on May 23, 2013
The Garmin nuvi 2797 is my 4th Garmin in 4 years. I keep upgrading myself with screen size and features. I'm not as sophisticated as some on reviewing electronics. But I would like to share my experience for others who might want basic information.
What I like about the 2797:
Screen size - Much easier to see info at a quick galance, very helpful for those that don't have 20/20 vision
Mounting method - Much improved - Just push the tab at the bottom of the mount and the unit comes off. I remove my Garmin at every stop that I'll be away from the car and this makes it much easier.
Features - Talk about customizing, if you take the time, you can really have a special device that caters to your needs and preferences.
Directions for use - I headed to Youtube where GPSCity does a wonderful job of showing you how to use your new device.
Info on Screen - You can have a ton of info showing on the screen, ie, food, gas stations, etc. along with speed, distance to next turn, time of arrival. Or you can stick to the basics. Quick Note - I love the speed indicator, a feature on most Garmins. I travel on country roads quite a bit and the speed limit can change quickly going through small towns. A quick galance will show you your speed. If it's in the red, slow down, in the green, you are good.
Volume - Much better and the directions are spoken clearer as well.
Brightness - You can have a really bright screen or tone it down. I finally have a Garmin that I don't have it on the brightest setting.
Lane assist - I had this on my last Garmin, but with the larger screen, it is much easier to see.
What I am disappointed with in the Garmin
Voice recognition - This was one of the biggest reasons I upgraded to the 2797. I wanted to be able to find a particular brand of gas without having to research before each trip or pull into a rest area to go through the Garmin info to find it. Just speak a command. It recgnizes the startup command flawlessly as well as the next command, ie. find a place. But from there it didn't work at all. I'd request Shell gas station. The response wasn't even close. I tried many times with different commands and it was fruitless. I couldn't believe how far off the responses were.
Spoken Directions - From what I read, the directions were suppose to be like a friend sitting next to you. Turn at the 7 Eleven store, turn right at the Walgreens, etc. The directions were the same as before, in a mile take a right, in a quarter mie take a left, etc.
All in all, there are enough features that I'm pleased with my purchase. Additionally, I'm going to see if I can improve on the voice recognition commands and get that working right.
Hope this helps. Safe traveling!
on March 30, 2013
This is my 4th Garmin GPS and is the best so far. There seems to be some confusion regarding the model discrepancy. The box did say 2797LMT and the sticker on the back of the GPS did indicate 2797LM. I believe this is the right model. It does come with the traffic receiver. When I go to the App icon and scroll down. I see the traffic icon and it does work.
The model that does not have the lifetime traffic is 2757LM. I think the manufacturer for Garmin forgot to include the "T" on the sticker on the back of the GPS.
When I go to the Garmin website, there is no such model for 2797LM, just 2757LM.
The difference between the the 2757LM and the 2797LMT is 3 things:
Voice activated navigation
I was about to return to Amazon but I did some further research. Now it is fine. As far as I am concern, this is the best GPS for me. It is fully loaded with all the options I need for traveling. I even purchased a year subscription for Phantom Alert to detect speed traps and cameras.
on April 15, 2013
Pros: size, voicecommand, powered-mount, up-ahead, volume, navigation functionality, traffic, junction view, lane assist, etc.
Cons: Bluetooth sound quality and functionality issues, Users Manual, Battery Life.
In general I like the 2797LMT as an upgrade, in my case, from the 1490T, except for poor Bluetooth/Phone sound volume and quality plus an outgoing call/connection problem I haven't solved yet.
Size: This is one really big boy sitting on my Subaru dash but it works surprisingly well with a beanbag mount...a 1490T on steroids. No major sight obstruction thru the windshield. Portability might be a problem for those who have several cars or rent often. The power mount is a plus; easy to connect/disconnect. Probably not a good idea to suction mount to the window since if it releases (and it will eventually) you will have a large electronic piece flopping onto your lap. At least with the beanbag, it can't flop too far. Later, I may super glue the suction disk to the beanbag to make sure. Note, the suction mount has a larger diameter suction disc than previous mounts because of the 2797 increased weight.
