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Pogo Drive: a short review

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Joined: Jan 24, 2004
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Pogo Drive: a short review Reply with quote

I have been using an Origin b2 for several years, and I also have Tomtom v5 navigation software running on a Palm T3. All this works well and I am pleased with it. In the last few weeks I've had a few malfunctions on the Origin b2 and I received a special offer to buy a Pogo Drive, which I fell for. The malfunctions on the b2 now seem to have ceased and I'm hoping it was a temporary glitch

I used the Pogo Drive over Christmas for a journey to Nottingham, and I have now returned it and reverted to my Tomtom + b2.

I found the navigation menus of the Drive not to be very intuitive. For instance, I was sitting in my car in the street outside my home, and I couldn't set the current GPS to home. When you go into the menus the 'Home' button is greyed out and doesn't work, and you have to go all around the houses (figuratively) and set home to an address, with all the error and approximation this implies, compared with using raw GPS data. Also, the navigator doesn't do vias, which I use quite often on my Tomtom. I find vias particularly useful for forcing the navigator to use a route I know I prefer.

The 'while navigating' screen is quite good, and shows something useful that my Tomtom doesn't show - the street one is currently on, as well as the next street. There are two fields (top left hand and right hand corners of the screen these between them can be set to show any two of ETA, remaining distance, altitude (!) and estimated remaining time.

I found the small (about the size of a CD jewel case), 40-page booklet to be a bit too brief.

The use of postcodes is less good than on my Tomtom. With the Tomtom when one enters a postcode the streets in that post code are listed so that one can select one and then enter a street number. With the Drive one enters a postcode and that's it. I guess it just navigates to the centre of that post code.

The camera warnings are generally very good, with the exception of one problem I had, which I shall come to. Nottingham is a good town to evaluate a speed camera warning device as it has a lot of cameras, including SPECS. The Drive copes well with all this, and even displays one's average speed in a SPECS zone. My big problem with the camera warnings was that I drove from Nottingham to London using the M40, and then from London to Reading using the M4, and from about 40 - 50 miles outside London on the M40 it displayed its Black Spot warning, and it displayed it continuously all the time I was driving in London and then all the way along the M4 and A329 into Reading. This meant that every time the car speed exceeded 60mph the Drive's displayed turned red (this is because Pogo has apparently decided that one mustn't exceed 60mph in black spot zones). The black spot warning displays a 60mph symbol, and I had this on in London, even when I was in a 30mph zone. My first thought was that as soon as I stopped I would switch off the Black Spot warnings, just as I have switched off the School warnings on my b2. I was quite disappointed when I couldn't find a way of switching them off.

With my Tomtom I can at any time tap on the screen and see an overview of my route, and where I am on it. With the Drive, when you set a destination you see an overview of the route, but I couldn't find a way of seeing an overview after that. The Tomtom will also display the route as text with times or distances at the various navigation events. I often drive into London to enter the congestion charge zone as soon after 6pm as possible, and this functionality of the Tomtom is very useful for that. With the Drive the only way I found of looking at the route after I had started navigating it was by stepping through 'pictures' of the navigation events that constitute the route. I didn't find this to be very useful.

Avoiding parts of routes. With the Tomtom one can look at a text list of the roads in the route and select a road that on wants to avoid. With the Drive one can avoid the route for the next X miles, where X can be 5, 10, 20 miles. I didn't use this and I describe it from memory as I can't find it in the manual.

The Pogo Drive has the following navigation modes: Fast car, slow car, motorbike, towing, bicycle and pedestrian. There is no elaboration of these in the manual. I don't know how slow slow car is, for instance, or how motorbike differs from car. These choices are quite similar to my Tomtom, which has something like Normal, speed limited (where you set the speed), avoid motorways, pedestrian and cycling.

Prompts. The drive gives fewer voice prompts than the Tomtom, but they are adequate. When one navigation event follows another closely the Tomtom uses a 'then' prompt to prepare the driver, as in 'At the end of the road turn left, then turn right'. The Drive has no 'then' prompts.

This is a review based on brief experience with the Pogo Drive as I soon knew that I wanted to return it for a refund, so I probably missed some tricks, and I agree I came to it being very used to the Tomtom.

The Origin b2 is a small, inconspicuous device that I feel I can leave in the car when it is parked (I put a rag over it to make it invisible). This is because its GPS receiver is remote from the display, and the whole system has to be fitted to the car, with wires run from one component to another. This is obviously less convenient to install than the Pogo, which is self contained and needs only a wire to the power outlet, but it does allow the b2 to be located inconspicuously. The only time I touch the b2 is when I take it out of the car each week to update it (it drops into a cradle in the car). It is always there protecting me. The Pogo Drive is a device I would feel obliged to put away every time I park the car (it does go into my glove compartment still attached to the mount), making it significantly less convenient. It is a real shame that Pogo didn't make the Drive fit the Origin b2 cradle. The Pogo Drive has a 'fold out' GPS receiver, a feature
that designers of some other GPS devices are able to avoid. The attachment to the windscreen mount and the power supply connection are separate, making it more fiddly to set up (the Navman combines the power supply and mount). I now think that Pogo probably make the best speed camera warning system, but for navigation I shall go elsewhere.

If my Origin b2 does give up the ghost. I think I shall just buy another one, as it is an excellent device, and not try to combine good camera protection and good navigation in one gadget.

I have now received a refund for the drive without any questions being asked. In the course of returning it I sent two emails with questions to Pogo which were not replied to, and I ended up phoning them.

Summarising, I felt that the drive has a good 'while navigating' screen, but it has less functionality, and its menus are less intuitive. The speed camera warning side of the Drive is good, but is less confiurable than the b2.
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Joined: Apr 21, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the Pogo Drive too,good post.

Also, my "Drive" missed no fewer than seven fixed camera locations in the Manchester/Northwich area,they had obviously been there for years and I had updated the very morning of trip.

Also on the A1 m, it missed roadworks (av speed cam) which had also been there a while.

I also own a B2 and its never missed a fixed camera.

As you say,the "next" turn just does'nt happen one the navigation side of things and can leave you floundering on say a motorway turn off where there are two lanes to choose upon exit.

All in all pretty dissappointing effort from Pogo (imo) and have much better success using my "Orbit" phone with Tom Tom 6 loaded + it gives me mobile camera sites too.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the Pogo Drive for only about 24 hours, and I was also running the Origin b2 at the same time. In that time I didn't spot any differences in the speed camera databases of the two devices (I had updated both just before). It's disappointing if the Pogo Drive misses speed cameras, as I would have assumed that both the Drive and b2 speed camera databases are based on the same collected information.

Thank you for your response.
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