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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Garmin nuvi 1350 review

Garmin-nuvi-1300-review UPDATEThis model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide.

The Garmin nüvi 1350 is a mid-range unit in a line of Garmin GPS navigators introduced in 2009 (here is a list of more recent nuvi introductions), and the lowest one to offer lane assist, shown above. All of the new units in the 1200, 1300 and 1400 series come with customizable data fields and the ability to utilize the pedestrian and mass transit features on Garmin’s CityXplorer maps. They also have text-to-speech, so you’ll hear “drive one-half mile, then turn left on Elm Street,” instead of just “drive one-half mile, then turn left.”

The 4.3” touch-screen nuvi 1350 comes with preloaded maps of the US and Canada, and offers speed limit display, as shown above.

Related units

  • Step up to the nuvi 1350T to add lifetime traffic to this feature set or grab the nuvi 1350LMT for lifetime map updates too
  • Going the other direction, the nuvi 1300 drops lane assist, speed limit display and maps of Alaska and Canada
  • To see how the 1350 compares to other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Portions of the following were adapted from my hands on reviews of the nuvi 1200 and nuvi 1490T.

Here is a brief look at new features found on the 12xx, 13xx and 14xx series, but not on previous models.

CityXplorer maps

The nuvi 1350 can utilize the pedestrian / mass transit navigation features of these maps, as shown below. CityXplorer maps are priced at $9.99 to $14.99 per city; you can read more about them in my CityXplorer review.

Garmin-nuvi-1300

POI feedback

This feature, added with the recent version 2.70 firmware upgrade, allows you to give feedback on points of interest (POIs). You can follow that link for more details, but basically, POIs can be rated and you can also report errors, removing them from your searches.

Custom data fields

The nuvi 12xx, 13xx and 14xx models allow you to customize the map screen’s lower left data field, a feature we first saw on the nuvi 7×5 series. Press this field to bring up the options listed below. When not navigating, the options are:

  • Direction of travel (default)
  • Elevation
  • Time of day

When navigating, the options are as follows:

  • Estimated time of arrival (default)
  • Estimated time to destination
  • Distance to destination
  • Direction of travel
  • Elevation
  • Time of day

Furthermore, in the nuvi 13xx and 14xx series, you have the option to shift data fields to the right side of the map screen, as shown below. The top three fields can then be customized with the options discussed previously. This gives you the ability to display two more fields than can be shown in the traditional display mode.

nuvi-1350-custom-fields

Speeding warning

Also new, your speed changes to red if you are exceeding the speed limit (assuming the unit has the speed limit for the road you are on). This is a nice feature, but I wish Garmin would allow you to customize this to changes colors at 5 or 10 MPH over the limit, so it’s not constantly switching back and forth if you drive right at the limit.

Other Garmin nuvi 1350 features

The following features were first introduced on other recent nuvi models.

Trip log display

Trip log display, or as I prefer to call it ;-), tracklog display, shows where you’ve been and can be downloaded to your computer. Tracklogs can be cleared and the feature disabled for those of you with something to hide! The tracklog is the thin blue line trailing behind the car / current position icon, as shown in the screen shot above.

ecoRoute

This feature adds a “less fuel” option to your routing choices and gives you fuel and mileage reports, estimated fuel cost for trips, and even a “driving challenge” to improve your fuel efficiency.

nuvi-1350-ecoRoute

Here is a PDF version of the ecoRoute manual. ecoRoute is available for the nuvi 2×5, 7×5, 12xx and 13xx series.

Lane Assist

While the nuvi 1350 includes Lane Assist, as shown below, be aware that it does not include Junction View, a more photo-realistic image of freeway interchanges.

nuvi-1350-lane-assist

Recent cities and streets

This feature was first seen on the nuvi 700 series. A folder icon appears in the upper left corner of city and street search screens. Tap it for a list of recent entries. This is so much better than having to re-enter your hometown all the time!

Where am I?

This emergency location feature provides your current latitude and longitude, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations. nuvi-1350-where-am-i

Garmin nuvi 1350 pros

  • Bright display
  • Text-to-speech
  • Quick access to previously entered cities and street names
  • Customizable fields on map screen
  • Automatically powers on and off
  • ecoRoute
  • Compatible with CityXplorer maps’ enhanced pedestrian navigation features
  • Trip log display
  • Visually warns when speeding

Garmin nuvi 1350 cons

  • Power lead must be plugged directly into unit (not the mount)
  • Has lane assist, but not junction view
  • Lane assist coverage extremely limited
  • When you search for a POI, the POI balloon obscures a significant portion of the map
  • Does not include standard mini-USB cable to connect to PC

Conclusion and recommendations

As with the entire nuvi series, I expect that most buyers will be quite happy with the 1350. If lane assist, the ability to customize the map display, or use of CityXplorer maps is important to you, I highly recommend this unit.

More Garmin nuvi 1350 reviews

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…

Other Garmin nuvi 1350 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 1350 at these merchants:

 

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. tim favreau says:

    excellent site, thanks for the help!

  2. How do you shift data fields to the right side of the screen? I have a Garmin 1350, but I don’t know how to display two or three fields at the same time.

  3. I live in Skopje,Macedonia. And when i press to go someplace or write a street or city, garmin 1350 takes me to the borders of the country and then to the location that i have pointed out. For any place.I think i has some kind of a bug.Anyone else experienced something like this?

  4. Trying to decide between Nuvi 1350 and 255W. Sam’s Club has the 1350 for $120 and Target has the 255W on sale for $120 this week. You recommended to buy the cheaper one because they are comparable. Since price is the same, which model do you prefer? Thanks for your input.

  5. The 255W is tried and true, but will likely be discontinued soon. The 1xxx series has had some problems with shutdowns, but I think a firmware update may have fixed that. How is Sam’s return policy? If its pretty good, I think I’d go for the 1350.

  6. ROBSON TAYLOR says:

    WHEN I PLUG MY NUVI 1350 INTO THE CIG. LIGHTER TO POWER IT INSTEAD OF IT’S OWN BATTERY SOURCE, THE SCREEN BECOMES SO DARK THAT IT CANNOT BE USED. COULD YOU ADVISE ME HOW I CAN OVERCOME THIS . I HAVE HAD THE UNIT FOR OVER 18 MONTHS AND HAVE ONLY JUST BEEN OF NEED FOR THE GPS.
    THANKING YOU IN ANTICIPATION.
    ROBSON TAYLOR.

  7. Why does my garmin 1350 take so long to load (about 4-5 mins) only just started doing it. Used to be quick, can’t put in any details until it loads. Any thoughts. Cheers

  8. Lorraine says:

    How do I download the Simpsons for the speech
    or a pirate ship for the icon?

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