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Sunday, March 18, 2012

First looks – Garmin nuvi Advanced series

nuvi-2495lmt-jct-view-dash

UPDATE: Read my hands on reviews of the Garmin nuvi 2495LMT and nuvi 2555LT.

I’ve received a Garmin nuvi 2495LMT, the newly available top of the line 4.3” model in their 2012 Advanced series, and have been busy delving into it ever since. It’s actually a bit overwhelming; there are quite a few changes in menus, features and appearance. I’ll try to go over some of the more significant ones in this post. Please chime in below, in the comments, with any questions you may have. I’ll try to answer them there or in my full review.

Dashboards

There are eight different dashboards available on the 2495LMT. Basically, these are data field layouts. You can see one in the image at the top of this post; another more techie looking one is shown below.

nuvi-2495lmt-techie-dash

This seems more or less like eye candy to me, but I’m leading with it since it’s been one of the more difficult features to figure out from the information announcing the 2012 line.

Map screen

The icons on the right side of the map screen below are termed map buttons. You can have up to three of the following: Traffic, Mute, Stop, Phone, Detour, Exit services, Where am I?, Trip computer, Map layers, Brightness, Where to? and Audible. This is a nice feature. BTW, see the menu icon in the lower right portion of the nuvi screen below? You can tap that to bring up all twelve of the items available for the map buttons, so it’s easy to reach the other nine.

nuvi-2495lmt-map-buttons

Map Layers also offers three choices. You can choose to display any or all of the following on the map: Traffic, Trip log and Places along the road. Enabling the latter will display points of interest (POIs). As far as I can tell at this point, you cannot select which POI categories to display, but I could be missing it somewhere in the menus. In the screenshot below, you can see that more information appears on the screen if you tap a POI icon.

nuvi-2595lmt-POI-icon

Selecting a destination

Tap Where To? and you’ll see the following screen…

nuvi-2495lmt-where-to

There are a few things to note here:

  • You can add a shortcut to a favorite search (e.g., Starbucks), a category or subcategory, a saved place, etc.; this is one of the more helpful new features, IMHO
  • Note that you can remove any of the shortcuts shown above
  • And you can have up to six screens, for a total of 36 shortcuts
  • The Categories icon gives you access to the full range of choices, in addition to any shortcuts showing
  • You can do a universal search, entering an address or a POI name
  • Tap the Searching Near field in the upper right hand portion of the screen to access options such as My active route, My destination, etc.

Of course on the 2×95 series you can also use a customized wakeup phrase and speak a voice command, just like on several other recent models…

nuvi-2495lmt-voice-command

Your choice of routes

Once you enter a search and tap a result, you’ll see a drop down box like the one below.

nuvi-2495lmt-search-results

Tap Routes and you’ll get your choice of faster time, shorter distance and less fuel routes (according to the manual; they aren’t labeled, but you can see them below). A long overdue feature for Garmin.

nuvi-2495lmt-route-selection

Exit services

First seen on the dezl trucker series, and similar to Magellan’s Exit POIs, this is another new feature that I think people will find very helpful indeed. So much so that it will undoubtedly end up as one of the buttons on my map screen. It shows you POIs for upcoming exits…

nuvi-2495lmt-exit-services

Orientation

You can switch orientation by going to Settings > Display > Orientation, but this must be set manually. The 24×5 series does not appear to have an accelerometer built in.

Nuvi-2495lmt-portrait

No powered mount

Alas, this was all sounding good, but I’m sorry to report that there is no powered mount. Early reports seemed to indicate that there would be one, so I’m quite surprised. I’m not really sure how the Last (parking) Spot app works without this, since it needs to sense when you remove the unit from the mount. Regardless, this is definitely the biggest disappointment for me.

Returning features

Just to head off some inevitable questions, I’ll verify that the Advanced series comes with a powered mount and has Custom avoidances and Advanced detours.

Initial impressions

With the exception of the missing powered mount, it seems that Garmin is responding to the mobile onslaught with features that really matter, making for an exceedingly navigation-friendly device. I’ll be checking out how well it performs under day to day use over the next couple of weeks, but from a feature standpoint alone, this one looks pretty good.

Sources

Here’s an update of the availability chart I posted yesterday afternoon…

Model Distinguishing features Garmin GPS City Amazon
2455LT 4.3”
Lifetime traffic
1-3 days In stock In stock
2455LMT 4.3”
Lifetime traffic
Lifetime maps
4-7 days N/A 3rd party
2475LT 4.3”
Lifetime traffic
European maps
Pre-order Est. 10/22 N/A
2495LMT 4.3”
Lifetime traffic
Lifetime maps
Bluetooth
Voice command
4-7 days In stock 3rd party
2555LT 5.0”
Lifetime traffic
1-3 days In stock 3rd party
2555LMT 5.0”
Lifetime traffic
Lifetime maps
4-7 days Est. 9/23 Pre-order
2595LMT 5.0”
Lifetime traffic
Lifetime maps
Bluetooth
Voice command
4-7 days In stock Pre-order

Your turn

Okay, what else do you want to know? Chime in…

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Paul Williams says:

    Just returned my GMT-60 to Garmin for a repair, I had intermittent power to the Nuvi 3490, only had the unit 2 weeks. As soon as i get the GMT-60 back, I plan on a route into Los Angeles to fully test it out.

    Can’t believe Garming doesn’t have an on hand stock of spair units for warranty returns. I actually had to send it in for a repair, not replacement as I was hoping.

