3,166 of 3,262 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My 3rd Garmin - New Features and how they worked
This is my 3rd Garmin GPS. I have become accustomed to their user interface and performance, so I can't compare to other makes. I wanted to talk about the new features that attracted me to this unit and how I evaluated their usefulness on my first 3 hour road trip to a location I know by heart.
Feature 1 - 5 inch screen. I am older and am having to use reading...
Published on November 25, 2011 by Timothy Theis
873 of 934 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag.
I recently upgraded from an older Garmin to this unit, and while it clearly is improved in some areas, the method of finding addresses leaves LOTS to be desired. In the older unit I could easily change the state, and then enter number, street, and city. Very easy. In this new unit you enter a number, then the street, and then wait. And wait. And wait. Until it finally...
Published on November 13, 2011 by David M. Manzi
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3,166 of 3,262 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My 3rd Garmin - New Features and how they worked,
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 2595LMT 5-Inch Portable Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Electronics)
This is my 3rd Garmin GPS. I have become accustomed to their user interface and performance, so I can't compare to other makes. I wanted to talk about the new features that attracted me to this unit and how I evaluated their usefulness on my first 3 hour road trip to a location I know by heart.
Feature 1 - 5 inch screen. I am older and am having to use reading glasses to see the GPS mounted to the dash. My earlier unit was a 4 inch. I considered a 7 inch Magellan, but when I found out you couldn't install custom POIs on the Magellan, it ruled that one out for me. We go camping frequently and I have all the state parks as custom POIs. I also have truck stops I like to use. The 5 inch display was definately an improvement for me.
Feature 2 - Automated voice recognition. I definately don't like being distracted by touching the screen to see how far the next roadside rest is (see custom POIs above). So I thought telling the GPS what I wanted made a lot of sense. When it comes to "commands" this feature works OK, but I have discovered I have to turn the radio volume down or talk VERY LOUDLY. The latter disturbs my wife :-) However, when you want to provide an address to locate, the unit performed badly. I couldn't get it to correctly locate any of 3 addresses correctly... i.e. "4810 Whitewood Court" ended up with something very strange.
Feature 3 - Turn lanes. Knowing which lane you need to be in to correctly exit the highway and be ready for the next turn. There are two distinctly different features on this unit for knowing the turn lanes. One is "Viewing Junctions" which displays a picture of the upcoming junction, complete with signage. This takes up about the right half of the screen. The other turn lane feature is a small area in the upper left corner that shows , by using arrows, the number of lanes. The lane(s) you are to be in are bright white, while the others are grey. I found the arrows to be VERY useful and quick to absorb at a glance. I found the "Viewing Junctions" not very useful, as you had to look over a much larger area of the screen to absorb the information in a glance. I found I had to glance at the "Viewing Junctions" image several times before I understood which lane it wanted me to be in. For me at least, the "Viewing Junction" feature was of no use to me.
Feature 4 - Traffic. On my trip there were no traffic problems, so I didn't get to experience any rerouting due to traffic conditions. This feature appears to only work when you are in or around larger cities. Between cities, pressing the traffic button indicated that there was no or weak signal.
Feature 5 - Posted speed limits - As you are navigating a small sign appears on the display showing the posted limit and your actual speed. If your actual speed exceeds the posted limit, it turns red. Nice little feature to keep honest people honest.
I found the estimated time of arrival to be more accurate than my previous GPSs. Perhaps because it knows the posted limits as they change along the route??? The menu system is different from my prior GPSs.
There is an icon composed of 3 horizontal white bars that, when pressed, bring up other options. Sometimes this icon is in the lower right of the display, sometimes it is located elsewhere depending on where you are in the menus. Since this was a little different than prior units, I am having to get adjusted to this.
431 of 443 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Garmin nuvi 2595LMT is sweet!!,
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 2595LMT 5-Inch Portable Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Electronics)
I used the 2595LMT for a trip across the USA. Previously to this unit I used an older Garmin nuvi 360. There is really no comparison between the units, this one is so much better than the old one.
I larger screen size is really nice at 5". I was impressed to see the exit signs pop-up on the screen showing me which lanes I should be in. The top left corner also shows a bright white lane indicator as to where you should be with dim indicators as to where you should not be. Also nice was the fact that at the top of the screen Garmin tells you what you will be doing next.
Screen Features (called layers):
I went into the layer options to turn on some added detail for my trip. I activated the screen layer to show me: time for arrival, miles remaining, altitude (really cool to see why the truck was slowing down as I went up a mountain), my speed, and the road's speed limit.
- Don't turn on the speed limit audible notification, it will drive you crazy with the 3-beeps every time you go 1 mile an hour over the posted speed. It drove me crazy till I pulled over and shut down the noise notification for going over the speed limit.
- It will still show your speed and the speed limit without the audible alert on.
- I liked this feature and found that the Garmin was more accurate than my speedometer when I passed by an outdoor "this is your speed" sign.
- Sometimes when Garmin shows a speed limit it is not accurate. I wouldn't use their limit posting as fact. It may have been more accurate had I updated the maps before I began.
(Update 7/25/2012)- I spoke to Greg at Garmin about changing the tolerance from 1 MPH to 5 or 10 MPH over the speed limit. Per Garmin this currently is not an option as it is programmed in their firmware. He thought this would be a good idea too and suggested I request this in a firmware update. I did. If you own one, please request this feature too so Garmin sees that a speed tolerance of 5 or 10 MPH over the limit is a feature we would like to have in an upcoming software update.
- Garmin speaks the names of the streets and this newer version no longer says "Recalculating" if you miss your turn. Instead it just changes your route to fix your mistake.
- The upcoming directions is displayed at the top of the screen so you know what you will be doing next before Garmin speaks it.
Bluetooth Phone Tie-in:
- I linked the Garmin to my phone so I could make and receive calls through it. When someone called my cell phone an icon popped up on the screen with a ringing tone asking me to "Answer" or "Ignore" the call. It was so much easier to answer my phone this way, by touching one button on my Garmin, than digging for my phone and sliding it to unlock.
- The negative however is the fact that the person's voice coming out of the Garmin speaker was not as loud as it could have been. This may be because the speaker is on the back of Garmin. If the caller talked loud and clear things were much better. Depending on the clarity of the callers voice I sometimes get some distortion from the speaker. Best thing to do is tell the caller they are on a speaker phone and to speak clearly and not too fast. Kinda like using a cheap speaker phone. They said they could hear me clearly but I had to turn off the radio and CB to understand them.
- You can also dial calls through the Garmin with larger buttons than are on my phone. As you start to punch in the phone number it pops up other numbers with the same order of digits that you dialed previously to help you just click it to finish.
- There was an option on Garmin for voice dial but I didn't think to set that up before I got on the road.
