TomTom GO 2535 TM vs Garmin NUVI 3790T

Nov 29, 2011
Montreal, Canada
TomTom Model(s)
GO 920, GO 930T, GO 2505TM, GO 2535TM
I could pretty much give a direct comparison as I've owned both units including several different models. Note that I'm not going to bother mentioning anything about bluetooth functionality as I feel it works the same in both. Other non-GPS related functions such as MP3, photo viewer, FM transmitter will not be covered:

Garmin 3790T PROs
- I like the higher bird's eye 3D perspective as you are able to see farther ahead during nagivation
- You could navigate horizontally and vertically since you have an accelerometer like in an iPhone; the vertical perspective also gives you more room to see ahead
- 4.3" screen and graphics are a beauty; screen is more resistance to direct sunlight as it is very bright
- Garmin's menu system is nice and simple for the non-techie type
- Voice Command touchless wake up phrase is great and voice navigation is very good
- Garmin lock security feature is useful
- Nothing matches the form factor in terms of sleekness factor
- I like the auto-off feature when you turn off the car ignition
- 3D buildings and 3D terrain is a nice touch

TomTom 2535 TM PROs
- Nothing in the market currently beats TomTom's IQ Routes implementation for time sensitive route calculation, richness of historical data, and route calculation accuracy
- Fastest lock onto signal and route recalculation than anything out there
- Traffic implementation is significantly better than on Garmin system
- Natural language speech engine for voice navigation is an improvement over lesser/previous models
- 5" screen size is amazing and, as such it is very difficult to go back to anything smaller
- Amazingly loud and clear speaker
- New magnetic mount is the most ingenious design to date
- Dead reckoning is helpful in temporarily navigating within tunnels in the absence of a satellite signal

Garmin 3790T CONs
- USB connectivity is one of the worst ever implemented for any device; in certain situations, one can get map corruptions, device bootup issues, etc due to sensitivity to USB connectivity interruptions during updates
- Satellite signal lockon sometimes can take a painful 3-5 min+; route recalculation is not bad, but not as fast as TomTom's
- Routing accuracy not as good with Garmin myTrends as with TomTom's more evolved IQ Routes
- When stopped at a light or temporarily parked, Garmin sometimes gets confused and starts turning as if you are turning the car left or right with your steering wheel
- Foreign pronunciations of roads is relatively poor and laughable; I had to turn off text-to-speech as it was at times incomprehensible and distracting
- Garmin menu system/interface is simple, but too dumbed down and not as customisable as TomTom's
- 3D building mostly applies to major cities; in my opinion, I find this a bit gimmicky at this point and the shaded contour elevation maps and terrain with detailed topography sometimes slow down navigation/routing/re-routing
- Advanced lane guidance not as useful as TomTom's; most annoyingly is that you don't get an equivalent night image of the lane guidance snapshot when driving at night and this can be distracting due to the sudden brightness of the image appearing on screen
- No flexibility of individual route avoidance as in TomTom; only detour functionality

TomTom 2535 TM CONs
- Capacitative screen not as bright as Garmin's so more sensitive to direct sunlight, but much better than previous models
- Screen resolution not as high, so maps not as sharp and pretty as Garmin's
- Cannot see as far ahead in 3D view as with Garmin's higher birdseye view especially combined with Garmin's vertical screen orientation
- No voice command wake-up phrase; voice navigation not fully handsfree
- Form factor not as sleek or thin as Garmin and somewhat heavy
- New MyTomTom update software is klunky and incomplete and seems rushed to market; no Google map transfers, TomTom buddies, or certain other functions available yet as in older models using TomTom HOME
- No detection of power when turn on/off car ignition

Conclusion & Recommendation:

I've decided against Garmin due to too many critical errors in implementation particularly due to the USB connectivity issues, which finally prompted me to switch from Garmin 3790 LMT to TomTom 2535 TM after the 3rd time that my Garmin device's maps/OS became corrupted. Also, in my opinion, MP3 player functions, and other non-GPS related duties have no business being built into dedicated GPS units as this might bog down the unit and take extra space for nothing. Please note that this is my individual experience and opinions and, as such the experience may vary for you. However, I've at least laid out as accurately as I could according to my perceptions and experience most of the highlights and lowlights of each device in order to help you make the most informed decision in buying the higher end GPS units.

Thanks! It's always good to see comparative reviews. Sometimes we forget there are other brands out there doing great things.

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