  2. Paul Williams says:

    I noticed today that the “Exit advisory” pictures displayed on my 3490 are earily similar to the actual exits with regards to background terrain and if the exits have bridges or not. Kind of neat.

    • Well, I’m sending my GTM60 back its not what I had expected and I can get the same data from the one that came in the 2595 box! I can wait 2 mins for traffic if I get it at all. The bridges that was interesting, mine did not show certain bridges on I 75. In the next few days its either return to Best Buy for the Tom Tom 2535M Live or I wait to see what happens down the road with Garmin’s new series, anyway LOL for the future.

      • I wish someone would do a side by side test of the TT 2535M HD and the Garmin 2595 with an GTM60 receiver?

        • Not quite the same, but I’m currently testing the 3490LMT/GTM60 and the TomTom GO 1535M LIVE with HD Traffic. Unfortunately I don’t live in an area with coverage, but I am travelling right now and testing it in several metros.

          • This is excellent, it will give me a very good idea how they stand up – have a safe and enjoyable trip (at least you can’t get lost with two!) LOL.

    • They are calling it “photoReal Junction View.” Yes, neat indeed.

  3. I got reception oh so briefly outside Detroit, but it’s been pretty good here in Grand Rapids, MI. Return trip tomorrow should give us the opportunity to see how it works with the latest firmware in Detroit and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.

    • With the Garmin 2595lmt the traffic receiver came with a GTM26 receiver but I cannot find any info about the cord, web site shows GTM 25, GTM 35 and so on but no 26 – Can someone help?
      Thanks to all.

      • I think it’s too new and they just don’t have a page up for it yet.

        • Thanks, returning the GTM60, really not very responsive in my central corridor. i.e. Chattanooga, Tn down to Ocala, Florida 900 miles of very little coverage except 15 or so miles either side of Atlanta Georgia.

    • I was looking at the Tom Tom Forum web page and there seems to be some who are having trouble with there GPS after the last update and I noticed one complaining about the HD Live Traffic, looking forward to seeing Rich’s post after his trip on both devices.

  4. Rich, when will you be publishing your side by side report on the Garmin verses Tom Tom road test?

  5. Peter Marschall says:

    Greetings again from Sweden !
    A couple of questions.

    1. Does anyone know how much internal memory the Nuvi 2475LT (transatlantic) have ?
    2. Does anyone know the name of the traffic-reciever it comes with ?
    (So i can read reviews and decide if i should upgrade it)
    3. What is the best way to get a traffic-reciever that WORKS and that does NOT have ads ?

    Thank you

    Peter in a freezing cold Sweden….

    • 2. I think it would come with a GTM 36, but I’m not sure.

      3. You could buy the GTM 60, but I don’t think it will work in Sweden. Perhaps this will help…

      http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=136921

      • Peter Marschall says:

        Arrghh ! it,s a mess to understand what to buy and where to use when I travel between the Usa and Europe.
        I wish they had a universal thing that worked everywhere.
        The more articles I read about different recievers and where they work, the more I get confused. I am about to quit and just use the navigation and dont care about a 5 minute delay somewhere.

        • Peter, the GTM60 in my opinion is lacking in what Garmin advertises in that it is not the best out there it only works in certain areas even though it will supposedly pick up FM signals if the HD one is out of range etc – However in my recent travels it was as bad if not worse than the GTM26 which came in the box, other people may have better luck, but after nine hundred miles it was worthless to me, its gone back. And I still have the same problem whether to go with the Tom Tom 2535 M live or what, its all I think where you travel its not one platform that works well. Its frustrating for me in the US let alone for you, multi Continent etc>
          LOL.

          • Peter Marschall says:

            Adrian ! Thank you for your answer !

          • What may throw some light on the matter and if its not too late for you Rich Owing is going to give a report on the TT 1535M Live in the next two weeks, this will at least give a little or a lot of info vis a vis the Garmin stuff – LOL – A

  6. Hi all. Well I got my GTM60 replacement, and I will say for me being in the Chicago area you can tell the difference. But again I see that they have a ways to go to get it up to speed. I live about 5 minutes from the entrance ramps to one of the major exp ways, and for some reason it takes about 5 minutes to get the reception coming in. But once it’s there it does give a much better account of the traffic problems. I think you can tell the difference on the speed of the updates for traffic, they say when you are not in an FM area, it still picks up traffic but i have not been out on the roads yet. The first update to 3.50 did I think improve the reception but I feel they need a few more updates to make better. I did find that by getting a piece of velcro and securing the receiver for the cable flat on the dash board i get better reception, never more than 3 bars but having it on the dash has improved the reception. I will keep trying and leaving notes here…. I do keep my traffic cable that came in the box in the glove copartment…just in case (hahahaha). I have a 2595 LMT.

  7. Peter Marschall says:

    OOhh ! yes ! one more question. Does the GTM 60 recieve the same traffic as the old GTM 25 on top of the HD signals ?

  8. As Charles points out, the GTM60 is supposed to receive FM data when the 3D HD signal is not available but I agree if you don’t place the receiver in the perfect window position (full view) it will diminish the signal, I know from bitter experience – When I gave up on the new Garmin 2595 and the last try 2555 with the standard receiver GTM26 I had horrible traffic reporting, with outdated traffic when I thought it was up to date, the garmin stores the last traffic data it receives so unless you keep a keen eye on the bars, not the front screen but traffic you will get out of date info, I think this was posted earlier but gave me a nightmare on my travels. Amazon today posted a price for the TT 2535M Live for $209.00, if any one’s interested, in the meantime Happy Thanksgiving to all – Safe travels.

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