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UPGRADED: Going from 855 to Garmin's Newest 3590

I have recently upgraded from my loved and trusty Nuvi 855 to Garmin’s latest: the 3590. I have owned the Nuvi 3590 for only 10 days so far, but am super pleased with most of its features. I offer these comments to help other owners of the 855/885 (and the near siblings, 755/760) to decide if the 3590 has enough improvements to entice them to upgrade. I have owned the 855 since May 2009, but after reading about each successive new Nuvi, felt that none were good enough to make me switch. Now, I am glad that I bought the 3590 and expect it to be a “keeper.”

The 3590 has only been available “on the market” for about two months, but I believe that I have lucked out with buying it after only a minimal number of reviews have been written about it. It is rare for me to act on such a new product, and with so little information. The prime mover for me was the professional review posted at GPStracklog, by Rich Owings (posted April 9, at: http://gpstracklog.com/2012/04/garmin-nuvi-3590lmt-review.html ). His review is packed with useful screen displays, and his informed judgments about the features. To date, only 15 user reviews have been posted at Amazon (I made my buy decision based on just 10 reviews). I am hopeful that despite its current price of $400, that some potential buyers will agree with its worth; shoppers should also be alert to possible price drops in May and June, to entice buyers for Fathers Day and Graduation gifts. Perhaps one of you will get a much lower price than I did.

I invite owners of other recent Nuvis (such as the 3790, 2360, 2495, 2595, and 3490) to chime in here with comments about some of my 3590 descriptions…and how well those features operate on THEIR predecessor models. I reference those models because they contain many of the same 3590 features, such as Lifetime Maps and Traffic, as well as Lane Assistance and Junction View. Most also have the improved Nuvi Search engine, multiple customizations of menus, and Trip Planner. In addition, I wish to draw attention to the addition of the 3590 enhancement with Voice Command, a 5-inch screen, Smartphone with Bluetooth, and live traffic reports without ads...plus a few other functions that seem very useful. Hopefully, owners of recent Nuvis can help clarify operations that I am still a bit hazy about, as well as correct or elaborate on some of my enthusiam.

MAIN FEATURES OF 3590:

Map Display, and Lifetime Maps and Live Traffic Reports – I happen to really like the split screen display of Junction Views with the current Map view, right down to seeing my auto migrate along an exit lane and down the off ramp. My initial reaction is that I will like the newly termed “Birds Eye View” for lane guidance (more detailed, overhead graphic view) at complicated cloverleaf offramps, but this remains to be experienced as to its real usefulness. I have not yet benefitted from any reports of traffic jams, but have viewed them displayed in my region. Garmin lists about 80 U.S. metro areas where this is supposed to be available. The 3590 comes with a GTM-60 cable, to provide what Garmin terms “HD radio frequency delivered traffic reports” (received directly thru the cable itself, via NAVTEQ and its data compiled from local radio stations in each metro market). However, IF the traffic reports prove useful, I know that I will absolutely love NOT having them ad-supported, as in earlier Nuvis.

Lifetime Maps – I have already enjoyed this feature on the 855, primarily because the Map Updates have been bringing a steady increase in the number of Lane Assistance and Junction Views, which I consider one of the main guidance features on Nuvis. [Contrast this with the long Garmin delays in providing LA and JV, which were highly touted in 2009-2010, but hardly seen by most 7xx and 8xx owners.]

Voice Command – I consider that being able to speak to the Nuvi and perform various functions while driving as one of its most important features. The biggest improvement with Voice Command on the 3590 is that I can speak while the CD player is on a moderate volume, and with car windows open; I have also read of others who do not seem to achieve this success. I enjoy the fact that using VC brings up a screen displaying the 13 commands, prompting one to decide what to speak. I find that VC is very responsive to for most functions, and accurately responds with appropriate choices for most “FIND” searches of City, Place, Category, Saved, Favorites, Volume, Brightness, Stop Route, and Go Home. [However, in comparison to the 855, I will most miss the ability to speak “Zoom In” and “Zoom Out,” and say “Next Turn” (to display the Junction View), all while motoring along in Map View.]

Search – In addition to the limited ability of the 3590 to Search by VOICE for the above described functions, I am initially delighted at the tremendous improvement in conducting Searches (for whatever) by HAND. I find it much easier to enter Searches with the two boxed displays at the top of a “Where To” search screen, as well as in “Search Category.” If you search with common sense, one can minimize the anguish of looking for a place name or address in a completely inappropriate category (or city or state). This is a tremendous improvement over the manual Search function on the 855. [How many 7xx and 8xx users are STILL frustrated with the Nuvi keyboard delays, while making some Search entries?]

