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Garmin nüvi® 3597LMTHD

Portable navigator with voice-activated navigation, plus free lifetime map and traffic updates

53 Reviews

Item # 1503597LMT

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Our take on the Garmin nüvi® 3597LMTHD

Garmin's nüvi 3597LMTHD portable navigator gives you the familiar look and feel of a device you're probably already using quite a bit: your smartphone. You'll find the navigator's 5" multi-touch glass display and pinch-to-zoom capability quite intuitive, and its ultra-thin chassis comforting to your fingers. More than that, you'll get reliable guidance wherever you roam, while voice-activated navigation, rapid traffic alerts, free map updates, and Bluetooth® connectivity all help to make your time behind the wheel as stress-free as possible. You can also wirelessly connect to Garmin's free smartphone app to get valuable real-time local information.


Garmin's best navigator is ready to lead the way

Garmin's nüvi 3597LMTHD portable navigator gives you the familiar look and feel of a device you're probably already using quite a bit: your smartphone. You'll find the navigator's 5" multi-touch glass display and pinch-to-zoom capability quite intuitive, and its ultra-thin chassis comforting to your fingers. More than that, you'll get reliable guidance wherever you roam, while voice-activated navigation, rapid traffic alerts, free map updates, and Bluetooth® connectivity all help to make your time behind the wheel as stress-free as possible. You can also wirelessly connect to Garmin's free smartphone app to get valuable real-time local information.

It simply stays put

Do you take your navigator out of your car often? The nüvi 3597LMTHD's mount presents a solution that'll reduce frustration and save time. The powered base has an integrated magnetic mount that connects instantly to the metallic rear of the navigator so it'll stay securely in place as long as you need it to. When you're ready to move the navigator out of the car, just give it a gentle pull to detach it from the mount and you're on your way.

Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD portable navigator

Garmin's HD Digital Traffic keeps you ahead of congestion

The nüvi 3597LMTHD offers free lifetime traffic updates using Garmin's HD Digital Traffic service — you'll get new information up to every 30 seconds, which is far more often than most every other service available. This service offers up to three times more side road coverage than most services, and incorporates data from HD Radio™ sources, active devices on the road, historical traffic patterns, and other factors like construction, concerts, and sporting events to give you a comprehensive look at congestion in most metropolitan areas.

You'll see traffic updates on the side of your navigator's screen, so you can also keep an eye out for your next maneuver. And you'll hear spoken warnings about conditions ahead as they develop. Garmin HD Digital Traffic is also voice activated, so it can respond to the sound of your spoken words. Best of all, you won't have to pay a penny more for this service over the life of your nüvi.

Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD portable navigator - Garmin HD Digital Traffic

Control with your vocal cords instead of your hands

Voice-activated navigation is quite simple: with one spoken command, you can "wake up" the navigator to respond to your voice. You can search through menus, then input addresses and destinations without touching the screen. The nüvi 3597LMTHD will respond to your words intelligently. Built-in Bluetooth lets you sync your compatible phone to the navigator for hands-free conversations you carry on through the nüvi's integrated microphone and speaker.

Smartphone users can download Garmin's free Smartphone Link app to their device and connect to the nüvi 3597LMTHD. When paired, the navigator can use your phone's existing data plan to share information such as saved and recently found locations, where you parked, and your current destination. You can then use your phone to give you step-by-step directions back to your car in a large parking lot, for example, or import destinations to your navigator from your phone. You can also launch Garmin Live Services from the app, which give you local weather reports, live traffic updates, real-time photos from traffic cameras, area gas prices, and nearby parking help. Some Garmin Live Services require a subscription. Data charges may apply for using Smartphone Link — you'll want to check with your service provider.

Spoken directions you can follow

The nüvi 3597LMTHD offers Garmin Real Directions with Garmin Real Voice, a combination that helps keep you relaxed as you drive. Real Directions voice prompts speak the instructions to you like a friend would, using easy-to-see landmarks, buildings and businesses, and traffic lights, rather than streets with tiny signs that you might not see in time. With Real Voice technology, you'll hear directions spoken in a personable, human-sounding voice that you'll easily understand.

Get the best possible picture

The nüvi 3597LMTHD's high-resolution 5" glass display makes it easy to follow along, and you can view its maps in either portrait or landscape orientation. You'll have access to preloaded maps of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and several Caribbean islands, along with millions of points of interest; you can even add your own favorite stopping points. You can find and select businesses right on the map screen without having to go through time-wasting menus. Speed limit displays with visual warnings on major roads help keep you in check, and you'll even be notified of school zones.

