Garmin nuvi 3790T GPS unit

The Garmin nuvi 3790T is without doubt the sexiest, sleekest and best-looking GPS unit we've ever seen.

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Garmin nuvi 3790T
  • Garmin nuvi 3790T
  • Garmin nuvi 3790T
  • Garmin nuvi 3790T
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.00 / 5 (of 4 Reviews)


  • Design and build quality, capacitive touchscreen, simple and effective UI, voice commands, traffic updates, safety alerts, lane guidance


  • Expensive, glossy screen, no ambient light sensor, slightly slower at getting a GPS fix and rerouting than other Garmin satnavs

Bottom Line

The Garmin nuvi 3790T is drop-dead gorgeous. If you're willing to pay its premium price you'll get a navigation device that not only looks good, but offers excellent build quality, a great screen and what we think is the best overall navigational experience of any GPS unit on the market.

Would you buy this?

Most GPS units have employed a similar form factor for a number of years — generally housing a resistive touchscreen in a bulky plastic case. Garmin has gone against the grain with the nuvi 3790T, banking on an ultra-thin design and a high resolution capacitive touchscreen to win over consumers.

According to Garmin, the nuvi 3790T is the slimmest GPS in the world. Measuring just 8.7mm thick and built with brushed aluminium and stylish chrome edges, it's without doubt the sexiest, sleekest and best-looking GPS unit we've ever seen. Despite the thin design, it feels solid and there are no rattles or creaks. Much the same way the Apple is viewed as the leader in smartphone build quality and design thanks to the iPhone, we think Garmin may now win similar accolades in the GPS space, especially if the company uses this design is more products.

The design of the Garmin nuvi 3790T GPS unit lends itself to being stored in a pocket, making it the first satnav that is ideal for pedestrian use. The nuvi 3790T includes a dedicated pedestrian mode and can be used in both portrait and landscape modes. For in-car use, the included car window mount features an external speaker that provides a welcome boost to the nuvi 3790T's regular audio volume. Whenever you remove the nuvi 3790T from its in-car cradle, Park Position Recall saves your parking spot automatically, allowing you to navigate back to it in pedestrian mode if desired.

Aside from its diminutive dimensions, the best feature of the Garmin nuvi 3790T is a glass, capacitive touchscreen that supports multitouch, meaning you can use pinch gestures on the screen to zoom in and out of maps. The process isn't as silky smooth as it is on the iPhone or many Android smartphones, but it works reasonably well. The screen is also the brightest and sharpest we've seen on a GPS unit to date, though the lack of ambient light sensor and its propensity to attract fingerprints are annoying. Garmin isn't the first to include a capacitive touchscreen on a GPS unit — that honour went to Navman's S300T.

When it comes to user experience, the nuvi 3790T is similar to most Garmin GPS units. A simple and effective interface is supported by a clear and straightforward map screen and large, clearly labelled icons in all menus. The bright screen does spruce up the maps, but if you've used a recent Garmin GPS device then it will largely be a familiar experience — and that is definitely a good thing. One feature we love is the snappy accelerometer, allowing the unit to be used in portrait or landscape modes. You can also customise wallpaper on the lock screen.

Voice commands are a feature new to the Garmin nuvi 3790T, allowing you to start a route by simply speaking to the unit. Use the default "voice command" phrase (which is customisable) to initiate the feature and the nuvi 3790T will display a clear list of command options on the screen. Employing the feature to find a specific address is a rather drawn out process, but it is reasonably accurate and effective for simpler destinations, such as saved home address or recently found locations.

Maps are clear and display surrounding street names, safety alerts (red light cameras, speed cameras, safety cameras and school zones) are preloaded and the nuvi 3790T includes a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel. Unfortunately, the slim build of the nuvi 3790T means that you need to have the bulky in-car charger plugged in to receive traffic updates (it doubles as the FM receiver required for traffic updates). A cool feature is 3D city modelling and terrain, while built-in Bluetooth means you can pair with your phone for hands-free calling. Like most GPS units, though, the built-in microphone has questionable quality for phone calls.

Garmin's Real View Advanced Lane Guidance is once again included, displaying an image of the road and its surroundings, along with road signs identical to those used in the real world. This feature is especially useful on busy freeway and motorway junctions. The nuvi 3790T also offers two new routing features — trafficTrends and myTrends. trafficTrends is similar to TomTom's IQ Routes technology and calculates routes based on historical traffic data, while myTrends remembers your most frequently entered destinations and will automatically predict your arrival time and the most efficient route without the user entering a destination.

