Customer Reviews: Garmin nüvi 3590LMT 5-Inch Portable Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map and 3D Traffic Updates
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Edition: Lifetime Maps, HD Traffic, and Bluetooth|Change
Price:$299.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 29, 2012
I briefly owned a Nuvi 3490LMT and found it to be a great GPS. Shortly after I purchased the 3490LMT this 5" model was announced. I returned the 3490LMT and ordered the 3590LMT that very day. I am pleased to report that the Nuvi 3590LMT is also a great GPS navigator.

+ Screen is very easy to see, even in bright daylight
+ Thin for a 5" unit
+ No issues with polarized sun-glasses
+ Snappy user interface; every touch is immediately registered
+ Drag gestures work on most screens
+ Intuitive design, easy to use
+ Removable window mount has a built-in speaker
+ Map and software updates are easy; no registration required
+ Very fast acquisition of GPS satellites
+ Very fast routing and rerouting

- Pricey
- The 5" screen makes this too bulky to fit in your pocket or carry around (compromises!)
- Windshield mount falls on occasion

The first thing I noticed about this GPS is the big bright screen. From past experience, I knew that 5" was the right size for me. With a 5" screen, I don't have to focus as hard on the GPS when I take my eyes off the road. This allows me to get my eyes back ON the road as fast as possible which makes the GPS safer for me.

The screen on this unit is among best I've ever seen on a GPS (almost equal to the 3490LMT) and is clearly visible in the bright Texas sun. Even my polarized sun glasses do not interfere with the screen. The screen is really something to behold and is clearly where a lot of the cost of this unit stems from. The reason I say this display is not quite equal to the 3490LMT is because it has the same pixel count but spread over a larger surface. This means the display is not quite as crisp as the 3490LMT. But you'll have to look really really hard to notice the difference!

The unit has an auto-night feature that reacts quickly to changing light conditions so that the GPS is never too bright when driving at night or in a dark area.

The LCD viewing angle seems decent. There is definitely some darkening of the display as you move off to the side. For the primary viewer (the driver), the display will be easy to see even as you move your head around. The passenger may have difficulty viewing what's on screen if the unit is pointed at the driver.

Much less important but still nice is how crisp the screen is. It is a high resolution screen that renders maps faithfully with great detail, even when held close to your face. This makes everything smooth and pretty. Again, this is of questionable value when mounted in your windshield but it does look really nice.

I haven't had much time to test the included HD traffic feature. It seems like traffic information is only given to you if you're driving on a route. It would be nice if it actually showed you traffic in the area, even if you're just driving without any route set. Surely it could at least figure out that I'd be interested in traffic information on the very road I'm driving on! After I've had more time with the unit I'll update my review with more information on the traffic feature.

From my experience with the 3490LMT, I expect it will tell me when traffic is ahead on a selected route. One thing I wished the 3490LMT would do was tell me about traffic on the road ahead, even if it doesn't know my destination. It does not do that (though neither does the competition as best I can tell).

I love how quickly this unit acquires my location from the satellites. Within a few seconds after turning on, it knows where I am. My old TomTom often didn't know where I was until I was well outside of my neighborhood.

As with every other GPS I've ever owned, the default navigation view shows the current speed limits. The bad news is the speed limits are sometimes wrong by 5 to 10mph. This seems to be more common in neighborhoods and on lesser traveled roads but I've also encountered this on major freeways. The good news is that you can tap on any bad speed limit shown on screen and a "+/-" button shows up that quickly lets you edit the speed limit. I found myself doing this often after first but eventually the streets I drive most often were all corrected. I wish they could get this stuff right without me making changes but it seems to be a universal problem.

A nice visual cue to help you see your route is that after each turn, the graphical display zooms out to show you more of the upcoming route. After a few seconds, it zooms back in to the previous zoom level. This is subtle but effective in helping you see the details of your route while getting an occasional glimpse of the big picture.

Something that I really like is that you can drag the map around with your finger while navigating: just like you would do in Google Maps on your cell phone. This gives you the opportunity to see what else is around while sitting at a traffic light.

Routing and rerouting has been very fast in my experience. If I miss a turn, the GPS usually has the new route figured out in just a few seconds. Much appreciated during those high anxiety goof-ups I sometimes make!

