The newest Navman offering well and truly lives up to the company hype. The large 6” screen is crystal clear with a fast touch response. Many units need a firm press get a reaction. Who hasn’t had to give their screen-mounted unit a good shove causing the unit to move in its cradle?
There are map updates for the life of the device which includes 123,000 kms of off-road tracks, point of interest, and importantly, new roads and tunnels. Navman says you should still confirm conditions in the traditional way if entering national parks where flooding, fire, and other such disasters, might cause stress on an otherwise fun weekend away.
Additionally, you are able to enter details such as the height of your roof box, or the length of your caravan to help aid navigation. This avoids sending you down roads where you may not be able to turn around. Imagine getting to a low pass or tight bend, and not being able to backtrack.
You can record your journey in the software, and film as much of it as the micro SD storage will allow. The crystal clear 2K camera acts as a dash cam and can be optioned with a hard-wired (1080p) rear camera.
The footage can be viewed on the desktop software and includes details such as G Force, location, and speed. Although this can’t be used in court, it could lower your insurance premiums. In the case of an accident, the cameras will record event details automatically, and a hard copy can be taken and emailed as a support document for your claim.
We found the Point of Interest search useful, but you can address search by typing the address just as you would normally write it. In other words, you don’t need to enter by suburb, street, number as is the case with many Satnav programmes. Typing the address just as you would in an email will bring up a series of options. All you have to do is choose the one you want.
Navman expects to sell about 160,000 units this year, with 10,000 of them being the new top model. The lifetime monthly updates should be an excellent selling point, and the fact that you can remove it from your car makes it more flexible than fixed systems. At $479, it is cheap enough to update to a later model in a few years without feelings of guilt and inadequacy. The rear camera costs an additional $139 and can easily be permanently wired in by installers at extra cost. You’ll never run out of battery while the car is moving, so will always have a record of your travels, even if it is just to the shops.
An added advantage is that the system can remain active in a lower power mode while the vehicle is parked. It will register and sudden jolts which might result in damage, and take images front and back. We’ve all seen how security cameras have provided evidence in unexpected ways, so although the Navman will only be useful as long as the battery lasts, the benefits of protection are clear.
Desktop software shows both cameras and extra detail, including anything you might manually have marked as something to remember.
We took shots of the group standing in front of the car at a picturesque campsite with a waterfall in the background.
An enterprising teenager might use this Navman footage and combine it with mobile phone video to make a cool movie of a family weekend away. Once you have the video content, only your imagination limits the possibilities. You could edit it for your very own YouTube adventure channel, and become the star you didn’t know didn’t know you were.
The menu is very easy to use, has a fast response time, and requires a lighter touch than older systems. It comes with 17 languages out of the box, and instantly updates older cars with the latest Lane Warning and Collision Warning technology. Parents might find it useful to keep their P platers safer, and older drivers will find the menus easy to navigate even if they decide they don’t need many of the added features.
You can connect your phone via Bluetooth and use it as a handsfree extension, and can access your address book for calls and contact information.
Navman has stand-alone dashcams providing lower cost options, so updating older cars need not cost a fortune.
Although the latest incarnation of Navman tech has many off-roading features, it is as useful in town as it is in the bush.
Importantly, the system provides security and peace of mind. Imagine you’re out on a lonely road and find yourself involved in a road-rage incident. You’ll be able to mark the exact location on a video record which can be handed to police.
The benefits are obvious, and although it is pricey, could pay for itself in a single event.
You may well ask yourself if you can afford not to have one.