Volume – It’s hard to believe that it took so long for Garmin to make the Nuvi loud enough to be easily heard in my car cabin (especially with wind noise and music playing, at highway speeds), let alone that it automatically raises and lowers the volume as needed. [Low Volume was one of the most frequent 855 user complaints.] I have no trouble hearing it describe upcoming turns, or speaking to me in response to my Voice Commands. I very much like the powered mount with its additional (larger) speaker, rather than the small speaker on the back of the Nuvi (for hand-held use).

Trip Planner – I had long read of dissatisfaction online with this function, ever since its introduction in the 3790. I truly dreaded having to give up my old feature of “Custom Routes,” for what I believed to be this TP disaster. However, it seems that Garmin improved it markedly within the past year, such that individual “trip segments” within a multi-stage Route now flow (almost) seamlessly when the vehicle is moving. I read now of recent upgrades in the firmware for earlier Nuvis with Trip Planner, and assume that users are now happier with it. Once I got used to it, I had no trouble creating and editing half a dozen routes for an upcoming trip, and carefully inserting specific waypoints with the touch of a finger in Map Browser. Such customizing of trip routes (and their actual performance) are crucial for my keeping the 3590. By the way, using fingers to scroll the map screen is also much welcome on the 3590.

Exit Services – I strongly wanted this feature when I first read of it in earlier Nuvis. I like the apparent functionality of knowing up to five freeway exits ahead, as to what is available at each for food, fuel, lodging, and restrooms. Again, I withhold final judgment until our road trip, as to whether these lists are accurate and complete enough for our needs. If nothing else, it should give my co-pilot wife something to do while we motor down freeways.

5-inch Screen and Map Display – The larger screen has text fonts just a bit bigger than of yore, and the screen also has a bit sharper display. While not a major change, it is noticeable to me. This is really important to me, because my vision is not perfect and I need the better screen more than most persons. I also like the bright display screen, which has been registering seemingly instant refreshes as we move and turn. I am one of those who actually regrets that the device no longer speaks “recalculating;” I liked hearing it speak to me when I made wrong turns, and will have to get used to other cues that the 3590 provides (like a yellow line, temporarily replacing the magenta route)…or simply speaking: “make a U-turn.” That still gets my attention. I also like the new feature of displaying Upcoming Street Names (when NOT on a route), in the top green line above the map. My initial use of the 3590 makes me think that it does NOT give as much warning time before turns as did the 855; heck, I heard one announcement today at 200 feet, just before I got into the left turn lane at a local street intersection. I will be monitoring this performance closely in the future, for both highways and local streets.

Customization of Map Buttons and “Where To” Shortcuts – Users can now place 3 optional buttons on the right side of the display (choosing from a list of 12 items), giving easy access to YOUR desired functions (I’ve chosen Trip Computer, Exit Services, and Traffic Reports); the remaining functions are easily accessed via a small icon at the bottom right corner of the map display. Further, one can also choose to display “Map Layers” on screen (any one OR all of Traffic, Trip Log, POI’s, 3D Buildings, 3D Terrain), via another button on the left of the map. You can also customize the “Where To” function screen, with additional user selected “shortcut” icons for up to 36 functions, as well as specific Search Categories (fuel, Starbucks, restaurants, addresses, and on and on). Another new feature is the ability to display certain travel data at the bottom of the screen, in Garmin’s variety of 9 “Dashboards”: elevation, arrival time, distance to destination, speed. I haven’t yet explored the above customization options enough to know how useful these features are, but do remember wanting them on the 855.

Alternate Routes – Each time you select a single point destination, you MAY be offered more than one route. The primary will be a function of your default menu choice for “fastest” or “shortest,” while you can also view an alternate route chosen by the unit; I do not yet know if more than one alternate is provided. [Your choice for that specific destination does not change the default favored fastest/shortest.] I must experiment to learn how really useful this is, but each offered route is mapped in either a blue or yellow line, with a summary of the distance and travel time.

Custom Avoids – Users can choose between either Avoid Area or Avoid Road. This is an easy to use feature that I had on the 855, and now it is even easier to operate. I have already blocked out a local toll bridge, and chose to block out a specific area on a forthcoming trip (the Nuvi’s default route would have taken me where I did not want to go).

Advanced Detours – If enabled in Settings, this allows drivers to select how far away from their intended route they will drive (up to 5 miles, I believe), in response to either Live Traffic Reports, or some other unexpected road slowdown. This feature is supposed to operate in smooth conjunction with the Traffic Reports, i.e., a Detour will apparently be offered if the live traffic report presents a “serious enough” delay.

Smartphones and Bluetooth Links - Users with “Smart phones” and Bluetooth connection have a range of additional features that they can pay extra for, such as Weather, Fuel Prices, receive Text Messages, and Eco Route.

