I did not realize the power and convenience of using a GPS for car device until I went to Tasmania last December for my son’s convocation. We took the opportunity to drive around the vast expanse of the island. I told my wife an up to date map, good intuition and a sense of direction were sufficient. My son thought otherwise and have actually bought a Garmin GPS from an online store before we arrive. It was a wise decision as it really made a big difference to our travel plans and experiences. I don’t know what would have happened without it.
So I thought why not share my experiences of the Garmin GPS device by writing an honest and thorough review? This may be helpful for people who have been researching and reading countless reviews on the best GPS brands and models and still undecided on which one to invest in?
4.8″W x 2.9″H x .6″D (12.1 x 7.6 x 1.5 cm)
5.7 ounces (161.6 g)
Just about right. If the unit is too heavy it may drop-off from the suction cup mounting unit, especially when the weather is hot and where the roads are bumpy, as we experienced on some country roads of Tasmania. Clean the windscreen before attaching the mounting unit.
Display size and resolution
3.81″W x 2.25″H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3″ diag (10.9 cm)
480 x 272 pixels
Clear and bright attractive colors. The size is just right, not too big to obstruct view or too small to read the details.
WQVGA TFT touch screen with white backlight.
With its widescreen display, you can view map detail, driving directions, photos and more in clear brilliant color. Even under bright sunlight it is easy to read, from any direction. If touch screen is unresponsive or inaccurate, calibrate it. This is explained in details in the user manual.
Battery and Battery Life
Rechargeable lithium-ion. Up to 4 hours depending on usage and settings.
Remember to charge the battery with your car cigarette charger or your PC. Some users expect the battery to last forever without charging it.
Preloaded street maps
The Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS is preloaded with detailed City Navigator® NT street maps, nearly 6 million points of interest (POIs) including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions, 2-D or 3-D maps. Of course our unit came loaded with the maps of Australia. The Garmin 1390LMT comes with free Lifetime Map and Traffic updates. Traffic information is updated constantly, and map updates are available for download up to 4 times a year. Both features are ready to go, right out of the box, with no subscription or update fees and no expiration dates. Real value for money.
You can save up to 1000 of these combinations. This is useful for frequently- visit places, like the restaurants, banks and hospitals.
Navigate City Transit
If you are exploring an unfamiliar city on foot then Garmin nüvi 1390LMT is the perfect companion. It tells you where to walk, where to catch the bus, subway, tram or other transportation, and how long it will take to get there. But you need to first download the optional cityXplorer™ which cover selected cities throughout North America and Europe.
Voice Prompts and Speak Street Names
The GARMIN nüvi 1390LMT GPS provides voice-prompts, turn-by-turn directions, distance to the next turn and speak street names to your destination. This text to speech feature is very useful as it keeps you focus on the road instead of looking at the screen, a “must have” feature.
Lane Assist with Junction View
Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for car takes navigation to the next level with lane assist. You don’t have to guess which lane to be in to make an upcoming turn. Lane assist guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate.
It realistically displays road signs and junctions on your route along with arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation. Lane assist is available in select metropolitan cities. For me this is really a wonderful feature.
Sometimes you may missed an instruction to make a turn or take a wrong route. No worries. The intelligent Garmin 1390LMT GPS automatically recalculate the route for the destination.
You can define custom avoidances such as highways, tolls, construction and school zones. Some users like this option as they are familiar with some of the bad areas in town and want to exclude them in their routes.
The nüvi 1390LMT receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Simply touch the screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area. Traffic alerts work only where there’s traffic service. To check whether your area is covered, go to http://navteq.com/rdstraffic/
Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Works well and easily setup. Remember to update to the latest firmware. Go to http://www8.garmin.com/products/webupdater/howtoinstall.jsp. The nüvi 1390LMT integrates A2DP Bluetooth® wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker. Just pair it with your compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free through the 1390LMT while staying focused on the road. Simply dial numbers with nüvi’s touchscreen keypad to make a call. To answer calls, just tap the screen and speak into its built-in microphone. I really enjoy the convenience of one-touch dialling for contacts and points of interest.
Speed Limit indicator
It tells you the speed limit on most roads, and very accurately too. Every time the posted speed limit changed, the Garmin 765T GPS would note the change within 10-20 feet of the sign! If there is no speed limit, the unit displays your current speed. Speeding fines in Australia are hefty in addition to the demerit points. So this feature is really Cool !
Where Am I
This interesting feature keep track of yourself and your car. Just tap the “Where Am I?” emergency locator to find the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations, nearest address and intersection. It also shows your exact latitude and longitude coordinates. You will never get lost.