- Another thing I learned was to be sure you click disconnect on the Garmin at the end of the call by touching the phone icon at the end of the call and selecting the big "disconnect" icon. I forgot to do this a couple of times and Garmin wouldn't tie-in for my next incoming call.
- Overall I liked the phone tie-in
Voice Activated Programming:
- I wasn't sure it I'd use this but now I don't use it any other way.
- I changed the default voice activation command to my wife's name at first but thought that would be problematic if she were with me, so I switched it over to the respond when I say the word "Garmin". Now if I just say the word "Garmin" it will ask me what I would like to do while showing me a screen of options. I can change where I want to go without even touching Garmin. I just say the word "Home" or "New Address" and Garmin asks my questions as to the address etc. After Garmin does it search it shows me a list of addresses that it though I might have said. I then can say "1" if that is the number next to the correct location or "2" if the correct address is by that number. If none are correct I can tell him to do it again. You need to speak clearly when you are giving an address or Garmin will come up with some wild addresses. Also make sure the radio or other talking is not happening as this will confuse Garmin.
- This feature is surely making me lazier than I already was.
- This version, with the LMT designation, has lifetime Map updates as well as lifetime Traffic.
- The map is decent and while you are getting near major traffic exits it often will prompt you with a picture of the exit sign showing you where you should be.
- Sometimes Garmin was a bit off as to what lane you should be in, typical with most GPS units, but for the other 95% of the time it was right on. Maybe a map update would have corrected this but I used it with the maps that were already preloaded in it since I had no Internet access where I set it up in Florida.
- The map also shows some restaurant or food icons while you are on the road. There are more gas stations available at the exits but I think Garmin only displayed the icon for the ones that paid them to be included on the general map. If you go into the gas or food settings on the 2nd screen you can find all the other gas/restaurants.
- This was another really nice addition to this Garmin.
- To use the Traffic Feature Garmin must be connected for power using the supplied power cable. Makes sense since you usually use the power cable on a trip.
- I put the power cable so it looped behind the Garmin which allowed the little plastic box on the power cable to see clearly through the windshield, this is the receiver for the Live Traffic feature
- You can check the signal strength of this feature by clicking on the car icon on the right of the screen.
- When you are in areas where the traffic feature is used the car icon will turn a color like green or red instead of being light gray meaning no transmissions in the area to read.
- I found the traffic feature to work in most larger areas or where the department of transportation has installed the radio transmitters. If you are is small town areas there is a really good chance that this feature won't be on since no radio transmitters have been installed.
- The only strange problem I found was the fact that some of the areas I was driving through had no power due to a storm. Garmin got scared and told me the freeway must be closed, I knew better since the city on both sides of the freeway were dark with police light flashing directing traffic in the distance. I was sure the radios in that city were not transmitting, so I continued on I-75 without incident. Sometime we need to remember that these are only computers.
- By clicking on the icon when a warning was approaching Garmin would tell you that it was congested, a traffic accident ahead, etc.. This feature is only as good as the city that was transmitting the information. Some times it warned me of an accident that was already cleared. I liked when it showed how long the expected delay would be. But then again sometimes there was congestion, for a person changing their tire, that was not transmitted by the local city.
Internal Memory: ***VERY IMPORTANT***
- The reason I bought this Garmin was because my older Garmin could no longer hold the newer maps. The new maps tend to be bigger and my old unit was limited to 2 gig internal memory. Since the maps became large it could no longer update.
- This Garmin has the biggest internal memory at 8 gig. I had to do a ton of research to find this out as Garmin doesn't tell you on their website or in the specs. Be careful since Garmin still sells units with small internal memory which will mess you up for future updates.
- With 8 gig of internal memory I will have no problem with the newer and larger updates for maps.
- You can add a microSD card to store person stuff on this unit.
- You can add books and photos to the GPS but I personally think this is a waste of time. Why would I want my photo album on this thing or a book on a small 5" screen when you can but a descent reader with a big screen that would be much better for that purpose.
- You can manually search for restaurants, fuel, hospital, police, etc. just like the older units.
- You can even manually type in the address if you want to but why would you do that when you can just talk to this unit.
- Using the unit on battery will only give you a couple of hours of life. Plus, if you are driving this disables the Live Traffic feature that requires the power cord for use.
- The manual that comes with the unit is basically how to get started. More of a simplified instruction guide with a few pages.
- The real manual that explains everything must be downloaded from Garmin. I didn't have any computer connection available when I was setting mine up but by looking at the simplified manual it was very intuitive and pretty easily to figure out. I would however recommend at least reviewing the simplified instruction manual that comes with it so you can learn about some of the cool features and how to use them.
- Amazon had the best price on this unit with free shipping using Amazon Prime. I searched around and found some priced the same but the shipping made them no longer a good deal. I also know I can trust Amazon compared to some of the other companies I've never hear of. I also bought the accessories on Amazon as I'm too cheap to pay Best Buy prices or Garmin's price.
- There is a top-of-the-line model that does more than this Garmin but this does enough for me.
- The unit does NOT come with a case, be sure to order something to put it in. I ordered a hard case to store it and the cord in as well as a leather thinner case for when I travel. This way I can stash the cord and mount under the seat while I take Garmin out of the vehicle to keep him safe without having to carry a big case with the cord in it. I don't know why Garmin stopped providing a protective case, must be for money of course.
- I also bought the non-slip pad that allows me to sit him on the dash. I'm not a fan of the suction cup mounts as this advertises to break the window and look for a GPS inside. Besides the bean bag stand allows me to put him on the seat, in my wife's hand to find a restaurant, or anywhere on the dash I want.
Overall, If you are looking for a nice GPS that will handle future map updates, can use voice commands, has a bigger screen than most, and has a reasonable price I don't think you will be disappointed. I've used this thing hard and am impressed with the results I got. Do your research when you look around as I did. I spent 1 week reading review after review and tracking down internal memory specs before I choose this one.
When updating the Lifetime Map program you need to be running a newer version of Windows XP (2005 or newer), or Windows 7 or Windows 8. This is because the updating program called "Garmin Express" requires an updated program from Microsoft to install. I had a machine using Windows XP 2003 and had to use my Windows 7 machine for the program Garmin Express to install.
1,859 of 1,946 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I bought a Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT,
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 2595LMT 5-Inch Portable Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Electronics)
Why I bought a Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT.
I have owned many voice command systems in my car from both Magellan and Garmin. I use my gps in my car and in my truck when pulling my 5th wheel. I had a Magellan Maestro 4050 with voice command since 2008 and decided to look around for a new one with a few more bells and whistles. I spent a week solid reading reviews and was ready to buy a Nuvi 3490LMT but kept on reading about software issues and after trying on at BestBuy didn't see it worth $400 for a few additional features.
With that in mind I looked back to Magellan Roadmaster 1700 and a 4700 and even the 5175 Traveller and just couldn't find one that had the features I wanted.
