The GARMIN NUVI is the middle member in Garmin’s new Advanced Sat-Nav Series – but even though it’s not the flagship model, it’s still packing a huge 6-inch screen.
The range starts with the 5-inch 2599LMT-D, and is topped by the whopping 7-inch 2799LMT-D, making you wonder how much of your windscreen will be left to see if this escalation of sat-nav sizes continues.
Garmin nuvi 2699LMT-D – Features and Design
The 2699LMT-D is packed with features. Aside from the 6-inch screen, it comes with maps of 45 European countries, most of them in full detail, for which there are lifetime updates. Garmin’s Digital Traffic is built in, again with a subscription-free service for the lifetime of the device. There’s Bluetooth, so the sat-nav can be used for hands-free calling, but it can also link to your smartphone for other purposes. There’s voice control, too.
The main two new features are Direct Access and Foursquare Points of Interest (POIs). The former attempts to combat the frequent problems that can be encountered when you drive towards a large destination such as a music venue or shopping centre, where a sat-nav just leads you to the nearest point, when in fact the shop you want is closer to a car park on the other side.
For example, when searching for the Brent Cross shopping centre, we were given choices of navigating to the Fenwicks and John Lewis sides, which are on opposite ends of the building and have car parks nearby, as well as Marks & Spencer, which is in the middle. This isn’t a huge new feature, but could be useful if you need to pick someone up after a shopping trip.
As already mentioned, there’s support for Garmin’s Smartphone Link for Android and iOS. This works in tandem with the built-in Foursquare POIs. The latter add user-generated suggestions for restaurants, shops, and so on, but with an active Smartphone Link the POIs are augmented by more detailed information, including user ratings, prices and hours of service. You can also check in via your Foursquare account, should you enjoy annoying your friends in this way.
The Smartphone Link can also be used to send destination information to the sat-nav from your phone’s contact list. Reporting safety-camera locations can be performed using the phone, and there’s a weather service built in, too. Of course, none of this should be accessed when you’re actually driving.
The 2699LMT-D comes with the usual suction windscreen mount. However, the power cable attaches separately via mini USB on the rear. So hooking up and disconnecting the device is a two-part manoeuvre, rather than the single-click operation of higher-end devices. Still, that’s the only way this sat-nav doesn’t live up to premium expectations, with a solid build and attractive, no-nonsense design.