Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Garmin nuvi 1490/1490T 5-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on July 9, 2010
I received the 1490T on Tuesday evening and downloaded all the updates and new maps. I paired it with my Bluetooth phone and left it to charge overnight. On Wednesday we left Central Florida for the Panhandle and the 1490T worked flawlessly - this GPS was really terrific and we played with most every function. I turned it off and put it in the center console to keep it safe and left it overnight. Got it out and plugged it in the next morning and the screen flashed white then the Garmin name appeared - that is where it sits today. YES, I tried resetting the unit, turned it off and on and with and without the power adapter plugged in. Nothing works - it comes on and flashes a white screen and then the word "garmin" on the screen and it sits there. We made the trip back home without this amazing GPS and were just totally dissappointed. It was so nuch fun using it going up..
This was my 2nd Garmin in 1 week to go bad. I purchased a 265WT last week but the bluetooth would shut the gps down when it engaged. I obtained a RMA from Amazon as I decided to just go ahead and jump up to the latest feature rich unit (the 1490T). I previouslly owned a Magellan Crossover for the past 4 years and it is still running great but I wanted to upgrade and add the bluetooth. It appears that even though Garmin is gaining market share, they have sacrificed their quality to hold profits. I am going to try again with another 1490T as we did really love it but we are concerned over the Garmin GPS quality.
UPDATE - 06-02-2010
I received an email from Garmin support who offered the following (Thank you for contacting Garmin International, I am sorry to hear that this has happened. Your GPS will require warranty service. Please return your device to the address below ---- Once we receive your GPS Unit and check it into the system, you will receive it back in approximately 10 - 14 days. For most units, the device will be exchanged for a newly overhauled device)

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!! Ship, at my cost to Garmin, wait 10-14 days and get an "overhauled" unit back. After only 5 hours of use on a brand new unit??????????? I'm not a happy camper with Garmin!

NOW - Amazon on the other hand emailed me a return shipping label to send my dead gps back to them and they sent me a brand new NUVI 1490T (overnight) at the same time. AS I am writing this I am already updating my new unit. Amazon is GREAT - Garmin's customer service policy sucks.. (and this was over the Memorial day weekend - WOW)

June 23, 2010 - followup
I've been using the 1490T on a regular basis now and it is working just great. Everything is working including the traffic information updates. I have seen the occasional advertising from the fm traffic receiver but the messages are totally out of the way and cause no problems at all. this is a really terrific GPs and we continue to love it. I downloaded additional POI including the speed and red light cameras. Very nice feature and lets you know in plenty of time to be careful.
Although I love this unit I still harbor negative feelings toward Garmin and their customer service policy.

UPDATE 07-08-10
I received an email from Garmin telling me that I had to download a 'MANDATORY" free update. This update is to fix the previous problem I had on the first unit I had received. I followed the instructions, the download went fine and the new version was updated to 4.40. I disconnected the unit from the computer and the 1490T will no longer run. It is dead as a door nail. I have tried everything but it will not respond at all..

I am again returning this Garmin 1490T to Amazon but for a full refund this time. This Garmin 1490T and Garmin support is the worst there is.
quote---
Here is what Garmin says - Please allow 10-14 days for the repair and return of your device.

We know our customers rely upon their Garmin GPS device(s), especially during the summer travel season, and we regret any inconvenience this situation may have caused. We are committed to developing products that are known for their quality and reliability and will continue to work diligently to earn the trust of our customers..
endquote ---
Garmin has pissed on this customer one two many times.
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on August 11, 2009
Update: August 15:
- My con I listed below about the buggy firmware (2.7)... it's VERY buggy. The nuvi "forgets" my settings such as vehicle icon, map detail display level, time format whenever I plug my nuvi into my PC (to transfer waypoints and such). Still keeping the unit but looking forward to an update REAL SOON...hopefully.

