The Good The Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD boasts a premium design with a sharp 5-inch capacitive screen and a thin metal chassis. Voice command makes the already intuitive interface easier to use on the road. Search-based destination input and natural spoken directions smooth things further.
The Bad The Smartphone Link feature doesn't really do anything aside from serving as a portal for additional paid services.
The Bottom Line The Nuvi 3597LMTHD continues to refine Garmin's brand of navigation with premium design and one of the best interfaces in the business.
Garmin adds a premium edge to classic GPS
After years of reviewing PND after PND, it's hard to get excited about a GPS device's physical form. However, the Nuvi 3597LM has managed to capture my attention with its glossy, black face and slim chassis.
The Nuvi looks slimmer than it actually is thanks to tapered edges that visually shrink the device's profile and make it easier to slip in and out of a pocket. Strategically placed black panels on the top and bottom edges also aid in visually slimming and classing-up the silvery metallic device. However, at its thickest point, the 3597LM is about as thick as the rest of this class of portable navigation devices.
On the face of the Nuvi 3597LM, behind a capacitive glass panel, shines a crisp 5-inch TFT screen that is gorgeous. The 800 by 480 pixel resolution isn't as hypersharp as today's Retina-class smartphone displays, but its brightness and clarity are better than on nearly every other portable navigation device that I've ever tested. Being capacitive, the glass can register swipes and pinches as well as taps, and the Nuvi's interface takes advantage of these new input types. Just to the right of the screen, you'll find a pinhole cut into the glass bezel for the Nuvi's microphone.
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Give your smartphone a break, especially on long trips, and let a dedicated device do the navigating.
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