Garmin nuvi 1390T GPS unit
The design and user interface of Garmin's nuvi 1390T may not be as flashy as some competitors, but it more than makes up for the lack of bling with an excellent navigation experience
- Slim and compact design, responsive touch screen, fast rerouting times and GPS fix, effective UI, great lane guidance, Bluetooth, New Zealand maps included
- Map lacks detail compared with competitors, traffic antenna built into car-charger, no FM transmitter, Bluetooth hands-free microphone isn't great
Simple but effective maps, clear voice instructions, fantastic lane guidance and a speedy GPS receiver make for an excellent navigational experience on the whole. The Garmin nuvi 1390T may not be as flashy as some competitors, but it more than makes up for the lack of bling.
Price$ 329.00 (AUD)
Garmin's latest flagship GPS unit is the nuvi 1390T. It’s a slim and compact GPS device that features a number of new features, including an excellent lane guidance function and a built-in traffic antenna.
Garmin GPS units aren't well renowned for flashy designs, instead preferring to keep things simple. There are no brushed aluminium-style finishes or glossy touch screens here; the Garmin nuvi 1390T is a basic looking GPS unit with a gloss black frame and a rubber-style matte black finish on the rear. The result is a very compact and thin device, with Garmin claiming the nuvi 1390T GPS unit is 25 per cent slimmer than the devices in the previous nuvi range. The included window mount is also compact and easily allows the nuvi 1390T to clip on and off.
Though it may seem aesthetically underwhelming compared to flashy units from TomTom and Navman, the nuvi 1390T's user interface is simple and very effective. Menu items are accompanied by either large boxes with text or clearly labelled icons. We would have appreciated a Bluetooth icon on the home screen to save having to access the tools menu.
The Garmin nuvi 1390T's map screen is clear and straightforward. Most importantly the touch screen is responsive and doesn't skip a beat. We were very impressed with the speed of this GPS; not only is browsing the menu zippy, it’s also one of the quickest units we've tested at finding a GPS signal and rerouting when you take a wrong turn.
The nuvi 1390T's map screen is spacious and, although the maps aren't as detailed as those used by some competing units, street names are clear. Enabling "more map data" in the settings menu places four boxes on the right side of the map screen that display information including distance and time to destination, current time, estimated time of arrival and speed. Safety alerts are preloaded; they trigger an audible alert and voice warning but the notification on the map screen is a little small.
The Whereis maps did miss a number of 'no right turns', but warned of all the red light cameras we passed during testing. On trips we regularly use to test GPS units, the Garmin nuvi 1390T generally took the fastest route possible. However, like most GPS devices it has a tendency to prefer main roads rather than faster back streets. The nuvi 1390T has maps of both Australia and New Zealand preloaded.
Garmin's advanced lane guidance is the best we've seen on any GPS unit. Called Real View Advanced Lane Guidance, the nuvi 1390T displays an image of the road and its surroundings, along with road signs identical to those used in the real world. The static image appears on the screen in the lead up to turn offs and is especially useful on busy freeway and motorway junctions.
The Garmin nuvi 1390T GPS unit includes a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel (hence the ‘T’ in the product’s name). Like the Navman MY500XT, the TMC antenna is built into the in-car charger, so you'll need this connected to use traffic the feature. A couple of missing features are an FM transmitter and the ability to avoid areas when planning a route, while the basic route preview feature isn't really helpful and could use an upgrade to provide more detail.
Voice guidance is excellent and the Garmin nuvi 1390T includes two Australian text-to-speech voices that pronounce most street names accurately. Unfortunately, volume isn’t loud or punchy enough, even at its highest setting.
Bluetooth is included for hands-free calling and once the device is paired with your mobile phone you can browse your phonebook, read and send messages, use voice dialling and access your call history. Like most GPS units with Bluetooth connectivity, though, the built-in microphone doesn’t have the best range.
The Garmin nuvi 1390T also provides an "ecoRoute" feature. This function can display a fuel report and choose an economical route. After entering the cost of fuel and your car’s rated fuel economy, the nuvi 1390T presents a report detailing the cost of fuel used, the carbon footprint and your average fuel economy based on your trips. When in use, ecoRoute will also preview your route before it begins by displaying the total fuel cost — this information is calculated based on the fuel price, type and fuel economy entered into the vehicle profile menu. Strangely, you can't select premium unleaded fuel in the fuel type list, though diesel, ethanol and LPG options are available.
ecoRoute also has a "Driving Challenge" feature that tests your driving habits, in particular your ability to smoothly accelerate and decelerate. For business users, a mileage report is great for keeping a record for tax purposes.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the newsletter!
Why virtualise your NAS environment?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- Picture Perfect: OPPO prepare their boldest smartphone yet
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTUnified Endpoint Management Systems AnalystOther
- CCJava DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Supply Chain / LogisiticsVIC
- CCCyber Security Business AnalystACT
- CCSharepoint DeveloperVIC
- CCOracle DeveloperVIC
- FTSAP IS-U and SAP EWM - Greenfield implementationVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- FTSenior Insights ConsultantOther
- TPProject CoordiantorNSW
- CCTalend Integration DeveloperNSW
- FTWeb Developer - HTML / CSS / SASSOther
- FTDatabase AdministratorOther
- FTHelp desk Support AnalystOther
- FTSQL Infrastructure Engineer / DBAOther
- FTSAP Ariba Project ManagerOther
- CCSplunk DeveloperVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCTandem Systems SpecialistVIC
- CCPrincipal Project Manager - ieMR ImplementationQLD
- FTSenior Software Developer - Java/J2EE/Micro services URGENTOther
- CCFront End Developer, North Sydney, UI knowledge, ReactJS, Adobe ManagementNSW
- FTTechnical Quality LeadVIC
- TPPMO AnalystACT
- FTOracle Database Exadata Engineers, Sydney CBD, 6 months contract,NSW