Hello and buying advice (replacement for 255w)

 

Hello all.

Unlike most here I am a gps newbie. I was recently given a nuvi 255w by my brother in-law and I really like it. I have been using my smartphone maps for years and have always hated it in my truck. I can’t listen to the radio and navigate at the same time because the audio is tying to pipe through the stereo but the truck won’t play it in radio mode. If I switch to Bluetooth audio mode, the navigation continuously cuts out all other audio while it talks Google maps is a slug on my phone as well.... ugh.

But now to my questions.... the 255w is quite old. Is there really any reason to upgrade (I use osm maps) to something newer and if so, which model would be the quintessential used/refurbished one to get? I see a number of 2595lmt models used. How do they compare to the newer drivesmart ones. Would it really be worth the extra $100 or so?

Or should I just keep the 255w? Is the gtm25 worth it for traffic?

Thanks and I appreciate any advice!

Best Regards
Craig

It Depends On Your Preferences.

I still use my old Garmin 265W (very similar to the 255W) occasionally and it still gets me from here to there reliably.

GPS units have come a long way since the 255 was introduced. Many of the features available on newer units are quite useful such as larger screens, powered mounts (on some units), trip planner, lane assist, better traffic reporting, backup camera compatibility and a host of others.

While analog and digital traffic reporting are still useful in some locations via the GTM 25,30 and 60 receiver cables, most newer units are compatible with Garmin's Smartphone Link app. Its traffic reporting is arguably the best in rural locations. Since you already have a smartphone, this might be a consideration.

By all means, take advantage of factory refurbished or newer used units. The 2595LMT you mentioned is a good example. The 3597LMT, a big favorite around here, would also be a good choice if you can find one. Be on the lookout for sale prices on the new Drivesmart series as well.

Whatever you do, the 255W will still serve you well while you decide.

I'm sure others will chime in here with their thoughts as well.

Hi. Thanks for the info. One

Hi. Thanks for the info. One concern I have with the smartphone link is that, being from Canada, I don’t use cellular while I’m in the USA traveling. Can the new lmt-s devices get traffic without the app. I read about the gtm60 antenna but it’s always mentioned in passing. I’ll check out the 3597. I am one who often prefers the last of a model series to the beginning of a new one.... Less buggy

Lifetime Maps

Whatever you get, be sure to get with the lifetime maps and traffic.

--
NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350

gtm 25

For Vancouver, I favor the GTM 25 or GTM-anything which uses FM traffic, and is independent from the cell phone.

Members should be aware that Vancouver is almost as large as New York City, with traffic to match. The 255 does not have any traffic capability. With a newer GPS, either the GTM 25 or Smartphone Link would work.

My (bad) experience with Smartphone Link prompts me to recommend against it. In spite of updates to the Android app and the GPS, bluetooth pairing continues to be a problem. I am driving and can't be fiddling with bluetooth.

dobs108 smile

3597

eclindholm wrote:

Hi. Thanks for the info. One concern I have with the smartphone link is that, being from Canada, I don’t use cellular while I’m in the USA traveling. Can the new lmt-s devices get traffic without the app. I read about the gtm60 antenna but it’s always mentioned in passing. I’ll check out the 3597. I am one who often prefers the last of a model series to the beginning of a new one.... Less buggy

The 3597 is a great choice. It may not be available new or refurbed.

GTM-60 or GTM-anything uses FM traffic, not cellular. FM traffic data is included in a subcarrier for certain FM broadcast stations. It works in Canada and U.S., but only in densely populated areas.

dobs108 smile

The 3597 does look nice. Not

The 3597 does look nice. Not as easy to find as the drivesmart ones though. Is there any really compelling reason for the newer units? I dont really see much functional difference from the drivesmart and the 3597 other than the drivesmart almost seems a step down in traffic functionality (hd+smartlink vs just smartlink).

Anyways. Thanks for the advice everyone.

Power mounts are very desirable

eclindholm wrote:

The 3597 does look nice. Not as easy to find as the drivesmart ones though. Is there any really compelling reason for the newer units? I dont really see much functional difference from the drivesmart and the 3597 other than the drivesmart almost seems a step down in traffic functionality (hd+smartlink vs just smartlink).

Anyways. Thanks for the advice everyone.

Something to consider:

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/45200

Can't do both

eclindholm wrote:

The 3597 does look nice. Not as easy to find as the drivesmart ones though. Is there any really compelling reason for the newer units? I dont really see much functional difference from the drivesmart and the 3597 other than the drivesmart almost seems a step down in traffic functionality (hd+smartlink vs just smartlink).

