Good Screen, Suction Mount Could be Better
Although it has a 5-inch screen, the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT is still a relatively compact and light sat nav (192 grammes). In any case, it looks much less imposing than one of our current favourites, the TomTom GO LIVE 1005, which has the same sized screen. This size of display makes info easy to see and read, especially since the maximum brightness makes it practical for use in bright conditions and strong sunlight. Similarly, contrast is good and viewing angles are wide (it's probably an IPS or VA screen).
The finish is impeccable. There are just four visible screws on the back of the device, which is finished in a rubbery soft-touch material. The front is made from glossy black plastic which soon picks up fingerprints and dust.
Garmin ships this GPS with a tried-and-tested swivel suction mount system that clips onto the sat nav. Although it's certainly compact, it's not as easy to transport as the integrated mounts seen in the latest TomToms, for example. As it's tempting to leave this mount clipped to the windscreen, it's a shame that there's no built-in power system so you don't have to keep hooking the GPS up to the car's cigarette lighter port. You'll therefore have to remember to hook up the mini-USB to the back of the GPS before you slide it into the mount.
If you want to add extra maps or points of interest, for example, there's a microSD memory card slot on the left-hand side of the device. That said, our test model still had 2.5 GB free after we'd finished updating it, so you might be able to make do with that.
It's nice to see free lifetime map updates with the nüvi 2595LMT so you'll always be able to stay up to date.
Audio output from the small speaker isn't amazing, but it is, at least, audible. Note that the speaker does tend to saturate at high volumes. We think it would have been nice to see a more powerful output for more natural sound.
DESIGN & BUILD
Good Interface and Voice Controls
This GPS takes 24 seconds to boot when switched off completely. However, it starts up almost instantly from standby, bearing in mind that it can be left on standby for several weeks on a fully charged battery. In our tests, the nüvi 2595LMT picked up a GPS signal from the satellites in under a minute most of the time.
Garmin has reworked the graphics user interface in its new sat navs. There are now only two steps to entering an address, and plenty of handy shortcuts are available in the "Where To?" menu. The menus are well designed and well organised, making a logical and practical system.
Similarly, volume settings can be accessed in just two steps and there's a handy mute button on the navigation screen.
"Where To?" menu.
While Garmin doesn't give any exact hardware specs for this GPS, the components do a good job, as navigation is smooth, whether browsing the internal menus or entering addresses. There's a predictive text onscreen keyboard (which greys out invalid letters to form place names onscreen) and a location can be found in a single search by typing the full address on one line. However, it's a shame you have to type out the whole name of a town or city to find it in the standard search tool.
While voice commands are nothing new in a GPS, Garmin has often been one step ahead of the game on this particular feature. This function is even more effective in the nüvi 2595LMT thanks to a new voice-recognition engine which can interpret full addresses read out loud. You therefore don't have to say the town, then the street, then the number, as the system now understands the whole address in one go. We found that this worked well most of the time.
Voice command menu
Vice controls can also be used to adjust the volume, take a detour or search for a location. In all, 14 main voice commands are available by default, including one for making phone calls. You don't even need to touch the GPS to launch voice commands—just say 'Voice Command' and it switches on automatically.
Basics on Board, Plus Optional Extras
The Garmin nüvi 2595LMT has the the standard, essential functions you'd expect to find in a GPS these days, such as junction close-ups (PhotoReal), speed limit information and warnings, routes adapted to the driver's habits, traffic density, loads of points of interest and route planning with automatic routing for multiple destinations.
While some routes can prove a little odd (like in any GPS), these functions make the nüvi 2595LMT an effective travel companion in most situations. We would, however, have liked to see a route calculation mode than prioritises main roads—even if you can save five minutes by using minor roads in some places, it's not always practical to do so. Mio sat navs already offer a function like this.
The sat nav's default voice does a decent enough job, even if it's not the most natural-sounding voice we've ever heard. Sometimes it sounds a bit robot-like and the voice sometimes pauses in strange places. Nevertheless, it's clear and easy to understand.
In navigation mode, your route is displayed clearly with a simple on-screen image. You can also zoom out to view your route in greater detail.
The Garmin nüvi 2595LMT has a speed camera alert system which works well in the UK model. Note, however, that this has been replaced by a 'Danger Zone' warning system in countries where such functions have been banned.
The Garmin nüvi 2595LMT comes with a free TMC Premium traffic info service for the entire lifespan of the product. This traffic info service is mainly useful for main roads, however, which is why Garmin also offers Live services by tethering the sat nav to a smartphone (see inset). We weren't really able to evaluate just how effective the 3D Traffic Live function was in our short test period. However, we'll update this review when we've done a few more miles with the nüvi 2595LMT. For the moment, though, it seems to work well, and is really quite similar to TomTom's HD Traffic. It uses positioning data from Garmin GPS and smartphones connected via Smartphone Link to improve the accuracy of the system. The 3D Traffic Live function is above all useful for minor roads and for calculating alternative routes more quickly to help you avoid delays.
Multifunction Bluetooth Connectivity
The Garmin nüvi 2595LMT has Bluetooth connectivity for connection to a compatible smartphone. You can therefore pick up calls hands-free via the GPS. This works well and quality is perfectly respectable. It's just a shame that the speaker isn't a bit better.
Bluetooth is also used to hook up mobiles to the Smartphone Link system (Android only for the time being) and there's a free real-time weather service.
Note that the nüvi 2595LMT can even display photos and play audio books.