Garmin RV 780 vs 890- Which is Better Navigator?

Garmin has long been the leading name in GPS technology. They have come up with several navigator systems over time. Garmin RV 780 and 890 are two well-known models for their advanced features.

But the question may come, which is the better navigation system between Garmin RV 780 VS 890?

Honestly, to tell, it is not possible to find any major difference between them. However, there are some aspects that make one a little bit better than the other one. And in this case, the Garmin 890 can be a comparatively better choice.

Do you want to know why? Don’t worry! We will try to know that through this article. 

So, why late? Let’s get into this article.

Garmin RV 780 VS 890- Head to Head Comparison

No doubt that both devices share similar functionalities. But there are also some key differences that you can’t avoid considering while picking the right one between Garmin RV 780 VS 890.

So, check out their differences and pick the right one.


One of the primary differences between the Garmin RV 780 and the Garmin RV 890 lies in their display specifications.

  • Size: The 780 has a slightly larger 5-inch display, compared to the 4.3-inch display on the 890. For most people, the size difference is negligible and won’t impact usability or visibility. Both provide an ample viewing area for maps and directions.
  • Resolution: Again, the specs are very similar. The 780 has a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, while the 890 is 800 x 480 pixels. In real-world use, the resolution and clarity on both devices are crisp, bright, and easy to read. Icons, maps, and menus are displayed clearly on either navigator.

Overall, while the Garmin 780 technically has a larger, higher resolution display, for all practical purposes the differences are minor.

Either device will provide a high-quality viewing experience for maps, directions, and more. When it comes to the display, you can’t go wrong with either the 780 or 890.


When it comes to navigation, these two Garmin models are pretty evenly matched. Both the Garmin RV 780 and Garmin RV 890 come preloaded with detailed maps for the U.S. and Canada, as well as some spots in Mexico.

They provide turn-by-turn directions, lane guidance, and speed limit indicators to get you where you need to go.

  • The 780 has a slightly smaller 5-inch display, while the 890 boasts a generous 8-inch screen. The bigger screen means maps and directions on the 890 are easier to see at a glance. But the 780’s compact size could be an advantage if you prefer a more minimalist device or have limited dash space.
  • Both units offer lifetime map updates to ensure your maps are always up to date with the latest roads and points of interest. They tap into Garmin’s massive points of interest (POI) database, so you’ll never be far from the nearest gas station, restaurant or attraction.
  • When it comes to routing, the 890 has a slight edge with its preloaded off-road maps and ability to navigate unpaved roads. The 780 is best suited for sticking to main roads. But otherwise, the routing capabilities and options are nearly identical between the two. You get multiple route choices (fastest, shortest and most fuel-efficient), traffic alerts, and re-routing to avoid delays.
  • In the end, while the Garmin DriveSmart 890’s bigger screen and off-road maps are appealing, the DriveSmart 780 should satisfy most needs for casual driving and navigation.

Power & Performance

Both units feature a dual-core processor and 4GB of internal storage for maps and data. However, there are a few key differences to consider:


The Garmin RV 780 contains a dual-core processor running at 800 MHz, while the Garmin RV 890 bumps that up to 1 GHz for slightly faster routing and map drawing.

For most needs, the Garmin RV 780’s processor will work great, but the Garmin RV 890 may have a slight edge for complex routes with lots of waypoints or if you frequently pan and zoom the map.


Both the Garmin RV 780 and Garmin RV 890 come with 4GB of internal memory for storing maps and data. This includes preloaded City Navigator NT street maps for North America.

You can also load additional maps for hiking, cycling, topography and more. The memory on both units can hold several maps at a time so you’ll have plenty of options for your adventures.

Storage Expandability

If 4GB isn’t enough, the Garmin 890 allows you to expand the storage up to 64GB using a microSD card. The 780 does not offer expandable storage.

For most recreational needs, the included 4GB should be sufficient, but if you want to load a huge number of detailed maps or upload photos and music, the 890’s expandability could come in handy.

  • Uses a microSD card to expand storage up to 64GB
  • Can hold more maps, geocaches, photos, music, etc. with extra space

While the 780 and 890 are quite capable in terms of power and performance for most navigation needs, the 890 does have a slight edge with its faster processor and storage expandability.

For casual use, the 780 will work great, but for hardcore off-roading or overlanding, the extra horsepower of the 890 could make a difference.

At the end of the day, it comes down to how much more you’re willing to spend for that added capability.