Satellite Acquisition – Satellite connections have been very speedy, even when starting the unit from full Power Off. This has certainly been much faster than for the 855. When the unit is properly placed on my dash, the signals from 8-9 satellites have also registered very strong (mostly full blue bars) , and nearly always displays “10 feet accuracy.” Speaking of Power Off, how many 855 owners will welcome the fact that the 3590 gives you the choice of not just putting it to “Sleep,” but also truly “Off?”

I apologize for any mistakes or wrong assumptions about the earlier Nuvis, but have tried to be accurate in this report. I certainly do not intend to slight any of those models. On the other hand, I am sure that some of my enthusiasm for the 3590 is simply due from coming from such a relatively ancient 855…and being amazed at some of the new features, which others have long known about. I have tried not to mislead anyone with descriptions that are overly enthusiastic.

I encourage all prospective purchasers to first read the comprehensive, hands-on 3590 report at GPStracklog, as well as the 15 Amazon user reviews, for a good understanding of the pros and cons of the 3590. Another very helpful resource is to read Amazon reviews for the 3490 (=76 of them), which was introduced about November 2011: This unit is identical to the 3590, except for having a 4.3 inch screen, and currently retails for about $40 less. I used those comments to help make my decision.

Comments

  • SergZak 340 Points
    Excellent write-up & review. :)
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Very nice indeed! I have linked this to our FAQ sticky on popular Nuvi models
  • nuvifan 109 Points
    I have to correct one point in my review above: I finally put the two units together side-by-side, and find that the text size and clarity is virtually identical. There is NO difference in text font size. The only difference is that the 3590’s obviously displays a larger area. I also realized that the 855 screen background is a bright white, versus gray on the 3590. My opinion is that both are equally readable.

    I also forgot to mention that I will be putting the 3590 through a serious road trip test beginning in one week: Will be spending 3 weeks driving freeways and lesser highways, as well as experiencing the joys of Southern California beaches and coastal areas. I expect to have lots of opportunities to explore 3590 features, particularly multi-point routing, freeway exit services, searching for local dining, using single point destination routing in unfamiliar cities and rural areas, and watching for live traffic reports in California metro areas. I’m really looking forward to learning how well everything performs on this new unit over 3,000+ miles.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I also realized that the 855 screen background is a bright white, versus gray on the 3590.
    The new models have a feature called "map themes" that are .xml files which control the color of different map features. I haven't really spent any time playing with this, but it looks pretty straightforward to duplicate an existing theme and modify it with a text editor. You might also want to try some of the other existing themes and see how you like them.
  • popej 57 Points
    I think there is no background setting in theme. At least I haven't found any.
  • I've had a Garmin Nuvi 360 for a very long time, and have been pretty happy with it, and very happy with Garmin as company, in terms of their customer support, and tech

    support.

    However, my recent purchase of their Garmin Nuvi 3590 LMT has completely changed my view of Garmin in every way.

    In the past, when you called their tech support, you got through to someone very quickly, and the person you spoke to was very knowledgable.

    I can say with certainty, based on a recent and large sample size, that neither of those things are true anymore.

    That's a shame, because Garmin was one of those rare companies that you USED to be able to say that about.

    Now, onto to the 3590.

    While lots of "bells and whistles" have been added along the way, over the years since the Nuvi 360, unfortunately, for the 2012 model year, some of the most important, at

    least to me, "nuts and bolts" (necessities) have been taken a way.

    TURN BY TURN VIEW
    --------------------

    When you are in the regular map view, and click the green bar on the top, it puts you into the turn by turn view.

    ** This view, new for 2012, NO LONGER UPDATES THE DISTANCE (OF THE STEP YOU ARE ON) of when you need to turn.

    ** So, it can say "MAIN STREET 6.0" (MILES) FOREVER!!!!

    ** And the 6.0 will never change, no matter how far you drive.

    ** My Nuvi 360 that is 5 or 6 years old, updated the miles, and my wife's Nuvi 1360 (discontinued) that is 1 or 2 years old updated the miles!

    ** I like to stay in the turn by turn screen, and use it as my main screen, but that becomes impossible if the distance of the step you are on does not update!

    ** Who could have possibly thought removing this BASIC GPS FEATURE WAS GOOD IDEA?

    ** I have spoke to Garmin at length, to many different people, and it was REMOVED ON PURPOSE!

    "SPLIT SCREEN VIEW"
    ----------------------------------------
    There is another view available, that I call the "split screen view".

    It shows you the map on one half of the screen, and the the next turn on the other.

    You can manually call this up by pressing the green button on the upper left of the screen.

    ** However there is 1 MAJOR PROBLEM WITH THIS VIEW as well.

    ** It is not PROGRAMMED TO RE-CALCULATE, SO IF YOU DEVIATE FROM YOUR PRESCRIBED ROUTE, IT WILL NEVER ADJUST TO SHOW YOU THE RE-CALCULATED WAY TO GO, IN THIS VIEW.

