The GPS market exploded about a decade ago, triggering a whole generation of drivers who had no need to stop and ask for directions. With turn-by-turn navigation a reality, people were finding their locations easier and faster than ever. Then came the smartphone boom, when apps became all the rage and entire GPS systems were put inside the small device typically used for only making calls. As a student and a member of society who probably has all their required applications on one device, you question the need of a GPS today. Cell coverage is getting better, removing most dead zones where you’d be stranded and lost anyway, right? So what’s the draw? The reason you upgraded to a smartphone from that old flip-phone is the same reason to invest in one of the current-generation GPS systems: features. While your smartphone still operates as a phone, the reason you upgraded from that outdated brick you had in 2006 was the features it presented. With the Garmin nüvi 2597LMT, it’s the same story, different chapter. The GPS offers the expected benefits, providing easy to hear and follow directions to get where you’re going. To justify the $219.99 price though, Garmin knew it had to offer consumers with something more than basic GPS features. It did just that.
Your phone isn’t going away, so it’s nice to see Garmin embrace that fact by implementing your use here. Bluetooth capability allows users to sync their phone to the GPS itself and use their phone in a hands-free environment, allowing users to make and take calls through the nüvi 2597LMT. Additionally, the implementation of Smartphone Link, a free app, takes advantage of your data plan to provide traffic and weather updates on the fly or to act as a beacon and help you find your car in a parking lot. That same technology, the ability to speak to the GPS, is also implemented for traveling ease. If you suddenly have to input an address, basic commands are able to tell the device to reroute you to the appropriate coordinates. Further, if you’re out and about and have a craving for a particular type of food -- BBQ for example -- you can tell your GPS of your desires and be given a listing of the closest BBQ joints in your area, select one, and be on your way to some finger lickin’ good food.
With the debate of smartphone versus GPS, there will always be pros and cons. The battery of the nüvi 2597LMT for instance lasts about 2.5 hours, but being stationed in your car and with a charger included in the box does make that a bit of a moot point. Removing it from your car would limit its use, but there’s hardly a reason to do that. Maps for bicycle, ATV, and snowmobile paths aren’t available and when browsing Garmin’s website for downloadable maps, none were found.
It’s true that the Garmin nüvi 2597LMT is packed full of features, both free and for purchase. The 5” screen makes it easy to see navigation without requiring you to take your eyes off of the road for too long. Spoken instructions that go beyond “turn left in 500 feet” are available to ensure you never make a turn incorrectly. Trip planner gives users the opportunity to mark multiple destinations and determine the most efficient route. Truly, this goes beyond your average GPS and with an MSRP around $219.99, you’ll certainly get what you pay for. The downside is that for those who don’t routinely take trips will find limited use; those who spend excessive amounts of time in their car or are planning a trip after graduation will definitely find value in the features included.