At approx 1 to 1.5 hours, it could be better. But I suspect the unit was not designed to be used w/o car power, especially since the Traffic feature would not work without the GTM antenna enabled via the power cable. Not clear about the optional AC charger specs since the supplied GTM antenna cable indicates 2amp delivered to the hot mount but the garmin charger appears to be a 1 amp charger? If so, than any 1 amp charger will work as long as you can connect to the 2797 direct with a micro USB tip. Note, the GTM cable to the mount connects with a mini USB tip. You can also connect to your PC with the supplied USB to Micro USB GTM cable, but I have to believe it would take longer to charge considering USB can only deliver 500 milliamps.
Display: Doesn't seem as `contrasty' or vividly color saturated as my 5" 1490T prob due to the same pixel count on the larger 7" format. I changed the Map Theme to `Germany' since it looked somewhat similar to my Nuvi 660's theme, with gray streets against a tan background. Seems a bit better. It was not clear whether their Map Theme Files software version 2.70 (as of 2/9/2012) was already included in my 2797's software out of the box this month. I don't like to load anything via a Garmin update unless I absolutely have to!
The 7" screen gives you a lot of situational awareness, local street geography. Can be a bit distracting on freeway travel but easy to zoom in to minimize. Nice to see where you are in relation to other hwys and major roads w/o need to use the `look down' view I used on the 1490T.
Note, the screen format is fixed at landscape; it cannot rotate to portrait.
Volume: Really loud at max. Easy to hear nav instructions over road noise. 'American Samantha' default voice needed for the 'real directions' is very clear and distinct.
Basic Navigation: No problem so far. Updates and finds locations very fast. Time to destination right on the money. It does not say 'recalculate' anymore and that appears to please many, but not me. I like a heads up warning. Useful if you are not concentrating on where you are going. I wish too Garmin had kept the old warning 'bong' that would precede instructions. Having either or both as an enabled option would be nice.
Traffic: Works real well here in NYC metro area. This version is much more detailed and far-seeing than my 1490T. I can see multiple incident detail many miles out, both as it occurs (via warning) during the route and a look-see in advance. The warning detail is amazing. I originally thought this had HD traffic but it is NOT the case. Even so, this solution works fine.
Up Ahead: Very useful feature made even more so by ability to customize. I set Hospital, Food, and Gas on mine. Would have been nice if this was enabled via the Voice Command.
Voice Command: Works better than I expected. I estimated 75% effective so far. Might do better later on as I figure out my speaking voice volume and patterns.
Address Search: Not as simple and quick as 1490T. Not sure why they designed the default to take longer to search for street/destination in 3 or 4 surrounding states. But once you get hang of it, its ok I guess, and you can always add the state to localize/quicken the search, for ex. If you are driving from NY to a MA location.
Shortcut: Nice feature where you can include your favorites (icons) for quick search to frequent destinations. Need to get used to the new terminology: Waypoint and Saved Places instead of the old 'favorites'.
Bluetooth (BT): Good and bad here. Pairs up real quick with some phones but not all. Garmin's recommended Galaxy S3 (for the 2797) wouldn't even handshake.
I noted a major problem with mediocre sound quality/volume and initial outgoing call connectivity. With my own non-smart Samsung Convoy 660 it didn't seem to connect automatically, especially when using Voice Command to initiate the call. After call is made, I found I needed to press the 'head set button' a couple of times on the displayed 'In call options' box to actually hear the ringing and recipient's voice. I really hope it is a firmware and not hardware problem.
I was especially looking forward to problem free use of Voice Command with the BT feature. Should have been an unbeatable combination. But not too happy so far.
I tested the 2797 also with the I4S, Galaxy S3, and Droid Razor phones to see if the problem is unique to my Samsung Convoy 660. The Razor functioned the best but still had a sound quality/volume problem.
Would have given it 5 stars except for the Bluetooth issues.
USAGE UPDATE 4.18.13:
Gotten used to the 'less contrasty' screen; not too bad after all. Went back to the 'Garmin' default map theme as it seems to look the best, for me.
