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Garmin nüvi® 1690

Portable navigator with Garmin nüLink!™ connected services

6 Reviews

Item # 150N1690

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Our take on the Garmin nüvi® 1690

Garmin's 4.3" nüvi 1690 portable navigator offers built-in Bluetooth® connectivity and excellent guidance, along with the power of real-time search. And this pocket-sized travel companion adds more to your journeys than just right and left turns. Just enter a keyword, and Garmin's nüLink! Services provide real-time search results that help you find what you're looking for. And you'll still have easy-to-follow directions that'll take you to your chosen destination.


Garmin's 4.3" nüvi 1690 portable navigator offers built-in Bluetooth® connectivity and excellent guidance, along with the power of real-time search. And this pocket-sized travel companion adds more to your journeys than just right and left turns. Just enter a keyword, and Garmin's nüLink! Services provide real-time search results that help you find what you're looking for. And you'll still have easy-to-follow directions that'll take you to your chosen destination.

Get more with Garmin nüLink! Services
With your 2-year free trial subscription to Garmin nüLink! Services, you can access local Google™ search results for just about any type of destination in your area, from fast-food joints and banks to antique shops, vegan coffeehouses, comic book stores, and other off-the-beaten-path locations. You'll get instant results for your search, whether it's for "the best pizza in Chicago" or "24-hour pharmacy." Once you've found a spot, just hit "Go" and you'll be routed straightaway.

Garmin nüLink! Services also give you real-time traffic updates that keep you aware of congestion along your route. You can also see area fuel prices, weather reports, movie and local events listings, or even check flight times at the nearby airport. You can send a location from your office computer, smartphone, or other Internet-enabled device to the nüvi 1690 for further reference once you hit the road.

Unparalleled guidance
The nüvi 1690 comes preloaded with maps of Canada, Puerto Rico, and the entire U.S. You also get text-to-speech voice prompts that announce actual street names at turns. For added reliability, you'll find lane guidance to put you in the right spot for upcoming turns, plus photo-realistic views of many complicated intersections. Garmin's ecoRoute™ feature saves you gas and money by calculating the most fuel-efficient route.

Extras for the trip
Bluetooth connectivity allows you to make and receive hands-free calls with your compatible phone. The navigator also includes a built-in digital picture viewer that lets you enjoy all your photos on the 4.3" screen — just slip your personal microSD™ memory cards into the microSD card slot. You can also purchase SD cards from Garmin with travel guides and coupons to aid you on your journeys.

Take care on your travels
The nüvi 1690's "Where Am I" emergency locator provides your exact location instantly, displaying nearby emergency services if you need aid. Garmin's security feature prevents unauthorized people from accessing your itinerary or personal information.

Product Highlights:

  • portable GPS navigator
  • suction-cup windshield mount
  • JPEG picture viewer
  • car power adapter and built-in rechargeable battery with 4 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 4.3" (480 x 272 pixels) display with touchscreen control
  • local search powered by Google (unlimited points of interest)
  • 6 million points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • includes nüLink! receiver with free 2-year subscription to nüLink! Services included (additional subscription required after trial period)
  • preloaded with maps for Canada, Puerto Rico, and the entire United States
  • voice prompts announce road names over the built-in speaker
  • lane guidance with junction view
  • ecoRoute calculates a more fuel-efficient route
  • built-in travel kit including world clock, currency and measurement converters, calculator, and more
  • security feature allows you to disable most functions with a user-entered password
  • multi-destination routing: route optimization
  • transport modes: auto, pedestrian
  • microSD card slot
Other features and specs:
  • Bluetooth technology: conduct hands-free calls with your compatible cell phone
  • dimensions: 4-15/16"W x 3-1/8"H x 3/4"D
  • weight: 6.2 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Portable GPS navigation receiver
  • Suction-cup mounting bracket
  • Mounting cradle
  • Hard plastic mounting disk with self-adhesive base
  • Cigarette lighter adapter with attached 65" cable
  • 19.5" USB cable (has Type A USB connector on one end and a Mini-B USB Ver.2.0 connector on the other end)
  • Quick Start manual (English)
  • Important Safety and Product Information
  • Accessory Guide

Garmin nüvi® 1690 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)

Stay Clear!

Barge from Elmwood Park, NJ on 9/9/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have the 1690 from Garmin. The only reason I need a GPS is for live traffic. So my review of 1 star is for that reason. Took me into more traffic on several occations and I only had this unit 2 weeks. Also its traffic at night time is poor, told me that bad traffic up ahead 8 to 10 min. delay I'm glad i didn't listen there was no one on that road. I will return it and go with the TOM TOM Live with HD traffic.