So back to Garmin I looked and found out that The Nuvi 2595LMT had everything I like and needed and was $150 less than the NUVI 3490LMT.
What I liked in the Nuvi 2595LMT
Speaks street names, turn by turn
One button to save and name a location.
Free map and traffic for life
Highway Lane selection
Highway Exit enhancement
Highway speed for that highway
Speed limit exceeded notice
Can change icons and voices
Has maps for most of Mexico
Select multiple routes and not just one
You can add coordinates in for a route which I use a lot.
And the great price from Amazon which I have bought many items from and has a great return policy.
I will turn off Bluetooth because I already have it in my car and truck stereo systems and to save battery when in pedestrian mode on battery.
What I don't like
Nothing yet about the unit.
I hate users who write rviews before they read the manual and learn how to use their unit.
Then complain how the unit doesn't do this or that and the unit does> All they have to do is take the time a read and learn.
I'm sure I will get a lot of negitive remarks to my statement but it really bothers me when the problem is the human factor.
With that said I almust add that yes firmware updates are always needed as minor bugs are found and what I see is Garmin in on top of this or they wouldn't be in business long.
873 of 934 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag.,
I recently upgraded from an older Garmin to this unit, and while it clearly is improved in some areas, the method of finding addresses leaves LOTS to be desired. In the older unit I could easily change the state, and then enter number, street, and city. Very easy. In this new unit you enter a number, then the street, and then wait. And wait. And wait. Until it finally shows a scrollable list of results for your region which you then need to tediously scroll through to find the combination of street and city you are looking for. Horrible. Yes, you can find a city first, but even that adds lots more steps than the older unit! Why did they change a system that worked so well? Try finding an address on "Main" street and see how long it takes you!
On the plus side, sattelite aquisition is much quicker. You have a choice of routes after you (finally) find your destination, the map and unit are, for the most part, responsive. There's lots of options for map details, the voice volume is plenty loud, and the built-in database is comprehensive. The 5" touch screen displays a nice image, and is NOT reflective so it's easier to see, unlike a competitor I returned that had a glossy screen that was impossible to see in daylight due to reflections. The mount is not a powered mount, but works well. It's a standard Garmin mount. Overall, the unit does what it's supposed to do, and it does it very well. My only (and big) complaint is the new method of finding destinations. I'd sure love the option of using the old system.
160 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best choice for my needs, but confusing comparision process,
I'm writing this detailed review in hopes of helping someone with their sanity in choosing the best Garmin gps for their needs. I've owned a Nuvi 500 for years and it was finally time to upgrade to a bigger 5 inch screen.
This is a review of the Garmin 2595LMT, a middle of the road 5 inch vehicle gps. Stating that because Amazon tends to lump reviews for multiple unit numbers together which royally confuses shoppers thinking they are reading reviews for one unit but it's actually for another.
You've probably been to Garmin's website trying to compare various gps units, or here on this site, in which case you've probably pulled out some of your hair trying to make sense of the model confusion. It's been that way for years with Garmin, they like to add (or remove) a feature or two from a unit then relabel it as a totally new model number. Garmin, if you are reading this, you put out superior units but for the love of all things holy STOP THE MODEL NUMBER CONFUSION and stop giving new names to common features. I wish Garmin would offer an a la cart service where the customer can choose exactly the features they want loaded onto their unit instead of trying to figure out the miniscule difference between the models. It really is a maddening shopping experience comparing model features and the value and age of each.
Back to the review. To clarify, LM after the model number means the unit comes with Lifetime Maps (free map updates via garmins website, nice feature). The T means the unit comes with the traffic receiver (and free basic traffic reporting), the traffic receiver is usually built into the powered cigarette lighter adapter, or in series 2 models of this unit it will be built into the unit itself. Please note that this unit does not come with HD TRAFFIC (formerly known as 3d Digital Traffic), if you see an HD after a garmin model number it DOESN'T mean it's a High Definition display, rather HD just refers to the type of traffic reporting. HD traffic is more advanced and reports conditions every 30 seconds instead of every few minutes, an HD receiver can be bought separately (the GTM 60). This 2595LMT unit IS COMPATIBLE with HD traffic if you want to spend the extra 70 dollars on the HD receiver. I didn't because I don't think it's worth it. Traffic reporting only works in major city areas, and isn't nearly as accurate as free Google traffic or even the free Waze phone app traffic. Point being, don't buy a gps unit just for traffic jam reporting.
The models I compared before settling on this 2595LMT are: The 2597 (newer version of the 2595 but oddly has less features), 2797 (7 inch version of the 2595, way too big unless you have a bus), 2595, 2555, 2495, 3590, 3597, 3790, 50LM (can support a geocaching hobby). Yes, the process was long and confusing after hours of research, including an hour long call to a Garmin rep who was equally confused in trying to compare model differences.
The features that were most important to me in a gps were the Voice Commands (being able to speak to your gps to give it directions, lower or mute the volume, find restaurants, etc, all hands free), a Smartphone link so that it can communicate via bluetooth with my phone to provide weather services on the gps as well as being able to send a point of interest from my cellphone to the gps via bluetooth (love that feature). The traffic receiver is nice to have but until they iron out the reporting kinks, which I'm sure will come in time, it's more of a novelty. I also wanted EXIT SERVICES (aka Up Ahead in some units). If you travel major highways you'll appreciate that feature, when you are nearing exits it will show you where the nearest gas/food places are on the screen.
This 2595LMT unit provided me with all those features that I wanted, at the best price since it's last years 2012 model. The only thing this unit won't do which might be important to sales people is find the OPTIMIZED ROUTE to take if you punch in a handful of destinations that you have to go to a particular day. The option is there, but it's grayed out. Otherwise you can just easily manually drag/drop the POI's in the order you want (that works fine for me).
NOTE: If you are rich and don't want to bother with the confusion of the Garmin shopping experience just buy their expensive flagship 3597LMT model that has everything including the slick magnetic mount. I couldn't justify paying double what I paid for this 2595 since the 3597 really didn't add anything I needed.
OUT OF THE BOX: In unpacking the unit it comes with the gps unit, car power adapter (aka traffic receiver), usb cable (annoyingly short at 15 inches), a quick start guide, and some promotions offering a free audio book and how to update your lifetime maps. If you want a real manual just download it from Garmins website. It also comes with the dashboard sticky mount thing with the typical ball thing on the end (not using that, I have a sun visor gps holder that I prefer). Though supposedly if you use the dashboard one that comes with the unit it will automatically SAVE the location of where you parked the moment you remove the unit from the holder.
Unit startup -- 22 seconds or less. Nice upgrade from my old Nuvi which took more than a minute. Also love the SLEEP mode (tap power button once), and the ability to quickly get back to the main menu from anywhere by holding down the back button.