Still a BT volume/sound quality/connection problem with my Samsung Convoy 660 on Verizon system. Tested several others, courtesy of my guy Frank at local Radio Shack. The Galaxy S3 wouldnt even 'handshake' and that was on garmin's recommended list. Droid Razor tested best but still with low volume and iffy sound. Perhaps you need to ensure your phone works the way you want before you buy,if BT is a major reason for purchase. Not so much for me so I will live with it and hope garmin comes out with a firmware fix.
In general works fine. When you override the instruction, seems the unit sometimes can't recalculate fast enough to alert you to the new direction in time, so you are already past the directed turn street. I found this on 30mph local streets where the alternate turns were very close to each other, but if you drive a bit slower in these known situations, unit will work ok.
I suspect the POI file of supposedly 6mil (or is it 8mil now?) locations is not sufficiently up to date, for example missing some restaurants and schools that have been at same local addresses for well over 15 years.
A bit confusing here too since apparently you need to load other/custom POI files to make Proximity Alert work with garmin's POI Loader Software, even though the Manual doesnt explain this. I got it to work with the POI factory red light camera file. Haven't found out yet where the School Proximity Alert POI file comes from. I get no warnings near 5 local schools but just got one going by a school 15 miles away. No help yet from garmin support.
** In general, very pleased with 2797 performance. I trust in time, most of my 'issues' will be settled with software updates.
Usage Update 4/25/13:
Finally got an explanation from Garmin of how the School Proximity Warning works. Schools category in where to accesses the POIs on the GPS. School zone warning is part of the mapping software along with the POIs. But since this is a new feature not all schools in the POIs have been encoded with the proximity alert from their map vendor, navteq. I note that many schools are also missing from their POI file. So it is a two fold issue. They hope to have updated much of this information in subsequent map and firmware updates.
Usage Update 5/12/13:
Finally, should mention I am overall pleased with the 2797 performance, except for Bluetooth. Sent letter to garmin president and was essentially blown off by one of their minions, saying they are looking into the problem etc. Especially note the sleep power mode and real directions as two very useful features. I find myself always using the unit regardless of destination, even local, because enjoy playing with all its features. Should note also the POI Factory's red light camera app is a useful addition via garmins POI Loader.
on May 18, 2014
I received my Garmin 2797 LMT as a gift, but after less than 6 months, the internal lithium-ion battery (part # 361-00066-00) died. Alas, Garmin's 12 month Limited Warranty is very limited and expressly excludes "consumable parts, such as batteries", which is pretty shabby for a device that costs $250.
I was unable to find a replacement battery on Garmin's website. Fortunately, Google found part # 361-00066-00 at a well known auction site and for an investment of $14, I obtained a new one. To replace the battery you'll need the following tools: A T-6 torx bit to undo the ten small screws around the back of the case. A piece of thin, hard plastic (a hard guitar pick works). A thin (1/8th inch) blade, short (3 to 4 inches long) flat-blade screwdriver.
Remove the 10 torx screws at the back of the case. Run the plastic 'pick' all around the perimeter seam between the two halves of the case -- press it into the crack and gently twist all the way around until the halves separate. Open the case very carefully, starting at the top of the unit -- there's a delicate ribbon wire harness inside (at the the base of the unit), that connects the two halves.
Pull the battery connector upwards using its wires (it's a push on rather than a plug in connector). The battery is held in the case with 3 square inches of thin plastic, coated on both sides with "megastick" adhesive, and has to be removed with great care to avoid breaking the Nuvi's thin plastic casing.
Insert the thin flat-blade screwdriver below the corner of the battery adjacent to the strongest part of its recess (there's a rounded injection molded plastic reinforcing web there) and very gently lever downwards on the screwdriver handle. You should start to hear the sound of the adhesive yielding. As the adhesive starts to yield, continue to push the blade in a little more and apply gentle downwards pressure on the screwdriver handle. After about 5 minutes, all 3 square inches of the "megastick" adhesive should have yielded and the battery can be removed.
