on 19 November 2013
Not being a huge fan of Sat Navs I have to say this is fabulous. Purchased the week prior to going on holiday to the States, just in time to downloaded updated US maps, which did take a few hours but was well worth it. Sat Nav worked minutes after arriving and got us everywhere we asked it to, and even round a diverted route owing to a road closure. Images very clear and it's easy to use to find restaurants, shops and attractions. Did have a laugh at pronounciation of some of the US place names. The Garmin was a replacement for a Tom Tom which we had purchased a couple of weeks prior but which wouldn't let us load up US maps. Would highly recommend this product.
on 11 May 2013
Bought this on the day it was released in the UK. Amazon shipped the day before and it arrived on the day of release.
I've owned many Garmin devices in the past but never a dedicated car 'satnav' - previously used an old Garmin Oregon which must be about 10 years old now (also own treking/outdoor hand-held Garmin devices).
This Garmin (2597LMT) was a fantastic update: clear display, 3D maps, voice directions and easy destination entry. The traffic alerts are a bonus too.
Two days after receiving this Garmin, I tested it 'in anger' on a one week holiday to Cornwall. The ease of use and accuracy of the directions are excellent. Arriving at the holiday cottage, a quick button press located the nearest supermarket and directed us there. Whilst en route, the 'Up Ahead' feature showed fuel, toilets and refreshments on the journey and the traffic delays were updated as we went (with the option to re-route to avoid).
This 5" screen version is big (and clear) enough for use without being too big to carry around once you get out of the car - I think the 7" version would be more of a pain to carry (even with the girlfriend/wife/fiancee's handbag to store it!).
I recommend this device!
on 29 September 2013
My first SatNav was a Garmin with a 4 ins screen and I would rate it as first class. My daughter had a tomtom1 with a small screen, so I lost my Nuvi and wound up with the TomTom, which was not as good as the Nuvi and the updates are expensive.
So I thought I would purchase the 2597LMT, with free Map and camera updates. It is a nice looking unit however using it whilst in South Devon last week I have several concerns about it's operation.
Having set the journey for fastest routes, it alway reverts to country lanes. So now I head for a location I know when I start off and let the Nuvi recalculate the route. Secondly whilst heading for Dartmouth, it always came up with the same message time and time again, saying 70MPH speed camers in 27 miles. SatNavs are not complicated but with this unit a small instruction booklet would be helpful. I will try it around my own county and see which way it wants to take me from location to location and then finally evaluate it.
on 19 March 2014
We bought this to replace our old Garmin as we were about to go to Poland, by road, for the first time. Amazingly you can put in your destination, which was across five countries (England, France, Belgium, Holland, germany and Poland) and it will just find the shortest route. It not only tells you, as do the others, to turn right or left but gives you the name of the street too. The only negative is that it sees delays on the route (anywhere on the 12 hour route) and asks you if you would like to take an alternative route. At first we were taking the alternative route until we realised that these delays were often 200 or 300 kilometers away and not likely to affect us but that the diversions would probably delay us more! Wish it would say how far away the delays were!
This is the fifth Garmin model I've purchased for either myself or family members since 2008. I've enjoyed both long service and good user experiences with each, so I am an admitted Garmin fanboy.
With that acknowledged: Garmin exceeded my expectations in almost every way with the navigation features in this Nuvi The interface is intuitive and refined and navigation performance is outstanding. Voice commands (both "fixed" commands for GPS functions --which display on the screen so you don't have to memorize them-- and searching for addresses) worked very well. It offers great flexibility in getting destinations input (QWERTY touchscreen keyboard, searches in its internal map database and voice commands each yielded excellent results). Add Bluetooth connectivity (very useful of you have a primitive vehicle without integrated Bluetooth), and included lifetime traffic and map updating for North America, and you get a lot for your money.
Out of the box, you're presented with a "ready to operate" sticker. Nevertheless, I connected this to a PC and checked for updates using Garmin's "Garmin Express" software. Initially this process was balky, and I was presented with an apparent "update and restart" prompt series by Garmin Express Eventually I removed the old version of Express from my Windows 7 machine, downloaded the current version from Garmin. This cured the update issue (and it took less than 15 minutes to backup the other two Garmin units previously being managed by the Express software). Also be aware that it ships with only a quick start poster. The full user guide is a downloadable .pdf from Garmin.
