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Is the 1490T still a competitive unit?

It's a long story involving a Best Buy service contract and replacement unit, but here's where I'm at. Best Buy gave me a replacement unit for my 255WT. They gave me a 1490T and I haven't opened it. I can keep the 1490T or return it for another unit, but I'd have only $150 credit for another unit. Or I keep the 1490T. (I think my original 255WT was $150 so that's why I'm at that price point.)

Is the 1490T still a pretty solid unit? Is it relatively modern as far as the features? I see it came out in 2009. That makes it a little older. Is it still competitive with newer units?

Is there a *better* Garmin unit at the $150 price point? Feedback appreciated.

Comments

  • As a 1490T owner I can give you my personal perspective.

    My thinking is why would I want to trade my 5 inch 1490T for one with a smaller screen? The 1490T's five inch screen continues to garner my admiration, it was one of the major selling points that led me to purchase it.

    The 1490T back light is excellent, my viewing image is not drowned out by daytime sunlight and the viewing image and contrast is especially good at night time.

    Regarding maps, I purchased a lifetime map subscription and don't forsee Garvi dropping maps for this unit, why would they do that? A map is a map isn't it?
    I invested only a small amount of money for a Lexar 16GB Class 6 micro SD memory card and a Lexar 24-IN1 card reader, now my 1490T holds the entire North America map plus all the JVC's I can locate and toss into it with more than enough future space to use.

    The speaker volume and audio is excellent, like really excellent! Do other Garmin Nuvi's sound this clear and legible? It came with a one year warranty and I presume that the life expectancy for it's electronic components would compare to what present releases are offering. It's a GPS not a PC computer that is subject to heat and contains hard drives with mechanical moving components.

    Have you seen this 14 page review of the 1490T entitled
    "Verdict: Bigger, Brighter, Louder, Faster...Better"

    http://www.gpsmagazine.com/2009/08/garmin_nuvi_1490t_review.php?page=1

    I would consider your being offered a 1490T as a welcome surprise. Like they are offering you a brand new, never been used 1490T! Grab it. Garmin Nuvi may not be making them this good any more.
  • Addendum:

    The screen is impressive, while going from 4.3" to 5" does not sound like much it is really amazing how much more map and information that fits well on the screen. The screen itself is anti-glare that works, and very bright if you want it, I have the brightness at 60% and that is fine even in bright sunlight. The images are very crisp and clear, street names and such are auto-sized to not obstruct the map but big enough to read easily. The volume when it is reading out direction is also outstanding, so loud I have it also on 60%. So a solid 5 Stars on the screen and voice volume, as well as the pronunciation of the street names!

    Above is an excerpt from a customer review of the 1490T on the Amazon web site.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R9GESWE5H839D/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R9GESWE5H839D
  • sussamb 764 Points
    As another satisfied 1490 owner I echo what's been said above. The 14xx series is now an extremely stable GPS, unlike some of its newer brethren. It also uses Garmins 'route planner' rather than the newer 'trip planner' that has attracted significant criticism since its inception (search for trip planner on this site to see the problems). The 14xx series is also the most up-to-date unit that reliably can import routes from Mapsource, not something that everyone needs but I use it and wouldn't be without it.

    I see nothing in the more recently released nuvi range to convince me to get rid of my 1490 anytime soon :wink:
  • Sorry if it looks like I am flooding but the Forum software cuts off one from editing after 15 minutes has passed.

    I compiled a list of features assisting you to compare the 255W with the 1490T. I have highlighted where they differ.

    The left column is the 1490T
    The right column is the 255W


    Wt: 8 oz / 6oz
    Screen Size: 5.0 " / 4.3"
    Traffic Receiver: Included / Optional
    USB Cable Included: Yes / No
    Replaceable Battery:No/ No
    Carrying Case: No / No
    Preloaded Map Data Base: Yes / Yes
    Spoken Street Names: Yes / Yes

    Memory Storage: MicroSD / SD
    Blue Tooth-hands free calling: Yes / No
    Multi-Destination Routing: Yes / No
    Reality View: Yes / No
    Lane Assist: Yes / No
    Dynamic Database Gray-Out Letters: No / No