Assembly is the reverse of removal.
on April 20, 2015
I HAVE SEVERAL GARMINS AND LOVE THEM. I PURCHASED ADDITIONAL INSURANCE WITH MY LAST GARMIN THAT WAS OFFERED FROM "Assurant Solutions" (1-866-761-7379) when I purchased this Garmin May 10,2014 for $30.12 to protect my investment of $249.99 in equipment. Recently, my Garmin ceased to function with no physical damage. I spent over an hour filing a claim for a repair or replacement with the Assurant Solutions Insurance company that insured my Garmin. After a week they called me and informed me that would not cover my Garmin repair due to the fact that there was no external damage to the the unit and instructed me to call the manufacture. **DO NOT BUY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS INSURANCE TO COVER YOUR ELECTRONICS THEY WILL NOT HONOR THEIR AGREEMENT.***
IN SHORT ASSURANT INSURANCE "SUCKS"
SIGNED; VERY UNHAPPY CUSTOMER.
on April 27, 2014
I can't speak to the GPS, as I only used it a couple times in our motorhome before putting it away for the season. When I pulled it out to use the following season, it wouldn't start up. I tried the recommended procedures to fire up the unit prior to contacting Garmin customer services.
Be aware there are NO humans to talk with, so you get diverted to an email assistant. After writing an essay that the unit will not start up and that I had already gone through all the suggested repair procedures, a day later the response tells you to do the same things again. I email back that those procedures were done and I want a replacement. After another day, the return email gives no return procedure, rather another repair procedure or more questions. Each time they respond, its with a different person who wants to start the testing over again, despite whatever you tell them in your email. It took over a week of back and forth before they finally sent a return authorization code.
I shipped the old unit but they failed to send an email of acceptance, nor an email advising necessary repairs. A week later, without prior notice, I receive a replacement 2797LMT. I was sent a 'refurbished' unit instead of my old unit or a new unit. I inquired and was told it is their option to repair or replace and any gps over 90 days old will be replaced with a refurbished unit. This is troubling to me in that my old unit was used a handful of times and was 9 months old. I have no idea how old or how heavily used the replacement is and there is no additional warranty. I paid top dollar for a used GPS. Not happy with Garmin's replacement policy or their time consuming customer care.
on March 30, 2013
Excellent and huge GPS. Firmware and map updates are very fast. The directions voice is very clear and as loud as you want. Also the update of the vehicle position is done at a very fast rate.
One person makes the negative comment: WRONG GPS IN THE BOX.. This is that he got a 2797LM instead of a 2797LMT. I also got a 2797LM and it came with a power cable that includes the traffic antenna and the traffic function works.
Another person complains that there is no printed manual. NO NEW SMALL ELECTRONIC EQUIPMET COMES WITH A MANUAL. You have to get it from the internet. He or she is also complaining that there is no AC adapter. MOST OF CURRENT SMALL ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT IS CHARGED VIA THE USB, if you want to charge them at home.
Excellent GPS, don't pay attention to the ONE STAR comments, they are unfair.
I didn't buy from Amazon because I don't like the sentence "ONE ONLY LEFT IN STOCK" (it could be a returned one).
on April 2, 2013
Update again 4/9/13:
Ok I did end up returning the 2797. One point I'd like to make up front is that in my initial review, I compared the 2797 to my 3590, which was a bit unfair. The 3590 was the previous "top of the line" model, to be replaced by the upcoming 3597 in the 2013 "prestige" series.
With that said, I really LOVE the larger 7 in display. This is the same display size as the navigation system in my personal vehicle, a Nissan Murano. 7 in is a great size all around for information visibility and interface "touchability". I think the 5 in screen is good but a bit too small when you factor in information density/interface button size...I don't know this is mostly my personal preference.
I returned the unit mainly for the reasons mentioned below but I also have some other observations on the differences between the 2797 and my previous unit the 3590:
- This model (the 2797) does not have 3-D buildings or terrain view on the maps. The 3-D buildings for me were mostly a gimmick since I rarely drive into the big cities where the 3D buildings were displayed. However, I really enjoyed the terrain view (which only the "prestige" 2013 models have). If you don't know what this is, when you have 3D map view turned on, hills, mountains and changes in elevation are shown as shaded areas to give a 3D look to the terrain...No, not essential to navigation and mostly eye candy.
