Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT review: Simple GPS navigation makes for a (four) square meal

Pricing Unavailable
  • Recommended Use automotive
  • Features Garmin Real Directions, Emergency Help, Garmin Garage, Point Of Interest (POI), built-in speaker, custom POIs, hands-free calling via Bluetooth, junction view, lifetime map updates, lifetime traffic updates, speed limit warning, nüRoute Technology with myTrends, nüRoute Technology with trafficTrends
  • Navigation Software & Services Foursquare, HERE Maps, Lane Assistant

Roadshow Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

The Good Slimline design combined with a great screen mount and the addition of Foursquare integration make this an impressive offering from Garmin.

The Bad The voice recognition doesn't always work and the reflective screen can be a pain when driving under the Australian sun.

The Bottom Line Garmin's updated premium Nuvi GPS keeps things simple, and that's a big plus, but its lack of real headline features only makes it a middle ground option for a GPS in 2014.

The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT certainly has a premium feel to it, with a slender design and a ball socket screen mount that folds away into quite a compact shape when not in use. Many screen mounts protrude a lot from the windscreen which can be a big problem if you drive a smaller car. The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT's screen mount is just about perfect in this respect. It's easy to install and remove, unobtrusive and very secure, even over rough road patches.

I can't quite heap the same amount of praise on the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT's glass screen. It's very pretty and has a premium look to it when you take it out of the box, but it's also quite reflective. That means that when it hits bright sunlight, visibility is heavily compromised.

Features

Most standalone satellite navigation providers have sat with the same user interfaces for a number of years now under a kind of "if it ain't broke" style paradigm. Garmin's certainly guilty of this, as the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT uses the same simple map or search UI that Garmin GPS devices have had for years.

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Alex Kidman

In many ways this is a strength, however, as it eliminates a lot of useless screen clutter. If you're in the market for a GPS, you probably either want to know where you are via the map, or want to know where you have to go, via the Where To menu. It's the kind of UI that anyone can pick up and use quickly, at least at first. It also supports voice commands for true hands-free operation while driving, because actually interacting with a GPS while your car is in motion is entirely illegal in Australia.

The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT, like other Australian GPS solutions is only as good as the map data that you feed it. The problem here is that nobody's map data is 100 percent accurate, and all you can do is work around the limitations of that data. There are errors that I've spotted over years now that are still part of regular updated GPS map data, and the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT is no different in this regard.

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The screen has some reflection issues. Alex Kidman

One way you can supplement map data is with a wide variety of points of interest, and here the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT's bit headline feature comes to the fore. The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT uses Foursquare data to enhance its search options. Garmin offers a free app to sync Foursquare locations to the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT, as well as a number of free and paid added services through the app, which connects via Bluetooth to an Android or iOS smartphone.

Performance

The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT's UI is basic at first with just a few little quirks, like the fact that it searches for addresses by city, then street number and then street name, which doesn't help much if you don't know the absolute street number of your location. It gained satellite lock-on very quickly from its initial unpacking and was always quick to re-route when moving off-track.

Foursquare integration is an interesting move for Garmin. There's a large number of pre-installed Foursquare locations that you can search manually from within the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT just as you would any other GPS POI database. It also supports Garmin's Smartphone Link app, which lets you send Foursquare locations from your Android or iOS smartphone to the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT via Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth Pairing process was simple enough, but by default it only links your phone to the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT for calling and contacts purposes. To get Foursquare data across you've got to approve it for applications as well, which is hidden in a sub-menu. Once you've done that, addresses appear all but immediately from sending. It's a neat feature, although it doesn't save your Foursquare addresses as favourite destinations unless you tell it explicitly to do so.

The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT supports voice commands for navigation with mostly logical menu choices presented once you say the default phrase. Voice commands should be the golden objective for any satellite navigation system, because they'd allow for hands-free searching while you're driving, but in the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT case, there's still plenty of work to do.

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Alex Kidman

Searching for town names generally worked well, although place names with repetition, such as Wagga Wagga were very hard for it to pick. Trying to get a full address recognised all at once generally proved too much for the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT to handle. There's also an odd omission within voice controls if you haven't set your toll road preferences properly, because that relies only on a tap rather than a voice affirmation, but will still come up as part of the voice command flow. Strictly speaking to be legal you'd then need to pull over, tap the Toll preference for the route, and then recommence your journey.

Conclusion

The Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT is a nice GPS unit that for the most part works well. That being said, aside from its Foursquare integration, there really isn't much to it that I haven't seen in previous Garmin models. Compared to the upgraded search-centric UI of devices like the TomTom Go 500 or the Navman MiVue Drive LM's integrated drive recorder, the Garmin Nuvi 2589 LMT fails to really stand out. Given its premium pricing, and the proliferation of smartphone GPS, that's a big strike against it.

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