June 4, 2013
- Stylish design
- Good-looking capacitive display
- Natural spoken commands
- Voice commands
The Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD sports a sleek design with a metal body and a 5-inch capacitive touch display. It has voice commands to make navigating easier and its spoken turn-by-turn directions are extremely natural sounding.
This Nuvi has a unique design that Garmin hopes will catch the eye of consumers. It has a slim, tapered edge design with a metallic back and a black, shiny plastic front. Its dimensions are 5.4 x 0.5 x 3.1-inches (wdh) and it weighs 0.4-pounds, so it's very thin at its thinnest point. But don't be fooled, at its thickest point, it is just as thick as most other GPS devices out there. Along the bottom edge, there is a microSD memory card slot for increasing storage for maps as well as system updates. The back panel has the power button, a mini-USB port for charging and updating and a 12-pin dock connector.
On the front of the Nuvi 3597LMTHD, there is a 5-inch TFT capacitive display with a glass front. The display has a 800 x 480-pixel resolution, which looks very sharp and bright overall, much better than most other similar devices. Because the display is capacitive, you get the ability to register all sorts of touch interactions, including swipes and pinches. There is an internal accelerometer, so the display auto rotates.
The suction-cup mount has a powerful magnet that attracts the back of the Nuvi to the dock connector. The suction-cup can attach to either the windshield or some other smooth surface. There is an integrated speaker within the mount too. The mount connects to your car's 12-volt power source and also powers the integrated FM/HD radio antenna that allows your Nuvi to get free, lifetime traffic-data.
One of the selling points that Garmin uses for this GPS is the built-in voice commands, which are activated by simply saying "Voice Command" instead of having to press a button, so it's completely hands-free. From there, you can find places, intersections, cities or even an address. The Nuvi helps you through the information collection process by helpful voice prompts. It was quite accurate in our use, even with minor road noise.
Other spoken prompts from the Nuvi 3597LMTHD were also very natural. Instead of robotic, generic prompts like "In 500 feet, turn right", you get "Keep straight past the gas station and turn right at the traffic light", which is much more conversational and easier to relate to real life.
In route mode, the display shows you a ton of information but in a way that isn't too overwhelming. On the right side, you get traffic delay information and other route info. Along the bottom is your speed and current road. The top shows any turns or directional changes that you need to take next.
Overall the GPS did a good job at doing what it is designed to do. It has an easy-to-navigate interface that's made even easier to use by voice commands. Finding destinations using the search feature was easy and accurate. The Nuvi always chose the quickest, most logical routes and displayed accurate traffic data. Despite all that, we do cringe at the $350 retail price tag.