Why four stars instead of five? Every Garmin GPS I've purchased prior to this had a matte screen. Garmin inexplicably built this model with a glossy screen...simply not a good choice for a screen that may often be used in direct sunlight. I have purchased an aftermarket matte screen matte screen protector to mitigate this.
Finally, I'm sad to report the always-pleasant Australian female voice has disappeared from both the integrated options and Garmin's support site.
Even with these minor stumbles, this is a fine GPS; select with confidence.
on 25 June 2013
Pre ordered mine and very pleased that it arrive on day of release. Having previously had years of great service from a basic TomTom One I was a reluctant convert to Garmin but so many bad reviews of latest tomtom products persuaded me to make the change. I really only wanted to add Europe for a long driving holiday and the old tomtom didn't have that.
I have lots of reservations however about this Garmin not least of all was it failure to work properly after a couple of hours down the French motorway on day 1 of the two week drive through Europe for which I had specifically bought it (I had previously done a trip to scotland and the West country and it was fine then) ! The unit froze on us whilst driving and then having switched off would not restart it just kept cycling through a start up screen and then off again, and no amount of button pushing would stop it. Several hours of internet searching that evening and pushing bits of the screen to try to do a master reset seemed to sort it out in the end but I had by then lost all the trip data for that part of the journey, and all my favourites all put in for the trip we were on! I was not happy at all. If we had been on our own on the trip with no web access we would have had a serious issue, fortunately we had friends with us to assist and get us back on track on that day. We had paper maps etc, but not so easy locating hotels in strange town with those is it.!
A few more cons compared to my old and very basic tomtom.
You can't get all the info you need on the main screen. I want to see the current time, the distance and time to my destination all at a glance, tomtom does it, Garmin needs more presses of the screen to get all that. And I can't understand why they don't allow this, as you can customise the sidebar but you simply can't add the info to that I think you need. Very poor that. You should not need to touch the unit to get something as basic as the current time up. UPDATE, this model now has all the info on the screen you need, a software update put that right a few months ago. It makes this a far more friendly unit to use now..
Tomtom warms about toll roads etc when it plans a route, Garmin doesn't. You can add them as "avoidances" but it would be nice to get a warning beforehand.
Tomtom give you options to customise the sound of alerts, no flexibility at all with Garmin, you get what you a given.
The ability to browse and zoom in and out of the maps is a lot better than on my old tomtom. And the overview map that shows mountains etc is a great way to get a feel for your trip and its then possibly to zoom right into the details of the route.
Dodgy in my opinion, but aren't all sat navs! Several times Garmin has tried to take me off motorways for no apparent reason, or cut corners in small villages to take you down bumpy narrow back roads where its way better to carry on through on the main road.
This Garmin also has no option to set a route for walking, my old tomtom did, and so do older Garmins so why not this one? Particular stupid as it will remember where you parked your car if you need to find it but it then gives you driving directions back to it !
Beware if planning to use this somewhere like the Alps as we did. It will lose reception in the numerous tunnels and narrow gorges. OK I would expect it to do that but why then does it often show you miles away on the screen ? It knows you were on the road, it should know you were in a tunnel so why can it not just assume you are traveling along at a set speed on the same road. It can be very tricky when there is a junction just outside the tunnel as all routing is lost once it loses the sat signal and you just hope it gets it back quickly the other side.
And why on earth does it not have toll booths shown on the maps ? A pretty important feature in my opinion, and would be very useful to know ones coming up so you can can get ready but nothing at all is shown.
You can configure the side bar to show what's ahead. Its useful but why not somehow indicate if the petrol station for examlpe up ahead is on your route or off it ? You think one is coming up in a mile or so but in then disappears off the screen is it turns out its a few streets away and not on your actual route, not very helpful. Again tomtom does this better with on route and off route searching.
These seem to work but as is often the case with such things they are usually a bit behind and hold ups and gone before you get there. Several dire warnings driving down through France of 90 min delays were ignored by me and traffic was heavy but moving and any delay was minimal, nothing like that predicted. No doubt not the fault of Garmin that, but just a general warning on taking advice on such route diversions.