Another nifty feature is that the 3590LMT learns your habits. If you prefer a particular route home because you know more than the GPS, eventually it starts routing you via the route automatically.

In my experience, the voice command feature is so-so. It hasn't yet been able to find an address for me but it does seem to work pretty well when navigating to my saved shortcuts. I say the command "voice command, go home" and it works fine every time. This could get better with firmware updates. It does seem to be important to be in a quiet environment (radio turned off, windows rolled up) when issuing voice commands. No surprise there. This feature may improve with firmware updates.

The Garmin update software is very easy to use and works fine. I was pleased that I didn't have to create an account or register with Garmin. I just plugged in my navigator and it downloaded the latest maps and firmware.

Bluetooth works well with my iPhone 5. The sound quality and volume isn't stellar, but people can hear me and I can hear them and it always works, so I am pleased.

So far the firmware has proven reliable. I've never had it crash or hang on me.

The mount to my windshield is fairly secure and stable. It seems quite well made and the screen never sags under its own weight. Unfortunately, the mount has fallen from my windshield twice in 3 months of usage. Nothing has been damaged in the falls, but I find this annoying. This caused me to drop this to a 4-star review.

This unit seems to be a couple of millimeters thicker than the ultra-thin 3490LMT. I'm not complaining about this, but I do wish it was as thing as the smaller unit. Still, it's not thick at all: barely thicker than my iPhone 4.

So far this GPS is shaping up as the best I've ever used. I'm very happy with this purchase. I will continue to update my review as I spend more time with the unit.

About 6 months after purchase, the GPS stopped working right in the middle of a 2000 mile road trip. The touchscreen became inoperable and the unit would crash after a few minutes of use. Of course, this was highly frustrating. Garmin support was easy to deal with. Garmin immediately sent me an RMA form and after I sent it back to them, they sent me a brand new 3590LMT. All told, this cost me just under $20 in shipping and a few weeks without the GPS. Probably about as best as one can hope for in such a situation. Hopefully the replacement will last longer!

A year after my original unit was replaced under warranty, the replacement unit is still going strong. I think this is a great product.
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on March 22, 2012
I've had this GPS for about a week. I am very happy with most aspects of this device. Screen and maps are great, better than any other I have seen. Voice recognition is excellent. I only wish more features (such as screen zoom) were available through voice control. Routing has been perfect so far. POI list is excellent as well. Smartphone link is a great idea but incomplete without IOS support.

This would be a 5 star review except for one major blemish. Despite my being in the NY metro area in a spot where Navteq shows "strong" coverage my traffic reception is near useless. In ten hours of driving I have had accurate traffic for less than 15 minutes. A quick Google search shows the GTM-60 traffic receiver/traffic firmware has clearly had problems in the past. What is not clear is whether these issues have been completely resolved. I went through all the troubleshooting and fixes posted on the web (including Garmin's site) and with a Garmin CSR. The Garmin rep said he never heard of a problem with this unit and I could return it(at my expense). I will return the traffic receiver and hope for the best although my gut feeling is that they have still not resolved their firmware problems.

So I am deducting 1 star for the defective traffic feature and 1 star for the 30 minutes I spent on hold to speak with an uninformed and patronizing customer service rep who wasted an additional 45 minutes of my time before agreeing to the RMA (much of that time was trying to convince him that the NY metro area is supposed to have Navteq coverage - he was having some map reading problems).
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on June 5, 2012
I've had a Garmin Nuvi 360 for a very long time, and have been pretty happy with it, and very happy with Garmin as company, in terms of their customer support, and tech support.

However, my recent purchase of their Garmin Nuvi 3590 LMT has completely changed my view of Garmin in every way.

In the past, when you called their tech support, you got through to someone very quickly, and the person you spoke to was very knowledgable.

I can say with certainty, based on a recent and large sample size, that neither of those things are true anymore.

That's a shame, because Garmin was one of those rare companies that you USED to be able to say that about.

Now, onto to the 3590.

While lots of "bells and whistles" have been added along the way, over the years since the Nuvi 360, unfortunately, for the 2012 model year, some of the most important, at least to me, "nuts and bolts" (necessities) have been taken a way.