Updating -- The first thing I did was use the super short usb cable to connect the gps to my computer and then to Garmins website. They first make you install a browser plugin (easy), and then to download maps you have to download their free Garmin Express software. Annoying, but overall painless. I updated the units software to the current version, and downloaded the current maps (took less than an hour on a fast connection). Easy. After all the updates as of November 2013 the unit still had 2.5 gigs of storage free.
Updating, Extras -- while you are still connected to Garmin Express you might as well download some of their Extras including new voices. This unit came with a few, the English ones were American Jill and American Michelle. I really don't like a female voice telling me where to drive (hah!) so I downloaded the American Jack, British English Daniel, and Australian English Lee. Favorite is Daniel so far.
Voice commands -- so far so good. Some people complain about the accuracy of the spoken commands but for me it works great. The keyword you speak to wake up the unit to accept voice commands can be modified, I call my unit James. So all I have to do is say JAMES, followed by a verbal command such as FIND _____, GO HOME, STOP ROUTE, DETOUR, VOLUME, BRIGHTNESS, VIEW MAP, etc. He's very obedient and has yet to screw up. If your car is noisy I can see where that could interfere with the unit understanding spoken commands or if you have an accent.
Smartphone link -- this is a free app for your cellphone to connect to your gps via bluetooth. You can lookup a location on your phone, then hit SEND to beam it over to your gps to navigate to. Love that. Google maps on the cellphone is supposed to also be able to SEND a point of interest, but it depends what version of Google Maps you are using since it seems they either stripped out that feature or buried it in the latest version (once you find a POI, there's supposed to be a MORE button with the option to SEND-TO your device, sadly I have the latest Google maps and at the time of writing this review it doesn't offer that SEND feature anymore like the classic version did so I just use the free Garmin Smartphone Link app to search for places and beam them over to the gps via bluetooth, works well. You can also optionally pay 4.99 a month for premium Live services such as enhanced traffic and gas station finder.
Dashboards -- You can select from several dashboard styles (meaning what menu style you want to see while navigating somewhere, it's the bar across that bottom that can have things such as arrival time, miles to go, elevation, direction traveled, current speed). Mentioning this because some of the units I looked at didn't offer dashboard styles.
Detour -- If you are driving along and wish to avoid what's in front of you just tell your unit to Detour (voice command or push button) and it will give several options for how long you wish to detour and where. Another nice feature is the ability to avoid a specific area (you choose on the map point A and point B and it will remember to avoid it).
Pedestrian view -- this unit offers Pedestrian view. So if you want to walk downtown and carry your gps you can easily navigate your surroundings. Some of the similar gps units had that feature removed for some reason. Another nice feature is that you can select landscape or portrait mode for gps display.
Calculation mode -- when calculating your route, you can choose between faster time, shorter distance, less fuel, or off road. There's an optional feature you can purchase called Eco-something that will enhance your route to be most fuel efficient.
Favorites -- YES this unit has Favorites, but it's renamed to Saved Locations.
Searching for an address -- it will default to searching for an address in your immediate area UNLESS you tap the top right corner button (labeled Searching Near) to tell it to look in a different city or state. Makes sense after you use it, but that was a change from my old Nuvi.
GPS voice -- some of the latest units offer a feature called Real Directions and Real Voice (this unit does not that have that). In units that have that feature the traditional robotic gps voice is replaced with a more naturally talking robot voice that gives (what is supposed to be) simpler directions. In those units the gps will tell you to TURN LEFT AT BOBS CAR WASH instead of the typical TURN LEFT ON XYZ STREET. Some people like that, I personally prefer being told to turn on XYZ street because businesses change names and move around so I can see that being a problem down the road. So yes, I prefer the traditional spoken style of this unit, I think it also helps you learn street names if you are in a new area.
I'm not sure what else to say about this unit, it worked great out of the box, feels good, responds well to touch/drag-drop/voice, boots up quickly, and updated flawlessly. I do wish it had a longer usb cable but that's an easy fix. All of the new gps's have a low battery life of 2-4 hours so plan on it being plugged in all the time if you are actively using it (otherwise in Sleep mode it can go for a week or two). I also love that it shows a picture of what lane to be in on exits, there's nothing worse than being on a busy highway having your gps tell you to exit and not knowing which of the 5 lanes you need to be in.
In summary I'm happy with this model purchase, having already owned a Nuvi I was familiar with the menuing system which hasn't changed very much in a few years. Clean and simple, the way it should be. Some people think that the gps market is dying since smartphones now have gps built in, but there's still people like me that prefer a real gps device since cellphone service is spotty unless you are in a metro area. There's nothing worse than a smartphone losing signal when you rely on it for directions. That is where a gps unit shines, plus it doesn't eat up your data plan.
I hope this review was helpful and removed some of the confusion in selecting your gps unit. This is a solid middle-of-the-road choice, and you can get it at discounted prices through the holiday season since they are pushing out the latest models. Good luck and safe travels.
424 of 458 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Garmin NUVI 2595 vs. TomTom GO LIVE 2535,
Being the directionless person that I am, a GPS system is a must-have tool for me in my line of work. I travel approximately 250 miles per day in the Houston and surrounding areas and getting from one appointment to the next is a very real challenge for me. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I never again want to be without a reliable GPS unit. In researching and reading a lot of views in Amazon and elsewhere, I consistently heard Garmin this and Garmin that when it came to who makes the best GPS systems. I have no bias and quite frankly, because this tool is so important to what I do, money is no object (although I unwilling to simply buy the priciest model falling into the "you get what you pay for" trap. There are more expensive models out there than either of these that I am comparing, but I feel fairly confident is saying that these are two of the best-in-class units available for the money. Having said that, let me begin.
Thinking my TomTom GO LIVE 2535 had died (it hadn't), in a panic I ordered the Garmin 2595 to replace it. When I was able to get the TomTom up and running again (merely a software update issue), this gave me the opportunity to compare the two. So, for those of you who may be interested, here is a direct comparison of the two.
1. The first thing I noticed was how much lighter the Garmin Nuvi 2595 was than the TomTom. This has no real significance other than the fact that I simply make note of it. In a way, the lighter weight of the Garmin is, in my opinion, an advantage in that it does not seem as susceptible to being tossed around due fast braking, rapid turns, etc. that are the fact of every day city driving.
