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Garmin nuvi 1390T Sat-Nav review




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Garmin nuvi 1390T Sat-Nav
  • Garmin nuvi 1390T Sat-Nav
  • Garmin nuvi 1390T Sat-Nav
  • Garmin nuvi 1390T Sat-Nav
  • nuvi 1390T Automobile Navigator (10.9 cm 4.30" Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD - USB)


Our Score:


We recently found ourselves relatively impressed by Garmin’s latest 5in sat-nav, the nuvi 1490T, which is already seeing some stiff competition from Medion’s similarly great value GoPal P5235. The 1390T is essentially the 4.3in screen version of the 1490T. Has it lost any features during the shrinking process?

Like the 1490T, the 1390T comes with maps of Europe, although Eastern European coverage is less detailed, with just major roads included for Ukraine and Byelorussia. It also runs the same navigational software. We’ve been quite keen on Garmin’s clear and uncluttered menu interface for some time. In this generation, a Search All facility has been added to the destination address entry system. You no longer have to drill down from city to street to house number. Instead, simply begin entering the street name, and before you’ve finished the 1390T will pop up a list of suggestions. You can then choose the right one to find your chosen street destination.

The Points of Interest database has a similar Spell Name facility. So instead of having to scroll through categories to find the right one containing your intended destination, you can simply search for a keyword and choose it from the resulting list. However, the address and POI search systems are separate, unlike the Keyword facility offered by Mio’s Navman Spirit 500. But at least both still allow you to search across an entire country.

The nuvi 1390T is also another Garmin sat-nav which supports cityXplorer maps when in pedestrian mode. These include more details about pathways only available to those on foot, allowing the calculation of more direct routes. But they also take into account public transport. So, for example, if you’re on the outskirts of a city looking to head into town towards a sightseeing location, the cityXplorer mode will navigate you on foot to the nearest public transport, tell you which train lines or bus to take, then lead you on foot to your destination at the other end. It’s an effective system, but the maps don’t come as standard. Instead, you will need to download the individual data for the cities in which you want to travel, and it’s not cheap. London, for example, will set you back £10.99.

Aside from the usual walking and bicycle options, the 1390T’s Automobile mode includes Garmin’s EcoRoute system. You specify the type and current price per litre of the fuel your vehicle uses, and the car’s usage specifications for urban and extra-urban driving. You can then choose a Less Fuel route preference, as well as Faster Time, Shorter Distance, or Off Road options. Reports are available for your journey estimating the amount and cost of fuel used, average fuel economy, and carbon footprint. There’s even a Driving Challenge facility, which sets you the task of using as little fuel as possible when driving. A score out of 100 is shown in the sat-nav map screen, based on how well you are maintaining a constant speed, or accelerating and decelerating as smoothly as possible.


December 21, 2009, 7:52 pm

Who's the incosiderate one who's parked the Porsche across two spaces in the video!!!?

James Morris

January 11, 2010, 4:54 am

Couldn't possibly comment.

Guybrush Threepwood

January 16, 2010, 4:47 am

Are there any differences between this and the 1490T except for the screen size?

john alexander

April 25, 2010, 10:38 pm

Hi just sending back my 2 week old 1390T . Probably the neatest sat nav on the market, however I would have been better off with a toaster on my dash . Where to start , The next village was out of position by 1 1/2 miles ,tried to take me down a road that was shut off at least 15 years ago when the A71 Calder bypass was built. Could not find my old home either by adddress or postcode despite the house being 40 year old . using it to go home it missed the slip and took me to the next roundabout and sent me back io the slip on the other side . I tried it side by side with a tom tom and it tried to send me south instead of north . It was totally unreliable, and yes it had all the add-ons but could not perform the basic funcion. I hope this review helps. John.


February 28, 2014, 3:50 pm

LOL, your post is 4 years old, I doubt you'll ever read it but I know what you're thinking so here is my explanation to your question:
I always try to park in 2 parking spaces whenever possible, if I'm in a public parking I actually pay for 2 spots so I can do that legally and display both parking tickets on my dash, if I'm in a none paying parking lot I park as FAR AWAY as possible, they main reason I do that is simple, to prevent aggravation and to try to idiot proof my vehicle, you see, many years ago I saw a guy in an old beat up Chevy truck park right next to a brand new Mercedes Benz, when he opened his door he kicked it open so hard that when the door hit the Mercedes it bounced back and hit him as he was trying to slide out, annoyed he kicked it again, this time harder and he put his foot on it to make sure the door stayed and didn't bounce back, I saw this as I was walking by, so I stopped and I said "you know, what you just did is not only irresponsible and inconsiderate, it's also illegal, you just dented and scratched that car's paint", he responded "is this your car?", I said "no, but it doesn't matter, I saw what you did", and he said "then if it's not your car is not any of your business" and he got back in his truck and left, he knew it wasn't my car because I was walking between the other row of cars in front; After that brief encounter, and before he had a chance to escape, I memorized the his license plate number, make, model, and color of his truck , and a description of him including the clothes he was wearing, then I went sat in my car, wrote it all down, and waited for the owner of the Mercedes, after about 10 minutes the owner a sweet old lady came out, I told her what had happened and gave her a copy of my notes with my business card and told her I would be more then willing to be her witness if she went to court. A couple of days later I got a call from her insurance agent, he wanted me to do a phone interview which he was recording to take to court, which I happily did. People like that a$$hole in the Chevy truck are the reason some of us park taking up 2 spaces, again I wont do it in a crowded parking lot, but if I can help it, I park alone and far away, or go somewhere else.

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