Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author. I recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision.
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Figure 1: What's Included In The Box
Garmin's nuvi 1690 ships with the following items included in the box:
Figure 2: Garmin nuvi 1690, Front
The 4.3-inch WQVGA (480 x 272 Pixels) color touchscreen display is framed by a glossy black plastic border. The 1690's internal microphone can also be seen to the right of the display.
Physically, the 1690 is 0.1" wider and taller than Garmin's 7x5 and 2x5 nuvis, measuring 3.81"W x 2.25"H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3" diag (10.9 cm).
Except for the power button located on the top of the device, there are no physical controls on the nuvi 1690. All operations are performed via the touchscreen interface.
Figure 3: Garmin nuvi 1690, Rear
The 1690's internal speaker is located at the rear of the device. This speaker is slightly larger, and louder than Garmin's previous 4.3-inch GPS units. I'll review speaker loudness later in the review.
Figure 4: Garmin nuvi 1690, Top
The power button is located on the top of the 1690. Press this button to turn the device on or off.
Figure 5: Garmin nuvi 1690, Bottom
The mini-USB connector, located on the bottom of the 1690, is used for connecting the GPS to a PC or Mac.
Figure 6: Suction-Cup Windshield Mount
The 1690 includes a suction-cup style windshield mount. The cradle (shown below) snaps onto the tip of the mount, forming a ball and socket joint that can easily be rotated into the desired viewing angle.
Figure 7: Windshield Mount
The vehicle power cable attaches to the mini-USB port located on the back of the docking cradle.
Figure 8: Powered Windshield Mount
The 1690 includes a powered windshield mount - a nice feature that makes docking and undocking the GPS quick and painless. Once the mount is connected, simple dock the GPS and it will power up.
Note that power can be supplied either via the docking cradle, or by connecting the power cable directly to the mini-USB port on the bottom of the GPS itself.
Figure 9: Vehicle Power Adapter
The 1690 includes a standard vehicle power adapter.
Figure 10: Vehicle Power Adapter, Connected to the Windshield Cradle
Figure 11: nuvi 1690, Docked
This ball-and-socket style mount is easy to use, holds up well against normal wear and tear, and keeps the GPS firmly in place while driving.
Another nice benefit of Garmin's simple yet effective windshield mount is that it's easy to adjust the viewing angle with one hand, and you don't have to turn any knobs or levers.
Figure 12: USB Cable
A standard USB cable is included, and can be used to connect the nuvi 1690 to a PC or Mac, as well as charge the battery.
Figure 13: Adhesive Mounting Disc
An adhesive mounting disc is included for those looking to mount the nuvi 1690 on the dashboard rather than the windshield.
I'm personally not a fan of this method, as it can be difficult to remove the mounting disc later without damaging your car.
FYI - a much better option is to use a friction mount, as it's less permanent and can quickly be removed when leaving the car unattended.