Garmin nuvi 1490T Reviews

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★★★★☆
4.2
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  • Ease of Use

  • Clarity of Instructions

  • Map Accuracy

  • Value For Money

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Latest Reviews

“Great satnav”

★★★★★

written by on 13/09/2011

A good satnav, would recommend, has all the main features like detailed maps, spoken voice instruction, hands free calling, map data loads fast, calculates quick routes, speed cams warning This is a great device I brought from mynewgps.co.uk Would recommend others to check the 1490t out

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“great satnav”

★★★★★

written by on 04/09/2011

I did some homework on which satnav to buy and found the 1490t had the most postive reviews and now i can see why, i also got it at a good price from www.mynewgps.co.uk for under £120 Its a great satnav, the screen is very clear and the mapping is alot more detailed than my previous navigation set, so far i have had zero problems with it and i drove around western europe with complete confidence that the satnav wouldnt let me down and it didnt

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“having never been keen on even the idea of sat-navs...”

★★★★★

written by jkrikler on 21/09/2010

having never been keen on even the idea of sat-navs (better not to be too dependent on tech), I am so impressed! thorough research as ever, first for product performance and features, then price, I am certain this unit is the best combination out there. does basics extremely well with enough options and extras to allow showing off! screen is brilliant, clear and easy to use. once or twice got a little lost in the menus but intuitive enough to quickly get back to where needed to be. junction view helpful. speed and camera advice all good. pity traffic info not europe wide but useful in uk. bit more than original budget but glad I pushed it - well worth the price. nice looking unit too!

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“Got my wife driving on the motorway with confidennce ,...”

★★★★★

written by Bernard1k on 28/08/2010

Got my wife driving on the motorway with confidennce , she now will drive anywhere ,wouldnt drive on the motorway AT ALL, best thing ive ever bought in my life , had another sat nav and it just confused her, what she likes is when your driving upto a road it tells you the road your going onto which is great and on the motorway it tells you and shows you the lane to get in, BRILLIANT if you thinking on buying this BUY IT it is the best on the market today , i googled sat navs for 2 dats before buying this one and most of them you have to pay for updates not this 1, vooice is very clear and loud , screen is crystal clear and very large screen

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“I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 1490T from Expansys UK,...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by sunbeamrapier on 11/08/2010

I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 1490T from Expansys UK, via the Amazon Marketplace in April 2010. It cost £170.87 including delivery to Wokingham. The sales process was smooth and uneventful with good feedback from Expansys on the progress of my order.

I have been using the device since 1 June 2010 - this review was written on 11 August 2010.


EASE OF USE: Poor
============
Do not expect to be able to use this device "out of the box". The skimpy instructions are insufficient - and you will need to download and read the PDF manual. For instance, you might expect to be able to enter a place under "Where are you going?". You can, if you have a complete address. If you are just wanting to know how to get to Plymouth, for instance, you have to find the "Cities" icon by scrolling down... Its not obvious, and reflects poor user interface design. This is not a device which is intuitive to use - keep that manual handy...


CURRENCY OF MAPPING DATA: Unacceptable
============================
Secondly, be aware that the maps on this device can be very out of date. You should also be aware that Garmin has a nasty little GOTCHA whereby if you fail to register the device within 60 days from date of purchase you will have to pay for up to date maps - at a cost of US$130, or the £equivalent. There is, however, no easy way to find out how old the maps are on your device, or whether a free or paid-for update will include roads you find missing (I have been driving through "fields" in Austria and Germany as the motorways are not in the Garmin unit's database).


EASE OF SOFTWARE UPDATE: Woeful
======================
Garmin are really having trouble with the update process for their satnavs. The process described in the material which ships with the unit does not work. There is another process, called Webupdater, which is supposed to work - but the PDF documentation for that process is inaccurate and incomplete and you will need to log a support request in order to obtain the correct update instructions. Even then the updaters (both) seem to have problems recognising that an update has been installed and will prompt you to reinstall them.