Garmin Nuvi 1690

Garmin Nuvi 1690 from US on 11/18/2010

Some of the other imperative features of this device are the graphic lane guidance which shows the highway intersections visually with suitable lanes highlighted, TTS turn by turn directions which read the POI names and street names loudly and EcoRoutes which is an anthology of green driving tools counting the series of green driving challenges, fuel economy assessment and routing algorithm which calculates the most fuel efficient route from spot A to B.



1690 goes AWOL daily

dick from AZ & IL on 9/22/2010

If you buy one of these, you better have a backup GPS running also! This 1690 goes AWOL daily (occasionally twice a day) for about 10-12 minutes while it "downloads maps" and is totally out of commission--silent/black screen--while it does so. It has caught me really needing guidance more than once as it'll go into map download upon restartup of my journey--after a stop for gas, for instance. So I do, out of necessity, continue to run my old 55W so I won't get stranded. Other aspects of this unit are fine.



Garmin nüvi® 1690

Anonymous from Albany NY on 8/1/2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just love this GPS. It got me all around Boston without getting lost once, which people tell me is an impossible task even with other GPS units. Easy to use. It's nice to know what lane you need to be in ahead of time so you can move over, even in traffic. Driving in a strange city, during rush hour, on roads undergoing construction, during a torrential downpour was scary...but my Nuvi guided me through it all with ease. I'm just thrilled with this purchase.




Joseph from Providence, RI on 3/5/2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Navigation is fantastic, very accurate. My only complaint(s) are the blue tooth phone usage. Phone operations are flakey, called person complains of poor sound and has a hard time hearing the conversation. The phone option is about useless.



Garmin nüvi® 1690

Jim from Martinez, CA on 1/18/2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The GPS interface is amazing - color clarity, detail of routes and surrounding streets is quite thorough. Disappointed with cellular service through the GPS unit however; direct cell service from the phone is better, as call clarity is only fair.




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Maps Built-in
Map Coverage USA (50), CA, PR
Points of Interest 6 million
Multiple Destination Routing Yes
Screen Size 4.3"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable Phone
Photo Viewer Yes
Digital Audio Playback No
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control No
Traffic Information No
Dynamic Content Services Garmin nuLink!
Removable Memory Type microSD card
Battery Life 3 hours
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Overview: The nuvi 1690 is a portable GPS navigator and personal travel assistant that provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, and touch screen control. The 1690 is equipped with Garmin nuLink! Services with real-time content delivered wirelessly to the unit. In addition, the nuvi 1690 has built-in Bluetooth technology, lane assist with junction view, and can display JPEG photos.

Navigation Features
Traffic Information
Picture Viewer
Built-in Bluetooth
Mounting Options
Power Requirements
Computer Requirements

Navigation Features

Map Software: The nuvi 1690 comes loaded with City Navigator North America NT 2010.20 software, which contains mapping detail of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The maps feature nearly 6-million points of interest (POIs), such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions.

microSD Memory Slot: The nuvi 1690 has a microSD memory slot for additional map data from optional microSD memory cards. The unit can also display photo images from a microSD memory card.

Antenna: The unit has a built-in antenna in its top panel. In order to obtain an optimal signal, the unit must have a clear, unobstructed view of the sky. It the unit is mounted in a vehicle with a coated windshield or an in-screen heating system, there may be difficulty in obtaining a good signal.

Touch Screen Display: The unit features a bright, 4.3" (diagonal) LCD with touch screen controls. The display has a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and 64,000 colors. The screen has a manual brightness adjustment.

Keyboard Options: The nuvi 1690 gives you two options for keyboard layouts. When you are entering an address or other data, you can choose between a standard QWERTY keyboard layout or an ABCDE alphabetical layout.

Text-to-Speech Voice Commands: The unit routes you to your destination using voice prompts. Male and female voices in over 60 different languages and dialects are available to choose from. Many of the language choices include text-to-speech, which pronounces the street names when giving directions. Additional voices are available for download in the Garmin Garage website.