Both the Garmin RV 780 and Garmin RV 890 offer solid options to save your maps, routes, points of interest, and more. The 780 comes with 16GB of internal memory, while the 890 provides a generous 64GB.

For most casual navigators and road trippers, 16GB should suit your needs just fine and provide plenty of storage for maps of your region.

However, if you frequently travel to new places and want maps for a larger geographic area on hand, the 890’s 64GB of storage may be appealing.

With either model, you have the option to expand the storage by inserting a microSD card. The 780 allows up to 32GB of extra storage, whereas the 890 accepts up to 512GB microSD cards.

That means the 890 could potentially provide up to 576GB of storage for maps and data when expanded.

For those who want offline maps for just about everywhere they may roam, the 890’s huge storage capacity is ideal.

A few other storage-related features to consider:

  • The 890 lets you save maps and data to either the internal memory or a microSD card, whereas the 780 saves everything to internal memory. This gives you more flexibility in how the 890’s storage is allocated.
  • Both units allow you to download detailed City Navigator street maps to use offline. The 890 can hold many more maps offline at a given time due to its larger storage.
  • With the 890, you have the option to download topographic maps for off-road navigation. These maps require a large amount of storage, so the 890 is better suited for this purpose.
  • The 890 allows over-the-air map updates to download the latest maps directly to your device. The 780 requires updating maps via a computer.

While the Garmin 780 offers adequate storage for most needs, the Garmin 890 is the clear winner here due to its vastly larger internal memory and microSD expansion, as well as more advanced storage-related features.

For those wanting the ultimate in maps and data at their fingertips wherever they go, the 890’s huge storage capacity delivers.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the Garmin 780 and 890 are quite comparable. Both will last you a full day of typical use, but the 890 does have a slight edge.

Garmin 780

The 780 features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can provide up to 5 hours of battery life. This includes 2 hours of GPS navigation and 3 hours of MP3 playback.

If you’re mainly using the 780 for navigation to and from work or school, it should easily last you a full day before needing to be recharged.

However, if you’re going on a long road trip or adventure, you may need to bring the charging cable with you.

  • To maximize the 780’s battery life, turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use and lower the screen brightness.
  • The battery is not user-replaceable, so once it starts to lose capacity over time, you’ll need to send it in to Garmin for a replacement.

Garmin 890

The 890 provides an impressive 8 hours of battery life, 50% more than the 780. This includes 5 hours of GPS navigation and 3 hours of MP3 playback.

For most people, the 890 could potentially last 2 full days between charges with typical driving.

The larger battery and more efficient components in the 890 are responsible for the improved battery performance over the 780.

  • The 890 also allows you to enable an “UltraTrac” mode that can extend GPS battery life up to 16 hours by recording your position less frequently. This is ideal if you’ll be traveling in remote areas with no power for extended periods.
  • Similar to the 780, the 890’s lithium-ion battery is not replaceable by the user.
  • If battery life is a top priority, the Garmin 890 is the clear winner here with 50% more operating time per charge compared to the 780.
  • For most casual navigating, either model should suit your needs, but the 890 provides extra peace of mind for longer trips or in case of emergencies.
  • Both the 780 and 890 offer rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, but only the 890 allows an extended UltraTrac mode to maximize battery endurance.

While the Garmin 780 and 890 are closely matched in many areas, the 890 pulls ahead when it comes to battery capability and longevity.

For navigating all day and into the night without worrying about finding a charging cable, the Garmin 890 is your best bet.

Garmin 780 VS 890: The Ultimate Winner

So, which device comes out on top in the battle of the Garmin 780 VS 890? Both are excellent navigators for any adventure.

When comparing the specs and features side by side, the Garmin 890 nudges ahead as the winner.

While the Garmin 780 is a very capable navigator and budget-friendly option, the Garmin 890 is the overall winner due to key improvements.

For the latest and greatest in GPS navigation technology, the Garmin 890 should be at the top of your list.

The few extra dollars in cost will be well worth it for the enhanced driving experience.

Final Thought

At the end of the day, the decision is yours whichever you would like to pick between Garmin 780 VS 890.

While the 780 will save some cost, the 890 is the clear winner if you want the latest and greatest features and functionality.

The larger display, built-in maps, longer battery life, and smartphone connectivity make it worth the extra cost for serious road warriors and tech enthusiasts.

If staying on budget is a higher priority, the 780 still provides solid performance and will get you where you need to go. But for the ultimate navigation experience with all the bells and whistles, the 890 can’t be beat. 


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