Garmin nuvi 2497LMT

If you have been paying attention with the trends of GPS navigators for the past couple of years, you will realize that manufacturers are hoping to make them bigger and more affordable. 5-inch GPS navigators look much more desirable than the 4-inch devices and manufacturers are thinking even bigger by releasing 6-inch and 7-inch GPS models. These sizes used to be reserved for truckers but it looks like there are some people that really like large GPS devices but don’t want to use tablets for GPS navigation due to difficulties in mounting. The wide variety of large GPS navigators has caused the much smaller 3.5-inch devices to fade away while 4.3-inch devices are still hanging on. But Garmin still plans on continuing this screen size because there is still demand for a premium GPS experience at a budget price. The Garmin nuvi 2497LMT has some premium features but only retails at $229.

Garmin nuvi 2497LMT
Garmin nuvi 2497LMT


One way to show that a new gadget is outfitted with new features is to have a refreshed design. The nuvi 2497LMT definitely shows that with grey bottom bezel. It is still has the same build quality as usual mid-range Garmin nuvi devices and the resistive 4.3-inch display is pretty ordinary with a 480 x 272 screen resolution. The display is bright though and you can use change the orientation of the device to portrait mode if you wish.


In the 2012 lineup of Garmin nuvi car navigators, Garmin Guidance was introduced and it emphasized performance. This time around, the Garmin nuvi 2497LMT and other the 2013 Garmin GPS products feature a nice interface redesign which takes away the dashboard function and throws in a new form of customization.

The top and bottom panels of the map view are no longer customizable so you have to deal with the speed, street and ETA on the bottom while the turn information is found on the top. The customizable aspect lies on a hidden panel that slide in from the right side. Garmin calls this special sidebar “Up Ahead” and describes the main function of this panel. The panel will present you with some icons representing common points of interest such as parking spots, ATM machines, restaurants, gas station and other key places you might need to frequently visit. Each icon has a corresponding distance which highlights how far away you are from the closest location in that POI category. Tapping the icon will show you what is up ahead by revealing the locations of other POIs in that category. So if you want to know where all the ATM machines are in your area, just tap that dollar ($) sign and the icons will appear instantly.

Garmin is also rolling out a smart new feature to a limited number of cities called Garmin Real Directions which is useful if you are having a hard time figuring out which street the GPS device is referring to. The device may ask you to make a turn on 51st street but you might not know which street that is unless you pay closer attention to the map. If looking at the map is too distracting, Garmin Real Directions makes the instruction more specific by stating a landmark. With this feature active, you might be told to make a turn at this particular hotel or make a right at the next traffic light you see.

When the nuvi 2497LMT gives you voice instructions you should notice how natural the way the GPS device talks to you. This is because Garmin has developed a new text-to-speech technology called Real Voice which makes the device more like a real personal assistant.

Highway lane assistance continues to be a convenient feature to use and the Garmin nuvi 2497LMT still provides the feature. Garmin Real Voice improves the Active Lane Guidance feature by providing proper assistance when you need to be in the correct lane. Like older models, the photoReal and Bird’s Eye views are available in case you need to see more of the highway and any other interchanges in the area.

GPS devices will be less useful when new places open up and roads are changed. But the nuvi 2497LMT features lifetime map updates so you can retrieve the latest map updates from Garmin with a max of 4 times a year. To ensure that you take the fastest route, the Garmin Traffic feature will also assist you and use the Garmin Real Voice technology to provide you with updates. It also works with the Up Ahead feature in case you want to see the data on the sidebar. The Garmin nuvi 2497LMT features a better detouring feature as well to ensure that the detour you are taking will reach your destination the shortest time possible.

Whenever you need to make updates, you have to plug your GPS device to your computer and launch Garmin Express. It is freely available for Windows and OS X users at Garmin’s website. Using this software is also necessary for adding extra personalization feature like acquiring more voices or downloading new icons for your current location on the map.

Extra Features

The Garmin nuvi 2497LMT doesn’t just talk to you naturally. You can talk to the nuvi 2497LMT in a natural manner too and it can understand various commands whether it is route planning or adjusting the brightness level. Touching your device while driving can be the distracting and the Garmin nuvi 2497LMT can minimize those issues.

Using your smartphone to make calls can be distracting as well but the nuvi 2497LMT has Bluetooth functionality so pairing the two devices let you use the GPS navigator as a speakerphone and a dialer for hands-free conversations. Download the Smartphone Link app for your iOS or Android device and you can share points of interest and other data to the smartphone. The smartphone’s mobile connection can also be used for retrieving live weather and traffic information.


The Garmin nuvi 2457LMT is an inexpensive but feature-rich device that should make car owners on a budget happy. But ultimately, it is better to pay a little bit more for the nuvi 2497LMT so you can use those extra safety features especially if you are contented with the 4.3-inch display. The Garmin nuvi 2497LMT is the kind of device that should future-proof you for the next couple of years.

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