LAS VEGAS--Garmin's no stranger to connected portable navigation devices (PNDs), but its newest top-of-the-line model connects to the Internet using the connection that you've already got in your pocket.
Previous generations of Garmin's connected PNDs utilized an internal GSM antenna to connect to the NuLink service. The new Nuvi 3590LMT is able to connect via Bluetooth to an Android phone running its Garmin Smartphone Link app, gaining access to Garmin's live services such as traffic information, traffic camera images, weather, and fuel prices to its navigation device, utilizing the smartphone's mobile data plan. The free app gives users access to free services and premium subscription-based content, on both the handset's and the PND's screens.
As the new top dog in Garmin's Prestige line, the 3590LMT packs every trick in Garmin's book into its thin form factor, including HD Radio-powered Digital 3D traffic, lifetime map updates, Garmin's Guidance 3.0 routing and navigation engine, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and the fantastic hands-free voice command system that I loved so much in the recently reviewed Nuvi 3490 LMT. Users will interact with the unit via a wide 5-inch glass capacitive touch screen.
The Nuvi 3590LMT is one of two models in Garmin's Nuvi 3500 series and will retail for $399.99 when it hits the market in February 2012. Also joining the 3500 series is the Nuvi 3550LM ($369.99 MSRP), which loses Bluetooth and Garmin Smartphone Link connectivity and the free Digital 3D traffic updates.