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Garmin nüvi 2557LMT 5-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Style: with Lifetime Maps and Traffic|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$199.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on March 29, 2013
I purchased this to replace an older 5" garmin that did not have lifetime maps. I was getting tired of being nagged to pay for a map update on the older unit. Also I wanted to upgrade to a Bluetooth device.
I am impressed overall with the improved speed and sophistication of this device. Connecting to a satellite is improved considerably. Seriously it just takes seconds. My last unit kept searching for a satellite connection so long I was afraid I'd get lost in the process.
No more "recalculating" exclamations when you go off the suggested route. It quickly displays your new route with the suggested next turn.
There are many more split screen "junction view" occurrences. These rarely appeared on my last unit.
The user menu and graphical display has also been improved. The graphics appear cleaner and there is a menu tab on each screen.
Regarding Bluetooth, The ability to use as a speaker phone when connected to your mobile device is nice.
The Voice Command system is good but not great. it's fine when reciting pre-defined menu options but is hit or miss (mainly miss) when speaking addresses.
The build of the unit is solid. Slightly thinner and curvier than previous units.

I have not had any traffic alerts so really can't comment on that function yet.

I'm happy with the improved performance of this unit.

If Voice command and the speaker function are not important to you, you could save some cash buy getting the 2557 model.
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on September 23, 2015
This is faster than our previous Garmin GPS model and does not have the clutter on the screen that the old one had. On the other hand the screen is harder to see, or seems to have a more limited viewing angle.

I bought TFY GPS Navigation Sun Shade Visor for Garmin nüvi 42LM 4.3-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS and other 5 Inch GPS to go with this. I added three photos which 1) side by side with a BMW gps 2) without hood in direct sun 3) with hood on a bright day
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on April 2, 2013
 For work, I have to fly to different cities and drive a rental car to different address. A GPS is mandatory and after 10 years, it was time to upgrade from my Magellan. I first tried the Garmin 2595LMT, the older version of this GPS on sale at Costco. After a week, I took it back to Costco, I wasn't happy with four major issues.

The new model on sale here, 2597LMT, was due out any time. Only had to wait a week and I'm really glad I did; Garmin fixed all four issues.

*The first issue I had was how the old unit clipped onto the base, to get it to release using one hand, half the time it would slip out of control and fall to the floor. The new design lets you get a good grip and release it at the same time.

*The voice was terrible, I couldn't understand half of the street names it was saying. I have a stock GPS in my 2006 Honda that sounded 10 times clearer. The new model now sounds just as clear or better then the stock Honda.

*This new GPS has a LCD display that is not affected by polarized sunglasses, wow, what a difference! The old model would turn dark with a slight tilt of your head.

*They got rid of the "Real Picture" of ramps and exits! Real picture sounds like a great idea, until you try to glance at a 2.5 by 2.5 busy picture and make out what lane your suppose to be in; really bad idea. This new one uses a great birds eye animated graphic that highlights the lanes you need to be in; you can just glance and see where you want to be.

I've only had this for a short time, but so far it's exceeded my expectations. There are a lot of other features, but for me the top features are the basic ones; seeing, hearing, and handling. The Costco unit did came with the upgraded HD Traffic cable, this one only has Garmin Traffic, I will probably pay the $60 for the HD power cable.

Update 12/27/13: There seems to be a lot of concern about the LCD screen and polarized sunglasses. I've posted a video on my main review to better show what I'm talking about. I do not have the previous model that blacked out, but it did so just like my Dell computer screen does, so I used it. Even a slight tilt of your head started to dim the screen of the previous Garmin model. That problem is not on the 2597, they have done something different, I don't know what, but the new screen is far better. Any distortion you see in the video, is due to the sunglasses are prescription/reading lenses.
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VINE VOICEon March 9, 2015
I've had this for about a year now and have had no issues with. There are some very excellent and extensive reviews already here and there is no need for me to be repetitive, so I will simply offer a summary of my own perspective and impressions.

Although I have only had the opportunity to use this once every few months or so, it is indispensable at those times. The LIVE TRAFFIC feature was new to me and I find it handy at times since I live in a big city. I have used it to plan the best route for getting out of or back into town. All of the MAP info seems pretty up to date in my experience, including recent road construction and detours. The business LISTINGS also seem accurate and up to date. The voice is very clear and easy to understand. I love how you can see actual highway exit signs when you are approaching one that you need to take. The detailed LANE information is also very helpful.

