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on 20 December 2009
Having had a TomTom in the past, I find the Garmin so much easier to use. The five inch screen is clearer and the lane indicator is superb. Directions to streets, rather than mere turns add to clarity and puts pinpoint accuracy beyond doubt. The sound is good and the warnings are timely. It was a bit more than I wanted to pay but I'm glad I bought it. The test comes next week when I visit my son in the Netherlands.
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on 2 August 2017
I'm daily using it... Perfect!!!
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on 7 January 2010
Eventually selected this Garmin after looking at a lot of other GPS units.
I've used TomTom for years, so my main decision was whether I stuck with them - or finally bit the bullet and tried out another manufacturer.
I'm used to TomTom's UI - but every extra feature seems to cost a fortune and I loathe their customer service.
Quick summary - I'm glad I changed.

Bad things:
The Power Lead. Power lead for the unit is a thick cable that's like having a boa sprawled over your dashboard. I've absolutely no idea why they've made it so chunky. On the bright side though, I've got no worries that it's going to snag or break, I'm quite convinced it's going to outlast me.
It's crashed a couple of times. When it does crash it restarts and you with one button push you're back on your route. Not good it crashed, but at least it's a reasonably pain-free crash.
Manuals. Useless. Traffic was flakey on my first trip and I'd no idea why. I'd used the power lead, but kept on losing signal. Only when I got home and noticed another lead in the box, I realized that there was a separate FM antenna you have to plug into the power lead.

Good things:
Build Quality. It feels well made. Big sold slab of nice rubberized plastic, with a lovely bright massive screen on the front.
UI. Didn't take me long to realize I preferred it to TomTom.
Full Post-code recognition. Many units have this now, but it was lovely to get it.
Bluetooth Handsfree. Works beautifully. I turn on my GPS and it now automatically routes all calls to it - can just leave your phone in your pocket.
Traffic. Not a lot to say. It works, and it comes free with the unit (yes I'm talking to you TomTom with your overpriced optional FM aerials).
Road Names. I liked the sound of this, but definitely my favourite feature. Rather than just saying "turn left in x", it actually tells you the name of the road you need to take (and quite remarkably pronounces everything correctly). Makes a massive difference when driving in a town as you no longer have to glance at the GPS screen to check where it thinks it is, and therefore where the 2nd left actually is.

In summary, it's not perfect (so close it hurts a bit) - but I think it's the best value unit out there.
Lovely large screen, full post-code search, lane guidance, road-name speech, bundled FM traffic, nice simple, clear GUI, European Maps. As far as I'm aware, there's no other unit that will give you all this for the price.
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on 15 April 2012
Not Garmin's best offering. Zoom buttons too close. Too many levels to menus. Lousy map detail. Dreadful battery life.
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on 8 July 2010
I've never owned a SatNav, but I've used others, and on the whole this one is better. But then it ought to be as it's newer and more expensive.

Although the TV function is a bonus, I've found that it's difficult to pick up reception in most places, even when the two long aerial cables are attached, and I'm in the middle of Cardiff. Fortunately it does work in my home (with the aerials draped across the furniture), and when it works, it works well.

The lane assist is a good feature, but it's a shame that it only assists on motorways and not on other roads where it would be possibly of more use.

I have tried using this SatNav for geocaching once - I set it to pedestrian mode, off-road, and kept the journey log switched on. But it was nowhere near as good as even a basic handheld GPS device. I didn't find the cache, although it was in woodland and would perhaps be more successful elsewhere. Other than obtaining a satellite signal, the other problem with using this for geocaching was that North stays at the top of the screen, and the orientation doesn't change as you walk.

The way that this SatNav warns you of heavy traffic ahead is useful, but not 100% accurate. I have tested it out a few times on routes that I know fairly well. Occasionally it has tried to re-direct me to avoid the congestion, but when I ignored this instruction I actually reached my destination quicker. So don't believe everything it tells you.

Otherwise it seems pretty good, and I think does everything standard SatNavs do. I like the Ecoroute feature, as you can calculate your actual fuel consumption, and when you reach your destination it tells you how much the journey would have cost you in fuel. Useful if you're claiming expenses.