Information Pages: The information provided by the nuvi 1690 is found on various display screens called pages. The pages give you the following information:

  • Map:
    • Indicates real-time moving map illustrating your current position and intended route
    • Shows map scale and geographic details such as lakes, rivers, highways and towns
    • Allows you to zoom, pan, and point using the touch screen controls
    • When you are following a route, your arrival time is displayed in the lower left corner, your current speed is shown in the lower right corner. The posted speed limit for most major roads is displayed near the lower right corner as well.
    • When you are simply driving while viewing the Map page (not following a route), your speed is shown in the lower right corner (along with the road's speed limit), the direction you are driving is shown in the lower left corner
  • Trip Information:
    • Shows current compass heading while moving
    • Indicates current speed, maximum speed, arrival time, distance and time to next turn
    • Calculates driving time, stopped time and total time
    • Displays overall distance traveled (odometer) and distance to your final destination
  • Current Route:
    • Displays a list of turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route as well as arrival information
    • Shows direction of each turn and distance
  • Next Turn:
    • Shows the next turn on the map and the distance and time left before you reach the turn

Where Am I? The "Where Am I?" feature gives you instant access to important information in case of an emergency. When you select "Where Am I?" from the menu, you get the coordinates (including elevation) of your current position, plus the nearest address and intersections. There are also buttons to help you locate the nearest hospitals, police stations, gas stations, and roadside assistance. You can also save the location for future reference.

Where To? During navigation, you can search for places by pressing "Menu", then "Where To?" You can select an Address, Go Home, Points of Interest, Recently Found, Favorites, Extras, Intersections, Cities, Browse Map, and Coordinates. You can also access Spell Name for direct entry of your new destination, or browse the map. You can search for locations near your present location (default), or select a different city, your current route, or your destination.

Custom Points of Interest: The nuvi 1690 will accept custom points of interest (POI) databases, available from various companies on the Internet. Some custom POI databases contain alert information for points such as safety cameras and school zones, and the unit can notify you as you approach one of these points. To download custom POIs, you will need the Garmin POI Loader software, available on Garmin's website.

Usage Modes: The nuvi 1690 can be used in any of three usage modes: automotive, pedestrian, and bicycle.

Vehicle Icons: The default on-screen icon representing your vehicle is a blue sports car. In the menu, you can select a blue 4WD pickup truck, a blue compact car, a blue 3D arrow, a pair of boots, a large bird, or a rolling beach ball. You can also download other vehicle icons from the "Garmin Garage" website.

Map Orientation: You can select one of three map orientation displays:

  • 2D Track Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on the screen
  • 2D North Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays North at the top of the screen
  • 3D Track Up: three-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on the screen

Screen Color Mode: You can select one of three color modes for the display screen:

  • Daytime: has a lighter, brighter background
  • Nighttime: has a black background, easier to see at night
  • Auto: display automatically switches between daytime and nighttime at sunrise and sunset

Route Preferences: When calculating a route, you can select the following preferences: faster time, shorter distance, less fuel, or off road.

Lane Assist with Junction View: As you navigate your route, the unit will provide detailed diagrams of the proper lane to travel when maneuvering a complex interchange. The Junction View page will display what the actual approaching junction looks like, and arrows indicating the lane in which you should be driving.

ecoRoute: The ecoRoute feature calculates your vehicle's fuel economy, carbon footprint, and the fuel price of navigating to a destination. It also offers tools for improving fuel efficiency. Through ecoRoute's Fuel report and Mileage Report, you can track fuel usage and gas mileage during each trip. There is also a driving challenge to help you maximize your fuel economy by scoring your driving habits.

Avoidances: You can program the unit to avoid certain things that may be undesirable on your route. Examples of things that can be avoided include U-Turns, Highways, Toll Roads, Carpool Lanes, Unpaved Roads, and Ferries.

Custom Routes: The nuvi 1690 allows you to create custom routes for errands, deliveries, or sales calls, and automatically sort the destinations in the most efficient order. You can save up to 10 routes, specify via points, and preview simulated turns on the unit's display. In addition, a trip log provides an electronic breadcrumb trail of up to 10,000 points, so you can see where you've traveled on the map.

Waypoints: You can manually mark and name any map position as a waypoint for later recall. Up to 1000 waypoints can be saved into memory.

Indoor Use: When indoors, you can activate the built-in simulator and practice using the unit. This turns off the GPS receiver so it's not searching for satellites.

Tools: The nuvi 1690 offers several tools you can use as you travel:

  • World Clock: The world clock allows you to display the current time for four locations throughout the world. You can also display a map of the world showing which portions are in daylight and which are in darkness.
  • Currency Converter: This feature allows you to update the currency rates manually so you are always using the most current information.
  • Unit Converter: You can convert area, distance, speed, temperature, volume, and weight.
  • Calculator: The calculator allows you to perform simple arithmetic.

Garmin Lock: Garmin Lock is an anti-theft feature. You can set a 4-digit PIN and a security location (such as your home or office). Every time the nuvi 1690 is powered on, you must enter the PIN, or drive to your security location.