One thing that I do miss from an older device (of another brand) was the ability to bypass entering an exact address to route to and instead select only "city center". Sometimes I just like to route to a town for exploration and sight-seeing but do not have a specific address within it, so in those instances I have to search for one first.
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on May 12, 2015
The screen is very difficult to see, especially in day time.. If it is not perfectly perpendicular to the driver's line of sight, the contrast is very poor. My 5 year old Garmin is more useful, but it cannot be upgraded because the memory chips are no longer available. i hae icluded a photo of the new Garmin2557 on the right compared with my old Nuvi 1540 on the left viewed at a 45 degree angle. The image on the 2557 almost disappears! I have made adjustments suggested by Garmin support, but the unit is still unsatisfactory. Is it possible to return it? I am willing to upgrade to a better model and pay the difference.
This unit is hazardous because I frequently have to readjust its position when I am driving and my passenger cannot view the screen at the same time I can.
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on July 16, 2016
I have a older Garmin Nuvi that I have used for years and really like, but I was looking to get a Bluetooth model so I can actually hear it while traveling on my motorcycle. This is a very nice unit, I think I will like it in my truck. The problem is that altho it paired to my Android phone, it will not pair with ANY bluetooth headset! I find that out now. I tried several sets of headsets that I have used, and know to work. Could NOT get them to pair. Then I go looking on line and see that this unit only pairs to phones....so, anyone looking for a unit to use with your motorcycle, keep looking. Also, it completely shut off. Had to do a hard reset after using it ONE time. Not liking that!
I like the new features, I like the built-in Lifetime map and traffic updates. I guess I will still have to turn the volume up high and strain to try and hear what the instructions are while riding my bike. Really a shame. Can someone explain why it will pair to phones and not headsets? I don't understand that. Otherwise, I would rate it a 5 star.
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on January 11, 2017
This is my second garmin nuvi and I love them. I think they have the best gps mapping system out there. After getting a vehicle with a built in gps system and using it would take longer routes and different routes than the garmin nuvi would take. I could not stand it and did not trust it and said I am getting a new garmin nuvi. It is funny I run them together and start seeing where the built in system is going wrong. I really feel like I can count on my garmin nuvi which is important when traveling to an unfamiliar area. I know a lot of people like the garmin nuvi better than the build in gps systems, more reliable. The screen is a nice size, I like the pictures of the road it shows you and they are so clear and easy to figure out, showing where to turn on an interstate or in tricky areas. Brought me though a really tricky area quite easily. It also counts down to where you are turning much better than my built in gps. Also it comes with free lifetime maps which is an added plus. It is a shame this brand was not built into my new vehicle.
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on October 30, 2014
Edited to add:
I did decide to go back to my 2555 model. When that one dies I'll probably be SOL. :-(

=======

Bought this to replace my Nuvi 2555. Why do they always take features away for no reason? The 2555 had a great audio icon on the map to let you mute/unmute sound with one button press = one glance at the screen. Now I have to press the menu icon in lower right, then find the sound icon from the list that shows up, then press the sound icon, then press mute, then press the x or wait about 5 seconds for the pop-up screen to close. So much less convenient! And dangerous! Have to take my eyes off the road 4 times instead of 1. What are people thinking?

They also took the traffic icon away - no quick-glance green/yellow/red to know what's in my future. And instead of seeing 3 or 4 stats on the bottom of the screen (time to destination, time to via, etc.) you can only see 1 at a time. I am still considering exchanging it for the 2555, which also costs less, but they did bring back one feature I like - knowing which road I'm on. So I'm semi-reluctantly probably keeping it.

I've been using different Nuvi models for almost 10 years, but it seems UX designers randomly giveth and taketh away. My oldest model gave one-press access to brightness and control and also showed the road I was on. That one-press went away a long time ago, along with the road info. Now the latter is back, but much is missing.

