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Customer Review

72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst GPS I have ever had, October 9, 2010
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This review is from: Garmin nuvi 3790T 4.3-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
First, I have to tell you that I have had a Garmin 2720 Street Pilot that I bought several years ago when that unit first came out. The Street Pilot 2720 performed flawlessly for the entier time I had it so I I had high expectations for the nuvi 3790T. Well, so far I am on my second unit and I really want to get rid of it for a number of reasons. Here is my story.

I bought the first unit through Amazon because the 3790T was not yet available in stores. When it arrived I was anxious to try it out. My first big trip was from Lutherville, MD to Chantilly, VA (a trip I have taken many times). The nuvi 3790T took me right down to my destination. It was a hot day (98+ degrees) so we were using the air conditioning in my car all the way down to Chantilly. I did not leave the unit in the car while attended a gun show for several hours (in an air conditioned building). I put the unit into the little leather pouch they sold me and carried it around in my shirt pocket the entire time. When we left the gun show my car was, naturally, very hot so I turned on the A/C immediately. I set up the nuvi to return us home. The first thing it wanted to do was to take me home a different way. I didn't have any problem with that because traffic around Washington D.C. is always horrible and the traffic feature was routing me around the problem by going a different way. But after driving for a few minutes the screen on the unit stopped working. It was, at first, simply frozen and then, after a few minutes, turned completely white displaying no roads or anything else on the screen. The voice system continued to give directions but they were virtually useless without the screen to look at. I then turned around and went home the way I knew through all of the D.C. traffic. After about 15 minutes of having the unit 100% useless, I turned it off in disgust and simply drove home. This happened within the first 30 days that I had the unit. I should have demanded my money back but I trusted that Garmin would make it right.

When I got home, I attempted to update the operating system on the unit through my Windows 7 computer. I connected to the Garmin web site OK, but the unit would not update as the directions on the Garmin web site indicated. Although the maps were now showing again, I took the unit out for a test drive. This time my little car on the screen laid down a purple trail as I drive along on the orange highway. When I crossed roads that I had travelled on earlier, there were purple trails on those roads as well as if the unit was reminding me that I had once gone that way. This was really distracting so I called a Garmin tech.

We were on the phone for more than 2 hours. Once I connected the unit to my computer, he tried everything he could to update it over the phone. I went from a level 1 tech to a level 2 tech, then he consulted with a level 3 tech before they decided that my unit was defective. He then suggested that I return it to the place of purchase. When I told him that I bought it from Amazon, he finally relented and agreed to give me an RMA number to return it to Garmin for an exchange. I was told that the exchange would take 2-3 weeks! As it turned out, it took about 5 weeks because the Garmin people messed up their paperwork somehow and had put a hold on my new unit. Finally they sent out the new unit. I've had this new unit for about 8 weeks and so far the performance of this unit is way below par.

Now, when I turn on both the nuvi 3790t and the Street Pilot 2720 in the same car on the same dashboard, the nuvi takes 3-4 times as long to find its satellites as the Street Pilot 2720. I matched the nuvi 3790T against my Motorola Droid phone for navigation and there is no comparison. The Droid navigation system does a fantastic job of finding roads and directing me properly. Here is a small example.

Just tonight I was in Halethorpe, MD at my son's new house. We decided to go out for dinner and took two cars because my wife and I were coming home and he and his wife had some shopping to do. The restaurant was .5 miles from my son's new home. I used the nuvi 3790T to navigate to the restaurant. It took me on a drive that was 2.8 miles long. At the end of the drive, rather than having me turn left at an intersection having a functioning traffic light with a green arrow for left turns, I was directed to turn right into some dinky little neighborhood and then take two rights so that I could come out at the very same traffic light and this time go straight into the shopping center where the restaurant was located. When we left the restaurant I could see from the road signs that I should turn left at the very same light to return to I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway)to return home. Instead, the nuvi 3790T instructed me to turn right, then after driving about .4 of a mile, "make a U-turn when possible" to return in the direction that I could have gone in if I had just turned left out of the parking lot.

Something is seriously wrong with the algorithms used in this machine. I'm sorry that I wasted nearly $500.00 on this useless unit. My Droid does a much better job of navigation and it has the built in traffic reporting and rerouting feature. I was also able to find a list of speed and red light cameras to download to my Droid that have more information than the one I bought from Garmin. I am confident that with the progress being made with smart phones like the Droid that Garmin will be out of business within the next 2-3 years. If I had any stock in Garmin, I would dump it now just as I would like to dump this nuvi 3790T.

My advice, DO NOT BUY this unit, you will live to regret it. Get a smart phone like the Droid or an iPhone. You will be much happier.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 29, 2010 5:20:54 PM PST
LostInBoston says:
I have had similar problems with mine. The 3790 is NOT WORTH buying. DO NOT BUY IT, it has serious problems.

Posted on Jan 12, 2011 9:16:35 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 31, 2014 11:30:02 PM PST]

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 7:14:28 AM PDT
Dark Star says:
I have the white screen issue too... it gets REALLY hot on the right side. I never did update the internal map, but when I put an update on the SD card it started getting the satellite faster. It used to take about 10 minutes even on a clear day.
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