When you are in the regular map view, and click the green bar on the top, it puts you into the turn by turn view.

** This view, new for 2012, NO LONGER UPDATES THE DISTANCE (OF THE STEP YOU ARE ON) of when you need to turn.

** So, it can say "MAIN STREET 6.0" (MILES) FOREVER!!!!

** And the 6.0 will never change, no matter how far you drive.

** My Nuvi 360 that is 5 or 6 years old, updated the miles, and my wife's Nuvi 1360 (discontinued) that is 1 or 2 years old updated the miles!

** I like to stay in the turn by turn screen, and use it as my main screen, but that becomes impossible if the distance of the step you are on does not update!

** Who could have possibly thought removing this BASIC GPS FEATURE WAS GOOD IDEA?

** I have spoke to Garmin at length, to many different people, and it was REMOVED ON PURPOSE!

There is another view available, that I call the "split screen view".

It shows you the map on one half of the screen, and the the next turn on the other.

You can manually call this up by pressing the green button on the upper left of the screen.

** However there is 1 MAJOR PROBLEM WITH THIS VIEW as well.


** On the phone, Garmin tech support says you are not supposed to stay in the view for more than a few seconds.

** How is anyone supposed to know that?

** Why would they make a view that does not re-calculate?


While I'm sure many people found it a little off-putting when their Nuvi, said "re-calculating", it was helpful to hear.

It meant either you took a different route on purpose, or you missed a turn or something.

This unit does not say it, and does not give you the option of saying it.

To me, that is poor, just as all the above things I wrote are as well.


I have only had my 3590 a few months, and it has inexplicably crashed 5 or times. Just shut down, and re-started itself.


Finally, the 3590's navigation is worse than my Nuvi 360, despite the fact all the same preferences are chosen.

The 3590 has me going some of the worst ways possible to places.

I ran both at the same time one day, as a test and Nuvi 360 directions were much better


I have had the most updated software (6.30) and maps since I started using it, so that is not problem.

It was just poorly programmed.

I truly hate the 3590.

My wife's 1390, that is discontinued is better, except her traffic is slower.
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I have owned the Garmin Nuvi 6xx and 8xx series, and also had a chance to use last year's equivalent model.

1. Traffic information works really well. It alerted me of upcoming, heavy traffic on a number of occasions, saving me a lot of headaches getting stuck. I was able to exit the freeway in time (unlike previous models where it was too late!)

2. It remembers the Favorites I go to regularly. As soon as I start my car and turn on the GPS, it tells me how many minutes it would take to get to my intended destination, along with how bad traffic may be. I never had to choose where I went -- it automatically recognzied from the Saved Places and my driving habits where I would be going (ie. Home/ Work/ Gym)

3. Voice recognition worked much better with last year's model. I've been frustrated at times by the 3590LMT where it would not hear me waking it up. I'm not sure if it's a software glitch or if I have a bad unit. It just doesn't appear to be able to hear me as well as it did with last year's model, which was responsive even while driving on the freeway with the windows down. Perhaps there's a way to amplify the microphone on the unit? If anybody knows how, please let me know. I couldn't find such an option in the menus.

4. Touch response is excellent.

5. Unit is very slim, and I love the big screen. I do, however, not like the fact that it's glossy: it looks great, but makes driving a bit of a challenge in several ways. The glossy screen has too much glare. The glossy, metallic accent around the unit can reflect the sun into the windshield like a mirror.

6. The split-screen feature: FINALLY, Garmin is using them! I had been jealous of other manufacturers (Magellan, etc.) who have had that in their products for YEARS. What I like about the 3590 is that it also shows "real" pictures of any freeway splits and off-ramps. They actually match the real location pretty well.

7. Routing for some areas has been frustrating: it sometimes has me take routes that I know aren't better than what I'd take without the GPS. Some roads are also marked as being CLOSED, when in fact they were not.

8. The unit's built-in speaker is not very loud when driving at higher speeds on the freeway, and Garmin thankfully has included an integrated speaker into the car's mounting unit that gives directions at comfortable levels.

