This summer’s gps range contains several exciting news – both in terms of format and functionality. We tested nine models from £ 1500 and above.
Garmin nüvi 1690
Navigators with connected services is predicted to become huge and in Garmin’s Nulink technology called the world. SIMcard is integrated, so with a subscription from Garmin works across Europe at a fixed monthly price. Garmin has a number of operational services on site – here is a currency converter with up to date courses, search for flights at nearby airports, weather, traffic information, and Google Local Search.
There is no need for logins or any twisty registration to get started with Nülink – everything works when you turn on your device for the first time. User friendliness could hardly be better – the menus are clear and there are big icons pressing – but I find that services could be more and better information. I search for example for flights from Gothenburg Landvetter Nuvi 1690 both suggests and City Airport, but flights are available at the City Airport’s website are missing in Garmin’s database. Google search are drawn with the corresponding problem – the interface is excellent, but the database has large gaps. Weather, traffic information and exchange rates, by contrast, works without complaints. Because the Nuvi 1690 retrieves traffic information over the air feature disappears if you don’t renew Nülink subscription after one year.
To the outside there is not much that is different from the past few years 1690 Nuvi devices. The plastic is blank response with a bar in chrome plated plastic and the format is good with a thickness of less than two centimeters. The mount is well made and has an active holder, so you do not connect the power cord separately when mounting the unit in your car. The interface is quite restrained with graphics and effects, but still feels modern and functional. The Nuvi 1690 is a quick drive and you do not have to wait many seconds when routes are recalculated or it pops up traffic information affecting the route.
Individual items in the menus could have been made more intuitive – such as which elements in the menus as you do a long press on for something to happen. The view shows the satellites ‘ signal strength is an example of a page that is difficult to find if you don’t read the manual first. Garmin has several different mounts for their Nüvi devices and 1690 has both bicycle and pedestrian mode. Unfortunately, maps are pretty bad when it comes to walking and cycling routes, but it is a flaw that the map provider is obliged to. Garmin Nuvi 1690 is equipped with Ecoroute – a feature that analyzes how to run, calculate costs for the wallet and the environment, and offers tips on how to reduce fuel consumption.
Plus: the Internet features, active holder, speech synthesis
Minus: subscription required for traffic information.
Garmin Nuvi 1390T
1390T is a little simpler model and has a passive holder, but at other points it can match its more expensive sibling. Quality feeling is high and the device itself is difficult to distinguish from 1690-model. The interface is also rather, 1390T but lacks, of course, the online features. In return, there is a TMC receiver, so you do not have to be without traffic information.
The interface is user-friendly with the customary two big icons “Where” and “View map” in the main menu. 3-d effects do you get by without, but 1390T has a good lane indicator and displays motorway exits almost as educational as Navigon devices.
Bluetooth and built-in handsfree features, but the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, the great compatibility and can read the phone book also in Nokia mobiles – a point where both Our site and Navigon often bet. 1390T comes with Garmin’s Ecoroute software environment installed. Ecoroute scored the run and take note of how fast you drive and how sharply it accelerates and brakes.
Plus: the environmental programme, user-friendly
Minus: Passive holders
Garmin Nuvi 3790T
Garmin’s new top model is like no other navigator – it looks more like an overgrown Iphone. Nuvi 3790T has a brushed back and has no menu button on the front, but on most other issues, it is clear they were inspired. The screen has the same dimensions – 4.3 inch – that most Medkom combatants in the test, but the resolution is far higher – around the 800 x 480 pixel. The screen also has very fast response and it is possible to zoom in the map image by using the multitouch. The similarities with cellular phones to despite lacking 3790T online features – it’s proven RDS-TMC applicable to traffic information.
Functions is perhaps not so many more than the cheaper models as 1690, but the high-resolution screen makes everything so much better looking and Garmin has moved forward significantly in terms of graphics. Just like Navigon has invested in 3D in the map screen-height differences in the landscape appears in an elegant way. In urban traffic is the 3D graphics a little more discreet. Building outlines drawn with a certain depth effect and the looming past one and another more detailed 3D model, but Navigon takes out the turns much more. The variant you prefer, it can be seen that the Garmin managed to get to a good interface that is clean and has a good balance between effects and function. Also text input is updated and has been given a more Iphone or Android-inspired look.