EASE OF UPDATING MAPS: Unacceptable
=========================
The maps on my unit are, apparently, from April 2009 - 12 months prior to the purchase date. For reasons known only to Garmin, they now refuse to provide me with maps which were current at the time of purchase - hiding behind their policy of only providing free updates dependent on completion of registration within 60 days of purchase. This is likely to be contrary to UK consumer legislation - but unless you want to do battle with Garmin through the courts, either buy another manufacturer's product or make sure you register your product as soon as you get it home.

There is, however, no guarantee that your registration will "stick". I registered the product and updated the software via the website, logging a support request when this did not function correctly. Garmin have apparently lost that registration information - although it is included in their reply to me regarding my support query. They cannot, or will not, explain how the registration went missing. And of course they won't update the maps.


EASE OF OBTAINING SUPPORT: Woeful. Woeful. Woeful...
===================================
Ohmygod. This company has really lost the plot when it comes to support. You have to log a support request using the form on their website. Unhappily you receive no email confirmation of this and your support request just disappears into the ether. If you are lucky you will get a response to your query. However, I heard nothing for ages and then received an email: "Due to an unforeseeable high volume of emails we've received, we've been working hard to respond to all customer emails within our quoted time." and asking me to resubmit my problem if it still was a problem.

There also appears to be a staffing problem in European support for satnavs...


FUNCTIONALITY: Poor
==============
The lane changing view is good - you get a 3D picture of the lanes for an approaching junction and can easily see which lane you need to be in. The display is generally okay, but it changes colour at night, without warning, which is a bit disconcerting. And it is impossible to see the whole route you are taking at a macro level - which means, unless you have another map to consult, you really have no idea where you are at any time.


PERFORMANCE: Woeful
==============
The unit suffers from various problems - not the least of which are the outdated maps (which will be with my unit until it is discarded given the huge cost of updating the maps and the absence of any guarantee that roads missing from the maps shipped with the device will be included in a paid-for update). The unit loses the audio when it goes into sleep mode - and must be hard-reset.

Be warned that a software update requires a complete reinitialisation - you will lose EVERY piece of information you have entered into the unit. You cannot back this up and must re-enter it.

Garmin support warned me that some information would be lost - but not that I would lose all the fuel usage information entered to date. I cannot recover that information now.

Occasionally the unit loses the car symbol which acts as a "cursor". Again a hard reset is required.

Fuel usage is entered, but the system reports all prices in the home currency - so it is difficult to use in Europe. Pointless really unless you only drive in your home country.


SUMMARY
=======
Garmin is an American manufacturer. In my experience American companies work to a different, lower, set of ethical standards than you might be used to in Europe. Supplying a product with outdated maps; failing to warn potential buyers of the likelihood that maps will be very out of date; forcing users to register in order to obtain current maps (this is probably contrary to UK law); denying updated mapping information outside the 60 day period which is "rigidly enforced" - presumably so they get you to pay for more maps...

I do not often come across a manufacturer who will enforce a policy which is likely to outrage a customer when they could solve the problem, fairly, and at no cost to themselves. And yet Garmin is such an organisation. One has to wonder how they stay in business. Certainly not by surprising and delighting their customers!

Do yourself a favour and buy a European brand and steer clear of this hopeless organisation.

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Guest's Response to sunbeamrapier's Review

Written on: 20/06/2011

Thank you! I will take your advice and buy a diffrent make. GS

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Somerbear's Response to sunbeamrapier's Review

Written on: 06/10/2011

I can confirm Sunbeamrapier's comments I have a Nuvi 1340T Europe which I bought the map updates for and found that in many area's i had problems in before in UK and Italy with out of date mapping were exactly the same as before. I e-mailed Garmin telling them this and their attitude is; tough we've taken your money. They say that the mapping is the responsibility of Navteq and there is also a disclaimer saying they can't guarantee the accuracy of the maps.
Navteq also supply mapping information to Google Maps. So my advice is don't buy a Garmin Car sat nav, get a mobile with GPS and download the Google maps Ap for free it'll be just as accurate.
The other issue I have with the unit is that it is slow to react in town and often this means having to do laps of roundabouts or stopping until it sorts itself out which in certain circumstances can be dangerous.

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Guest's Response to sunbeamrapier's Review

Written on: 26/07/2011

I have had two of these within a month. I thought they were malfunctioning and have returned both of them. I totally agree with everything that the reviewer has said.

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