Navigation apps are taking smartphones by storm, but they come with a dark side that the best car GPS systems avoid. A data-based navigation app on your smartphone uses precious data and battery life, and it taxes the processor, which slows down your phone. The Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD is specifically designed to handle this type of workload. With increased reception (thanks to the metal unibody), a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Bluetooth capability and lifetime map and traffic updates, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD outperforms your smartphone’s navigation app. The multi-touch capable glass screen is just as responsive as a smartphone, and the Nuvi 3597LMTHD will handle your points of interest (POIs) requests and keep you out of a traffic jam.
With the amount of features it offers, including the innovative magnetic mount combined with the redesigned body, the lifetime updates and the Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD is the best navigation GPS we reviewed. It is the winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.
The 5-inch screen has a glass display for crystal clear resolution. The screen resolution is 800 x 480 pixels, which is the most pixels of any of the GPS navigation devices we reviewed. For your convenience, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD has dual orientation options – vertical or horizontal – making it easy for you to find the best position for your GPS system. The body is one metallic piece and is designed to mimic the outside shape and curves of a car to give it a sleek, updated look. The advantage of the metallic body is that the device can use it to amplify the antenna signal for better reception.
As part of the Prestige series, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD comes with both lifetime map updates and lifetime traffic updates so that you won't have to purchase any upgrades in the future. It also comes with speech access and Bluetooth capability. Using specific phrases, you can turn on the Nuvi 3597LMTHD and navigate by voice command. However, using this feature can be tricky, as the GPS unit may not understand your commands. The Bluetooth capability allows you to make and answer calls through the unit. You can also download the free Garmin app that syncs with your Android or iPhone and will keep track of your car or final destination.
The Nuvi 3597LMTHD comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can hold a charge for up to two hours. You can upgrade the memory with a microSD card, and the device is compatible with iOS and Android phones. The magnetic mount for the GPS unit is both innovative and useful. It attaches to the Nuvi 3597LMTHD and charges it, but it is easy to remove. Even though it is easy to remove, the mount will hold up to the everyday movement of the car.
The navigation aspect of the Nuvi 3597LMTHD is quite complete, including millions of POIs and the ability to create custom POIs. You can save 1,000 waypoints, which are your favorite or important locations, and you can create and save 100 different routes. When you select your destination, you may find a list of route options, including the fastest route. You can choose routes that avoid toll roads, highways, or other roads that cause delays. If you get off your designated route, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD will automatically reroute to find the quickest way to get you to your destination. The GPS system can display both your current speed and the speed limit on major roadways.
After a while, the myTrends feature on the Nuvi 3597LMTHD will be able to predict your destination based on your recent activity. When you turn on the GPS unit, it will suggest a personalized route and give you an estimated time of arrival. When facing traffic, you’ll get options for avoiding the traffic and lane assistance so that you know which lane to be in for the easiest navigation. You can even use this GPS device to find the most fuel efficient and economical route to your destination.
Garmin’s website, especially the support section, is easy to navigate. On the support page, you can find things such as map updates, warranty information and electronic copies of the manual, as well as how to contact customer service representatives. You can reach customer service by phone and email. The Nuvi 3597LMTHD comes with a one-year limited warranty, and Garmin will repair or replace a defective model within that one-year timespan.
With lifetime map and traffic updates, a whole set of route options and millions of POIs, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD stays ahead of the smartphone. The innovative magnetic mount combined with the sleek metallic body and the Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility, the Nuvi 3597LMTHD can stand in place of your phone’s navigation app so that you can store it away and never have to take your eyes off the road.
The bright display is easy to see and the platform is intuitive. The Nuvi 3597LMTHD also comes with lifetime map and traffic updates.
The battery life is not as good as the previous model, and this unit does not have a pedestrian mode.
The Nuvi 3597LMTHD is the best car GPS unit on the market and provides a myriad of options not found on smartphone navigation apps.