Garmin – one of the biggest names in satellite navigation recently introduced the Zumo 590, which is an addition to its already successful zumo series released way back in 2006. The zumo 590 is a rugged unit that is designed exclusively for motorcycle riding and can be fitted on any street touring motorcycle, as well as mounted on a vehicle’s dashboard. The first series of zumo navigation systems were already considered advanced when they were introduced, and the Garmin zumo 590 steps it up a few notches with one of the largest in the market 5” touchscreen display, fuel proof and like its predecessors, glove friendly and readable in sunlight. Adding to this, the Zumo 590 boasts advanced infotainment and navigation features to keep riders connected on the road.
Just like other zumo units, the brightness of the 590’s touchscreen features anti-glare panels to allow riders to view map details with ease whether it is sunrise or mid-day. The waterproof zumo 590 can be fully integrated with current smartphone technologies and connected with Android and iPhones. It even serves as an mp3 player and is Pandora (currently in the US, Australia and New Zealand) compatible, allowing riders to control their music right from the touchscreen display. In addition, the Garmin zumo 590 provides riders with vital information on the go such as traffic and weather information via the Smartphone Link2 app as well as spoken directions streamed right to the helmet and handsfree phone control with Bluetooth technology.
Adding to the connected features of the Garmin Zumo 590, it can be also be mated with the Garmin VIRB action camera4 and Garmin Tire Pressure Monitor System3. Adding to the list of premium navigation features is Garmin’s Round Trip Routing, Active Lane Guidance and Real Directions. The Zumo 590 revolutionizes the motorcycle navigation system by offering riders everything from music control, tire pressure information, weather and traffic information and a complete connected infotainment hub.
What’s in the Box?
Motorcycle power cable
Motorcycle mount and hardware
Quick start manual
Automotive power cable
Automotive suction cup mount
Quick start manual
Highlights of the Garmin Zumo 590
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Headphone jack/audio line out
up to 4 hours batter life
3D terrain view
microSD card compatible (not included)
800 x 480 pixels display resolution
Spoken directions in helmet
5” touchscreen display
Resistant to UV rays, harsh weather and fuel vapors.
Control iPod, Pandora and mp3 access right on the display.
Features and Design
The Garmin Zumo 590 is similar to its predecessors except that it measures 3.8” in width, 5.9” in length and is much sleeker at just 1.3” thick. It may be a bit heavier than previous models weighing 13.3 ounces due its bigger touchscreen, but does not have a protruding battery pack. One of the notable features of the Garmin Zumo 590 is its slimmer lithium ion battery that powers its touchscreen and unit for up to 4 hours when fully charged.
The exterior of the unit is crafted of ABS polymer plastic that is able to protect against oils, acids, fuels and other corrosive compounds, which can degrade traditional plastic. It is shock and chemical resistant and has an IPX7 international rating, making it waterproof to up to 1 meter deep for a maximum of 15 minutes. The feature that makes the Garmin 590 stand out from other navigators in the market is its full integration with current smartphone technologies.
Some of the newest capabilities offered by the Garmin Zumo 590 are its integration and compatibility with smartphone applications to gather GPS data such as traffic and weather reports. The Zumo 590 is probably the only navigation unit in the market that can use data from third party applications to determine your current location. In fact, the Zumo 590 receives the information and synchronizes with the user’s smartphone, and then uses this data to determine the current position on the track.
It also gives users the ability to access their smartphone data such as media files right on the touchscreen display. You can directly listen to your music and even answer your phone through Bluetooth technology all while driving or riding down the road. The Garmin is appointed with a much faster processor that enhances its video rendering abilities that provides users with more details about inclination, topography, elevation and terrain, which can all be viewed with a 190 degree angle. In addition to this, users can quickly switch between panoramic or portrait viewing angles simply by rotating the unit on a vertical or horizontal angle. Its compatibility with the Garmin Tire Pressure Monitor allows riders to easily check their tire pressure, which is a great feature to increase road safety.
The Garmin Zumo 590 is appointed with a 5” resistive touchscreen that is extremely responsive even with gloves on. Furthermore, it automatically adjusts its contrast and brightened with the environment to give users clear readability in any lighting condition. Having a 5” display also helps those with poor visual acuity and is a great improvement compared to other navigators in the Garmin lineup. The revamped interface of the display indicates information through side windows such as real time traffic and points of interest, and even keeps the driving map onscreen at all times.
Powered by a swappable (removable) battery, the Garmin Zumo 590 is equipped with a compass display and trip computer, and is even outfitted with a speed limit indictor that lets users know when to slow down and digital fuel gauge to estimate the distance you can travel before you fuel up. With Active Lane Guidance, users are prompted to access an interchange or exit with confidence with the help of an animated model that indicates the proper lane needed for the route.
Switching to Bird’s Eye Junction view offers users a comprehensive view of interchanges and the photoReal junction view displays interchanges and junctions and even the proper lane to ride highlighted by bright colors. Users can use the onboard Service History Log feature to keep track of tire pressure, tire changes, oil changes, tire mileage, chain cleanings and even new spark plugs. Riders can even use the search field to find addresses and millions of points of interest.
Pros of the Garmin Zumo 590
5 inches of touchscreen real estate
Waterproof up to 1 meter deep
Can be used in the car or on a bike
Compatible with miroSD card (not included)
Bluetooth technology for handsfree control and spoken directions in the helmet
Cons of the Garmin Zumo 590
Battery life could be improved, but is removable and 4 hrs is probably more than enough for long distance commutes
Heavier compared to its predecessors owing to its 5” touchscreen
Considering all the features of the Garmin Zumo 590 including the fact that it can be mounted on a car dashboard or a motorcycle and its price tag, makes it an excellent product. Being completely waterproof and fitted with a 5” touchscreen display gives it an added edge over other navigators in the Garmin lineup as well as the competition. The Zumo 590’s advanced technological features including smartphone compatibility makes it the first device in its class that can be mated with third party software applications. The package also comes with a motorcycle and automotive mounting system so whether you ride or drive, the Garmin Zumo 590 is a great choice.