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Route calculation has also been enhanced in the 3790T. Garmin now incorporates a system similar to TomTom’s IQ Routes or Navigon’s MyRoutes, in this case called nuRoutes. There are essentially two parts to the latter. The nuRoutes myTrends portion analyses your driving behaviour and adjusts its routes accordingly, so you need to have used the device for a while to feel the benefit. The nuRoutes trafficTrends portion takes a note of traffic behaviour to calculate the fastest routes. So regular historical jams at certain times of day influence navigation, as well as the live traffic updates provided by the built-in RDS-TMC system, although we didn’t find this quite as effective as IQ Routes for our test journeys.
You can install cityXplorer maps to provide walking routes, which include public transport in their calculation. However, these are quite expensive, with prices starting at £7.49 per city, so you will only want to purchase them for cities you plan to spend a lot of time in as a pedestrian. Garmin has made your life on foot easier, though, by giving the 3970T an accelerometer and allowing the interface to switch automatically from landscape to portrait, depending on how you orient the device. Whilst landscape mode is traditional when driving, portrait is much more comfortable when using the sat-nav handheld.
Another useful function for handheld usage is Park Position Recall, which automatically stores your location when you most recently removed the device from its mount. This can then be found in the Parking POI section. So if you’ve left your car on the street, or in a huge car park, and then promptly forgotten the location, the 3790T makes it easy to find your vehicle again.
The basic navigational map view is virtually the same as previous Garmin sat-navs, which is no bad thing as we find it mostly clear and aesthetically pleasing. However, the full-screen graphic displayed at major interchanges has been further enhanced and is now called PhotoReal Junction View. Where the previous version provided generic signpost images, PhotoReal’s signs look even more like what will be visible through your windscreen, and the accompanying scenery will be more lifelike too.
Garmin also promises 3D Building and Terrain views to help you get your bearings more easily, but we found coverage doesn’t extend particularly far in the UK. In fact, we didn’t find anywhere with 3D Terrain during testing, and 3D Buildings were only available in the very centre of London. We weren’t able to test any other major cities, but with so little of London included we don’t expect much difference elsewhere.