Today’s GPS devices do more than just take you from one place to another. If you look at Garmin’s Advanced Line of devices released in 2014, you will see that a good number of them have voice navigation, Bluetooth and a wealth of other features. These extra features aren’t for everyone and may not be worth spending additional money on. Fortunately, Garmin provides customers with alternative options. The Garmin nuvi 2639LMT is one such device and it is only $10 cheaper than the nuvi 2589LMT which comes with Bluetooth and voice recognition. The nuvi 2639LMT trades these features for a bigger screen and for some folks, that could be a huge selling point.

Garmin nuvi 2639LMT

Garmin nuvi 2639LMT

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Design

The bump to a 6-inch display is a pretty significant one because the Garmin nuvi 2639LMT also has an increased screen resolution of 800×480 resulting to better visuals. In general, bigger GPS devices are better overall because you get more visibility without the compromises that you would normally get from 6-inch smartphones. This isn’t a device you will hold with one hand and try to make a phone call. It mounts just fine on any car dashboard and is a better overall choice for other types of vehicles like trucks.

Features

The lack of Bluetooth and voice recognition features, seemingly push the nuvi 2639LMT down to the Essential Line. In fact, the Garmin nuvi 68LMT has a 6-inch screen with the same resolution and is a newer product but there a few missing features that make it $10 cheaper than the Garmin nuvi 2639LMT. The 2639LMT has a glass display which means several things. First, it is a capacitive display that is more responsive to touches. Second, it has a pinch-to-zoom capability which makes it feel more like a smartphone.

The nuvi 2639LMT also has better map coverage which is vital for anyone who likes going traveling to different places in North America including Mexico. It comes with both the lifetime map updates and traffic avoidance benefits so the device won’t ever be outdated. These are the benefits that Garmin has been providing to their “LMT” models for years but recently, Garmin forged a partnership with Foursquare to provide better map data to drivers. The end result is the Garmin nuvi 2639LMT having deep Foursquare integration where you can get good Foursquare-powered results of places made popular by real Foursquare users. Unlike the smartphone version, you don’t need an Internet connection to see the data.

Finally, the nuvi 2639LMT brings a more complete navigational experience on the highway than the 68LMT. Garmin calls this feature Active Lane Guidance and it works by showing a photorealistic representation of the exit, junction or intersection right next to the map view. This photo shows important data like the speed limit and other road signs along with arrow indicators pointing to the lane you should be in. You can get a broader perspective of things if you use the Bird’s Eye junction view.

The rest of the features of the Garmin nuvi 2639LMT are identical to the 68LMT but they are still worth mentioning because previous models lacked these features. Turn-by-turn navigation has significantly improved with the help of Garmin Real Directions. The nuvi 2639LMT is smart enough to analyze the road you are currently in for familiar points of interest and landmarks. Garmin Real Directions may use a landmark as a reference when instructing you to turn. It sounds far more natural and easier to understand than an instruction that only tells you the street as reference.

The Garmin nuvi 2639LMT also does a better job in finding certain points of interest that may be within larger buildings or areas. The easiest way to see this feature in action is to plan a route to a store inside a shopping mall. You will get a route from the nuvi 2639LMT as you would expect but the device will also tell you what floor the store is in. You can also try going to an airport and be pleasantly surprised when the device tells you where to park or where the closest entrance is.

The nuvi 2639LMT also has the potential in becoming a full rear camera solution by taking the role of a dashboard monitor. All you need is the $169 BC 30 backup camera which can connect to the Garmin nuvi 2639LMT wirelessly. Once installed by a professional, the screen of the GPS navigator will automatically bring up the camera view whenever you go in reverse.

Bottom Line

Spending a little bit more than $200 on a GPS device is so worth it. The nuvi 2639LMT is one of the best 6-inch GPS navigators around thanks to the new Foursquare features and enhanced navigation features. It will remain a better model than any 2015 model in the Essential line until Garmin releases newer Advanced models.

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