Customer Review

257 of 265 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "Quick Release" GPS, January 13, 2011
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This review is from: Garmin nuvi 3790LMT 4.3-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
As a GPS Unit, the 3790LMT is phenomenal, and I'll get to why in a bit, but first, I decided to write this review for those who, like me, live in a part of the world where the climate is extreme enough to make it a necessity to take your GPS in and out of the car on a regular basis to prevent damage (or crime).

I used to have a Garmin 765T, which was a great little unit, for all the reasons I personally purchase a GPS. I don't care so much about playing MP3's or viewing photos, or even bluetooth, I just want a fast, accurate, and user friendly GPS. And, I've come to discover that I also NEED one that is easy to take with me when I leave my vehicle.

So, when my 765T's maps were out of date I was faced with a decision whether or not to upgrade the maps, or just get a different unit and I decided that for about the same price I'd "upgrade" to a new GPS that came with lifetime map and traffic updates rather than paying for a couple month upgrade to my old Garmin 765T.

After shopping around I settled on a TomTom XXL500TM. As a GPS, it was a good unit, but I immediately missed the "quick release" feature of my old 765T which allowed me to just pop it out of it's charging cradle on extremely hot or extremely cold days or when parking in areas where having a GPS in plain sight might tempt the criminally minded beyond what they were strong enough to resist. After a couple 20 second episodes groping around at night in the dark to hook up the charging cable and snap the TomTom into its cradle, I'd had enough and I sent it back. It was simply impractical for where I live. If you live where you can leave your GPS in the car most of the time without it growing legs, melting, or freezing into a sub-zero brick, then save a few bucks, but if you don't, read on...

Next, I began a search of the web looking for ANY gps units that had lifetime traffic and maps and some form of a quick release charging mount. That was literally all I cared about in terms of features, and I sadly came to discover that it was going to cost me a small fortune to get a GPS matching those simple search criteria.

Finally, after comparing mounts between the TomTom and the Garmin I broke down and tried the Garmin 1390LMT.

Same story, while the Garmin 1390LMT proved to be similar in quality to the TomTom XXL500TM in terms of response time and features. And while I did find its car charger and mount to be slightly easier to hook up in a dark car (maybe 15 seconds of fiddling around with the power cable and mount instead of 20), it was still a no-go.

That only left me with a couple other GPS models offered anywhere, by ANY manufacturer that had quick release mounts (at the time of this writing) and I was hesitant to spring the $499.00 sticker price (again, at the time of this writing), for a Garmin 3790LMT just for what I saw as "a few extra features" I'd likely never use, and a return to a somewhat quick release mount.

But then luck struck and I was able to pick up a 3790LMT here at Amazon for a little over 20% off and I simultaneously sold my old 1390LMT for more than twice what I'd just recently paid for it making the upgrade a wash. And what an UPGRADE it turned out to be!!

This GPS does what it is supposed to do, and it does it well. It's quick. It's sleak. It has great battery life. AND, most importantly to me, it has a fairly quick release mount (not the same old button release as the 765T, but it can still be done in a second or two using one, stiff, cold, gloved hand. And for me that's not too bad at all).

Added Bonuses:
I quickly came to appreciate the 3790's "voice command" feature. NEVER thought I'd even use it, and really didn't care one tiny bit about it when I bought it, but now I have looked up all my frequent destinations via Google Earth and entered their lat/long in as "Favorites" and using voice command I am quickly routing my next destination, and adding via points for coffee or gas, all while driving down the road, with my hands and eyes fully engaged in driving. On trips with frequent stops, the time savings really does add up.

Voice Command Tip: The Voice Command feature works nearly flawlessly with good diction, but even when munching on a snack (aka talking with food in my mouth... shhhhshh, don't tell mom), it has still proven to be almost "false detection" proof when using the numbered destinations saved in my "favorites".

Can it be improved upon? Yes.
1. Garmin could go back to the old button release mount they used to have in the days of the 765T.
2. Voice Commands could have more options such as zooming maps in and out, lane assist and junction view.

Conclusions:
I heartily recommend this unit as one of the best all around GPS units at the time of this writing. All opinions and brand preferences aside, it is one of the ONLY offered by any manufacturer at the time of this writing that can be quickly transferred from your car to your pocket and back as needed.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 20, 2011 7:08:37 AM PDT
Gerry Labrie says:
Awesome Love your review as I was looking for one for a while and did not which way to go, I have the same need in a GPS as you and glad that you wrote this Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2011 4:33:43 PM PST
Tonya says:
One of the best reviews I've read on Amazon yet! I plan to buy this unit and wanted to read reviews to basically "flaw hunt" and this was really great. I have a great 855T unit with that VERY conveninet quick release I use all the time. The unit is a dream but laately the letters/numbers are getting "sticky" making entering destinations quickly a pain and potential hazard. One thing I can't find - does it track where you've been like the older Garmins do with a pink line on that road? Also I did buy the lifetime maps upgrade and was wondering if I could sell it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2011 5:11:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2011 5:22:15 PM PST
Truth Seeker says:
Yes. It does track where you've been with a blue line that is pretty accurate too (I used it once to re-travel down a hard to see trail for over 8 miles. The road was not on the map, and it was completely covered with still falling, heavy snow so that I could barely see where the "road" ended and the ditch started and visibility was poor. I would NOT recommend depending on it for that purpose, but at the time it was that or parking and waiting out the storm so I took it slow and it got me there).

One thing I noticed about using the "where you've been" history feature, was that the unit would lock up and have to be turned off and back on again every week or so, so I eventually just turned off the "history" feature, and that remedied the issue for me to where I haven't had to reboot it since and that was maybe 9 months ago now.

I will say that my routes at the time were considerable, and overlapping, so that may have been a lot to keep track of and retrieve from memory causing the lock-ups -- just a guess.

It's going 12 months for me now, and its still the BEST GPS I've ever owned. Have updated the maps twice. I'd buy it again today, if I needed another one. I'm sure if you wanted to sell yours for some reason, you could sell it right here on Amazon.

Posted on Feb 11, 2012 6:37:22 PM PST
mike dag says:
what can be done to splash the pop up ads??? that is causing me to hesitate on this purchase

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2012 9:00:35 PM PST
Truth Seeker says:
I believe the trick is to leave the unit plugged in to an outlet in your vehicle that loses power when the ignition is off. On my unit, I then only get the ads the first time after I resume power after manually turning the unit off. But if you leave it mounted, until after powering the vehicle off, it will shut itself off, then you can undock it and exit tbe vehicle. Ads only show up each first time after manually shutting off.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2012 5:21:41 AM PDT
Virginia Dad says:
Thats my same concern. Lower the price of GPS but in your face pop ups.. not!
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