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Tagged with: 1350 • 4.3Inch • Garmin • garmin GPS • gps navigator • Navigator • nüvi • Portable • Series • Widescreen
Filed under: Garmin nuvi 1300's
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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.
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Overall, I am very satisfied with the Garmin nuvi 1350 but I do have a couple of minor complaints.
First of all, I do recommend that owners/potential buyers visit the Garmin web site to read through all of the product information and to review the FAQs. Some folks have made an issue of Garmin not including the USB cable with the device but this did not matter to me. The required cable is a standard type “A” to mini “B” USB cable. Many other devices use this same cable and I already own a couple of them. (I also heard that if you contact Garmin customer service, they may send you a cable at no charge.) Other reasons to visit the Garmin site: to register the product, to download the full PDF manual and to install the “my Garmin Agent Plugin” for web updates.
Next, my quibbles:
When the 1350 is plugged into a charging device (PC or vehicle), there is no way to determine when the unit is fully charged. This is very inconvenient. To view the charge level, you have to unplug the device and turn it on. Only then can you see the battery level. According to the Garmin FAQs, charge time is about 4 hours using the vehicle cable and 8 hours using the PC cable.
One of the features of the 1350 is the speed limit display. However, I find this to be of limited value. The speed display is frequently 5 to 10 mph too high compared with the actual posted speeds on the roads being traveled. As a result, this throws off the estimated destination arrival time.
Finally, why I am impressed:
When driving with the 1350, I never had any doubt where I was at any given time and I never had any doubt what my next maneuver would be (and isn’t this the bottom line of any GPS?). The voice commands have plenty of volume, are easy to understand and they also give you adequate lead time for upcoming turns. The commands will also repeat but the voice is not annoying. Several times, I deliberately missed a turn to test how the 1350 would respond. It quickly calculated a revised route based on my current location.
I also found the screen to be clear and easy to see while driving (in bright sun, shade and at night).
The full manual states that a PDA type stylus can be used for the touch screen. I found this to be convenient (I’m actually using a stylus from a Nintendo DS.) While you can certainly use your finger on the screen, this will leave fingerprints and smudges on the screen.
I have the 1350 sitting on my dash with the Garmin “Portable Friction Mount” – highly recommended.
My 1350 came with a free case – the Caselogic MGPS-2. This case adequately protects the 1350 when it’s not being used.
Overall, this has been a great purchase for my business travels and I would rate the unit as four and a half stars.
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