    Trip Computer: Yes / Yes
    Trip Log: Yes / Yes
    Biking or Walking Mode: Yes / Yes
    Auto Rerouting Indicator: Yes / Yes
    Historic Traffic Data: No / No
    Traffic Antenna: Power Cord / Power Cord

    Weather Capable: Yes / Yes
    Gas Prices Capable: Yes / Yes
    Music Player: Yes / Yes
    FM Transmitter: No / No
    Video Player: No / No
    Location Help: Yes / Yes

    WiFi Cellular Connectivity: No / No
    Exit Guide: No / No
    Photo Viewer Yes / Yes


    Addendum:
    Consumer Reports gave the 1490T an overall rating of 72 (Very Good) and the 255W an overall rating of 58 (Good)

    Maybe you should have been asking if the 255W is as good as the 1490T. The 1490T was selling for more than $400 on Amazon when it was being sold October 2009, my advice is still "Grab it!"
  • sussamb 764 Points
    Think the screen size is the wrong way around?

    There is also various other errors. eg the 1490 doesn't have an FM transmitter. If you want to compare best to visit the Garmin site
  • Think the screen size is the wrong way around?
    True, unable to change it now as 15 minutes has passed since I posted that.

    There is also various other errors. eg the 1490 doesn't have an FM transmitter. If you want to compare best to visit the Garmin site
    The Garmin Nuvi 1490T has an integrated FM traffic receiver (not transmitter: Supersnake) and FREE lifetime¹ traffic updates. Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Next, simply touch nüvi's screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area. - Source Garmin Nuvi Web site.
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    Think the screen size is the wrong way around?

    True, unable to change it now as 15 minutes has passed since I posted that.
    Fixed. :)
  • Supersnake 82 Points
    edited November 2011
    Think the screen size is the wrong way around?

    True, unable to change it now as 15 minutes has passed since I posted that.


    Fixed. :)
    Thank you!


    Sussamb was really kind when writing: There is also various other errors on my listing instead of saying there were many other errors. My room mate was assisting me to proof read the lists of features that I compiled and was apparently as fatigued as I was, sorry.

    Can you please make it read
    Replaceable battery: No / No
    Carrying Case: No / No
    Pre-loaded Map Database: Yes / Yes
    Dynamic Gray-Out Letters: No / No
    Historic Traffic Data: No / No
    Traffic Antenna: Power cord / Power cord
    FM Transmitter: No/ No
    Video Player: No / No
    WiFi Cellular Connectivity: No/ No
    Exit Guide: No/ No

    Can you please remove the duplicated
    Trip Computer: Yes / Yes

    Please feel free to amend it further if I did not point out my errors or take the prudent patch and do as sussamb recommended "If you want to compare best to visit the Garmin site".
    Thanks.
  • dhn 328 Points
    Done............... :wink:
  • Done............... :wink:
    Note quite yet DHN. Looks like I am playing tag with you.
    Please look again at my last edit which shows a timestamp of 4:12 AM.

    Thanks, gee everyone is patient here.
  • dhn 328 Points
    ok, fixed.
  • Wow, thank you everyone. This feedback is really super.
    Just to clarify – I realize the 1490T is better than the 255WT. No issues there – I guess I just came out a little ahead on this because Best Buy no longer sells the 255WT.
    My question – which you guys have helped me answer – is whether I should keep the 1490T (still unopened) or use my “credit” toward another Garmin model sold at Best Buy. Garmin is touting their new “2012” line and for some reason I’m always thinking that newer is better. In this case, however, my credit would only get me one of the more basic new models, and it is pretty clear from your responses and the reviews I’ve been finding that the 1490T is a premium model. I did not realize the 1490 was a $400 model. I see Amazon is selling them for $150-ish.
    So unless someone posts a note on this thread in the next 9 hours that causes me to seriously reconsider – I’ll open my new 1490T tonight when I get home from work and have fun with it.
    Again thank you all for your valuable input. Special thanks to Supersnake for going above and beyond!
  • rus 0 Points
    FYI IMHO it is a great GPS. I've had mine for over a year and I love it!!!!
  • rus 0 Points
    One final note. Be sure to get a micro sd card and install it so you can dowload all the necessary map info. There is a post explaining how to make your 1490T recognize it. Good luck and enjoy.
  • One final note. Be sure to get a micro sd card and install it so you can dowload all the necessary map info. There is a post explaining how to make your 1490T recognize it. Good luck and enjoy.
    Aren't the maps stored directly on the internal memory?
  • rus 0 Points
    One final note. Be sure to get a micro sd card and install it so you can dowload all the necessary map info. There is a post explaining how to make your 1490T recognize it. Good luck and enjoy.