9. Thank goodness for lifetime map and traffic updates. I was getting tired of having to pay for map updates...

10. Battery life is much better than previous models.

11. I dislike the fact that you cannot easily zoom out on the map.

12. There's no advertising on the GPS whatsoever! Great!

Overall, I like this unit. It's the best Garmin GPS I have used.
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on July 21, 2012
This was a replacement for my 785LMT and what a huge difference. It has a capacitive touch screen (like an iPhone) which is so much better than the old resistive touch models. When you start your car, the map pulls up instantly, no waiting! The maps are snappy (quick) and the traffic works fairly well (not perfect but good). The only negative is the mount. It seems to take a little effort to get it to catch.
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on September 28, 2013
This is my second GPS. The first was a Magellan RoadMate 2200T. WOW! What an upgrade!

The Good:
1. Beautiful 5" display. I picked this unit specifically for the 800 x 480 pixel display, and it's worth it. Yes there can be glare on a bright day. If you tilt the GPS back slightly, glare is eliminated.
2. Simple installation. The suction cup and mount always work perfectly and feel secure. I NEVER leave the suction cup on the window when I exit my car. That just says "Please break my window, I might have something in my car."
3. Map updating was simple. I used the Garmin Map updater program without any issues.
4. Love the customization. It's easy to find free custom vehicles and POIs online and install them on the unit. I've added red light cameras and offbeat tourist attractions. It was fun for my daughter and I to search for the "oversized adirondack chair" coming up in the next 1/4 mile, LOL.
5. Trip Planner works flawlessly. I work for FedEx and one day I was in an unfamiliar area. I entered 15 addresses and trip planner sorter them into the most productive route for completion. Love that!
6. Traffic works pretty good. I ran into a few slowdowns on a recent road trip from TN to DC and the Garmin was pretty accurate. I don't like how deep you have to go to see info. Tap traffic, tap Traffic on route, tap an incident from the list. Should just show the closest incident on first tap. Also, it showed me traffic issues 110 miles down route! Really!
7. The photoReal junction feature is wonderful! If there are multiple signs at the junction the Garmin only shows the one you need to pay attention to. Simply amazing.
8. 3D terrain and buildings is nice. Not really necessary, but it's fun to see when you are cresting a ridge in the Blue Ridge mountains, etc.
9. Bluetooth and the Garmin Smartphone Link add a lot of functionality to this unit. I've played with a few of the functions, but I'm not ready to use it every time I grab my GPS. Pairing with my Verizon galaxy S3 was simple.

The Bad:
1. My first use I ran into a map issue. The Garmin map showed a road where there was none. When I reached the dead end, I had to turn around and let the GPS reroute me. This was a rural, country road, but Google maps had the correct information. I reported the error on the Garmin website so hopefully it will get fixed.
2. Bluetooth phone use is not great. They could hear me, but I had to struggle to hear their voice. Bluetooth volume is significantly lower than the navigation voice, which is perfect.
3. U-turn avoidance is turned on by default. A few reviews have complained about the unit routing them way out of the way if they miss a turn. If you turn this off, you won't have this issue.
4. Battery life says 4 hours, but it's more like 2.5 to 3. I'm sure voice activation and searching probably reduced the life somewhat. Also, the first low battery warning happened 45 minutes before it died, so you've got a lot of time after that warning.

The Great (cause there is no ugly with this unit):
1. The voice activation works GREAT! I love the ability to enter an address or recall a saved place without having to tap, tap, tap. I have to occasionally repeat myself, but I've got a southern drawl. I wish Traffic was one of the voice commands, but it's not.

Overall I am VERY happy with the Garmin 3590lmt.
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on May 29, 2012
There is much to like about the 3590, but the new 3D traffic updates disappoint. I live in the greater LA area and if I hide the power cable in any way, I get little or no traffic signal. I am now unable to plug the power cable in a hidden area, hide the cord and run it to the dock, without losing traffic reception. So in order to get traffic, the power cable must lay out in the open. Poor design.

I have ordered the 3D external antenna cable from Garmin ($9 plus $8 shipping) that plugs into the power cable near the dock, then lays on the dash or suction cup to the windshield. I will have to tolerate that to get traffic.

For $380 the external antenna cable should have been included, or better yet, the design should have ensured an antenna was in the dock which has to be in the clear...

Update 8/26/12: the external antenna works great, but sadly is required! Also the unit suddenly reboots for no reason about half the time in in navigation mode.

