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Customer Review

332 of 353 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost didn't get this great unit... but so glad I did, October 16, 2011
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 3490LMT 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I presently have the Nuvi 3790 and almost didn't go for this new unit. I am now glad I did. I have a number of trips all over in the next few weeks and was anxious to get this unit before they began. Had it pre-ordered on Amazon, they sent me a note that it was shipping and then it didn't and got delayed, so I got it elsewhere.

Registering the unit was a breeze. No problem for my Garmin communicator to recognize the unit and ask me if I wanted to register it. Went smoothly. I also loaded safety camera poi's from a third party and that went well too. I use web-updater usually as I can control what gets updated. I had an issue with the 3790 and it had to be replaced (with a refurbished unit). I would NOT load their map updater. I want to be in control of what gets updated. Just my two cents worth of experience.

A word of caution, you have to spend some time drilling down all the menu options, since you have a lot of control over what you want displayed on the screen. The three default buttons seemed fine at first, but I changed one of them ... left the traffic and mute button and changed the stop route button to where to. It seemed to me easier to hit the button to choose a via point than hit a button twice. My personal preference. You can eliminate all the shortcut buttons if you want. I like the idea of them on the screen though.

Speaking of via points, I like how this unit handles them. You can add a lot of them on the way. And you can reorder them as to how you get to them and in what order. Not sure if it optimizes the routing for them, but I suspect it doesn't. I like this approach and control.

I also love the idea of having your favorite poi's or saved destinations available as shortcuts on the where to menu. Reminds me of Magellan -- I have had a few of them in the past -- but like Garmin better.

I also like being able to select what poi's you would like to see pop up on the screen as you travel. Reminds me of my Navigons years ago. Really enjoyed seeing for instance a McDonald's near my travels and just driving in its direction when I had a Navigon 7100 and 7200.

I was concerned that the new user interface was taking away things from me. I love info and the ability to control it. And while the dashboards need some work I found the default one seems to work for me at this point the best. I expect Garmin will update these along the way. I have pretty much what info I had before available to me and even more.

When you calculate a route you are often given a number of options. This happens on the 3790 as well, but it is easier to use on the 3490. Again it reminds me of Navigon. I was sad to see them leave the US market, but Garmin has caught up with their great ideas.

On the first leg of my trip I had the 3790 and 3490 set up side by side. The 3490 got going faster than the 3790. Both had been turned on and had acquired signals the day before, so it was an equal comparison when I pushed both on buttons at the same time. I was well on my way with the 3490 when the 3790 kicked in.

I also noticed more lane assist screens on the 3490 than the 3790. I had read that street info wasn't as prevalent as the 3790, but I selected the more detail option and haven't really noticed much difference.

I have found lane assist to be invaluable. I also like how junction views look with photo real pictures and now sharing the screen and staying on the screen until you get there. Much better approach than a few seconds for a pop up covering the whole screen in the past.

Arrival times always vary. It's hard for any GPS to take into account traffic lights and construction on regular streets. UPS years ago programmed their computers to eliminate left turns as much as possible to save gas and time. They save lots and lots of money. It makes sense if you think about it.

Also, this is the first Garmin unit I have owned that does not say, "recalculating" when a route is being recalculated. It got to be annoying at times. This unit just recalculates with no notice. I also found the voice command feature to be a bit more responsive and accurate than the 3790.

I suspect that one reason the 3400 and 3700 series are not live like the 1695 is its size. No room for the receiver. I did enjoy the live feature and Google search on the 1695 I had, but it's a trade off for the great size.

This is a very compact unit. It's actually the 3790 unit size, but a fraction heavier, just a fraction. I love this size because I carry it in my shirt pocket when out of the car. Garmin has a perfect case just designed for the 3400 and 3700 series. I would urge you to get it. It's available on Amazon for a bit cheaper than the retail price. Garmin Carrying Case nüvi 37xx Series

While it first seemed to me to be an incremental upgrade, I have found the 3490 to be faster, easier to use and with more info options. Make sure you spend time going through all the options. Many things you may think aren't there or can't be changed actually are there and can be changed.

Very worthwhile investment.

10/22/11 Update ------ In the last week I have been to various parts of Central Florida and the Chicago area. I have found the Voice Command feature much better than the Nuvi 3790. More sensitive and better accuracy. Also, when on a route and you are looking for a POI you have the option of looking for it near you, along your route or at your destination. And you can use your voice to choose which option. Much better feature upgrade.

When you are arriving at your destination you know get an alert bar with a parking option. The bar is replaced shortly with a new button on the screen with a P. So now you can easily choose to look for a parking garage, etc. Of course this only happens in areas where there are parking options and would not pop up in a residential area.

Traffic is so far for me hit or miss. I do not like that the traffic button stays green even if there is no signal being received. Very confusing. When it works I like that you get an alert bar at the top telling you of traffic and as with the parking alert above, it gets replaced with an icon of the traffic issue that counts down the mileage to the incident. Nice feature. Also if along the way the Nuvi finds an alternate route that saves time it gives you an alert so you can see the options and change to that routing. Again a nice feature.

Great new unit and I am more convinced that I made a good choice in going with this unit.

11/4/11 Update ----- Garmin issued a software update that improved map drawing, corrected a routing error when going through tunnels, and improved traffic performance, among a number of fixes. One obvious fix is that the green traffic icon now shows gray when not receiving traffic info, which is a real great update. But as I discovered it just means the traffic receiver is not attached. It still shows green when the receiver is attached but not receiving info - not a good thing. Traffic of course is dependent on your area. I have used many such services including Garmin's NuLink, at times with other units side by side. They all are great sometimes, not so great other times. This HD approach is the latest and so far I have had no major issues. Again, keeping in mind that traffic is not always 100%, even those live traffic reporters report a problem in an area I am in and it's not there any more (so much for real-time, live coverage). But when I was on 495 around Washington, DC, it was spot on with delays and location of start and end. Not bad at all.
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Showing 1-10 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2011 5:02:50 PM PST
Hal says:
Very thorough and useful comments. I'm shopping and this is just the kind of info I find useful. Thanks for taking the time to record experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 5:43:49 PM PST
Michael says:
You are more than welcome. I am very much enjoying this new model. Traffic is great too (where it is available of course). Thanks for your comment.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 7:46:58 AM PST
Scott says:
Just wanted to add my thanks for an informative review.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2011 5:07:23 AM PST
Michael says:
Thanks Scott. I appreciate these reviews when I am shopping and try to do my share of reviewing.

Still enjoying the 3490. Only wish the traffic indicator wasn't green when it isn't receiving any signal. Gets confusing. Hopefully a software update will address that.

Thanks again for your comment. Appreciate your taking the time to do so.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 9:36:25 AM PST
Mike L says:
FYI, Garmin bought Navigon in June

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 9:43:53 AM PST
Michael says:
Thanks. I had heard that a while back. It was a solid company but couldn't make it in the US. Though it helped pave the way for things we see now and love. Thanks again.

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 5:08:42 PM PST
Where did you find safety camera for the 3490?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 6:28:28 PM PST
Michael says:

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 8:13:30 PM PST
Thanks Michael!
I really don't understand why it was included with the 3790 and not with the 3490.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 3:11:40 AM PST
Michael says:
No problem. I have used those for a long time. Also used Garmin's safety cameras (annual fee) on the 3790.

I have a 3790 and don't recall it coming with safety cameras. Had to purchase them from Garmin.
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