We found the nuvi 3790T preferred to calculate routes using main roads rather than backstreets that are often slightly quicker. We also noted that both route calculation and the time it takes to gain and maintain a GPS signal is slightly slower than other Garmin units we've tested. We don't know if this is due to the constraints involved in trying to fit a GPS chip inside such a thin device. It doesn't have a huge impact on the overall experience.

The Garmin nuvi 3790T also provides the "ecoRoute" feature. This function can display a fuel report and choose an economical route. After entering the cost of fuel and your car's rated fuel economy, the nuvi 3790T presents a report detailing the cost of fuel used, the carbon footprint and your average fuel economy based on your trips. When in use, ecoRoute will also preview your route before it begins by displaying the total fuel cost — this information is calculated based on the fuel price, type and fuel economy entered into the vehicle profile menu. ecoRoute also has a "Driving Challenge" feature that tests your driving habits, in particular your ability to smoothly accelerate and decelerate. For business users, a mileage report is great for keeping a record for tax purposes.

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Read more on these topics: Garmin nuvi, GPS, garmin



Hi guys, I'm Extremely disappointed with the service I received from Garmin, when the screen of my 2 week old unit cracked. The service department marked around with me for 1 month after which they told me to throw the unit away and buy a new one, as they do not have any facilities to do the repairs and they do not have any replacements screens either. Please be aware of that before making a decision of buying those good looking Garmin Nuvi units.



I second Robert's comment. Cracked the screen of my 3790T quite easily after less a year of use.



Is this device compatible with the iPhone 4 with bluetooth? The Garmin website says not..



I am in the market for a new GPS, for the same reason Robert & Mark gave, my Garmin nuvi screen cracked After just a year exactly! No i was not abusing it. Very dissapointing.

Gerhard Matthias


Yes I purchased a new Garmen nuvi 3090 off e bay the Australian maps disappeared on the first day,I was left with North American maps only,three weeks of wrangling with the dealer and garmen support still no joy ,looks like chalk it up to experience.i,ve had 3 garmen now but this looks like being my last ,going shopping?



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I'm with Robert and Mark,
I wish I knew of Garmin's crappy service before I bought my 3450LMT. Only 2 weeks old when it started rebooting en-route. Each reboot would get as far as re-calculating the route before rebooting again. Fiddling around trying to stop it restarting, I dropped it on the floor of the car and the screen cracked.
Garmin offered me a refurbished unit with 3 month warranty for the same price I bought it new 2 weeks before !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Never buying Garmin again

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Tamas Tassonyi



Beautiful display, easy to reed in sunlight, map is great.
Software is not stable, let me down many time.
• • •

I am a Limo Driver, and use this G.P.S. every day, professionally. It had very slow pickup from the
satelight, we say I need to turn left the first street after the roundabout, I passed the third street already, and the G.P.S. taught I am still at the roundabout. I had customer in the car, it was embarrassing. Sometime middle of the trip just changed, and went in a different mode. I vent back with it, they give me a different brand new unit, is exactly the same. Last 6-month I am using an $84.00 no name brand, including postage. I feel much more secure with it. For the Garmin 3790T I payed $499.00 + $99.00 for life time map update. If I go on a different route, the cheap no name brand recalculate
10-time faster. Garmin is the best in Asia, I live and work in Melbourne, and thinking about selling mine in the Ebay. My wife have a Garmin 1390, not is pretty, but I think is doing a much better job than the 3790T.




looks, compact size
map not entirely accurate, screen broke & not covered by wrrty, expensive to repair
• • •

I got the 3760 as a gift from my wife and it was my first GPS. very quickly discovered how useful these things are. problem is it was so slim and small I forgot it was in my pocket when I sat down! screen broke very easily. replacement cost was less than previous review says, but still very expensive. thank god for insurance. waiting for my replacement to try the voice commands. I have been a little disappointed with the maps though. plenty of times it tells me to take a route I know is wrong or tells me to turn right at a "left turn only" sign.
suggestions for garmin - provide more accurate updates, or allow users to make mods to maps and provide a hard shell case!!

Don Travis



Looks, voice commands, 3d maps, routing choices, walking mode
no wi-fi, traffic reporting, as with all Garmins, to slow to be useful.
• • •

I have just purchased to replace my Garmin 680. Very happy with Garmin and this unit is excellent. Very fast updates when moving, great graphics, and great size. The voice commands are excellent and work well, a real plus. Lifetime maps in 3790LTM are only $50 more. Well worth it. A great unit.

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