Garmin nüvi 2599 LMT-D full review
With its 5in screen, the nüvi 2599 LMT-D looks almost identical to its little brother - the nuvi 52LM - but, while some of the extras might be thought of as just icing on the cake, there are some key differences. (See all satnav reviews)
First and foremost, while the Garmin nüvi 52 LM and the TomTom Start 50 lack any sort of connectivity, the nüvi 2599 LMT-D has several options. First of all it has a built-in receiver to access the live traffic information, that is carried by digital and FM radio stations. This is used for route planning and to provide warnings while driving, and subscription to the service is provided for the life of the unit, together with map updates. As a special offer, you also get free safety camera updates for two years. Compared to the nüvi 52 LM, the geographical reach of this unit extends from the UK and Ireland only to most of Europe. The second connectivity option is Bluetooth which it uses to communicate with an iPhone or Android smartphone. The can provide live traffic information for route planning and while driving in countries where it isn't available from broadcast radio, and there are other benefits which we'll get to in a bit.
Like all the other units reviewed here, physically attaching the unit to the car windscreen and power socket is simple enough, following the usual mounting system. Initial impressions were favourable since the touchscreen is very responsive, being based on capacitive technology rather than the old resistive screens many satnavs (and car infotaimnent systems) still use. The menus are easy enough to understand and navigate and most users should be up and running from the off. Route planning is similar to that of the nüvi 52 LM although now you can choose from several alternative routes.
Although all the units included here allow you to use voice control, this is of limited value when driving since you first have to select it via on-screen menus with obvious safety implications. This unit, however, allows you to activate it while driving by issuing the magic phrase “Voice Command” so we were put it through its paces. In general, it proved reasonably reliable, even with road noise, although we found some street names that it was totally incapable of recognising.
The maps are clear and you can choose between a 2D or 3D view although 3D buildings don’t make their appearance in the Garmin range at this price point. The verbal instructions given while driving are easy to understand and timely and with the addition of so-called Real Directions. This feature, that isn’t available on any of the other units reviews here, gives you extra confidence by being more specific in providing instructions. So, for example, instead of just saying “turn right”, it may tell you to turn right at the lights or after a particular landmark. However, from our experience it seems that guidance by landmarks is limited outside the major cities. Except for suggesting the same poor route as the nüvi 52 LM, the routes offered were sensible. Like all the units in our group, Foursquare POI is provided.
Another feature unique among our group is the nüvi 2599 LMT-D’s ability to act as a hands-free unit for your phone and compatibility with the free Smartphone Link app for sharing data with your phone. When you park, for example, the in car unit will send the location to your phone so you can navigate back to it on foot.
Although the recommended £180 price is quite high, you can pick up the 2599 LM-D for much less online. At around £150 it's much better value, so long as you have the requisite smartphone to make the most of it.
Garmin nüvi 2599 LMT-D: Specs
- Standalone satnav
- 5in (480x272) capacitive touchscreen display
- preloaded European maps (inc UK)
- Lithium-ion battery
- claimed battery life 2 hours
- 2-year warranty