Believe it or not, reviewing the Garmin nevi 3790T is the first time I have ever used a Sat Nav. Don’t get me wrong, I have been tempted to get one before (usually from a shop on the motorway services mid journey) but had valiantly resisted in that stubborn way English men are so good at (like when it comes to asking for directions).
After opening the box my initial thoughts weren’t great, spending the night in a cold warehouse delivery meant our testing model was convinced it was still in South West London for a good 10 minutes after I switched it on. Luckily the clear Norfolk air brought the device back to it senses and in no time it had located my position on the screen.
Looks-wise the 3790T is very elegant, and iPhone like in shape and size. It’s possible Apple’s influence goes a stage further with the operating system, and the interface and touch screen controls are intuitive, clear and aesthetically pleasing. It also does the landscape / portrait thing depending on how you are holding it.
Despite being a Sat Nav virgin I was surprised at how fast and easily I managed to find my way around the controls without even so much as a glance at the manual.
The 3790T is packed full of features, (too many to mention all here) but selecting a destination is easy, you can do this by postcode or any number of ways, I found just zooming out of the map and tapping the destination was enough to start a new route and be on my way.
It calculates routes quickly and should you go wrong, will work out a new way for you without any fuss. I noticed it tends to play safe and to stick to the main roads on a couple of occasions I knew there was a slightly quicker route, but generally it’s decision making was spot on, even finding an isolated farm house that was ‘off the radar’ so to speak.
Just an idea Garmin, but how about integration with foursquare’s data to get the latest reviews and feedback on places on your journey, instead of just where they are and their telephone number? This really would allow you to find the best places to eat / stay on a trip away from home and would be the icing on the cake.
There are features to use the most economical route for your car, speed limit display and also to notify you when you are in a speed camera area, useful if you are in a hurry (see below). All major Hospitals and Airports are built into the maps too, so if your partner was about to give birth or if you had to leave the country quick you’re quids in.
Another feature the Petrol Station locater is handy, the ‘let’s find a garage before we run out of petrol adventure game’ (played on most of my long journeys) is now just a bad memory. You can choose from a variety of voices and in theory use yours (or a friends) voice, perfect if you still want your partner to give directions (but the correct ones).
The English lady’s voice one is very slightly electronic but there are different ones you can can download for free from the Garmin website.
The nüvi 3790T can also be voice activated, so you can save regular routes and destinations and call them up without touching the screen. It is equally as useful if you are on foot too.
In summary, the Garmin nevi 3790T could quite possible be the best Sat Nav ever made and if money was no object (you can get one for about £300) this has to be the one to get. It is easy to use, looks great and well, works, it has tons of features and becomes a trusted companion to your journey, not an annoying distraction.
The test model has since become a welcome addition to our car and I will be sad to see it go. I am just wondering whether it has broken down my stubbornness enough to go and buy one, we’ll see (but then it is my partners birthday soon).