Garmin’s latest top of the line nuvi 1490TV

Discussion in 'Smartphones and GPS Navigation' started by xcel, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Stay close to the action anywhere and anytime with Garmin's latest nuvi.

    [fimg=right][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Jan. 21, 2010

    US based Garmin nuvi 1490t in action in LA – The European digital TV/Radio version adds even more!

    A personal navigation device that combines cutting edge Pan-European navigation features with DVB-T digital terrestrial TV and radio. While not in motion of course...

    Using the DVB-T digital television standard, the nuvi 1490TV can pick up free digital TV and radio content from over 14 countries across Europe. In the UK there are over 50 digital TV channels and 24 digital radio stations including programs from digital content providers such as the BBC, ITV, SKY, Film4 and Five to name a few.

    At the core of the device is an easy to use Sat Nav that has all the usual features you would find in a top of the range Garmin nuvi, but with the addition of the DVB-T digital tuner, users can keep in touch with all the digital TV content available over the airwaves.

    "The nuvi 1490TV is the answer for those who want to keep in touch with the latest sporting events, soaps or even cookery shows while following TV recipes in the kitchen." said Colin Lee, Garmin's Automotive Product Manager. "The nuvi's 5 inch screen and mount is just the right size to place anywhere in the home, caravan or car and is ideal for people from parents waiting to pick up the kids from school to taxi drivers waiting for fares."

    Any worries that the driver might keep the TV on while driving have been safeguarded against by Garmin engineers building in a safety feature that switches off the TV on the nuvi 1490TV allowing only navigation when the car is moving.

    Just like the nuvi 1490t, the 1490TV features a bright, 5 inch color touch screen display, ensuring any picture is bright and colorful. It also doubles up as a great picture viewer (with photo navigation capability).

    The nuvi 1490TV has built-in stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone output, a long life Li-Ion battery, composite video input for external reversing camera (not supplied), a built-in aerial for high DVB-T signal strength areas and two magnetic dipole aerials for low signal areas.

    The nuvi 1490TV comes pre-programmed with highly detailed road maps of Europe, free premium traffic updates, safety camera warnings, a database with over two million Points of Interest (POI's) featuring hotels, attractions, fuel stations and more, Garmin's 'Where am I' safety feature showing your precise location, nearest junction, hospital, police station and breakdown service contact details. Also turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions guiding drivers to their destination, announcing streets by name along the way. If they miss a turn, the nuvi automatically recalculates a route and gets them back on track.

    You can also have hands-free phone calls, the nuvi 1490TV can be paired with compatible phones using Bluetooth wireless technology. Users can find and dial phone numbers (specifically supported phones can even access their history log of received, missed and dialed calls) or nuvi's POI database (hotels, restaurants, stores and more).

    The nuvi 1490TV will be available across Europe in early April 2010 for $484 USD.
  2. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    I wonder if they're working to fix the fundamental bugs in the
    Nuvi series along with these new models??
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Al:

    ___Just a quick blast of impressions and experiences so read through the text below with that in mind. A review will go up later...

    ___Some things are fixed and some are not.

    ___The USB vs. Power cord bug(s) are still there and with the right sequence, no problem. With the wrong, reboot with the little embedded power button and screw around when charging by USB and viewing a usable NAVI device when in a car and plugged into the USB port. There was an FAQ on Garmins' site stating you need the latest SW via Garmin’s Web updater to keep the nuvi from being rebooting (for any number of reasons). I did the WebUpdater for the 1490t and it was up to date so that is still a problem.

    ___When plugging into a USB port on the PC while booted up on the battery, it instantly reboots and goes into what appears to be a locked up screen. You can get into the nuvi’s directories and install the latest updates using Gamin’s WebUpdater from the PC via USB but you cannot do anything else so it is kind of a kludge. It will even pair with the Bluetooth phone but you cannot do anything else like plan or create trips and such. If I has access to the NAVI and setup screens while on the PC, at least I would know that it is charged and install a route from my PC vs. through the device directly when unplugged or worse, when in the car :mad:

    ___If you are on the std. Power cord, the nuvi acts like it is supposed to. A portable GPS NAVI unit. Connect via the USB and you will be lucky to have a working NAVI and most of the time, you can only look at directories via File Explore or your OS’s file manager of choice while connected through your PC.

    ___The Regular power cable with the Radio receiver built for Traffic Alerts is an awfully large gauge monstrosity vs. the nicely weighted and thin USB cable by comparison. It is the sequence of boot up, than plug in the 1490t via USB to the car that messed up the ability to view and use the 1490t as a NAVI and it frustrated us to know end the entire trip West.

    ___When in the behind the screens mode, when you exit, it reboots the nuvi. I wish it would not do that but there are very few functions other than details that can be viewed or changed anyway. The manual still does not list this Easter egg yet but I suspect Tech Support uses it to see what is going on when a User calls up and says this or that is not working.

