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REVIEWS / AUTOMOTIVE
Navman S90i
Company: Navman

Pros: The Navman S90i's widescreen, camera (for NavPix), navigation software, POIs, easily accessible hotkeys, fast route calculation and recalculation, mobile phone hands-free functions, and TMC compatibility is what sets this unit apart from other navigators.

Cons: Users must connect the unit to the PC or charge it inside the car as Navman did not provide an AC adaptor

Product Rating:

5 Star Rating: Recommended

Editor Rating 5

User Rating 3

Navman Makes GPS Navigation Easier Than Ever

By Mendelson Tiu | Wednesday | 07/11/2007

The latest in-car GPS navigation device from Navman has a large, bright touch-screen display for easy map and menu viewing coupled with great new software, making it one of the best GPS navigation devices today.


Click to enlarge
And while there are a lot of portable in-car navigators in the market today, some 'affordable' units do not have enough functions and/or features that help users on their journey. Navman's S90i may be expensive, but it promises a lot of features that makes it a navigator worth purchasing.

Out of the box, the Navman S90i comes with the following items: the navigation unit, a leather casing, car charger, USB cable, users manual, IR remote control, mounting bracket, and a DVD that contains NavDesk and Global Map Data. It also comes with a traffic receiver, making it ready for the Suna Traffic service in early 2008.

The power button and the camera button are the only two buttons found on the Navman S90i, which means that users will have to use the touch screen to navigate through the menu. An external antenna jack, microphone jack, and headphone jack can be found on the left spine of the unit, while a lanyard loop can be found on its right spine. The memory card slot is located at the bottom of the unit and is right beside the charging / USB connection port. The unit also comes with a 2 mega pixel camera (for use with NavPix) and built-in speakers for audio / speech output.

Performance:

We suggest users to read the Quick Start Guide before turning the unit on for the first time to have an idea of how to get started. This is due to the fact that the main menu has a lot of options (My Home, Favourites, Recents, Map, Address, POIs (Point-of-Interests), navPix, Traffic, Fuel, Preferences, Phone, Parking, Food, SOS, Tripmeter, Tourist, and Cash) and can be overwhelming at times, especially for the first-time user.

Planning your first trip with the S90i is quick and simple. All one has to do is to tap the Address icon, enter the city/area, the street address, the house number, and press the "go" arrow key for the unit to start calculating the route. The unit also has an 'Intersection' mode that will lead a user to the intersection of two roads. The unit was able to pick up a GPS signal in less than a minute and was able to provide the fastest route from our SmartHouse office to my house in an instant.

The screen was bright and various points of interest (POIs) were clearly displayed on the unit. Tapping on any POI allows a user to navigate to that POI, check out its details, view other POIs close to it, avoid that area, add to the trip/itinerary, or set that particular POI as the starting point for the trip. Other visual icons include the next instruction (Right: George St), the direction and distance of the next turn, a next turn arrow, a speed indicator, a status bar, a distance and time information, as well as the main menu button (found on the lower left side of the display), cancel route button, zoom options, and map button (found on the right side of the screen). There is also an expandable icon located on the lower right side of the display that brings up other options like Mute/Unmute, TMC, Bluetooth, Battery indicator, and GPS information.

Users can also place their home address and save it on the unit's My Home option, view recent trips, view various points-of-interests (POI), and adjust various settings like route options, volume, screen display, Bluetooth functions, and POI alerts.


Click to enlarge
The NavDesk software that comes with the S90i
In addition, users can find the nearest petrol station, parking area, restaurant, tourist spot, emergency buildings like police stations or hospitals, and even the nearest ATM machine by pressing the said icons on the main menu. These options are handy especially for users who are travelling in an unfamiliar place, as the Navman S90i can instantly take you to any key POIs.

The Navman S90i can also pair with your mobile phone via Bluetooth connection. The Navman S90i was able to synchronise with the phone and automatically imported the contacts. Calling people can be done by either clicking on the list (phonebook) or by manually dialling the number (phone dialler). We were able to talk to the person on the other line without much of a problem, with conversations being loud and clear.

Finally, the Navman S90i has a clever way of taking you to various places without the need to remember its exact address with its NavPix technology. The camera automatically launches when the camera cover is slid open and any photos taken will automatically be tagged and stored in the Navman. Users can also visit the Navman NavPix website to upload, download, and share images to other owners, increasing your photo database. So the next time you want to go to a tourist spot (like the Sydney Opera House), all one has to do is to click on the NavPix option, select the Sydney Opera house photo, and just press the Go arrow key.

The Navman S90i gave us a little more than five hours with a single charge, but will last shorter if paired up to a phone and is used for its handsfree function. Charging the unit requires a user to hook up the unit to the computer (via USB) or inside the car (in-vehicle charger), as there is no AC adaptor included in the package.

Conclusion:

The new Navman S90i is one of the best in-car navigation systems we have seen to date. Its widescreen display makes it easy to view, while its features (POIs, Text-To-Speech, Navpix, Bluetooth, and shortcuts to Petrol, Parking & Emergency Services (SOS)) are accessible with a touch of a button. And with a traffic antenna included in the box for the upcoming Suna traffic service, the Navman S90i is a step ahead of the competition.

Specifications:

Hardware
Weight: 200g
Size (mm): 79 (H) x 139 (W) x 20 (D)
Processor: Samsung 2443 / 400 MHz
Memory: 2GB internal Flash memory 96 MB SDRAM
Memory Expansion: SD/MMC
GPS receiver: SiRFstarIII
Battery: Rechargeable integrated Li-ION battery-up to 5 hrs life (depending on usage)
Display Size & Type: 4.3" touch screen
Display Resolution WxH: 480 x 272 pixels
Integrated NavPix Camera: 2 Megapixel

Software features
Software: SmartST 2008 navigation software
Pre-installed Speed and red light camera alerts
Integrated Bluetooth: Hands-free calling
NavPix: Navigate to pictures
Navman Desktop Manager: Mileage Reporter, NavPix album
Over 500,000 POIs (Places of Interest)
Voice-guided instructions
Text-to-Speech: Spoken 'next turn' road names
Multiple route options
Easy to use address searching  

Navigation views
Turn-by-Turn
Route Summary
3D moving map
2D map view  

Mapping
Sensis Whereis 2007 (R14)

------------------------------------
Navman S90i | $799 |  | www.navman.com.au

For: The Navman S90i's widescreen, camera (for NavPix), navigation software, POIs, easily accessible hotkeys, fast route calculation and recalculation, mobile phone hands-free functions, and TMC compatibility is what sets this unit apart from other navigators.
Against: Users must connect the unit to the PC or charge it inside the car as Navman did not provide an AC adaptor
Conclusion: One of the best in-car navigation systems we have seen this year.

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Navman S90i Reviewed by Mendelson Tiu Rating: 5