This feature calculates your vehicle’s fuel economy, carbon footprint, and the fuel price of navigating to a destination thus improving overall fuel efficiency.
Garmin nüvi 1390LMT allows you to search and download thousands of points of interest (POIs).
World travel clock, currency & unit converter, Calculator
These are additional functions which are useful for foreign visitors and I particularly find them of great help.
Garmin Lock is a theft-deterrent system that locks your Garmin nüvi 1390LMT. Each time you turn on the nüvi 1390LMT, enter a PIN or drive to the security location, like your Home. When you are at the security location, you do not need to enter the PIN. My advice is not to depend too much on this feature. Either detach the GPS device from the mounting unit or take it along with you when you leave the car. GPS for car devices are so popular nowadays, I have heard about cases of smashed car windscreens and missing GPS !! Take care.
Overall our two weeks in Tasmania has been wonderful and we have to thank our Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for saving us a lot of time, hassles, and stress.
So Who is this Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for?
If you are looking for the following features then this is a great choice.
- easy to install, setup and use (ideal for people who hate to read manual)
- good display and sound system (soothe your senses)
- very quick in acquiring signal (save time)
- accurate and up to date information (never get lost)
- voice prompts and speak street names (keep your eyes on the road)
- hands-free making phone calls (you can focus on driving)
- auto re-routing to destination (reduce your stress)
- power cable is thick, maybe it carries antennae wires as well
- commercials, but they are small in size and not really intrusive
- need to install new software to update maps, but only once every 3 months, not a big deal
People searching for a GPS system have different needs and preferences. The 3 major brands (Garmin, Tom Tom and Magella) and their numerous models are made to satisfy these needs and preferences. The Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for car has all the basic needs of a GPS system plus the bells and whistles. There is no perfect GPS system but the Garmin nüvi 1390LMT comes close.
If you still want the features of nüvi 1390LMT but at a lower price then you may like to consider the Garmin nüvi 1390T. Most of the features found in nüvi 1390LMT are also available in Garmin 1390T except there is no lifetime update of maps and traffic.
Check out the price of Garmin nüvi 1390T GPS at Amazon.
Let me show you what some users are saying about the Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for car.
Easiest GPS I’ve used ever
I’ve been skeptical about getting a separate GPS device since I own a smartphone- I often Yelp/Google search a destination, then copy that address straight into Google Maps/a GPS app. The problems I ran into: THE GPS ON SMARTPHONES ALL SUCK.
I’ve tried Google GPS Navigation on my Samsung Captivate, Motion X and Magellan Roadmate for my iPhone 3GS. I gotta tell ya- they don’t come close to having an actual separate GPS device.
Smartphone GPS’s are glitchy, slow, crash often, and when you receive a call while its navigating things get real ugly! The Garmin 1390LMT is punctual, simple, straightforward, and convenient.
I love the way the 1390LMT looks- slim, black, sharp.
UI is very simple & easy to use- never opened up the user manual, got everything down the first day.
Turn-by-turn navigation is again, punctual and responsive. Every turn is captured immediately and should you make the wrong turn or decide to go a different way, it recalculates in under 15 seconds (my estimate average for the areas I drive, which are city urban to sub-urban areas).
I’d def buy from Garmin again- but I won’t have to because this product is everything I need to get around!
By Curiousnessness05 - December 14, 2010
To see the full review click here.
Best GPS unit
Well, this is easily the best GPS unit I have used so far.
I have Garmin 350, 650 in the past and they were good too. I bought this because of lifetime maps.
So far I have used it for a month and have had no problems. Well, if u compare it to a Magellan or Tom Tom it is the best that there is.
Apart from all the routine features, I like the traffic updates(unlike others users), it has saved me a lot of trouble. This feature has helped me on my way to Dallas from Fort worth….trafffic can be very busy on 35…
ecoRoute is helpful as well, as it calculates mileage for you…
I give it a 5 star…
By Babu – December 13, 2010
To read the full review click here
Love my Garmin! My son gave me a Tom Tom last Christmas and I just couldn’t get use to it. My co worker bought a Garmin 1390 MLT on QVC and told me what a great price and great GPS it is. So I looked on Amazon and found the same Garmin for 40.00 less than she paid! So I ordered it and LOVE it !! So easy to use !! My Tom Tom was donated. Thank you Amazon.com
By Cat - January 18, 2011
Many people who are driving around in cars may be wondering about their ability to get the best directions. Even when they have their cell phones the bloody things often fall out of service and you are left with nothing. So many people have opted in for a GPS of some kind. Still, many people wonder, how is an automobile GPS different from smartphone location services? What sets them apart? Is there one I should be listening to more than another?