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on April 28, 2012
This is the best Garmin ever. I skipped getting Traffic because reviews were not good for the option. BUT lifetime maps is well worth it. Must have this option!

The 5 inch screen is super easy to see and read. The maps upload quickly when you start up Garmin. The split screen at exits is super helpful. Also, Garmin lets you know which lane(s) you want and the direction you will take. For example, if you have TWO left turn lanes it will show two arrow going left and three going straight and one going right. IF you wish to turn left, the two left turn arrows will be highlighted in dark blue.

You can layer the map with more or less information. For example you can show gas stations/banks/restaurants/favorites or not if you want clean, simple map.

I am very satisfied with this Garmin and highly recommend it. However, DO NOT BUY IT FROM 17th Street Photo. They sent me a defective Garmin and then gave horrible customer service to me. The second Garmin I bought for my husband as a gift was from Amazon. Amazon backs their products with excellent customer service!
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on May 21, 2012
I will update this review and see how Garmin handles my issue.

First off the unit is very nice seems built well. Easily con compare it to the samsung Note in size. Hell it looks like a smart phone. Operates very similar to a smart phone.

I picked this up so I could use the smart phone link LIVE features. Its a great idea, until you realize that it would cost you an additional $19.99 for extra live traffic, supposedly updates every 2 minutes so its more reliable than the HD receiver it comes with. If you want access to the road cameras, its another 9.99, You want advanced weather 4.99 and Gas station prices. Oh that's another 9.99. Granted all of this is available for free and with better interfaces with many android apps, but it would be nice to have those features integrated into the Unit, so I don't have to pull out my phone to see them. so unless you want to fork over the extra money, you really don't need a Garmin that has smartlink capabilities.

Quick review. The one thing I dislike about the unit it has a crystal clear glass screen like most smart phones, so you can imagine the sun plays havoc on the display when it hits it. The passenger could not even read it because of the glare, but it was, for the most part readible the entire time it worked for me. So it Worked great on day one, works as advertised etc. ON day 2 this is when the fun started. The sever weather Icon warning came up. I pushed the button. It showed were the warning was. Nothing great like the weatherbug app, but enough it warned me about the situation, I can check my phone to get better info. So I clicked animate weather map. SAVE, Then the unit shut off and that was it. It would try to boot up and it was stuck, Just an endless bootloop. Still does not work. I know amazon will take care of it, so Im not worried, Just not happy it quit when I needed it.

UPDATE 5/25/12

After Troubleshooting with GARMIN, They determined it was Dead stuck in a boot loop. The nice guy wouldn't say they have had more issues than normal with the new unit, but it was not his first call of the day with a 3590 that would not turn on or was stuck in a boot loop. I would say give it a few months for the early bugs to get worked out, or make sure you know how long your return policy is.

Hoping they get it straightened out as its a nice unit but pricey.
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on August 26, 2012
I had never owned a GPS device prior to recently purchasing the Nuvi 3590LMT. My wife was especially skeptical about the necessity for such a device. Well, we just took our first trip with the Nuvi and she and I are both sold on the device. It was fantastic! My wife and I go to a camp out in the woods near Plymouth, MA each year. The 3590 found the address in seconds and guided us right to the camp despite that it was off many small back roads. In addition, my wife was the Camp Nurse for the week and we had an older woman fall and hurt herself. The 3590 found the nearest hospital and guided us right there and back to the camp in the middle of the night. This was a much-needed benefit in the emergency situation. The 3590 also reduced the typical friction between my wife during a road trip.I like to get somewhere and don't like to wander where I don't know where I am going. She, on the other hand, likes to explore new places along the route. With the Nuvi, I did not mind exploring as we always could find the place we were looking for and find our way back to our established route. It really made the trip so much more enjoyable for both of us.

There were a a couple of "dings" that made the device not perfect. As others have written, it does not do a great job recognizing spoken addresses. It does much better with place names. I also could have used a little more warning as to when to turn or exit a highway. But, that was not a deal buster.The screen is large and bright. It can be somewhat too reflective..especially if you are wearing a light-colored shirt during the daytime. But, again, it was something I got used to quickly.

In all, this is a fantastic device that worked wonderfully right out of the box and I would recommend it to anyone.
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