2. Voice Quality: The second thing I noticed immediately was that the sound quality of the Garmin voice compared to the TomTom was awful. The Garmin voice works, but after being accustomed to the pleasant human-sounding quality of the TomTom voices (there are a number to choose from), the Garmin voice sounds horribly and obviously tinny and robotic. Winner: TomTom
3. Unit Setup: The initial setup of the Garmin Nuvi 2595 using the Dashboard Updater was an initial nightmare and considerable pain. You must first download the Updater software in order to get your map updates. I had no problem with that concept; a little annoying, but what the hey. So, I dutifully downloaded and ran the Updater in the evening after I got home from work. I was informed that it would take 9 hours to download the maps. Okay. So be it. But when I woke the next morning, the Updater was still spinning its' wheels and telling me I still had nine hours to go! Major bummer. After doing some poking around and acting on some suggestions given, I tried downloading some USB drivers. No luck. That failed as well. Then when I got back on the Garmin website, I was informed the site was down for maintenance. Needless to say, I was disgusted and off to a shaky start with Garmin. Winner: TomTom
Rant: One of my biggest gripes with today's tech companies is the number of hours they have wasted of my precious time trying to get their products to work. To be fair, I've had my share of issues in the past with the older TomTom site as well; although the latest TomTom site is much improved. When I invest my considerable amounts of time and money on these tech products, I expect them to work. Is that too much to ask? Is that unrealistic? In the case of this latest TomTom 2535 software, I was able to get it working again, or I would have really been up the creek without my precious GPS and not a little unhappy.
4. Although the Garmin Nuvi 2595 has a 5" screen, it appears smaller to me than the TomTom due to the way the display is setup. The Garmin is more cluttered than the TomTom. Having said that, the Garmin display is clear enough and functional. The Garmin screen splits into two parts when coming to major exits off of freeways. I don't really find that terribly useful. The TomTom performs this same function but retains the full size screen, which I prefer. Again, I'm just noting this difference and is nit-picking and of no real importance to me. Personal Preference: TomTom
5. Mount: While not directly related to this comparison, I must mention that the Garmin Portable Friction Dash Mount that I purchased for use with the Garmin 2595 is absolutely fantastic compared to the one I use for the TomTom. It holds the Garmin securely in place, even during emergency-type braking (which there is a lot of in the Houston metroplex) and quick turns. I have yet to have the Garmin go flying off of this mount. My TomTom, on the other hand, has done a number of aerial maneuvers during some frequent panic stops and other fast maneuvers I am often required to perform in the crazy Houston traffic world. I do not like having the GPS mounted on my windshield for a variety of reasons, primarily because I am in and out of my van so many times during the day, that I don't want to leave the unit exposed for potential thieves. The Garmin Dashboard Mount is an absolutely brilliant design and conforms to the shape of the dashboard. It does its' job perfectly. Winner: Garmin Dashboard Mount (sold separately).
6. Routing & Directions: Okay. This is really what GPS systems are all about and where it really matters, isn't it?. In this area, the TomTom wins hands down in terms of accuracy. I have now travelled with both the TomTom and the Garmin running at the same time over thousands of miles and the TomTom 2535 consistently gives the most accurate results as well as the most accurate arrival times. In contrast, the Garmin often comes up with some pretty strange routes that defy common sense. I often feel that the Garmin is using some kind of map database that is at least 10 or 15 years out of date. Now I don't know if that is true or not; its' just the feeling I get when using it. For example, there is a major road that runs to a major freeway that I take every day when starting off to work. This road runs directly to a major freeway; an absolute straight shot. But, for whatever strange reason, the Garmin indicates that I should take this long, roundabout loop which leaves this major road, loops around and then rejoins this same road many miles later! I happen to know from experience that the loop that the Garmin is suggesting is a very slow, winding country road. Yes, it will eventually rejoin the main road, but why bother? Then, once I am on the freeway, the Garmin wants me to turn off of that freeway to take what it determines is another "short cut" across 4 lanes of traffic heading in the opposite direction. The obvious problem is, that this is not only dangerous, but because of the heavy traffic, it means that I would have to wait until there is a break in the traffic flow in order to make that dash across those multi-lanes of very fast-moving traffic. It makes no sense considering that just a little over a mile beyond this turn-off is the main exit which puts you directly onto the road you're going to. Admittedly, you will wind up about a mile farther south than you would be if you took the turn off, but because it is a standard exit and controlled by a light, it is much safer and probably considerably faster than waiting for the opposing traffic to clear before making that mad dash across the opposing lanes. This kind of bizarre routing is a common problem with the Garmin. This is NOT to say that I have not ever had issues with the TomTom. In fact, while on a visit to San Antonio, the TomTom actually routed me onto a one-way street going the wrong way! Fortunately, it was early in the morning and I was able to whip my van around without incident. Having said that, however, the TomTom is consistently much more accurate than the Garmin 2595. One other important note is that the TomTom is much better at finding alternate routes when there is traffic congestion. This is a very important issue for me because the Houston metroplex is often one big traffic jam and the TomTom has consistently found alternate routes that have shaved as much as 20 minutes off of my commute times. The Garmin does try, but it often offers alternatives that I know are going to get me into even more of a mess. For example, during one particularly nasty traffic jam on a Friday evening, the Garmin kept nagging me to take a particular exit out of the jammed traffic situation. The only problem was that everyone else was taking this exit as well, and it was obvious at a glance that taking that exit would actually be worse than just waiting out the stalled traffic situation. Those cars that did take that exit weren't going anywhere for a very long time. I wondered at the time if some of those folks were using a Garmin. The TomTom, on the other hand, somehow correctly assessed the situation and informed me that I was "still on the best route". That's another thing I really like about the TomTom over the Garmin: it always allows me the CHOICE between staying on the original route or taking the suggested alternate route that it comes up with. The Garmin, on the other hand, simply nags me to take whatever alternate route it has determined to be the best and doesn't recalculate until I've driven past its' suggestion. I've found that the Garmin consistently suggests this kind of impractical route alternative. Yes, I have actually taken many of its' suggestions thinking that it "knew" something that I didn't. I was willing to explore the situation to see if it had actually come up with a better solution. After spending too many times looping all over the place in crazy, nonsensical routes which eventually did get me to where I was going, I learned to take the Garmin with a large grain of salt in these situations. The bottom line: TomTom wins big time.
7. The Voice Command. This is something that I just love about the Garmin. The voice command is far from perfect, but it is actually kind of a hoot to use because what it does works so well. The TomTom voice command, on the other hand, is a joke and nearly useless for most of the things that matter to me when it comes to using a voice command. What is the point of having a voice command when it requires you to make button presses on the screen like the TomTom does? This is distracting to the driver and dangerous to say the least. The Garmin voice command does not do this. It is really quite impressive and amazing, in spite of its' limitations. You simply say, "Voice Command" and it then shunts you off to a secondary screen which offers you other available voice commands. You then proceed by simply choosing from one of those commands and the Garmin unit takes care of the rest. After using the Garmin, you become familiar with the commands which means then that you don't necessarily have to even glance at the screen any more. In most cases, there are no screen presses to make. The Garmin voice command feature is generally far safer to use than the TomTom. The TomTom folks could learn a great deal from Garmin in this area. Winner: No contest; Garmin Nuvi 2595
8. Speed Limits: Both the TomTom GO LIVE 2535 and Garmin Nuvi 2595 suffer from some of the same problems when it comes to out-of-date speed limits. Again, it makes me wonder what databases these GPS systems use. There have been many new roads built in the last dozen or so years in the Houston area, and many-if not most-of these roads have been in place for at least 10 years, and yet the speed limits given by both of these GPS units are based upon much older speed limits. It causes me to wonder what we are getting when we do our map updates. Why are 10+ year's roads still showing such outdated speed limits? In the case of speed limits, then, I don't see one system superior to the other. They both are full of inaccuracies when it comes to posted speed limits. There are many roads, for example, that show up on both of these GPS units as 45 mph, when in fact, they are now 55-65 mph roads. No clear winner here.