The use of LBS has become very popular among the younger set. Specifically with this social media and everyone wanting all their friends to know where they are and what they are doing all the time. LBS is a great tool to have when you are in an unfamiliar place or when you’re in a familiar place and you’re looking for something which is in itself unfamiliar. You have to know where to find the things you’re looking for; LBS helps you get to that understanding.
Still an LBS without a GPS is a like finding a needle in a haystack; there is the chance that people will come across what they are looking for but that’s slim If they are in a place where they don’t know their way around and they need guidance, it would be tough to get there without your coordinates. Of course using a GPS is more suitable for when you are out on the open road and you just need to know how long until you get to the next spot on your map.
Smartphone Safety: Smartphones also have pretty adept data security features if you turn them on as you should. With a simple pin or swipe ID feature you can lock your phones to thieving eyes. It’s quite easy to load your phone with apps and passwords for all your sensitive information but you do so at your own peril if your smartphone doesn’t have safety features in place.
If you are visiting a city or town and you need to know where to go to get things, having your smartphones LBS make a lot of sense.
Nick writes for Mr Spanners Automotive located in Sumner, Queensland. Mr Spanners do all regular log book servicing, safety certificates, vehicle inspections and more.
In the 1960’s, Stanley Milgram conducted a set of experiments testing what insane lengths people would go to when being instructed by someone with authority. In one experiment participants were told to administer a series of increasingly severe electric shocks to another person. Twenty-six out of forty participants continued to the end including a final deadly 450 Volt shock.
Are we seeing a similar phenomenon with the modern GPS? Some people treat their Satellite Navigation systems as an ultimate authority and follow the directions without question, even when it would seem obvious that they are going the wrong way, sometimes not even on the road.
Here’s 8 mind boggling driving blunders that have been blamed on GPS;
Up a Hiking Trail
Robert Ziegler and his van had to be airlifted off of a Swiss mountain after he followed his GPS’s directions to drive onto a hiking path and up a mountain. Ziegler said he kept hoping that around the next bend he would find the road again but it never came. Eventually he was instructed to turn around but, by then, it was too late.
Into the Mud
Three young Japanese tourists got stuck in the mud when they drove off the road and into the ocean in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane.
One of the tourists said “it told us we could drive down there”. “It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck . . . there’s lots of mud.”
Into a River
I guess since 70% of the earth’s surface is water we shouldn’t be surprised there are so many examples of people driving their cars into rivers, lakes and the sea… or not.
In this instance, three women following their GPS drove their rented four wheel drive down the boat ramp and into the river in Mercer Slough Nature Park.
Perhaps we can forgive them a little as they were not familiar with the area and it was dark, close the midnight.
Eric Keenan from the local fire department sums it up… “I don’t know why they wouldn’t question driving into a puddle that doesn’t seem to end.”
There have been numerous reports of people turning into oncoming traffic at the request of their GPSs. In this case, a man from NSW was pulled over for driving the wrong way on the Hume highway in Victoria, Australia.
The man told police that he had simply followed his GPS’s instructions and that he wasn’t worried by the oncoming traffic because he thought he was on a dual carriageway.
Locals and tourists at Gibraltar Point in the UK saw an odd sight when a huge truck squeezed its way down the narrow road towards the sea. The Serbian driver had left Turkey bound for Gibraltar in the South of Spain but his GPS had other ideas, honing in on the similarly named location in the UK.
The truck driver may not have been familiar with the route but you would think he might have noticed something was off with the weather or the fact he had to drive onto a ferry to cross the English Channel!
Into the Harbour
This guy was obviously very confused, or stupid or both. Apparently he’d just driven off the Ferry in a small Alaskan town, done a quick lap of the shops then headed back past the ferry to wherever he was going when his all-knowing GPS told him to turn right into the harbour… so he did.
The man and his two pet dogs made it out thanks to quick thinking onlookers but, sadly, his cat did not.
There have been several reports of people following GPS directions onto the train tracks, getting stuck and then having their car struck (and destroyed) by the next train.
Paula Celly, a 20 yo student from the UK, narrowly escaped death when she drove her car onto a train line without realising it. She was in a country area and thought the two gates just looked like ‘ordinary farm gates.’ She opened the first one, drove onto the tracks, then went to open the other gate and that’s when she noticed the train lines. She apparently considered getting back in the car and driving off quickly but luckily she didn’t because the quickly approaching train smashed into her vehicle shortly after.
Celly had this nugget of wisdom for would be GPS users… “I’ll never use a sat nav again. You rely on them and if it all goes wrong, you’re horribly stuck. People should be more careful with them – you never know where they might lead you.”
