High quality but low price, the new Navman MY75T portable sat nav is one impressive unit
When $400 marks the price point of the top-of-the-line model in satellite navigation units, it is pretty clear that market forces are driving prices down and quality up rapidly. And as just about every midrange and up mobile phone features GPS capabilities, the pressure on specialised devices such as satnav unitsto perform is substantial.
The Carsales Network took Navman's top-end MY75T for a spin recently, and overall found it an impressive unit.
The MY75T is a large screen unit by mobile standards. The 5.0-inch (125mm) resistive touch screen is bright, responsive and imposing. The minimal glossy black plastic bezel contains two hard-buttons; a 'main menu' and 'pin drop'. The main menu hard button in particular is a welcome way to quickly navigate.
The windscreen mount and power socket positioning is one of the easiest systems we have come across to lower the threshold of pain when considering removing the MY75T after parking.
"For us, it's all about improving the navigation experience and creating features that make sense for Australian drivers," Wendy Hammond, Navman marketing director told the Carsales Network.
"In developing this latest range, we looked at various driving scenarios and talked to different types of drivers to identify the elements that would make listening to and seeing directions even easier. For example, we have made directions clearer and easier to understand by using obvious landmarks, like 'turn right at the petrol station' and by using 3D visuals of exactly where to go at complicated junctions."
The MY75T's spoken street names and landmarks is another significant aid to navigation and something sorely missing from other devices on the market.
With the larger screen, Navman has the luxury of playing with some of the display conventions. So the 3D map system employees speed sensitive zooming, and showing directional arrows for some streets.
Several options are available for picking a destination when planning a route. The Navman feature of limiting the keyboard to only valid next letter options works a treat whether looking for an address or one of the 600,000 Points of Interest. The MY75T presents four possible route options as a preview on a 2D screen. Selecting either the fastest, most economical, easiest or shortest route is then your choice.
Other boxes checked by the MY series include a two-year warranty, Road Toll alerts, intelligent Day/Night colour scheme switching, Digital logbook and excellent LIVE SUNA traffic alerts for roadwork delays and accident black spot notifications.
The MY75T also includes digital media playing options for music and video, live weather updates (also available on the MY65T model) and 3D landmarks on map. The included (optional on other MY models) Lonely Planet Travel books would only be useful for real travel buffs. The included HEMA Tracks for 4WD motoring however could be a device-selling drawcard.
Strangely, Bluetooth syncing of a smart phone was ludicrously difficult to set up.
Also we were not completely comfortable with the way speed warnings are displayed -- the device simply changes the semi transparent speed indicating icon, to an opaque one. We prefer a separate warning icon. Given the screen real estate available and the importance of this feature, its current implementation seems a little odd.
Other warnings, usually spoken, are welcome, though the device does seem to struggle with railway crossings, either warning of them when there is clearly an overpass, or warning too late, sometimes after the tracks have been crossed. A clear positive is the intelligent time based school-zone speed warning system.
The MY75T feels like a luxury device, at a comfortable price. Features such as TrueLocal search via Google Local Search can be very handy (if you can get Bluetooth connected) from time to time. The large screen is ostentatious and the optional functionality as a media player is a good integration direction for satnav devices to head.