I've owned many Garmin units over the years (GPS V, eMap, nuvi 350, 265W, 750, 755, tried 1260T, 1350). I decided to upgrade to the 1490T because of the larger screen and thinner form factor.

Just some observations:

Pros:
- The display is 5 in diagonal, that may not seem much bigger than the 4.3 but it is. The resolution is the same as the 4.3 wide-screens units but the extra space is well worth it and noticeable! It also makes it easy to hit the right button on the touch screen.
- User interface has received some minor updates, mostly in the cosmetic department. The font is new and contributes to a refined feel, everything is "smoothed" and looks very good. It's also VERY responsive and doesn't feel like it's lagging.
- I like the new menu organization, they didn't bury as many of the options and settings in sub-folders.
- You can change the map display so that the data fields are stacked along the right side as opposed to being in the corners. I like this view a lot. With this stacked view, you can see 4 data fields (3 are customizable) versus the two in the normal corner view.
- The unit is about half an inch thick, it's very easy to carry around, even pocket-able in a pinch.
- (updated) The speaker on this unit is MUCH better than on my 755, 1260, 1350; perhaps they had room to add a larger speaker. The spoken directions sound not only louder but fuller and do not distort at high volume.

Cons:
- The mounting cradle is a two-step/two-handed affair, unplug the mini-USB then unmount from the two point cradle. The older, better quality cradle is literally one click grab and go from a nice powered cradle. Don't know why they removed that (cost savings?).
- A common complaint: less detail shown on maps. The newer nuvi's show fewer street names at the same zoom level as the older units. The argument being this reduces clutter. I'm not happy with it, but it's not a deal breaker. Garmin has added alot of other information to the map display and I can understand they don't want to overwhelm the user with text.
- The latest firmware is 2.7 and it seems to be quite buggy. Issues with Bluetooth, saving favorites, thats all I've experienced.
- Note, this comes with version 2010.10 maps. Garmin just released version 2010.20 maps. You only get one free upgrade.
- Very expensive...

I am planning on replacing my 755T with the 1490T. The larger screen size is just so overwhelmingly impressive it outweighs the cons in my book. If you're not into that type of stuff then the 1490T is probably not for you.
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on October 30, 2009
I have now had a couple of weeks to work with the new Garmin 1490T.

I should begin by mentioning that I have been using Garmin GPS units in airplanes for quite some time, and my experience with ROAD GPS units began with a Street Pilot III soon after they were introduced. Currently I also have a Garmin KNA-G510 which drives a 7" in-dash Kenwood display and a nuvi 660. I compared the 1490T to both the G510 and the 660. I did not have any of the issues with "buggy" software forgetting my settings which others have mentioned.

For me, the 5" screen of the 1490T was one of the attractive features; it provides almost as much viewable map area as the 7" G510 display; the 510 has most of the data outside of the map, whereas the 1490T and the smaller 660 have these as overlays onto the map. The 1490T map appears more "crisp" than either older map display as smaller width lines are used for most features. The older, thicker lines look bolder, but the thinner lines contribute to a sharper looking display. The 1490T labels use upper case and lower case letters rather than upper case only, and this too contributes to a somewhat more legible display in my opinion. One unusual note: at night the 1490T background appears dark blue rather than black. I think the contrast is better with black and would prefer the more dim background of the older units.

The most dramatic new 1490T feature is HotFix (tm), a feature present in the airborne units since introduction, but new to the road units. The result is a very rapid calculation of position when the unit is turned on. My 660 often requires a full minute longer than the 1490T which might require less than 3-5 seconds. I also have the impression that if my 1490 is charging in my car, it may be partially "on" and maintaining a fix in the background. In either case, the very rapid navigational fix is very noticeable and much appreciated.

For example, a rapid fix is really useful in a strange area, when you return to your car and need to start driving out of the city, for example. The long wait for a fix as you leave the parking garage, or pull from your parking space seems like an eternity.

