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Garmin unveils premium nuvi 3500 line, adds smartphone app

updated 12:55 pm EST, Mon January 9, 2012

Garmin's Premium GPS line features free updates

Garmin has unveiled its latest premium flagship navigation devices, the nuvi 3500 series. The 3590LMT and 3550LM are Garmin's first to use five-inch displays, and automatically reorient to the user's preference of either portrait and landscape mode. They also have Garmin's latest navigation engine, which features faster route calculation and realistic displays of interchanges and exits.

Garmin's database includes almost 60,000 of these junction views in the US and Canada. The 3500 series uses these to show a more realistic view of upcoming lane changes or exits on a split screen. The 3500 series also come preloaded with 3-D landmarks and terrain for North America and 8 million points of interest. The 3550LM offers free lifetime map updates, available for download up to 4 times a year with no expiration dates.

The 3590LMT adds voice activated navigation and Digital 3D Traffic. The digital traffic feature uses HD radio to provide information on traffic conditions in real time, using sources such as news stations, fixed traffic sensors, and other nuvi owners. Traffic updates are made as often as every 30 seconds. The GPS can also use routing based on previous traffic data to predict where potential slowdowns will be, and route around them. Digital 3D Traffic is available on the 3590LMT without subscription for the life of the device for the original owner.

Garmin has also developed Smartphone Link, an Android app (free, Market) compatible with the 3590LMT. The other Bluetooth-enabled 2012 Garmin nuvi models, the 2475LT, 2495LMT, and 2595LMT, are also compatible with the app but require a free firmware update from Garmin's myDashboard. The app enables information sharing between an Android 2.1+ smartphone and the GPS, such as saved locations and where the vehicle is parked. Several subscription services can be added, including traffic information, traffic camera images, weather and fuel prices. These services are updated through the smartphone's mobile data connection, so no separate data plan is needed.

Garmin also introduced the Approach G6 GPS golf device. The Approach G6 has a 2.6-inch display with a bright, high-contrast screen to enhance visibility outdoors. The Approach G6 is preloaded with over 25,000 golf courses in the US, Australia, Scotland, and other countries. Free course updates will be available throughout the year.

Features include pin placement adjustment, yardage indicators to the front and back of the green, layup arcs that are drawn on the map and at-a-glance references to 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards to aid layup decisions. Golfers can also touch the place on the layout map that they want to measure, and zoom in to that spot.

The Approach G6 keeps track of a player's stats throughout the round, like average distance hit with every club, fairways hit, Greens in Regulation (GIR) and putts per round. A printable version of the stats can be downloaded. The unit will also track scores for up to four golfers using any of the new scoring options which include Stroke Play, Stableford, Skins and Match Play with adjustable handicaps.

The Approach G6 measures 2.1 x 3.7 inches, and weighs 3.3 ounces including the internal rechargeable battery. Garmin estimates battery life at 15 hours of typical use.

Garmin will feature the devices at CES 2012 later this week. The nuvi 3550LM and 3590LMT are expected to ship in February 2012. The 3550LM will retail for $370, and the 3590LMT will sell for $400. Subscriptions for the nuvi Live Services range from $5 to $20 per year.

The Garmin Approach G6 is expected to be available in February 2012 with a suggested retail price of $300.

Garmin nuvi 3550LM showing Junction View

Garmin nuvi 3590LMT

Garmin Smartphone Link app

Garmin Approach G6

by MacNN Staff



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