The multi-touch glass display's pinch-to-zoom interface lets you scale and move the map easily for the best view. And with one tap of the screen, you can pull up details for services that lie ahead on your route, including restaurants, gas stations, and more. You also get up to four free map updates per year to keep you current on road changes.

Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD portable navigator

Plenty of info in advance

You'll see 3D representations of select buildings, landmarks and terrain aspects on the nüvi's screen, making it easier to figure out where you are, especially when you're on foot. Garmin also incorporates several other helpful visual tools to keep you on the correct path:

  • Active Lane Guidance shows you colored arrows for the correct lane for an upcoming turn.
  • Bird's Eye junction view gives you a detailed look at complicated interchanges from above, to give you a better perspective.
  • photoReal junction view displays realistic images of intersections, including signs and surrounding terrain, along with colored arrows for the correct lane.

You'll see all three visual features in a split-screen with your overall route so you won't lose sight of what's further down the road.

The display is a big improvement over the previous units and alerts for schools adds a nice touch. Bluetooth capability is also nice but the speaker and microphone could be improved.

Ken, Bloomington, IL

What's in the Box:

  • Portable GPS navigation device (w/5" LCD)
  • Magnetic mount
  • Suction cup mount
  • GTM60 Traffic receiver/car charger with attached 60" cable (Mini-B 2.0 USB plug)
  • 20" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Mini B 2.0 USB on the other end)
  • "Welcome" sheet (graphic quick start guide)
  • Important Safety and Product Information
  • Garmin Express sheet
  • Smartphone Link promotional sheet

Product Highlights:

  • portable GPS navigator
  • nüMaps Lifetime download card (receive up to 4 map updates per year without additional fees)
  • includes Garmin Digital HD Traffic receiver for free lifetime traffic info
  • powered mount with suction-cup windshield cradle and integrated magnet
  • car power adapter, mini-USB cable and built-in rechargeable battery with up to 2 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 5" (800 x 400 pixels) multi-touch glass display with touchscreen control
  • accepts spoken commands and voice address entry
  • 10 million points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • preloaded with maps for the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, plus most of Mexico and several major Caribbean islands
  • text-to-speech voice prompts announce actual road names at turns
  • 3D representations of select buildings, landmarks, and terrain
  • Real Directions gives instructions using landmarks, buildings, and traffic signals
  • Real Voice announces directions in human-like voice
  • trafficTrends provides routes based on actual historic travel times due to daily traffic
  • Active Lane Guidance with voice prompts
  • Bird's Eye and photoReal junction views
  • speed limit and school zone indicators
  • Up Ahead feature informs of nearby services
  • multi-destination routing: route optimization
  • transport modes: auto
  • Bluetooth for making and receiving hands-free calls with your compatible cell phone
  • works with Garmin Smartphone Link app for iPhone® and Android™ phones
  • microSD™ card slot
Other features and specs:

Garmin nüvi® 3597LMTHD Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(53 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Maps Free lifetime updates
Map Coverage USA (50), CA, MX, PR, USVI
Points of Interest 10,000,000
Multiple Destination Routing Yes
Screen Size 5"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable Phone
Photo Viewer No
Digital Audio Playback No
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control Yes
Traffic Information HD Digital
Dynamic Content Services Garmin Smartphone Link
Removable Memory Type microSD
Battery Life 2 hours
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

General Features
Navigation Features

General Features

Overview: The Garmin nüvi 3597LMT HD, part of the Prestige Series, is a portable GPS navigation device that provides automatic routing and turn-by-turn voice directions. It is housed in a sleek, ultra-slim body with elegant styling and a new magnetic mount. The unit includes subscription-free, lifetime traffic updates and free lifetime map updates. With built-in Bluetooth, you can make and receive hands-free phone calls through a Bluetooth-enable phone, plus receive live services through a free Smartphone Link app.

5" Touchscreen LCD: The nüvi 3597LMT HD features a 5", dual-orientation, color TFT touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The high-resolution display features multi-touch glass and "pinch and zoom" capability to quickly give you a closer look at onscreen information. The display changes automatically to portrait or landscape orientation, depending upon how you position the unit.

Preloaded 3D Maps: The nüvi 3597LMT HD contains NAVTEQ's City Navigator North America NT 2013 maps with 3D detailed road maps of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas. The 3D Terrain View displays tall buildings and map contours along your route to help you better identify landmarks and your surroundings. The maps include more than 10-million points of interest (POIs) to help you find the destination you desire.