    ** On the phone, Garmin tech support says you are not supposed to stay in the view for more than a few seconds.

    ** How is anyone supposed to know that?

    ** Why would they make a view that does not re-calculate?

    ** IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, THIS COULD REALLY MESS YOU UP!

    SPEAKING OF "RE-CALCULATING"
    ------------------------------
    While I'm sure many people found it a little off-putting when their Nuvi, said "re-calculating", it was helpful to hear.

    It meant either you took a different route on purpose, or you missed a turn or something.

    This unit does not say it, and does not give you the option of saying it.

    To me, that is poor, just as all the above things I wrote are as well.

    CRASHING
    ----------

    I have only had my 3590 a few months, and it has inexplicably crashed 5 or times. Just shut down, and re-started itself.

    NAVIGATION
    -----------

    Finally, the 3590's navigation is worse than my Nuvi 360, despite the fact all the same preferences are chosen.

    The 3590 has me going some of the worst ways possible to places.

    I ran both at the same time one day, as a test and Nuvi 360 directions were much better

    CONCLUSION
    -----------

    I have had the most updated software (6.30) and maps since I started using it, so that is not problem.

    It was just poorly programmed.

    I truly hate the 3590.

    My wife's 1390, that is discontinued is better, except her traffic is slower.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I can say with certainty, based on a recent and large sample size, that neither of those things are true anymore.
    Can you explain by what you mean by a "large sample size"?

    FWIW, the 1390 has not been discontinued. Garmin still lists the 1390T and 1390LMT on their site:

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=133&compareProduct=82600&compareProduct=32700
  • I can say with certainty, based on a recent and large sample size, that neither of those things are true anymore.


    Can you explain by what you mean by a "large sample size"?

    FWIW, the 1390 has not been discontinued. Garmin still lists the 1390T and 1390LMT on their site:

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=133&compareProduct=82600&compareProduct=32700
    * A large sample size means, since getting the 3590, unfortunately, I have had to call Garmin Tech Support A LOT of times, and speak to MANY DIFFERENT people, with the result ALWAYS being the same:
    > LONG WAIT TIMES
    > PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT VERY KNOWLEDGABLE.

    * Years ago, when I had the Nuvi 360, if I had a problem, and needed to call Garmin, things were the exact opposite:
    > WAIT TIMES WERE VERY SHORT
    > PEOPLE WERE VERY KNOWLEDGABLE.

    I am not only disappointed in the 3590, I am also disappointed in Garmin as a company.

    * Also, they promised me the "RESEARCH TEAM" was going to call me about the issues I was having....NEVER CALLED.

    * Like it says in the title: MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT, and not just for the device, but for what the company has become.

    * When the company was smaller, they were different, BETTER.

    * Now that they are one of the leaders in GPS, all the principles that got them there, and all their customers, have gone out the window!

    * Also, I was told by Garmin the 1390 would be discontinued soon. Sorry for the miscommunication on my part.
  • Pip 0 Points
    I have enjoyed the comments regarding the Garmin 3590LMT and ask for a little assistance. Things are different here in Australia although Garmin are hopeless & I have had about 8 years experience, or should it be suffering because of them.

    I had an early model Sat Nav that I think was a 360 and it was better than satisfactory back then.

    I am presently using a Nuvi 765 unit that is extremely accurate in calculating the "path" to get to a destination and also the transit time over a long distance. (Our roadways not being like your highway system) I use GPS co-ordinates to negotiate areas where there really are no roads. I find it extremely difficult to upgrade maps with the old system for the 765 - takes about half an hour.

    I tried a Nuvi 2595LMT which was easy to update the maps but hopeless in calculating time to destination. On a country trip of 7.5hours it was saying 10.00 hours (yes, I had it on fastest choice) and the base data required to calculate was terribly wrong. Garmin did not care at all.

    Enough of History.

    I would like to upgrade to the Garmin Nuvi 3590LMT despite some obvious problems. I do not want it linked to a phone.

    First thing I would like to have assistance with is where can I find a list of available Buttons, showing a picture of the button & what it does ?

    The 3500 series Owners Manual which appears to be almost identical to MUCH of the 2595 Owners Manual, on page 28 it says "from the map, select (the turn indicator at top left of Navigation Bar) to view next turn on map".
    Then on page 29 it says "from the map, select (the turn indicator at top left of Navigation Bar) to view the junction.

    Can the same command give 2 different results ?

    A little extra effort in making the Owners manual useful to owners would really be appreciated and I am sure that there are many who would contribute to that if it could be placed as an editable feature on the net. (I have tried to arrange with Book Publishers to list a web page where individuals could add corrections to errors in books. No luck so far.

    Thank you for all the information on your forum.

