If you're a frequent pond jumper, the Garmin Nuvi 1370T - with maps of Europe and that place across the pond called North America - is a GPS device worth considering.
It's lightweight, it has a crisp 4.3in touchscreen, and it offers plenty of features. On the flip side, the Garmin Nuvi 1370T is lacking a few essentials, it can be slow to pick up a satellite signal, and it doesn't offer much useful points-of-interest (POI) information.
The Nuvi 1370T is part of Garmin's T series of thin and light GPS devices unveiled earlier this year. At 12.2cm (W) x 1.6cm (D) x 7.5cm, the sleek, attractive, black GPS unit thinner than some other Garmin models.
The Garmin Nuvi 1370T weighs 160g, according to Garmin, making it lighter than the 6.48-ounce Nuvi 775T (which also includes maps of both North America and Europe) and some other Garmin models.
Aside from turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names, the Garmin Nuvi 1370T has plenty of GPS features to rev your engine. Among them are pedestrian mode; Garmin's "ecorouting" (which devises routes based on fuel efficiency); free traffic alerts (via an integrated FM receiver); Bluetooth (for hands-free dialing and talking on your connected mobile phone); and lane assist (which helps visually guide you to the correct lane when you're approaching an exit). We also like the option to display the on-screen keyboard in qwerty mode, something not all GPS units offer.
Driving directions were generally accurate, though (as with every GPS unit we've tested) the device produced a few head-scratchers. For instance, when we were heading east on Market Street in San Francisco to reach the Safeway store, why did the Garmin Nuvi 1370T want me to drive past the store, make two rights, and circle back to Market Street? All we had to do was make a perfectly legal left turn into the store's parking lot.
The Garmin Nuvi 1370T lacks some navigation tools, as well. For instance, you can have only one or two destinations on a single route. That's not terribly helpful if you're planning a nonstop day of sightseeing, and it's a deal-killer for real-estate agents and other people who frequently make multiple stops in one trip. This is a feature that a GPS unit at this price really should offer.
We don't require an MP3 player on a GPS device (and the Garmin Nuvi 1370T doesn't have one). However, we would have liked the ability to listen to turn-by-turn directions through headphones while using the pedestrian mode--but the 1370T has no headphone jack. The 1370T also doesn't offer voice-activated navigation, 3D-building view, or junction view, features you'd find in some other high-end GPS units. The last item is a helpful lane-assist feature that graphically represents road signs to help you navigate a potentially confusing intersection or exit.
Upon powering up, the Garmin Nuvi 1370T often dawdles on its way to finding a satellite signal, which quickly consumes battery power. But route calculations and recalculations are zippy.
Moving through menu items is fairly fast and easy. After calculating a route, though, we'd like to be able to change the routing preference (switching from, say, Faster Time to Shorter Distance) without having to return to the main screen and select Tools, Settings, Navigation, and then Route Preference.
Probably our biggest complaint about the Garmin Nuvi 1370T is its points-of-interest database. POIs are restaurants, shops, landmarks, and other places for which you can search and to which you can navigate. But a noticeable amount of POIs we looked up on the 1370T in San Francisco were outdated, inaccurate, or just plain missing.
One example: a search for nearby movie theatres found the Galaxy and the Metro, both of which closed years ago, but not the Embarcadero Center Cinema, which is still very much alive. The Castro, which is primarily a movie house that sometimes hosts live events, was listed among performing-arts theatres but not among movie theatres. We found similar discrepancies in other POI categories as well. (Garmin offers CityXplorer maps, which reportedly provide "the latest...points of interest" as well as mass-transit information for metro areas around the globe. But they're an additional purchase.)
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