    ___As for the OS, SW, Maps and wanting to know everything you want to know part, Apple and MS put up some pretty useful OS’ and you do not get any of that either ;) Linux? When I am moving down the road, I want the NAVI to get me to point B and I would never want to be look into the back end while moving.

    ___Included quick start guide and that is it. TomTom’s are similar and even worse in some respects. With a TomTom, YOU MUST CONNECT up to the PC and perform updates and setup before anything happens. The nuvi is a pull out, begin the charge and begin the trip with the maps that are preloaded and a base setup.

    ___To update and such, you have to go to Garmin and download the latest WebUpdater and start the process that way. Not sure if this is the best but at least the nuvi was useable immediately out of the box vs. the TomTom that had to be connected and updated and what a mess that was.... Sometime I will do a review on one of those :rolleyes:

    ___Battery life? I saw about 3-hours from topped off until a message about low battery life or turning off in 30 seconds appeared. This matched its spec.

    ___When you have the screenshot button showing, it blocks quite a bit of the left side of the 5” screen :( The Speed Limit is located in the lower right.

    ___There is no way to edit POI's that I know of but there are quite a few Million. Most NAVI's are like this. Waypoints/Favorites were easy to add and use. With 1,000 available, I could do a very nice trip and still have plenty of space. The POI issue goes away a bit with Favorites as those you can manipulate to your desire. Along with the 1,000 Waypoints/Favorites, there are up to 10 total routes. What I really liked about the 1490 was the “Where am I” function. From the Map --> Back --> Tools --> Where am I --> and either save location as a waypoint/favorite or find nearest Hospital, Police Station or fuel station. Very useful and a very easy way to add a Favorite of your own spelling or get to the nearest gas station.

    ___Hands Free Calls via BlueTooth: Pairing was a bit of a kludge as you are flying blind like with most devices. Just go to the Pair screen on the NUVI where it displays “Set your Bluetooth Phone to Find Me or Discoverable Mode” and leave it there. Then go after your phone to Pair. Once paired with the code entered, hit CANCEL on the nuvi's screen. If you hit SEARCH instead, it disconnects and goes into a loop of some sort.

    ___Bluetooth works very well with a clear sound coming out of the small units speakers and the mic picks up voice well from the two calls I made with it a few weeks back while ion my desktop.

    ___We used the HS 250h for Pairing so it did not matter. Also, I experienced the 1490T reboot after disconnecting from a Bluetooth call when the call was initialized through the nuvi but not when initiated through my Motorola Razer??? A bit buggy unfortunately :(

    ___Traffic Alert feature... This one is a big problem as it took over 10-minutes to find a traffic signal (or at least display traffic congestion) and when it did, the nuvi went to a grey and less detailed screen mode. Very disconcerting at best.

    ___EcoRoute? Useless. I could glide down from 60 to 0 over .75 miles and it would show an instantaneous score in the high 80's. There is no way to slow a car with less acceleration. In addition, to keep the instantaneous ECOScore in the 90's, you had to be traveling less than 45 mph? It did not seem to take into account accel and decel's but straight speed and that speed was to low. Keeping the EcoRoute overall score in the 90’s means crawling around. Keeping it in the 80’s was easy. For us anyway?

    ___Going deep into the backend can be "cool" but the average user does not care just as the average driver could give a damn about his or her fuel consumption. It is what it is.

    ___Probably the absolute best this the 1490t does is Lane Assist. I used a specific screen shot of the 1490 in action and notice the 5-lanes available and which two lanes we should be in? A very handy feature as the OEM NAVI unit in the BMW 335d got us into trouble when coming into NY City over the GW Bridge. We looped three times to get on the correct road.

    Garmin nuvi 1490t – Lane Assist in downtown LA

    Big picture.


    ___What a GPS NAVI is intended for is to get you from Point A to Point B with a minimum of user hassle and your review may have skipped that part? The Garmin nuvi 1490t does this very well. With the large 5" LCD screen and a faster processor embedded, moving a map around with your finger is quick in 2D or 3D mode let alone boot up after two weeks to your current location (where it was shut of at). This is a problem for the TomTom line which begins searching for 5 + minutes before it finds out where it is. OEM NAVI's by comparison fix themselves so much faster than the portables and I bet it has to do with cars do not move when not powered vs. a portable (most of the time ;)) plus a decently high end GPS receiver sitting on the roof of the vehicles in most cases.

    ___Again, I laid out all that was wrong with the Garmin nuvi lineup including the top of the line 1490t we had but it was with the extra's and options where the issues occurred. The std. use NAVI including intuitive menus to create a route, save a favorite, very fast rerouting, good additional information including elevation if you wanted that displayed, 2D or 3D was clear and a clean 5” LCD. For $350 retail (less online) it did very well for a lot less $'s than a $2,000 OEM NAVI. An OEM units upgrade maps DVD costs as much as a new Garmin, TomTom or a SmartPhone based unit costs in total in some cases!