    Aren't the maps stored directly on the internal memory?
    Normally, yes, but the 1490T only has 2 GB of storage space and you'll need more. I added an 8 GB Micro SD card and I'll problably never run out of storage space. See some of the previous discussions about maps and storage space.
  • Seldom 0 Points
    One final note. Be sure to get a micro sd card and install it so you can dowload all the necessary map info. There is a post explaining how to make your 1490T recognize it. Good luck and enjoy.


    Aren't the maps stored directly on the internal memory?


    Normally, yes, but the 1490T only has 2 GB of storage space and you'll need more. I added an 8 GB Micro SD card and I'll problably never run out of storage space. See some of the previous discussions about maps and storage space.
    Need more for what?

    rus, are you saying that memory management in the 1490 can bridge between internal memory and a card, or are you using the card for extra maps, photos, etc? Is there any special folder structure required on the card like there is in handhelds?

    I've got a 1490 LMT and I've cleaned off so I've got about 80MB free.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    The Nuvi's really behave similarly to a newer Garmin handheld. Any installed maps will be read off a card as well as internal memory. To install a map on a card, you could use any of the usual methods - Mapsource, Basecamp or direct download from Garmin, you just need to choose the card as the destination. The software is "smart" enough to know where to put the map and will create a folder if needed.

    On the 14x0 series, it would be placed in a folder named \Map. The default name will be gmapsupp.img when using Mapsource/Basecamp, but you could change this to anything.img if you like. However, if you purchase a map by download directly from Garmin, it should be automatically given a descriptive name. You could manually install map files on a card by just copying them to the \Map folder as well.

    You should also be able to store things like POI's, routes and waypoints on a card if you like. To do this, you would need to create the correct folder hierarchy (same as internal memory) and place the file where it belongs there.
  • comsnark 0 Points
    Regarding units: Personally, ALWAYS get the 5" unit. :) The extra real estate is worth it!

    Regarding Traffic: Boy, I just am not keen on this feature. The data, when I can get it, always seems "stale". Just like the traffic reports on the radio :(

    Regarding Maps: I am under the impression that if you update maps using a Map Subscription, the "map updater" will automatically utilize (or perhaps just give you the option?) to put a portion of the new maps on the SD card.

    Note that I was told (by Garmin one week ago) that this capability was added to the "map updater" in December of last year. My unconfirmed suspicion is that the 14xx series units can no longer fit the entire every-growing US maps in the internal memory, and they were getting too many support phone calls!

    Note that roads, there are THREE map files. The Road map, the Junction View Map, and the DEM map (for units supporting 3d features). The DEM Map is not updated regularly, but the Junction View Map is updated, and pairs with the Road Map.

    If you use the mapsource/base camp method to transfer maps to microSD card, I am a little fuzzy on what happens with the Junction View Map. The "US" Junction view map file (which includes Lane Assist) is a single file for the entire US, will wind up on the internal memory of the unit when you do a "map updater" download. Note that I think you have to download maps using "map updater" to update the Junction View Map file. While base camp and map source can transfer "road maps", they don't transfer the Junction View file. If you don't transfer maps to the device when you download maps to Garmin. . .you have to get the current Junction View map elsewhere (There are other posts to describe how to get them)

    The road maps for the various "regions" within the US can be split between the SD card and internal memory, and the unit will function seamlessly. So, if you only download 1/2 the US to the unit now; as long as you put maps on your computer you can transfer the other 1/2 of the US to the unit later.