Off a Cliff (nearly)
Our final story for this article is that of Robert Jones who found himself teetering on the edge of a 100 foot cliff, saved from falling only by a fence, after following his SatNav’s directions.
Jones said “It kept insisting the path was a road, even as it was getting narrower and steeper, so I just trusted it.”
You would think a professional driver might have more driving care but I guess that’s the power of the all authoritative GPS.
The GPS might be a great device, saving us time and energy in many situations, however, when you switch yours on, don’t switch off your brain.
Driving alone is something more and more people need to do. Especially when you get your very first car, you are probably going to be going places by yourself and this can be a bit intimidating. However, we have good news for you; cars these days make it feel as though you are never truly alone because they are able to guide you and keep you safe better than ever before.
Today we are going to talk to you about a few things that we think you are really going to love about cars these days. Even if driving by yourself is a fear of yours, you are quickly going to feel comfortable and have no problem at all driving on your own. A lot of these features are going to completely blow your mind and make you wonder just how people went without them for so long. We are very excited to see what’s going to happen next because every time something new comes out, we are in complete awe by the wonderful advancements. Technology is great!
Reverse like a Pro
Most drivers have the most trouble when it comes to parallel parking and reversing. The good news for you is that a lot of cars these days are actually capable of assisting you in these tasks; if not able to completely do them for you. We must admit that we are a bit jealous because passing our driving tests would have been much easier if our car would have been able to help us along the way. Could you imagine how funny it would have been to simply hit a button back then and your car would do all the work for you? While we can’t exactly go back in time and allow our younger selves to have these neat features, we are able to enjoy them today. Even if you are comfortable parking on your own, there’s something really interesting about allowing your car to park for you.
It’s amazing how cars these days track the area surrounding your car so you never have to worry about possible dangers. Plus, many cars have cameras installed on the back so you never have to question whether or not it’s safe to begin reversing. If you have small children or pets, this is something you may want to consider on your next car.
See the Road No Matter How Bad the Weather May Be
If you have ever driven during a major rain or snow storm then you can probably relate to how it feels to not be sure where you are going. These days there are all sorts of sensors on cars so that you never have to wonder if you are on the right track. For one, your car will let you know if you are falling asleep by tracking your eyes as you are on the road. The same goes for lanes. If you are ever to leave your lane, you will be notified.
Another neat feature is that your windshield can actually point things out for you such as the nearest stop sign or speed limit so you never have to question whether or not you are going the right speed or when you may need to slow down. With landmarks being pointed out to you, you’ll never have to wonder if you are safe or not. This is a fantastic thing for people who drive a lot alone and need a bit of guidance along the way.
View Your GPS and Other Important Information Right on Your Windshield
As you can probably already gather, windshields aren’t what they used to be; they are so much more. They are now capable of keeping you safe and getting you to your destination quicker than ever. Why have a GPS system in your car when you can have it as a part of your windshield and you can see through it? You can also track your mileage, gas tank and so much more there. Even if you want to do something such as watch a music video or update your Facebook status, all of this can be done directly on your windshield; making life easier than ever and saving space in your car.
Be Alerted of Possible Dangers and Feel Comfortable on the Road No Matter Where You’re Headed
Driving alone can be pretty intimidating but these days, you don’t have anything to worry about it. You can easily get from Point A to Point B without any fear of becoming lost or being able to see your way. With so much help along the way, you are going to be able to accomplish all the things you want without any added pressure or stress so you can keep your mind on the task at hand.
Clint has been promoting the use of new gadgets like gps etc in cars so that you can make driving a more comfortable experience. He recommends going to CMM mechanics to fix any car related problems.
If you are one of those adventurous people, who love exploring unknown territories, then GPS or Global positioning system is a must have option for your vehicles. This device is quite helpful to trekkers, business travelers, and others who visit new cities or places. With this device you don’t need a guide or a navigator to help you in reaching your destinations. This technology of mapping system is much more efficient, when compared to the conventional road maps.
With the help of these GPS system, you don’t have to go through the hassles of memorizing the street names, roads, and directions etc. GPS is a tracking device, which helps the user to reach their desired destinations with the help of International positioning system. GPS relies on information received from satellites, and it helps in tracking your car from anywhere on the earth.
Utility of GPS
This device is very easy to use, and you don’t have to be an expert to operate the it. All you have to do is to follow the set of instructions that is mentioned on the manual. There are verbal or Audio GPS, which instructs the drivers to follow a particular lane or road, without having to refer to a map. For others who prefer not to be disturbed while driving, a non verbal GPS is a better option.