    Pip (Australia)
  • nuvifan 109 Points
    Pip,

    Check out the extensive professional review by Rich Owings, which contains many helpful screenshots (including various 3590 "buttons"...and a LOT more, about unit features):

    http://gpstracklog.com/2012/04/garmin-nuvi-3590lmt-review.html

    The above review's use of screenshots is a testament to the old adage: "A picture is worth a thousand words."

    I agree wholeheartedly that the Garmin online manual is seriously deficient in many ways, often lacking any explanation (or even mention) of various 3590 features. I offer the following extracted 3 paragraphs from my earlier discussion (also posted at THIS website about various 3590 features (including the "buttons"):

    Customization of Map Buttons and “Where To” Shortcuts – Users can now place 3 optional buttons on the right side of the display (choosing from a list of 12 items), giving easy access to YOUR desired functions (I’ve chosen Trip Computer, Exit Services, and Traffic Reports); the remaining functions are easily accessed via a small icon at the bottom right corner of the map display. Further, one can also choose to display “Map Layers” on screen (any one OR all of Traffic, Trip Log, POI’s, 3D Buildings, 3D Terrain), via another button on the left of the map. You can also customize the “Where To” function screen, with additional user selected “shortcut” icons for up to 36 functions, as well as specific Search Categories (fuel, Starbucks, restaurants, addresses, and on and on). Another new feature is the ability to display certain info in a Nuvi “Dashboard,” at the bottom of the screen (in 4 data fields,” such as elevation, arrival time, distance to destination, speed, etc.). I knew when I first saw these “data fields” on pix of the 2xxx models that I wanted them, and am now pleased to have them.

    Alternate Routes – Each time you select a single point destination, you MAY be offered more than one route. The primary will be a function of your default menu choice for “fastest” or “shortest,” while you can also view an alternate route chosen by the unit; I have not yet noticed if more than one alternate is provided. Your choice for that specific destination does not change the default Setting for preferred Navigation (fastest/shortest.] I find the choices to be useful, if for nothing else than to observe that a reasonable Alternative Route exists: Both are displayed on a common preview map, with the primary in Blue and the Alternate in Yellow, and both have time/distance summarized.

    I think it extremely unfortunate that the Manual does NOT explain how to view Alternate Routes, nor the accompanying Search result line, underneath returned POI Search results…where it displays a three part line labeled: Routes - i - Go . This is too hard to explain here, but go to page 20, and compare the brief description for “Previewing Multiple Routes” with what one sees after getting a list of choices from any Search. Missing is any mention that one can tap “Routes,” to choose between a Recommended and Alternate Route, or that the small, white - i - button brings up the name, address, phone # of that POI; nor instruct HOW you can Save that POI into Saved Places. Instead, seeing that line basically leads some (most?) persons to simply tap “Go,” like I did for several weeks, before realizing how the rest of that feature really works. Grrrr

    The above 3 paragraphs are a small extract from the much larger review that I posted here ("Review of the Nuvi 3590, after Two Months of Use"), which can be found at:

    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/25830/x/p1/

    I hope that reading the above links help you to make a decision on whether or not you buy the Nuvi 3590. I absolutely love mine, and that's coming from a similar unit as your 765 (I had the 855).
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Updating this old thread since I am now the owner of a new Nuvi 3550LM. :) Some of you may chuckle since I've said I wasn't likely to ever buy another Nuvi... but I broke down and did it. I recently gave my 3 year old 3790T to a family member (her first GPS and she loves it).

    Not very impressed by the 2013 models and chose the 3550 because of its support for dashboards - something I plan to spend a little time hacking (see: Custom dashboards for more info). I also like the glass multi-touch technology and real 3d rendering engine of the 3xxx series. Price was pretty good - $270 at GPSCity.

    The 3550 is in the "sweet spot" for me personally: it is missing all the features I wouldn't use on the 3590. :twisted:

    Have barely had it for a full day, most of which I spent tweaking my own topo map to display optimally in 3d view. Haven't used the City Navigator map at all, except some browsing at home.

    As for the hardware, it's noticeably faster and more responsive than my 3790. This makes it really enjoyable to use - I never liked the multi-touch gestures on the 3790 but they work great for me on the 3550. The larger screen also helps with this. It looks great also, even in bright sun.

    What is it about power buttons for Garmin? It seems like they get more awkward to use with each new series. Not a big deal, just a minor annoyance.

    Also not so crazy about the cradle. Why didn't they make it like the 3790 with springy plastic instead of an awkward release button? My Montana cradle also uses springy plastic and it's bulkier and heavier than the 3550. Again, no big deal though.

    I have not been able to crash the device yet, in spite of extended dragging, zooming and rotating of my custom topo map (something that would usually crash the 3790).

    The unit has 8gb of internal memory, and out of the box there was slightly less than 4gb used. I think the lack of voice recognition provides more free spaced than the 3790.

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned before is the Settings > Device > Travel History menu that allows you to disable track log recording. I wasn't aware that any Nuvi's permitted thatt. Do other 2012 and 2013 models have this?