Anyways. Thanks for the advice everyone.

You can't do Smartlink Traffic and HD traffic together. It's one or the other. Smartlink usually beats HD hands down with much more timely traffic info.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

Hmmmm.....

Interesting. Removing the powered mount seems like a step backwards again. Cost reduction or poor design? I would lean towards cost as they are desired by the users which wouldn't happen if they kept falling off!

I also noticed that the 3597 is quite nice looking where the newer units are ugly rectangles... Of course the same phenomenon is occuring in tvs today

FM, HD traffic or Smartphone link

Most modern Garmin GPSs have the capability of both FM traffic, HD traffic (which operates with the traffic receiver like FM traffic), and Smartphone Link.

If the phone isn't paired in bluetooth with the GPS, traffic defaults to FM or HD. When the phone is paired with the GPS, with Smartphone Link running, traffic defaults to Smartphone Link. So you can choose which one you want to run in a specific location.

dobs108 smile

3597

eclindholm wrote:

Hi. Thanks for the info. One concern I have with the smartphone link is that, being from Canada, I don’t use cellular while I’m in the USA traveling. Can the new lmt-s devices get traffic without the app. I read about the gtm60 antenna but it’s always mentioned in passing. I’ll check out the 3597. I am one who often prefers the last of a model series to the beginning of a new one.... Less buggy

There are ways to use Smarphone Link via free WiFi hot spots along your route. Most are not accessible while driving though and it requires a stop. Many roadside establishments, like McDonald's, Sheetz etc. offer free WiFi. The idea is to stop at one of these locations every so often, boot Smartphone Link and check for traffic problems ahead. Obviously the scheme is problematic though since you lose the "live" traffic reporting while driving.

This might be another reason to consider the 3597. Not only does it have the desirable powered mount, It is also compatible with both Smartphone Link and digital traffic via the GTM 60 traffic receiver / power cable. The GTM 60 was included with new 3597 units but it may be missing on those refurbished or used.

There are several 3597's available on eBay now including this one which appears to have the GTM 60 cable and the latest US / Canada maps:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-3597lmtHD-USA-Can-Mex-2020-M...

IMO, the $179 US "Buy It Now" price is a bit high for used 3597's. The average going price is just under $150 US. You might do better bidding on one of the other units up for auction.

The built in traffic in the

The built in traffic in the 2595 is limited. I find in Western Canada, it only works in Greater Vancouver up to Langley and in Calgary and Edmonton so far as I've traveled. I suspect similar coverage in the rest of Canada. It's also generally only major highways, although the coverage has improved slightly over the years.
However, maps are updated a few times a year and sometimes minimal traffic is better than none considering that when you're travelling as a tourist a lot of your time is spent on highways.

3597

https://www.ebay.com/itm/264262045635?ul_noapp=true

Here is another used 3597 on ebay that looks pretty good .. $99 plus $12 shipping. The only drawback I see on this item is that the power cord may be just a generic power cord and not the GTM-60 traffic receiver power cord. It would be worth contacting the seller to find out. This would not be a drawback for me because I use the Smartphone Link app for traffic on my 3597, so I wouldn't need the traffic receiver. But if you want HD traffic, that may eliminate this listing from consideration.

In my opinion, the 3597 nuvi is the best road navigator Garmin has ever made. I really like the magnetic mount which has its own speaker for added volume. These models are still very popular and hard to find. The refurbs have not been available for a couple of years, so used is about the only way to get one.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Another option

alandb wrote:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/264262045635?ul_noapp=true

Here is another used 3597 on ebay that looks pretty good .. $99 plus $12 shipping. The only drawback I see on this item is that the power cord may be just a generic power cord and not the GTM-60 traffic receiver power cord. It would be worth contacting the seller to find out. This would not be a drawback for me because I use the Smartphone Link app for traffic on my 3597, so I wouldn't need the traffic receiver. But if you want HD traffic, that may eliminate this listing from consideration.

In my opinion, the 3597 nuvi is the best road navigator Garmin has ever made. I really like the magnetic mount which has its own speaker for added volume. These models are still very popular and hard to find. The refurbs have not been available for a couple of years, so used is about the only way to get one.

Even tougher to find on eBay than the 3597 is a DriveLuxe xx but if found, a DriveLuxe xx would be another device that closely matches the 3597. I recently saw and won an eBay auction for a DriveLuxe 51 with the HD traffic power cable and a genuine Garmin leather case for the Luxe. It was $136 with S&H.

Another option is the Garmin Nuvi 2558LMTHD

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-Nuvi-2558LMTHD-Advanced-5-GP...