But if you are a new user, I highly recommend this model and this brand. Finding a signal is fast, searching for an address is fast, directions are usually accurate, etc. But if you're thinking of upgrading, be forewarned what you will be giving up.
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on November 16, 2016
Buying a GPS is not easy. There are so many on the market it is difficult to choose. Since all GPS's perform the same task, the way they perform their task is what makes one differ from the other. I previously owned a Tom-Tom. It was difficult to learn and the feature you wanted may not be under the menu where you felt it belonged. It also had the bad habit of changing its preference settings on its own. I selected the Garmin Nuvi based on its mid-range price and the recommendation of its buyers. The Garmin is easier to learn than the Tom-Tom and the features I've wanted are located in the menu where I felt they belonged. It is very accurate, certainly more accurate than the hand held GPS I bought for a lot more. Some of the users mentioned how visible the screen is even in direct sunlight. I've found that to not be the case. In bright light I can't see the screen, but I am not in bright light that often so 99+ percent of the time it is not an issue.
Pros: It is easy to use. It is very accurate. The price is not that high. Cons: It took forever to down load information to it. It took several days to finally complete it. I like a GPS to display certain information (miles to go, miles to next turn, etc). If the Garmin has a miles to go function I have not yet learned how to turn it on. I use that function even when I know where I'm going because I like knowing it. ETA is unnecessary in my opinion because it changes with each side trip and fueling stop. The screen is not as large as other customers indicated it was. Another half in or inch would be nice. I dislike the user agreement popping up every time I turn it on. y wife's GPS makes a sound effect when it's time to execute a turn or make an exit. I wish the Garmin had that feature.
I'm glad I bought the Garmin. It beats a Tom-Tom all to pieces.
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I am a fan of Garmin products. I've had a Garmin eTrex GPS for about nine years that still works like new That little eTrex has been through heavy weather attached to my jet ski on the ocean many times. It has taken a salt water beating, being jarred by waves, then later being shaken hard attached to my mountain bike, and even my dual-sport motorcycle on rough dirt trails. Following that experience I evaluated other companies GPS products but always ended up choosing Garmin.

We now have the old eTrex, and three Nuvi products including this 2597LMT, one in each car. I prefer hand held GPS devices for a few reasons. When renting cars I've found the built in GPS screens to be the least reliable for providing proper routes. Actually what has worked best for me are Here maps on my smartphone, but Garmin maps are a close second. I don't like tying up my smartphone, and the convenience of using the dash mounted Garmin is better. Another advantage of a handheld Garmin is the ease of downloading the free map updates at least once per year. I've also heard that the cost of updating in-car GPS units can be expensive. Another advantage of a hand held Garmin unit is to record where a car is parked, pocketing the GPS, then using later it to find the car. That can be a really great feature for very large parking lots.

Garmin continuously improves it's product line. Each new model that comes out usually contains interesting and useful new features. This 2597 is no exception. Things that I find particularly useful are:

- The road speed limit. It is occasionally incorrect, doesn't work on all roads, but it is correct most of the time on most roads. It is so handy to glance at the Garmin to see what the speed limit is rather than waiting for the next speed limit sign to be posted along the side of the road.

- Active Lane Guidance (ALG) is really great when driving in cities where there are complex freeway interchanges. The ALG shows arrows indicating how many lanes are ahead, which lanes you should not use, and which lanes to be in for making proper freeway interchange routing work smoothly.

- PhotoReal Junction View is a very clever feature that shows an almost real 3D view of signs and highway exits or interchanges. This is in addition to the Active Lane Guidance mentioned above.

- Current street and street up-ahead are displayed at the same time. This is a handy new addition to newer Garmin GPS units.

- Up-Ahead. The Up-Ahead feature shows icons on the displayed map indicating where certain points-of-interest are including gas stations, hospitals, stores, and restaurants. I find this very handy because my older GPS units showed those same places but showed those ahead and those behind. I always wished it wouldn't show those points-of-interest behind my route because most of the time I wasn't interested in turning around to go back to one of them. I really like that I can see not only those POI ahead, but they are displayed as icons on the map.

There is much more. There are so many things which have been standards in Garmin GPS devices that I won't bother to bring them up here. Suffice to say that there is a rich set of features, way beyond what most people need to basic navigation.

Here are things we don't use, but may be of interest to others.

- Voice input. I haven't tried this feature. As we've had Garmin GPS units for so many years we have habits of use that have never included voice input. We simply enter our destination before we start driving.

- Smartphone connect. I haven't found a good reason to use this feature. I also don't want to burn through my smartphone data plan by using this feature.

- Free Garmin traffic. We simply don't have any significant traffic in our city. When driving through unfamiliar cities we try to plan our trips so we are not there when it is rush hour.

- Bluetooth phone connect. One of our cars has a pretty good Bluetooth phone feature that we already don't use very much. Consequently we have little use for it in a Garmin GPS.

What's truly great!

- Lifetime maps. It just doesn't get any better than this. Garmin updates maps at least once per year. Download the maps directly to the Garmin GPS right on the computer. When updating maps Garmin will often also update the device's software.

- Lifetime no charge traffic. For those who use a traffic feature, and I imagine that can be a great feature for some, this is certainly cost effective.

One surprising missing feature - no calculator. I don't understand why Garmin would remove the calculator, available on older devices. We've used it often when computing our gas mileage at gas stations. Sure we have smart phones to do this, but I was disappointed to see Garmin removed this feature which would have cost them zero to include.

I highly recommend Garmin GPS devices, including this 2597 LMT.
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