Navman 2020 Range Launches with New Features.

Navman released it’s new 2020 range with 6 devices offering a price and features for every pocket.

The market is one in which built-in vehicle features make selling add-on units difficult. Despite that, Navman manages to add features year on year. What 99% of all cars on the road do not have, is inbuilt Dashcam. That alone is reason enough to have a discrete camera facing the action up front.

Why have an after-market Navigation unit?

Many new cars have inbuilt systems, but at least 40% do not. Even those with navigation may not have some of the features of an after market unit. Most older cars have no navigation or Bluetooth hands-free.

Phones have maps, but require cell service. Even in town, service can be patchy. That means that most cars on the road could still benefit from having an after-market navigation system.

Why Navman?

The brand doesn’t claim to be the cheapest. With that, comes a need to add features to make the products attractive to buyers.

The units are priced between $119 and $479. 2 models have magnetic mounts to make removal easy. Screen sizes are either 5” or 6” and the 2 entry level models have a 1 year warranty. The remaining 4 models come with 2 years warranty.

Drive Duo comes with Dash Cam that have glass lenses instead of the cheap plastic lenses found in other brands.

Trip planner helps organise you roadtrip in advance, and roadside assist helps when you get in to strife. You can even use voice commands to add destinations on some models.

Dashcam recordings are clearer than the opposition with changes in light conditions being handled quickly. Details such as signs, faces, and number plates, are clear. That makes insurance claims indisputable.

I have a phone. Isn’t that better?

Anyone who has used a phone for maps and navigation knows that although your phone is always with you, there are shortcomings when it comes time to handle more than one task at a time.

Switching between apps can be confusing if not impossible. If a call comes in, you lose your maps. This may come at a time when you’re in need of selecting a route through a complex intersection. It is particularly annoying when coming to a turn. Most importantly you can’t touch your phone while the car is being driven, so it is impossible to switch to the app you want. If you are caught touching your phone, you’ll be fined with loss of points. If this happens during double-demerits, your licence could vanish in a single day.

Finally, your phone needs cell signal, and much of Australia is not covered by reliable service, if at all.

My Phone gets lifetime map, and traffic updates.

Yes it does, and so does Navman in most models. Only the entry level unit is limited to 2 years. The rest get lifetime updates, and top 3 models get those updates monthly. I recently completed a roadtrip from Sydney to Brisbane with much of the way on new highway. The car maps were not updated causing the dash mounted unit to give inaccurate messages and instructions. The phone was also confused.

I want to go off-road.

Drive Duo SUV offers extensive off-road navigation. We tested the off-roading capability during a product launch a few years ago. Much of the area had no cell coverage and the inbuilt car unit had no mention of the off-road tracks.

It highlighted the need for special preparation, and the benefit of an additional unit as back-up.

Truckies are covered

Some models can add details of longer vehicles and trailers.

The navigation will then avoid streets that are too narrow or bends that are too tight. There are obvious benefits from not getting stuck, but it also makes sure the trip goes without a hitch.

There are few in-dash systems which can match the flexibility of a unit dedicated one set of tasks.

Is Dashcam important?

I’ve long advocated the importance of Dashcams.

In fact, no car should leave home without a forward facing camera to record incidents. Many insurance claims are settled using video from one or all parties. It keeps an eye on proceedings and makes even the most experienced driver more aware of their habits.

More importantly, parents can use this as a monitor to make sure their P platers are behaving safely.

Bluetooth Handsfree

Bluetooth and Dashcam are the most important features of a Navman unit.

It instantly updates older cars and adds safety far in excess of the price of the unit.

Helpful Hint: My Navman won’t switch on

Check to make sure you unit is properly plugged in. BMW for example, has two different sized outlets. The front outlet needs an adaptor, because although your unit looks to be plugged in, it is not.

Conclusion:

A buyer will use some features most of the time, especially on a Dashcam model. Other features are not so handy. After extensive testing of previous models, I found the lane warning to be useless. It goes off every time you change lanes whether you indicate or not. Driver fatigue warning can simply be ignored, and on units where collision warning is active, if it is not connected to autonomous emergency braking, is also useless.

That doesn’t mean some drivers won’t benefit from those warnings, but many will simply deactivate them.

I would insist on Bluetooth, Dashcam, and route planning, were I to buy a Navman for myself.

We will feature some in-depth reviews as soon as we can.

MOVE100 MOVE120LM CRUISE550MT CRUISE650MMT DRIVE DUO 2.0 DRIVE DUO SUV
2yrs free maps Free maps Free maps Free monthly map updates Free monthly map updates Free monthly map updates inc HERE 4WD tracks
Speed limit alerts Speed limit alerts Speed limit alerts Speed limit alerts Speed limit alerts
Premium safety alerts Premium safety alerts Premium safety alerts Premium driver alerts Premium driver alerts Premium driver alerts
3D junction views 3D junction views 3D junction views 3D junction views 3D junction views 3D junction views
Landmark guidance and spoken street names Landmark guidance and spoken street names Landmark guidance plus, and spoken street names Landmark guidance plus, and spoken street names Landmark guidance plus, and spoken street names Landmark guidance plus, and spoken street names
Advanced lane guidance Advanced lane guidance Advanced lane guidance Advanced lane guidance Advanced lane guidance Advanced lane guidance
Fuel type search Fuel type search Fuel type search Fuel type search Fuel type search Fuel type search
Smart route

(historical traffic)

Smart route

(historical traffic)

Trip select and trip planner, rest stop shortcut Trip select and trip planner, rest stop shortcut Trip select and trip planner, rest stop shortcut Trip select and trip planner, rest stop shortcut
Driver fatigue alerts Driver fatigue alerts Driver fatigue alerts Driver fatigue alerts Driver fatigue alerts Driver fatigue alerts
Live traffic updates Live traffic updates Live traffic updates Live traffic updates
Bluetooth handsfree Bluetooth handsfree Bluetooth handsfree Bluetooth handsfree
Voice destination entry Voice destination entry Voice destination entry
Digital logbook Digital logbook Digital logbook Digital logbook
Roadside Assist Roadside Assist Roadside Assist Roadside Assist; Travel guides; Large vehicle assist
3-Axis G-sensor; Full HD 1080p dash cam; wide-angle glass lens Super 2K HD dash cam; 3-Axis G-sensor; Full HD 1080p dash cam; wide-angle glass lens
ADAS safety features ADAS safety features
5” screen 5” screen 5” smooth glide LCD screen 6” smooth glide LCD screen 5” screen 6” screen
Magnetic mount Magnetic mount
1 year warranty 1 year warranty 2 year warranty 2 year warranty 2 year warranty 2 year warranty
$119 $129 $179 $229 $279 $479