Navigation System: Garmin Nuvi 3490LMT

Compass pointing north sitting on a piece of white fabric.
Compact design. Accurate directions. Lifetime battery.

My first navigation system was a HP iPAQ rx1950 with Destinator PN installed and a USGlobalSat BT-821 GPS receiver. I still have that bundle and it’s fully functional, but the maps are now obsolete.

Up until just a few months ago, I got around town using the Telenav Navigator on my HTC Hero and then later my Samsung Galaxy SII Android phone. While this is convenient because you always have your phone with you, it’s also inconvenient because it drains your battery life and you’re unable to easily take phone calls.

If you perform a Google search for “navigation systems” today, you’ll undoubtedly see millions of results. While you’ll find hundreds of devices and thousands of reviews, let me just save you all the trouble.

After diligently reviewing all the best options, I’ve crowned my personal winner: the Garmin Nuvi 3490LMT.

Why I chose it

  • Uses some of the latest technology available
  • Includes lifetime traffic and map updates
  • Comes with voice recognition
  • Tells you what lane you need to be in prior to switching
  • Works in landscape and portrait mode
  • Received an average of 4/5 stars online

What I like about it

  • Connects to satellites very quickly
  • Calculates routes in a matter of seconds
  • Recognizes and understands my voice 4/5 times
  • Charges via a cable connected to the mount, not the device
  • Has a built-in speaker in the mount for higher volume
  • Tracks (optionally) everywhere I’ve been so I can review it later

What I don’t like about it

  • Unable to control traffic information via voice
  • Must have the device connected to the mount to receive traffic information
  • Website, where updates can be downloaded, isn’t user-friendly

What I learned after I got it

  • Additional software is available to manage the device i.e. add points of interest and view the routes you drove


I’m very happy with the navigation system and I’d buy it again. If you have any questions about this product to which you can’t find the answer to, feel free to ask in the comments.

Official Product Website | View on Amazon

Featured image by Mick Haupt.

Comments (2)

Previously posted in WordPress and transferred to Ghost.

Danny Hancock
August 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

i would like to be able to plan a route using different roads but am unable to find out how. I would like to be able to download a route from Google maps to plot my trip, any suggestions?

Ryan Sechrest
August 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Take a look at the Garmin program called BaseCamp. It’s free and allows you to create custom routes that are then directly transferred to your GPS.