    Now, if you have something like "Europe" and the "US"; I am a even more fuzzy on what happens since "Europe" and the "US" have seperate Junction View files. Popej has been giving me advice in another thread, which I have not had time to followup on. I do know that the BaseCamp map transfer method will work -> just not clear on the "Junction View" files (so I will not speculate)

    I hope I got this all correct; if I have not I will welcome positive feedback and corrections.
  • alanb 419 Points
    The Lane assist (multiple turn arrows in upper left corner) data is included the CN map data and not part of the Junction View (.JCV) file. You can remove the .JCV file and still have the Lane Assist feature.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    Regarding units: Personally, ALWAYS get the 5" unit. :) The extra real estate is worth it!
    I agree that the 5" screen is nice in terms of visibility. But it doesn't really offer any additional "real estate". It is the same resolution (480x272) as the 4" devices, the pixels are just bigger. So the 5" screen doesn't show any more of the map, it is just like holding a magnifying glass in front of a 4" nuvi.
  • romisejo 0 Points
    since the 1490 is larger, they installed a larger speaker which makes a major difference. You don't need to up the volume as much, you get clearer voice.

    Romi
  • comsnark 0 Points
    Regarding units: Personally, ALWAYS get the 5" unit. :) The extra real estate is worth it!


    I agree that the 5" screen is nice in terms of visibility. But it doesn't really offer any additional "real estate". It is the same resolution (480x272) as the 4" devices, the pixels are just bigger. So the 5" screen doesn't show any more of the map, it is just like holding a magnifying glass in front of a 4" nuvi.
    Fair.
    That is what I really meant :)
  • peterx666 0 Points
    I love my 1490T - it does everything asked of it

    When its sunny there is a small problem with the screen but am thinking of making a cardboard rim to go around the screen to help this....... Unless someone has a better idea????

    Problem I am having is that I am going on holiday towing a caravan and I cant see anywhere I can tell the unit to avoid hills and narrow roads
    ..... Unless anyone knows of anything?????

    But overall its a great unit

    pete
    :D
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    As has been posted in your other thread, you can't do this on the 1490. Garmin makes units that are designed for truck drivers and they would have this capability, but they're expensive...

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=275
  • peterx666 0 Points
    As has been posted in your other thread, you can't do this on the 1490. Garmin makes units that are designed for truck drivers and they would have this capability, but they're expensive...

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=275
    Thanks but see what you mean wow!

    Dont want to give up my 1490 its great

    Shame there is no add-on
    pete :D
  • sviking 141 Points
    Regarding maps, I purchased a lifetime map subscription and don't forsee Garvi dropping maps for this unit, why would they do that? A map is a map isn't it?
    Because Garmin loses the contract with their map supplier, NavTeq. Or, they decide to go with another mapping source. NavTeq gets bought out, wants too much money, etc. That's why this is a BIG stipulation in the "lifetime" subscriptions. "Lifetime of the unit" OR "Garmin stops using that mapping data, for whatever reason". Obviously, not the exact legalese, but that's the intent of it.
  • Seldom 0 Points
    I doubt that a change of data vendor would be a reason for voiding a "lifetime" update service. Garmin owns the compilers, so they should be able to specify that any data they purchase comes in a form their compilers can import.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    I agree that it's unlikely that Garmin would pull lifetime updates and risk alienating all their users in this highly competitive market. However, read the fine print....

    http://www.garmin.com/us/maps/us/numaps_lifetime
    If you purchase a nüMaps Lifetime subscription (sold separately or bundled together with certain GPS models), you will receive up to 4 map data updates per year, when and as such updates are made available on Garmin’s website, for 1 compatible Garmin product until your product’s useful life expires or Garmin no longer receives map data from its third party supplier, whichever is shorter.
    It's been awhile since I've read this. I see they have defined "useful life" a little more exactly now also.
    A product’s “useful life” means the period during which the product (a) has sufficient memory capacity and other required technical capabilities to utilize current map data and (b) is capable of operating as intended without major repairs. A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more.
  • Tim 1466 Points
    I doubt that a change of data vendor would be a reason for voiding a "lifetime" update service. Garmin owns the compilers, so they should be able to specify that any data they purchase comes in a form their compilers can import.
    I don't think that is necessarily true. Garmin licenses mapping data from the map suppliers and those licenses (contracts) specify how the data can be used, who can get access to it, and what to charge per seat. If Garmin were to choose a different map provider for a particular region then Garmin would need to negotiate a new contract with the new map supplier which would spell out how those maps are to be licensed. Since Garmin might not want to pay for a new seat from the new vendor for every existing lifetime subscriber, that provision in the "lifetime" agreement gives them an out.

