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Reviewed: Navigon 40 Easy EU 23

 

Reviewed By

Darren Griffin Navigon 40 Easy EU 23
Review Date 22 January 2011
Manufacturer Navigon
RRP

£139.99

8

 

Navigon can't be accused of sitting on their laurels. A few years ago they were barely known of in the UK despite being the No1 brand in Germany but times have changed.

 

New models have come out at regular intervals and each has improved markedly on the previous versions. Their iPhone Navigation App has proved a big hit with its sleek Apple'esque design and layout and they have become a well known and respected brand nipping at the heels of Garmin and TomTom.

 

The latest product from Navigon is a completely new range of PNDs with Navigon 20 (small), Navigon 40 (medium) and Navigon 70 (large) screen options and three feature levels, Easy, Plus and Premium.

 

The range gives buyers a wide range of choice and price points. We have been loaned a Navigon 40 Easy for review so let's see how it fares.

 

Design

Whereas Navigon's first models were rather anonymous and boxy, the latest product exudes style and, within the constraints of a satnav device, it manages to look sleek and expensive. Rounded corners and a glossy frame add to the mix.

 

A flush mounted power button is situated on the top right and a power LED is mounted adjacent to the bottom positioned mini-USB power socket. Top marks for that decision, it avoids annoying reflections in the windscreen at night.

 

Rear View

 

A microSD card slot is also to be found on the bottom. Unoccupied at present but great for future expansion.

 

MountOn the rear is the mating point for the mount and a small speaker. Small reset button is located on the right hand side.

 

The mount itself is worthy of comment. A very svelte swooping plastic arm containing a windscreen sucker and operating lever that sits flush in the arm. At the other end is a disc that mates with the recess in the rear of the screen.

 

It can be attached to, and removed from the mount single handedly and works well. It is not an active mount though, there is no power connection and so the charge lead needs to be attached manually.

 

Also provided are a charge lead (which contains the TMC antenna for the traffic service) and a miniUSB to USB cable for connecting to your PC.

 

 

Route demo Destination Menu

 

Navigon's map display and menu style is one of the features that allows them to stand out in a sea of samey products. They've stuck with their dark menus and improved them over time. Whilst they may not be as instantly accessible as TomTom's solution, they work well and once you have used them a few times they are intuitive and easy to navigate.

 

The dark colour scheme is very easy on the eye and the map display provides great detail with additional information popping up as required. Looks great, not as 'Fisher Price' as some and not too busy either.

 

Features

As well as all the standard features that you would expect of a current model navigation device, Navigon include Active Lane Assistant, MyBestPOIs, Reality View Pro, Premium TMC, Sightseeing Tour, Clever Parking and MyRoutes. I'll explain some of these in more detail later. I should also point out that Navigon use Navteq map data (some place much weight on that - not me!).

 

Active Lane Assistant. Navigon have their own take on the Lane Assistant feature which many now offer. Not only does it show a pop-up display of the road layout as you approach a complex junction or multi-lane section of road, it goes one better using an animated layout that updates in real time to show you which lane you need to be in.

 

Active Lane Assistamt

Active Lane Assistant

 

 

Reality View Pro. This is the full screen static view of an upcoming motorway exit which is intended to represent what you will see. The 'reality' bit is a little stretched but the motorway signage does accurately reflect what is present and assists in making the turn.

 

Reality View Pro

Reality View Pro

 

Premium TMC is just TMC in essence. Unlike other countries where there are free and 'premium' TMC services available, here in the UK we only have commercial, paid for TMC and that is what Navigon use. They pay the licence fee, there are no recurring fees for you. However, in common with other devices that use RDS-TMC (transmitted over FM) reception varies wildly and I have experienced problems with reception. But this has been the same for every other product using it, Navigon is no different.

 

RDS-TMC requires an FM antenna, Navigon package this in the supplied charger. That is great for keeping the wire count down but far from ideal for optimal FM reception. But, having said, that, other manufactures product, using wire string aerials which drape across the dash or affix to the windscreen have been little better in my experience. It says more about the low power transmission of the service.

 

Clever Parking & Last Mile is a very simple and at the same time very clever feature. Clever parking pops up as you approach your destination and provides information on available parking options near to you. Last Mile goes one better. Once you have parked, it guides you, on foot to the programmed destination and, back to your car wherever you parked it on the return leg. Simple, clever and a feature that is brilliant in its execution.

