Buying A New Garmin Automotive GPS: Digital Traffic Vs. Lifetime Traffic

 

I am giving some more serious thought to buying another Garmin automotive GPS. the reason is because we now have another vehicle and I want to have one in each vehicle. I have a Garmin Nuvi 500, Nuvi 360, and Nuvi 350. Even though they are current on software and maps, they are still pretty dated at this point. Out fourth vehicle doesn't have a GPS and we get by okay, but it is time for one more GPS.

So, I had been all set to buy a Garmin Nüvi 3597LMTHD, but I am now wondering if I can get by with something a bit less expensive. As I go through the Garmin website, I know I want a 5.0" screen and Lifetime Map Updates

I do want traffic, but this is a feature that I really haven't paid much attention to over the years. What is the difference between Digital Traffic and Lifetime Traffic? I assume that Traffic Compatible means that there is something more to buy to activate that feature.

I did read through this article and it sounds like HD Digital Traffic is superior to Live Traffic. For those here that are familiar with both, do you find that HD Digital Traffic is, indeed, truly superior to regular Live Traffic?
http://support.garmin.com/support/searchSupport/case.faces?c...

2598LMTHD at Costco

2598LMTHD at Costco with lifetime map and HD traffic, @$140, might worth a look.

http://www.costco.com/Garmin-Nuvi-2598LMTHD-5%22-GPS-.produc...

I have used both Garmin standard and HD traffic. HD traffic provides definitely more up to date traffic info. On the freeway, it is usually spot on within a mile or so of the reported traffic slow up, especially during commute hours. YMMV, depending on where you are travelling though. Smartphone Link traffic is on par with HD.

HD also provides much more extensive coverage for traffic along major local thoroughfares. But I found the local info is more miss than hit.

For Jim

Jim, another consideration, if important to you as it is for many of us, is the connection between the power cord and GPS. The 3597 you mention has the power cord connect to the GPS cradle, not the GPS. Therefore, each time you remove the GPS, you don't need to touch the cable. All the new 2014 Advanced models have the power cord connect directly to the GPS meaning that you will be constantly connecting and disconnecting the power cord assuming you plan not to leave the GPS unattended in a vehicle.

Buying A New Garmin Automotive GPS: Digital Traffic Vs. Lifetime

Thank you very much to both of you for your comments.

Pillowcase, thank you for the tip at Costco. We aren't members, but perhaps Sams Club has comething similar.

CraigW, where I connect is also an important consideration.

I looked a bit closer at this and it looks like the means to get the data to your GPS is as follows:

-HD Digital Traffic (Formerly 3D Digital Traffic) comes via HD FM broadcast radio.

-Live Traffic (Formerly 3D Live Traffic) comes via your existing cell phone data plan.

-Garmin Traffic (Formerly 3D Traffic) comes via analog FM-RDS broadcast radio. (NAVTEQ Traffic-RDS Coverage.)

So, even though I would probably have my smartphone with most of the time, I am inclined to slect one with HD Digital Traffic.

http://www8.garmin.com/traffic/

For the price, I am tempted by the Garmin Nuvi 2598LMTHD.

http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-garmin-nvi-2598lmthd-advance...

Owners manual

Jim1348 wrote:

For the price, I am tempted by the Garmin Nuvi 2598LMTHD.

See page 1 (zoomed) to view the power cord and mount connections:

http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/nuvi_24x7_OM_EN.pdf

as opposed to the 3597's, also on page 1:

http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/nuvi_35x7_OM_EN.pdf

New Garmin

I recently purchased the 2598 LMTHD from Costco for $139. It replaces my 350. New one works great so hope you can find a friend who shops at COSTCO or a comparable price.

Bob

@jim1348

I suggest that you look at the "coverage" maps for any type of traffic (digital or not). Traffic sounded great to me when I bought my 765T but I do not have coverage in the are in which I live.

You might decide that traffic is not going to be a great help most of the time.

John

Yes, it is a good idea to

Yes, it is a good idea to check the traffic map as jgermann suggested. I have seen that Smartlink traffic coverage is lot superior than regular FM traffic coverage. I have noticed that digital traffic or Smartlink traffic covers the areas not covered by HD or FM traffic. But still good idea to check the coverage first. I would suggest to use the following link to check traffic coverage in your area:
https://www.here.com/traffic

--
Iphone XR, Drivesmart 61,Nuvicam, Nuvi3597

So true

rookie8155 wrote:

Yes, it is a good idea to check the traffic map as jgermann suggested. I have seen that Smartlink traffic coverage is lot superior than regular FM traffic coverage. I have noticed that digital traffic or Smartlink traffic covers the areas not covered by HD or FM traffic. But still good idea to check the coverage first. I would suggest to use the following link to check traffic coverage in your area:
https://www.here.com/traffic

So very true. Traffic in the entire state of Arizona is limited to the areas around Phoenix and Tucson.

I just went and compared the

I just went and compared the 2597 to the 2598. The 2597 is $199 from Garmin. The 2598 is $319. The only difference between the two is the HD traffic. $120 difference.