Traffic Information

Garmin nuLink! Services: You can get accurate real-time information about the area you're traveling in delivered directly to your nuvi 1690 via a built-in wireless module. For a limited time, the nuvi 1690 comes with a 2-year trial subscription. Garmin nuLink! Services include the following applications:

  • Google Local Search: access up-to-date information for the local area using the power of Internet-enabled local search and navigate directly from the search results.
  • Gas Prices: Garmin nuLink! services show you where you can find the best prices for any grade of fuel in your area.
  • Weather: Tap the weather icon and receive current and 5-day forecasts for major cities around the world.
  • Local Events: Find out what's going on in town by searching for concerts, theater performances, sports, and art, and navigate to the venue.
  • Flight Status: Get quick access to flight departure/arrival times and gate information from airports around the world with the closest major airports displayed first.
  • White Pages: Find addresses by name or phone number using the White Pages application. After the address is found, you can immediately navigate to the location.
  • Real-time Traffic: You can receive current traffic data for your route so your nuvi 1690 can automatically optimize a route for the shortest time.
  • Ciao!: Keep up with what your friends are doing. Ciao! integrates multiple third-party location-centric social network applications, such as GyPSii, with more networks to be added in the future.
  • Movie Times: Use Garmin nuLink! services to find an area movie theater, along with titles and showtimes.
  • Send to GPS: Build a list of destinations online and send them wirelessly to your nuvi 1690.
  • Money Converter: Convert up-to-date currency evaluations, plus measurements, distances, speed, and temperatures.
  • myGarmin: When updates are available, you'll receive alerts via Garmin nuLink!, so you can download them automatically.

Picture Viewer

Picture Viewer: The nuvi 1690 can display photo images (JPEG files). The image files must be stored on an optional microSD memory card or transferred to the internal memory.

Photo Navigation: The Panoramio ( website provides photographs that include location information called geotags. These photos can be downloaded into the nuvi 1690 or microSD memory card, and the unit can route you to the location.

Built-in Bluetooth

Bluetooth Communication: Many Bluetooth-capable cellular phones are compatible with the nuvi 1690 allowing you to use the nuvi as a hands-free car kit. The nuvi 1690 has both a microphone and speaker, so no additional equipment is necessary to integrate your Bluetooth phone. Available options will vary by phone, however, generally these apply:

  • accept or ignore incoming calls on the touch screen
  • dial your home number
  • enter a number manually
  • call a POI (Point Of Interest)
  • dial a number in your phone book
  • call a recently dialed number
  • dial a recent caller
  • send or receive text messages

Bluetooth Compatibility: Visit for a complete list of Bluetooth compatible mobile phones.

Mounting Options

Mounting: The unit should be securely installed when used in a vehicle. The unit comes with a mounting bracket that includes a suction cup. The suction cup can be used to mount the unit to the windshield or to the dash (using the plastic mounting disk). Once the nuvi 1690 is mounted, it can be adjusted on the ball-and-socket bracket for best visibility. The unit must be installed where it has a relatively unobstructed view of the sky.

Optional Pro.Fit G3 Vehicle Specific Mounts: The Garmin nuvi GPS units are directly compatible with the optional Pro.Fit G3 series of Vehicle Specific Mounts (VSMs). The G3 Series mounts have a ball-and-socket mechanism that perfectly fits the nuvi mounting cradles, giving you a custom mount designed for your vehicle. Please check the Crutchfield vehicle selector to see if a G3 Series VSM is available for your vehicle. If the original or Legend series Pro.Fit VSM is the only available option for your vehicle, the Garmin nuvi adapter (042TT39) can be purchased and attached to the VSM.

Power Requirements

Rechargeable Battery: The nuvi 1690 operates on your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter power adapter, the built-in Lithium-Ion batteries, or household current using an optional AC adapter. The Lithium-Ion batteries provide up to 3 hours of use after a 4-hour charge. Stored data, such as waypoints or unit settings, are not lost when the unit is disconnected from a power source.

Computer Requirements

Internal Memory: The nuvi 1690 comes with an internal memory for storage of supplemental maps and photos. When the unit is connected to your computer, the nuvi 1690 is recognized as a USB Mass Storage device.

Interface Capability: This unit can be connected to a PC via USB cable (not included). This USB 2.0 full speed interface allows you to download additional map information to the unit's flash memory. The unit has a standard Mini-USB Version 2.0 jack. The unit is compatible with Windows 2000 or later and Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.