Garmin remains at the top of its game with constant innovation that is keeping the manufacturer solidly on top in sales and customer satisfaction for vehicle GPS units in the U.S. What we’re especially intrigued by is how the pace of innovation continues to accelerate and just how quickly yesterday’s luxury feature becomes today’s essential “must-have.” With prices remaining competitive, the number of features per dollar gives you, the consumer, the best value ever, and those features are fitting into more and more compact units. Garmin’s nuvi 1200, 1300 and 1400 series introduce the thinnest, most pocketable units yet as the new CityXplorer feature brings a wealth of new GPS features to the pedestrian, navigating an unfamilar city by foot or mass transit. CNET says, “Even if you don’t opt for the CityXplorer route, the new GPS offer plenty of other navigation features and for reasonable prices.” Garmin has also added ecoRoute™ to its nuvi line, allowing you to select the most fuel-efficient route to your destination.
Note: The Garmin nuvi 1200, 1300, 1400 series models are differentiated primarily by screen size. The 1200 series has a standard display: 2.8″W x 2.1″H (7.2 x 5.4 cm); 3.5″ diag (8.9 cm) ; the 1300 series has a wide-screen display: 3.81″W x 2.25″H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3″ diag (10.9 cm); the 1400 series has an extra-large wide-screen display: 4.4″W x 2.5″H (11.1 x 6.3 cm); 5.0″ diag (12.7 cm) . Our review of the nuvi1400 series and 1300 series are similar as they differ only by screen size.
The nuvi 1200, 1300 and 1400 series are close descendants of the 7×5 series, a Rated4Stars Top Pick, which we review in detail here.
Unfortunately, Garmin has made it trickier than ever to keep track of which model has which features and it’s less intuitive than ever. Be sure to consult our feature-by-feature comparison at the bottom of the page.
The nüvi 1400 series incorporates many of the powerful features of the nuvi 7×5 lineup, including Garmin’s HotFix satellite prediction (which locates your position quickly and precisely), Lane Assist (which provides lane guidance and junction views when possible) and Garmin Connect Photos to help you visually ascertain your position. Additionally, models ending in “T” (for “traffic”) — the 1450T, 1450LMT, 1490T and 1490LMT — include free real-time traffic updates from Navteq (for the life of the device) via the included GTM 20 traffic receiver. (The other models are traffic-capable, but the traffic receiver/subscription must be purchased separately.)
Models including “LM” (for “lifetime maps”) — the 1450LMT and 1490LMT — include free lifetime map updates (available for an extra fee for non-LM models). Lifetime map updates are something worth considering, especially if you travel in rapidly-growing areas where new homes and streets seem to sprout like wildflowers. Out-of-date maps represent the major complaint we hear from GPS owners, so we hope Garmin’s new approach leads to more frequently-updated maps so you can find that gas station when you need it.
Thanks to its slimmer size, solid battery life and now, cityXplorer capability, the nuvi 1200/1300/1400 now can truly deliver on the original nuvi’s promise of being the essential traveling companion by following you from your car out onto the streets of the destinations you visit. For a nominal fee ($9.95 at this writing), you can download an up-to-date map of cities in the U.S. and around the world, including the latest street maps and most up-to-date points of interest, providing updated local information for shopping, restaurants, hotels, entertainment, parking and more. What’s makes cityXplorer a stand-out is its enhanced pedestrian navigation features. Put your nuvi in pedestrian mode, then choose which forms of public transportation you’d like to use — walking, train, tram, bus, subway, taxi or a combination of options (where available). Your device tells you where to walk, where to catch the bus or other transportation and how long it will take to get there. In some cities, data may even be available for transit schedules, such as subway or bus times and routes. Though there is an increasing number of iPhone and other smartphone applications with GPS features, many require a constant Internet connection to download maps and other information, and constant use can drain your phone’s battery quickly. With the nuvi, you only download the maps once, and from there you only need to receive GPS signals for navigation.
Though GPS systems are terrific at guiding you down the highway, when it comes time to exit, it’s not always clear what lane you should be in. The nuvi’s Lane Guidance feature which clearly shows you what lane you should be in for upcoming turns. 3D Lane Assist Junction View (1490T and 1490LMT only) takes this one step further by displaying a photo-realistic view of the road detail ahead, including the highway signs as you’ll see them. Thoughtfully, the irrelevant signs are visible, but faded, so the signs you need to pay attention to stand out. Owner reviews praise the feature, the only negative being that the detailed view is not yet available for all intersections, something that will no doubt improve over time.
HotFix Satellite Prediction
If you’re far from home in an unknown city, you need to know where you’re going before you leave the curb. That can sometimes meanwaiting several minutes for the GPS to get a satellite fix. Garmin’s HotFix capability automatically calculates and stores satellite locations, significantly reducing satellite acquisition time.With HotFix, your nüvi remembers the position of all satellites it is tracking when you turn it off, and calculates their movements in order to predict where they should be the next time you turn it on. HotFix can predict satellite positions for up to 3 days after the device was last turned off. .
Where Am I?
With a single tap you can display your exact latitude and longitude, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and gas stations.
[Review Dates: 1 November 2010; 15 July 2009 © 2009-2010 Rated4Stars.com]
|Weight||7.8 ounces (221.1 g)|
|Dimensions||4.4″W x 2.5″H (11.1 x 6.3 cm); 5.0″ diag (12.7 cm) Display resolution, WxH: 480 x 272 pixels|
|Screen||3.81″W x 2.25″H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3″ diag (10.9 cm)|
|In the Box||Preloaded maps for North America
nuvi 1450LMT, 1490LMT: Lifetime map updates
1450T/1450LMT/1490T/1390T/1490LMT: Lifetime traffic; FM traffic receiver with vehicle power cable
All models: Vehicle suction cup mount; USB cable; Dashboard disc; Quick start manual
|Warranty||One Year Limited Warranty|