Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Garmin nuvi 1350T review

Garmin-nuvi-1350T-review UPDATEThis model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide.

The Garmin nüvi 1350T is a mid-range unit in a line of Garmin GPS navigators introduced in 2009 (here is a list of more recent nuvi introductions), offering lane assist and lifetime traffic. 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 1350T comes with preloaded maps of the US and Canada, and offers speed limit display, as shown above.

Related units

  • Step up to a new introduction, the Garmin nuvi 1350LMT, to add lifetime map updates
  • Or choose the nuvi 1390T to add junction view and Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use to the 1350T’s feature set
  • Going the other direction, the nuvi 1350 has the same feature set as the 1350T, minus the live traffic
  • To see how the 1350T 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 1350T 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.

More nuvi 1350T 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.

NAVTEQ Lifetime Traffic

The nuvi 1350T comes equipped with NAVTEQ lifetime traffic, which is ad-supported. You can read all about that in my nuvi 755T review, but don’t despair, the ads are very low-key. What is more of a concern is NAVTEQ’s very limited traffic coverage, only 52 US cities at this point. You can see a full list at traffic.com.

Lane Assist

While the nuvi 1350T includes Lane Assist, as shown below, be aware that it does not include Junction View, a 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 1350T pros

  • Lifetime traffic
  • 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 1350T cons

  • Power lead must be plugged directly into unit (not the mount)
  • Has lane assist, but not junction view
  • Traffic coverage limited to 52 US cities
  • 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 1350T. 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 1350T reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 1350T resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 1350T 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.

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