We recently awarded the svelte and lightweight Garmin Nuvi 3790T our prestigious Editors' Choice Award. However, we have always considered the 3790T to be a co-flagship model to the more fully featured Garmin Nuvi 1690 with NuLink. Not content to let the series rest on its laurels, Garmin has just updated the 1600 series with the new Garmin NuLink 1695.
One of the first things you might notice is the new moniker. The official title has been changed from "Nuvi" to "NuLink!"--complete with the exclamation point. The change in name emphasizes the importance of the NuLink service, which brings a data connection to the portable navigation device. This data is used to provide traffic data, weather forecasts, fuel prices, flight status, and other real-time, location-relevant content, as well as bring Google Local Search for points of interest to the dashboard.
The NuLink 1695 is also Garmin's first device to offer the NuLink Store for purchasing optional premium services. (That's right, Garmin is building an app store.) Interestingly, only one year of the NuLink service is included with the purchase of the 1695, down from the two years of service the 1690 offered.
Other Garmin technologies that make their way into the NuLink 1695 include Garmin's myTrends destination prediction, trafficTrends--which is sort of Garmin's answer to TomTom's IQ Routes historical traffic flow technology, and ecoRoute software for fuel-efficient routing and driving. You also get Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a speakerphone. The new unit also receives a larger 5-inch screen, up from the 4.3-inch display of the 1690.
The Garmin NuLink 1695 will retail for $449.99 when it becomes available in September. As we mentioned earlier, the NuLink service will be free for the first year after purchase, after which users can elect to continue the service for $5 per month.