One odd display change - while my older units will usually say something like "Oak St. Ahead" in the green boarder stripe at the top of the screen, the 1490T will say "Driving on Main St". Now I will grant you that in answer to the "where am I now?" question, it may be more important to know that I am on Main Street, but when I am looking for Oak Street, the older displays seem better. While it is true that the 1490T will have a map label for Oak Street (most of the time) and it is located properly on the map, this is somewhat harder to read than the larger type in the green stripe.

This may also relate to the 1490T approach to placing map labels on streets but not on "things" like parks and neighborhoods. Others have commented negatively on this loss of map labels. I think the 1490 labels more streets, so I am OK with this.

The 1490T appears to calculate positions and speeds and/or display more quickly; it is hard to tell which. If I decelerate slowly, the 1490 displays the decreasing speeds more rapidly than the 660. This may be due to a more rapid calculation or it might be due to a more rapid display cycle. Either (faster fixes/calculations or faster display updates) could contribute to more rapid updates of map display. It is hard to tell for sure, but it does appear to me that the 1490T map display updates more often and this appears more smooth.

I have had only a little experience with traffic data, but my first impression is that this is somewhat better integrated into the 1490T. For example, you can tell when you are receiving traffic data on the 1490 from the main map screen and the color indicates traffic conditions.

I have not had a chance to see the Junction View or Lane Assist feature, but I did like the turn preview feature, which, after a short display interval automatically returns to the map display. If my other units do this, I must have missed it; this is a nice feature as it eliminates a longer glance at the screen and another button push at exactly a time when you might be busy.

One last positive note: the 1490 has a scale bar AND a north diamond, my 660 has neither. It is a little hard to accept anything as a navigator if it does not indicate "north". Both 660 and 1490T do the same auto-zoom which for some reason I never noticed on the 660. Maybe it is more obvious now that I have the scale bar to read on the 1490. The 1490 shows topo features when zoomed out a ways, and this is nice - a cute feature to show off.

I was tempted to set up a double system in my car to mirror a double GPS display I have fooled with in the airplane, i.e. one screen zoomed in with track-up, and one zoomed out with north-up. But, aside from the question of whether you really need this in a car and aside from the odd looks one gets, perhaps this would invite one to spend too much time with their head in the cockpit and not on the road.