My money on is on the 2597.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

I have a 3590

And it works great. I recently took a trip out west and I was receiving construction updates when and where I wasn't expecting them. I'm very happy with the traffic that I receive with this unit. It showed traffic slow-downs and gave me detour options. Very nice.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Buying A New Garmin Automotive GPS: Digital Traffic Vs. Lifetime

maddog67 wrote:

And it works great. I recently took a trip out west and I was receiving construction updates when and where I wasn't expecting them.....

I live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Twin Cities Metropolitan area, so typically my concern would be traffic driving into the Evil Empire (Minneapolis) from out in the suburbs.

If the traffic feature good about scheduled road closures? For example, Highway 100 near Minneapolis was scheduled to be closed during a weekend time frame recently. I knew about it, so I avoided it. Would that show up on traffic?

Wait for CES and see what

Wait for CES and see what new devices Garmin will have on displaly

--
NickJr Nuvi 3597LMT

Buying A New Garmin Automotive GPS: Digital Traffic Vs. Lifetime

Yes, I am looking forward to CES also. I keep wondering if they might go with Android based GPS devices like the units announced in some other non-US countries.

I read up on the Garmin 3597LMTHD

I read up on the Garmin 3597LMTHD which some guys highly recommended here, and though it sounds like a great unit it's just too darned expensive. I want all that but I am just not willing to pay for it. I am too cheap.

I am still looking around. My old unit is getting dimmer. Heh.

I was at costco the other day, I didn't look to see what they have. Oh well.

eBay's recent pricing

Steevo wrote:

I read up on the Garmin 3597LMTHD which some guys highly recommended here, and though it sounds like a great unit it's just too darned expensive. I want all that but I am just not willing to pay for it. I am too cheap.

I am still looking around. My old unit is getting dimmer. Heh.

I was at costco the other day, I didn't look to see what they have. Oh well.

I have been watching eBay for new, refurb and used 3597s. The majority right now tend to be going for $180-$280 shipped. There's still a fairly good inventory and there's a good mix of auctions vs Buy It Nows.

.

Any traffic service you decide on will be HIGHLY dependent on the particular area you'll be using it in. Even here in SoCal where traffic services/transmitting stations are abundant and dense, there can be issues with reception, especially using digital traffic. On a hill I frequent bordering Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties (Kellogg Hill), all reception is lost for the duration (and then some) of the ascent & descent of the hill. Just like OTA (over the air) digital TV, reception can vary greatly. When reception is good, it works great. When reception falters, you can't watch anything (not even the old "snowy" TV reception). Digital traffic has more issues than analog in my testing.

That being said, even when everything is working correctly, issues often occur with the time-delay factor. NO traffic receiver will help you if an accident/incident occurred 5 minutes or less ahead of you. Once reported, the incident takes numerous, often timely steps before it even reaches you.

I would say not to judge the unit you're buying based on traffic ability.

--
nuvi 760, nuvi 765T, nuvi 855, nuvi 3790LMT, nuvi 3490LMT - SoCal area

2598LMTHD and SmartLink

Hi,

I am also looking at the 2598LMTHD from Costco. One question...

Can the 2598LMTHD connect to the IOS version of Smart Link?

Thanks in advance for your response.

This was a great thread.

This was a great thread. Thanks for the info!

--
Garmin c340, Nuvi 350, Nuvi 765T, Nuvi 2360LMT

I have a new (refurbed) 3597

not a bad unit, sometime glitchy on the voice command but otherwise pretty solid for a couple months now...I was a huge Garmin fan, then got tired of their constant struggles with software and routing so this is high praise coming back. I will say this...buy the features you want without regard to the traffic...HD and digital are the same can of worms functionally...I live in the Philly suburbs and get traffic in my home neighborhood...the closer I get to Philly I get no traffic more often than not...go figure...

--
"You can't get there from here"

Garmin MSRP

phranc wrote:

I just went and compared the 2597 to the 2598. The 2597 is $199 from Garmin. The 2598 is $319. The only difference between the two is the HD traffic. $120 difference.

My money on is on the 2597.

You really cannot go by the Garmin MSRP when price shopping Garmin units. For example the 2598LMTHD at Costco is normally priced at $169.99 it is/was on sale for $139.99.

Smartphone Link

DVD_Guy wrote:

Can the 2598LMTHD connect to the IOS version of Smart Link?

The Smartphone Link app works on iOS and Android. Windows phone users are currently out of luck.

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/garmin-smartphone-link/id567...

Android: http://market.android.com/details?id=com.garmin.android.apps...

I use the Smartphone Link app on an Android phone with a 2598LMTHD and it works fine. Keep in mind that the Live Traffic, Advanced Weather and photoLive options of the Smartphone Link app are not free (they're subscription based).

2597 Going to be cheaper

bennor3814 wrote:
phranc wrote:

I just went and compared the 2597 to the 2598. The 2597 is $199 from Garmin. The 2598 is $319. The only difference between the two is the HD traffic. $120 difference.

My money on is on the 2597.

