The Ultimate GPS for Car – Garmin NuVi 1390LMT GPS

I did not realize the power and convenience of using a GPS for car device until I went to Tasmania last December for my son’s convocation. We took the opportunity to drive around the vast expanse of the island. I told my wife an up to date map, good intuition and a sense of direction were sufficient. My son thought otherwise and has actually bought a Garmin GPS from an online store before we arrive. It was a wise decision as it really made a big difference to our travel plans and experiences. I don’t know what would have happened without it.

So I thought why not share my experiences of the Garmin GPS device by writing an honest and thorough review? This may be helpful for people who have been researching and reading countless reviews on the best GPS brands and models and still undecided on which one to invest in.

The Garmin GPS nüvi1390LMT

Product Features

Unit Dimension

4.8″W x 2.9″H x.6″D (12.1 x 7.6 x 1.5 cm)

5.7 ounces (161.6 g)

This is just about right. If the unit is too heavy it may drop-off from the suction cup mounting unit, especially when the weather is hot and where the roads are bumpy, as we experienced on some country roads of Tasmania. Clean the windscreen before attaching the mounting unit.

Display size and resolution

3.81″W x 2.25″H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3″ diag (10.9 cm)

480 x 272 pixels

Clear and bright attractive colors. The size is just right, not too big to obstruct view or too small to read the details.

Touch screen

WQVGA TFT touch screen with white backlight.

With its widescreen display, you can view map details, driving directions, photos and more in clear brilliant color. Even under bright sunlight it is easy to read from any direction. If touch screen is unresponsive or inaccurate, calibrate it. This is explained in details in the user manual.

Battery and Battery Life

Rechargeable lithium-ion. Up to 4 hours depending on usage and settings

Remember to charge the battery with your car cigarette charger or your PC. Some users expect the battery to last forever without charging it.

Preloaded street maps

The Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS is preloaded with detailed City Navigator® NT street maps, nearly 6 million points of interest (POIs) including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions, 2-D or 3-D maps. Of course our unit came loaded with the maps of Australia. The Garmin 1390LMT comes with free Lifetime Map and Traffic updates. Traffic information is updated constantly, and map updates are available for download up to 4 times a year. Both features are ready to go, right out of the box, with no subscription or update fees and no expiration dates. This is real value for money.


You can save up to 1000 of these combination. This is useful for frequently-visit places, like the restaurants, banks and hospitals.

Navigate City Transit

If you are exploring an unfamiliar city on foot then Garmin nüvi 1390LMT is the perfect companion. It tells you where to walk, where to catch the bus, subway, tram or other transportation, and how long it will take to get there. But you need to first download the optional cityXplorer™ which cover selected cities throughout North America and Europe.

Voice Prompts and Speak Street Names

The GARMIN nüvi 1390LMT GPS provides voice-prompts, turn-by-turn directions, distance to the next turn and speak street names to your destination. This text to speech feature is very useful as it keeps you focus on the road instead of looking at the screen, a “must have” feature.

Lane Assist with Junction View

Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for car takes navigation to the next level with lane assist. You don’t have to worry which lane to be in to make the next turn. Lane assist guides you to the correct lane for an upcoming turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate. The road signs and junctions on your route are realistically displayed with arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation. This feature is available in select metropolitan cities. For me this is really a wonderful feature.

Auto Reroute

Sometimes you may missed an instruction to make a turn or take a wrong route. With the Auto Reroute feature this is not a problem. The intelligent Garmin 1390LMT GPS automatically recalculate the route for the destination.

Route Avoidance

You can define custom avoidance such as highways, tolls, construction and school zones. Some users like this option as they are familiar with some of the bad areas in town and want to exclude them in their routes.

FM Traffic

The nüvi 1390LMT receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Simply touch the screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area. Traffic alerts work only where there’s traffic service. To check whether your area is covered, go to

Bluetooth Wireless Technology

This works well and easy to setup. Remember to update to the latest firmware. Go to The nüvi 1390LMT integrates A2DP Bluetooth® wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker. Configure the 1390LMT to match your compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free while staying focused on the road. To make a call simply dial the numbers on the nüvi’s touch screen keypad. To answer calls, just tap the screen and speak into its built-in microphone. I really enjoy the convenience of one-touch dialing for your contacts and points of interest.

Speed Limit indicator

It tells you the speed limit on most roads, and very accurately too. Every time the posted speed limit changed, the Garmin 765T GPS would note the change within 10-20 feet of the sign! If there is no speed limit, the unit displays your current speed. Speeding fines in Australia are hefty in addition to the demerit points. So this feature is really cool!

Where Am I

This interesting feature keeps track of yourself and your car. Just tap the “Where Am I?” emergency locator to find the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations, nearest address and intersection. It also shows your exact latitude and longitude coordinates. You will never get lost.


This feature calculates your vehicle’s fuel economy, carbon footprint, and the fuel price of navigating to a destination thus improving overall fuel efficiency.

Custom POIs

Garmin nüvi 1390LMT allows you to search and download thousands of points of interest (POIs).

World travel clock, currency & unit converter, Calculator

These are additional functions which are useful for foreign visitors and I particularly find them of great help.

Garmin Lock

Garmin Lock is a theft-deterrent system that locks your Garmin nüvi 1390LMT. Each time you turn on the nüvi 1390LMT, enter a PIN or drive to the security location, like your Home. When you are at the security location, you do not need to enter the PIN. My advice is not to depend too much on this feature. Either detach the GPS device from the mounting unit or take it along with you when you leave the car. GPS for car devices are so popular nowadays, I have heard about cases of smashed car windscreens and missing GPS!!

Overall our two weeks in Tasmania has been wonderful and we have to thank our Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for saving us a lot of time, hassles, and stress.

So Who is this Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for?

If you are looking for the following features then this is a great choice.

The Pros

· easy to install, setup and use (ideal for people who hate to read manual)

· good display and sound system (soothe your senses)

· very quick in acquiring signal (save time)

· accurate and up to date information (never get lost)

· voice prompts and speak street names (keep your eyes on the road)

· hands-free making phone calls (you can focus on driving)

· auto re-routing to destination (reduce your stress)


· power cable is thick, maybe it carries antennae wires as well

· commercials, but they are small in size and not really intrusive

· need to install new software to update maps, but only once every 3 months, not a big deal


People searching for a GPS system have different needs and preferences. The 3 major brands (Garmin, Tom Tom and Magella) and their numerous models are made to satisfy these needs and preferences. The Garmin nüvi 1390LMT GPS for car has all the basic needs of a GPS system plus the bells and whistles. There is no perfect GPS system but the Garmin nüvi 1390LMT comes close.

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