|Purchase from||Digital Sushi
When you think of GPS brands in South Africa it’s easy to name TomTom and Garmin. They have been our signature brands for years, and we often over-look the others. One of these over-looked brands is Navigon. distributed by Phoenix Software, Navigon has been in South Africa for a little while now, but I fail to see why it isn’t more popular?
I’ve managed to get my hands on a Navigon 40 EASY GPS unit and I must say it has pleasantly surprised me. Now, keep in mind my GPS experience has been limited to an old Garmin and the TomTom application on my iPhone. I will be looking at the 40 EASY from a “fresh” perspective for potential buyers.
The unit doesn’t only cover South Africa, but rather Southern Africa. The maps included with the device are for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Right off the bat the unit is light. Very light in fact that I sometimes forget when it’s in my pocket. My iPhone 4 is heavier than the 40 EASY. Speaking of iPhone, the Naivgon is slightly larger than the Apple device, which isn’t a bad thing seeing as it is packing a 4.3” LCD screen. The form factor is quite appealing with a power button, power port, back connection for a dock and MicroSD card slot.
Once powered on you are greeted with the Navigon home screen and a warning about not using the unit while driving. If you do not accept the terms the 40 EASY unit will power off - fair enough. It can take several minutes to acquire the necessary satellites for usage. It is not recommended that you move around during the first few minutes of operation. The home screen presents you with four options, which are New Destination, My Destinations, Take My Home and Show Map. I won’t go into too much detail about Show Map, Take Me Home or Favourites, as they are pretty self-explanatory. My gripe about the software is that it’s based off of Windows CE, which isn’t the more efficient piece of code out there.
Selecting New Destination will present three options: Enter an Address, Search for POI and Enter Coordinates. Entering a new destination is pretty simplified with your City (or postal code), street name and number. A little problem with the on-screen keyboard with is the Options button is where you’d expect the space bar to bar. This can lead to some confusion. Once the address has been entered you can also select to look for parking in the area. Coordinates are self explanatory with Latitude and Longitude. Searching for a POI (Point of Interest) allows you to search nearby, in a specific city and nationwide. I’m not going to list all of the categories, but they include petrol stations, parking, ATMs, lodging and a host of others - quite useful if you ask me.
The map screen presents you with several bits of information, which include the time, battery meter, height above sea level, speed, next destination and a few others. It’s pretty basic and I don’t see the average user needing any more than that. The route can either be viewed as 2D or 3D, but I prefer 3D while driving.
When on your selected route, a box will appear on the left hand-side of the screen with a count down to your next turn. The right-hand side will show you which lane to take next. The system can show you real-time traffic, but that’s an extra option, which needs to be purchased.
I found the unit will display an generic image of the upcoming lane change to show you where to go next. It’s something that my TomTom cannot do. You will also be notified of your current speed and any cameras in the area (this moans at me a lot…).
The voices are good enough, I mean it’s difficult to have a voice, which can pronounce every street name perfectly. The woman’s voice cannot pronounce meters as it comes out as metas; a small issue, but nothing serious.
Navigon 40 EASY’s battery is of decent quality and can last a few hours. Don’t keep the unit on standby for too long as it drains more power than necessary.
And finally the Navigon 40 EASY includes the following in the box:
- Navigon 40 EASY GPUs unit
- USB Cable
- Car charger
- Suction cup can stand
- Voucher for maps
Overall the Navigon 40 EASY GPS unit is a great entry-level unit and well worth the price.