You really cannot go by the Garmin MSRP when price shopping Garmin units. For example the 2598LMTHD at Costco is normally priced at $169.99 it is/was on sale for $139.99.

Yes, I now that, but if you carry that comparison forward, over $100 has been added to the price for nothing more than the HD Traffic. Im pretty sure that if you can find that 2598 on sale, you can find the 2597 for even cheaper. The HD traffic is not worth paying that much for.

Not at Cosco, but I found a 2597 with free shipping for $124. Shop around.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

Thanks for the update on the

Thanks for the update on the difference between Digital vs regular traffic. Didn't know it.

especially since

phranc wrote:
bennor3814 wrote:
phranc wrote:

I just went and compared the 2597 to the 2598. The 2597 is $199 from Garmin. The 2598 is $319. The only difference between the two is the HD traffic. $120 difference.

My money on is on the 2597.

You really cannot go by the Garmin MSRP when price shopping Garmin units. For example the 2598LMTHD at Costco is normally priced at $169.99 it is/was on sale for $139.99.

Yes, I now that, but if you carry that comparison forward, over $100 has been added to the price for nothing more than the HD Traffic. Im pretty sure that if you can find that 2598 on sale, you can find the 2597 for even cheaper. The HD traffic is not worth paying that much for.

Not at Cosco, but I found a 2597 with free shipping for $124. Shop around.

Especially since you can buy the GTM 60 HD Receiver at Garmin for $69.99.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

Live in tucson and my

Live in tucson and my 3790lmt has never gone off in 5 years.

Price

Box Car wrote:

[snipping quote tree]

Especially since you can buy the GTM 60 HD Receiver at Garmin for $69.99.

At the time I bought my 2598 from Costco it was cheaper than the 2597 down the street at BestBuy. Probably could have gotten the 2597 a little bit cheaper on line but didn't really look. But when factoring in the cost of the HD receiver cord the 2597 may have ended up costing the same or more as the 2598 from Costco.

Obviously the moral of the story is shop around to get the best price on the GPS your looking for.

Buying A New Garmin Automotive GPS: Digital Traffic Vs. Lifetime

I have been using my Garmin Nuvi 3597 for a couple of weeks now. This morning, during my drive to work, was the first time I have gotten an alert as soon as I was routing to work. Imust say that I was pretty impressed because I was alerted to a traffic accident, there was still a slow down as a result of it, and the Garmin told me that despite the issue, that my route was still the fastes way to drive to work.

As an aside, this is all still pretty new to me. I have been a long time GPS user, but very new to the traffic feature. Until recently, I would streaming audio from a local TV station that has traffic reports about every 10 minutes.

I also have a Uniden scanner on my dash to monitor public safety radio communications along my route.

The above two mentioned sources of information have actually served me pretty well. The KMSP TV station gets their information from MN DOT.

Monitoring public safety radio is great if you h appen to hear the call go out. The inherent problem in a metro area is that there is so much radio traffic that it is easy to miss a call go out from a specific area. The call may have been aired prior to my tuning in, the radio may be monitoring another channel as the call I would be intereste in is broadcast, etc.

Anyway, for my fellow POI members that use the Garmin traffic feature, are you a daily commuteror is the traffic feature something you use much less often?

Also, again for those using the Garmin traffic feature, is it your only source or traffic information or do you supplement it with something else? If you do supplement it with something else, what do you use and how effective are the various methods compared to one another?

There might also be a means to get texted traffic alerts sent right to my smartphone. In the past, whem I didn't need it, I recall that some organization has a means to set up your route and drive time(s) and it would automatically sned text messages when problems arose.

Anyway, what do my fellow members here do for traffic?

Just bought one for my son and...

Pillowcase wrote:

2598LMTHD at Costco with lifetime map and HD traffic, @$140, might worth a look.

http://www.costco.com/Garmin-Nuvi-2598LMTHD-5%22-GPS-.produc...

I have used both Garmin standard and HD traffic. HD traffic provides definitely more up to date traffic info. On the freeway, it is usually spot on within a mile or so of the reported traffic slow up, especially during commute hours. YMMV, depending on where you are travelling though. Smartphone Link traffic is on par with HD.

HD also provides much more extensive coverage for traffic along major local thoroughfares. But I found the local info is more miss than hit.

...and he loves it.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Possibly

Jim1348 wrote:
maddog67 wrote:

And it works great. I recently took a trip out west and I was receiving construction updates when and where I wasn't expecting them.....

I live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Twin Cities Metropolitan area, so typically my concern would be traffic driving into the Evil Empire (Minneapolis) from out in the suburbs.

If the traffic feature good about scheduled road closures? For example, Highway 100 near Minneapolis was scheduled to be closed during a weekend time frame recently. I knew about it, so I avoided it. Would that show up on traffic?

I was driving through a construction area in Illinois and it let me know about it a couple of miles out. I was surprised that this showed up since the traffic was not that bad at the time.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Jim

You might want to check out a parallel post by CraigW.

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/43977

It contains a lot of information pertinent to your question.