Free Lifetime Map Updates: The nüvi 3597LMT HD offers free lifetime map updates so you'll always have the most up-to-date maps, POIs, and navigation information. Map updates are available for download up to 4 times a year with no subscription or update fees and no expiration dates. Free Lifetime Map Updates are subject to Terms & Conditions.

nüMaps Guarantee: If you register your device on Garmin's website within 90 days of acquiring satellites while driving, you can check to see if a free map update is available. You must be able to connect your device via a high-speed internet connection in order to check the loaded map version and download the map update.

Garmin Express: You can connect the unit to your computer with the supplied USB cable for downloading map updates, custom POIs, voices, and vehicles. You will need to download the Garmin Express software to update your maps and register the unit. Garmin Express requires Windows Vista or newer or Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, running in 64-bit.

Bluetooth: The nüvi 3597LMT HD has built-in Bluetooth technology. This allows you to sync the unit with a Bluetooth-enabled device for hands-free calling through its integrated microphone and speaker. You can make and receive phone calls as long as the devices are within 33 feet and paired.

microSD Card Slot: The nüvi 3597LMT HD has a microSD card slot so you can store and use optional cityXplorer or marine maps (available from Garmin), or download custom voices and vehicles from the Garmin Garage.

Magnetic Mount: The 3597LMT HD features a new magnetic mount that holds the unit securely in place. The mount contains the connection jack from the traffic receiver/car charger and the ball socket for the included windshield mount. This allows you to detach the GPS unit and take it with you when you leave the car, without having to unplug it.

Power Requirements: The Garmin nüvi 3597LMT HD is powered by your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter power adapter. The built-in Lithium-Ion battery will provide up to 2 hours of use after a 4-hour charge. An optional AC adapter allows you to operate the unit on ordinary household current. The unit can be powered by your computer when it is connected via the supplied USB cable.

Navigation Features

Garmin Real Directions/Garmin Real Voice: The nüvi 3597LMT HD features Garmin Real Directions with easy-to-understand driving directions using recognizable landmarks, buildings, and traffic lights, in addition to street names. Garmin Real Voice uses advanced speech technology that sounds more like a natural human voice.

Voice Command: You can use your voice to activate and operate the nüvi 3597LMT HD. Voice Command allows you to use the device by speaking words and commands and following the voice prompts. After speaking a predetermined Wakeup Phrase, you can enter the names and/or address of popular, well-known locations. If necessary, you can disable voice prompts without muting the device, so you'll still hear the audible directions as you travel.

Smartphone Link: Smartphone Link is a phone application that allows the device to download live data using your phone's data connection, and transferring the data wirelessly via Bluetooth. The free Garmin Smartphone Link app provides access to Garmin Live Services, which includes free and subscription-based plans for viewing traffic data, weather, dynamic parking, and fuel prices. Garmin Smartphone Link is available for iPhone in the App Store and for Android in the Google Play store.

Garmin HD Digital Traffic: HD Digital Traffic is Garmin's best traffic solution, receiving updates up to every 30 seconds, ten times faster than other traffic systems. The supplied GTM60 HD Digital Traffic receiver uses the HD Radio system to receive updates. The traffic updates appear to the side of the map, so your driving map remains onscreen at all times. The updates can give you details about the situation, including the estimated length of the delay, and possible detours around the trouble. Free Lifetime Garmin Traffic requires no subscription or activation, and is subject to Terms & Conditions.

Note: HD Digital Traffic updates are available in approximately 84 markets throughout the U.S.

Points of Interest: The built-in maps include over 10-million Points of Interest (POIs) such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, attractions, and ATMs. are included to help you find the destination you desire. In addition, you can download additional points of interest and add them to the unit's memory (Custom POIs). The free POI Loader software can be downloaded from the Garmin website to assist you in creating Custom POIs.

Active Lane Guidance: Active Lane Guidance with voice prompts lets you know in advance which lane you should to be in to make an upcoming turn. In select metropolitan areas, the nüvi 3597LMT HD will enter split screen mode to display the photoReal junction view, a realistic depiction of the junction, complete with road signs and brightly-colored arrows to indicate the proper lane for navigation. The Bird's Eye view also gives you a top-down view of upcoming interchanges.

Map View Options: You can choose from a 3D map view or two 2D map views (Track Up or North Up) as you navigate to your destination.

