1,989 of 2,031 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2009
I have this unit for 10 days now and overall I am very happy with it. For its mainstream feature, navigation, it is excellent. I had a Garmin 350 before this which I loved but it was stolen from my car. I had a Magellan after that which was crap. The price on this unit was great ($247 - Amazon).
I chose it over the 1390T because I opted to not get bluetooth. It is the only difference between the units. I felt the bluetooth quality would be poor based on other reviews of bluetooth in general on GPS units. The main reason was in the way most people use bluetooth. In a typical day I am in and out of my car often. I always need my bluetooth immediately in case I get a call. I don't always need my GPS. And since my previous unit was stolen, and theft of these units is a big problem everywhere, I keep the unit hidden or sometimes remove it from the car. So if you are like me but you get this unit for bluetooth, you will need to stop and mount your gps everytime you get in the car whether you need it or not, just to have blue tooth capability. If you forget and the cell phone rings, you have no bluetooth. So I purchased a separate bluetooth speaker phone from Jabra (very good unit# which is always attached to my visor, pretty good quality, and always there when I need it. I saved about $75 by opting for the 1350T over the 1390T.
A few minor disappointments. The Lane Assist feature works great but is not available everywhere. I used it around NYC and it was helpful. I drove through Pennsylvania and upstate NY and it was not available. Marketing material hypes this feature but they neglect to tell you this one point. But when it is available, it is a great feature. That brings me to traffic. Same story here. I was driving through PA and hit a 1 hour traffic jam. No warnings from the traffic feature because it was not available in that area. When I got to the Scranton, PA area the traffic alerts started working. It alerted me of a major traffic jam ahead and it even rerouted my trip automatically. The reroute would have been a significant addition in miles but would be worth it to avoid the traffic, right? I decided to ignore the re-route just to test the unit to see if the alert was accurate and I was willing to endure the traffic. As I drove my original route, no traffic anywhere. So had I listened to the traffic alert, I would have driven 50 miles out of my way for nothing. Bottom line is, don't let the traffic feature be a deal breaker for the unit you choose. But then again, I got the 1350T for about the same price as the 1350 #same unit without traffic). Updating the map was more difficult than it should have been. I consider myself a very technical person with computers and gadgets but the map update did not go smoothly and took me several tries. I could see where many people will have difficulty with this if they attempt to update the map.
795 of 811 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2010
After using my friend's Nuvi in Scotland last year I said I have to have one of these! It worked great and saved us many lost hours while effortlessly assisting us through hundreds of poorly signed round-abouts. He had a basic but very reliable Nuvi without many features other than direction finding, which is the main idea. I wanted a reliable Nuvi but with a few of the more interesting features. After reading reviews I eliminated the 700 & 800 series because of all the reported freezes. I eliminated any with bluetooth functions for the same reason. After a lot of reviewing I went with the 1350T. I wanted lane assist and I wanted cityXplorer mapping because we go overseas a lot and I wanted to have enhanced pedestrian capabilities. I live in a rural town so free traffic alerts wasn't too important but I do spend time in Phoenix, San Diego and LA occasionally so it was a plus.
I ordered the unit just prior to a trip from Phoenix to Sacramento. I'm a manual reader so I printed a copy of the instructions from the Garmin web site and read them thoroughly before messing with the unit (the quick start instructions included with the unit are worthless). Before doing anything else I bought a USB cable so that I could connect to my computer. Everyone should have the cable and it's ridiculous that Garmin doesn't provide the cable with the unit because you need it to register and get current software. Once I had the cable I connected to Garmin's web site and registered the unit and updated the maps and firmware. It's a little tricky but not too difficult...and I'm not very technical. I also purchased and downloaded radar detection software because Phoenix, Tucson and much of Arizona is loaded with scum-sucking radar detectors. I also did the screen calibration on page 47 of the manual because several reviews indicated that it made the touch screen interface much more reliable. I wanted to take some out-of-the-way highways on my trip so I programmed in some "via points" to use along the way. These are points that allow you to divert to another location or highway while keeping the same ultimate destination programmed. The night before the trip I was playing with the unit checking out the "browse map" function. It seemed to be a worthless function and it wasn't responsive with the screen being too small to be useful anyway. Just as I was about to get out of the browse mode the screen went dark. The unit was fully charged but I could not turn it back on again. I tried with the car plug adaptor, the USB cable, the on/off button...everything. The next morning before my trip it still wouldn't start. I sent the unit back and requested a replacement. After getting the replacement I went through the same processes again as outlined above except that I won't use the "browse map" function again. I took the unit on a trip from No. Arizona to Orange County then San Diego and back again. For the most part the unit worked very well. It did freeze once and the screen went dark again when I was programming in a location. I waited about 10 minutes and to my great relief it did restart but I was about to toss it out the window if it didn't restart. One time in a very complicated freeway interchange in San Diego it lost position and started "recalculating". If I had not known where I was going I could have easily taken the wrong offramp.