    My GPS use is pretty unusual; I like to use maps that I make myself and am not terribly interested in route planning. The 3550 looks like a good platform for this. Here are a couple screenshots from a test drive with a topo map I'm working on.

    image


    image
  • SergZak 340 Points
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned before is the Settings > Device > Travel History menu that allows you to disable track log recording. I wasn't aware that any Nuvi's permitted thatt. Do other 2012 and 2013 models have this?
    Yep. My 3490 has this setting and I'm pretty sure it was there from it's introduction.

    I've been working on some map themes, mostly for increased road visibility while driving in daytime mode. I've made the residential streets solid and changed some of the default nuvi colors for interstates, rivers & land to make them more like the older 7x0 series. Let me know if you want to check some out and I'll get you my email address or you can message me from that "other forum" or here in the "other" section of this one. They are only 11kb each so they're fine for emailing. I have a set of 5 with minor residential road changes (solid, outlined, etc) between each theme. The one I'm using now is below:

    image
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I like it Serge - much more readable than any of the stock themes. I plan to explore themes later, it looks like they can do most of the same things as custom .typ files, with the exception of bitmapped objects.
  • SergZak 340 Points
    Here are some comparison screen shots for those that are interested in what can be done. I like the theme files because you can switch between them on the unit pretty quickly, unlike the modified .typ method which I believe needs to be compiled when building the map set.

    Stock "Garmin" theme (2D view):
    image

    Modified theme (2D view)
    image

    Stock "Garmin" theme (3D view):
    image

    Modified theme (3D view)
    image
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    These look great, nice job! In the Garmin theme using 2d, I find the minor roads are really hard to see on the 3590. Since I live in rural area, that makes for a pretty ugly looking map.

    The higher contrast in your version really makes the little roads stand out. Have you experimented with changing the line fill and border sizes?
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    These screenshots might be of interest. I still have my Nuvi 5000, which is a close cousin of the 855 mentioned in the title of this thread. The 855 was an update to the 850 which shared the same feature set as the Nuvi 5000, although the 5000 didn't have voice recognition. But it also has a 5" screen (5.25"actually) running at the same resolution as the 3xxx series - 800x480.

    Look how much the City Navigator rendering has changed in the Garmin theme on the 3550. It's practically unreadable! To be fair... the forum sofware is reducing the size of the image and that doesn't help - right click and open in another window to see full resolution. Even so, those minor streets are just too thin.

    I think one of the problems is an aggressive form of anti-aliasing on the 3550. This actually works pretty well in the 3d view but not so well in 2d. These devices were really intended to use 3d.

    I didn't bother to do a 3d comparison, because that always looked bad on the Nuvi 5000, and it was dog-slow to update the screen too. ;) Just playing with this old GPS now, I had forgotten just how slow it was at everything, and how awkward the touchscreen was compared to the 3550. The hardware has certainly come a long way.

    image


    image



    Using my topo map, both devices are much more similar since every object is controlled by a custom type. BTW Sergey, custom types don't have to be so hard to deal with today. You can use JaVaWa GMTK to install and remove the .typ file in any map you like.


    image


    image
  • SergZak 340 Points
    Even so, those minor streets are just too thin.

    I think one of the problems is an aggressive form of anti-aliasing on the 3550.
    In my findings, I don't think it's that the streets are too thin, it's the center color of the streets they use combined with a medium grey very thin border combined with the anti-aliasing (AA) that makes for a blurry mess. In my theme shown in my screen shots, I used a pretty dark grey (closer to black than grey) with the same color border so the AA doesn't blur the border with the center color. I've also made a theme that uses pure white for the center and pure black for the border which looks much better than Garmin's standard theme. Making both pure black makes for excellent contrast but at the same time looks pretty strange & very unnatural. Also, my themes modify the daytime color scheme only. I find the default Garmin nighttime colors work well as they are.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    The minor roads in my topo screenshots above have white centers and black borders. You can clearly see the effect of the anti-aliasing when you compare the rendering on the Nuvi 5000 to the Nuvi 3550 on the topo. As you note, the center of the line blurs with the edges.

    But anti-aliasing would usually be considered desirable in 3d photorealistic animation, and I think that's what Garmin is trying for on these devices. But it may not be completely fair to look at screen captures here on the forum, because the Nuvi is more like a "movie" when you have it in the car.

    Anyway, it seems to me that this is the direction Garmin has taken with these devices, starting with the 37x0. They're sort of a novelty, and quite different from the rest of the Nuvi line.

    Playing some more with the 3550, I'm impressed with the touchscreen response, the speed of the user interface and map rendering performance. It's much easier to dig deep into the menus on this unit because they open quickly and scroll easily with a flick of the finger, like an iPhone. Map browsing in 3d is a pleasure using gestures to rotate and tilt the map. Pinch/spread zooming works very well. The 37x0 aspired to be like that but just didn't quite make the grade. :) I guess touchscreen technology has come a long way since 2010.