When I bought this there were no other user reviews around. So I hope that helps someone out there in making a decision!
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on 28 April 2010
I bought this SatNav to replace a Sony unit, and was disappointed from the outset. The mapping display might be 'standard Garmin', but showed little change from the one that my wife's 5 year old Nuvi has; it looks dated. The junction display feature is good, and accurate, but it pops up and vanishes so quickly that you can easily miss it.
I chose this unit for the free traffic information, and that is a benefit when it works. It took me a time to realise that the FM receiver module that is built in to the power lead needs to be either wrapped around the unit or perched on the top of the dashboard to work at all. However, even when carefully placed, the reception is a bit erratic.
The instructions are especially poor and it took some time to understand what the various icons mean, and the Sony certainly trumps the Garmin in terms of the on screen information during a journey.
Finally, the unit occasionally resets itself for no apparent reason. It has done this from new, and normally just reboots and is working again within 5 minutes. However, last week it must have had a more serious issue because it took me about 30 minutes of button pressing to make it come back to life.
Not a disaster of a product, but not one that I would recommend to people that I liked.
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on 16 February 2010
I purchased the Nuvi as a present to replace a Travel master that was quite out of date and kept loosing signal all the time.
This unit is clear, finds a signal quickly and doesn't keep loosing it.

However I find that sometimes near really close turnings/ busy intersections it doesn't give its instructions early enough for you to be clear where you need to go. Also I used to like the fact that on my old machine I could have half the screen taken up by the "map type" instruction so at a glance you could see what was coming up. The Nuvi has this feature but it is takes up just a small square in the top left hand corner which when driving you can not glance at with ease.

The only other thing I don't like too much is the size of the in car charger, it keeps getting in the way, but you can get around this by buying the travel charger kit and charging up the internal battery when at home and using the unit without the in car charger connection.
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on 18 March 2010
I have in the past had built in sat navs in a Honda and most recently a Jaguar x series. I now have a bmw 3 series and the cost of a built in, as with the others, is going on for £ 2,000 !

So this time I thought I would try a "portable".

The attraction for this Garmin is the large screen size, there is plenty of map showing along with the various details shown to the side.

In short, this is a fantastic piece of equipment, I travel about a 1,000 miles a week and everything has been spot on. The information is far greater than the built in models I'd had at a fraction of the cost, the traffic system is excellent. I have gone to the trouble of "hard wiring" it in so that I dont have cables running all over the dashbord.
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on 29 January 2010
Astonishingly quick delivery time from Amazon using express delivery.
I've used an older model nuvi for some years, so I found the operation of this device easy and strightforward. It includes European mapping, safety camera database, and traffic info. Future updates of the mapping will have to be paid for, although there is a free update within the first 60 days should one become available. The cabling is much the same as my old model except that the power and FM traffic reciever cable are combined. I mount my device on the dashboard, connected to the power below, then attach the traffic reciever aerial wire forward towards the windscreen where it is attached by suction cups along the bottom of the windscreen. The power plug for the device is inserted into the GPS whick is OK, but I'd prefer it going into the cradle, then you can just take the GPS out of the car without also having to remove the lead.
In operation it all works very well with easy to understand instructions, both spoken and on screen. There are many customisable options, but the downloadable more detailed instructions, although better than the quick start guide provided, are still not adequate. Although my phone isn't listed in the compatibility list, it works fine with the bluetooth connection.
There really should be a case provided with this device, although I have ordered one that costs much less than the Garmin one which is available as an accessory.
On the whole though, I'm very pleased with all aspects of this excellent device, and would highly recommend it.
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on 29 January 2010
I have had this unit from November 2009, and all things considered it's a great unit. Like most users of the 1490T I have experienced all too frequently random power downs, but I am happy to report with the release of version 3.60 21/01/2010 these appear to be a thing of the past.

My first sat nav I purchased in 2000, and I have used many system both built in and stand alone since, for me the 1490T is the best I have ever used. The directions are clear, but not to frequent, one Audi unit I had "verbal diarrhoea". The display is clear and bright and almost the same size of some high end built in units, a real plus point. The big display also means bigger buttons to press, so it's less fiddly to use. I like the "auto" day night function, which uses the world clock to determine when to switch to night mode; I often see Tom Tom users driving down the road at night with their screens glaring.

I am not sure of the merits of the "EcoRoute" stuff, the routes if comes up with, I suspect would in fact cost more in fuel than the standard "fastest" route option. I have tried biasing this calculation by making the urban economy figure half of the motorway option, but it still sees routing through town as a more eco friendly option. I actually drive an eco bias Golf BlueMotion , which can achieve 80+mpg figures on motorway trips, but this fall significantly in stop start town conditions. I suspect EcoRoute would pay dividends is you are using a hybrid car.

I personally cant understand complaints about the time and the size of a map update download takes and the quality of the traffic information the unit is working with. The map update is not required, it's there for us customer to make sure our product has the latest map when we purchase it, and not some map loaded months back when the unit was manufacture. The traffic information comes from Traffic Master (I believe) so any complaints about its quality should be directed to them.

All in all it's a great unit, and I have recommended them to friends.
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