While traveling through Riverside, CA the Garmin indicated that there was some traffic ahead. I touched the screen to see the traffic map and the screen indicated the length and time of the potential delay. It was a short delay so I continued on and it turned out to be very accurate. I was impressed but another time in San Diego it indicated a short delay and there was no delay at all. So, just be aware that it's only as good as the information it receives from the reporting station.
For fun I also wanted to load some thumbnail pictures for my home and family destination "favorites". I could find no directions on how to do this, even in the full manual printout so I called Garmin. It's easy to do. Just connect your Nuvi to your computer, double click the Garmin icon and open the Garmin folder. There is a jpeg folder in the Garmin folder. Drag your jpeg photo and drop into the jpeg folder. Then eject and disconnect your Garmin. To add the picture to a "favorite" select "favorite"; "press for more"; press "edit"; "change photo"; select a photo and you're done.
I noticed that when going to a location and returning the directions to and from are not always the same. It sometimes sends you slightly out of the way either coming or going. I think that's because it seems to have a penchant for giving you right turns instead of left turns when starting out from a location. For instance, when departing from a shopping center it might have you make a right turn leaving the center, rather than making a left turn, even if it's slightly out of the way. It's not a big deal but I find that curious.
I know a lot of people don't want to read the long manual but in my opinion it will save you a lot of early aggravation and will help you use all of the nice features this unit has. I have also found that if you take your time and don't start pushing functions before the unit has made a calculation or transitioned to another screen the unit is more reliable.
1. Volume works great. I'm hard of hearing and 70% is plenty loud.
2. Satellite response time is quick and recalculating time is generally very responsive
3. Lane assist is a great feature especially on major thoroughfares and freeways.
4. Speaks street names clearly and is surprisingly close on correct pronunciation. (Spanish street names can be fun though). Male & Female voice available.
5. Shows posted speed limit and actual driving speed which is a great feature.
6. Turn list viewing is a nice feature especially in unfamiliar areas with a lot of turns ahead.
7. I like the time or distance to destination feature. The time estimates to a destination have been quite accurate. It's a nice feature especially on long legs.
1. No USB cable included
2. No manual (you must print from web site and it's over 60 pages).
3. May lose power and not restart for some time (or not at all as with my 1st unit). This is the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
4. Even though I made the screen calibration, when typing in addresses some of letters don't response as easily as they should.
5. Browse Map feature glitchy and worthless.
Update 6/25/12: It's been two years since I purchased this item and it is working perfectly. I have not had any more problems with the unit going dark or losing power or having to restart. For whatever reason this issue has just gone away. I have also purchased an additional mapping chip for a trip to Italy. The unit worked great on major roads and highways but when exploring in the old rural countryside there were a lot of bad directions. I asked an Italian woman about this and she said very few locals use GPS because the mapping software is notoriously unreliable on all GPS units. I also purchased a chip for Ireland on a trip there and the unit worked great! It was very reliable and a real time and stress saver. I received a message from Garmin that there was an update on the mapping software so I purchased the update and wish I hadn't. I found that the previous mapping was more accurate than the update. Also the update file was so large that I was unable to include mapping for Canada. I rarely go to Canada but I never would have purchased the update had I known the mapping and file size issues. I still love this unit though and would buy a similar Garmin product in the future.
492 of 501 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
Let me be perfectly clear...I really like my new Garmin 1350T GPS.