 

In Use

Switch on and you are presented with the obligatory safety warning screen followed by the main menu with four options. The options are self explanatory.

 

Main Menu

 

Choose New Destination and you can Enter an Address to access the address input screen. Navigon employ a predictive keyboard system that highlights the letters available to you as you type in an address. This makes address input much easier and avoids errors. You cannot input a character for which no address exists. i.e. Type LOND and X would be grayed out as no possible matches for LONDX are available.

 

As you continue typing, as soon as the characters you have typed match only a few possible options, the keyboard disappears and the available matches are shown.

 

Once you have entered the town/city and street/number or used the Postal Code you can begin navigation.

 

Address Input Address Input 2 Address Input 3

 

At this point, the route overview page is displayed. Looking at the example below, you will see that up to three possible routes are shown (in this example only two are offered). This is a feature that Navigon have employed for some time and it works well.

 

MyRoutes

MyRoutes

 

In testing, the routes proved satisfactory. As is common, the routes differ slightly from those calculated using Tele Atlas mapping but they were sensible and unremarkable. There were no eyebrow raising solutions.

 

The 40 Easy does not have Text To Speech but the navigation voices are loud and clear. Despite the apparently small speaker, the device is capable of outputting plenty of volume without sounding tinny. So no issues for older, noisier cars or vans/trucks.

 

It all works very well, you can choose start/end points from the map, the POI list is extensive and the device feels fairly snappy in use.

 

A one-click menu accessed via a drop down tab at the top of the navigation screen gives you easy access to your three favourite POIs (user-configurable).

 

One Click Menu

One-Click Menu

 

The only two issues that I found worthy of remark are firstly, the occasionally slow drawing of on-screen detail. When driving, road detail to the sides of your programmed route can sometimes be slow to draw. This issue did not occur all the time but it could cause an issue if, for example, you were looking for a side road whilst driving.

 

The other issue is speed camera data. Navigon have always lagged behind in this area. As they do not provide any facility for POI alerts in their software, they use a custom plug-in from POI-Warner to provide the alert functionality. If you wish to use a service from another provider such as us, then you need to buy a the full version of the plug-in from POI-Warner before you can install our speed camera POIs and currently the version required for these models has not been released.

 

This may seem a dig simply because we supply data. It is not. But I would like to see Navigon graps the bull by the horns and integrate alerts into their software natively. The fact that they offer their own sped camera data (which, in testing was found to be rather lacking) indicates they recognise the demand, so why continue to offer this via a plug-in?

 

Verdict

At £139.99, Navigon's 40 Easy with European Maps makes a compelling case. It is well thought out, does all that is asked of it and offers some genuinely useful features.

 

The market is highly competitive with many other options being available at, and indeed under, this price but the 40 Easy can hold its head up high.

 

If you are in the market for a new system, then you can do a lot worse than spend your hard earned cash on a Navigon 40 Easy.

 

Screenshots

 

Menu Navigation 1 Menu Navigation 2 Menu Navigation 3

Menu General 1 Menu General 2 Menu General 3

Menu General 4 Menu General 5 Volume Settings

Menu Map 1 Menu Map 2 Route Options

Route Profile Meny Route Profile 1 Parking Options

Map Map Map

GPS Status Main Menu Options Main Menu Sub-Options

All thumbnail screen-shots and images in this review are clickable


Specification

 

Dimensions 120.5 x 75.5 x 15.2mm
Display

4.3"

16:9 wide screen

Display resolution 480 x 272 pixels HVGA
Weight 160g
Battery 1300 mAh Lithium
Memory

24GB internal flash

MicroSD Card Slot

Connectivity

TMC Traffic

 

 

References

Manufacturers Web site http://www.Navigon.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Darren Griffin

   
Forum Comments:

 

 

Comments
Posted by BigPerk on Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:30 pm Reply with quote

Hi Darren - nice review! Just one point of clarification, in case I misunderstood your comments about PGPSW/User POIs. The latest range, including this model, DOES now allow user input of POIs. The manual says up to 10,000 user POIs can be stored (I have your redlight & specs on my 70), though the limit MAY actually be 1,000 on the 40 Easy, because of its smaller RAM. You can't get audio warnings for them, but they do show on the map.

The full POI-Warner, once Version 4 becomes available in the UK, will provide fuller support, but it's no longer essential for basic use.


