS offerings in the mobile phone app market. Garmin is primarily a hardware company with software playing second fiddle to the hardware. The software works but it’s clumsy and not at all intuitive so it’s a bit frustrating to work with.

    The 220 is a good unit that gets the job done when properly managed.

  6. Chris says:

    I have had a Garmin 220 for 5 years, done about 40k on road trips with it. MapSource sucks, that is not the GPS fault. Get TyreToTravel to make routes. Mine display the altitude in feet and above 10k, it shows 10k. Oh well. The keyboard is a pain but I get by. Most of my routes are made on the PC and loaded via .gpx file. I have gotten so much value out of this one. Don’t think they make it anymore though and some ‘new and improved’ models have their own issues.

  7. Bill says:

    I’ve had a Garmin Nuvi 550 for my bike for many years. It’s a pretty good unit as far as a gps goes. But, the Garmin web interface for updating maps is TERRIBLE. I want to buy another GPS, but not a Garmin if this hasn’t changed. Any review in terms of connecting, updating, downloading maps from the websites?

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