9. Voice advance warnings: The TomTom is often much "chattier" than the Garmin; in fact, sometimes to an annoying degree, although to be honest, I would personally rather have too much info than too little, especially when dealing with new areas that I am unfamiliar with. The Garmin is often oddly silent when it comes to some rather major lane shifts or turns required and often lags behind the TomTom, but not always. Occasionally, it's just the reverse, but in general, the Garmin tends to lag behind the TomTom in terms of turning directions and other advance warnings. This is another crucial feature for me since I am dealing with an area of often very dense traffic situations, where it is absolutely necessary to know when to get into the proper lane for an exit, etc. The TomTom usually gives lane change information far enough in advance for this to take place safely (typically with a two mile warning), whereas the Garmin often tends to be either silent or makes it's warnings far too late to be of much good except in more ideal traffic situations (typically about one mile in advance, if at all). Please bear in mind, however, that this is not true in all cases. There have been many exceptions. While I often wish that the TomTom would shut up, at other times it has saved me a lot of aggravation and frustration, so in spite of its' overly chatty nature, I must give the TomTom a slight advantage here. Quite frankly, this is a somewhat tough one for me to call. There have been a number of times when the Garmin gave much clearer directions than the TomTom. The bottom line is if you drive in heavy traffic conditions and you are as directionless as I am, you may be better off having the TomTom at your side. For those of you in less densely trafficked areas, this may not be an issue between the two units. I guess I have to consider the overall consistency with this one. Winner: TomTom GO LIVE 2535 gets a slight edge.
10. Road names: You wouldn't think this would be an issue with a GPS unit, but I have found another strange anomaly with the Garmin 2595: the road names it gives for many of the back country roads where I actually live are names that have not been in place for who knows how long. For example, most of the country roads are labeled with signs that read CR123 or CR 456, etc. The Garmin, however, will announce such names as "Pleasant Bend" or "Keller's Trail" or whatever. I doubt that anyone around these parts other than some of the truly old timers has any notion as to what these country roads were once called. In any event, these names are not posted as such on any signs nor are they found on any map, including Key Maps. The TomTom, on the other hand, almost always refers to the roads by their proper posted names. Again, the TomTom is not perfect in this regard, and does struggle with some of the newer road changes, especially in cases where new roads have been built alongside older roads. But this is understandable. The Garmin, however, regularly hoses these names and for someone unfamiliar with the area, would be considerably confused when faced with turning directions just relying on the voice street names. For example, if you're told to turn onto "Buffalo Row" when the road is marked with a sign that reads CR789, you may find yourself confused. At that point, you will be forced to do a double-take on the GPS screen and hope that it's turning arrow info is accurate, which, again, to be fair, will probably be the case, but still...Winner: TomTom GO LIVE 2535
11. Parking Lot directions. Now here is an area that I haven't read much about anywhere else when researching GPS units. My job puts me in a LOT of parking lots. Getting out of those parking lots and onto the right road headed in the right direction is a constant challenge. The TomTom just whomps Garmin butt in this regard. That is to say that the Garmin provides no help whatsoever until you get back out onto the main road. The TomTom does its' best-and usually very respectable job-of getting you out of that parking lot and headed in the right direction to your next destination. Winner: TomTom GO LIVE 2535
12. Arrival Times: This is another important area for me since my work requires me to be on time for sales appointments. The Garmin & TomTom are usually within about 3 minutes of one another, with no clear winner. Perhaps a slight edge to the TomTom, especially when the Garmin unit comes up with one of its off-the-wall routes that it is prone to.
13. Street Name Pronunciation: This is really a trivial matter and of no real importance to me, but the Garmin is definitely better at pronouncing street names. Actually, I get a kick out of some of the odd pronunciations of the TomTom. For example, it pronounces a common word like "Toll way" as "TALL way". It also insists on pronouncing one major highway twice, as in "Highway Six, Highway Six". I have no idea why. Garmin has no such issues and generally pronounces most street and highway names properly. Winner: Garmin
14. Toll way Preference: Another area of importance to me is ability to choose whether or not to use a toll road. I spend about $160/month on toll road charges, so that choice matters a great deal to me. The TomTom always asks me for my permission to use a toll road. The Garmin does not. The Garmin seems to be set up to assume that you ALWAYS want to use the toll roads. There may be a way of changing this setting in the Garmin that I haven't discovered yet, but I like the fact that the TomTom asks me every time, at which point I can either say "Yes" or "No". Winner: TomTom
SUMMARY: I guess at this point I've covered just about everything that is important to me in choosing a good GPS unit. Both of these units are good GPS systems. I like each of them for different reasons. As previously stated, I love the voice command feature of the Garmin. I use it--and enjoy using it--every day. For that reason, I have both units running in my car. I keep the Garmin mounted on my dash because I love the secure Garmin Dashboard Mount that I spoke of earlier. I keep the TomTom down below and listen to and consult it when there is a disparity between the two units. I generally tend to go with and trust the TomTom for most direction disputes over the Garmin. For that reason, if I had to choose just one, it would be with the TomTom GO LIVE 2535. But I would sure miss some of the features of the Garmin!
I know this has been terribly long-winded, but I hope my comparison will help some of you make a decision that is right for you.
558 of 609 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable upgrade from Garmin,
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 2555LMT 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Electronics)
Most of the reviews here are for the 2595, not the 2555 that I purchased. I didn't need voice activation or bluetooth so the 2555 is just fine for me.
I have to disagree with the reviewer that says it is slow to find where you are. I am a long-time Garmin user and I think it is light years faster than my old Nuvi model. Although some of the new features are a little difficult to get used to I still think this unit deserves the highest marks. The larger screen alone makes it worth an upgrade from an older unit.
It's also great to have lifetime maps and traffic upgrades. Again, that gives this model high marks. My favorite feature on the 2555 is the categorization of places you would like to go. For example, on my old unit I used to have search for and then type in "REST A" to find the next rest area on my route. With the 2555 "Rest Area" is a category and therefore only a couple of button presses away.
In summary, I am a happy consumer who is enjoying the new features that Garmin has added to it's new 2012 line of GPSs. Well worth the upgrade!
