Garmin nuvi 1350 GPS unit
Garmin's nuvi 1350 lacks Bluetooth connectivity and traffic support, but still provides an excellent navigational experience
- Compact design, responsive touch screen, fast rerouting and GPS fix times , effective UI, New Zealand maps included, ecoRoute feature
- Map lacks detail, no Bluetooth or FM transmitter, no advanced lane guidance
If you can live without traffic updates and Bluetooth hands-free, Garmin's nuvi 1350 is an excellent GPS with a competitive price tag. The lack of advanced lane guidance is a real shame, but the clear maps, good voice instructions and fast GPS chip should keep most users satisfied.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Garmin's nuvi 1350 is a mid-range GPS that operates in a manner that's very similar to the flagship nuvi 1390T. For a saving of $150, you lose Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, advanced lane guidance and built-in traffic support, though the navigational experience remains excellent.
The units in Garmin's nuvi range aren't renowned for flashy designs, but at just 15.5mm wide, this is still an elegant if somewhat boring looking GPS device. The nuvi 1350 has a matte black bezel surrounding the display and silver edging. Garmin claims the nuvi 1350 GPS unit is 25 per cent slimmer than the devices in the previous nuvi range. The included window mount is also compact and easily allows the nuvi 1350 to easily clip on and off.
The Garmin nuvi 1350's user interface is simple and very effective. Menu items are accompanied by large boxes with text or clearly labelled icons and the touch screen is very responsive.
The map screen is clear and concise, even if it does lack detail compared to competing units. However, we prefer a basic map screen to an overly cluttered one. Enabling "more map data" in the settings menu places four boxes on the right side of the map screen that display information including distance and time to destination, current time, estimated time of arrival and speed.
We were very impressed with the speed of the Garmin nuvi 1350 GPS unit; not only is browsing the menu zippy, it’s also one of the quickest units we've tested at finding a GPS signal and rerouting when you take a wrong turn. It usually reroutes in less than two or three seconds.
Garmin uses Whereis maps on the nuvi 1350. Our experience was generally positive, but we did note that it ignored some 'no right turns'. Safety alerts are preloaded; they trigger an audible alert and voice warning but the notification on the map screen is a little too small.
During testing, the Garmin nuvi 1350 generally took the fastest route possible. Like most GPS devices though, it has a tendency to prefer main roads rather than faster back streets. The nuvi 1350 has maps of both Australia and New Zealand preloaded.
Although the Garmin nuvi 1350 includes basic lane assistance, it lacks Garmin's excellent advanced lane guidance (Real View Advanced Lane Guidance). The lane assist feature still displays arrows to direct you into the appropriate lane at a junction, but doesn't display images of the road and its surroundings, or road signs. The Garmin nuvi 1350 also lacks a subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel, but this can be purchased as an optional extra (price TBA).
Voice guidance is excellent and the Garmin nuvi 1350 includes two Australian text-to-speech voices that pronounce most street names accurately. Unfortunately, volume isn’t loud or punchy enough, even at its highest setting.
As it’s a mid-range model, the nuvi 1390T lacks an FM transmitter and Bluetooth hands-free. There is also no way to avoid areas when planning a route and the basic route preview feature needs more detail.
Garmin's "ecoRoute" feature can display a fuel report and choose an economical route. After entering the cost of fuel and your car’s rated fuel economy, the nuvi 1350 presents a report detailing the cost of fuel used, the carbon footprint and your average fuel economy based on your trips. When in use, ecoRoute will also preview your route before it begins by displaying the total fuel cost — this information is calculated based on the fuel price, type and fuel economy entered into the vehicle profile menu. Strangely, you can't select premium unleaded fuel in the fuel type list, though diesel, ethanol and LPG options are available.
ecoRoute also has a "Driving Challenge" feature that tests your driving habits, in particular your ability to smoothly accelerate and decelerate. For business users, a mileage report is great for keeping a record for tax purposes.
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