Garmin nuvi 1390T Sat-Nav Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £168.98

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.

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