A bit disappointed that it will sync with my old Nokia phone but not read the phonebook, so not much use for dialing out. Its strange because my old phone works fine in my Audi with its own bluetooth it reads my phone book with no problem.
Screen and instructions etc.
I like the photo real junctions, lots of them on motorways across UK and Europe, they do help. Lane guidance when you get it also helps. On occasions however especially on some roundabouts the arrow on the screen seems a bit fat and you lose clarity on the actual direction you need to go. It would be great to get an overview map of your route and progress along it with one touch, you can get it but it takes multiples screen touches to do it.
I can't comment much on the voice instructions as most of my use has been in an open top car, and it not easy to hear them with the wind noise, and anyway I tend to rely on the screen by habit
Works fine for the most part but I have noticed you can get vibration through the car that will make the unit vibrate as well for a few seconds, (and that's worse in a sports car with stiff suspension) so mount not that solid, and if you are a bit heavy handed when pressing the screen the unit can move on the ball joint.
I have tried to use this to do routes on the PC but have found it very frustrating and fiddly to use and gave up. Tyre was a lot better and easy to set up waypoints to then create routes using that.
Bought the genuine case as well. Nice and easy to use but does not fully enclose the unit as side are elasticated so i dropped it, and unit still got a dent on the corner, another Garmin disappointment.
So there you go. I did plan to send it back after it let me down but its been fairly good since then. But overall I am a disappointed Garmin customer and wondering if I should have just forked out for new Europe maps for my old faithful tomtom and saved a bit of cash!
on 31 August 2014
Product that promised so much let down by silly issues - "design feature" or faulty item, it's difficult to know. This sat nav doesn't seem to know what time of day it is, irrespective of whether it is set on day, night or auto it seemingly randomly changes the brightness of the screen. Either, in the daytime going almost black or perhaps worse, dazzlingly full brightness at night. Product returned to Amazon who's service was second to none. Well done Amazon. Must try harder Garmin. Avoid!
on 25 March 2016
I will make a comparison between the Garmin 2597LMT satnav with lifetime updates and my previous 7 year old Garmin 255nuvi satnav that had no updates. It finally developed an on/off switch problem so I thought I would buy this latest model to replace it.
The 2597LMT is much larger than the 255nuvi which makes it more inconvenient to slip into your pocket when not in the car. In fairness I knew the dimensions before I bought it so I am not complaining about that. It is loaded with far more features than the 255nuvi so I thought it would be better and more useful. I was wrong.
The first thing you are told to do is to perform an update to get the latest maps. I connected the 2597LMT to my computer with the USB lead provided and the Garmin Express software loaded without a problem. The next step was to update the map software. I couldn't complete that first update because a message came up saying "out of memory" or words the that effect. To complete the first map update I had to buy a 32GB mini SDHC card. The map was then updated without a problem other than the 3 hours and 15 minutes it took to complete. With such a lot of software features I guess that one can expect it to take a long time, however I did not expect to have to buy any other item immediately after I got it in order to update it to the 'current' issue of the map. Would I then have to buy a bigger card in the future to get my lifetime updates?
So with the 'current' map installed it was time to learn how to use it. I went out and tested it on roads I know well around my area and further afield. It only took two days for me to find major deficiencies when compared to my old 255nuvi which had always been a great satnav and never let me down. Here is a list of some of the main deficiencies I found with the 2597LMT compared to my old 255nuvi.
1) If I took a wrong turning it didn't tell me but just let me drive off the purple route it had set for me. The 255nuvi would have said "recalculating" within 30m of me going off the set route so that I knew I had gone wrong and could decide what's best to do. So I had to keep checking the screen to make sure I was still on the right route which is dangerous when driving.
2) There is a local route from my town to another town along well established 'A' roads. The distance between the two is 12 km. It took me 18 km along a number of 'B' roads and through two small villages, a route that no local person in their right mind would consider taking. So I lost the confidence in it giving me the best route when I want to travel in areas that I do not know. The 255nuvi had the correct route spot on.
3) It does not identify many of the smaller and larger villages around my area whereas nearly all of them are in the 255nuvi. This makes searching for a village very difficult if you do not see its name on the screen when scrolling around for it.