The only difficulty I had after taking it out of the box and charging it for the first time was a problem in having the GPS "easily "recognize" exactly what available screen (option/letter/number, etc.) that I was "pointing" to on the touchscreen. I thought I had a defective unit so I contacted Garmin's free Tech Support. The technician took me through an easy, yet undocumented (to me at least) calibration procedure that only took a minute or so. Since then the unit has performed as advertised.
Also...You NEED to have a cable with a standard USB connection on one end & a Mini-USB connection on the other end. Garmin DOES NOT automatically include this cable in the box along with the 1350T. Without this cable, you can't connect this GPS to your computer in order to register it online or receive your free updated (if available) mapping or operational software.
Be advised also that not ALL USB/Mini-USB cables are alike. These cables may all LOOK the same but there really are TWO different types. One will only let electric current through in order to charge your internal GPS battery, while the other will not only charge the battery, BUT WILL ALSO carry data back and forth between your computer and the 1350T. Be sure to obtain the kind of cable that can perform BOTH functions.
154 of 163 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2009
This product was well worth the release date that I waited for. The traffic delay feature helps me avoid road delays. It works great. Just be careful when you up date the maps on line from Garmins web site. I thought the up date would help, you'd think! Instead it messed the unit up. So bad that after two days of hours on the phone with their tech dept. That I sent the unit back to Garmin. They are going to replace it with a brand new one. The people at Garmin are really nice and very helpful. Its just waiting on the phone so long for your turn.
98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2009
The 1350T is the second Garmin GPS unit I've used, and it's far superior. It keeps up with me in the city and very quickly recalculates the route if I make a wrong turn. The lane assist feature is also very useful and gives me quick, visual confirmation when I approach multi-lane intersections. I bought the 1350T for this lane assist feature, and I'm glad I did.
116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
This GPS works great, and I agree with many of reviews posted so far. Just know that 'free lifetime traffic alerts' means that you will get pop-up ads on your map display when you are at a stand still. Though there are no pop-ups while you are motion, this is a rather annoying feature. I would have purchased another unit if I would have known this fact.
73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2009
I did a lot of evaluating before I chose this GPS device. I determined what was important to me after actually using another Garmin, Magellan, and Tom Tom GPS. The 1350T is everything that it is advertised. Yes, there is advertising but is very insignificant when not moving in the Traffic mode. The Advanced Lane function and Text to Speech functions worked great. I used it in Honolulu last week and was curious how the text to speech would work with the Hawaiian pronounciations. It did pretty good. Another nice feature that I have used is the Pedestrian mode function. It works great! The battery charge is what is advertised, about 4 hours. So, if you need help with directions while walking in the city, this does a good job. Good GPS!!
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2009
I've had this navigation system for several days now. So far, I think it's an excellent mid-range unit. I've used the nuvi on the interstate (250 mile trip covering NC and SC), highways, and city streets. I've found it to be very accurate. This is my second navigation system--my wife has one (manufacturer unknown) built into her VW.
1. It speaks street names instead of telling you to turn in 100 feet. This is well advertized, but the usefulness of this can't be stressed enough.
2. At the top of the display, it gives you additional reference points for turns such as the name of a town or region that will be referenced on road signs.
3. Lane assist is more useful than I thought it would be. I think I'll appreciate this more and more over time.
4. It tells you the speed limit on many major roads and streets in larger towns. I've been impressed with just how accurate it is with this, even on city streets. I've also been impressed with how accurately it detects changes in the speed limit--within just a few feet of the physical speed limit sign.
5. It does a very good job of tracking the actual speed of the vehicle. I have yet to see it vary by more than 1 MPH from the vehicle speed indicator.
6. It picks up satellites very fast. The first time I powered it on, it found all satellites (five green bars) in under ten minutes (I was on fairly flat terrain along the east coast). After an update of the firmware from Garmin's site (a requirement to register), it found all satellites in under one minute. This is much faster than what I thought it would take based on other reviews of earlier Garmin navigation systems. It seems Garmin has done a great job of improving this.
7. ecoRoute is a poorly named feature that's very cool. Aside from what you might expect based on the name, it also tracks your fuel usage, cost of fuel used, fuel economy, and carbon footprint. The best feature is the graph of the fuel used. This feature really drives home how things like stop and go traffic or a drive-thru waste gas. Of course, this is all an estimate based on the vehicle fuel economy (i.e. city and highway average fuel economy) and fuel price information you provide. Regardless, I find it very useful.
