A new GPS for your car guidance
Is your car in need of a GPS system and you don’t know what to pick from the multitude of gadgets? In our opinion, the ones manufactured by Garmin are, by far, the best and they are sure to last many years. Until they make an even better one, that is. But for now we’ll discuss here the $399.99 Nuvi 3450 version along with its strengths and weaknesses. Watch our analysis for more information collected after we tested the product with our car.
Very thin design
Unpacking the Garmin Nuvi 3450 before placing it on the windshield of the car we own, the first thing that got our immediate attention was how thin the device was. The iPhone 4 is way thicker than this gadget, if you can imagine that. The materials used in its fabrication are of the best: chrome for the edges, glass for the display and brushed-metal for the panel on the back. This gadget has only a single control that can be touched with the finger, and that is the key for the power/lock option. 1 microSD card slot sits on the right edge, 1 microUSB sync cable and connections for the car dock are housed on the bottom. A microphone for voice commands and speakerphone purposes finds a place on the display’s upper left corner. This 4.3″ display is of the resistive touch variety, so when we typed on the onscreen keyboard and performed multitouch gestures we liked how comfortable everything was. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to use the screen while wearing gloves or using the unit under the sun’s bright rays.
Lifetime Maps access
The accelerometer of the Nuvi 3450 was quick at detecting its owner’s orientation and thus we saw it switch between the 2 main orientation modes quickly and effectively. Accessories included a user’s manual (in English and French), 1 suction cup car dock (with a speaker built-in), an adhesive dashboard mounting puck and the sync and power cables we mentioned a bit earlier. The gadget’s loudspeaker turned directions that were turn-by-turn into sounding more audible.
The features are many and each of them comes with its own advantages. A new icon for applications makes its way into the menu, the Bluetooth wireless technology comes with a profile for placing and receiving hands-free calls (but no address-book sync or history for calls made outside of the user’s car), various voice commands (with the possibility of setting up a personalized wake up command) and Lifetime Maps and Traffic (with 3D Traffic Digital and quarterly downloadable updates).
Guidance 3.0 UI interface
Garmin not only made changes in the thinness of the Nuvi 3450, but also in the interface. The Guidance 3.0 UI is endowed with graphics that are completely different, in the good way of course: maps are simply breath-taking, as are onscreen text. Shortcuts to favorite places that can be defined by the users themselves at the touch of a finger and the presence of a search bar for each of the points-of-interest displays make for easy and immediate filtering through addresses till the device finds the one you’re looking for. The gadget’s numerous settings look better than ever and they all have descriptions of what they can do. The Dashboard feature of the Nuvi 3450, its voice skins, color schemes and the clear voice used to guide you around foreign cities all make the product feel like a friend you can trust your life with.
In all the time we used Garmin’s new GPS system we never once got lost or found navigation slow. The display registered our every touch and the gadget positioned itself on the exact address in a matter of seconds. The battery is provided with the GPS device and has a medium life compared with similar devices.
In short, at the end of this analysis, the Garmin Nuvi 3450 is everything you’ve ever wanted in a GPS unit.