The actual operation is not significantly different from older Nuvi devices – most of it can be found at their usual locations, even if the icons has been cleaned up to fit on the high resolution screen. A new feature is that there is an accelerometer that automatically turn the screen and makes it possible to use the Navigator while in portrait mode. Route calculation is smart and uses Traffictrends – Garmin’s equivalent of IQ Routes of Our site. Garmin have also added a feature that learns user’s habits — such as the way to work in the morning. This means that it can be shown relevant traffic information for the route, even if one ignores key in destination.
The format is really impressive –caliper stops at 9 mm. It makes the sound of the Navigator is pretty weak, but Garmin has solved that by building into a speaker in the active holder. Of course, Ecoroute and text-to-speech, but 3790T also has voice control on Swedish. A “magic word” enable function – by default, say “voice command” and then displays a list of available commands without having to let go of the steering wheel. Voice control works well and you don’t have to get up the drive, but it’s just to get started.
Plus: the format, the screen, the active holder.
Minus: nothing special
Mio Spirit 475
Mio has been supplying the cheapest sat nav with traffic information, but the price difference to despite many similarities with the more expensive competitors – the screen is of 4.3 inch and the device are among the easier test. Unfortunately, quality feel not hundraprocentlig. Spirit-navigators feels like plastic, but has good mounts. Unfortunately, the brackets are passive, but they are very stable, easy to adjust and hold the unit in place without making it awkward to remove it. The manual is a bit svåröverblickad with topics related to hardware and topics related to software, but it is not difficult to get started with Spirit 475. Not hard, but somewhat tedious to be said. The first time you start the unit, it must be activated with a code that is printed on the packaging.
The main menu is extremely simple and clear with five sturdy buttons. The headings are Find, Map, my places, settings and Near me – hard to end up wrong. On most points work Spirit 475 quickly – the menus are free from delays and text input is good and hiding letters that do not fit.
However, the route calculation very tenacious – 10-15 seconds to recalculate a route is not unusual. Mio has purchased the Our site IQ Routes technology, so Spirit-navigators can choose the best path based on statistics about where queues occur at different time of day, etc. Routes are calculated is good, even if it takes time. When activated a route showing Mio a very pure map view — no House outlines, 3D effects or icons for POIs. Just roads and clear markings for where to run. A positive surprise is the speech — it sounds really good. Just to see how inexpensive devices is a plus, but Mio is also often better pronunciation than the Garmin as Navigon.
Plus: Speech Synthesis
Minus: Passive holders
Mio Spirit 470
Mio Spirit 70 is identical with 475-model, but lack the receiver traffic information. A really affordable device that you can find over 1500 kr – much of the money even if the execution is a little easier compared with the Garmin 1390T or Our site XXL.
Plus: Speech Synthesis
Minus: Passive holders
NAVIGON 6350 Live
6350 Live is the entry-level model in the case of NAVIGON connected navigators – a cheaper alternative to the top model 8450 Live. As with the Garmin Nuvi 1690 includes sim card, so as a customer you avoid thinking about mobile operators or megabyte prices – a flat monthly fee covers the costs of data even when they move across borders. NAVIGON solves the connection via an external module that looks somewhat like a modem for mobile broadband. A little messy solution because the bracket is passive and all wires must be connected every time you mount the device in your car.
The supply of connected services consists of Google Local Search, weather forecasts and the Navigon calls Live Traffic – traffic information from various sources that is compiled of Navigon and sent out over the mobile network. It is also possible to update the database with speed cameras over the network. When buying the unit included three months but then it costs $799 per year or $1390 for two years and the service is a must in order to get traffic information – a difference against 8450 Live with an RDS-TMC receiver.
NAVIGON 6350 Live position themselves at an intermediate level in terms of quality the feeling – the materials are plastic and plastic, but the device is solid and the bracket is stable. The interface is neat and filled with deep feeling. Icon showing the own position appears to float over the roads lined with simple 3D House. Single known works displayed a bit more lifelike. In city traffic and on motorways it pops up clear symbols on screen that shows you which lane to lead right and the “Reality View” showing the exits in advance with signs and everything.
A small bar indicates with precision how long it is left to the next maneuver, so it’s easy to keep up with the instructions. Many features of 6350 Live can be controlled by voice — from answering phone calls to regulate the volume and input the addresses. The word “help” opens a list of available commands. NAVIGON 6350 Live has many exciting features, but I don’t really think that the livetjänsterna are affordable in its current form.