If I can have only one, I like the new 1490T.
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on November 22, 2009
Recently I bought a Magellan Roadmate 1475T at $220 and Garmin nuvi 1490T at $399 and tested side by side in my car just for some real situation comparison. Here are some findings:
1. Destination Address Input: Roadmate 1475T allows input of city name or zip code, followed by street name and street number. It tolerates inaccurate address information input and provides best guess of where I want to go. For example, when I am not sure about exact street number, I take a guess based on the legitimate street number range that the Roadmate 1475T lists. Also, in case two acceptable city names exist for a given city, using city name to input address will cause error or failure, but a zip code will give an unambiguous entry, plus most time it saves time by entering zip code rather than city name. However, nuvi 1490T doesn't accept zip code entry. You also need to enter state name first if the current location is different from your destination state. nuvi 1490 also requires entry of street number before entering the street name, so you will have trouble if you are not sure about the street number.
2. AAA Travel Book: Roadmate 1475T contains searchable AAA travel book. I can find nearby attractions or hotels or restaurants with AAA ratings easily with Roadmate 1475T. nuvi 1490T does not have this feature.
3. Traffic Information: Both GPS have capability of receiving subscription-free traffic information. However, Roadmate 1475T have much more reliable reception of the traffic information than nuvi 1490T sitting side by side in my car. Often time, whereas Roadmate 1475T still have the traffic information displayed, nuvi 1490T cannot receive any traffic information.
4. Highway Lane Assist: Both GPS units claim to have this feature. However, only Roadmate 1475T has truly advanced Lane Assist. The lane assist in Nuvi 1490T is not reliable and show up only in sporadic occasions, and, when it does show up it only flash up for 2 seconds. Plus, Nuvi 1490T shows only an artistic drawing having nothing to do with the actual exit configuration.
5. Screen size and view quality: Roadmate 1475T is of 4.7 inch size, whereas nuvi 1490T is of 5 inch size. However visually Roadmate shows much crispier image than does nuvi 1490T. When I looked at the tech specs, it indicates that nuvi 1490T has exactly the same 480 x 272 pixels as a 4.3 inch screen. Therefore nuvi 1490T increases the screen size in the sacrifice of the resolution.
6. Map Information Display: Roadmate 1475T displays much more information than nuvi 1490T. Roadmate shows the street names of the current and nearby streets. Roadmate shows nearby other landmarks, such as gas station, bank, hospital, restaurant, or mall icons. However, nuvi 1490T usually shows an empty spider's web of the streets with no street names. Novi also does not show any landmarks. Especially in active routing mode, you feel you are driving in a dark tunnel, with no landmark information. This is especially bad for a female user, because research indicate that women rely more on landmarks than men in figuring out the direction.
7. Turn Signal: Roadmate 1475T provides a bell tone at the last moment of a turn. It makes a "Dong-Ding" sound for right turn, a "Ding-Dong" sound for left turn, and a "Ding-Dong-Ding" sound for a U-turn. Roadmate also shows a blow-out big junction view at the same time. However, nuvi 1490T does not have this feature.
8. Speed of re-routing: Roadmate 1475T re-routes instantly, but it takes several seconds for nuvi 1490T to re-route.
9. Reliability: So far I don't see any problem with Roadmate 1475T. However, Nuvi 1490T sometimes forget the setting. One time I was in active routing mode, I had a stop-over in a drug store, when I resumed the driving the nuvi had already forgotten the routing. Roadmate, however, always allows me to resume routing under this situation.
10. Driving Speed Display: nuvi 1490T displays the current driving speed and most time also displays the posted speed limit, but Roadmate 1475T does not have this feature. However, I noticed situations, in which nuvi 1490T showed the driving speed of 35 MPH but my car odometer showed 45 MPH. One time, I saw the posted speed limit on the road to be 35 MPH, but nuvi 1490T diaplyed a speed limit of 45 MPH. I would not want to risk getting ticketed for relying on Nuvi's speed display.
11. Speaker volume: nuvi 1490T has louder speaker volume than Roadmate 1475T.
12. Bluetooth: nuvi 1490T has built-in Bluetooth, but Roadmate 1475T does not.
I will report more findings as I continue my comparison. But so far I recommend Roadmate 1475T over nuvi 1490T for functionality and for price. Looks like I will return nuvi 1490T within the allowed returning period.
An update on January 8, 2010:
When I traveled last month in Connecticut, after a lunch stop at I-95 Exit 81, the nuvi 1490T directed me to enter I-95 North from Parkway South near Beechwood Dr. The road sign at that entrance indicated that it was "for emergency vehicles only". I did not want to get ticketed by Police, so I took a U-turn on Waterford Parkway South and followed the direction of the Roadmate 1475T entering I-95 via correct entrance.
An update on January 26, 2010:
Last weekend when I was driving with active routing, the nuvi 1490T suddenly restarted itself three times for no apparent reason. After each restart I had to re-enter routing information. On the third time, it simply refused to start at all. I had to unplug the power cord and wait for several minutes to reset it...and finally got it started. The Roadmate 1475T, however, was running happily fine (Remember that I have been running both units side by side in my car).
Another problem has been that the nuvi 1490T had trouble receiving traffic alert most of time while the roadmate 1475T receives the traffic alert fine.
An update on February 28, 2010:
I believe I have had enough comparison and the winner is clear to me now. So I returned the Garmin nuvi 1490T, and I bought a second Magellan Roadmate 1475T for my second car from Costco for $129.99 after an instant rebate.
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on December 21, 2009
I love the features of this GPS however Garmin has really messed up lately and the quality of their work shines through. This unit constantly freezes up, reboots, stutters when it talks and often times it will not even load the voice files leaving it and myself speechless. I have updated it to the latest firmware using the Garmin Updater tool and still it has problems. It's very slow to respond to key presses and searching for a Point of Interest takes a very long time. This Garmin has a larger screen but it retains the low resolution found on the small units. What this means is that the screen cannot show any more information than the smaller units. The only advantage to the larger screen is that everything is larger and easier to read. To compound the shoddy software Garmin removed features that are found in their lower end models. Gone is the 3D building view along with the nice wired suction cup mount that had the quick release button.