Speed Limits: As you travel along a major road or street, the speed limit is displayed on the screen alongside of the vehicle's speed display. If you are exceeding the speed limit, the color of the vehicle speed indication changes to red. If the highway's posted speed limit has changed since the last map update, you can change the speed limit display on the unit.

Where Am I?: The "Where Am I?" feature gives you instant access to important information in case of an emergency. When you touch the vehicle icon on the map screen, the "Where Am I?" feature provides the coordinates (including elevation) of your current position, plus the nearest address and intersections. There are also buttons to help you locate the nearest hospitals, police stations, gas stations, and roadside assistance. You can also save the location for future reference.

Up Ahead: As you travel along your route, the Up Ahead feature constantly indicates the location of nearby businesses, including gas, food, lodging, restrooms, parking, and banks and ATMs. The locations are shown as icons, some with brand logos, and when the icons are touched on the screen, details of the services are displayed, and you are given the opportunity to navigate to that address.

Garmin Locate: To assist you in finding your parked vehicle, the Garmin Locate feature saves your location to memory when you remove the device from the windshield mounting cradle while the device is on. You can search for your vehicle's location using the Last Spot button in the menu.

Destination Search: When the Where To? button is pressed, you can use the search tools to find your destination and plan your route. The search tools allow you to search for cities, addresses, intersections, or coordinates. The new Search Bar lets you directly enter a category, brand name, address, or city name. The unit's memory stores the last 50 locations you have found so you can quickly find a previous destination.

Garmin Garage: The unit offers your choice of eight standard icons to represent your vehicle. The online Garmin Garage offers dozens more vehicle icons that you can download for free. In addition, you can purchase icon and voice bundles with Star Wars (Yoda, Darth Vader), Sesame Street (Oscar, Cookie Monster, Ernie & Bert), and The Simpsons (Homer and Marge) themes.

trafficTrends: When the trafficTrends feature is enabled, the nüvi 3597LMT HD automatically records historic traffic data and uses that data to calculate more efficient routes. This information is sent to Garmin when you connect your device to myGarmin (your personal account site on the Garmin website) using your computer. Different routes may be calculated based on traffic trends for the day of the week or the time of day.

myTrends: In addition to the trafficTrends feature, myTrends also takes into account your personal driving habits and anticipates your route when calculating your ETA to your frequent destinations.

Trip Planner: You can create and save a trip with multiple destinations using the Trip Planner. Once you have entered your destinations, you can manually set them in the order of your preference, or allow the device to calculate the most efficient route. Trip itineraries can be saved in memory for future use.

Trip Computer: The trip information page displays your current speed and direction, and provides helpful statistics about your trip. Dual trip odometers keep up with your total mileage. The page also indicates the distance and driving time to your next maneuver, as well as the distance and driving time to your destination. Your maximum speed and moving average speed are also displayed. The information can be reset in advance of your next trip.

Where I've Been/Trip Log: The Where I've Been application allows you to view your previous routes and places you have stopped on the map. In addition, the device keeps a Trip Log, which is a record of the path you have traveled. The Travel History setting must be enabled in order for the Where I've Been and Trip Log features to function.

GPS Simulator: When indoors, you can activate the built-in GPS simulator and practice using the unit. This turns off the GPS receiver so it's not searching for satellites, saving battery power.

ecoRoute: The optional ecoRoute feature calculates the fuel economy and the fuel price of navigating to a destination, and offers tools for improving fuel efficiency. The ecoRoute application can be purchased from the Garmin Online Store.

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Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

What a portable navigator should be

Written by Matt Freeman, Staff Writer - Creative, on 10/10/2013 3:40:00 PM
I have to admit, there are times when I wonder if portable navigators are soon going to be phased out by smartphone apps. But then I use something like the nüvi 3597LMTHD, and I remember that the answer is "most definitely not." I got to do an in-depth test of this particular portable, and came away really impressed. I could go on at length about all the things I liked about it: the friendly user interface, the accurate and quick traffic-info service, and even the cool magnetic mount. But what impressed me most was the display. Garmin's not kidding when they say that this display is "high-def". I found it very easy to read, no matter what kind of light it was in, and could pick out little map details pretty much instantly. On top of that, the smooth glass of the display coupled with neat touches like pinch-and-zoom capability made this thing super-easy to use. So as long as companies like Garmin keep coming out with models this easy and fun to use, the portable navigator is here to stay.
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