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Help to decide on new Garmin nuvi

NacRuno 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations

I plan to buy my first GPS device for my car. I don't plan to use the device in anywhere outside my car.

The only function I want my GPS device to have is uploading custom routes from my PC, for the times I go on a road trip and want to use non-optimal routes.

I have a budget of around 150$.

The Garmin Nuvi models I am considering are 7x5, 1450, 1490, 1690.

And here are some of my questions:

1) It seems the only difference between 1450 and 1490 is the Bluetooth capability of 1490. Why would I want bluetooth? Is there any other between the 2.

2) For 1690, I think the nulink is a waste as I know I would never resubscribe for it after 2 years. But it has a nice deal going on amazon, so do you think it would be worth to buy it for extra 10 bucks compared to 1490? Any other bonuses other than nulink? (refurbished model)

3) How much would it effect me to buy or not to buy the lifetime map support? How much would it cost to upgrade the maps from Garmin? Is there a way to upload maps to my garmin using a third party map? And can I go by without updating the maps at all (for at least 5 years)?

4) If I buy garmin from us with is maps, can I also get garmin europe maps later on? Or can I download those garmin maps to my pc free to be used later on?

Thanks a lot.

PS: Other than my questions, I am open to any suggestions from the models I listed or any other GPS device, garmin or tomtom.


  • blupupher 91 Points
    Don't know all the answers, but here are a few;

    1. Bluetooth is for connecting with your cell phone. Worthless IMO, but some like it. Don't think their are any other differences between the 2.

    2. Not sure, it is up to you. Some people really like the nulink service.

    3. 5 years is a long time to go without an update, even more so if you live in an area with any growth or travel to lots of new areas.
    My 260 has 2009 maps and was getting pretty bad with routing due to lots of freeway construction around me over the past 4 years. It still got me where I need to go, but is always re-calculating.
    I got a 2010.04 map SD card off e-bay for cheap and that helped greatly. Map updates from Garmin cost $60-90 depending on where and what you get. Their are 3rd party maps, but I don't know a lot about them, and I think they are more topographical maps (not for routing).
    Some find it easier to just buy a new GPS every 2 years or so and give/ sell the old one.

    4. Yes, you can get the Euro Maps later for a cost.
  • Boyd 1987 Points
    Couple thoughts... The 1690 has a 4" screen and the 1450/1490 is 5". IF you think you will use the traffic feature, the 1690 will be much better because it receives the data over the cellular network. This is a much faster connection and traffic reports will cover a wider area. The FM traffic on the 1490 (and other nuvi's) only covers a small area near the broadcasting station, is not updated as frequently and you will experience many areas with no traffic reception at all.

    There really aren't any third party map options that are comparable with Garmin's City Navigator. Garmin has never published their map format specs, so third party mapmakers have had to reverse-engineer it. This means that they don't offer full functionality. The Openstreetmap project has free maps that can calculate routes between points, but they do not support address search. So you can't have the nuvi route you to 1234 Main Street.

    IMO, 5 years probably exceeds the useful life of a device like this. To put things into perspective, the very first nuvi model was introduced less than 6 years ago.
  • sussamb 814 Points
    You could also look at the 13xx series ... similar to the 14xx but with a 4.3" as opposed to 5" screen
  • NacRuno 0 Points
    Thanks for all the replies. I decided to buy a refurbished 1490T (no map updates) since it was on a good price on amazon. If I like the device and miss the map updates, I will buy the lifetime map support later on.

    I didn't consider the 13xx series because as far as I searched you can not upload additional routes to it. I read on wikipedia that that is the only difference between 13xx and 14xx series.

    Thanks again,
  • sussamb 814 Points
    You're absolutely right :)

    You can't upload routes ... I did read that earlier but forgot you wanted that when I got around to replying. I blame the antibiotics I'm on for an infected tooth .... :roll:
  • Boyd 1987 Points
    I read on wikipedia that that is the only difference between 13xx and 14xx series.
    I guess the author didn't notice that the 13xx has a 4" screen and the 14xx has a 5" screen? :roll:
  • sussamb 814 Points
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