Due to the fact that this GPS reboots every few minutes I returned it for a refund. It's useless to me in it's current state of beta software.
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on August 7, 2009
Final Update:
After some frustration returned it:
1) You drive on a state highway for miles with detailed view, you only see a web of road networks with little to no text (no cross roads marked, no poi etc). Compare with 660 where it was fun to use the GPS. I asked myself do I need a 5 inch screen @499 to just view this ? NO!!
2)GOt impression software has been rushed out to meet deadline. Eg. Keyboard style not remebered, they tried to fix it on a update which is BTW available already out a product release at the start fo the month, but still messed up. Now on 'ABCD' style it remembers but defaults to number view when entering street names so need more key presses to get 'letters'. This indicates to me probably pure management of sofwtare testing vs requirements at Garmin. I am sure this will get fixed eventually but I have formed a poor impression on newer garmins. Too many with big price variatiations, but minor differences..

3) New graphics style- They have managed to make the same information on same size screen (I tried the 765, exact same software as 1490t) looks smaller with new menu button right in the middle of the main navigation route. To see what I mean go to for eg: [...] and check the image of the 660 and then any of the newer ones like the 765.
Garmin- If things are not broken dont try to fix! What was broken was inability to sort alphabetically. Good new features were lane assist & integrated antenna & multi point routing. What needs fixing is better traffic updates. I am afraid the 300/600 series may become the classic garmin that made the company the market leader at one time!!

Well thats my review, hopefully by the time others buy they would have updated the sofwtare to fix some of the issues so maybe should check later reveiwe!
=======================
Original review:

My NUI 660 was stolen 3 weeks ago so waited till end of this month for this as thats when it became available..
My first impressions are not all that positive, that I have got a RMA and wondering if I should buy the 765 ($200 cheaper) or a tom tom or some thing else.
Basically the 5 inch screen is nice, and compared to 660 ability for multi point routing is good. Although the later seems not that efficent at routing, if any one lives in Boston and drive to South NJ, will know the importance to avoid GW bridge and go on Tapanezee. I tried inserting tapenzee as a way point, but incredibly it calculated to TPZ then drove back via 87s back to GW, instead of a more logical and shorter Garden State Parkway.

The junction view poped up briefly when driving on mass pike and approaching 128 but seems just a flashy feature because when I was actually got close it never showed up. I just happend to glance and was lucky to spot it the brief moment it poped up.

My main complaints is compared to 660 experience or in general

More Update: Unlike 660 if you make a right turn and then have to make another immediately, the 1490t does not say so before the first one. Instead as I made the right tun, accelerated but withing 400ft it says make a right. No pre warning like in 660, and I missed that turn. I am just wondering who makes design changes at Garmin!!!! That will be a deal breaker, unless tells me I am mistaken on this!!!