Plus: sleek interface, many features
Minus: Passive holders
A really well made unit that decorate its place in the car-size to spite, I think Navigon 8410 can provide Garmin 3790T a match in terms of form and material. The screen has an area of mineral crystal and is lined with brushed metal Bracket is active and provides the device with power. It’s a little trickier to install Navigon 8410 compared with the Garmin or Our site active mounts, but it is nonetheless a boost compared to having to fumble with cables.
The screen is big – 5 inches – but has the same resolution as the simpler navigators in the test. The interface is steeped in the same form used for Navigon simpler devices, but the larger screen is really positive for the experience. Some icons and information field is the smallest team when they appear on a 4.3-inch screen, but the extra four inches makes the interface more user-friendly. For some cities are really extensive 3D views, but unfortunately is no Swedish cities on the list yet, so we’ll make do with NAVIGON’s “standard” 3D-map-also very stylish. As it should be, are also Reality View Pro – Navigon clear display of how to run on roads. An annoyance in the Navigon 8410 is a device seems to have a little too much confidence because I always will do as it says. If you choose the wrong exit to continue icon on the proposed route for a few moments before the leaping over to the correct position. It rarely takes more than a few seconds, but it can be confusing in some situations.
NAVIGON has an excellent interface for inputting text and addresses. On-screen keyboard hide the letters that do not fit into the database, and when the destination is selected, the device proposes up to three different route options. The different roads will be shown briefly on a map and you can see what separates them in the distance and estimated travel time. Voice control is automatically activated, so I do not need to press but suffice it to say “Two” to select route option number two. The NAVIGON 8410 is equipped with speech synthesis can read out the names of roads and towns, but also the contents of the window. ‘
Plus: Menus, voice control, active holder
Minus: nothing special
Our site Go 950T
Our site has updated their old top model Go 930 and when looking at the unit, it can be seen that it is a matter of careful improvements. Our site’s interface is very intuitive and easy, but feels very Spartan in comparison with Garmin and NAVIGON’s top models. the 3D graphics are conspicuous by their absence, but it has nevertheless been some updates – not least in menus where the icons a new look. Voice command does not work when the device is in Swedish, and it is unfortunately also for speech synthesis. It’s just the Our site units in the test that is unable to read aloud street names in Swedish.
However, there is a large and welcome, news – mount. Our site has finally managed to send with a well-made active holder. All electrical connections are in the bracket that also accommodates the TMC receiver. The old, meter-long antenna cord for TMC has dwindled to about 20 centimeters and rolled easily out behind the hairline and pinned along the windshield with an own suction cup.
A press the map opens the main menu. In addition to the standard search capabilities, you can input the latitude and longitude or enter the last stop as a destination. Our site screen keyboard has letters in real qwerty order, but unfortunately not the shaded letters that do not apply to the names in the database. Route calculation is fast and of course uses Our site’s “IQ Routes” technology with statistics on which roads, running at various times of the day.
Our site works good on motorways and complicated interchanges due to lane display. There is also a full screen that pops up at the exits and showing the real equivalents signs over the various files–functionally, but not quite as neat as Navigon “Reality View Pro”.
A hallmark of the Our site Go series has been data connection over bluetooth. Our site has for 950 model contented themselves with a more conventional hands-free Bluetooth support and handling of messages on the navigator screen. To get online features, you are redirected to Our site’s “Live” devices that have not yet been launched on the Swedish market.
Plus: Good active mount
Minus: Lacks speech synthesis and voice control in Swedish
Our site XXL IQ Routes Edition
Our site XXL has the same interface and screen resolution that the Go 950, but is equipped with a slightly larger screen at 5 inches. Big screen and an already very opportunity system makes a really user-friendly device XXL. The cast is updated and seem to be considerably better mood compared to the last generation of Our site devices. After you have entered your destination you can specify if you want to be in front and then get a timestamp for when you have to leave and during the journey will be shown if you are ahead or behind schedule.
Our site XXL is a bit thinner and feels lighter in proportion to its size than the units in the Go series, but quality feeling is nevertheless good. The mount is of type “EasyPort” going to fold on the back of the unit so you don’t have to leave anything behind in the windshield. Unfortunately, the mount passive, so the power cord must be connected separately.
The device has IQ Routes means that it uses statistics on how fast it runs on different ways to pick out the fastest route. Our site XXL is also available in a version with receiver for traffic information – the price difference is about 200 kr.
Plus: big screen, user friendly
Minus: Lacks bluetooth, passive Coupler.