    I'm not saying the scenario is likely to happen, but that's why the wording is the way it is.

    I can only think of one instance where a similar scenario came up in the past. Magellan moved to using TomTom maps for many of their devices a couple of years ago. There was a point at which a Magellan device with lifetime maps shipped with Navteq maps but was later updated with TomTom maps. For the customer (if I'm remembering all of this correct) they were not impacted as far as still being able to get updates goes. And it is possible TomTom provided them with a very good deal to help ensure future map sales.
  • sviking 141 Points


    It's been awhile since I've read this. I see they have defined "useful life" a little more exactly now also.
    A product’s “useful life” means the period during which the product (a) has sufficient memory capacity and other required technical capabilities to utilize current map data and (b) is capable of operating as intended without major repairs. A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more.
    That bold part will suck for everyone when/if they switch like they did when the NT maps were released. Of course, there were no "lifetime subscriptions" back then, but now? If they're smart, they'd better make some accommodations for the zillions of existing users... But, as I've mused before... Garmin had better not do that for a long, long time, especially since they're still releasing brand new units (i.e. Montana) running the same old "New Technology" map format. I couldn't imagine them being stupid enough to change the maps to where brand new units couldn't update anymore.

    As for "sufficient memory capacity" to use the map data, that seems like a non-starter. As long as the maps are compatible, "map data" can always be used even if only enough memory remains for a single state.

    Not sure why they included the 24 month caveat... Granted, someone would really, really have to not care anymore to miss roughly eight update cycles in a row. But, if a subscription is purchased, either separately or bundled in the price of a new unit...what does Garmin care if someone takes a two year "update vacation"?
  • Seldom 0 Points
    If Garmin were to choose a different map provider for a particular region then Garmin would need to negotiate a new contract with the new map supplier which would spell out how those maps are to be licensed. Since Garmin might not want to pay for a new seat from the new vendor for every existing lifetime subscriber, that provision in the "lifetime" agreement gives them an out.
    Good point. I would have thought that Garmin, was in a stronger negotiating position that the data vendors, and Garmin's primary incremental costs would be for managing a server farm to distribute the data. But I don't understand the business very well. Could Garmin be in a weaker negotiating position than the data vendor?
  • sviking 141 Points

    Good point. I would have thought that Garmin, was in a stronger negotiating position that the data vendors, and Garmin's primary incremental costs would be for managing a server farm to distribute the data. But I don't understand the business very well. Could Garmin be in a weaker negotiating position than the data vendor?
    I don't think the mapping provider would "dump" Garmin. It would most likely be Garmin doing the "change" for a better, cheaper, easier map data provider arrangement. And, that's why they engineered an "out" for them in the lifetime map subscription legalese.
  • blueram1 0 Points
    Have had my 1490 for some years now. First one was a dud as the screen would not light up when COLD (close to 32f)
    But the replacement I received is awesome. Seldom lets me down.
    (eg target on wrong side of road?)
    With it mounted higher than the speedometer I tend to use the GPG to get speed info.

  • Supersnake 82 Points
    edited March 2015
    Am smiling reading that this thread is still drawing compliments for the 1490T after such a long time. Mine remains acting like brand new, simply love it's features.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    One of the last models that supported "real" routes. :)
  • sussamb 764 Points
    While true the newer version of trip planner is superior and more flexible IMO.
  • Ralph_L 0 Points
    edited May 2016
    rus said:

    One final note. Be sure to get a micro sd card and install it so you can dowload all the necessary map info. There is a post explaining how to make your 1490T recognize it. Good luck and enjoy.


    Aren't the maps stored directly on the internal memory?

    I just purchased one, It connected to my phone's phone book, but after I updated the maps and registered it, it doesn't see the phone book anymore. Do I need to purchased a SD card for it?


  • sussamb 764 Points
    Try unpairing then repairing it
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    To answer your question, the SD card has nothing to do with the phone book. :)
  • Ralph_L 0 Points
    Ok thanks, I'll try that.
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