This week we were asked by a technology company if they could provide us with a guest post for our readers. We said yes, but on the proviso that they offer a charitable donation to a charity of our choice which we recommended to them. You can read their post below. If you would like to contribute then please get in touch – we don’t accept everything and are very strict about partners having to make charity donations in return.
Check Out This New Sat Nav Device to Improve Car Safety and Accidents
The Garmin Nuvi 1690 is a GPS which comes with fully integrated online services which use Garmin’s nuLink features. The features include real-time traffic information, White Pages and Google search, weather forecasts, fuel prices or airline schedules – all of which position this new GPS from Garmin a little bit ahead of the competitive products from the Dutch manufacturer TomTom.
It comes with a 4.3 inch screen which offers good readability, even in the glare of the sun. On the left hand side you will see a memory card reader that takes the microSD format. This lets you add new maps or photos into the Garmin GPS. You might want to buy an adapter for standard SD cards which will help you as you will not have to go through the PC in order to transfer from one card to another. You can also recharge the GPS using the mini USB port on its bottom edge.
If you want to purchase one yourselves, then you can do so directly from Garmin.com or Amazon. If you wish to save money on the purchase then it’s highly recommended that you take advantage of a Garmin discount code from the GPS Bites website.
A Compact and Sleek GPS Which is Very Portable
The Garmin Nuvi 1690 is relatively compact and is bigger than the other Garmin GPS devices in a similar price range – for example the 1390T and 1490T. It’s only 19mm thick and weighs just 176g which means you can carry it easily – it’s not too far off the size of a cell phone to put things into perspective.
The plastics used are of a high quality and the back of the unit has a soft touch. However, the shiny black plastic of the unit whilst pleasing to look at, will scratch very easily and tends to get dirty quickly.
The Technical Aspects Could be Better
Finding satellites is super quick for a GPS and it will start up in 25 seconds – the general responsiveness is good, contrary to what was reported on reviews of the Garmin Nuvi 860 and 865T devices.
Unfortunately the volume control is also not very practical. It can take two steps to reach the menu, then two more to return to the navigation. It would be better to be able to access it direct from the navigation or by physical buttons on the side of the GPS.
Use Connected Services to Enhance Your Drive
One of the better options available on the Garmin Nuvi 1690 GPS is the connected services aspect. This enables traffic information direct to the display which is updated in real time plus speed cameras alerts on the fly. It’s very easy to use but you will need to subscribe after the free trial period expires. The traffic information works very well as it lets you re-direct to another route if there are any incidents along your way to the destination.
Save Money on Fuel with the Garmin Nuvi 1690 GPS
For the ecologically minded customers the EcoRoute function is very cool. This will let you drive mre economically and monitors you speed and fuel consumption. This might make your journey a little longer, but will generally give you a more pleasant drive. You should use this if you are not in a hurry and want to reduce your gas consumption whilst you drive.
If you want to save even more money when driving then take advantage of the fuel price information – this tells you which gas station is the cheapest and how far it is from your position. It will even display the other gas the stations on your route which is great if you are starting to run low on fuel. This is one aspect that might make you decide to buy Garmin when compared to cheaper GPS models – as it will save you money over the course of the years you own it for.
Superb Voices with a Choice of Accents
In terms of voices, the sound has improved greatly since the 860T and 865T GPS models. It does still sound slightly synthetic and you can even change the voices if you don’t like the standard ones.
Of course, one of the most important aspects to any GPS is the actual navigation. The Nuvi 1690 excels in this area and the operation is complemented by a hands-free kit which works very well with iPhone and Bluetooth. There is no MP3 player, but you can sync the device with an iPod if you want which will get you around this issue.
Know Where You Are at All Times
Other aspects of note are the “Where am I” function which lets you know exactly where you are at any time so you can precisely locate and contact the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations and get road break down assistance very quickly when you need it.
The weather forecast option works well, showing a 5 day forecast on your current location or wherever you want to navigate to. Should you need it then there is also a currency converter included – perfect for long-distance drivers who are travelling between different countries.
Use the Garmin Nuvi 1690 GPS in Pedestrian Mode When Walking
Should you want to, you can even use the Nuvi 1690 GPS when walking by using the pedestrian mode (called cityXplorer by Garmin). It is simple and effective, but we did notice that it turned itself on when we were in very slow moving traffic – the GPS obviously thought we were walking due to the slow speed of the traffic! However, if you are planning on a holiday then definitely take the Nuvi 1690 GPS with you – even if you are not planning on driving as it will be the perfect accompaniment to any tour guide leaflets you might decide to pick up.
Use Google Search to Find Points of Interest
Finally there is a local search facility served by Google. It lets you search for locations and points of interest (POI files), whilst the white pages search lets you look up people and business addresses whilst on the move.