4) It would keep telling me at regular intervals that a turning was coming up long before I got anywhere near the turning that I had to take. e.g. "turn right in 5 km", "turn right in 2 km", etc. And when I got there it didn't tell me to turn when I should. These repeated messages were not necessary and in the end were very annoying. The 255nuvi would tell me once about 500m before I had to turn off and then tell me again about 100m before so that I never missed a turning.
5) It keeps telling me that many of the roads I am travelling along are "unpaved" when I know full well they have been tarmac'd for long over the seven years I have lived here. The 255nuvi didn't make a distinction between road surfaces.
6) It has no 'walk' mode whereas the 255nuvi did. This would have been useful for walking around areas you do not know.
7) With so many bells and whistles incorporated in its software the menu system is much too complicated and user-unfriendly. This makes it very difficult to simply get to the selection you want. The 255nuvi didn't have all those bells and whistles so the menu system was simple and quite user-friendly.
I could go on but you get the drift. Garmin seem to have lost sight of the main purpose of a satnav, that is to get you from A to B by means of an efficient and accurate route. As that was why I specifically bought this 2597LMT model I am only giving it a one star review.
In fairness to the 2597LMT there are lots of good features in it that are very useful, like locations or petrol stations, hospitals, police stations, etc. But they have gone to the extreme of listing the locations and details of all shops, restaurants, etc. This data must be taking up a huge amount of memory which could have been better devoted to getting the real satnav information more accurate and useful.
So if you like shopping and eating out this 2597LMT will suit you, but if you want it for serious driving it will not.
on 13 March 2014
Last February (2013) I bought a Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT as I've owned a Garmin nuvi satnav for several years with no issues.
However, after trying two 2595's (as the first one was faulty), the second one was faulty too (see my earlier review on this) so they were both returned to Amazon.
A year later I decided to buy the Garmin 2597LMT expecting no problems with it. Big mistake!
Whilst using the Nuvi for the first time in Italy this February, all seemed well until the screen went blank whist navigating on a mountainous road! The sound still worked (directions) but the screen was blank. After stopping to try and fix the problem several times, by pure chance I managed to find the settings button on the touch screen, and this is when I found that the brightness control was simply re-setting it's self to zero brightness! I had no other option other than to 'learn' where to touch the screen so as to get the brightness button to move. the issue continued throughout the week I was in Italy.
Suffice to say that I contacted Amazon about this upon my return to the UK. I was offered another Nuvi 2597LMT (as I had been offered a 2595 last year, which I tried with no better luck) but with memories of that replacement, I opted for the full refund.
Sorry Garmin, but my Nuvi 300 still works fine, the maps are ancient, but it WORKS. What are Garmin doing with their products? Losing customers like me , that's what.
Beware, you may be lucky or you may not be - like me.
on 18 September 2013
I have had this for a good two months now and it has taken me all over South Wales and the South West. I wanted the 'Real Directions' feature specifically. Yards and metres mean nothing to me when there may be 3 left turns and I don't have time to sit and estimate how far that actually is. It uses landmarks as reference points for instructions - for example, "take the second left," "at the end of the road, turn right," or "turn right after the church." Basically, it's designed to give you directions just like a person would.
This function is fabulous and works like a dream, unless you are in the middle of nowhere and there are no landmarks - although chances are if you're in the middle of nowhere, there won't be many turnings to take either, rendering that problem reasonably moot. When there simply aren't any landmarks, it gives a distance just like an ordinary satnav does. Therefore, if you are living somewhere remote and not travelling far, paying for this feature may not be worth your while.
The screen is bright and clear both at night and during the day, the mount is secure, and the adapter plugs firmly into the cigarette lighter. A nice feature is that once power is cut off it shuts down automatically in 15 seconds - meaning that if you get to somewhere you know and want to shut it up, rather than pulling over to put it away, you can simply yank out the cable.
It loses one star, and one star only, due to the fact that you cannot avoid rural country lanes. I cannot count the number of times it has taken me down pitch black narrow and winding lanes in the dead of night that are only just wide enough to fit my tiddly little Toyota IQ down. I appreciate that these are clearly the quickest and/or most direct routes (since it takes traffic into consideration too) but frankly I would rather be sat in a traffic jam on a nice wide dual carriageway than negotiating my way down a toilet-roll-sized dirt track where you have to reverse half a mile if another vehicle appears! Garmin - get this setting in please!