1) Pann-ing map is almost impossible, it is jerky than scrolls more than you want. Huge problem..
2) Even in detailed map it does not label some points of interst or local river/lake names anymore as you are driving. That was a nice feature so consider it as step back from 660.
3) Autorouting is slower but probably can live with it. Nice if the upgrades went the other way though!! Same with map drawing..
4) Annoying pop up balloon on map when searching for address. Why, why?? Cant see the map anyway with baloon
5) Commercials for bes western and others annoying. I think just shows up when idling though, not sure
6) Traffic allert wiltl sometimes say traffic ahead but never came across and the map does not high light where it is. Traffic feature as in 660 have low confidence it will help daily travel, at least its free now..
7) High Time Garmin fixes their search method, same issue with 660. For example to seacrh near.. You cannot type boston, ma. If you just type boston you will see an unsorted listing of cities of Boston and you need to scroll to find where boston ma shows up. No logical ordering. Nice if we can specify a state or zip or at least sort by distance to where you are or something better!! Imagine seraching for some more common name than boston!!
8)Jills voice is now very annoying and rough, maybe new speakers. Also I think it says re-calculating few times when doing so which can be annoying. At least ran into it once not sure if 2 recaluclate events triggered while the first one hadnot completed.
9) Keyboard style is not remembered between power cycles so might as well not have that option. nobody is going to go to tools menu to change it from qwert to abcd every time.
10)Keyboard seems more crowded and less responsive than in 660, delelte key not obvious.
11) Contact list cannot be sorted alphabetically as in 660. hasnt enough people complaint about this already for garmin not to listen???
12) At power up the display does not automatically rivert to map view if you dont do anything, instead the main menu screen which is useless to watch while driving.
Update: The display does ebentually go to map mode so this is OK..

13) Speed display seems consistantly less by 3MPH from actual speed. tested on two cars so wondering if they could not have calibrated it better as it seems systematic..
14) No MP3 or Audio Books or FM transmitter or line out (I can live without so not big for me, line out would have been nice to hook up with your car audio)

Improvements
1) Bigger screen, but less glossy
2)No anntenna on the back, beautiful exterior design, looks more sturdy
3) Power attaches to unit not base holder. Have mixed view on this. May be good if travelling no need to take the base holder with you
4) More customizable options, menu labeling is better, i.e not everything is hidden under food and lodging anymore
5) speed limit indication is good, and seems accurate even as the limits changes on the same road. Impressive, at least around boston so far!

Overall dont see anything major to get excited about vs 660. 765 seems to have the same features minus the 5inch screen and $200 cheaper, so may consider that or studying other tom tom too. Wish Garmin will spend more resources on address sorting, seraching etc than adding flashy features as upgrades.
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on July 1, 2010
This easy-to-learn nuvi 1490T is my first GPS and I love the independence it gave me on my CA road trip - first time there, no navigation problems to speak of. The Garmin did freeze a couple of times during rush hour in Fresno & San Francisco, but overall, truly a lifesaver.
57 days after impulse purchase at BB, pressed the power button and it will not progress past the Garmin logo. Cannot perform the reset discussed at Garmin & other forums; so I left it on to drain the battery & recharged it. Still nothing. Took it for trips around the neighborhood, still won't go past the initial screen.
To say I am disappointed is a gross understatement! After some searching on the WWW, finding that others have had the same problem; some people say their replacement units also lock up, after varying periods of time. I will send to Garmin, but I am very unhappy, since I paid too much at BB just so I could have it before I left the next day for CA. (Note to self, research all purchases for reliability & cost BEFORE purchase.) And the 1490T performed wonderfully until it locked up-- so Reliability gets one star, everything else 5 stars. And because I cannot get to all those 5 star features, overall I give it a one star.
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on September 8, 2009
The nuvi 1490T was my first ever Garmin. Like other reviewers, I found the display to be big, bright, and very clear. The refresh rate was also very good, and there was much to like about the unit. Since I have never had a Garmin before, I did not find the "lack of detail" others have complained about to be a problem. The spoken directions were very clear, and plenty loud. Quite unlike the nuvi 885T I tried next.

But there were problems, too, most notably with the traffic features, which when accessed caused the unit to reboot every time. No fix bug fix was available at the time (early August), so I wound up returning it. In addition, I was disappointed that the nuvi couldn't fetch addresses out of my Bluetooth iPhone. (Apparently, the iPhone is willing to share, but the nuvi didn't know how to ask). Other aspects of Bluetooth connectivity worked pretty well, though in a rather cumbersome manner, such that I doubted I would make use of the Bluetooth features much until they improved. And yes, battery life is shockingly short.