It doesn't have bluetooth but it's not a feature I wanted at the time. I have a Dezl which I use for work now so I don't use the 2558 much anymore but when it was my daily work GPS it was great.
If you don't plan on using Bluetooth this might be an option.

3597 power

Question. If i was to get a 3597 and the gtm60, can i still select to use smartphone traffic? I would want to permanently mount the cable, use smartphone traffic in canada (vancouver area) but use HD in other areas. Is there a setting or something on the device to switch source?

Yes, you can use Smartphone Link.

Smartphone Link will over-ride the traffic from the GTM-60. I actually leave my 3597 powered mount permanently mounted and always connected. I just remove the 3597 from the mount. I did decide to use a generic power connecter rather than the GTM-60 because the GTM-60 cable is so bulky and stiff. I did find that some generic power adapters work with the 3597 and some don't, so if you go this route you may need to try more than one before you find one that works.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

If you connect the unit to

If you connect the unit to the Smartlink on the phone, via Bluetooth, it will override the built in Traffic. To use the HD traffic, you must not connect the unit to the phone.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

255W vs 40 vs 3790 vs DriveSmart 65

I went from a 255W (which I loved) to a Nuvi 40 (which I still have) to a 3790 with the glass screen and finally just last week - a DriveSmart 65. Wow. What a huge difference. I truly thought the 65 would be way too big, but at my age, I enjoy the larger screen and icons. I love the extra features, and the app integration is almost flawless. I can get phone calls, text messages, weather radar and traffic on my screen. It is almost like having a built-in nav screen on a luxury car! It is larger, but not too large for my car. It also fits quite nicely on my Akron vent mount and isn't excessively heavier than the 3790 that previously dwelled there.

One thing to consider when you live in Canada is photo radar. They are everywhere, and they are huge moneymakers for the municipalities. While many places in the U.S. have disbanded them because they have nothing to do with safety, Canada continues to expand them. The reason I got my Nuvi 40 and 3790 is that not every Garmin can use the Cyclops safety camera subscription. Much as I love the files I get from this forum, I use the Garmin safety camera subscription instead. It is less intrusive and there are no false calls; it only alerts on the actual street with the camera and only when travelling in the same direction that the camera is actually facing. POI waypoints alerts on all four directions.

I had to get rid of the 255W when the battery wouldn't hold a charge more than a few seconds. I still have the Nuvi 40 because it is small and I can still get a safety camera subscription for it. I also download navigation buoys for my boat. (It's not waterproof but I keep it under the windshield.) I loved the feel and the glass screen of the 3790 but I am really loving my DriveSmart 65. It comes with Garmin Traffic built in to the power cable, which is better coverage in Canada than Traffic HD. (Traffic from the smartphone app is even better yet, but sadly I can't get either where I am located in Canada anyway.)

The best thing? It comes with a FREE safety camera subscription. I don't know if it is good for lifetime or a year, but I will probably find out a year from now.

Stand alone..

Stand alone gps units we still use when going out of town.

You may end up rethinking that

eclindholm wrote:

..I would want to permanently mount the cable, use smartphone traffic in canada (vancouver area) but use HD in other areas...

HD traffic can only be received when there's an FM radio station broadcasting in HD that also offers traffic.
In the state of Arizona for instance, HD traffic is available only within about a 30 mile radius of two cities, Phoenix and Tucson. The entire rest of the state is in an HD-desert. The Smartphone Link app will work wherever there's a cell signal which is likely 90+% of Arizona including along all of the interstate highways.
I'll hazard a guess that you may have HD traffic in Vancouver and Seattle but may have nothing in the rest of BC/WA.

Nuvi 3597

I will second all of the other comments about the 3597. Great unit; although they are kind of hard to find anymore. But, if you can find one, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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

Hmmmm.....

Interesting. Seeing as i only have data in the lowermainland area(Vancouver and surrounding) i was thinking of using the phone link at home, and then in the usa it would use the HD traffic as i would be using my phone is there a hd coverage map anywhere?

OTOH, outside of vancouver, there's no traffic in BC to speak of anyways

3597 vs drivesmart 61/51

Any opinions? I am looking and they will both run around $130usd. The 3597 comes with the traffic cable but the 61 is newer. Has anyone used both and what do you prefer?

Is there any features in the 61/51 that have the OMG factor?

One concern i have is the two different garmin apps that exist. How long will they support Link? Will they abandon it for the Drive app?

nuvi 3597 vs Drive 51/61

It really depends on what you want. The 3597 has a powered magnetic mount with speaker, the 51/61 does not. This means on the 51/61, you have to plug/unplug the power cord directly into the unit every time you use it. On my 3597, I leave the cradle permanently mounted on the dash and plugged in, so I just pop the device itself in and out of the magnetic cradle without messing with power cords.