399 of 443 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average navigation device; has its quirks and needs improvement,
See updates to original review below:
First off, I have been a long time Garmin user. Had a old Streetpilot GPS that served me well for a long time. I am familiar with Garmin's user interface. Things have changed with this new nuvi but not so much that the UI feels alien.
+ Voice Navigation feature is good and exceeded my (low) expectations. There are some caveats though.
a) Not all of the features/settings of the phone are controllable by voice. so, while the feature itself works well, it feels limited in its usefulness.
b) although voice recognition seems to work well in quiet conditions, I did find myself repeating my voice commands while using the device in a slightly noisy environment (such as driving on a highway with road noise filling the cabin space).
+ Touch interface is fine. Just not as responsive (sensitive?) as an iphone. I think this Garmin device has a resistive touchscreen as opposed to a capacitive touchscreen -- which could explain the responsiveness.
+ the route calculation and location search seems faster.
+ The lifetime map and traffic updates, bluetooth is a plus.
(10/29/11) Updates/Addition to original review:
I am going to knock off a star from the rating as there are various little annoyances with the device.
+ Do not like the search feature; it isn't as easy, simple and intuitive as the old streetpilot was. when you search for something, it usually restricts itself to the town you are in. That intelligence is well and good if it works well but it doesn't. It is unable to find the Point-of-interest (POI) if it's in a nearby town (Most often your searches would fall in this category). you have to go through a couple more clicks and inputs before you can find your POI.
+ Brightness changes on switching from car power to battery only power. The brightness setting doesn't change but the actual brightness does. So, you would have to go to the brightness setting to increase the brightness of the screen when you switch.
+ Do not like the touchscreen responsiveness or precision. Often find myself mistyping even when being deliberate and careful in pressing a letter.
+ Voice guidance needs to improve. With the "voice guidance with street names" setting, the device says something like "Turn right on freedom drive". That isn't as helpful as saying "Turn right on freedom drive in 500 feet". So, I am having to look at the distance on the unit.
+ Graphical User Interface (GUI) needs to improve. For instance, saving a place to favorites takes many clicks (unlike the old streetpilot unit). Likewise, finding a place of interest takes more clicks than before. Why so many clicks and screens?!!
Overall, I would say Caveat Emptor on buying the device. I bought it and am going to continue to use it as I haven't found any other latest GPS devices which are a cut above this one.
105 of 114 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts/evaluation after several months use...,
6/13 Update. Still unable to update maps despite a new program interface to download, "Garmin Express". It supposedly is simple - "one click" - but it still will not download maps. I've been on hold for almost 20 minutes with Garmin Support, who knows how much longer it will take. I don't think I am an idiot when it comes to downloading, updating stuff online, so I think I am doing it correctly. I have followed all of the directions, but nothing happens. Yet again, the product support is abysmal.
11/2/12 Update - no significant changes with the unit, some additional things like icons or voices, but overall use is the same. Just wanted to mention - updating the maps (while free) is a very, very, very slow process - easily 6 hours or more (I have AT&T DSL, "pro" speed). It requires a plug-in which I have to download each time (even though I haven't deleted it), a couple of false starts - the whole process seems very buggy. Usually it works, sometimes not- but then it turns out that I haven't actually downloaded the map.
Second update - the Garmin Map Updater has been working hard for almost 7 hours now. I was so close - a little more than an hour left... now it says (honestly) Estimated Remaining: 574 hours. Really. 24 days. Terrific. I did a speed test and my download speed is 2.56 Mbps. I guess the Garmin server is messed up. Yes, I know that the updates are "free" - but there is a cost in frustration and annoyance!! ;(
I bought this to use mainly when I am working out of town, driving rental cars. After the initial updating of maps and software and then getting a little bit used to the commands, how to use type stuff (there is a terrifically helpful manual, online; bundled with the unit itself is just basic get started info), etc. I found the unit to be very easy to use and helpful, right from the start. The touch screen works well, the voice commands work surprisingly well and I was a very happy business traveler. I went from place to place pretty easily. I tried out other features - found coffee shops, markets, etc. I really appreciated the lane guidance features when I was driving on complicated freeways with multiple exchanges/exits - they were clear and accurate - very useful! I found the spoken guidance to generally be very helpful in terms of accuracy and timing. So, more or less out of the box, this unit did what I wanted it to do: take me from A to B, pretty easily.
As I delved more deeply into the menus I was able to customize a number of functions - how the unit appears, what functions are on top, how the unit prioritizes the routing information (faster, shorter, etc.), what to avoid or include (car pool lanes, U turns, etc.). This made the unit easier for me to use. It has a calculator, foreign exchange function, etc.
However, I did not - and still do not - like the voice quality, it is fairly computer sounding and "she" does not pronounce basic things all that clearly. For example, "Sacramento International Airport" sounds really weird. She emphasizes the wrong syllables in words (interNATIONal), with odd pauses - understandable but weird. Forget about "La Cienaga" - I don't know what she was saying but it wasn't anywhere close! So, if you weren't familiar with the town and it was night time, that could be a bit of a problem. Not a big one - as the street name is also prominently displayed in the window. It is quite strange though, because the spoken commands are understood and responded too very smoothly. Better than my built in navigation system in my BMW. It is a very handy function and I use it often - for example, while driving to work, if I see that I am going to be early, I can ask it for a list of coffee shops, which it finds (ordered by distance to present location) and then, once I have picked one, it will route me to it. I turn off the car, get my cup a joe, back into the car and the unit takes me to the initial destination, even though it has been turned off. All with voice commands. Cool.
The Bluetooth mating process was pretty easy. However, I do not find the volume to be adequate - when the volume is all the way up, it still doesn't sound loud enough and the voice quality isn't that good - thin, without warmth or depth (little low mid or bass frequencies). My callers did not feel that my voice was very clear either. In this case my BMW system, which uses the car speakers for voice is vastly superior. My callers can understand me clearly as well. This is using the same cell phone. So, I would say that this feature is nice, but doesn't work well enough to have an extended conversation. A quick conversation or a few words, OK, but beyond that I don't think the voice quality is good enough. This is a pity because it was one of the important functions for me, using the unit primarily in rental cars, wanting to get in touch with friends.