I hope that Garmin comes out with a model in the Prestige series with a 7 in display. The catch is the price though...the top of the line 5 in prestige model retails for $380 so I'm going to bet that they won't release anything more expensive than that....just my guess.
Just posting an update-- I'm thinking of returning the 2797 for a couple of reason I will get into below.
First reason is the size. I have no problems with the size of the screen--I love it, its just the size of the unit itself that gets annoying to carry around. I use rental cars very frequently and I like to take my nav unit with me when I'm out and about so it's just that much more bulkier to carry. I got a case for a 7 in nav but it is the size of one of those large music CD binders (and doesn't even hold the mount). I knew this would be an issue but I guess I didn't realize how much it would become an issue until after my first few outings. If you don't move your nav around so much this is probably a non-issue.
Second reason: for some reason or another, I totally missed the announcement that Smartphone Link was compatible with my old (last year) 3590. I downloaded the Android and iPhone app and configured my 3590 to use the service very easily. I particularly love the weather feature and the connection to my AT&T Skyrocket Android phone is seamless and reliable (since the app runs continuously in the background on the phone). The 2797 displays the weather better than the 3590 though, the 2797 can show hourly and daily weather on top of the maps while the 3590 just shows a weather icon that much be touched to see the weather.
Third reason: I realized that I use the portrait orientation a lot on the 3590 and missed it with the 2797.
Some other notes that I've learned:
- You can purchase the GTM 60 HD traffic cable to get HD traffic, which comes standard on the Prestige series. I don't have any idea how well this works. However, I got the chance to test out the "default" traffic during the last big rain storm that swept through the Carolinas last week. The default traffic correctly and precisely showed traffic accidents on I-85 and tried to re-route me to avoid delays. I very rarely use the traffic feature so this surprised me a bit with its accuracy.
- The information displays on the 2013 line of Nuvi's are much improved. However they seem like just software updates and I suppose Garmin made a marketing decision not to bring those to previous generation Nuvis. This is unfortunate because the newer layout is much nicer in my opinion.
I just received this. After playing with the device, I connected it to my Mac and ran Garmin Express (their new map and firmware update software). It immediately found new map and firmware (v2.4) updates. I'm installing now as I type this.
Before my first impressions, I've owned the eMap, the GPS V, the nuvi 350, 6xx, 14xx, 3xxx and now this.
The first thing I thought when I opened the box was WHOA! This thing is huge. It's a little more than an inch thick but tapers to the edge so it's not that unwieldy. The resolution of the display is 800x480 which is the same as my 5 in nuvi 3590 but still looks great. Touch sensitivity is very good. The Nuvi 3590 has edge to edge display which is nice, this nuvi goes back to the plastic bezel around an anti-glare display.
Contrary to the description, this is NOT "dual-orientation". The nuvi 3590 that I also have is dual orientation--as I understand it. What this means is that it works in portrait as well as the default landscape mode--the maps and interface automatically orient themselves to be readable when the nuvi is turned into portrait mode (much like any modern smartphone). The 2797 does NOT do this. I can't find any setting to enable this (there isn't one on the 3590, its just automatic) so I must conclude that it's a typo in the description...Maybe I'll check out the manual.
Otherwise, I'm pretty pleased with this and think it's a nice upgrade from the 3590 because of the larger screen size (i'm getting up there in years) and also the software has been slightly tweaked to improve the display of trip data. Where as with the 3590, I can show up to 4 pieces of information along the edge (speed, direction, elevation, etc), the 2797 introduces a new "slide-in" window that can show 3-4 more pieces of information such as trip data, traffic data or exit data (in addition to the two that are always visible in the lower right and left corners).
One feature that I love (it's on the 2797 but slightly improved-- I used it on the time on the 3590) is Voice Command. Now before you roll your eyes, this feature on my 3590 works surprisingly well. You just say out loud "Voice Command" (you can customize the magic phrase on the 2797) and you get a voice driven menu of options. You can program in complete address or search for business with just your voice. It works extremely well and is an effective way to control this device while driving.
