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February 12, 2011

Garmin nuvi 2350 LMT Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 4 of 5
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9. Traffic

Note: Portions of this section are taken directly from the Garmin nuvi 3790T Review, as in the two units are functionally identical in terms of traffic features.

Traffic Alert Displayed on the Map
Figure 74: Traffic Alert Displayed on the Map

The nuvi 2250 LMT includes free traffic service for the life of the device, as indicated by the "T" in the nuvi model number. The only catch? It's ad-supported, which means advertisements will periodically appear while using the GPS.

Real time traffic data allows the nuvi 2250 to evaluate current traffic conditions and automatically optimizes the route for the shortest time. If a severe traffic delay occurs on your route while driving to the destination, the nuvi 2250 automatically calculates a new route to avoid the problem.

Garmin GTM 35 Vehicle Power Cable with Integrated FM Traffic Receiver
Figure 75: Garmin GTM 35 Vehicle Power Cable with Integrated FM Traffic Receiver

The traffic receiver is built into the included GTM 35 vehicle power adapter. The power cable needs to be connected in order for the 2350 LMT to receive real-time traffic alerts.

Traffic Alerts
Figure 76: Traffic Alerts

Traffic Alerts are color coded to indicate the severity of the delay, as shown above.

Tapping the traffic icon on the Map brings up the Traffic page, shown below.

Traffic Page
Figure 77: Traffic Page

The Traffic page allows you to view traffic conditions the following ways:

  • Traffic Map - Displays traffic conditions on the map. You can manually scroll around and see all traffic incidents on the map
  • Traffic Search - Lists all traffic delays that have been received, sorted by distance from your current location
  • Traffic on Route - Displays the traffic incidents along the current planned route
  • Alternate Route - Forces the GPS to find an alternate route to your destination

Notice the ad that appears in the lower-right portion of the screen.

Traffic Details
Figure 78: Traffic Details

Traffic alerts along your planned route are highlighted on the map, and the estimated time delay is displayed.

Traffic Search
Figure 79: Traffic Search

Touching Traffic Search displays a list of all traffic alerts that have been received, listed in order of closeness to your location. More details can be viewed for each incident by tapping on the alert.

Saved Time
Figure 80: Saved Time

When the nuvi adjusts the planned route, either to avoid a traffic problem or as a result of saved trafficTrends data, the estimated amount of time saved is displayed on the map, as shown above.

Traffic Ahead
Figure 81: Traffic Ahead

Traffic is indicated on the map and drawn in the color that matches the severity of the delay. For example, in the screenshot above, notice that a portion of upcoming highway is highlighted in yellow, indicating a moderate delay.

Traffic Nearby
Figure 82: Traffic Nearby

Here you can see that there is moderate to heavy traffic on the nearby highway (as indicated by the yellow and red highlighting), so I have chosen to drive on a parallel road instead.

Figure 83: Ads

Ads seemed to appear when coming to a stop, or idling at a stop sign/traffic signal, and would automatically disappear once I started driving again.

The frequency of ads displayed varied by location, but in general I almost always saw at least one ad per trip, and sometimes many more.

Ultimately you'll have to decide for yourself how annoying the ads are. I personally didn't find them too intrusive, and could easily ignore them. However, I'm well aware that for many users the prospect of being bombarded with ads in the sanctity of their car is a terrifying thought.