    ___A bit OT but due to a great after Christmas sale, I purchased (2) 4.3” screened TomTom XL 340S’ for just $129 including shipping. This was half their MSRP and were brand new US spec’ed and warranted from a major online retailer. Walmart online had them for this price plus tax for a few days before Christmas as well. Anyway, the 340S’ cannot compare to the Garmin 1490t due to lack of features, kludgey initial install and upgrade interface, slightly more cumbersome to navigate through the menus and a smaller screen but they offer their own version of Lane Assist called Lane Guidance, include a nice and bright LCD screen, are fast to route and for the price, why would you not own one.

    ___Finally, I cannot wait to try out one of the Motorcycle based Garmin zumo series, Garmin-BMW Navigator IV or a TomTom Rider units this coming summer. That will not only be a new and unusual experience thanks to a Bluetooth enabled ear piece inside the helmet but one where some of the base features are really needed. Lane Assist/Lane Guidance and the base map display being two of them.

    ___Let me know if you need anything else regarding the latest and greatest unit Garmin 1490t offers.

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Lane assist is certainly my favorite feature of the Navigon software on my iPhone -- and for the same reason you like it, Wayne. No worries about the correct lane!!
  5. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    I wound up going with a fairly basic TomTom for the 'rents.
    It also works out of the box with a full database; I looked at the
    downloader stuff but realized that for the most part I didn't need to
    do anything with it. It also does lane assist. And it's Linux-based!
    Downside is that it doesn't record breadcrumb tracks at all, at least
    without weird hacks done, but mom doesn't care about that.

    For the rock-bottom GPS newbie they probably all seem equally obscure,
    really. But when you know that things *can* be done better and they
    won't give that to you, that's when you just want to tear out someone's
  6. bentdavi

    bentdavi New Member

    I had my 775T sollen in Check republic, and I had to buy the only one they had 1490TV.

    Will this unit be working in The US , as far as TV is concerned?

    I already had to buy the USA maps , as this unit only had Europe.


  7. Damionk

    Damionk DWL Lover

    On my nuvi 205W to get the "Where am I?" function all I have to do is touch the car on the navigation map. I don't know if they continued with that feature or not.

    I know exactly what you mean. When I got my GPS it was free as part of a deal from a bank. I started messing around with it and was in awe at all the options, then as I did more reading I realized there was a lot more I wish it could do.
  8. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I bought a 1490T on Saturday and tried it out on Sunday. Oh I'm liking this new toy of mine. I decided to take a two hour drive through the small coal towns in the mountains of rural West Virginia to try it out under normal conditions. You expect it to work well in an urban environment like Pittsburgh but how does it perform in the boonies and small mountain towns and villages of West Virginia. This is where you really need a device like this to get around if your not from the area.

    I compared it to my DeLorme Street Atlas mapping software. If I didn't know better I would swear Garmin is using Delorme's software. The routing was exact between both.

    It only had one little issue as I got into West Virginia in Blacksville on route 218 heading south and north at one point it wanted to take me down a gravel/dirt alley to the next turn. The right way was continue about 100 yards to the main intersection.

    I noticed that every little side road paved or not was showing up on the screen as I drove past them. Nice :D

    Plus I was amused as the speed limits would change from say 35 mph to 55 mph and a few feet past the sign the 1490T would tell you the speed limit changed. The speed limit is always on the screen and goes Red if you exceed it.

    I want to know who was over indulging in the White Lightning when they set the speed limits on Rt 218 Daybrook Run Road in West Virginia? :eek:

    There were sections through the mountains that they had 55 mph speed limits on this two lane road that had blind curves and hairpins that 35 mph was pushing your luck. I love the 55 mph sign 100 yards before the 90 degree turn with a yellow place card 50 yards after that, that has a curved arrow that says 15 mph. Guys it was a real 15 mph turn. :rolleyes:

    The unit never skipped at beat and so far so good.

    The big surprise was on my way home I had it set up for ECO routing and forgot I had done it.

    I decided to head over to work before heading home and the Garmin starts telling me to turn here and there. The way it was taking me was obviously adding two to three miles to my trip. About 1/3 of the way from I-79 I realized what it was doing. It was taking me on the route with the least amount of elevation changes. :) ECO

    It also has one of those Green Leafs that scores your style of economy as your driving.
    That was another fun gadget to watch as the miles went by. Also has a bar graph that shows your history of economical driving in a bar graph similar to the Prius. Difference is it shows how efficient you are at acceleration and braking.

    So far that is all I have played with with this unit.

    For the average person that doesn't have a Scan Gauge and not a serious hypermiler it would definitely help with improving their fuel mileage if they were paying attention to the units ECO routing and driving style monitor.

    Probably why I like it better than Wayne (Xcel) is he is more of a techie when it comes to this units. I'm more of a plug and play kind of guy. Plus compared to the GPS software on my laptop this was something completely different to me.

    It was far easier to use. Down side the detail is much higher with my DeLorme Mapping software on my laptop.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  9. Damionk

    Damionk DWL Lover

    I was at a Best Buy yesterday and they had a 1490T on display along with a few other nuvi models. All of them had the feature of just touching the car on the navigation map to get to the "Where am I?" feature.

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