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Navman has set a new standard in in-car navigation with its MY500XT. Not only does this GPS take you from point A to B; it also has a lot of features that will make travelling a breeze. It is now time to explore your city and enjoy the road ahead.


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The box contains the MY500XT, an in-vehicle mounting bracket, a charger, a USB Active Sync cable, and a NavDesk Desktop DVD. The unit has a dimension of 131x85x14mm, sports a brushed aluminium finish, and only has one switch (on/off/reset), giving it a sleek and clean look. The microSD card slot, USB port, and cradle slot are located at the bottom of the unit, while its speaker is located at the rear. The package could have been better if Navman included a case for the MY500XT to protect it from scratches when placed inside a bag.

Mounting the unit to our car only took a couple of seconds, but what we didn’t like was the fact that the charger had to be plugged (and unplugged) whenever the unit had to be docked or removed. A user must first select their preferred language, read and confirm the warning message, and view (or skip) the tutorial before being able to go to the main menu.

The menu consists of 20 icons (Find, My Places, Explore, Google Local Search, Map, Capture, Traffic, Connect, Settings, Home, Travel Book, Phone, Media, Petrol, Planned Trips, SOS, Food, Tourist, Parking, Cash), giving users everything they might need on their trip. You can get started by pressing the ‘Find’ icon and search for your destination.

 


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You can either find by street address, keyword, postcode, nearby points-of-interest, or city/area. For example, if you wanted to go to the Sydney Opera House, you can simply type ‘Syd Ope Hou’ on the Find by keyword. Since ‘Syd Ope Hou’ is a broad term, the unit will display 13 results. Choosing ‘Important Tourist Attraction’ will finally display Sydney Opera House. If you want to go back to the main menu, you can simply press the main menu button on the top left hand corner of the unit.

The MY500XT’s 4.7-inch capacitive panel LCD is the most responsive screen we have seen in a GPS. In fact, if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone, then you will find this unit easy to use. If the slide touch is not your thing however, you can always change the List Scrolling to Tap Touch.

If you are going to pass one or more toll roads, a notification will pop up, allowing you to either avoid or accept the route. The unit will display black spots, railway crossings, school zones, as well as speed and red light cameras along the way, notifying you using via an audio or visual warning. If you are passing through major junctions, the MY500XT will tell you where you are supposed to go using its 3D junction view. While it only shows generic shots of junctions, it will most certainly help a user go to the correct lane. 3D landmarks are also included, helping you navigate through major cities.

 


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Users can also know whether there is traffic in their route as the MY500XT comes with a built-in traffic receiver. If there is traffic along your route, a warning will be given, allowing you to avoid the traffic incident if necessary.

While the internal speaker can get loud when set at its maximum level, users have the option to transmit audio through your vehicles speakers using the FM transmitter. This feature is found on the audio output function under settings. Users can also connect the Navman to a mobile phone or hand-free headset via Bluetooth. This will allow users to retrieve phonebook contacts, perform calls, and even get data using a phone’s Internet connection.

Unlike other GPS in the market, the MY500XT comes pre-loaded with information from Lonely Planet and Wcities. If you are in Sydney and you have no idea where to go, you can simply click on Travel Book, go to the Sydney Lonely Planet or WCities guide, and instantly look for various points of interest (such as Hotels, Tourist Attractions, and Restaurants). Contact numbers are supplied, allowing users to call by clicking on the displayed number (so long as a phone is connected).

If the place you are looking for is not available on the ‘Explore’ or ‘Travel Book’, you can always search it using the ‘Local Search’ function that utilises Google and Truelocal. This feature connects to the Internet using your phone, so make sure that you have a plan with data included.

 


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The Navman MY500XT is not just for the car: it can also be used while walking and exploring the city. After searching for a point of interest, a user can change the mode to ‘Pedestrian’ by pressing the mode button below the destination details. The unit lasted for about three hours before we had to charge it, which is sufficient enough to help us get around.

The NavDesk Desktop DVD comes with NavDesk 2009 – a software that lets a user to purchase new maps and accessories, register the GPS, tweak the unit settings (My Navman), check and search photos for the NavPix feature, customise POIs (points-of interest), and even transfer audio and video files using My Media.

The unit supports the following audio and video formats: WAV, WMA, MP3, AAC, M4A, MP4, M4V, AVI, WMV, ASF, and 3GP. Users can either save the files on the MY500XT or to a memory card, with the unit playing the formats without any problems.

Despite being sold for $599, the Navman MY500XT is well-worth it because of what it offers. Simply put, it goes beyond navigation and makes information as easy to reach as possible.

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