isn't unleashing a new fleet of navigators over at IFA, but the
company is still introducing one new guy that'll undoubtedly garner its
fair share of attention. The nüvi 1690 doesn't look all that different
than any of the company's other PNDs, but as they say about
relationships, it's what is inside that counts.
This device is the first that enables users to tap into Garmin's own nüLink! service, which gives owners
direct links to certain online information like Google local search,
traffic, weather, fuel prices, movie listings, flight status, local
events, white page telephone listings and Ciao!, Garmin’s exclusive
location-based social networking system that connects multiple networks
into a single portal for Garmin users. The U.S. version of the nüvi 1690
comes with two years of free Garmin nüLink! service, which makes it the
first PND to offer an extended period of online features included in the
purchase price of the device.
The consumer world hasn't reacted too kindly to connected GPS units in
the past, but that's probably due to the nagging monthly fees that have
been associated with them. By bundling the service for 2 full years,
we're guessing a lot more people will give this setup a chance. Unlike
non-connected units, this one can always find updated POIs, cheap gas,
movie times, etc. In other words, it can find many of the things your
iPhone can find, but you don't need a smartphone and data plan to find
'em if you have this. The Bluetooth-equipped unit will come preloaded
with North American maps and should be on shelves in Q4 for $499.99 in
the United States.