Overall a nice device if you travel frequently and am willing to carrying around this big device. The reasons this device is great for me:
- Larger screen is great for older eyes and easier to hit buttons
- The 2013 line of Nuvi's can link to an android or iPhone to utilize the data plan of your smartphone to download other information
- Smartphones can more than handle most personal navigation duties but I don't like mounting my phone in the window, it gets hot up there...
on May 29, 2013
This GPS looks great and the size makes it very easy to work. The problem is that it only actually worked for a few minutes and then froze. I rebooted it but that did not cure the problem. I then connected it to my PC and updated the maps and firmware using Garmin Express but it still froze after a couple of minutes. A search for the problem on the internet quickly found it, along with the information that it was a general software problem and not faulty GPS hardware. At that stage I should have sent it back but it seems to be a great GPS for the very short time that it works, so I called Garmin helpline. The wait time was 30 minutes, it was obviously a common problem and they emailed me a form letter setting out the solution. I followed their instructions, deleting unneeded voices and performing a hard reset. It now works for about twenty minutes before freezing, not exactly a solution to the problem. This unit was obviously released untested and is still a work in progress. A pity, because it is potentially a good GPS. I have returned my unit because I think this is a great deal of money to pay for the privilege of road testing an unfinished product.
on August 27, 2013
One minor complain I have was that there's not that much detail about how it works and what else might be required shown at Amazon. I should have downloaded the manual from Garmin first, just search for "nuvi 2797 manual" at Garmin or on Google.
The first question you might have is do I want the 7" or 5" version. From what I've seen what is displayed is usually the same on both. The advantage of the 7" screen, in addition to being easier to read because everything is bigger, is that it's much easier to accurately touch what you want, again because everything is bigger. I don't know if the keyboard is exactly the same on both. The one on the 7" is much like a tablet. There is room for both letters and numbers in addition to an auto complete line with guesses about what you're trying to type. The only disadvantage of the 7" version is that it's too big to carry in your pocket (but it fits in a purse). These Nuvi's have a feature that if you disconnect from power in your car, it automatically stores the current location as the last place you parked. Walking you can use the Nuvi to find where you left your car. My daughter always takes her Nuvi with her in her pocket so she can use it when walking around strange cities.
The Voice Command feature is fantastic, you may find you don't type that often. Just say Find Address, then something like: "123 Main Street, Anytown, Maine". It finds it, you confirm, and if that's where you want to go, say: Navigate.
It doesn't come with a manual. You need to attach the unit to your computer, install the recommended software (PC or Mac). From there you can access a PDF version of the manual as well as install updates and extras (like different voices and "vehicles"). For some reason I've always preferred the Aussie voices from Garmin.
There are a lot of videos showing how to use your nuvi available. Go to YouTube and search for "nuvi 2797" ... these videos are probably the easiest way to get an overview of using the various features.
By default "Safe Mode" is enabled. This mode "disables all functions that require significant operator attention" while the vehicle is in motion. A great idea from a safety point of view, but a real pain when the passenger is operating the GPS. In that case disable this feature in Settings->Navigation. I also recommend adding ALL the tools to the navigation menu Settings->Map+Vehicle->MapTools
Models with "T" in the name include traffic alerts which seem to be received as a digital portion of FM radio transmissions in about 100 areas. For a map of these area, see: [...] I'm currently a couple hundred miles from the nearest area, so have yet to try this feature.
The antenna for my unit (and probably all the "T" models) was part of a special power cord (included). The antenna portion needs to near the windshield (and I guess some tinted windows lower the signal strength).
Even out of the box, there was a map update available. What surprised me was how long it took to download the update: almost 4 hours, even on a 3 Mbps cable connection.
There seem to be a lot of features which require connecting the 2797 to a smartphone via BlueTooth. Wish this was clearer in the specs, I assumed the BlueTooth allowed connecting to the car's speaker and microphone, maybe you can but no one seems to suggest doing this. I've had a smartphone for 4.5 years, but recently decided maybe I didn't use it enough to justify the monthly cost and gave it up, so am not able to test those features.
I also purchased the VicTsing Sun Shade, it fits this Nuvi nicely. Haven't used it enough to know it's value, but it seems like a good add-on for $7.
The Garmin Bean Bag Mount (aka Portable Friction Mount) that I love and have had for years, works just fine with this new Nuvi. I highly recommend it.