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Customer Review

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overall - voice recognition great, 7 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Garmin nuvi 2595LMT 5" Sat Nav with UK and Full Europe Maps, Free Lifetime Map Updates and Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I needed a European GPS after moving back, and had been using a Garmin 1490. I like the bigger screen, bluetooth and unlimited maps and traffic. I was a bit hesitant because the review average was lower than I would expect, but took the gamble on the voice recognition feature which I was not expecting to be good.

It arrived just as I was on my way out to the local shops so decided to fire it up and try it out. The interface is quite different to older Garmin models. At first it was defaulting to Mayfair in London even after getting satellites. It was quite frustrating because local searches for stores would list them in London and now where I am. After entering my 'home' location it seems to default to that, but I would expect this to default to my location as picked up by the satellite not my home or any other location.

My expectations for the voice recognition service were not high, but I was immediately surprised by the accuracy. Even more so in the car as I was expecting travel noise to be an issue. Also I was anticipating some learning by the device, but it has been fairly accurate on most attempts. The voice menu is different to the touch menu. For example I have not found a way yet of entering a postcode by voice which is a shame. Postcode is by far the easiest and quickest way of locating a place. Perhaps it makes less sense for a voice interface because people are much less likely to memorise a postcode than a street address, and we don't want people looking up the postal code while driving hands free.

It wasn't clear whether addresses should be read out in a conversational manner (e.g. ten main street as opposed to one zero main street). It seems to work well with natural phrases. One of the greatest benefits of voice is the ability to stop route and change brightness and volume during travel. One thing that bugged me at first was the voice would not only prompt me (useful for first couple of occasions but then a pain), and I would not be able to interrupt it but wait until it had finished. So for example

"Voice command"
- please speak your command
"Find Place"
- say the name of the place
- choose which match you mean
- would you like to navigate now

There is the option to avoid voice commands for the interface, so the above would be "Voice command... find place ... starbucks... 3 ... navigate" which is much quicker.

In the small number of journeys I have used it on, it has already told me to turn left when the turning is graphically and actually a right turn. Also some of the speed limits are not accurate, indicating a higher speed than is permitted which is a bit worrying. The route offered is also quite different to a much older UK garmin, but I at first put that down to the database. However I often override routes which turn out to be much better so not so keen on the routes it is giving me.

I liked the idea of smartphone connectivity but have found no way of connecting to my Blackberry so far. Also there is meant to be a feature where it learns your preferred routes, but it seems to ignore this. Also while on a journey I used to click the top of the screen then select show map to display the entire journey; a more useful view when on motorways or longer journeys without many changes. But this is a bit more fiddly now, with more clicks to get to making it less useful.

In concluding, I was a little disappointed that this seems almost identical to my old 1490, where I was expecting a much newer looking device. The holder and body look the same. The menu / interface is quite different and I appreciate that it is more responsive both in terms of navigation but also in terms of when typing and updating the map in real time. The 1490 was distinctively laggy in this regard, often resulting in confusion at junctions or mistyping words. I am still getting my head around the interface but the voice control is more than a novel feature but one that will improve safety and ease of use. For some reason it works well when I scowl and give it authoritative instructions but not so much when I use a friendly voice. It's miles ahead of my older model but so I was expecting it to be. Voice is great but I do find the new interface a bit frustrating, and its choices of routes don't instil confidence for routes I don't know, when it gives such lousy routing for routes I know well. I cannot think of another device I'd want right now in this price range so I'm satisfied overall. Updating the map is fiddly but I have always succeeded in getting that to work. I would definitely recommend this device to people comfortable with GPS and technological concepts such as voice recognition. A more expert user will definitely benefit from the 2595, but do put it through its paces while you still have an opportunity to return, in case you just don't click.
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