Now, here we get down to it. When you are in a new city, it is difficult to evaluate the quality of the routes you are driving on. You are just happy to arrive at the right place! :) However, in use here in Los Angeles, where I live, I had to question the unit's choice of routes. Several times it has urged me to drive all the way across the city on surface streets (5 miles or more) as opposed to taking a freeway which (theoretically) has some traffic congestion. Well the algorithm just isn't right here. On the surface streets you are going to get killed with lights (not to mention potholes and aggro!) so even if the highways are jammed, going 20 or 25 mph is still faster than miles of stop and go traffic. The traffic system (as provided out of the box, with ads) just isn't "real-time" enough. The unit would re-route me due to traffic, and I would ignore it. In a mile or two, some traffic congestion but after a few minutes traffic speeds picked up again - really not worth going around. Today, for example, coming home (to Pasadena) on the 10E freeway, rather than drive through the essentially always congested downtown corridor (connecting to the 110N, to Pasadena), the unit suggested I continue on the 10E past downtown - if I do that then I will have to drive on always heavily congested surface streets north up to Pasadena. It is a terrible drive, always - and it adds ~20 minutes to a 40 minute drive. Just a bad, bad choice. Now, if there was a complete and total tie up on the 110N (the way I normally go) an accident or closure of the highway - then, yes, I would need to go another way. That would be helpful to know in advance. But the unit overemphasizes the effects of traffic congestion (which may or may not even be accurate at the time you are driving) and leads to very out of the way routes. It has done this numerous times. The first times I took its advice, so to speak, but recently I have ignored it and found that traffic was not that bad. I know all the alternative routes, so I know the best way. OK - you can ask, So why are you even using it? Well, today I was coming from a store south of LA. I went to the store from a different address, far from my home. So, I really didn't know the best way to get back to the highways and routes that I know. So, it was a fair - and honest - test. Oddly enough the unit kept re-calculating, over and over, during the beginning of this trip, perhaps because of traffic - which it usually does not do. NOW, at home (finally) - I am looking at a map of LA and I see that the unit's choice to get me onto the 405N and then the 10E (and then onto the 110N) was really bad!! A few blocks over, I could have directly entered the 110N and saved probably 20 minutes of driving on what turned out to be a 50 minute trip!!! Painful.
[Note: I just thought to check the route it would take me from my house back to the store. It suggested a direct route, on the 110S without meandering all around. I used the unit on battery, so it wasn't plugged in i.e. traffic is disabled - so maybe it just chose the best route without any other input. Oddly, though, I do recall that the unit chose a different route to a hotel from the airport than it did from the same hotel to the same airport. Every time it chose the same one-way route, but never the same route for the same trip.]
Beyond that, although my maps are updated, the unit still seems to get confused on some very basic things. An on ramp to the 10E - it has completely the wrong information on how to get to it - the ramp has been that way for years and years. A one way street (a feeder onto a highway) it did not recognize as one way - if I listened to it, I would have (stupidly) turned the wrong way onto a one way street! Again, not a new street. Weird.
A few more complaints. When you are leaving a parking lot, the unit does not know what is going on. For example, many large stores or hotels have multiple entrances, onto different streets. The unit doesn't seem to really know where you are (especially before you have gone some distance), so it can tell you to drive straight without telling you what street to drive straight on - which is really useless - or it thinks you are at one exit when you are using another one, often one quite far away - and it tells you to turn onto a street that is not directly available to you. This happened several times when I used different exits from a hotel in the Bay Area. One time it took me almost 6 or 8 blocks out of the way to get to the hotel because it did not recognize an alternative entrance only one block away. Or it takes you all the way around the block when it isn't necessary. That same thing happened today. Not a big deal, but kind of annoying - it adds lights and time to your trip.
So, the unit generally works very well, and is fairly easy to use. A number of features are very helpful, the screen is clear, easy to read in day and night modes, the voice commands work very well, the lane guidance is very, very helpful. It has other cool features: pedestrian mode, find your car mode (it remembers where it is when you turn it off) and other things I have not really tried. The phone features are fine, but, unfortunately, the voice quality is not very good.
The integration of the traffic information is not necessarily very useful at all (you can turn it off) and so must be taken with a grain of salt. The routes the unit chooses are not always the best ones, and it makes what seems to be simple mistakes on established roads and routes. Registering, updating maps and software are all very simple and user friendly.
This is mostly a very useful unit - great screen, easy to use, actual driving information (lane assist, exit info) maps, very useful, ample POI. It will not always get you to your destination the best way possible (fastest) - this, I believe is largely a function of the way the traffic information is used. However, given my experience with some other navigation systems (I-Phone, BMW navigation, an older TomTom) I think that this unit, for the price and life-time updates, is still a very good deal. You have the option (at a price) of upgrading to a different antennae for the traffic, which is supposed to be more up to the minute in terms of data - and comes without ad support - or you can simply turn traffic off. (BTW - I was very reluctant to get this unit because of the ads, but they are really not very intrusive or frequent.) "Her" voice and odd intonation, I believe you are stuck with. Not a big deal, but it seems that it should be quite a bit better, smoother.
All in all a very good package, a good price, but not perfection!
I would give it 3 1/2 stars but cannot, so 4 it is. Hope this helps!
166 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long time TomTom user. Surprisingly happy with Garmin Nuvi!,
I have been using TomTom. But when it brought me to a remote, strange place two times in a row (and my model was the one that I had to pay for updates), I knew I had to get another one.
In Amazon, I saw this product with rave reviews so I decided to give it a try. And I am happy I did!
Here are the cons and pros..
Cons- (1) The VOICE: I am the first time Garmin user and I love it in many ways BUT honestly, the voice choices are plain bad! In this category, Tomtom fairs a lot better- it did give me very charming, clear, and natural voice. On the other hand, Garmin gave me very few voice choices. I was so looking forward to using voice that gives me street names (Tomtom did not have this feature) but when I tried this American "Jill," I was like, "What a joke!" It was worse than those automated answering machine voices. So unnatural and abrupt! I finally settled with American "Michelle," who has more elegant and calm voice and I am happy with it (though "Michelle" cannot give me street names). (2) SLOWER, MORE DELIBERATE ARRIVAL CALCULATION & COMMAND: Compared to Tomtom, my new Garmin nuvi is definitely slower in calculating the estimated arrival time based on my vehicle speed. Also, it does not give me directions like "Turn right" soon enough. This is not good when I am supposed to be in "right turn only lane" already. Tomtom gave me "right turn ahead" direction before like one mile, and when I am moderately near, it would remind me one more time - just perfect timing. With Garmin nuvi, I'm learning that I must focus a bit more on direction onscreen ("right turn after 400")to prepare for turns. I am getting the hang of it.
Pros- (1) I love lane change assist feature! No more worrying and stressing out! My family is so impressed with the real picture it shows ahead before every junction and exit (with my son going, "Ma! It looks just the same!") :)
(2) It does what navigation is supposed to do. Clear, accurate, and dependable navigation to the destination. Finally, there is a navigation that ensures maps are updated and information is correct. What more can I ask for? Unlike Tomtom, it has NEVER FAILED ME. Cannot be more thrilled! (3) Lifetime map updates - With highways always under constraction, this is huge. 4 free updates a year for lifetime. Cannot beat that.
Overall, I would highly recommend this product. I was reluctant to switch from Tomtom to Garmin but I made the right choice. In terms of what navigation is supposed to do, this tops it all. I love driving with my new Garmin nuvi 2595! :-)
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