The 51/61 can be updated (software and maps) through direct WiFi, the 3597 requires you to plug into the computer and use Garmin Express for update. Note that even if you use WiFi updates on the 51/61, you still have to plug into a power supply while updating to maintain the battery charge. Of course, the 3597 and 51 have 5" screens while the 61 has a much larger 6.9" screen.

There are also some software feature differences. The Drive units have built in FourSquare and additional alert capabilities for curves, railroad tracks etc. The 3597 does not have these software features but does have the digital elevation view when navigating in 3D mode, also has the 3D building images when navigating in larger cities.

So again, it is all about what features are most appealing to you. For me, the powered magnetic mount on the 3597 outweighs all the added features on the Drive models. But that is just me … others would rather have the added features on the newer DriveSmart devices.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

I would still go to the

I would still go to the DriveSmart 65 and skip the 61. Here in Canada, the free safety camera subscription is gold. Add in the app support that can give you phone, texts and weather radar on your screen and the new BC40 wireless backup camera that integrates with the 65 using wifi and not Bluetooth, and you have a way better system than the built in ones on most luxury cars.

A question

Chickenhawks wrote:

I would still go to the DriveSmart 65 and skip the 61. Here in Canada, the free safety camera subscription is gold. Add in the app support that can give you phone, texts and weather radar on your screen and the new BC40 wireless backup camera that integrates with the 65 using wifi and not Bluetooth, and you have a way better system than the built in ones on most luxury cars.

Is it a free safety camera subscription or does it just come with a safety camera file but for updates, a paid subscription is needed? Just curious.

Traffic

eclindholm wrote:

Interesting. Seeing as i only have data in the lowermainland area(Vancouver and surrounding) i was thinking of using the phone link at home, and then in the usa it would use the HD traffic as i would be using my phone is there a hd coverage map anywhere?

OTOH, outside of vancouver, there's no traffic in BC to speak of anyways

I'm not aware of an HD traffic coverage map. If one exists, it's accuracy would be in question due to the changing nature of radio station participation.

Here is an interesting Garmin webpage with information on their traffic services which may answer your questions.
https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=i34WV8maJa11t7iwvYnz18

Keep in mind that traffic tie ups due to accidents can occur anywhere. Rural coverage can be very helpful.

I am not sure yet. I have

I am not sure yet. I have updated the safety camera file once for no charge, but new files don't come out unless there are a few changes in cameras in Canada and the U.S. I see a new file on average about once every two months. According to Garmin Express, I have the subscription at no charge, but I don't know if it is good for a year or good for life. Very little documentation on this.

This is literally the first Garmin that came with a subscription. Some (not all models) came with the ability to add a subscription at extra cost, but the DriveSmart55 and 65 were the first ones that had them for free. I didn't even know it was there for free until I went to update it.

I guess I will find out in a year if they start charging me for it.

Coverage maps are linked to that page

bdhsfz6 wrote:

Here is an interesting Garmin webpage with information on their traffic services which may answer your questions.
https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=i34WV8maJa11t7iwvYnz18

Keep in mind that traffic tie ups due to accidents can occur anywhere. Rural coverage can be very helpful.

If you click the links under coverage, it will take you to the maps that show you the coverage for Garmin Traffic and Traffic HD. Quite a difference in coverage between the two!

Traffic Coverage Maps

Thanks bdhsfz6 and Chickenhawks. That was very helpful and good information to know!

Thanks All...

I think i will find a 3597 on ebay soon. When will depend on the wife

Arrgghhh

Too many choices!

3597, driveluxe50, refurbished drivesmart61.... All available for ~130usd

Of course the wife says "you have one already. Why do you need another one?"... Then she goes and buys another pair of shoes...

Yeah!

I am the proud owner of a new Driveluxe 50 lmthd! Paid $100cad (~$75usd). Pristine, in box!

Craig

Congratulations and enjoy!

eclindholm wrote:

I am the proud owner of a new Driveluxe 50 lmthd! Paid $100cad (~$75usd). Pristine, in box!

Craig

… a smart choice IMO. smile

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Any Garmin with LMT suffix

As long as you are getting LMT (Longterm Map and Traffic) you are good to go. Keep in mind Traffic is subject to city availability. In Las Vegas, it has great Traffic info. Denver is ok.. not so much in smaller cities. your mileage may very. My opinion is very VERY subjective. wink