Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Garmin nuvi 1200 review

Garmin nuvi 1200 review

UPDATEThis model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide.

Hands on with the Garmin nuvi 1200

The Garmin nüvi 1200 is the entry-level model in a line of Garmin GPS navigators introduced in 2009 (here is a list of more recent nuvi introductions). All of the 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 nuvi 1200 has a 3.5” touch screen and maps of the U.S. with the exception of Alaska.

Related units

  • Step up to the nuvi 1250 to get maps of all 50 states and Canada, as well as a speed limit display for many roads
  • The nuvi 1300 has an almost identical feature set to that found on the nuvi 1200, albeit with a 4.3” wide-screen display
  • Going the other direction, the Garmin nuvi 1100 has the same feature set as the 1200, minus text-to-speech, so you’ll hear “turn right in 1/4 mile” instead of “turn right on Oak Street in 1/4 mile”
  • To see how the nuvi 1200 compares to other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Garmin nuvi 1200 video

I’ve posted a short video, below, showing some of the nuvi 1200’s features:

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

POI feedback

This feature, added with the recent version 2.70 firmware upgrade, allows you to give feedback on points of interest (POIs). They can be rated and you can also report an error, removing them from your searches.

Garmin-nuvi-POI-rating

CityXplorer maps

The nuvi 1200 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.

CityXplorer

More Garmin nuvi 1200 features

The following features were first introduced on other recent nuvi models. (Portions of the following text are from previous reviews.)

Custom data fields

The nuvi 12xx, 13xx and 14xx models allow you to customize the lower left data field on the map screen, 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

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-1200-ecoRoute

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

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 below.

nuvi-1200-tracklog

Recent cities and streets

This feature was first seen on the nuvi 700 series. Tap the folder icon, as shown below, and a list of recent entries comes up. Much better than having to re-enter your hometown all the time!

nuvi-1200-recent-cities

Where am I?

This emergency location feature provides your exact latitude and longitude, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations.

nuvi-1200-where-am-i

Garmin nuvi 1200 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

Garmin nuvi 1200 cons

  • Text-to-speech pronunciation seems weaker than with previously tested models
  • No speed limit display
  • Power lead must be plugged directly into unit (does not power the mount)
  • 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


The Garmin nuvi 1200 performed very well during my testing. I noticed no significant lags, routing errors, etc. The few negatives I see with it are addressed above. As with the entire nuvi series, I expect that most buyers will be quite happy with this unit.

More Garmin nuvi 1200 reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 1200 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 1200 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. ERROR with the TimeZone is not automated. The time to arrive is only in automated. If you live in a city that has summer hour, you can’t use the automated hour.

  2. Hello, I’m looking for some advice. I really like this unit but am just wondering if this or the 255 would be best? I do like the pedestrian feature so I am leaning towards the 1200. Currently this 1200 device can be had for less than 120, which seems like a pretty good deal? The 3.5″ size is a must for me as I’d like to have something i could possibly use on my bike during the summers as well. are these two models my best options? or are there other similar sized gps devices i should be considering? Please let me know what you think, Thanks!

  3. Rich Owings says:

    Since the pedestrian features are so important to you, I’d go with the 1200 over the 255. Another model to look at for biking, is the nuvi 550, which is ruggedized and waterproof…

    http://gpstracklog.com/2008/11/garmin-nuvi-550.html

  4. My garmin nuvi 1200 has just stopped working. I have used this product a total of 10 times and the device has stopped unexpectedly… Of course the garmin agency is not opened today, so what am I to do. I purchased this item over 40 days ago and now I can’t take it back… What to do. waisted over $200.00

    • If you want to buy anything from Garmin be carefull. This company’s customer service is terrible. You will wait for more than on hour, and never get to talk to nobody. My Garmin 1200 stoped working after 15 days and 6 months after I still don’t have any resolution. Emails, phone calls, nothing works with this company.

  5. Rich Owings says:

    That’s weird. They’ve got great customer support; I’m sure they’ll take care of you. My advice is to call and not email.

  6. Company is very hard to work with. I had problems with the software updating and took me past my 60 days to update my map and now Garmin will not update my map for free. Said i have to purchase a upgrade. I’m going to return it to the store. done with garmin.

  7. I am not able to see the speed limit on a road while using nuvi 1200..
    does it have that feature at all..
    if it is there how do i activate it..

    • It does not have it. You have to step up to the 1250 to get this feature.

      • Hi, I have the nuvi 1200 and it showed for a very short time the current speed limit and would turn red if I went over, than it stopped I thought I accidentally shut it off somehow, but I couldn’t find out how to turn it back on, so I thought I would look it up online….anyway above you stated that it does not have that feature….have you heard of a glitch where it showed it for a little while and than stopped? In fact I don’t think it showed it when I first started using it, than it started out of nowhere and than went away… have you heard of this before? Also, is it something that you can upload to the system?

  8. JodI Rombyer says:

    My son would like a gps is the garmin nuvi 255wt a good model to purchase?
    Would appreciate your input there are so many.

    • It’s a great model for highway use, assuming that is his purpose. Does he live in (or travel to) a metro area with traffic problems? If not, there’s no need for a “T” model with live traffic.

  9. Angela Hendricks says:

    We have the Nuvi 1200 it has stopped working.. we thought it needed charging however it will not charge either in the car or at the computer. I am not sure how to contact customer service. I can’t locate the booklet that came with the GPS

  10. Joe Whittington says:

    When I updated to “life time” maps, all my favorite places were wiped out. WITHOUT WARNING. Best Garming could do was send me instructions, way late, on how to back up fav places.

  11. andrew donald says:

    does the nuvi 1200 take an earphone

  12. Thanks for the comparison chart, it was very helpful!

  13. Sean Baldwin says:

    I didn’t get an instruction manual with my nuvi 12501 T How do I get one?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Garmin nuvi 1200 review – GPS Tracklog – The nuvi 1200 has a 3.5" touch screen and maps of the U.S. with the exception of Alaska. Related units. Step up to the nuvi 1250 to get maps of all 50 states and Canada, as well as a speed limit display for many roads […]

  2. […] Garmin nuvi 1200 review – GPS Tracklog – Garmin nuvi 1200 review including comparisons to similar units, links to other reviews, price comparisons, owners manual, message forums and more […]

  3. […] Garmin nuvi 1200 review – GPS Tracklog – Garmin nuvi 1200 review including comparisons to similar units, links to other reviews, price comparisons, owners manual, message forums and more […]

  4. […] Garmin nuvi 1200 review – GPS Tracklog – Garmin nuvi 1200 review including comparisons to similar units, links to other reviews, price comparisons, owners manual, message forums and more […]

  5. […] Garmin nuvi 1200 review – GPS Tracklog – Garmin nuvi 1200 review including comparisons to similar units, links to other reviews, price comparisons, owners manual, message forums and more […]

  6. […] Garmin nuvi 1200 review – GPS Tracklog – Garmin nuvi 1200 review including comparisons to similar units, links to other reviews, price comparisons, owners manual, message forums and more […]

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