Top positive review
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Great GPS with big beautiful screen
on 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
- 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.