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Customer Review

916 of 922 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, 7 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Garmin Nuvi 1490T 5" Sat Nav with Europe Maps and Lifetime Traffic Alerts (discountinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
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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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 May 2010 09:46:11 BDT
I too am a tomtom refugee, had 7 different models over the years but can't stand their later atitude to customers. Seems to be give them less and less some more with each new model but then charge a subscription for something that was included (Free) with the previous model. Shame as tomtom routing and mapping was miles ahead. My latest tomtom 940 bought in Jan 2010 has no socket for the TMC traffic receiver, if tomtom think I will buy a traffic subscription instead of free TMC sevice, they can think again. Even the worm has turned.

Hope my new Garmin 1490 is as good as reveiws claim. bit of a bugger having to buy 2 gps in one year but it's only money.

Posted on 2 Sep 2010 18:48:32 BDT
W. Schubert says:
Garmin Nuvi 1490 Traffic Satellite Navigation System with European Maps
I've switched from TomTom mainly for cost reasons (too many overpriced subscriptions needed) but also for reason of some client service attitude.
Bought the GARMIN 1490T and was able / required to seriously test it on a trip through three countries. Its clear, large display, the traffic service (unfortunately not in Spain as yet), and the bluetooth handsfree made the trip much less stressful than I expected.
The only little problem I had was that sometimes the signal seems to come through a bit slow which can be a challenge with tight turns or complex roundabouts.
But in general a good piece of equipment for the price.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2010 12:10:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Oct 2010 12:15:42 BDT
Mr. T. White says:
TOMTOM would be market leader if only they fixed their units' reliability, and fixed their customer service units' attitude. They are certainly ahead of all the rest of the competition combined - when it comes to technical advancement; yet, owing to the foregoing issues, I too will not consider any Tomtom. Shame really.

By the way, to the OP, did you perform a software update before reviewing, and if not, please let us all know if doing so improves your unit's operating reliability. Thank you.

Posted on 8 Oct 2010 17:49:55 BDT
Mickey says:
I can educate you on why the Power cable is so chunky. Because its not just a power cable,its also an FM antenna which is required for the Traffic updates on your Nuvi 1490T where T stands for... Traffic).There's a small aerial included in the pack which is inserted in this Power/FM cable.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2010 16:12:23 BDT
sf says:
After almost of one year of many firmware upgrades which did not help with random restarts or, even worse, random freezes I am sending my unit back for "repair", while still under warranty ...

Posted on 30 Nov 2010 12:07:37 GMT
rally_champ says:
Good review. After 9 months I think the 1490T is an amazing bit of kit and I certainly prefer it to my (now my wife's!) TomTom XL IQ Routes. I just want to mention that mine picks up the traffic signals, without using the extra antenna, with no problem at all.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2011 12:40:29 GMT
James says:
I've installed a few updates since my original post ( I think that was about a year ago).
Unit is now crash-free.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2011 14:46:40 GMT
Mark Ellis says:
Can anyone confirm that this works well with an iPhone 3G?

Posted on 26 Sep 2011 22:13:30 BDT
I bought this sat nav on recommendation, I always had a tom tom, so i thought I would have a change, boy am I glad i did, on opening the box, fist you see a most impressive black block, i went onto the garmin site to register it, no problem at all very easy, then i had a look at the manual that came with it, useless to say the least, so i printed off the manual from the garmin site All 76 pages, but what a help it was. I have used it a few times now, Magnificent, at night it automatically goes into night mode, with tom tom you have to push the icon on the screen, also already loaded is live traffic, that also is free, also I dont think it will allow you to change settings on the screen while you are moving, unlike tom tom. you dont even have to download garmin and log onto a site, you just go to and install any changes straight onto your device...all in all a fantastic bit of kit, I for one i am glad i changed.........Thank you Gramin

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2011 22:22:34 BDT
yes i agree i have an astra and between the speedo cover and the back of the steering wheel cover ther is a nice gap, if you turn the cable so you slide the narrow part parrallel with the dashboard cover and it slots just nicely along the slot thus hidden and held in place then down the left hand side of the steering wheel and into the powwer point. or you could do what i did and buy a universal mains charge and fully charge it up before your journey, and have the car charger as a spare in case your battery goes,mind you by doing that you lose the choice of radio and bluetooth
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