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