A good GPS system will serve all your travel purposes. If you reside in one of the busiest and crowded cities of the world, then you may want to purchase a latest version of GPS system. It will help you in choosing the not so crowded roads or streets, thus helping you to reach your destination without any confusion or delays.
This device is no doubt one of the safest methods of navigating any unknown roads as it works on electronic mode. Moreover, the driver can concentrate on the road, without any fear of getting lost in a new place. Nor will you have to follow the big signboards while driving. All you have to do is feed in the address you want to reach, and choose the shortest route possible. You also save on fuel.
Factors to be considered for Purchasing a GPS
GPS is a unique device, which is much preferred by foreign travelers who intend to explore a new place all by their own. There are many car manufacturers who install devices like INVS that provides real-time traffic data, as it is integrated with a GPS device. You will need to consider the cost of the device, model compatibility, and other such factors prior to the purchase of a good GPS system.
An advanced device is more expensive when compared to normal ones. The price of the GPS also depends upon the options you choose. There are many websites where you can not only find some of the newly introduced GPS devices, but can read their reviews as well. Now, the GPS has become a must have accessory for all vehicles.
Authors Bio: If you like this article on Global Positioning System, then you will enjoy reading more posts from Nady. He is an enthusiastic writer who writes a lot on car service topics.
If you’re one of the few people that still uses their mind to figure out how to get home, isn’t it about time you caught up with modern technology? Aside from the significant possibility of pedestrian injury, installing a GPS system in your car means that you could theoretically drive home with your eyes closed. And if you consider yourself more safety conscious than that you can still use your fancy new car gadget to help you find a short cut when your regular driving route is full of traffic. Before you get over excited however, and run out and buy one of these novel inventions, there are a few key important things to consider when purchasing one. I will now outline just what those important considerations are.
Of course, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a GPS system is the actual screen.
- When it comes to the size, don’t head out and blindly purchase the largest one that you can afford. GPS systems with large screens are not only much less portable, many of them are too large to safely be attached to a car windshield. You should therefore aim for the smallest screen that both your eyes and your fingers will allow.
- Many GPS systems include anti glare screens which are pretty much essential on sunny days. Some cheaper GPS systems frequently don’t include such screens and should therefore be avoided.
When it comes to maps, there are two things that you need to look for.
- First, you will obviously want a GPS system that includes maps of the areas that you frequently drive through. If you purchase a GPS system online, don’t automatically assume that maps of your area are included.
- Secondly, some GPS manufacturers sell add on maps. If you frequently take your car with you when you go on holiday, you don’t want to purchase a GPS system without this useful feature.
Another important factor to consider when purchasing a GPS system is how it will actually be attached to your car.
- If you want a GPS system that attaches to your windshield, make sure you choose one with a rigid arm. Many GPS systems employ gooseneck arms which lead to the GPS system bouncing at high speeds. As you can imagine, this makes it a lot more difficult to read.
- Another important thing to note about windshield GPS systems is that not all states allow them. It doesn’t matter how small the screen is, if you live in such a state, you will have to stick to the dashboard variety.
Spoken Street Names
In the past, GPS systems never included spoken street names but this has been changing recently and now more and more sound like actual human beings. If you would prefer not to hear things such as “turn left in 1.3 miles”, make sure that you purchase a GPS system capable of pronouncing street names. Not only is the alternative rather irritating, it can also make it very easy to make a wrong turn when there are multiple turns in close succession.
Street Name Prediction
Regardless of how intuitive the touch screen on a GPS system is, typing a full street name while driving is never going to be exactly convenient. Many GPS system manufacturers attempt to get around this problem through predictive entry. A GPS system with predictive entry generally only requires you to type in the first three letters of a street name before it predicts what you are trying to type. Predictive entry is not only convenient, it is also a great safety feature as you end up spending less time looking at the screen.
Real Time Traffic Updates
One feature that can greatly increase the usefulness of a GPS device is real time traffic updates. Such GPS systems can not only tell you which way to go but also recommend whatever route has the least traffic. If this feature appeals to you, it’s important to be aware that some GPS manufacturers expect you to pay a subscription fee to receive the traffic updates. You are better off choosing one of the many manufacturers that provide the updates for free by including onscreen advertisements instead.
Cool Extra Features
Finally, to appeal to those that love gadgetry, many GPS systems now come complete with an interesting selection of additional features.
- Many allow not only MP3 playback, but also video playback. You simply slot in an SD card with your files and press the play button.
- Bluetooth connectivity is also a very popular feature in GPS systems. You can then use the GPS systems screen, speaker and internal microphone to make and receive calls as you drive.
This guest post was written by Chris. He likes to write about car accessories, GPS and driving. He drives a used Ford and can’t go anywhere without a GPS system.