David
(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

 
Posted by Darren on Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:46 pm Reply with quote

BigPerk Wrote:
Hi Darren - nice review! Just one point of clarification, in case I misunderstood your comments about PGPSW/User POIs. The latest range, including this model, DOES now allow user input of POIs. The manual says up to 10,000 user POIs can be stored (I have your redlight & specs on my 70), though the limit MAY actually be 1,000 on the 40 Easy, because of its smaller RAM. You can't get audio warnings for them, but they do show on the map.

Ah thanks, yes, I misunderstood the limitation - it's only the warning aspect that is missing? Normal POIs can be installed?


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by BigPerk on Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:01 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
it's only the warning aspect that is missing? Normal POIs can be installed?

Yes to both questions. As well as PGPSW's cameras, I also have others such as the CAMRA pubs database, and motorway junctions, installed. You can select user categories to also show up in the drop down tab of 'favourite POIs' at the top of the screen that you mentioned in your review.


David
(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

 
Posted by Darren on Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:04 pm Reply with quote

Thanks, I've updated the review.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by xtraseller on Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:54 pm Reply with quote

The latest bunch of Navigons are nice units, and the software has evolved quite nicely over the years

My favourite thing about Navigon is they seem to innovate features (like Active Lane Guidance) - not just follow the crowd

However, what for me makes them great for ocassional long distance journeys (good routing, huge feature per return, cheap map updates and often option of upgrading software a year down the line) but not good for daily use of multiple journeys is their slow GPS acquisitions and slow menus

Sort that out and they are on to a winner...

I am always tempted by the new Navigons, always get one, then always switch back to my Garmin or TomTom for ease and speed


TomTom Go Live 6100, 600
Garmin DriveLux 50, D-Smart 70, NuviCam, 3598, 2699, 2798
Mio Navman 695
Nexus 6p, Apple iPhone 6sPlus and Microsoft Lumia 950xl running TomTom, Garmin, CoPilot, Navigon, Sygic, Here Drive, Google, Waze, MS Maps

 
Posted by C1man on Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:11 am Reply with quote

xtraseller Wrote:
The latest bunch of Navigons are nice units, and the software has evolved quite nicely over the years

The Navigon 40 Premium (Bluetooth, Europe maps, etc) is still available from Halfords for 99.90 GBP.

Later (9 Feb 2011) No longer available. Crying or Very sad


Tim
Navigon on Android mobile(s) & tablet
Navigon 4350max + POI-Warner

 
Posted by xtraseller on Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:20 am Reply with quote

Yes on the mid range units, pound for feature, they cannot be beat


TomTom Go Live 6100, 600
Garmin DriveLux 50, D-Smart 70, NuviCam, 3598, 2699, 2798
Mio Navman 695
Nexus 6p, Apple iPhone 6sPlus and Microsoft Lumia 950xl running TomTom, Garmin, CoPilot, Navigon, Sygic, Here Drive, Google, Waze, MS Maps

 
Posted by keithmillar on Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:25 pm Reply with quote

With all the farce going on with TT 1000 and their 3rd party software i'm seriously tempted to give up on TT and look towards the Navigon PND.
Darren's review was first rate and the new Premium series looks good.
I really only look for two things on any PND - Live Services and the ability to add the pocketgspworld speed cameras, and at the moment TT is a non runner.


Keith

Garmin 3598LTM-D
Android CoPilot
Navigon 72 Plus Live
TTGO540

 
Posted by keithmillar on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:48 pm Reply with quote

Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the Navigon 40 Premium and the Navigon 70 Premium?
Is it more maps on one unit compared to the other or a smaller screen or whatever

Thanks


Keith

Garmin 3598LTM-D
Android CoPilot
Navigon 72 Plus Live
TTGO540

 
Posted by BigPerk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:04 am Reply with quote

Certainly the obvious difference IS the screen size with the 70 being larger. For a more detailed look at differences have a look at the Navigon website's products page where you can do a comparison check between the two units, and also look at the facilities available yourself on each one. From your recent question elsewhere, I presume you would be comparing the Live versions.


David
(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

 
Posted by keithmillar on Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:10 am Reply with quote

Thank you David for your help. Yes your right i would be looking at the live services, but mainly the traffic updates.
I'll do that comparison check on the Navigon website and see what i come back with.
Thanks again


Keith

Garmin 3598LTM-D
Android CoPilot
Navigon 72 Plus Live
TTGO540

 
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