    I have even grown fond of the auto-hide zoom buttons. You can just zoom with gestures without them, or tap the screen to show them. I especially like that I can drag the main screen and it immediately enters the browser, already in motion. The traditional nuvi's require a tap first to enter the browser, then a brief pause while it redraws the map. It is all just one fluid motion on the 3550. The Montana is also like that, but the 3550 hardware feels faster than anything I've ever seen from Garmin.

    Does the 35x7 use the same hardware I wonder, or is it even faster? I also wonder if the fact that the 3550 doesn't have traffic, bluetooth or voice recognition results in a more responsive device?
  • popej 57 Points
    I have even grown fond of the auto-hide zoom buttons. You can just zoom with gestures without them, or tap the screen to show them.
    Nice toy, but it has never worked in 34xx. I mean, when you drive in a car, tapping to get buttons gives random response and with gestures nuvi zooms for a moment and then returns to previous scale. Just an example of feature, that makes me doubt if Garmin developers use their products.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    That is what it was like on my 3790, but it works as expected for me on the 3550. And the autozoom seems to behave just as I would like also. In other words, it doesn't autozoom if I'm just driving around (not on a route). It maintains whatever level I choose.

    Only minor annoyance is that if you leave the navigation screen, use some menus, then return, it resets the zoom level to .2 miles.

    I think you mentioned you had flashed your 3760 with 3490 firmware. Are your comments based on that or a "real" 34x0? I have never used a 34x0 but the 3550 is much faster and more responsive than my 3790. Is the 34x0 slower hardware than the 35x0? Maybe the screen hardware itself is just much better on the 35x0?
  • popej 57 Points
    I'm using 3760 flashed with 34xx firmware. I don't notice improvements in speed between both versions of firmware but probably original 34xx can have faster CPU.

    I have noticed the same glitch with zoom reverting to 300m. It is a minor problem, since autozoom corrects zoom when GPS is moving. The same problem exist with autozoom off and in this case it is really annoying.

    35xx is newer and probably can have better hardware but I think it uses software very similar to 34xx and other 2012 models. I would expect that some glitches and bugs could repeat in all family.


  • One thing I haven't seen mentioned before is the Settings > Device > Travel History menu that allows you to disable track log recording. I wasn't aware that any Nuvi's permitted thatt. Do other 2012 and 2013 models have this?

    The 2595 does.
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    My 3790 has been acting up, crashing during trips etc... so I've started the research process on a replacement.

    The the 3590 really only allow 2 data fields and not the four that I use in the 3790?

    I like to ETA to destination. Time to destination, speed and current time. Can't do that on the 3590???? If so what a downgrade.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Actually you can have as many data fields as you want on the 3590. :D http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/26442/x/p1/
    I have re-written this... and now it's a 7 field dashboard. :) Needs a little more work, but it's functional and has some improvements over the original:

    * Speed limit is included in the dashboard itself
    * Tapping the speed brings up the trip computer
    * 4 of the fields may be customized
    * Uses less screen space in portrait view
    * Corrected various errors in the code
    image

    BTW, I took my 3550 on a 300 mile trip yesterday for the first time and drove all over New York City. It served me well, had no problem finding addresses in different parts of Manhattan. The routing seemed reasonable. I really appreciate the faster cpu and better touchscreen, none of the problems I used to have with my 3790.

    Only real complaint was signal reception in Mid town Manhattan. This has been a problem to some extent with every GPS I've ever used there, but my Montana is by far the best at keeping a good satellite lock in the urban canyons. The 3550 had my postion drifting all over the place. I have learned that it's best to use 2d North up mode in that part of town. Track up and 3d mode gets very disorienting. :wink:
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    So to have more than the two data fields I have to edit an XML file? I'm afraid that's just plain idiotic of Garmin. I'm hating this company more and more.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    No, you simply have to download the file that will be available here soon if you want the dashboard shown above. The article will provide enough information that others should be able to contribute their own custom dashboards soon.

    But if you prefer to just complain about Garmin, don't let me stop you...
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    No, you simply have to download the file that will be available here soon if you want the dashboard shown above. The article will provide enough information that others should be able to contribute their own custom dashboards soon.

    But if you prefer to just complain about Garmin, don't let me stop you...
    I well I do appreciate that this site is doing that. Thank you. But Garmin should still know better than to take away simple but useful features like being able to show 4 data fields....
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Maybe I don't really understand what the problem is? The 35x0 includes a number of stock dashboards that you can choose between right out of the box. They will allow the display of the same amount of information as the 37x0 but it's across the bottom of the screen instead of on the side. Seems to me that Garmin has provided a lot more than the 3790, especially since we can make our own if we don't like the stock ones.

