Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin nuvi Prestige series now shipping

Garmin-nuvi-3490LMT

UPDATE: Read my hands on review of the Garmin nuvi 3490LMT.

The full line up of the Garmin nuvi Prestige series has hit vendors’ shelves, bringing us Garmin’s first foray into HD Traffic (3490LMT only) and loads of other goodies. The Prestige series offers a resistive capacitive touchscreen with pinch to zoom, and all the features found in the recently introduced Advanced series. Here’s where you can find them:

  Garmin Amazon GPS City
3450 1-3 days In stock In stock
3450LM 1-3 days In stock In stock
3490LMT 4-7days 3rd party Est. today

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. “The Prestige series offers a resistive touchscreen”…

    I thought the 3400 series had a glass capacitive touchscreen?

  2. Cary Nelson says:

    I was looking at a side by side picture of a 3790 and 3490 and man the map screen on each sure are different. You can see the picture here on gpspassion.

    http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=142811

  3. I got mine Tues night on schedule and have had one day of use so far. Connected to my Mac book pro,registered it and it showed it already had a software update available which I installed. I haven’t even finished reading the manual yet, so these first impressions are likely to change.

    Pros:
    Great screen, very visible, very responsive, good detail
    Birds eye view of upcoming turns is very extensive, almost every highway interchange and even every exit was covered (central CT I-95, I-84).
    Good speaker, although at higher volumes has a bit of distortion.
    Great voice commands, I love this feature. Hasn’t missed a single phrase I’ve uttered so far. I just wish they covered more of the Control of the gps settings outside of the nav controls.

    Cons:
    Bluetooth quality seems poorer than my 765T, need to test this further.
    Traffic receiver seems way less sensitive. Side by side with the 765t, the 765t showed a slow down I was in but the 3490lmt did not. The real test will be the Friday evening commute home. I hope it’s just not enough time using it, but this could be a reason to return it as HD traffic was the number one selling point for me.
    Can’t find out how to get this to speak incoming text messages yet. I need to finish reading the manual and I hope this feature was not pulled in the software update.

    A couple more days of testing and then a call to support to answer any questions and then I’ll post my further impressions. Wish me luck!

    -JTH

    • FWIW, your phone must support the Bluetooth MAP protocol for it to be able to speak incoming text messages.

    • Well, I’ve had a chance to test the traffic more and think I may have a defective receiver. Coming back from Boston last Thursday night I had both the 3490 LMT and my old 765T set up side by side. The 765T accurately reported a traffic slowdown through Hartford, CT, but the 3490LMT did not. When touching the (green) traffic icon, it reported at the top that there was a weak signal for the next 19 minutes whereas the 765T showed traffic up to date.

      I have a hard time believing that there is no HD traffic coverage for a city like Hartford. I’ve checked to see where there are HD stations in CT and there should be coverage throughout the state. What I can’t find is which HD stations also carry HD traffic. I’ll be on the phone with Garmin next week if my work schedule allows. Having support only available 8-5 CST only on weekdays makes it a bit inconvenient to call.

      • Will be interested to see what they say. I haven’t tested the HD receiver yet, but I suspect that the reception in fringe areas may not be as good on the 2xx5’s GTM 26 receivers as it is using GTM 25 receivers. I need to verify this though.

      • Well, support had me clear the FM tables and then drive again for a couple of days. Same result, traffic being reported on the 765T, but not on the 3490LMT. They gave me an RMA# and I shipped it back and received the new unit last week while traveling abroad.

        Setup was the same with there being a new update listed as soon as I got it registered and onto mydasboard. The software version though was different from the first unit. It’s now at version 2.60 vs 2.50. I’ll try it out again this week and report the results.

        • Cary Nelson says:

          2.60 came out a few weeks ago which didn’t update much.

          nuvi 34xx (GCD File) software version 2.60 as of September 26, 2011

          Changes made from version 2.50 to 2.60:
          * Fixed an error that occurred when calculating pedestrian routes that include multiple forms of transportation.

        • Even with the new unit, traffic just isn’t working as well as I expected. I get coverage for less than half of my commute. The radio stations listed in the FM station table on the device should give me complete coverage across the state. And today, when it reported a delay, I clicked on the item to get more details and…the unit rebooted! I’ll make one more call to support to see if there is anything else that can be done.

          Oh, and another thing (or two). Why does the traffic icon show green when in fact it reports on the traffic detail page that it’s not getting any reception? Also, the traffic radio reception bars do not appear to be in sync with the status message. When the bars show good signal the message says ‘poor reception for X minutes’, and then the converse too.

          It may appear that I’m fixated on the traffic, but it’s the main reason I spent $400 for it. Otherwise I love the voice commands, clarity of the screen and how slim it is. Font size could be a bit larger for my aging eyes 🙂

  4. Anthony N. says:

    While some of what I hear brings me some pause about moving to the 3490LMT, I take solace in the fact that nothing started out perfect right out of the gate. Examples:

    Traffic on the 3790T has improved drastically; before, the focus was mainly on interstates or arterial roads mainly in the Chicagoland area. Now, traffic information includes roads that I would think a connected GPS would be more akin to.

    Photorealistic Junction Views didn’t come into play in the U.S. until the last two map updates.

    3D buildings were actually improved in a recent firmware update.

    The original poster of the 3490 vs. 3790 picture, bobaber, did say the 3790T had a similar shading issue found in the 3490 until the latest map update.

    Not to prove anyone wrong in any way…As I have said before, the only way I will know its effectiveness is when I have one in my hands. As long as the resolution is the same, the VC feature is still on par, and the 3D buildings are decent, I’ll deal. For me, it will all become clear in a week or so.

  5. Anthony N. says:

    “The original poster of the 3490 vs. 3790 picture, bobaber, did say the 3790T had a similar shading issue found in the 3490 until the latest map update.”

    By “latest map update,” I meant a recent one, not the latest one. Sorry for any potential mix-ups.

  6. Another poster at http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=142811&whichpage=2 says he’s not seeing that issue, that it looks as good or better than his 3790…

    “DEM maps seem to have detail as good as the 3790; I’m not seeing the same thing as bobaber sees…mine has more definition and clarity.”

  7. Rich, it would be great if you could review the 3490 side by side with a 3790 so we could get to the bottom of this.

    The most recent post by bobaber says the following about his calls to Garmin support
    ____________________

    “I think maybe I had a bad unit but the rep on the phone said everything was normal and he was closing the file and that was all they were going to do. The unit is now on the way back to Garmin for a full refund.”

    • Unfortunately I don’t have a 3790. Do you? If so, and if it’s not resolved by then, maybe I can ship you my 3490 review unit to test at some point. I’m expecting to get one soon.

  8. Yes, I have a 3790 and would be happy to do a comparison.

  9. In looking at the reviews on Amazon, the #1 complaint is consistently with the traffic. GTM 60 (3490 receiver) is having issues. People have plugged in GTM 35 (3790 receiver) into their 3490LMT and had much better success. Frustrating one has to buy a separate receiver to get good reception.

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