Not So Great
1. Touch screen is a little off in calculating what's being pressed. It often picks the item above what I've pressed. This is especially true with smaller items like the keys on the QWERTY keyboard and the selection of city names. I actually have started aiming just a little below the item I'm trying to press. This can be callibrated, but it's still not what you'd expect. I have large fingers, so perhaps it's just me.
2. You have to do a firmware update to register. I was perfectly pleased with the firmware revision that came with the unit, but Garmin makes you update before you can complete the registration process. Why register? Well, you get one free map update if you register.
UPDATE DEC 3, 2010
3. I've had issues with my unit shutting off after about an hour to 1.5 hours of use. It seems it has some heat issues, even in a air-conditioned car, if placed in the sunlight for this length of time. Given that the dash or windshield is the typical location of the unit, I believe this should be considered a design flaw. Secondly, there also seems to be a firmware issue because I've had it shut down when sitting out of direct sunlight with normal air temps. Supposedly, a recent firmware update has corrected this. I haven't reached a verdict on this yet. I will update if it appears to be corrected.
4. The battery life is only about 2.5 hours. I've never gotten anywhere near the 3.5-4 hours claimed by Garmin. I always charge my unit via USB attached to the computer in normal air temps (low 70's). 2.5 are good for short trips around your local area. In all other cases, you need to be sure to carry the car charger.
1. I wish there was a way to pause a trip and have one button on the main screen to resume. This would make a quick detour, say to refuel at an interstate exit, very easy and I wouldn't have to listen to it tell me it's recalculating when I take the exit ramp. Sure, I can press stop and then restart the trip from the recently found, but that's a few more button presses than I'd like to see. Maybe this or a similar feature is there, but I just haven't discovered it yet. The navigation system in our VW has a pause/resume feature that I didn't realize was so handy until I used the nuvi. UPDATE DEC 3 2010: You can simply turn the unit off while you detour and turn it on when you want to resume the trip.
2. I wish there was an option to have the screen brightness automatically adjusted based on the amount of ambient light.
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2009
I received this as a gift. I thought I'd use it every once in a while, so I kept it. Boy was I wrong!! I use it all of the time! Even if I know how to get someplace, I have used it to find stores, gas stations or restaurants nearby. I love the lane assist feature, as it lets me know in advance if I need to be ready to make a left turn or a right turn. The traffic update has been great too. I sometimes use the Nuvi just to determine length of time it will take to travel between two points - or how much longer till I get home.
Only con was that it had trouble picking up satelite reception while driving among the tall buildings of Manhattan.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2010
I used this product for 3 weeks and was constantly surprised by the routes that the Nuvi sent me. Never once did this GPS send me the easiest or most direct route. I also had the problem of the Nuvi shuttting itself off, and it had a hard time finding a signal quite often. I live 40 miles outside of Chicago, finding a signal should not have been a problem.
I tried playing with the settings for avoidances to see if that would help with route selection, but Nuvi still sent me down back roads, through town and constantly misjudged our travel times. The last straw was on a trip to Wisconsin from Chicago. I was sent up Rt 31 to Lake Geneva to Milwaukee....my trip time was off by over an hour, the Nuvi added an 55 mins to our arrival time 3/4 of the way into the trip! I used my trusty paper road atlas to get home and when we did, I got on Mapquest, Google Maps and MSN Maps to check the route those sites picked, they all sent me on a more direct tollway route then the Nuvi. To just make sure I wasn't missing something, I programed the Nuvi to avoid all routes except Toll Roads and asked it for my directions. Guess what, it still sent me the "back route" that it sent me the first time. There is no place to reject a route and ask for an alternative.
The bottom line is: I would not feel comfortable using this product in a city that I was not familiar with and isn't that the point of a GPS? Needless to say, this product has been returned.
On a Positive note:
The size of this unit was awesome! The mount that came with it worked much better then others I have seen. The voice directions were clear and accurate and gave you plenty of time to anticipate your turns (the route still stunk). The speed limits listed v/s posted limits were fairly accurate. There are some very nice aspects to this unit, I just couldn't get past the poor directions.