    The 3597 has completely done away with this however and has no dashboard support or the standard layout like the 37x0.
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    I'm wondering if there are other basic features of the 3790 that the 3590 gets rid of? I do like my 3790 now that it's finally free of the bugs that plagued the "Trip Planner" for so long. I hate to go back to a buggy unit that lacks features. I've been looking at the 25xx series and the main difference appears to be 3d terrain rendering that I'd lose going with a 25xx series unit.
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    Maybe I don't really understand what the problem is? The 35x0 includes a number of stock dashboards that you can choose between right out of the box. They will allow the display of the same amount of information as the 37x0 but it's across the bottom of the screen instead of on the side. Seems to me that Garmin has provided a lot more than the 3790, especially since we can make our own if we don't like the stock ones.

    The 3597 has completely done away with this however and has no dashboard support or the standard layout like the 37x0.
    Perhaps its that the Manual for the 3590 is so lacking in detail that I can't even tell how many data fields are changeable except that it won't allow the speed data field to be changed.

    I always download the manual before buying anything and Garmin manuals really are low detail compared with, for example, a Canon digital camera.
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    Maybe I don't really understand what the problem is? The 35x0 includes a number of stock dashboards that you can choose between right out of the box. They will allow the display of the same amount of information as the 37x0 but it's across the bottom of the screen instead of on the side. Seems to me that Garmin has provided a lot more than the 3790, especially since we can make our own if we don't like the stock ones.
    That sounds OK then.


    The 3597 has completely done away with this however and has no dashboard support or the standard layout like the 37x0.
    I am not following how this sentence follows from the first paragraph? the 3590 has lots of stock dashboards but no dashboard support?
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Read it again. The 3597 - the 2013 "upgrade" to the 3590 - doesn't support dashboards and doesn't have any screen layouts with multiple data fields.

    For me, a more glaring omission on the 3590 is the inability to display your favorites on the map screen. You cannot show either their names or their icons. Instead, there's a new feature called "places on the road" that shows a generic (ugly) blue "signpost" with a heart on it. But it also enables sponsored POI's that show company icons on the map screen.

    As someone else observed, Garmin has removed the ads from the traffic service and replaced them with ads on the map itself. :evil:
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    I guess i've been sloppy with my model numbers because on the US garmin site there is only one 35xx model shown and its the 3597.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Well you're posting to a thread about the 3590 and you specifically asked about the 3590 so that's what my comments have been about. Maybe you're looking at a different Garmin site, because my US Garmin site lists both the 3590 and 3597. :D

    The 3597 is on page one and the 3590 is on page two when you go to Shop > Automotive:

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/automotive/cOnTheRoad-cAutomotive-p2.html

    If your questions are really about the 3597, then you should start another thread.
  • crazyfingers 106 Points
    Lack of these Dashboards in the 3597 is a "deal breaker" for me. I think I'm about to order a 3590.

    Garmin should redesign the way they present their products. Just going straight to the Automobile offering only shows the 2013 models, not all that are still being sold. That's why I never saw the 3590 as an option.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I don't like Garmin's site either, and it's also very slow for me. But if you point the mouse to Shop - Buy Devices then click on Automotive you are presented with two pages of Nuvi's. The 3597 is on page one and the 3590 is on page two. What links are you using?

    Anyway, I don't like the 3597 either. It does have a number of new features that some people seem to like however.
  • popej 57 Points
    I'm wondering if there are other basic features of the 3790 that the 3590 gets rid of?
    I guess it is like 3490. So there is no more real VIA in active route. If you miss a turn there is no "recalculate" warning. Long distance routing is simplified. Fastrouting distorts routing on 3-rd party maps. No hot-swap for SD cards.
  • crazyfingers 106 Points


    I invite owners of other recent Nuvis (such as the 3790, 2360, 2495, 2595, and 3490) to chime in here with comments about some of my 3590 descriptions…and how well those features operate on THEIR predecessor models.
    I'm a 3790 owner who had finally become happy with the 3790 after the many firmware updates that Garmin needed to finally make trip planner usable. But because of recent odd behaviors with the 3790 I've decided to get a 3590 which should arrive Friday and I'll see if I have any useful observations to post.

    But I will say that prior to using the 3790 I had a Nuvi 750, which has been incredibly reliable and is now used by my wife. When making the switch from the 750 to the 3790, the most annoying change, besides Trip Planner, was that with on the order of 300 waypoints, the 750 offered a "Spell" option right there on the opening screen for my waypoints. I liked this. With the 3790, the option to find a waypoint by spelling it three buttons down the menu and this was a totally stupid change. I'm not really expecting the 3590 to fix this though.
  • Hi SergZak, nice work on the themes you made, any chance you could send me a copy of your files?
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