I think the unit has lots of promise, but that unrealized potential comes at a premium price.
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on September 21, 2009
Received the 1490T around September 10, 2009. I am replacing a Garmin nuvi 680(cost $800) which is a good unit but becoming dated. I also have a Zumo 550 for my motorcycle. I absolutely love the large screen of the nuvi 1490T(cost $405). It is by far the best GPS screen I have ever used, both for size and clarity. As my eyes get a little older the slightly larger type helps immensely. I am not sure what all the complaints and fuss is about from some of the other reviewers. When I received the unit I immediately went to Garmin's Webloader and updated the firmware. Then, I updated to the latest 2010 maps since Garmin gives you 1 free update in the first 60 days. I like this gps even better than my nuvi 680 or the Zumo 550 for that matter. The unit has lane assist and junction view which you will love if you live in a big city like I do. The traffic service is free and is as good as or better than MSN Direct that I have on the nuvi 680. And, of course the service is free. There is a small ad that appears in exchange for the free traffic service but the ad is tiny and inconsequential because it disappears when you change the screen. Route planning is a huge bonus. The 680 did not have route planning. The 1490T shows the speed limit of the road you are on and more data is available on the screen than was on my 680. The screen is bright and they have improved the volume immensely. I use it on 50% volume. The 680 I had to use on 100% volume. Must be a bigger speaker or something--or maybe even 2 speakers. The unit is thinner than the other nuvi's and pretty light also. Garmin did not include a cover/sleeve with this unit like they did with the 680. The only negative I can think of is that the power cord is slightly thicker than the 680's cord and the power cord plugs into the unit rather than the cradle. This is a small hassle because you have to unplug the cord from the unit when you want to take it off the windshield and hide it in it's case on the floor(which I always do when I park in public). Overall, I gave the 1490T 5 stars. For $400 it is a very very good value. It's a much better unit than my $800 nuvi 680 since it has more and updated features. I think this is the best automobile unit Garmin makes right now. I love it.
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on August 20, 2009
I have recently bought this gps and tried it out on a 400 mi trip. In my opinion this gps -at least with current firmware- is disappointing when used for navigation. Even at the 'dense' map detail setting, it shows no features at all on the 3D maps, no context, no cities around, no highway crossings. No approaching POIs too. And of course, no mountain or river or lake names. I was struggling to figure out where I am! This problem should be corrected by a new firmware update (is Garmin hearing?) . Navigating in a blind manner is completely useless and annoying.

To sum up the pros and cons:

PROs
1. Nice display, too bright, needs to be set at 50-60% brightness to be pleasant.
2. Responsive touch-screen, big size makes selections easy.
3. Fast & smooth moving and rotating map. Pleasant to watch.
4. Solid built unit, a bit heavy though.
5. Nice menus, many displayed fields are now selectable.
6. Excellent ecoroute feature, helps see your driving costs.
7. Ability to plan and save (up to 10) multi-waypoint routes.
8. Clear bluetooth connection (bigger speaker) if you manage to pair gps with phone (see cons below).
9. Micro SD card.
10. Many more pros, no space to account for all here.

CONs
1. The 'less map detail' problem mentioned above.
2. Heavy and ugly power cable, not nice to look in car.
3. Short battery life (just over 2 h) due to bright 5" screen consumption.
4. Panning/browsing screen almost impossible (see rubber-band effect) due to software bugs.
5. Some settings (like favorites, POIs or other) are 'forgotten' after power cycles, or after connection to PC.
6. Annoying big info balloons popping up if a place on map is touched. Balloons hide map features.
7. Big screen don't show more map area, as opposed to 4.3" units, just bigger text and icons. Another disappointing engineering from Garmin.
8. Bluetooth pairing with phone is plagued with many bugs.
9. Many other minor bugs, hopefully to be fixed with upcoming software updates.
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